Wanderlust O’ahu is just around the corner! Join the global mindful movement in one of the globe’s most beautiful locations. More than just yoga, Wanderlust gives you the chance to explore several aspects of mindful adventure, with opportunities to hike, surf, swim, zipline, and kayak. Tickets are on-sale now.
The tropics before dawn hold a hint of chill along with the promise of growing light. The sea is calm in the early morning hours. A gentle breeze fills your lungs with salty air untouched on its journey across thousands of miles of open ocean. All converge this morning, this place, this meditation. Your mind is at peace and your heart is centered as the first sunrays split the air, cracking through the horizon to bring another day to the islands. This day, anything is possible.
Hawaii is a land unlike any other. From its earliest beginnings—when molten lava exploded from the depths of the earth and sea, when Polynesian voyagers navigated across thousands of miles of empty water to inhabit this island paradise, when Captain Cook began the period of contact with the Western world and paid for it with his life—the islands of Hawaii have constantly evolved, grown, changed.
Sense of adventure? Required. You can see the adventure—quite literally—by watching one of the many blockbuster movies or series filmed in Hawaii: Jurassic Park, Jumanji, Pirates of the Caribbean, Lost, Gilligan’s Island and many others were filmed on island, to tap into the pervasive sense of isolation and the thrill of rising to a challenge. Today, locals and visitors experience the ‘aina (land) in many forms synonymous with adventure: yoga, hiking, surfing, swimming, ziplining, kayaking, even mediating.
The people of Hawaii believe appreciating the land today motivates us to sustain it for tomorrow. Ancient Hawaiians even asked permission from Laka, the goddess of hula and forest plants who dwelled in the forested realms, before hiking into the mountain forests. Today, that same love and respect for nature and spirit of adventure draw many to the islands.
Hiking the Islands
What could be more in tune with the true desire of a yogi? Hike through the mountains in a misting rain, following the roar of falling water until you arrive at the clear pool catching the abundant fresh water pouring off the side of a mountain. Moments of tranquil stillness within the unabated roar that surrounds us allows space to tap into the peace that expands outward from center. It’s having confidence to move forward in hope when trying something new, and appreciating the connection with others—and self—that grows from moments shared, moments we connect, moments we’re renewed.
Your Chance to Fly
Have you ever dreamed of flying? Dreams come true in Hawaii with a variety of ziplining adventures. Walk through ancient forests and smell the spicy sweetness of the sacred woods, then leap out of your comfort zone into a soaring experience unlike any other. Sweep over river valleys, waterfalls, and jungle in this high-flying mode of transportation. Most tours begin with a short drive up to the base of the first zipline. You might pass lush banana or massive monkeypod trees, or catch a glimpse of the broad sweep of the Pacific Ocean.
The staggering Ko’olau mountains tower over much of the island, with tenacious foliage and nearly unreachable jungle clinging to walls of exposed lava rock. You’ll strap into a safety harness and clip into the zipline before teetering at the edge of a platform and making that leap into space for an exhilarating slide of up to half a mile. Catch your breath, then hike on and do it again! Most zipline tours include suspension bridges and short hikes along with zips. Beyond the thrill of zipping, these tours can open up parts of the island inaccessible to most hikers. Some islands (Maui and the Big Island) even offer rappelling down waterfalls as part of the package.
If ziplining doesn’t appeal, pick up a paddle instead; it’s time for a kayaking adventure! Out on the water, you can glide along the fine line between the worlds of sea and sky. This is one time when the journey is truly the destination, so explore the experience at your own pace. Just below the surface, a whole new world emerges: colorful fish, living coral, and honu—so many honu. Encountering one of these protected green sea turtles and watching their fluid grace and surprising speed is an electrifying and unforgettable experience. Open your eyes and heart and tap into the mana—Hawaiian spiritual power and healing energy—to see the island the way the first voyagers did. Marvel at the bold colors that rise out of the water and extend below. Circle an offshore island, or let the wind and waves guide your journey. Floating here gives a sense that nothing lies behind or ahead; everything exists in this moment, and you have arrived.
Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga
Leave the four walls of your studio behind and let the board be your mat. Even experienced yogis will find new challenges and a greater connection with the elements. A session starts before touching the water—be sure to slather on reef safe, waterproof sunscreen. Drink lots of water and have a small snack to ward off any motion sickness. Boards are anchored in calm ocean water, but waves passing beneath with move the board slightly. All that extra movement can cause people to tense up and hold their breath. Keep breathing. Let your mind take your breath back to the very beginning and focus on breathing in, breathing out, as the waves pass under the board and beyond. When the worst thing that can happen is a slip and a dip in Hawaii’s sparkling waters, how bad can it be? So breathe, try, laugh, and—most of all—don’t be afraid to fall. You can always get back up again.
A silent step in sand, a spray of salt water, the unfamiliar rustle of palm trees in the winter—the end of the day falls quickly in the tropics, with darkness descending rapidly after the sun sinks again beneath the waves. The evening is soft and warm, colors streaking briefly across the sky as the stars appear—the same stars that lead the first voyagers to this land of adventure, where fears are overcome, where new things begin. When the Big Dipper appears, track the two stars on the front of its ladle. They form a straight line with Polaris, the North Star—the star that guides until the sun again rises. Where is it leading you?
Mari Krueger is a freelance writer and photographer based in Kailua, HI. The perfect day includes family, stand up paddle boarding, and being outside at sunset. She loves hopping on a plane to meet her favorite sailor in port. Follow her at Mari’s Passport Diaries and Instagram.