Wanderlust for Life

The famed yoga festival returns to O`ahu’s North Shore for its fourth year.

Whether you enjoy bending over backwards, contorting your body into “full wheel” or not, Wanderlust O`ahu has something for you.

Call it a grand traveling yoga festival or just a good time, Wanderlust—a large-scale lifestyle event—masters an eclectic holiday. Its mission: bring multi-day, mindful-living celebrations to conscious communities around the world. A global gathering, prior festival destinations include Melbourne, Squaw Valley and, naturally, Hawai`i.

Wanderlust O`ahu’s 2016 celebration is Feb. 25-28 at Turtle Bay Resort, which hosted Wanderlust’s past Hawai`i fêtes. Urging guests to “unplug from the ordinary,” (Put away that damn phone already!) Wanderlust wishes festivalgoers to “find your true north” on a four-day venture.

Explore hikes and horseback rides; listen to live musicians; practice yoga and meditation; learn at lectures and workshops; taste sustainable, local foods; and so much more. Challenge yourself on O’ahu’s striking northern coast to find balance … on a “staycation” spotlighting yoga, music, health and wellness. Turtle Bay’s majestic enclave, nestled at the start of the “7-Mile Miracle,” naturally beckons watermen, wave watchers and the fourth-annual Wanderlust O`ahu.

“Wanderlust brings visitors from around the world whose passion for life parallels that of Turtle Bay,” shares Danna Holck, Turtle Bay vice president and general manager. “We love hearing that they had the time of their lives. It’s a saying we strive to hear from each and every one of our guests visiting us on O`ahu’s fabled North Shore.”


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Adding a paddleboard only heightens the fun of yoga poses (photo by Shannon Cummings for Wanderlust Festival).

Turtle Bay’s 850-acre property is the epicenter of indoor and outdoor activities. When Wanderlust returns to Turtle Bay for its fourth festival, a slew of fresh features and faces will follow suit: mini retreats; surf lessons; SUP excursions; beer tasting; sake sampling; Aveda’s beauty bar; concerts et al. Headlined by the yoga world’s household names—including international yogis Maty Ezraty and Vinnie Marino, among island personalities Sara Phelan, Jessica Abner and Lysha Wernig—the 2016 fiesta intends to triumph.

Activities span yoga, water sports, hikes, horseback rides, meditation (with Jennifer Reuter and Swami Ji), live music (led by Citizen Cope and Trevor Hall), and to refuel: fine fare by Turtle Bay’s own chef Conrad Aquino. Merchandise and victuals, too, are fit for a spectrum of discerning palates: the gluten-free vegan to the carnivore. Exemplary 2015 eateries: Hawaiian Fresh Farms and Instapressed, among other palatable island purveyors. Pura Vida, CHAI studio and Honey Girl Organics: a few past vendors. Here, you’ll sip coconut water straight from the source, patch test organic beauty products, enjoy crystal chakra readings, shop the latest slippers—and more.

Wanderlust O`ahu 2016 brings bliss, enchantment, health and healing. Roll out your mat, and snag your suite early for a mini Zen getaway. With attendance rising each year, 2016 is expected to bring even more yogis, from near and far.

Yoga instructor and jewelry designer Noelani Love was just one Hawai`i superstar headlining 2015. While she will not be headlining the 2016 celebration, she fancied past festivities:

“Living on the North Shore of O`ahu, and traveling to our island home, everyone is just so passionate about yoga,” Love questions: How can this not be healing?

Lacey Calvert, CorePower Yoga’s Orange County regional program manager, echoes Love’s sentiment. At Wanderlust 2015, she was happily bending over backwards in as many as three yoga classes per day … on a stand-up paddleboard. “Being on a board and able to dip your fingers in the ocean during shivasana [final resting pose]” was optimum euphoria for Calvert.

Physical yoga asanas (Sanskrit for “postures”) aren’t the sole healing aspects of the festival.

Kahokule`a Haiku, or “Hoku,” of Hawaiian Hiking Company, has escorted Wanderlust attendees through Hawai`i’s natural beauty for three years. (2016 marks his fourth festival.)

“Every year gets bigger with more activities,” he shares. “You really sense that you’re in Hawai`i, sense and feel the ocean at Turtle Bay. You step away from the senses and indulge, on a 2.5-mile hike to Kahuku Point, around whales and turtles and monk seals … You feel the earth.”

Haiku, who was raised “by the history, and in the stories of the old ways of the island,” lives and breathes Hawaiian culture, shepherding Wanderlusters on hikes to encounter Polynesian flora, fauna and mana (power). Haiku exudes power to experience cultural island magic: Ola’s ceremonial chant, the legends of plants and animals …

“No matter where you come from, [Hawai`i is] far away,” Haiku says. “People come here, to this isolated environment, to cleanse and to re-energize. That mana—I cannot wait to share the healing stories of the Hawaiian people and culture.”

Jennifer Reuter, another Wanderlust fixture and O`ahu-based yogi, will relish in her fifth festival this February, conducting guided meditations. Reuter anticipates another like-minded community of attendees.

“This blend creates a truly unique event,” she comments of uniting “knowledgeable teachers and talented musicians.

“Wanderlust is adding a special meditation ‘track,’ which is an excellent addition to their venue … Attendees will experience an enhancement to their day in any of these three possible ways: centering in the a.m., re-charging at noon or integrating and quieting in the p.m.”

Aiming to help attendees draw awareness “to an inward state of being, where people can unplug, quiet down, relax and, most importantly, connect to a deeper sense of well-being,” Reuters wishes to introduce others to meditation’s benefits.

“Yogis say the mind is like a ‘drunken monkey.’ It is constantly moving in many directions, from object to object, never really resting, while at the same time ‘repeating’ the same stories over and over again. In addition, the mind is also challenged by ‘change’ that is consistently occurring all around. Meditation is the antidote,” Reuters shares. “If we can learn to tap this field, we can discover new stories, new insights and greater creativity, as well as a change-less place that brings inner calm.”

So, take a breather this month among a passionate, calming community. Change direction at Wanderlust O`ahu, and discover your “true north.”


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