In 2014, I attended my very first Wanderlust Festival at the luxurious Turtle Bay Resort. It was amazing. There was sun, sand, surf, food, vendors, music, dancing, laughter, hugs, tears, and (of course) yoga. Other than the many missed morning yoga sessions due to a slight hangover from the night prior, I returned home from the festival feeling refreshed and revitalized. And even though I'd continue each year following and each Wanderlust thereafter with ambitious yet missed go-get-ems and yes-you-cans, the Wanderlust Festival, and everything that I'd experienced and learned, had always remained with me. In fact, it stuck.

This past weekend was my fourth year attending the Wanderlust Festival and its been just as significant, if not more, than all the years prior. For this year was the first year that I've attended the Wanderlust Festival as a person who has turned all of their dreams from past Wanderlust Festivals into a reality. Although I do love a good rambling essay, I've condensed my Wanderlust teachings into good 'ol fashioned bullet points for you to enjoy or skim through.

Thanks to the Wanderlust Festival, I've been able to:

  • Manifest all of my thoughts and dreams into actual realities and mindful practices (special shout out to my girl, Tiare Thomas from Aloha Dreamboard).

  • Tap into what is real and authentic within my surroundings in order to become a better writer.

  • Effectively communicate with those closest to me and make sure they know how much they are loved and appreciated.

  • Soak in the teachings that I love and leave what does not serve me.

  • Learn that my needs, wants and fears are just as important as those around me.

  • Understand that hard work may come with many failures and that true success begins once we spring back up from them.

  • Melt my physical and spiritual yoga practice into one cohesive lifelong journey.

  • Become inspired to be a certified yoga instructor.

When my husband and I left the festival this past weekend, I couldn't help but notice the sprinkling of hotel guests that did not quite get the yoga festival memo. There's always a few of them every year who, for the most part, are really intrigued to learn what us yogis are all about. So for those of you who are reading this and are hoping to understand the yogi world beyond the tie dye and acai bowls, the truth is there are so many layers. Sure there's the skimmed surface of vegan food and Lululemon gear but underneath is roots and soil of so much more. Yoga attracts people (most of which) whose mission is to connect their physical selves with their emotional and spiritual well-being. It's the union of mind, body and soul why most keep coming back for more. What's most intriguing about yoga, as I've found throughout my personal practice, is that everyone's reasoning to pursue a yoga practice is just as valid and important as the person on their mat next to them. No two people's practices (whether emotional, physical or spiritual) will ever be the same. That's the beauty of yoga and I'm so very grateful to hold a small piece of it, to continue to learn and share.

Here are some photos I captured during our Wanderlust Festival:

Here are some photos by Melissa Gayle for Wanderlust Festival:

For more information about the Wanderlust Festival, go to wanderlust.com/festivals

#WanderlustFestival #Yoga #YogaRetreat #YogaInstructor #YogainHawaii #PhotobyMelissaGayleforWanderlustFestival #MelissaGayle

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