Wanderlust 108: My Experience Doing a Mindful Triathlon

In major cities across North America, yogis and fitness enthusiasts are coming together at Wanderlust 108 – a mindful triathlon. The mindful triathlon is a first-of-its-kind event. Instead of focusing on a race that involves swimming, biking and running like a traditional triathlon, participants run a 5K, and continue with a yoga practice, ending in meditation.
More than 8,300 people joined in September for Wanderlust 108 in the beautiful Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. I’m not a runner, so when I signed up, I knew that I was going to skip the 5K and dive right into the yoga. During the run, I spent time in the marketplace chatting with the vendors and other attendees who, just like me, came for yoga. There were a lot of brands represented in the marketplace, including Manduka, Athleta, Affirmats, Starbucks and Google, among many others, which demonstrated products, provided free yummy samples and even gave out photo keepsakes to remember the fun-filled events by. It was a welcome respite before and after yoga, and an excellent place to shop and get to know my fellow yogis.
Once it was time for yoga, I placed my mat down in the large grassy field next to a sea of eager yogis ready to begin their practice. MC Yogi and DJ Drez led the yoga warm-up, and this was unlike any yoga I have ever done before. Thousands of yogis went through a series of poses to hip-hop style music, which was a fun change of pace from the relaxing music that I usually hear in yoga studios. We stood in Warrior and clapped and snapped our fingers to the beat. The energy in the crowd was electrifying, and the yogis all around me were smiling and enjoying themselves. Then, MC Yogi invited the crowd to surround the stage, and everyone wrapped arms around each other’s shoulders and swayed to the beat. I felt a powerful sense of community and collective joy — one of my favorite parts of the entire experience.

After the warm-up, Dharma Mittra led the crowd through a series of poses. Dharma Mittra was witty and made jokes throughout the session – a welcome change of pace from traditional yoga classes that tend to have a more serious undertone. He was also really accommodating to yogis of different levels, and he offered variations and alternatives to increase or decrease difficulty, based on your individual experience level. I attempted a few advanced modifications, and gave myself an invisible pat on the back for successfully completing them.
Afterwards, Sage Rountree led the group through a short guided meditation. During the next few hours, those who purchased premium tickets were able to take part in small group special events, including Acro Yoga, Hooping with Matt Giordano, Aerial Yoga in silks, tribal tattoos and other small group activities. Sessions booked up quickly with limited availability, so crowds of people waited for a cancellation and a chance to join some of the small groups. I wish I could have tried Acro Yoga – it’s still on my bucket list. Instead, I was able to join a group of tribal tattooers and learn the meaning behind tribal tattoos, and I even got some cool tattoos (with washable markers) that I wore with pride!
Wanderlust 108 is a unique yoga festival that is taking the US and North America by storm! Just as with any festival, the experience is all in the energy of the crowd and the yoga instructors. Wanderlust 108 New York drew an impressively large crowd of people that shared a tremendous energy and excitement for the day’s events. The powerful experience of practicing yoga in a sea of yogis, along with the festival’s overwhelming sense of community, is something I will remember and cherish forever. If Wanderlust is coming to a city near you, it is certainly worth the trip.
The next Wanderlust event is happening NEXT WEEK on October 17 in Miami, Florida. Not in your neck of the woods? There are more fun-filled Wanderlust events coming after that, so visit Wanderlust.com for a full list.

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Why We Heart Wanderlust: A Yoga Festival and Mindfulness Movement
Yoga festivals have steadily been growing in popularity worldwide. Wanderlust launched their first event in 2009 in Squaw Valley, California, and has truly set the standard in the realm of yoga festivals. So what is the Wanderlust mission? To inspire yogis to seek better food and promote a better earth with the intention, awareness, and creativity embodied by yoga.
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Krysta Shannon

Krysta is a staff writer and product review guru at YouAligned. She believes in the powers of healing crystals and essential oils, and never leaves home without them. Krysta is a true Jersey girl (in the best sort of way) who embraces a non-toxic and all-natural lifestyle.

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