By Courtney DiFiore
The sun rose on Stratton, illuminating the mountain in all its glory, giving light to thousands of yogis. Greeting the sunrise, yoga enthusiasts, like camels, carry their life on their backs. Armed with water and a yoga mat (or two!), crowds form and a calming, zen energy coats the mountain. This is Wanderlust.
Day 1: The morning began with a slew of classes: meditative hikes, mindful yoga, slack lining and hooping. Those who weren’t partaking in workshops were seen wandering the village. Lined with vendors, the cobblestone path plays host to a variety of tents, free samples of yummy (and healthy!) treats, handmade goods, water stations, henna and more. As the day progressed, more and more people showed up to join in on this celebration of music and yoga. When the sun
finally did begin to set on the first night of this four day event, the mountain was then lit by only sparklers and fire from the quixotic dancers at the opening ceremony. The pond reflected a mirror image of the crowd as it gazed upon the dancers, drummer and violinist. The fire dimmed to a light glow and the sparklers died, signaling a change of venue to The Greatest Place (our main tent in the base area). There, the celebration continued into the late hours of the night with a concert full of spectacular music, hooping, yoga and dance.
Wanderlust began in Squaw Valley, California back in 2009 and came to Stratton Mountain, Vermont in 2011. Additional locations that this amazing festival travels includes Copper Mountain in Colorado, North Shore in Ohio, Whistler in British Colombia, CAN, Tremblant in Quebec, CAN and Chillan, Chile. The hope is that, this festival continues to spread far and wide. There’s talk of sharing this special event with all the Kiwis and Aussies in New Zealand and Australia within the next few years.
Though 2009 marks the first Wanderlust and 2008 is credited for being the year the idea manifested, “the germ of the idea was before then,” says Wanderlust Co-founder, Sean Hoess. Jeff Krasno, another founder of Wanderlust (the ‘O’ in Co-founder you could say), has been running a music company with Hoess for the last ten years; meanwhile, his wife, Schuyler Grant has made a name for herself as a well-known yoga instructor. Grant brought Hoess and Krasno into the world of yoga and all that it entails as she took them from yoga retreat to yoga retreat.
Hoess describes his experiences within the world of yogis by saying, “This is a passionate community. People really care about their bodies and their health and living a sustainable life, but they also really have a great time. They want to go out and dance and have a good time and drink a bunch of wine, you know, like anyone else. So we (Hoess and Krasno) started to think, you know, God this could be a festival actually.”
And so it began. Hoess and Krasno had all the skills needed to manage the music, event and PR side of things and lucky for them; Grant had an extensive history with yoga, leading this trio to create the largest multi-day music and yoga festival in the world. Day one is in the books, giving everyone a taste of Wanderlust as we look to continue enjoying the great music, fun yoga and good vibes.