Anyone who loves music, yoga, and outdoor activities should hear about this event. From spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and Anusara yogi John Friend to mash-up artist Girl Talk, Wanderlust is full of top-notch yoga classes, creative workshops, inspiring people and awesome music. The festival is currently scheduled to take place in three U.S. cities this year (Miami, Lake Tahoe, and Bondville) but is likely to expand in the near future. Jeff Krasno, who founded Wanderlust with business partner Sean Hoess, gave us his insider thoughts on yoga and what to expect at this year’s festivals.
What sets Wanderlust apart from the typical music festival or yoga retreat?
Wanderlust is very unique in many ways – but the experience is so different – largely because it is so participatory. People are doing, not just listening and watching. People are hiking, doing yoga, actively cultivating their minds. They can literally be in the Bread & Puppet Theatrical performance or in a burlesque show. The can take a drumming workshop. Wanderlust challenges people and pushes their limits. And I think that is why its such a transformative experience for so many people.
Who is yoga for?
Anyone can do yoga and benefit from it. My kids do it. My mom does it… kinda.
Why should people curious about yoga try it?
Because it makes you feel better. And nothing in the world is better than feeling good.
How has your practice affected your overall well-being?
Well, I’ve lost a ton of weight – even though that wasn’t the real goal. It keeps me feeling strong and balanced. We work ridiculous hours – so I need something to keep my head clear and my body strong; yoga is great for that.
How did Sean and you decide to partner together to create Wanderlust?
Sean and I have been business partners for nearly 12 years. Prior to starting Wanderlust, Sean and I ran Velour Music Group – a record label and artist management company. We still do. As much as we love music and fostering the careers of talented musicians, we always felt like “we” had something important to say and contribute ourselves, to the world.
We became close with the yoga community through Schuyler’s (my wife’s) yoga retreats and her studio, Kula Yoga Project. We found the values of the yoga community to be very much in line with our beliefs. So we brainstormed the idea of combining a music festival with a really large yoga retreat applying the production and marketing values of our music business background with the moral and social values of the yoga community. And – voila – Wanderlust.
Tell us about the growth of Wanderlust from its inception to now.
Well, it grew 400 percent from its first year to its second year. In 2011, there will be 15 Wanderlust events of different sizes and scale all around the country. There is a huge cultural movement that is embracing yoga as part of a broader shift towards mindful living. And Wanderlust is simply addressing that demand.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
In terms of the asana part of yoga, both Sean and I didn’t start practicing regularly until 6 months ago or so.
What type of audience do you expect to have at this year’s events?
Young adults and middle-aged adults who feel young.
How did you choose the venues?
The criteria is natural beauty and a supportive local community that will embrace the event and its underlying values.
What steps are you taking to make Wanderlust a sustainable and eco-friendly festival?
We have a comprehensive greening program at Wanderlust that includes everything from recycling and composting to carbon offsets and carpooling to bio-diesel for our generators, corn-based cups and flatware, local and organic food and on. We are trying to move towards a zero waste event and are making substantial steps towards this goal in 2011. However, we are a destination event and people will burn fossil fuels coming to the event. So it’s a work in progress. We are trying.
What are some highlights of Wanderlust 2011–any really great teachers or acts lined up?
There are some new things we’re developing. I’m excited to have Deepak Chopra. We’ve wanted to create a pillar of the event that involves inspirational and educational speakers. Deepak helps us establish this. I’m happy to have Rodney Yee come and teach for the first time. And I am thrilled to be working with John Friend and Anusara to produce a 4 day pre-Wanderlust Anusara event in Tahoe and Vermont. Lastly, I love Girl Talk & I am not the only one!
Visit wanderlustfestival.com for more information!
Image: Image Credit: wanderlustfestival.com