Bay Area Bhakti: Introducing the San Francisco 2-day Festival

Have you joined us in the past for the San Francisco 108? We’ve got great news for you—your best day ever just got better. This year, experience our inaugural 2-day Festival in San Francisco. Featuring the teachers, classes, community, and magic that made Wanderlust the premiere yoga event in the world… Right in your backyard. Grab a friend, or 10, and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Not sure what we mean by a 2-day Festival? Let’s break it down:

  • Wander your way! Here are your tickets to choose from:
    • 2-day All-Access ticket ($226.08) = Unlimited activities and scheduling for both Saturday and Sunday, including our signature large-scale yoga class from the main stage. Also comes with expedited entry to venues, preferred mat placement for large yoga class, and a yoga mat strap gift.
    • 1-day All-Access ticket ($141.08) = Unlimited activities and scheduling for either Saturday or Sunday, including our signature large-scale yoga class from the main stage. Also comes with expedited entry to venues, preferred mat placement for large yoga class, and a yoga mat strap gift.
    • Saturday or Sunday General Admission + 2 activities ticket ($76.08) = Large-scale yoga plus 2 scheduled activities of your choice
    • Saturday or Sunday General Admission + 1 activity ticket ($51.08) = Large-scale yoga plus 1 scheduled activity of your choice
    • General Admission ticket ($26.08) = Large-scale yoga and entrance to the Kula Marketplace
    • All tickets include a $1.08 donation to (RED).
  • With any type of ticket, you can purchase classes a la carte on-site for $26.08 ($25 plus a $1.08 donation to (RED)) each.
  • Activities? Choose from boutique fitness like HIIT, celestial soundbaths, and cutting-edge mindful lectures (our classic Speakeasy)… And, of course, yoga taught by your favorite teachers from around the country.
  • Who are those favorite teachers, you ask? MC Yogi, Shiva Rea, Chelsey Korus, Caley Alyssa, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Vinny Ferraro, Nkechi Njaka, and Rocky Heron, for starters.

Ready to join us? Click here to buy tickets.

Still need convincing that you need this in your life? These photos below have been culled from our past 108 events to get you excited. We are SO. EXCITED. to come back to San Francisco. See you in the park!

All photos by Melissa Gayle.


large scale outdoor yoga class wanderlust festival

There’s nothing like moving in tandem with hundreds of people.

Largescale yoga class people holding each other's backs

Learning to hold each other up to take it into our everyday lives.

woman with arms raised excited for running race

There are always small victories to celebrate at Wanderlust.

woman teaching yoga on stage to large crowd

World-renowned teachers (pictured: Mary Beth LaRue) make Wanderlust a unique yoga experience.

people dancing in city park at festival

D A N C E B R E A K !!!!

woman getting facepaint at festival

Additional activities round out a day of mindful movement.

people shopping in dome with plants hanging wanderlust festival

The Kula Marketplace offers your favorite brands and vendors.

running arch with line of people in city park

We love you, San Francisco! Can’t wait to see you soon.

Join us! For tickets and more information, click here. Can’t wait to see you there.

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Yoga Nidra in honor of World Sleep Day

From avid dreamers to stubborn sleepers—we all need to be mindful of the health of our sleep. One of the best ways we know to enjoy deep, rejuvenating rest is the yogic sleep practice known as Yoga Nidra. A unique form of guided meditation, Yoga Nidra is practiced lying down, allowing us to drop into a state of complete relaxation. But rather than becoming unconscious, we retain a thread of wakefulness, going beyond sleep to a space of serenity and insight. if you’ve ever laid back in Savasana, felt yourself drifting into sleep, but instead found you sort of “hovered above” your body, you’re not doing it wrong—you’re practicing Yoga Nidra just right!

But if we’re not truly sleeping, and we’re not awake, just where does Yoga Nidra take us? The Mandukya Upanishad, an ancient text, teaches us of a system called the “Causal Body,” which maps out four stages of consciousness:

  1. Waking
  2. Dreaming
  3. Dreamless Sleep
  4. The State Beyond

Interestingly, the well-loved sound of OM, which is actually spelled A-U-M-_, corresponds to this system, with each sound, along with the silence that follows, representing one of the stages:

A= Waking

U=Dreaming

M=Dreamless Sleep

_= The State Beyond

We all naturally experience the first three stages, but Yoga Nidra aims to take us to the fourth, a state beyond either consciousness or unconsciousness. The idea is that most of the time we go from waking to dreaming without being present for the journey. The practice of Yoga Nidra teaches us to be intentional about our relaxation, so we can actually stay awake as we move through the dreaming and dreamless sleep stages. Only then can we transition to the final stage—a space that, like the silence after the AUM, has no words, no description; it is simply beyond.

When you practice Yoga Nidra, there will be moments when you long to drift to sleep. But try your best to stay awake, as going to sleep will send you down the same path that you (hopefully) take every night. You already know what sleep feels like, so allow your practice to open you up to something special. Choose a time when you’re more likely to remain awake, as there’s no wrong time to experience the benefits. While Yoga Nidra is a wonderful way to prepare for deep sleep, a morning or midday practice can make you feel like you just took the most incredible nap!

In honor of World Sleep Day, we’re celebrating “yogic sleep” with a collection of our dreamiest Yoga Nidra practices. So dim the lights and get cozy, because your best self is a well-rested self.

Feeling Congested? This Fiery Flow Dissolves Stagnation in the Mind and Body

Whether you feel stuck in your mind or body, Larissa Hall Carlson’s short practice will restore clarity and ease.

Craving change but feeling too stuck, sluggish, or restless to take aim? Join John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com, and Larissa Hall Carlson, Ayurveda Yoga Specialist, for Ayurveda 201: Six Weeks to Transformation and Bliss Through Ayurvedic Psychology. In this new online course, you’ll experience: unique yoga practices; inspiring discussions backed by science; and recipes, herbs, and a short, gentle cleanse. The results? Clarity, brilliance, and balance so you can create lasting shifts in your life and well-being. Learn more and sign up today!

Nothing stifles the spark of motivation or the glow of contentment quite like the weight of stagnation. In Ayurveda, this aspect of the emotional body is called tamas, a dark, heavy inertia that bogs you down at every turn. But there are ways to free your mind and body and find a more sattvic (pure, clear) state. Here, Larissa Hall Carlson, who co-created our upcoming course Ayurveda 201, shares a movement practice that will cut through the stagnation and restore a sense of ease, peace, and radiance. 

Watch also Science Says Your Gut Is Key to Mental Clarity—Here’s Why 

10 Reasons Girlfriends Are the Best

Girlfriends: It’s safe to say that they’ve seen you at your best…and you’re worst. They’ve cheered you on, wiped your tears, gassed you up on social media and have met your questionable ex. They’ve stuck around when times got tough, reminding us time and time again how valuable they are to our well-being.

“Our friendships contribute to and promote happier and more fulfilling lives,” explains Miriam Kirmayer, therapist and friendship researcher.

Read on for the top 10 reasons girlfriends are simply the best—and then go call your closest girlfriend to tell her how much you love her.

Girlfriends help you grow.

They say you become like the people who surround you, so take a look at the friendships you’ve had in your life. Girlfriends are the anchors that help you evolve, grow and shift as a person, all while keeping you stable. Make sure to surround yourself with people whose qualities you admire—the power of time will have you adopting these as your own.

They give support no matter what.

Girlfriends are there for the good, the bad, and the ugly—with no judgment. Sure, they’ll give their opinion on the happenings in your life, but at the end of the day, they accept you for you and support the decisions you make. No matter how many times you vent to them about anything and everything, you know that they’re to listen, or just to text you the hysterical meme you needed to see.

You can be perfectly you around them.

Life is hard enough without having a group of friends with whom you can be 100 percent yourself around. When you can be comfortable in complete silence, or share your deepest notions, or even break out in a hysterical karaoke night, those moments are some of the greatest gifts. It’s relaxing being able to be so free, and having girlfriends who allow you to do so recharges your psyche and mental well-being.

You get group wisdom.

One person has less life experience and wisdom than a collective—so use your girlfriends’ insight to your advantage. You all share your stories to each other à la Sex and the City, so be a sponge and learn from their professional and personal know-how. It’s a great way to catapult off everyone’s building blocks and steer yourself toward the goals you want!

They help combat loneliness.

A nationwide survey found that nearly half of the U.S. feels alone, especially younger generations. With the loneliness epidemic sweeping the nation, you can combat that by leaning in to your girl gang. Whatever you’re feeling or going through, knowing that you’re not alone is one of the most important steps in changing your mindset. When you have girlfriends you can reach out to during hard times, the feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression loosen their grip on you enough to see that you can overcome it. Make sure you have that support group you need (and if you’re looking to meet new girlfriends, try the Hey! VINA app).

They remind you the beauty of being a woman.

So you have a special someone in your life, but they don’t always understand the hardships and advantages of being a woman. Try as your partner might (and we appreciate that!), girlfriends are the ones that get it because they’re in it. When your ideas get glossed over at work in favor of a male colleagues’ (even though yours were better), or when the awful cramps come monthly like clockwork, or when you find yourself in awe of the great sense of community between women—you can contemplate all of this with the women who understand. And that’s the best feeling.

They make time for you.

There’s an unspoken rule of sisterhood that all girlfriends adhere to—and that’s the golden rule of time. In a society where everything is so fast paced, over-stimulated, and demanding, time is a valuable gem in everyone’s lives. Girlfriends who unselfishly hand you this treasure at a moment’s notice are true friends, and you should make sure they stick around for a long time!

They remind you that tough love is good love.

Girlfriends pamper and spoil you, but the best ones also hand out tough love when needed. It might feel harsh during the moment, but you know they have your best interest at heart. Sometimes you get so into your own head, you don’t see the disaster you’re heading toward—and that’s when they step in. They’ll set you straight so they can go back to being your source of comfort and enjoyment. That’s elastic love, and we’re all for it.

Girls just wanna have fun.

Sometimes you just have to let loose, and you know exactly who to call! When there’s a promotion at work, an amazing (or disastrous) first date, or you just need to blow off some steam from the work week, you know you can text your group chat to coordinate a girl’s night out. There’s nothing sweeter like knowing your catwoman call will be answered by some of the best (and most entertaining) people you know.

They’re your SO without the drama.

Many romantic relationships come and go, but girlfriends are forever. Like the Christina to your Meredith, they really are your person, and stick around through thick and thin. They love you, support you, cry with you, get mad on your behalf, and lift you up—all without the drama and entanglement of an SO. If that’s not true love, we don’t know what is.

Have you been appreciating your girl gang lately? Our friends at Hey! VINA, the free social discovery app for women to meet new friends that’s connected over 8 million friends around the world, are sharing the top 10 reasons girlfriends are an important asset in your life. Hey! VINA knows firsthand the importance of finding your community—it’s why the app features 30 communities for vinas to join and swipe in, including Yogis, Runners, Athletes, Jetsetters, Expats and Volunteers. Hey! VINA is available for iOS and Android. Follow them on social media @vinazine.

Olivia June author bioOlivia June is the founder & CEO of Hey! VINA, the friend-finding app for women that’s connected more than 8 million friends around the world. She’s obsessed with meeting new friends, connecting people, social psychology, and is passionate about empowering women around the world. She wants to help everyone live their best lives, and most importantly, have a lot of fun getting there! Follow her @heyoliviajune.

 

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A Mindful Parenting Practice to Help You Be Present—and Enjoy the Daily Moments of Motherhood

By exploring mindfulness you can learn to be present through the magic (and chaos) of raising kids.

Learn how to be more mindful and present with your children daily. 

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could start each day alone, overlooking the ocean with a cup of coffee or meditating quietly in your garden? Or maybe journaling while cozied up in bed with a cup of tea sounds like perfection to you. Whatever your ideal scenario — if it were possible, it might help you have a deeper sense of calm to carry with you throughout the day.

If you’re a mother, your mornings probably don’t start out quite like that. Instead of calm there’s chaos, instead of peace there’s exhaustion, instead of timeliness there’s rushing. And while it might not be feasible to take a few moments alone, you can bring mindfulness into your day and practice the art of being present:

Set a goal to be mindful today and throughout this week. Notice (without judgment) how your body feels upon waking. Are you tired or achy? Are you feeling great? Allow yourself a few deep breaths — in and out — before your feet hit the floor, and remind yourself that today is a new day.

See also The Gift of “I Don’t Know”: How Mary Beth LaRue Is Embracing Life’s Uncertainties

While you explore this concept of being present, what are you recognizing about your child?

No matter how overwhelmed you feel or how long your to-do list is, you can set aside this time to observe your life and your children and to simply notice.

Notice your child’s first facial expression of the morning. Notice the warmth of your first sip of coffee or tea and how the steam feels on your face. Notice the feeling of your child’s body and weight in your arms. Feel the warm water and soap on your skin as you wash your hands for the first time today. While the big firsts in your child’s life play a significant role in making memories and reaching milestones, you’ll discover many other firsts if you allow yourself to be in the moment.

As you shift into mom mode for the day, observe your child through the lens of curiosity. Does she want to be close to you or to play independently? Is he trying something new and waiting for your encouragement?

While you explore this concept of being present, what are you recognizing about your child? Do her facial expressions change when she is really focusing on something? Do his eyes narrow as he scans the pages when you read books together? Does his voice change when he gets really excited?

See also Yoga for Moms: Letting Go of Mom Guilt

Try this meditation for mothers this week. 

As mothers, we need these mindfulness skills to refocus our attention where it is needed most.

We all need those gentle reminders to live in the now. In difficult times, stop and ask yourself, “Am I here?” “Am I experiencing this moment?” Sure, some of these moments will include piles of dishes and unfinished tasks at work, but when you are fully experiencing your life, you see with a new level of depth and awareness.

We invite you this week to take the time to find stillness each morning and create a rhythm of coming back to the present and noticing what’s before you . . . in all its guts and the glory.

Your attention may wander, and you may forget to call upon this practice, but that’s exactly why it’s called practice. At any point in the day, mindfulness can help bring you back to the present and provide a new opportunity to spend beautiful, undistracted moments with your children and your life. It’s these everyday moments that make up our entire lives — may we revel in them together.

Give yourself fifteen minutes to pause and revel in this experience of noticing the wonder that is your life.  

  1. Find somewhere to sit or lie down where you can feel relaxed. Take a second to get settled and then begin by taking three or four deep breaths.
  2. Close your eyes if that feels natural to you. Allow yourself to appreciate the silence. Appreciate how good it feels to be by yourself. Appreciate the space you need away from the day-to-day to be able to honor the beauty of your life.
  3. Now, sort through some memories. Bring yourself back to the very minute you came face-to-face with your child. Allow yourself to feel that wonder again. Remember saying to yourself, “Is this real?”
  4. Recall when you heard your child say “Mama” for the first time. Where were you? What season was it? Let yourself revel in how special that made you feel. These moments will forever be yours.
  5. As you take this time and settle into your meditation, reflect on the wonder and magic of your life and simply breathe. With each inhale, breathe in the beauty of all these sweet memories and hold the inhale for an extra moment while you savor them. With each exhale, smile softly and allow these precious moments to soothe you. Repeat, slowly inhaling and exhaling.

Come back to this meditation any time you feel like you’ve lost the magic of motherhood. Bring back the joy-filled, real memories of your journey and open your eyes up to the small, everyday moments of wonder around you. The magic is always here.

See also 4 Breathing Exercises to Help Kids (and Adults) Manage Their Emotions

ABOUT OUR AUTHOR

Rachel Gorton is the business development director at Motherly, and a contributor to the new book, THIS IS MOTHERHOOD: A Motherly Collection of Reflections + Practices (Sounds True, on sale March 12, 2019) by Jill Koziol and Liz Tenety, edited by Colleen Temple. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and three children. 

The Best of Both Worlds: 3 Cities for an Explorer’s Soul

Spring have you itching to get away? If you’re torn between a cultural experience and an off-the-beaten-path adventure in the great outdoors, look no further.  We’ve curated a list for you of our fave outdoor adventures in Dallas, Denver, and Washington DC. From botanical gardens to nature preserves to whitewater rafting, who would have thought that some of the busiest cities in the U.S. would have so much Mother Nature to offer? So lace up your favorite pair of comfy kicks and trek a trail by day, and then traverse the concrete jungle at night.

What do these seemingly disparate cities have in common? They’re all hosts to Wanderlust events in 2019. Catch Wanderlust 108 Dallas on April 13; Wanderlust Denver, August 10–11; or Wanderlust 108 DC, September 28. Grab a buddy, get outside, and don’t forget your sunscreen—or the bubbly water. Stay hydrated all day long and pack a couple cans of refreshingly crisp sparkling water in your backpack for an extra treat.

Ready for action? Check out our 5 top spots in each city. See you on the road.

people with hula hoops with dallas

Wanderlust 108 Dallas, 2018. Photo by Arik Cardenas

Dallas, Texas

As the third largest city in the Lone Star State, the historical “Big D” is ripe with cultural attractions and world-renowned architecture. It’s also the home of beloved Tex Mex cuisine. Despite the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth area being the seventh largest in the U.S., there are many natural wonders to enjoy in this multifaceted urban area.

Dallas Running Tours
Forget the tour bus! With Dallas Running Tours, you can explore the city by foot as part of a running group led by a knowledgeable guide and experienced triathlete, Eduardo Navarro Vaco. Cost is $35 for a 4-mile jaunt around the city, and $5 for each additional mile.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Spanish-style architecture of the 22,000 square foot structure nestled on the 66 acres that span the Dallas arboretum is adjacent to the picturesque White Rock Lake. The Dallas Arboretum is overflowing with stunning gardens and tiered fountains overlooking the downtown skyline.

Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve
This natural habitat spans 600 acres, and features butterfly gardens as well as 9 miles of trails. Trees, wild grasses and flowers native to the area make for a tranquil stroll, and picnic areas are the perfect place to pause for a packed lunch. With birds, insects, reptiles, and animals roaming freely in this nature preserve, you might even forget for a moment that you’re actually still technically in Dallas.

Trinity River
The Trinity River provides direct access to nature, connects communities, and even protects the area from catastrophic flooding. You can rent a canoe or kayak and set sail along the Trinity River either on a solo expedition or as part of a guided tour.

Klyde Warren Park
A feast for your eyes, ears, and taste buds, this 5.2-acre public park in the heart of downtown Dallas is an urban oasis that features food trucks, live music, its very own restaurant, Savor Gastropub, and much, much more!

two girls in Denver in front of buddha wall

Before it was a 2-day Festival, Denver had a 108. Photo by Jordan Quinn

Denver, Colorado

At exactly one-mile above sea level, downtown Denver is known as one of the most walkable urban areas in the country. Denver is very close to the majestic Rocky Mountains, boasting 140 miles of sweeping panoramic views of 200 named peaks—32 of which soar above 13,000 feet. The park systems of Denver are recognized as some of the most unique in the nation, with over 20,000 sprawling acres of natural parks in the nearby mountains just begging for exploration.


Horseback Riding
Colorado has some of the best horseback riding in the world. At just 40 miles from Denver, A&A Historical Trails offers a wide array of rides that range from graveyards to goldmines, including a little history lesson about the surrounding area to boot.

Smith Lake at Washington Park
From tennis courts to croquet to cycling and running, there’s so much you can do at Washington Park, which features two flower gardens and lakes. Smith Lake is designated for recreational use including fishing, and you can rent kayaks, canoes, or for everyone’s favorite lazy summer day activity, paddle boats. If you’re more into taking in the scenery and bird watching with a blanket, try the other lake.

Whitewater Rafting
With the famous Colorado River and several others snaking through the state, Colorado is famous for its whitewater rafting industry. Day trips as little as 30-minutes from downtown Denver are available for all ages and abilities.


Mountain Biking
For the adventure seeker, the Dakota Ridge trail runs through Denver’s Red Rocks, home to the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The rigorous trail is a steep climb that requires some technical navigation, but is well worth breaking a sweat for these breathtaking views.

Boulder Day Tripping
At just under 30 miles from Denver, beautiful Boulder, CO, is a must-see. From hiking the iconic Flatiron Mountains to walking around the quaint downtown area to a scenic drive up the iconic Flagstaff Road, be sure to carve out a day trip to explore this small, laid-back city in the foothills.

3 teachers sitting on stage at yoga festival

Jocelyn Gordon, Tracee Stanley, and Faith Hunter teaching at Wanderlust 108 D.C. 2018. Photo by Thurston Willis

Washington, D.C.

Officially known as the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. was founded on July 16, 1790 by President George Washington upon signing the Residence Act. The bustling capital city has been the epicenter of the U.S. government ever since, and is rich with historical context. With international organizations and embassies that represent 174 different foreign nations, D.C. is brimming with culture, and is home to famous national monuments and museums like the Smithsonian Institute. But all tourist attractions aside, there are also many outdoorsy activities for visitors in need of a breath of glorious fresh air.

Tidal Basin
Over 3,750 cherry trees are located at D.C.’s Tidal Basin, a manmade inlet next to the Potomac River. The Tidal Basin was built in the late 19th Century to provide recreational space for the city, and also to drain the Washington Channel following high tide. Some of D.C.’s most well-known monuments are also located here, giving visitors a double dose of both culture and nature.

Great Falls Park
This sublime 800-acre park is only 15 miles from the nation’s capital. As a small National Park Service site located in Virginia, Great Falls Park is situated along the banks of the Potomac River and—though technically disconnected—is a key fixture along the the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Just a $5 entrance fee gains you access to hiking, picnicking, and bird watching in this spectacular destination that draws a surprising number of visitors each year.

U.S. National Arboretum
With over 400 acres of flora and fauna, the impressive United States National Arboretum is run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Known as an “outdoor museum,” entrance to the arboretum is open daily to the public free of charge and is only 10-minutes from the U.S. Capitol.

Rock Creek Park
Within the city is an urban oasis, a natural hideaway to escape from the noise. Established by an Act of Congress in 1890 and administered by the National Park Service, Rock Creek Park is a sprawling park that bisects the Northwest quadrant of D.C. Learn to become a ranger, hike one of the trails, or visit the planetarium; there’s something for every traveler at this local gem.

National Mall
From the Constitution Gardens to the African American Civil War Memorial, the National Mall holds many of the renowned sites that travelers from all over the world flock to nation’s capital to visit. Established in 1965, the National Mall & Memorial Parks have some of the oldest protected parks within the entire National Park Service, and provide many opportunities to learn about presidential legacies and notable war veterans. While there are no picnic areas at the National Mall itself, the nearby East Potomac Park at Hains Point has designated picnic areas available by reservation. Stop by the Dupont Circle Farmers Market on a Sunday morning, and grab your farm-fresh local provisions before you begin your exciting day of adventures ahead.

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