I just wrapped up an incredible day at Wanderlust 108 in Atlanta. Wanderlust 108 is the world’s only “mindful triathlon.” It includes a 5k run/walk, a 75-minute yoga flow, and a 30-minute guided meditation. And that’s not to mention the marketplace and extra activities going on throughout the day.
Two years ago, my friend (also named Laura) and I went to Wanderlust 108 Atlanta in Piedmont Park. However, it was a cold, rainy day, and we weren’t feeling yoga in the mud, so we left after the 5k.
We were both excited that today turned out to be beautiful and sunny so we could experience the full triathlon. Wanderlust 108 also moved to Historic Fourth Ward Park (right next to Ponce City Market) this year, and we really enjoyed the new location. Parking was easier than at Piedmont Park and the 5k route was a lot of fun.
While I wish I could have captured all the amazing moments from the day for you through my camera, it was impossible. Mindfulness is at the core of Wanderlust 108, and a big part of mindfulness is being present. Pulling out my camera phone in the middle of the spontaneous dance party that broke out mid yoga flow would have taken away from the special feeling that arose throughout the community in that moment. Regardless, I’ve tried to capture some of the highlights below.
After we checked our bags, we headed over the infamous Wanderlust wooden arch for the pre-run stretch led by Amanda Nurse. Before I knew it, I was running out of the park and up a steep hill with hundreds of other health nuts. While starting off on a hill was rough, I was happy to be coming down hill at the end! I also loved that the route took us along the beltline and past some of Atlanta’s best street art.
I have no idea where I placed, and according to my watch I didn’t even run a full 5k. But the great thing is that’s not what it’s about at Wanderlust 108! At Wanderlust 108, no one is competing. It’s about pushing yourself and enjoying the moment.
Once everyone finished the 5k, we all gathered back together in front of the main stage. Chelsea Korus guided us through a yoga flow which was enjoyable for experienced and beginner yogis alike. The practice was filled with laughter and good music.
My favorite part of the day was when the DJ took over the yoga session and we all crowded the stage jumping around to a mash-up of songs including Shout! The DJ didn’t just encourage us to let loose. He also encouraged us to bond with those around us:
“Turn and face the person next to you. This is the true Facebook. Link up with the person next to you. This is the true LinkedIn.”
We retreated to our mats after the dance party to finish off the yoga session. Next up on stage was Noah Levine, a Buddhist teacher who found mindfulness after being incarcerated and dealing with substance abuse for the majority of his childhood.
The sun was blaring hot by the time the meditation started, but I still found some peace of mind through the session. Having practiced mindfulness myself for many years, I enjoyed hearing Noah’s story and was reminded of how important it is to bring attention to the present moment.
Historic Fourth Ward Park was filled with various vendor tents for Wanderlust 108. During our break between the run and yoga, Laura and I checked out the free samples, merchandise for sale, and face painting. Given how many times we went back to try different flavors, our favorite tent might have been the Perfect Bar. The Blueberry Cashew was pretty delicious.
The samples helped tide us over after the 5k, but by the end of the meditation we were pretty excited to pick up our picnic lunches. The picnic lunch included a Wanderbowl, a Siggi’s yogurt, a La Croix, and a chocolate treat. I chose the vegan Wanderbowl – the vegetarian option included cheese and sour cream in addition to the brown rice, black beans, avocado, and mango salsa. It was all quite tasty, and even better, it came with a Wanderlust tote! (Can you tell I love free stuff?)
You could also sign up for afternoon activities such as AIReal yoga, AcroYoga, and Hooping. While these all looked fun, we decided to make our way home after lunch.
All the early afternoon classes were booked and we didn’t feel like waiting around in the hot sun. I used to try to stay at events through the end just because I felt like I should or that I might miss out on something. I realized recently that this can taint the memory of a great event. So today, instead of leaving Wanderlust 108 too hot and exhausted, I left feeling happy and accomplished!