Good evening! Today was my final full day at Wanderlust (I am planning to sneak in one morning yoga session before my flight tomorrow if I have time!) and ever since 8 a.m., I’ve been jumping from session to session but simultaneously trying my best to stop and soak it all in.
For today’s Things I’m Loving Friday post, I figured I would change it up and focus it on my final day at Wanderlust and morph it into a recap/Friday Favorites/brain dump of a post. I have a lot to share, so let’s get to it!
Things I’m Loving Friday: Wanderlust Festival Edition
- Power Yoga For Runners
The 8 a.m. Power Yoga For Runners session was my first session of the day. It was also one of my favorite sessions of Wanderlust because I felt like it was very applicable to my life. It reminded me about some of the reasons I choose to practice yoga — as a supplement to other forms of exercise and as a way to focus on my body. To breathe, stretch, escape, prevent injuries, strengthen my body and mind and work on alignment. While many people attending Wanderlust are yoga devotees, it was nice to connect with some other people who came to Wanderlust who enjoy yoga in the same capacity I do.
The session was led by Gwen Lawrence, a yoga instructor for a number of professional sports teams (including the New York Giants and the Yankees) and the founder of a power yoga for sports program created to “maximize the effects of yoga and minimize the time, honing in on an athlete’s needs and leaving out the fluff.” She focuses on injury prevention and the power yoga for runners practice she took us through this morning incorporated lots of work that focused on our hips, ankles, hamstrings, IT bands (<—ouch!), quads and core. It was a great session and I would take her class regularly if it was offered in Charlotte.
It seems like every time I came out of a session at Wanderlust, I was greeted by music! Whether a DJ was blasting an energetic mix or a small band of musicians were performing live, there was always something to listen to and enjoy. I am a big fan of live music and tried my best to take little breaks throughout the day to simply sit and watch the artists.
- “Have Your Cake And Your Vegetables Too” Session
Sarah Copeland led this session and I and felt like I was nodding my head and taking notes the entire time. I loved her food philosophy. The underlying theme of her talk seemed to be “eat the way you want to feel.” Simple, right? She noted the importance of indulging every now and then, but emphasized the importance of choosing foods you know are good for you and selecting foods that provide you with nourishment and nutrients. Those are the foods that will make you feel the best. If you guys are interested, I’m happy to type up my notes from her talk to share with you in a similar style to the notes I shared on Thursday’s Sports Nutrition Discussion post. Just let me know! It was a great session.
- Hearty Eats Food Truck
This food truck served as the source of my lunch for both days of Wanderlust. I thought the curry dish I ordered on Thursday was so darn delicious that I went back today and ordered their Thai noodle bowl. Both times I washed down my meals with and hibiscus ginger cooler that was incredibly refreshing.
- “Dance Like Nobody’s Watching” Session
I signed up for this session at the last minute because I simply love to dance. I am unfortunately a horrible dancer. When I read the session description, it sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to dance my heart out in a judgment-free place. Goofy dancing is right up my alley and Hemalayaa Behl did a fantastic job making everyone feel comfortable. The music DJ Drez blasted made it hard not to want to shake my booty! After about 30 minutes of exercises on the mat that loosened everyone up, we spent the next 30 minutes shaking our booties, following light direction from Hemalayaa who encouraged everyone to remember what it felt like to dance as a child when we weren’t concerned about looking like a fool. It was freeing and fun!
- Mandala Art Installation
While I ate lunch during both days of Wanderlust, I parked myself in front of the mandala art installation at the Kashi booth to watch the artist work. Everything you see above is made from single seeds, nuts and beans. The artist, Cathy McMurray, will be working throughout the festival and the mandala should be complete and take up the entire black square by Sunday. So neat!
- Yummy Samples
Free samples were everywhere at Wanderlust and I had fun chatting with the various vendors and sampling some delicious goodies. I tried a number of products I will definitely be on the lookout for at home, including Tumeric Cold-Pressed Juice, So Delicious coconut milk mini vanilla ice cream sandwiches, Kashi Simply Maze gluten-free cereal (my breakfast this morning!), Krave jerky, Lifeway frozen kefir coconut bars (LOVE) and coco libre coconut water (not the protein coconut water – that was gross!).
- Gabrielle Bernstein
I was stoked to hear Gabby speak! I’ve never read any of her books or heard her speak in the past, but I’ve read about her and was excited to sit in on her session this afternoon. She was super spunky and easy to listen to and her energy on stage radiated through the room. She emphasized the importance of everyone “being the light” in life and encouraged us to bring light and energy to those around us. (For those who may be interested, during the part of her talk that addressed healing, she played this song that I thought was pretty, powerful and almost haunting.)
- The People
On the first day of Wanderlust I was a little concerned I’d feel slightly lonely because it seems like a lot of people come to the festival with friends and I came solo. Fortunately this was not the case at all. People were incredibly friendly and I had fun chatting with some fellow attendees today. I heard a handful of incredible stories from women including stories about overcoming addictions, fighting cancer, losing 100 pounds, qualifying for the Boston Marathon and more. While I’m chatting about the people at Wanderlust, I must also give a shout out to the volunteers who were so helpful and approachable. Thank you!
Question of the Evening
- What is one thing you are loving this week?