Cold Weather Got You Dreaming of Yoga Retreats?

You’re not the only one. Sun salutes on some secluded mountain top with a pristine lake in front of you or maybe a sunny white sand beach where you can spend your days in a bikini. Sounds divine. Well, if you are like me, we might have to keep dreaming. Unless you won that crazy powerball jackpot. In which case, you should share the love and take me with you.

I was giving a friend, who is new to yoga, some resources on navigating the yoga world with a limited budget. When I listed my blog, I felt slightly embarrassed giving him something that I neglected. I didn’t forget about it – I have been compiling the topics in my head. I was just lazy.

Anyhow, if some dreamy yoga retreat isn’t in the cards for you this year, you can take classes from the Wanderlust events…online. They have about 30 FULL-LENGTH classes filmed live at the Wanderlust festivals from top instructors. I watched one of the videos but to be honest, it was awhile back and I don’t recall the experience. But just add this to your list of resources in case you want to switch things up with all those other online resources. Here’s the link to their YouTube channel to get you directly to the classes but they have a ton of other videos such as lectures, interviews, and some shorter classes.

Yes, another online resource. You do miss out on the community of people around you (unless it’s such a packed class and the person’s mat is touching yours – no thank you). But technology has made this practice a lot more accessible for someone like myself who can’t afford to pay for yoga classes every day. Also, using public transportation in SF adds a lot of time to everything you do. A 1.5 hour class usually means 2.5 hours out of my day so a home practice means I’m more likely to get a class into my day. And whenever you can get your yoga in, it’s a good thing.

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Mindful Triathlon

wanderlust 108

Wait, what did I just say??  Mindful Triathlon???  You heard right.  Wanderlust 108 (from the people that bring you the Wanderlust Festivals) is putting their spin on a triathlon happening in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday September 13.  Instead of the typical swim, bike, run events, this mindful triathlon includes a 5K run, guided meditation, and outdoor yoga class.  There will be special speakers, music, food, and a marketplace.

For the broke ass New Yorkers, the meditation and yoga class are FREE! If you have $48 to spare, you get the 5K, priority placement for the meditation and yoga class, and a goody bag.  Sounds like a fun day to me.  Get more information about the event here!

Wanderlust Announces Yoga In the City Dates for 2014

Dates for Yoga in the City are up!  A sample of the Wanderlust Festival in an urban setting but for FREE!  Registration is required so sign up today!  According to the site, spots fill up quickly.  I’ll be signing up for the SF date on May 17 – leaning towards the late afternoon class with Susan Hauser and Stephanie Snyder.  They also have May/June dates for Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles.  If you are a reader in Auckland, NZ or Sydney, AU – dates are quickly approaching so check to see if there is space left.  New York is coming soon so check back on the site or sign up for email updates.

Yoga in the City – Free Yoga from the Wanderlust Festival

Can’t make it to one of the 4-day Wanderlust Festival due to the cost?  Don’t feel like volunteering in exchange for the experience?  For all of those in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, the Wanderlust Festival is offering an urban yoga experience…for FREE.

Wanderlust Yoga in the City, San Francisco. Photo by Alex Wang

Wanderlust Yoga in the City, San Francisco. Photo by Alex Wang

“Yoga in the City (YITC) takes the pillars of our Wanderlust Festival experience and places them in an urban setting for you to experience a little taste of our epic 4-day adventures in your own backyard. We invite top local instructors to lead large, free charity-focused classes. Musical performances infuse classes and dance parties are prone to breaking out post-savasana. Vendors, artists and performers weave their flavor into the tapestry of the experience, making it a modern-day yogic celebration coming to your town for you to enjoy on a summers day.”

The next YITC event is in Chicago, then New York, and ends in Los Angeles on June 30.  I really, really want to go to the one in LA and am considering rallying a few friends to come with me to make it more worthwhile.  I live in San Diego and have a wedding to be at the day before so driving up just for the day doesn’t sound great since there is a good chance I’ll be sleep deprived.  Even though the event is free, I’d still have to cover the cost of gas and when you are only guaranteed one class for free, it doesn’t quite make sense.

Registration gives you one class for free but you can attend other classes if space is available.  YITC is also looking for volunteers so if you are interested in being behind the scenes as well, click on the city you want to participate in and find the “volunteer” tab under the “connect” link.

To Wanderlust or Not to Wanderlust…And How You Can Participate at a Fraction of the Cost

Wanderlust Tahoe

This year, the Wanderlust Festival in Tahoe/Squaw Valley starts on my birthday and I thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate.  Four full days of yoga with some of the most well known yogis during the day and music to fill your evenings.  A friend of mine went to the Wanderlust Festival in Oahu and raved about it.  She also mentioned her boyfriend had access to a cabin in Tahoe that we could use at no cost for this festival.  I assumed with lodging taken care of, this would make the festival a bit more financially accessible.  So I went onto the site and checked out ticket prices and financial accessibility went out the door.  4-day passes are $475 and 3-day passes are $395!  If you did the full four days and had to pay for travel/lodging/food, this festival would cost close to $1,000.  Who are they targeting to attend this festival??  Clearly, not unemployed people like me.  Even when I was working, this would have been difficult to manage.

Earlier this year, I wanted to attend the Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco and tickets were EXPENSIVE.  I don’t remember the exact cost when I looked late last year (close to $1,000 is what I’m coming up with), but early bird prices for the 2014 conference is $600.  Add lodging, travel, and food to that and well, you know what I’m getting at.

There is a way to participate in these yoga getaways for a fraction of the registration cost.  As with many conferences and events of this scale, there are typically volunteer or work-exchange opportunities, which I have done in the past but for work-related events.  Both Wanderlust and Yoga Journal Conference have these volunteer/work-exchange opportunities.

For Wanderlust, they look for volunteers to fill a minimum of three shifts starting the weekend prior to the event to the Monday after.  Shifts are 5-6 hours each and you are given one day off where you can schedule classes like everyone else.  You also have access to all the music events as well as some swag from the sponsors.  There is an application fee of $15.  Check out Wanderlust’s volunteer page for more information.

For the Yoga Journal Conference, you will need to be available for a full FIVE days without any other commitments.  You work up to 16 hours, with many of the shifts being a door monitor, and are not guaranteed any classes.  Here’s the part I don’t like.  You have to pay them a “nominal” fee of $200 as a commitment to work the conference.  You will be rated on your performance and if you meet their standards, you will get $100 back a month later.  So you are still out $100 in addition to all the other expenses you might incur.  Check out Horizon Conference’s info page for more details about YJ’s Work Exchange Program (they manage YJ’s conferences).

If you are interested, sign up early!  For both of these opportunities, I see it as a way to get a feel for the festival and the inner workings of these large events, network with others in the yoga community, and the bonus are the workshops and the classes.  I most likely won’t go this route for Wanderlust if I somehow magically come up with the funds (birthday present, anyone?) but I’m thinking about it for the YJ Conference in SF in 2014 since I’ll be living up there.