Music, yoga, and a mountain adventure… so fun!
After a week of incredible Morning Yoga by the Lake practices, Craig and I made a last minute decision to head down to Stratton, VT for the Wanderlust Yoga Festival. We arrived at the Wanderlust site around 9:00pm Saturday night just in time to catch music by MC Yogi and the beginning of Ziggy Marley’s set. There was a great vibe. Nice, relaxed people everywhere, artsy vendors, vegetarian food, and even a side-show burlesque performance. It reminded me a lot the Byron Bay BluesFest, but unlike most music festivals, Wanderlust does not have a big fence around its venue. Visitors just wanting to take in the atmosphere were welcome to stroll through the marketplace, sit on a grassy slope and drink beer or chai, while listening to MC Yogi, Ziggy and later DJ Bonobo playing in the tent reserved for ticket holders.
We hung out for a bit and then went on to find our cute bed and breakfast just a few minutes down the road from the Stratton Mountain Resort in the curiously named town of Jamaica, VT. Apparently, all the hotels and B&B’s in the area were fully booked with Wanderlusters. We lucked out, snagging a cancellation at the lovely Stone Boat Farm.
Sunday morning we were up with the sun for a day of workshops. I am so grateful that Craig, who is more hockey player than yogi, joined me. Although he was a little strung out by the advanced arm balance and hip opener session with Brooklyn’s Stephanie Sandleben, he revived during the “Love, Light and Flight” thai yoga massage/ therapeutic AcroYoga program with Adam Rinder and Jenny Sauer-Klein. I liked both workshops. I thought Stephanie Sandleben offered solid direction, but could have been more engaging and less stoic in her approach. Adam and Jenny’s workshop was a bit over the top “lovey-dovey-kumbaya” for my taste, but I still enjoyed learning the thai yoga adjustments.
Our Wanderlust day ended with a “Let it Flow” practice led by Elena Brower (formerly of Anusara Inc.) and Schuyler Grant (formerly Diana Barry from Anne of Green Gables series). This was great. It was held in the main tent and there must have been about 150-200 participants. Elena Brower is a true master. I liked the way she seamlessly taught asana and the concept of deep reverence even in the most difficult situations. The live cello music was an added bonus.
All and all, it was definitely worth the 4.5 hour drive from Montreal. Despite its commercial facade, I enjoyed the community joie-de-vivre spirit of Wanderlust. It was nice to be surrounded by other yoga enthusiasts in a beautiful outdoor environment and participate in quality workshops.
PS I have to add that the Wanderlust branding is quite impressive. Not only do they have the traditional apparel merch, but there is even a custom Wanderlust wine!