Yoga, meditation, community, happiness. A week and a half later and I’m still daydreaming of Wanderlust 108.
For the longest time, I had been wanting to partake in the famous Wanderlust Festival, a 4 day festival full of yoga, music and community. Granted, I didn’t do yoga. Like ever. Ever since I injured my back at a SoulCycle class (my sad, sad white girl problems), my doctor told me to avoid yoga so that I could heal. But I admired the practice and had been patiently waiting until I could start learning.
So, like the wannabe-not-yogi that I am, I let my coworkers know about the Wanderlust 108 event in Los Angeles. Unlike the 4 day festival, this was a 1-day mindful triathlon which included a 5k run, 90 minutes of yoga, and 30 minutes of meditation. I had found out about Wanderlust 108 about 2 months before the big day and mentioned how badly I wanted to go. Our lovely boss decided to make this a work event where we hand out our product and wear company shirts while we enjoy the day and promote a healthy lifestyle.
I was so excited to spend a day with my friends at the lovely Santa Monica pier and do so as a “work function”. The hindu gods must have felt my good vibes because like karmic magic, my doc finally allowed me to practice yoga just in time!
At 9:30 am, we arrived at Santa Monica beach in our kick ass fanny packs and company cut-offs. We were one of the first to arrive, but by 10:30 am, the pier was full of yogis, runners, and vendors all there to experience this mindful triathlon.
We registered as the first group, which meant our 5k was first, followed by yoga, and ending in meditation. This whole time we had assumed there would be a guided run through the streets of Santa Monica, like other 5ks. When we found out that we would be trekking in the hot sand, we hesitated to even start the race.
But, as Wanderlust 108 says, this is your own journey. So we ran for the first ten minutes. But we were great cheerleaders for all the passer-bys.
My coworkers, unfortunately, had to leave right after the 5k. We got a quick bite at the Luvo setup, said adios, and I continued to enjoy the day alone.
Yoga began around 1 o’clock. We opened up our practice with a shout out to those who suffered the earthquake in Nepal. We sent our prayers and good vibes their way as well as dedicate this practice to them.
Having been injured for so long, I struggled with most of the poses. I had to go into child’s pose quite a few times to stretch out my lower back. But that was the beauty of Wanderlust. Go at your own pace. Create your own journey. And do so in the company of your community. Normally, I would have felt heart-wrenching anxiety knowing I wasn’t doing anything right. But I was at ease. I felt at peace with myself.
As someone who wasn’t raised with any religion, this event allowed me to experience the most spiritual awareness I’ve ever felt.
Practicing yoga combines mind, body and spirit into one physical package while meditation quiets the mind and promotes clarity, focus, and balance. I get it. I know this. In fact, I’ve always wanted so badly to feel that special “buzz” that transcends individuals into this divine spirituality. The kind of feeling that keeps people centered, devoted, and happy. But for some reason, despite my enjoyment of both yoga and meditation in the past, I never really felt that special feeling.
Until this day.
There was something about being surrounded by like-minded individuals and experiencing togetherness. Something about breathing in the cool, salty air from the beach. Something about having the warm sun hit my face as I breathed my deep, calming “om”. Something about being apart of something bigger than myself. All of these elements, mixed with the ancient practices of yoga and meditation (as well as the 5k for good measure) made me feel connected to something. And I was on cloud nine.
At the end of the group meditation, the Wanderlust crew announced that they will be opening a studio in Hollywood sometime this summer! With Saturday’s zen still coursing through my body, expect this to location to be my new regular hangout spot!
Checkout our brief work video for a day in the life at Wanderlust 108!