Wanderlust yoga festivals have one simple motto - Find your true north. And they do their best to organize an event that helps you do just that. Find yourself, reconnect, connect with other beautiful souls, laugh, meditate, play, live right.. Wanderlust 108 is a one day event, entitled The Mindful Triathlon. It’s comprised of a 5k run, yoga, and a meditation class. Besides the three main activities, there are options to participate in a variety of fun yoga inspired classes - Aerial yoga (yoga suspended in a hammock), Acro yoga (partner yoga), Slack line yoga (yoga poses on a slack line), Barre, and more.
I have been eyeing Wanderlust events for a couple of years, but I never got to participate in one - till now! As a yogi at heart, I love a good yoga festival of any kind! I have absolutely never participated in one that I didn’t like, didn’t learn something new, make friends, or have tons of fun. Wanderlust 108 Atlanta was no different.
How I came to the festival is a fun story.. I was planning on attending Wanderlust 108 Charlotte, here in North Carolina, for a few weeks. It was happening on Saturday, April 9th. But being a busy bee, I had a morning Aerial class, a Workshop Yoga for Athletes, and an open house event to teach at, and I simply couldn’t/didn’t want to get out of them.
Saturday came, and after teaching all my classes, I came home and started scrolling my Facebook feed. I saw pictures of Wanderlust, and just as I was checking their status longingly, I read - and tomorrow, we are in Atlanta! Well, Atlanta, is only three and a half hour drive from Asheville, about an hour and change longer than the drive to Charlotte. I quickly got a sub for my Sunday class, bought last minute tickets, booked a hotel and jumped in the car with my husband - and off we were into an adventure! As we took off late, we arrived late at night, settled into the worst hotel I have ever been to (I’m not going to elaborate, let’s just say India was comfier and safer than this), and went to sleep.
The morning turned out quite gray and chilly, unfortunately, but that didn’t discourage us. Luckily, we were close to the Historic Forth Ward Park, where the event was taking place, so we didn’t have to get up early or stay out in the cold long. The check in process was easy, and all the people seemed to be in high spirits around us!
Before we knew it, it was time for the run! MC Yogi was the event host, and he and a yogi instructor/runner Gina kept us pumped, stretched us out, and gave us high-fives as we passed by.
I took of pretty quickly, but as I was in the second wave, I soon had to fight the crowds at the tail of the first wave to pass through. It wasn’t a typical runner’s race, as people were all over and walking, running, almost handstanding through the race. There was no chip timing or official results, but I timed myself with my Garmin (I finished 3.2 miles in 27:19, or about 8:35 min/mile pace). I pushed and ran strong, but there was a decent crowd, and some hills, so I was a bit slower than I wanted to be. The air was super chilly in the morning, and after the run my lungs were a bit shocked, and it took some time to get over a cough.
We got a hotel close to the park, so we could go back, shower and change before the yoga start. The run began at 9, and the yoga & dance party at 11am, so we had plenty of time. On such a chilly day, showering after the run and putting on a fresh set of clothes was gold! We soon headed back to the park to continue our fun. One little yoga festival trick: we set up our mats right after the run, so we got a great spot at the front! We just left them there, as they had volunteers organizing everything, and felt like our stuff would be safe.
DJ Sol Rising got the crowed pumped and ready before our Yoga Dance Party! I loved his music, and he kept on playing during our classes as well - yoga to live music (or live mixes) is great.
Then MC YOGI came along, and threw down some rhymes. It got us all pumped up, and we were jumping and singing in no time!
The music, the people, the vibes.. no matter how you feel, what your level of practice may be, this kind of an event will keep anyone in high spirits, and touch any heart. I love attending events where hundreds of like-minded individuals come together to practice something meaningful, something real, share their love for yoga and live life to the fullest, even for a day.
Practicing yoga and meditation outdoors, with high vibrations and powerful teachers, is always a transformational experience. Mary Beth guided us through a simple, yet mindful practice, and Noah from Dharma Punx through our meditation. I enjoyed the meditation very much, and I was able to focus well and keep my presence. His teachings are of Buddhist tradition, and he does amazing work teaching yoga and meditation in prisons and to troubled youth. Meeting people who are making a real difference in this world, sharing your practice with them, learning and growing together, it was all a very meaningful experience.
After our official triathlon of 5k run, yoga and meditation was over, we all dispersed and took a lunch break. We were luckily just walking distance from Whole Foods, so we got to grab some delicious foods and rest for a bit. When we returned, we jumped into a slack line yoga class! We were officially signed up for Acro yoga, but slack line had an opening (although it was full online when we tried to sign up), so we jumped in. Wanderlust 108 offers Acro yoga, Aerial, barre and more, but slack line was the only one I have never tried before, so it clearly seemed like the best idea!
All in all, this was an event to remember, and I can’t wait to attend more Wanderlust festivals and mindful triathlons!
If you’ve never attended a yoga festival before, it’s good to know what to bring with you. Here are a few of my favorite yoga festival essentials and tips:
- Yoga mat (duh!)
- Towel if it’s hot; scarf or blanket if it’s chilly
- Water! It’s a must, even on a cool day
- Hat, sunglasses and/or sunblock (specially on a hot day)
- Small, easy to carry bag or back-pack for your essentials (they had gear check)
- A few light layers of clothes
- Running shoes (if attending Wanderlust 108)
- Comfortable moisture-wicking clothes, including a change of shirt or tank top
- Snacks like green juice, smoothie, granola bars
- Sacred mala beads or meaningful jewelry like Yogala Jewelry
- An open mind and adventurous spirit!
When attending Wanderlust 108, if you have an opportunity to take a shower in between events, I definitely recommend it. It was a cool day in Atlanta, and I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed being outside for hours in the same, sweaty clothes. At the same time, if it were a hot sweaty day, a shower or change of clothes would have been equally welcomed.
I always tend to carry food with me, and although they had a good amount of food present, not all was in my taste since I’m vegan - they had food trucks all dedicated to cheese, panini and such. If you’re vegan, raw, gluten free, or have allergies, having your own snacks can never hurt. Alternatively, know where your closest food station is. We were there from 8am to 3:30pm total, so it was a long festival day!