Dominique’s Wanderlust Getaway Journal
Dominique and Andrea’s Wanderlust Adventure in the Mountains
We were so excited to hear that our Wanderlust Getaway winner, Dominique, had an experience that “changed her life” that we had to share it…
Having just opened a studio in April 2013 I had no plans to venture very far home in the coming months. With two previous summers of adventure under our belts I had to tell my best friend, Andrea, that I would be unable to vacation this summer. Then everything changed. I was chosen as the winner of a contest to attend a Wanderlust Festival of my choice in some rocking new prAna gear- and I could bring a friend! Those around me called it Karma, do good and receive good in return. Whatever it was that led me on this journey, it is one that changed my life. It reawakened my passion for learning and experiencing new things. It brought my best friend and I closer together (thank you both plane delays and yoga classes) and it deepened my self-awareness of the path of my life. This experience, the lessons I learned from teachers and myself, are ones I will carry a lifetime and share with my students for years to come.
Wednesday, July 17 – Arrival!
Morning: Leaving the hot, humid air of Boston heading for the dry west coast was very appealing after multiple days of above oppressive heat indexes. After a quick bite to eat we hopped on the plane and made our way across the country.
Afternoon: Reno, Nevada: sunny, dry and beautiful, and that was just the airport. Once our luggage was claimed we immediately went outside, just to stand, and enjoy the weather. As we headed back into the airport to wait for our bus we sat with what were most certainly other men and women making their way to Wanderlust to Find Their True North with thousands of yogis!
Evening: The Squaw Valley Lodge: Our home for the next ﬁve nights. Our view from the window was breathtaking and the air was easy. As we walked around the resort we saw the magical beginnings of Wanderlust come to life as vendors set up, students wandered around and the mood became upbeat. It was time to get the party started.
Thursday, July 18 – Yoga!
Morning: Waking up to a mountain sunrise, we had hoped our biggest decision of the day would be which new prAna outfit to wear to class. However, our decision to take an Ashtanga class quickly proved us wrong! This invigorating practice set a strong tone for the rest of the festival: we were ready to learn and experience all the mountains had to teach us.
Afternoon: Ahhh, the Marketplace. Where we enjoyed midday shopping, afternoon smoothies and lunch specials that would make any yogi smile. We fueled up, memorized vendors for future buys, and headed oﬀ to a dance class taught by one of the members of Quixotic, the dance troupe performing throughout the weekend. Taking me back to my days of dance the class let me float and fly; it opened my heart to everything that was about to happen to me.
Evening: A sweet and sassy Kula Flow led us into the eve of our first night at Wanderlust CA. Knowing we’d have to refuel before the Opening Ceremonies we put on some non-yoga cloths, a rarity of the weekend, and headed to dinner. We then followed the lights and sounds to the evening festivities. Once the main show ended we continued to be serenaded from the comfort of our room with the sounds from The Shala by prAna.
Friday, July 19 – Food!
Morning: Sleeping in is better in the mountains. Especially when you know that all you’ll be thinking about throughout the day is your Farm-to-Table dinner filling your hungry belly later in the day. First thing first: our inaugural class with Dharma Mittra. Having heard wonderful things from friends in the NYC area we were excited to take his class, and The Shala by prAna was just a quick step from our room!
Afternoon: Up the mountain! From our room window we watched trams go up and down the mountain and had agreed we had to take a ride before the weekend was through. Little did we know we had classes up on the mountain. Unplugging from our technology led us up the mountain a few hours early, and as fate would have it, allowed up the time to mountain-gaze, take some new yoga pictures, enjoy the sunshine and even check out a little Olympic history. All of that before spending a few hours with Kathryn Budig followed by Shiva Rea in two amazing classes where hamstrings, hearts and spirits were set on fire.
Evening: Farm-To-Table dinner on a Gypsy themed evening. Our second trip to High Camp led not to twists and tricks, but local food, new friends and gorgeous sunset views. On a full heart and belly we headed down the mountain to the sounds of fiery yogis ready to rock the night to Gramatik. The evening was set-ablaze with life and love.
Saturday, July 20 – Handstands and Hikes!
Morning: Breakfast smoothies from a local vendor at the Marketplace and up the mountain we went! Starting our day with some Budokon yoga, floating and inverting on a hockey rink, put is in the right frame of mind for day three of activities. We found out we are stronger than we think, and braver than we know as we flew along side a mountain top with arm balances and inversions on a concrete slab!
Afternoon: Time to take it down a notch, way down, to the base of the mountain and a restorative class with Rod Stryker. Taking the time to honor our bodies, pause from all the flow and listen to our minds gave us a recharge for the hike ahead. Despite a very (very) warm room and a crowded class, the time to chill was much appreciated.
Evening: Barefoot no more we strapped on our sneakers and headed up to the prAna tent to meet for our Sunset Meditation hike. Headed by East Forest the time walking up the mountain, taking in the views and settling into our meditation was a wonderful way to round out day three (despite a moment of walking into a tree branch and getting a small battle wound).
Sunday, July 21 – Bittersweet
Morning: The Morning After with Seane Corn was a no brainer when planning out our schedule in the weeks before WLCA. Walking into the tent we saw some familiar faces around from other classes and felt a sense of bitterness knowing we were beginning the end of our time on the mountain.
Afternoon: The Afternoon was spent remembering all those things we wanted to buy and walking around the marketplace for food and fun (and as with all weekend: friendship!). We reminisced on our classes, looking at pictures from the days past and looked ahead to the pool party ahead. The magical resonance of the resounding OM’s that filled the mountain at the end of the day proved what we already knew: there was something in the air at Wanderlust Squaw Valley.
Evening: Andrea and I had taken a few dips in the pool or hot tub, but nothing was like the Pool Party we were about to experience with DJ HyFi. Bikinis, briefs, water, music… it was a perfect end to the weekend. Heading up the mountain one last time we overlooked places we had practiced, thought about all we had experienced and thought about all the things we were bringing home (tangible and not). Thank you Wanderlust and prAna for an amazing weekend. Andrea and I will never forget the memories we made at Wanderlust Squaw Valley.
~ Dominique Mastrototoro, Owner of Dance Soul Motion
If you are ever in Grafton, MA be sure to stop by, say hello and take a class or two from Dominique