Wanderlust Yoga Festival
- a strong desire to travel.
Yoga is one of those crazes that never passed; a phase that didn’t fade; a trend that remains…. trendy. Unlike Pilates, TaiBo and the myriad of other exercise regimes that eventually fall side-of-stage, Yoga remains firmly in the spotlight, worldwide. In the modern age of social media and online fitness programs, the practice has remained on solid footing and seemingly, will not be shifted. Yoga endures. Similarly, as a raft of spiritual practices rise and fall in popularity, Yoga continues to grow from strength to strength. Open your eyes to the goings-on and you will immediately become aware of its ubiquity – it’s everywhere. 2015 saw the worlds' first International Yoga Day, June 21, and it's popularity has given birth to the fantastic documentary exploring the unavoidable question, 'Who Owns Yoga?'. Inevitably, I find myself presenting a Yoga festival as this months’ feature.
Wanderlust is a Yoga festival that has entered into existence at full force. The first edition was announced in May 2009 and held two a mere two months later in the stunning surrounds of Squaw Valley, California. Since then it has expanded to visit Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Chile as well as holding festivals in its homeland of Cali.
At its bones, Wanderlust is a retreat - a gathering of yogis to practice Yoga, to celebrate the playfulness of living and to share in fostering common qualities of connectivity, consciousness and community. Namaste, or, I see the light in You, as the Yogi says. Festival organizers bring together leading Yoga teachers and wellness experts over four days (typically) to share insights on the practice, promote wellness and have fun – as the Wanderlust promoters put it: ‘Wanderlust Yoga Festivals are all-out, ecstatic celebrations’.
So just how is it different from your typical Yoga retreat then?
Difference numero uno: it’s a travelling festival, hence the name. Building on this foundation, organisers have taken the typical ‘retreat-model’ and thrown a ‘bucket-of-festival’ at it. Because no matter how deep you are in your Yoga practice, there is always room for music and mischief!
Reaching into the communities that it visits, Wanderlust fleshes out its offering by inviting the community that hosts it, to participate. Combining a local contingent and international experts, the festival now becomes a smorgasboard of side-events and activities, expanding on those basic theories of connectivity, consciousness and community, and actually putting them into practice.
‘Speakeasy lectures’ are mini TedX-like talks where you’ll hear experts wax lyrical on holistic medicine, film, technology, sustainability, and even creative business – sharing knowledge. Meditations are held in scenic areas surrounding the festival – you could push off from shore on a stand-up paddle board at sunrise for a floaty savasana or sit in padmasana in the forests atop a mountain while a violinist plays a piece for you – consciousness. Local artisan food producers host stalls in the food market, giving you and your tastebuds the opportunity to trial green-conscious foodstuffs that are locally made – sustainability and community. And as the sun sets over your new-found community, you can reward your Yogi efforts by catching a musical performance in the evenings – playfulness.
Artists that have graced the stages include Fela Kuti, Michael Franti, Soul Rebels (squeal!), Polyphonic Spree, Jurassic 5, Moby, Common and a never-ending list of lesser known yet hugely intriguing artists - there’s no shortage of quality entertainment when all of your hard work on ‘the mat’ is done.
So if the phrases Melting Heart, Half Lord of the Fishes or One Legged King Pigeon stir your senses, itch your feet and inspire a sense of wanderlust in you, then head to wanderlustfestival.com and book your next adventure within.
July 17 - 20 Squaw Valley, California
July 31 - August 4 Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
August 21 - 24 Tremblant, Quebec City, Canada
TICKETS: From $100USD (1 day) To $900USD (8 day including 4 day teacher training)
FLIGHTS: Pick your destination and book away!
ACCOMMODATION: Will vary depending on the event, camp lake-side or atop a mountain, book a cabin nearby or freestyle it.
DON’T FORGET: Yoga is a continual, challenging practice and everyone remains a beginner, no matter how long you practice.
WHY WANDERLUST? Take a holiday of self-discovery and personal transformation. Spend a few days immersing yourself in… yourself, then come back to the desert physically and mentally refreshed!