Embracing Wanderlust 108 at Santa Monica Pier

Embracing Wanderlust 108 at Santa Monica Pier by Meagan Kong

(Images: Wanderlust Festival)

As a professional dancer, I must continually challenge my body and mind. As a creator of a fitness club, I yearn to surround myself with a like-minded community. And as a wellness addict, I’m always in search of the latest and greatest better for you brands. That’s why I look forward to the Wanderlust 108 tour making its way to the beaches of Santa Monica every year. Wanderlust 108 is a mindful triathlon that checks all my boxes. Run, Flow and Meditate.

Here’s why I love it:

  • From a pure training standpoint. The day gives you a little of everything. You work your legs then lengthen them with a run followed by yoga.
  • Interaction. 108’s schedule forces you to pause and focus on connecting with yourself and others.
  • It’s fun. Every year I go to 108, I find a new stall and a new brand to obsess over.

ONE Brands is at the intersection of all these points.

Aside from their protein-packed bars that fueled me throughout the triathlon, the ONE stall was overflowing with energy.

The hula-hoops, larger-than-life cake cutouts and color-filled tasting bar gave me a bite-sized exploration of flavor and fun.

Here’s a rundown of what goes down at Wanderlust 108.

1. Check in, settle in.

After a quick wander around the grounds, we met at the main stage for a pre-run dynamic stretch, then headed to the sand for Triathlon Part 1: 5K Run. The energy brewed as hundreds of eager Wanderlusters lined up at the shoreline, inching to get moving. 3, 2, 1… we’re off! Whether you decided to run, walk or crawl, the 5K was the perfect way to get body temperatures up and energy rocking. Just when I thought the sand got the best of me, I was met with a line of hi-fives and encouragement blasting from the megaphone. The boost I got helped me kick it into high gear and push ’til the finish line.

2. Hit the mats.

We climbed back onto the pier for Triathlon Part 2: Yoga. DJ Drez kept the energy going as we claimed our mats. Yoga goddess Chelsey Korus took the stage and led us in a 75-minute flow. Her zen demeanor and perfectly articulated flow commanded hundreds to move in synchronicity. The practice culminated with supported tree pose. Chelsea asked us to connect to our neighbors and hold each other up—literally. With our hands behind each others’ hearts, we relied on our neighbor’s support and opened our chests to the sky. Rows upon rows of yogis sent their energy onto one another and then up into the universe. This was truly a transformative moment.

(Images: Wanderlust Festival)

3. Time to meditate.

Triathlon Part 3 was a 25-minute meditation led by world-renowned spiritual leader Tracee Stanley. I normally shy away from meditation, but the seamless transition between Chelsea and Tracee gave me no option. We focused on breath to contain the energy we brewed up with our neighbors and zone out the happenings on the Santa Monica Pier. Like building endurance or strength, stillness comes with practice. After ten minutes of fidgety adjustments, my body settled, mind stilled and the ocean waves became louder. DJ Drez guided us back into reality and sent us back into the festival with our feet on the ground and hearts open to all that surrounded us. The party continued with optional classes like aerial yoga, acroyoga, bodywork, hooping and tarot. Try something new, make it fun, take a pic— that’s what 108 is all about.

(Images: Wanderlust Festival)

This was my fourth annual Wanderlust 108. I had previously come with friends or met large groups, but this year I explored it alone. While the thought of going to a festival of any sort solo was daunting, I walked around Wanderlust 108 completely uninhibited by anyone but myself. Turning inwards and establishing a grounding connection within opened my awareness to the community of like-minded people that surrounded me. This is the beauty of this festival: come alone, leave connected and enjoy the journey of finding your true north.

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