Health & Fitness

WELCOME TO WANDERLUST by Kassandra Horn

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In case you missed it, in July I joined the brand ambassador program for Wanderlust Hollywood - a gorgeous studio located in the heart of Hollywood on a mission that extends far beyond movement on the mat. Wanderlust is creating a community rooted in mindful living and a safe space for you to explore your unique path to a deeper yoga practice, self-growth and enlightenment - to “find your true north.” I also happen to love all things travel so Wanderlust by every definition speaks to my soul.

As I sat down to write this post, I found myself reminiscing on the first class I took here. I don’t recall the teacher but I ventured outside my comfort zone that morning with the help of my friend Sandy for an unexpected surprise. I’m telling you the energy and peace I felt when I walked into this place is unprecedented. And I’ve tried quite a few different yoga studios and styles in this lifetime.

For one, the interior design is ON POINT. I’m immediately relaxed and drawn to the aesthetically pleasing bookshelves and merchandise dressing the entryway. They also have an inviting outdoor patio and cafe with a menu committed to eating local, sustainable and ethical while remaining delicious. I crave their Stumptown coffee - a little taste of the familiar Pacific Northwest - smoothies and bowls hardcore. And then there’s the most beautiful studio layouts with names like ‘The Greatest Place’ and ‘The Haven.’

But the teachers… The humans are the gravitational pull that would eventually point me back here with a bigger purpose. The ones I choose to lead me on this journey radiate with positivity, soul and intention every time they step into the room. They work so hard at what they do and it’s evident in the messages they bring forth to carry beyond the class and into our every day. They align with my own personal values of curiosity, kindness and integrity. Put it this way — next to practicing in Ubud, Bali, looking out into the jungle with birds chirping in my ear, this is as good as it gets.

Watching the studio evolve, attending classes on and off during the past two years as I navigated in and out of my own growing pains, makes me even more grateful be part of this world and to help them celebrate three years in LA this month. Do I think it’s a coincidence? No way! They’re really onto something with this true north business. :)

Have I convinced you to check it out for yourself? Read on for a deeper dive with the Wanderlust team in NY and LA, plus some fave photos of the studio. I’m incredibly thankful to them for the insightful Q&A and hope you find something here that inspires you to drop by and see us.

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What are three words that embody the spirit of Wanderlust Hollywood?

“Curious. Passionate. Engaged.”  

What does it mean to"'Find your true north"?

“To quest both inside yourself and out in the world to discover the things that reveal your highest purpose in this lifetime.”

How would you describe the Wanderlust festival experience to someone who's never been?

“Your days are filled with classes, lectures, and adventures in nature, and your evenings are filled with music, food and community.”

What is your inspiration for new dishes added to the cafe menu?

“We are a farm to table scratch cooking cafe - So the season definitely gets our creative juices flowing, both in selecting the key ingredients and also as we envision an experience that we are creating.  A meal is so much more than just it’s ingredients- it’s truly a source of community and health!”

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What are five Wanderlust goodies you can't live without?

“We love our early morning heated flows, gluten free banana bread muffins, dirty chai’s in the morning with almond milk, sitting outside on the patio with friends, and watching the sunset from the rooftop.”

How is Wanderlust Hollywood growing its presence in the Los Angeles/Hollywood community?

“By continuing to connect with new communities and companies whom we align with, and continuing to understand what is new in the world of yoga, wellness, and delicious food, all while maintaining our core values and staying true to our roots. We love making new friends, and do so everyday! Whether we are out in the community sharing the Wanderlust vision and hosting offsite classes, or welcoming someone new into the space, we love a juicy new connection.”

What are some key attributes of a Wanderlust yoga instructor?

“First of all, a good teacher has to be passionate about transmitting their own experience.  Then they need intelligence, compassion, and dedication… especially to make it through the long days of driving from one teaching gig to another.”

How do you come up with the focus of your Workshops?

“With workshops we aim to illuminate the less explored aspects of the Yoga practice - or the other 7 limbs of the 8 limbed path.  In a ‘regular’ asana class, we don’t ever get to dive too deeply into meditation or pranayama or the other more contemplative practices, or the more technical parts of the practice like anatomy or philosophy.  We also offer teacher oriented intensives - because a good teacher is a perennial student.”

Wanderlust Interviewees:

  • Sage Miller, Community Marketing Manager

  • Kimberly Small, Director of Publicity

MY MORNING RITUALS by Kassandra Horn

Good morning! I'm writing this as I sip on a Bulletproof coffee after a challenging but invigorating vinyasa flow class with one of my favorite Wanderlust Hollywood instructors Rachel Jackson. It must be a combination of the caffeine hit and getting some movement in on a Saturday before most of LA is awake that has me ready to take on the world. Starting with this post. :) 

The motivation for this post comes from a podcast I listened to recently (Bad on Paper, episode 11 to be exact) where the hosts quoted a statistic claiming people spend an average of 4 hours on 'self care' per day - NOT including sleep. At first, this seemed like an overestimate... until I reflected on how many different activities fall into the realm of "self-care." Especially with all of the new age thinking going around.

By definition, Self-care is:

The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.

Well, shoot - in that case, dedicating 4 hours to the improvement of our health is awesome! But it also got me thinking, not all of the things we do to take care of ourselves are creating a sense of peace and calm. For me, mornings always used to be a rush. Every day I felt like I woke  up behind -- to an inbox filled with emails, texts awaiting response, a list of things I forgot to do. I barely got out of bed and someone else needed something. It's only in the past year or so that I started truly prioritizing WHAT I NEED. And I found the best way to do this is at the start of my day.

You won't see meditation on this list because I still haven't mastered the art of sitting still long enough for that. But hey, baby steps. Most of my rituals don't take much time at all, yet they're a great way to give myself some extra attention every morning and hit the reset button before racing to work. 

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5-Minute Matcha

Yes, I am on the matcha train. Can't get enough of this stuff, thanks in part to my dear friend Shelby Torrese who taught me almost everything I know about it. I'm particularly fond of an iced version right now with just matcha, water, oat milk and ice considering temps are at a cool 90-100 degrees here in LA, but when I'm preparing in a blender my typical recipe is:

  • 1 tsp Matcha (Mizuba Tea is my jam. It's unsweetened and full of flavor)
  • 6 oz non-dairy milk + 6 oz filtered H2O 
  • 1 tsp SunPotion Tocos (rice bran solubles, aka non-dairy creamer) 
  • 1 tsp Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides 
  • Big dash of cinnamon
  • Small squeeze of local honey 

I don't know what a peptide is and I fully intend to learn. All I know is that a little collagen every day keeps the aging away (in my experience). Whether you're with me on matcha, or a proud coffee fiend, the ritual is essentially the same. The smell and sweetness of sipping on something delicious that I know is also good for my body and mind is intoxicating. Learn more about the harvesting and amazing benefits of matcha here

Moving My Body

Some days it's a walk to the nearest park or hiking up to Griffith Observatory, matcha in hand. Others it's firing up my core with a little HIIT or getting my down dog on. In fact, switching it up makes this ritual all the more fun! Pick something that makes you excited to get out of bed and sweat. If you're dreading your workouts, you're doing it all wrong. There are so many options out there - the key is trying them to see what sticks. 

Quick plug: If you live near Hollywood and haven't been to Wanderlust, I can promise it's worth a visit. They have a variety of classes to get you moving, meditating, pushing your body to new limits and finding flexibility you never knew you had. I can't get my headstand quite right and their instructors are committed to helping me get there. We're conquering fears over here, my friends! 

Reading & Writing

I'm currently moving through Danielle LaPorte's White Hot Truth at a snail's pace, but I love that I can read a chapter, even a few pages, from it each morning to set the tone for a lighter and brighter day. If I'm really feeling one of her teachings, I'll grab my journal and use it as a prompt - jotting down whatever comes to mind. It's a free-flowing exercise to to clear my head of any negative thoughts or remember what I'm thankful for. Gratitude is gold. 

Phone-Free Zone

One of the biggest culprits for causing me stress in the morning is the damn phone. Put that sh*t down! This goes for evening too. At least 30 minutes before I got to bed and 30 minutes after I wake up is a phone-free zone. The last thing I need to start my day and cloud my head is mindless scrolling or unintentional comparisons. 

Also worth noting, when I do this, I find myself staying off of social media or other distractions more throughout the day which means I get more done and I feel better about productivity. Every minute is a gift and I'm here to use them wisely. 

FINDING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

These are just some of the rituals that work for me personally. They won't work for everyone, and that's the beauty of our individuality. Just as we all have different stressors or triggers, we all have unique ways of healing - pressing pause, quieting the chaos and getting grounded. 

How do you start your morning? Are there any habits you've picked up that you didn't even realize help ease stress or bring you relaxation until you aren't able to make time for them?