We’re always excited for Wanderlust. It’s one of the events we most look forward to all year and lucky for us, it’s right in our backyard. So many festivals have pushed the
music as the primary draw while including yoga and wellness as a side note, but not Wanderlust! While the first few years sported heavy a musical line-up, featuring headliners such as Sharon Jones, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Michael Franti and The Wailers, Wanderlust has curated its own vibe by inviting yoga teachers from across the nation to teach yogis of all ability levels in the surreally beautiful Squaw Valley.
When Wanderlust was initially announced in 2009, I anticipated a very haughty-taughty crowd. Would they turn their noses up because we don’t have yoga pants, or that we didn’t know our brand of yoga mat (someone had to tell us!), or our downward dog wasn’t perfect? Turned out, that was not the case at all. Not only are the organizers great, but the yogis and music fans who come together for this event make it truly special. I began seeing a dramatic change in myself after beginning about yoga in early 2011 and I truly believe my participation in Wanderlust 2010 was important in it’s cultivation. In addition to the really nice people, organizers and instructors, the exposure to classes like Budokan yoga, Slackline yoga, Backbends and Inversions … or even ridiculously fun classes like Seane Corn’s “Lite FM” (a class which featured all music and love songs of the 1970’s and 1980’s) has enamored us more with the practice. The diversity of classes ensure someone attending Wanderlust can be as serious or light-hearted as they choose.
The music, workshops, speakers and yoga line-ups are top notch for Wanderlust 2014. DJ Krush and The Polyphonic Spree on the bill satisfy our “always have wanted to see yet haven’t” craving. Then a few of our favorites … RJD2, Big Gigantic and Thriftworks add in the “wows,” “whomps” and “what!?” In the non-musical landscape, we are looking forward to Roman Torgovitsky’s Soma System, Schuyler Grant’s Kula Flow, Eion Finn’s Blissology, ChiRunning with Steve Mackel, ELMNTL Fitness, and Yin Yoga with Liza Dousson…just to name a few! We are still reading up on all the enormous offerings Wanderlust offers.
Wanderlust founder Jeff Krasno answered a few questions for us about Wanderlust 2014
FB: What was the original inspiration for Wanderlust?
JK: The original inspiration came from going to Costa Rica on my wife’s (Schuyler’s) yoga retreat. There, we learned that people loved to travel, to be with like-minded community, to practice yoga in beautiful places, to eat good food, to drink a little wine and listen and dance to music. We asked ourself could we make this experience work for 4000 people instead of just 20?
FB: What could a person who practices yoga very casually receive from Wanderlust?
JK: We want to make yoga fun and accessible. Sure, we have a lot of very accomplished teachers. But many of the classes at Wanderlust are beginner / intermediate. I think the emphasis on music within the classes makes the yoga experience something that everyone can really enjoy.
FB: Your first year was a tough one! Besides bad timing of Franti’s appendix bursting, what other things did you learn that first year that has improved following years?
JK: In the first year, we ran a yoga event and music festival concurrently and, in some ways, split the audience. We learned that yoga, hiking, lectures, rafting, running formed the daytime meal of the festival and music was the nighttime desert.
FB: Do you have any input in the music? Anyone you’ve really wanted that hasn’t been able to get on the festival?
JK: I personally booked every single act for years. Now, I defer to a younger staff that is more familiar with the cool, new acts. That being said, there are some acts that I have been working on for years. Caravan Palace was one of them. I finally made it happen last year. Fat Freddy’s Drop, a New Zealand-based dub band, is another band I’ve been chasing for years.
FB: Caravan Palace was amazing! I was very happy to see them on the line-up when it was announced. Are we back to music in the parking lot again at night or in the yoga tent? Was there any particular reason you all cut the parking lot stage out? (btw we loved the musc in the yoga tent!)
JK: The idea for 2013 model was to cluster more people in and around the village and to create a seamless nighttime experience that spanned the main tent, the tea tent and a smaller DJ stage. We like the idea that a guest can wander and discover different experience and not be confined within a tradition gated venue. We spent all this time and effort making a beautiful yoga tent and then it sat there empty at night — that didn’t make much sense.
FB: Anything you would like to add to Wanderlust?
JK: A truly next level food experience.
Wanderlust is July 17th-20th in Squaw Valley, California. For tickets, complete class schedule, lodging, camping and all information visit http://squaw.wanderlustfestival.com/. Keep an eye out as Fresh Bakin’ has partnered with Reno Tahoe Tonight and The Bounce Festival to give away some Sage passes and music-only tickets. CLICK ON PHOTO BELOW TO ENTER!