This time last week, it was already day 3 of 4 at Wanderlust Festival. I had gone from modified yoga and meditation a few days a week to 2-3 classes a day. The bliss neurons firing in my brain had taken over any feelings of pain from my recovering fracture, and I was joyfully getting back into the flow of my practice.
My first (and definitely not last) experience has me wondering how I had never been to one before. Try to imagine grabbing all of your best friends, dropping them into your most cherished place on Earth, and then doing your favorite thing in the world all day.
This is Wanderlust.
From the second I stepped onto Turtle Bay property Thursday morning, it was like the best days of summer camp. Yogi's, surfers, and music enthusiasts had taken over the North Shore. (Again, my favorite types of people - in one of my favorite places on Earth.) I was born for this kinda stuff.
Every corner I turned I found someone to hug and kiss on the cheek; girls from my teacher training, students I take class with, former lululemon co-workers, and teachers all made appearances. I couldn't get to class without stopping at least 5 times to say hello and catch up. My partner-in-crime Monica and I had latched on to each other like high school bffs; checking in about whose class to take, setting up our mats side by side, writing notes about the killer sequences we were learning, having lunches together, and unwinding the day with wine (not so much like high school) and girl talk.
Day 1: My festival experience began with Schuyler Grant, co-founder of Wanderlust and director of the Kula Yoga Project in NYC. We eagerly set our mats up at the front of class and got ready for "Vinyasa Forever" - Fundamentals of Intelligent Flow Practice. Falling in love with her practice was easy and I became a return student all weekend. Schuyler has a sweet no-nonsense East Coast attitude that I really respect. Not only is she my hero for creating something like Wanderlust, she is so down to Earth, letting any compliment you give her roll right off her shoulders with a smile and sweet nod of the head. Her Kula Style Yoga flow is genius. She takes the principles of correct alignment (so important if we want to be practicing yoga until we croak) and blends in creative hybrid asanas (postures) and flows that leave you and your body in nirvana. Oh Dj Drez was mixing and supplying our music the entire time. Two thumbs up.
To give a break down of all the great classes and teachers would take many posts and many more words, but I got my dose of diverse yoga taking from Blissology's Project, Eoin Finn, Prana Flow creator Shiva Rea, and Mr. Pipeline Gerry Lopez! I lost myself with Michael Franti & Shiva Rea's trance dance under the sun, got my first experience with Thai Yoga Massage, and in between soaked up the warmth and energy that was pulsing all weekend.
And even though my days were happily filled with yoga- hikes, surfing, stand up paddling, culture walks, speakeasys at the Surfer Bar, concerts by ALO & Michael Franti, fire dancers, nutritional consultations, ukulele lessons, and a beach clean up were all on the menu as well. The hardest choice you have to make at festivals like this is how to maximize your day so you can fit it all in.
Needless to say when I woke up the day after Wanderlust ended, my body and mind instantly thought, "ok whose class am I going to?" I quickly realized I was back in my own bed and that the festival had come to a close. Yogi's had all gone back to their respective homes, and the North Shore was quiet again.
Until next year… or maybe just until Wanderlust Whistler in August ;)
*All photos courtesy of Wanderlust, leave it to the professionals.