Review of Wanderlust in British Columbia:
By first glance Whistler, Canada is a typical ski destination. After a long drive up the mountains from Seattle, I arrived to see for myself that it is actually a sweet little community. I made friends with locals from nearby Pemberton and went shopping at the Farmers Market. Nice shops and food can be found in the village-like town, but beware prices are steep. I also met a ton of people from Australia who have transplanted there. My purpose for travel was to attend a famous yoga festival called Wanderlust. After practicing yoga and listening to a lecture on social justice by yoga teacher Seane Corn, my friends and I also took a visit to a hot springs spa. The place was almost heavenly – and I was still searching for more.
Wanderlust the Giant Yoga Festival
In the future, I’d explore more of the great hiking trails. I’m not into skiing, but there is still plenty to do. My schedule was booked with the festival’s live music, yoga classes, lectures, nice dinners, and a Vedic astrology reading. Wanderlust Festival is, I believe, overpriced. Making it only accessible to a certain demographic. But, they also have several (much cheaper) single-day events. I’ve attended one: Seattle108 which included a 5K run, yoga asana class, and meditation. They even gave it a fun name, calling it a Yogathalon. The festival in Whistler was much bigger and most of the teachers on the schedule were famous.
Upon arrival check-in, festival staff gave away freebies such as bracelets and essential oils. There is a shopping area with fashion vendors and a fresh smoothie stand. If attending, you’ll want to book your classes of choice ahead of time to be sure they don’t get full. The trip was last minute for me, so I was worried that I’d miss out on classes since they filled up fast. Actual reality was different. I got in without having registered in advance, after waiting in long lines. There were also a few events open to the community such as a yoga/concert by Michael Franti.
Yoga in the Mountain Town’s Center
The concert was lead in conjunction with yoga instruction in the town’s square. It’s a great feeling to be in a class full of hundreds of students because everyone pools their positive energy together into one space. The crowd formed a giant circle and practiced yoga poses while each one of us leaned on each other for support. The class was followed by lots of singing and dancing. It was delightful, yet I felt like the entire festival had left something missing.
The Meaning of a Social Justice Yogi
At Wanderlust I missed the deeper parts of yoga, where were the roots? Perhaps this was a great introduction to yoga and a great way to move the body and become inspired to go further. Personally, I like to have more substance. Seane Corn’s talk on social justice was my highlight of this event because she spoke on a deeper level about what it means to be a spiritual human. Then she connected this to relevant social issues. A few of these issues concerned racism, the prison system, poverty, and more. Corn explained how being a yogi can also mean being an activist, if you do the work. Next, I went to visit the very excellent Scandinavian spa nearby.
Dipping in the Heavenly Spa
A little slice of heaven, at Scandinave everything was nearly perfect. I enjoyed soaking in several hot tubs. They had cold and hot pools for hydrotherapy. The sauna was huge and there were nice lounge areas in the relaxation rooms. It was a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors, in the evening there was even a fire pit going. Silence is a rule there, so it’s a place for some inner reflection and meditation. After a mountain adventure, it’s great to ease your sore muscles. If you like spas, this one is very well done, therefore it’s a must-do stop on any itinerary. They have now added yoga to their business model too. Whistler is a gorgeous place all around. You don’t have to be a paying participant of Wanderlust to join-in on the life of a Summertime yogi in this picturesque and unique mountain town.