Wanderlust-ing in Squaw Valley

wanderBy Kira Rasmussen

What is Wanderlust (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)?

It’s a four-day festival of yoga, nature and music that takes place in different cities throughout the Americas. Last month, I went to Wanderlust California at Squaw Valley in Tahoe – but it’s also hosted annually in Oahu, Chile, Vermont, Colorado, Whistler, Austin and Tremblant (Quebec).

From what I saw, it’s like the Woodstock of yoga. A mecca of sorts that inspires pilgrimages of yogis. A gathering of thousands including legendary yoga instructors, mentors, lovers of nature and inspiration seekers surrounded with rockin’ hippy music, farm-to-table food, wine, and organic everything.

Three things actually overheard at the 2013 Wanderlust CA:

“Seriously, on this mat, I had the best f*#@ing down dog of my life.”
“I’ve let go of everything, so I can be open to everything.”
“The squirrels just ate our Guatemalan hammock a couple of weeks ago.”

wander4Occasionally, I practice yoga. Not regularly, although I always leave the studio wondering why not. I’ve heard of Wanderlust (mostly because of the movie although I’ve never actually watched it), and I’m always down to try new things, so when a few of my girlfriends wanted to check it out? I was all in.

The activity schedules, and class descriptions, are out of this world. Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

  • BEASTIE YOGI WITH MC YOGI AND DJ DREZ: This class is your license to chill with MC Yogi and DJ Drez as they spin classic Beastie Boy breaks and original b-boy samples mashed up with MC Yogi tracks, creating a super fun environment to deepen your yoga practice, and to check your head.
  • ONE HOOP, ONE LOVE: Step into the light of your own unique expression in this wildly playful, spiraling invocation that is whirling into hearts and bodies all over the world. Shakti Sunfire will lead you through the basics of hula hooping in the safety of community, slowly adding trick and technique that will blast open infinite possibility in hoop dance flow. Come ready to laugh and to move with a fullness of being. One hoop one love! Hoops provided.
  • LEHUA HONEY ESCAPE: Start off with a plumeria body wash followed by our Mango Coconut sugar scrub. Then you are drizzled with warm honey and coconut oil while wrapped from head to toe under our Vichy rain bar. While steaming your hair is washed and conditioned with a vigorous scalp massage. After steaming you are rinsed and ready to show off your glowing skin.

wander2I have to admit, I was most excited about the people-watching potential.  I thought I’d be walking into “their world,” like an amateur or outsider. But half way through my first 90 minute “Light FM Yoga” class, I looked around at the other 150 people in Warrior 2 and realized I was right where I belonged. It’s hard to describe exactly how I was feeling…. Inspired? Happy? Nostalgic? It all sounds so cheesy as I try to reflect on it… but it was just awesome. It was incredibly fun and invigorating to be surrounded by Wanderlust.

So while I’ll admit the people-watching was pretty great, there was so much more to the festival then that. The entire village at Squaw Creek was overrun by organic vendors passing out free samples like crazy, the vegetarian and raw food tents were serving plates overflowing with delicious food and the Midtown Farmer’s Market Kombucha trailer was there! The giant tent in the middle of it all was hosting jam packed yoga classes by day and concerts by night – including the headlining Moby on Saturday.

I left wanting more, and I’ll definitely be back. I’d tell my friends that if you even kind of sort of like or are intrigued by yoga, hula hooping or slack lining, you should go.

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