Wanderlust: A guide to get your om on
Ready to get your “om” on? Wanderlust Squaw Valley, July 14-17, is a four-day festival at the sprawling Squaw Valley Resort -- the site of the 1960 Olympics -- and anchored by the themes of practice (yoga and meditation), listen (to mindful music), explore (hikes, runs, cycling and more), learn (with thought-inspiring speakers) and taste (local and sustainable foods).
With such a lineup, there are many choices to be made: camp, glamp or hotel it? AcroYoga or stand-up paddleboarding? Chi-Running or “Active Meditation for People Who Like To Get (expletive) Done?”
Featuring yoga superstars Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Gurmukh (co-founder of the premier center for the study and practice of Kundalini Yoga) and billed as “an all-out celebration of living,” you really can’t go wrong, no matter which path you choose.
How to get there
The trek is fairly easy for those living in the Tahoe Basin and surrounding areas, and a pretty easy two hours from Sacramento and three hours from the Bay Area (provided you aren’t traveling during rush hours).
If not traveling by car, there’s train, plane and shuttle options.
The Amtrack California Zephyr offers connections to and from San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Reno and makes daily stops in nearby Truckee. But once at the train station, you’ll still need transport to the festival 11 miles away -- Tahoe Truckee Regional Transit (TART), along with local taxi services, have got you covered.
Where to stay
Squaw Valley can be pricey when it comes to lodging. If you can swing it, there’s the very comfortable luxury of The Village at Squaw Valley, which is situated near the center of all the Wanderlust Action. Other hotels are nearby -- Squaw Valley Lodge, PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, Red Wolf Lodge at Squaw Valley and the Resort at Squaw Creek -- but have limited reservations available.
The North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce offers an overview of the area’s additional hotels, motels, cottages and private rentals.
If you don’t mind roughing it (as much as you can rough it with a sprawling pool and hot tub at 8,200-feet, that is), camping is available through Wanderlust at High Camp. The U.S. Forest Service offers information and reservations for the many other (but less glamorous) campgrounds in the area.
What to do
Yoga practice is at the heart of the festival, which offers no shortage of classes for every level and some you’ve probably never heard of before. Try AcroYoga for Every Body, where yogis and yoginis “learn to navigate gravity like a boss by deepening structural awareness and exploration through playful connection.” Or try a “floating yoga,” H2 OM Supyoga Fusion, where your paddle board becomes your floating yoga mat. Move Your Asana Fitness Yoga is a “non-impact, athletic, total body strength and flexibility workout that flows like a vinyasa class.” The Super Soul Power Class on Saturday afternoon will flow with funk and soul music, providing a yoga experience “inspired by the life and legacy of Muhammad Ali.” The packed class schedule is capped with a Yogi Tribe Class, which will close your four-days of practice with asanas (poses), a dance party and savasana (total relaxation).
There are also plenty of opportunities to get off your mat and on your feet. A full schedule of hikes and runs offers some pretty cool opportunities to explore the area’s natural and often-breathtaking beauty. Hike along the valley floor, enjoying views of all six Squaw Valley peaks. Wake up Saturday with a sunrise meditation hike as the sun rises above the Eastern Sierras. Fine-tune your stride with a ChiRunning class, which blends the principles of Tai Chi and inner focus to promote injury-free running.
In addition to numerous meditation classes, the festival offers three to four “Speakeasy Talks” each day, with topics ranging from Living a Trash-Free Life and Building Your Own Farmacy to Hot and Holy: Sex as a Spiritual Practice.
Music is a huge part of the festival, with music daily beginning mid-morning Thursday and going into the wee hours each night. The four-day lineup offers an eclectic mix of yoga-inspired music, spoken word and deejay-led beats.
Where to dine
Dinner is offered at an extra cost each night of the festival. Friday’s Barbecue Picnic: Salt & Smoke features southern ‘cue (with local food) and live music. Friday and Saturday nights both feature Uncorked, a sampling of local wine, beer and seasonal small bites. Farm to Table dinners featuring locally sourced produce and seasonal meats are accessible via an aerial tramway ride to High Camp.
If you’re craving a change of environment, Mountain Nectar, at 1985 Squaw Valley Road, is a popular place to fuel up for a day in the big outdoors. Just outside of the valley is Blue Moon Natural Foods, located at 11357 Donner Pass Road in Truckee and 505 W. Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City, where you can stock your camp or room with the healthy stuff or grab a bite at the Stony Ridge Uncommon Kitchen, located at the back of the Tahoe City store (the Truckee store carries grab-and-go cold case options).
Fireside Pizza Company at The Village at Squaw Valley is a local’s favorite for lunch and dinner and is very close to the festival (and features gluten-free and vegan items). Want to go big for dinner? Check out the fancy Six Peaks Grille at Squaw or the PlumpJack Cafe & Bar.
With fitness, food, flow and good vibes, Wanderlust is sure to feed your body and soul. Be sure to send us a postcard of your best warrior pose.