My Experience at the Wanderlust Oahu Festival
Aloha and welcome to the wonderful world of Wanderlust in Oahu. “Hana Hou!” This is how you say repeat, request an encore, or show your agreement on the islands. I wish I could go back for more. I definitely have mainland fever if there is such a thing – thanks to Wanderlust.
Wanderlust is a popular yoga and music festival that happens in many different destinations, including Colorado, Vermont, and California. This year was the first year they held it in Oahu. I was one of the lucky “sages” or “seekers,” as they call them at Wanderlust.
As I made my way to the north shore of Oahu, I was filled with anticipation and excitement since I love the islands of Hawaii and this was my first Wanderlust festival. I arrived at the Turtle Bay Resort and at first it seemed like a small turnout, but the yoga was just getting started. First on the agenda was checking in and getting my crimped bracelet to attend all the festivities. I reviewed my itinerary and I was booked all day every day of the festival. I knew this trip was going to fly by.
Here's a brief glimpse at the many things I experienced at Wanderlust, so you can get an idea of what these festivals are like. Tickets for the full four days cost $475, but you also had the option to buy passes for fewer days or even single-day passe.
Day 1 at Wanderlust Oahu
- Bhakti Flow with Coco Zhang: This was a heart-centered devotional yoga flow with live music indoors. What a great addition.
- Art and Science of Alignment Principles and Adjustments with Eoin Finn: This class was extremely insightful into the alignment of yoga and was held outdoors.
- Surf Lesson with Hedemann Surf Teacher: Surfs up! Wow, what a ride. I stood up maybe four out of five times. The surf instructors were awesome. They actually paddled me out on my board, holding my board with their feet. The best part was learning some great yoga moves to help stand up.
- Wholehearted Hooping Basics with Shakti Sunfire: During a little down time from yoga, I decided to try my skills at hula hooping. I was amazed at how much I learned and purchased her DVD.
- Nautical Flow Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga with Gillian Gilbree: This was my first attempt at paddleboard, and it was surprisingly more difficult than it looks. It takes a lot of core and balance, which are both important aspects of yoga. We had a lot of wave and wind action that day, so it was challenging to get into the poses. I think I would try this again on a calm day.
Day 2 at Wanderlust Oahu
- Power Yoga Level 3-4 with Dorian Wright: Power Yoga is right! This was a very advanced yoga class focusing on core strength and pushed us to our limits. The shavasana was that much sweeter at the end.
- Paddle, Paddle, Paddle, Flow: Vinyasa for Surfers (and Wannabees) with Schuyler Grant: I really enjoyed this class and felt more like a surfer after my surf lesson the day before. She offered some great tips to specifically help surfers with their yoga practice and visa versa. This was in the great outdoors, too.
- Prana Flow: Energetic Vinyasa with Shiva Rea: I used to practice yoga to Shiva Rea’s DVDs in high school, so this was surreal being in her class. It was a little difficult to follow since the class was packed and Shiva’s style is all over the mat. It was challenging and offered up some different poses.
- Blissology Super Flow Yoga with Eoin Finn: This class was really fun and he even introduced some different martial arts type movements into the practice. Eoin and his wife both taught the class up on the stage with everyone outdoors.
- Concert with Michael Franti: This was a really great show and was a lot of fun. I was there hanging out by the front stage dancing a little bit. If you like reggae and upbeat happy music, this music is for you.
Day 3 at Wanderlust Oahu
- Surf into Yoga Restorative Aloha Yoga with Rochelle Ballard: I couldn’t really see this teacher well enough, but her yoga class was awesome. I felt so restored and relaxed at the end of the class and was a nice change to all the work I had been doing.
- Chakra Meditation Movement with Marissa Sinclair: This yoga class focused on the different chakras and poses that correlated to those chakras. It was a very well thought out and informative class.
Day 4 at Wanderlust Oahu
- Sink and Swim: Slacker Style with the Yogaslackers: This was my first attempt at slackline yoga and it was pretty fun. We actually tried to balance and do some yoga poses on a line held between a couple posts. It is challenging at first to find a comfortable position under your seat. You have to find the right placement for your body and then try to breathe. My favorite yoga pose on the line was pigeon because you got a more intense stretch this way. Shavasana ended with a killer adjustment.
- Partner Thai Yoga Massage Intro with Marissa Sinclair: My Thai yoga massage partner was a girl from Oregon and we took turns going through the movements. This was something that I could definitely take home to help with adjustments and shavasana in my yoga classes.
My overall experience at the Wanderlust Festival was a whirlwind, but now I’m better prepared for what to expect at my next one. If you plan to attend a festival like this, take heed of what I learned. Next time I would:
- Try to volunteer in exchange for a day pass.
- Plan the trip with a friend.
- Take more notes.
- Figure in some down time.
- Bring my flip flops.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Take more pictures.
- Lodge or camp close by.
Overall, attending Wanderlust Oahu was an experience of a lifetime. It was not just a destination, but also a journey. The best part was making new friends during my travels and learning something new. Mahalo!
Have you ever attended a yoga festival? Do you have one you would recommend? Please post to comments below.
Photos 1 & 2 courtesy of Ali Kaukas.