Wanderlust Yoga Festival Essentials (Updated)

We attended the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Squaw Valley last year and it exceeded our expectations! To say we loved it would be an understatement, but we definitely learned some lessons and will be bringing a few different items this year than last. You can check out our original post on Wanderlust essentials here . Below are our Wanderlust Yoga Fest essentials:

  1. Yoga Mat. This is kind of a no brainer, but you need a yoga mat at a yoga festival. Something we found was that it was quite windy in the Squaw Valley mountains, and those who had brought lightweight travel mats really had a hard time as their mats literally got blown around during practice. I know it's a pain to lug around a heavier yoga mat but bring your normal practice mat and you won't regret it. There are also sure to be plenty of yoga mats for sale at the festival, so if you don't have a decent mat, it may be fun to plan on picking one up at the event. My personal favorite yoga mat of all time is this mat. It has a lifetime guarantee and is quite substantial but not too heavy to carry around. This is also a great option and super affordable.
  2. Yoga Mat Carrier. I simply use this strap because Matt is in charge of the backpack for the both of us. Bonus: the mat strap doubles as a yoga strap in classes. A yoga backpack makes so much sense for this purpose as well and this backpack is my favorite. This is an affordable option. The nice thing about investing in a yoga backpack is you can use it for so many trips in the future. 
  3. Shoes. If you are planning on hiking, proper shoes are a must! We focused on yoga, workshops and meditation last year so I wore these flip flops around the entire time. They were perfect, low maintenance, and are super affordable. I'm also obsessing over these birkenstocks for my new yoga sandal. Because they are fully rubber, they can easily be washed off, taken to the pool or beach, and I've heard they're even more comfy than the originals.
  4.  Water Bottle. Hydration is so important for your body. It's sure to be hot, and there are sure to be plenty of sweaty yoga classes at the festival. Do mother earth a favor and ditch those plastic disposable bottles. With so many cute reusable water bottles, there's no excuse not to bring one. Also, no need to bring a massive bottle since Wanderlust has hydration stations set up for refills. I'm loving this water bottle, this one, and this bottle.
  5. Yoga Clothes. I love planning my fun yoga outfits for the festival. These are some of my favorites for printed leggings. I just purchased this particular pair and can't wait to try them out. I can vouch for the materials from both these options. They are super breathable, and dry ultra fast after a sweaty workout. Also, just wanted to mention these are my favorite leggings of all time. They have been the most flattering, most comfortable and the material is buttery soft amazingness. 
  6. Yoga Mat Cleaner. You will be throwing your yoga mat down in all sorts of places. Our mats were pretty dirty at the end of each festival day last year. I just make my own mat cleaner with essential oils and put it in a travel spray bottle. Check out my yoga mat cleaner recipe here
  7. Sunblock. This was on my list last year and it will be on my list forever. If the sun is out, you should be protecting your skin. The sun will be out. Bring sunblock. It's so hard to find a good all natural sunblock that's affordable. We have been using and loving this block from Juice Beauty (one of my favorite all natural skincare brands). Every product they make rates very clean on EWG and the Think Dirty app.
  8. Journal/Notebook. I'm always looking to learn, grow and evolve. Bringing a journal or notebook along ensures you can record all the new ideas you will be exposed to, and/or journal your own experience at the end of the day. These are so lovely and these too. 
  9. Sunglasses. As I said, the sun will be out. It's summertime. Big, fun sunglasses are a must. Le Spec is a new brand I've been loving because they are on the more affordable side. These are the sunnies pictured above and these are also cute. For affordable pair I'd choose these from Free People.
  10. Meditation Accessories. You are going to be feeling pretty zen at the end of each day. We like to start our mornings with a meditation, and any type of accessory to support my meditation practice is welcomed. We may bring a stick of palo santo just to set the mood for our meditation or to help us wind down at the end of each day. I will definitely be bringing my mala. This is my favorite place to find affordable high quality mala necklaces. 

General Tips: Don't worry too much about food. There's plenty to purchase at the event and tons of vendors are giving it away for free (e.g. entire veggie burger patties, protein bars, sustainable jerky, kombucha, etc.). Also, balance out your schedule. Take a variety of classes so you don't burn out the second day and make sure to schedule in breaks where you can peruse the vendors, lounge in the sun, and enjoy the entire experience. We decided to sign up for easier classes the last day (think yin yoga, meditation, speakeasy) because last year our bodies were sore and spent from the two full days of yoga and walking around prior. Most importantly, relax, have fun, and try not to sweat the small stuff : )

gratitude for yoga

Below is an entry I wrote in my Wanderlust Festival notebook, Monday morning, the morning after we returned home:

How lucky we are to practice yoga.

I'm just coming back from a weekend at the Wanderlust Yoga Festival, and I have to share this. The night before we were scheduled to leave for the festival, my husband found a spot on his skin that looked exactly like melanoma. This is coming off of the heels of having lost a very dear friend friend of ours earlier in the week. We called a dermatologist and were able to get him an appointment for that upcoming Monday, the day after we were scheduled to return from the festival. We were both feeling resentful for the timing of everything, convinced we wouldn't be able to enjoy ourselves during this weekend we had been looking forward to for so long. We cried the night before, and left for the festival consumed by fear. 

Fast forward 12 hours later, as we began our first yoga class of the 3-day weekend with Seane Corn, and my fear melted away. I was present, I was moving my body and nurturing my spirit, surrounded by a community of festival goers, doing the same. The fear quickly shifted to gratitude. 

The weekend was so much fun, but also renewing and inspiring. I talked with my husband after our return about how he felt regarding the "cancer thing", and he said "I just left this weekend feeling grateful. Whatever happens, we'll deal with it when it comes. We are doing everything we can, and we don't have control over this".

Ironically, the Wanderlust Festival couldn't have come at a better time. We left for the weekend, consumed by fear, and returned feeling grateful and grounded. The circumstances hadn't changed. We had changed. As I write this my heart is full of gratitude for that thing called yoga, for the community that's evolved around this practice, and for the fact that I live a privileged enough life to have time and energy to devote to yoga. I feel grateful I somehow found this practice when nothing in my upbringing exposed me to it. I feel grateful my husband shares this love for yoga and that we can practice, grow, and evolve mind, body, and spirit together. 

Chances are, if you've stumbled upon our blog, you love and practice yoga as well. Take a moment now to reflect on all the wonderful things yoga has drawn into your life: a connection between mind and body perhaps, elevated consciousness, improved eating habits, decreased anxiety, and improved mental clarity. Think of all the people you've met within the yoga community and the perspectives/concepts you've been exposed to because of your interest in yoga. Gosh, we are so lucky to have found this practice. 

Life is a funny thing sometimes. It gives you what you need, even if what you need is not what you want. We won't get the results of my husband's skin biopsy for a few days, and you know what? I'm still scared, but I know we will deal with things as they come. We will do what we have control over, and continue to practice yoga regardless.

Update*** We received a phone call from the dermatologist later yesterday informing us that the biopsy was benign.!!! Phewww, what a whirlwind. We are feeling so relieved, and so grateful.


top 10 wanderlust yoga festival essentials

This year we're attending the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Squaw Valley, Ca. I remember when Wanderlust was founded, and I've watched it grow into a brand that includes a book, youtube channel (which is amazing BTW), festivals in multiple locations, a blog, yoga teacher training program, and clothing/lifestyle products. Below are the top 10 essentials we are packing for the festival:

  1. Yoga mat. This may seem like a no-brainer, but a good mat really is an essential at a yoga festival. Our favorite brand is, of course, Manduka. The Prolite and the eKo lite are our personal favs. A yoga festival can be a good excuse to finally purchase yourself a nice mat that you will use and love for years to come.
  2. Yoga mat strap. These make it super easy to carry your mat around hands-free, 'nuff said, and this one is super cute! 
  3. Flip Flops. You'll want flip flops that you can flop off as you begin a yoga class, and these come in a variety of colors, are super comfy, and can be washed off when they get muddy or dirty. 
  4. Tennis shoes. Wanderlust fest has a variety of classes that include guided hikes. To get the most out of the experience, some cute and comfy tennis shoes like these are highly recommended. 
  5. Fun leggings. Yoga festivals are the perfect time to rock some wild yoga leggings. These are my personal favorite, and they come in so many fun patterns/colors. The material is breathable and dries super fast after a sweaty class.
  6. Flash Tattoos. Festivals in general are a time to rock your bohemian style. We included flash tattoos in our list of essentials because we think they make the experience that much more fun!
  7. Journal. With all of the workshops, and world class yoga and meditation teachers, there is sure to be some wisdom dropping all weekend! We are bringing along a journal  for taking notes.
  8. Sunblock. Gotta protect that beautiful skin you have! We are bringing along sunblock to reapply throughout the day. The sun is sure to be a blazin'! We are providing a few options depending on your preferences. This sunblock is only an spf 30 but smells heavenly and boasts a clean ingredient list. This option provides a higher spf but runs slightly dirtier with regards to ingredients. Both are good options, so choose according to your needs. If you haven't read our post on sunscreens check it out here.
  9. Oversized Sunglasses. The sun will be out no doubt and some big sunnies will not only protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays, but also raise your cool factor. We love these for festivals because they are chic and super affordable. 
  10. Backpack. Well, you need something to hold the rest of these items. This backpack is small enough to be carried around all day, and it comes with a hydration pack so you can leave your water bottle at home. We brought this backpack hiking with us along the Napali coast in Kauai, HI and it was awesome! Highly recommend for Wanderlust, and/or life in general.

Hope this list helps! We will be sure to document our trip with some pics and write all about the experience, so stay tuned for that upcoming post. If you are going, keep an eye out for us and say hi.