Secrets to an Amazing
Wanderlust Experience

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21 January 2013

For the ultimate wellness adventure, head to the Wanderlust yoga festival. And while you’re there, follow these tips to get the most out of your downward dog experience.

Story by: 

Kat Tancock

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If there’s one thing that finally proves yoga’s no longer on the fringe, it’s Wanderlust, a music-slash-yoga festival heading into 2013 with six locations on the menu: Colorado, California, Vermont and Whistler come summer, and Chile and Oahu in February.

I attended Wanderlust Whistler last August and had the time of my life—and left wanting more. Here are some tips for making the most of the experience—and which I plan to follow the next time I go.

Secrets to an Amazing Wanderlust Experience

Plan ahead

If there are specific teachers whose workshops you want to attend, book them as early as possible—the most popular classes sell out quickly. Also, get organized early for accommodations, and have an idea of where you might want to eat your meals. You might think you’ll have time to research when you get there, but you’re going to be too busy having fun to think about mundane things like food and sleeping. For instance, I would have liked to know where to find quick and healthy snacks to grab on the run between classes, and I know there were some unsatisfied wait-listers left out of classes led by big names such as Tiffany Cruikshank and Chris Chavez.

But leave room for change

Know your must-do’s and stick to them, but plan for some flexibility in your schedule so you can follow new friends to their favourite teacher or take advantage of a sunny afternoon to ride the gondola to the summit.

Do something out of your comfort zone

Maybe inversions scare you, or you usually avoid yin or restorative in favour of more vigorous classes. Whatever it is, shake things up and take advantage of the fresh environment by signing up for a session that’s completely not your style—and approaching it with the knowledge you’ll learn something about yourself, if not about your practice.

The most humbling class I attended wasn’t the lotus workshop, nor even slackline yoga (yes, that’s a thing). It was the session on yoga for tight-limbed men led by local teacher Julie McCabe, a class I honestly had no business being in, but attended by virtue of being a fellow yoga teacher who wanted to learn something. The men in that class—mostly newbies—inspired me to listen to teachers with a beginner’s mind, rather than always assuming I know what’s coming next.

Secrets to an Amazing Wanderlust Experience

Don’t overdo it

There are a lot of class slots at Wanderlust, and you’re going to get tired. Recognize that four sessions a day for several days in a row is a lot of work, so be sure to build some variety into your days and not take on more than you can handle. On my last day, I optimistically attended consecutive workshops on inversions, acroyoga, slackline yoga and core strength—and in the third, fell out of an inversion and gave myself a black eye because my muscles were just done. Next time, I would switch one out for a lecture, hike or picnic on the grass.

Be a traveller

Wanderlust festivals take place in some of the world’s most beautiful places, so don’t spend the whole time looking at nothing but your yoga mat. McCabe, for one, suggests leaving plenty of time in your days for hiking and biking.

“The ethos of Wanderlust is to go someplace new, to experience different cultures and be in awe,” says musician MC Yogi, who has been part of Wanderlust since the beginning. “I literally feel like I’m going from one beautiful mountaintop to another.”

Kat Tancock

Freelance writer and Food & Drink new media editor Kat Tancock caught the travel bug from her Kiwi-Canadian hybrid parents who brought her back and forth throughout her childhood. Now she considers Toronto a great home base for adventures around the globe. Kat's writing credits include Canadian Living, Reader's Digest and Flare, as well as where.ca, besthealthmag.ca and sympatico.ca.