(Photo: Ali Kaukas)

For the past couple of years, the word ‘Wanderlust’ has held much power, and many meanings, in my life. Wanderlust: The intense gravitational pull to travel; to experience life in the moment; to dive into the unknown with an open heart; to dance to the rhythm that pulses in my veins; to be in awe of the places that create memories; to make connections with strangers who become lifelong friends; and to breathe and notice the chaos that surrounds all while enjoying the silence within. My time at Wanderlust Squaw Valley was all this and even more.

From the breathtaking views of early morning mountaintop sun salutations, to ego-shattering SUP classes followed by dips in the crystal blue waters of lake Tahoe, there is nothing not to love about practicing yoga in such a beautiful place.

I was blown away by the unique experience that Wanderlust created in this small mountain town. The sponsors and vendors made the festival a conscious living oasis, from fair trade coffee, organic food and turmeric elixirs, to every type of yoga clothing and jewelry. (Would love to see HAVEN there next year!)

(Photo: Ali Kaukas)

It was amazing to share the experience with some of my dearest friends, giggling, dancing, meditating, and simply being a part of the collective energy that is generated from the gathering of individuals who want to live authentic and mindful lives. There were so many moments that I cherish from my time at WL… Absorbing the teachings of the koshas to heal in the truest sense, as Sir Dharma Mittra guided a master class full of silly jokes and pranayama… Feeling a zing after practicing with the inspirational wisdom of Seane Corn and musical medicine of Michael Franti… Can you imagine the vibrations of chanting with 700 Yogis? if you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend it!

 There was a wonderful balance of the yin and the yang; many of the classes allowed you to drop in to find the breath, but there were also the ones that had you exploring movement, building strength in arm balances, and flipping your perspective in handstands.

It was so comforting to be in a space where you could be understood with a simple gaze or a soft smile, to be in a community where people are speaking their truth and following their bliss with no hesitation. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to practice, to sit, to be present and to feel full with all the love and abundance of WL.

The thing about this kind of festival is that you leave feeling recharged, taking this energy and a sense of hope back to your home and your community. It’s such a beautiful thing to be a part of this network of yogis, living our lives with a little more love and understanding. 

 (Photo: Ali Kaukas)

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