Wanderlust may have started as a festival aimed at hardcore yogis, but it’s evolved to embrace much more than meditation, Lululemon, and downward dogs. I spent last weekend at the Wanderlust Festival in Stratton, Vermont, and found myself doing a heck of a lot more than yoga—in fact, some of my friends didn’t do any yoga at all. These are just a few of the non-yogis you’ll see in the crowd at these ever-expanding festivals.
The food villages at Wanderlust are loaded with healthy, “hippie” foods like kombucha and homemade hummus and lentils, but you’ll also find delicious tacos, wood-fired pizzas and Asian rice bowls. In the evenings, celebrity chefs such as NYC’s Seamus Mullen are preparing multi-course farm-to-table dinners. At the upcoming festival in Snowmass, Colorado, you can even attend a picnic-style barbecue and beer dinner.
Live DJ sets accompany many of the yoga classes, while some are even themed to a particular artist, such as the Police. In Stratton, yoga teacher Gina Caputo paired up with DJ Taz to lead a flow session-turned dance party to hits from the Grateful Dead. Musicians such as Trevor Hall might accompany hikers and reward them when they reach the summit with an acoustic set. When the sun goes down, yoga studios transform into concert venues. Past acts have included Thievery Corporation, Spoon, Girl Talk, Michael Franti, Andrew Bird, and Ziggy Marley.
Slackers & Acrobats
Festivals have entire areas dedicated to slackline workshops, where you’ll learn to focus and balance on a one-inch wide stretch of nylon webbing. Classes in AiReal Yoga use hammocks to help you deepen into poses. Acroyoga sessions let you feel like you’re in a Cirque du Soleil troupe, as you play airplane with a partner or attempt to do a handstand while balancing on your partner’s hands.
Wanderlust hosts festivals in spectacular destinations including Whistler, B.C., the North Shore of Oahu, and the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Guided hikes, runs, mountain biking, and even stand-up paddle board classes are just some of the ways to take in the natural beauty.
Thought leaders and influencers such as Deepak Chopra, environmentalist Bill McKibben, and Olympic snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler are just a few of the speakers involved in the festivals’ Speakeasy Talks. Topics range from climate change to the power of food and mindful leadership.
Want more? Check out these amazing yoga retreats around the world!
Photo by Neil Gandhi