Miles of Smiles and a Few Happy Babies
A friendly smile wasn’t hard to come by at the second annual Wanderlust music and yoga festival in Stratton Mountain, VT, last weekend. The throngs of yogis and yoginis who flocked to the lifestyle celebration of all things yoga were greeted with beautiful sunny days, a transcendent and happy vibe, great music in the evenings, and nonstop yoga classes taught by some of the best instructors in the world.
I’m not a hardcore yogi like some of my companions for the weekend by any stretch. So it was a pleasant surprise to find that many of the classes were beginner-accessible. Boston-based Back Bay Yoga Studio owner Lynne Begier taught a fun, challenging but newbie-friendly Vinyasa flow class called hip-hop yoga. The downward facing dogs were pumped out to the beats of Snoop Doggy Dogg, and the class kicked off with a version of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “I Like Big Butts.” I cannot lie, there were some tight, yoga-toned tushes in the room and around just about every corner in the base village of Stratton.
Wanderlust co-founders Jeff Kresno and Sean Hoess have found some cool ways to incorporate other activities into the predominately yoga-centric weekend. One morning, I did a stand up paddle boarding yoga class. A group of about 20 hit the Stratton Mountain reservoir for an intro to the up-and-coming sport. Once our instructor got us comfortable with the basics, we paddled out to the middle of the reservoir to try a few yoga poses. The next day, a few in our group wanted to do an intense detox yoga flow class. That sounded like a bit much, so I opted for a 90-minute silent, mindful hike up the mountain. Our guide encouraged us to focus on what we saw, heard, and felt on the walk, then took us through a ten-minute meditation from a scenic vista at the top of the mountain.
The evenings were filled with similarly amazing activities. On Friday, we attended a farm-to-table dinner that used all local ingredients, like Vermont cheese and local meats and poultry. The Wanderlust Speakeasy series gave participants a chance to hear how the values that yoga espouses can transcend the everyday practice. “Folks, This Ain’t Normal” took a look at how far removed 21st century society is from the things that brought our predecessors happiness and joy, and “Spiritual Parenting” looked at ways to craft your parenting in a way that helps you relate to your children and teach them to be proud of who they are. Finally, each day was capped off with performances from artists like Quixotic, Ani Di Franco, and Ziggy Marley.
The weekend at Wanderlust offered up a truly amazing, soulful, and relaxing experience. The vibe was energetic and fun-loving, but still serious and focused when it came time to roll out the yoga mats. For four days, I found myself at the crossroads of sustainability, music, mindful practice, good food, and great people. If you’re a yogi and music lover or there’s one in your family, I highly recommend packing up the car and heading out to one of the three remaining Wanderlust festivals this summer. It’s entirely suitable for individuals, couples, and even families. The tour continues to Copper Mountain, CO, Squaw Valley, CA, and Whistler, British Columbia, Canada over the next two months. Find out more about the event at WanderlustFestival.com.
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