I attended Wanderlust 108's San Francisco Mindful Triathlon. Staged in my beautiful childhood home of Golden Gate Park, this event transformed me in a way unlike any other. The overwhelming about of love, community, and appreciation was so fulfilling. I've gone on many retreats getting back to my spiritual roots, but yoga festivals will turn your world upside down - and you'll be glad they did.
Without further ado, here's my Survival Guide to Yoga Festivals
1. Come prepared
2. Treat yourself the day before
Treat yourself but like a temple. You don’t have to be vegan or a health nut, but any active person will tell you to be fueled the day/night before any event. Avoid the greasy, thick crap and fuel it with healthy comfort foods.Pasta primavera is a personal favorite. Get good rest the night before. I didn’t get much sleep due to excitement but nothing a little caffeine can’t fix!
3. Get there early
Arrive about an hour before check-in to secure prime parking and to buy you extra time for any incidentals. This also allows you to eat a bit before the first event (in my case, a 5k run) so that you don't crash in the middle of it.
4. Practice makes perfect, but perfect practice isn’t a requirement
Most yoga festivals are designed for all levels in mind. So if you’re just starting to incorporate some asana into your life, you are still very able to do a yoga festival. Practicing a bit each day for a few weeks does help beforehand to be comfortable with the basic flow that kicks off the festival and unites all attendees.
5. Go big or go home
Dropping a few extra bucks for a premium ticket will be so worth it because you not only get some amazing yoga swag and merch, but you will often get a meal, mat placement, scheduling, bag check, and special access in advance. Makes the day that much easier and saves the headache of spending all this money only to miss your super cool afternoon event. Sometimes travel and tickets are pricey, so this isn't an absolute must. If you can squeeze the next tier into your ticket, it'll be a lifesaver but totally possible with a first-tier too!
6. Bring snacks
Yeah, there’s a ton of samples and so many healthy goodies, but bring some personal snacks too. They’re there in case stalls have long lines or you’re craving something that’s not available at the festival. Plus, you can have as much as you want.
7. Open your heart & your mind
I didn’t think a mindful triathlon would be this emotional. The whole event is organized to get you pumped up and ready to go, but it also makes sure you’re rooted in the community of this incredible practice. During the dj-powered yoga, Chelsey Korus lead us in such an engaging, meaningful vinyasa that focused on one thing - you matter. When we all had our arms linked around each other and doing tree/Vriksasana to a one-legged squat, the support that flowed through the whole line was so powerful. The sun beating down on us while looking through open hands, being filled with loving words, and becoming connected through practice was one of the most synergistic moments I’ve ever experienced. I’m proud to say I cried a few times because of how filled my heart felt and how right the context felt. That moment resonated with me on a level I hadn’t ever recognized before.
If you think a yoga festival may not be for you, think again. Just because you're not a full-fledged yogi doesn't mean you don't belong there. You absolutely do. Wanderlust puts on amazing events for all levels, for any duration, all over the world. They partner with adidas and (RED) to go beyond hosting an event for attendees; this partnership ensures goodness and spreads the wealth beyond basic profit.
I've been an athlete all my life, but no sport or competition could have prepared me for this. The logistics were easy enough to figure out, but every single person there was open and willing to support you. That emotional trial is not something you can ever be prepared for. The love emanating from each individual from all ends of the earth flow right into you and dissipates back out. It's a day full of yoga, health, fun, and, most importantly, community.