Yoga breathes the open air at Wanderlust
July 29, 2010
SQUAW VALLEY – Concertgoers at 2009’s inaugural Wanderlust had an eye-opening experience. Yoga can make people very fit.
“There’s the other fringe benefits of levitating and astral projections and enlightenment and all of that stuff,” said yogi Schuyler Grant. “You can really get some nice abs while you’re being about the enlightenment thing.”
The first festival at Squaw Valley celebrating yoga and music was more successful with the former than the latter. So the music – and the ticket prices for it – has changed for the second Wanderlust, and there are a few minor tweaks for the yoga.
This year’s event opened Thursday and runs through Monday.
Wanderlust was created by a high-profile couple from Brooklyn – Grant, who heads the New York City’s Kula Yoga Project and yoga retreats throughout the world, and Jeff Krasno, owner of Velour Music Group who helped put together Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits Music Festival.
The yoga classes offered throughout the festival by renowned yogis such as Shiva Rea, Seane Corn and Doug Swenson will be at three outdoor venues this year, instead of the one from a year ago. There will be more live music during the classes, which are elaborately adorned.
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“Each place you can dip into for an hour or three and feel like you’re in a little bit of a world and then go check out another world, and the music itself will be another world in and of itself,” Grant said.
The organizers hope to entice concertgoers to try yoga. A free class, “Get Hooked,” is offered Sunday.
“This is one of the things that all yogis know: Yoga never feels better than when you’re first doing it,” Grant said. “You never quite get the yoga high that you had when you’re a beginner. Even if you’re struggling and you’re sweating balls and watching the clock because you’re in agony, still the way you feel when you’re walking out, there’s something about that first year, or those first months, that’s really special.”
The first Wanderlust mostly had indie rock and singer-songwriter music. Grant and Kranso were surprised to see how much people enjoyed a set by laptopper Girl Talk.
“We felt like after all these yogis finished doing three or four classes a day, they were all so totally high of feeling good and they just wanted to go out and bust a move,” Grant said.
So Kranso in November booked DJ-dance bands, some who are just becoming successful.
“Part of this whole Wanderlust trip is this whole discovery trip,” he said. “You’re trying to figure out whose gonna be hot by the summer. You don’t really know for sure but the Orgone and Pretty Lights bookings are two that I’m very proud of. Beats Antique, too.”
The original idea for Wanderlust was a series of events across North America. However, for now it is an exclusive Tahoe event.
“The view you’re seeing with the snow-capped mountains is gorgeous and the air you’re breathing isn’t killing you,” Grant said. “There’s not a whole lot of reasons for going back to New York City after being here setting the event up for a month. We’re going to have to drag ourselves home. It’s really brutal. The only upside is we always tell ourselves we’ll be back here in a year.”
But Krasno said there will be a fringe benefit to returning home.
“Nothing has made me more out of shape and stressed out than promoting health and wellness,” he said.
For information, visit wanderlustfestival.com.