Mindful triathlon
Photos by Steward Noack, John Suhar for Wanderlust Festival

Color Runs are so last year. The latest organized fitness event people are signing up for in droves is mindful triathlons, which combine running, yoga and mediation.

The biggest of them all is Wanderlust, which returns to Brooklyn on Sept. 13. (There's also acro yoga, slacklining and a dance party, in case the main events don't burn enough calories for you.)

Related:6 practical tips for a fun and safe color run

We called up Wasterlust co-founder and event organizer Sean Hoess to get the details about the festival and how it's different from the usual triathlons.


What exactly is a mindful triathlon?

Most triathlons are about how strong and fit you are. We wanted to create one that was much more about the mental side of things. We combined three activities we thought were meditative: running, yoga and meditation.

Related: From couch potato to triathlete

How can someone be a mindful runner? Can you listen to music and run while still being mindful?

Yeah, you can. There are a lot of benefits to just synchronizing your breath and calming your mind. You can get into a trance-like state with running. The same goes for dance.

Related: The top gym songs on Spotify

Is there a health benefit to pairing running with yoga?

Definitely. Yoga is an incredible form of exercise. It strengthens muscles and increases flexibility. Running has much more cardiovascular benefits. They are sort of like the other sides of each other.

What can participants expect from the mediation portion of the festival?

First, there’s a fun, humorous lecture led by our meditation teacher about the history of meditation, the benefits of it and some personal anecdotes. Then there is 15 minutes of actual meditation.

Who is leading the yoga portion?

We have MC Yogi, who combines hip-hop with yoga for a very high-energy class. And then we have a more traditional practice led by Sri Dharma Mittra, who is very well-known. Altogether, the yoga portion is 90 minutes.

How fit do people have to be to participate in Wanderlust?

The event is really designed to be achievable even by someone who has never run, practiced yoga or meditated before. The 5K is not a race — it’s just about finishing, even if you end up walking. But I won’t say it’s easy; the combination of all three can be more challenging than people imagine.

What will be going on that will be open to the public?

Access to the event is open to the public. The yoga and meditation portions are free. What the ticket really gets you is the run and also some additional benefits, such as placement and other [goodies] from our sponsors. There will be local craft food vendors, who we handpicked. You can think of it like Smorgasburg, but with a bent on healthy foods. We’ll also have a wide variety of craft vendors selling everything from jewelry to custom yoga apparel. Our sponsors, such as Athleta, will also be on-site. Also, we’ll have a whole array of yogic arts, like aerial yoga and instructional hooping.


Sep. 13, 9:30 a.m.
Prospect Park Bandshell,62 West Dr.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence

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