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The Wanderlust Experience: Survival Tips from Co-founders Jeff Krasno and Schuyler Grant

in Events, YD News

Are you heading up to the green pastures and rolling hills of yogiland Vermont? We’re talking Wanderlust. It’s this weekend! So exciting, we know!
Before you pack up your favorite mat and mala beads, read our interviews with Wanderlust co-founders Jeff Krasno and his partner (also in life) yoga teacher and Kula Yoga director Schuyler Grant on what to bring, what to expect and how to end up doing what you actually want to do, and maybe most importantly, avoid blowout.

Tips on How to Survive Wanderlust, AND have fun, via Schuyler Grant:

My job was to curate the roster of teachers and class schedule to be sure it’s well rounded with asana, pranayama and meditation and enough varied levels and offerings for everyone.

Think of it a little bit as a marathon.

Try and prep yourself and do as much yoga as you can before you go so you don’t do 2 or 3 asana classes or more a day and absolutely wreck yourself in a day or two.

Schedule wisely.

You want to be energized for your practice and be able to boogie at night.

Be wise about scheduling your classes and don’t book 3 strong asana classes if you don’t know you can do that. Schedule enough rest and lectures and anything that will counter balance all the physical stuff you’re doing. Be sure to not blow yourself out.

What to bring? The essentials:

Pack yourself:

  • a good water bottle
  • lots of different clothes so you can “Superman” yourself if you need to. You’re going to sweat through a bunch of them.
  • yoga mat
  • bring a hat and sunblock
  • good hiking shoes
  • something snazzy for the night life (so you don’t look like a yogadork all the time)
  • favorite snacks you may not be able to get there. If you’re in a condo, bring a kit with cooking essentials – staples like olive oil, salt and pepper, condiments etc.

(see full checklist at wanderlust website)

What to look forward to outside of the yoga:

The circus school. Bread and Puppet is this really political, interesting, wacky adult puppet theater. Like puppets on stilts; larger than life puppetry. If you do two or three classes they’re like rehearsals and you get to be in the performance.

What can we expect moving from a classroom setting to a huge event? What advice do you have for the faculty?
The best way to bridge the intense internal quality of a studio class and the festival experience is to teach to all levels but at the same time, don’t let the fact that you’re teaching to all levels dumb your class down or make it general and bland.

Stay true to what interests you and stay true to what makes you an interesting teacher in the classroom setting.

Some of the classes are like a traditional indoor classroom (100-120 capacity) and the outdoor classes are more of an experience.

Final words of advice for first timers and/or fest veterans?

I would go and do something at Wanderlust that would normally not be my practice because that’s what the festival is so much about. The point of what this kind of incredible breadth of exposure is, is to kind of blow your mind a little bit.

Make sure you have at least half of your classes with someone you’ve never studied with before.

Get plenty of sleep before and plan some well-timed naps.

Any teachers on the wish list who couldn’t make it this year?

Dharma Mittra and Alison West.

Maybe next year!


YD talks to JEFF KRASNO

How did the expanded locations come about?

It was the plan from the beginning, but we had to figure out the model and be sure it could be sustainable. The idea was to go to different parts of the country where there was a community to support the idea.

How many attendees are you expecting this year?

We’re expecting 3,000-4,000 people per day.

Lake Tahoe is about 5,000 people a day.

What’s the difference between the Vermont and Tahoe fests?

Vermont is a little more intellectual with who we have booked from a faculty, curriculum and even music perspective. The vibes are very different.
Tahoe is totally draw-dropping awesome jagged beauty and Vermont is a very rolling hushed more misty kind of beauty, more of an introspective kind of place. That will probably show itself in some fashion in the event.

We’ve noticed more speakeasies on the schedule this year:

I’ve been trying to establish the lecture part of the event and last year we started with the speakeasy component. We’ve expanded that this year and a way to really establish it for years going forward was to get someone who was pretty well known.

So one of the night’s we’ll have Deepak [Chopra] on stage, pushing him outside of the powerpoint auditorium style to more of a rock star kind of venue. I think it will be interesting, we’ll see if it works.

Will there be more lectures in the future?

I think it’s a pillar that I want to develop as a part of the event. It’s a big part of our schedule for sure and I’m interested in continuing to grow that and grow the stature of that, and trying to find the diversity in the programming. It’s just a part of the experience, something people enjoy. I don’t know if people want to do 3 or 4 asana classes a day.

There are also hikes to learn about the flora and fauna of the region. We’re trying to connect people to the physical space and get them outside.

How does Wanderlust stand apart from other summer festivals?

We’re really trying to separate ourselves  from other events by making Wanderlust as participatory as possible. I think at most music fests people are standing there staring at a stage listening to music and mostly they’re sedate.
Our event is different, they’re coming and doing yoga and they’re part of the event, but we’re really trying to find other ways to push the concept of a participatory event. This year we have theatrical performance art and also aerial workshops.

The whole thing is to let the attendee experience blur and you become part of the show. That helps to create a transformative experience because they [fest goers] push themselves to do something that they might never do in their daily life. It’s a very unique kind of experience.

Final words of advice?

Try to leave your quotidian life behind for four days.  The people who can do that get the most out of it. Wisdom comes in the spaces. We all push ourselves so hard to achieve but it’s those moments that we actually find emptiness and let it breathe, that’s when the wisdom comes.

Stayed tuned for YD coverage from the green fields continuing our Summer of Love.

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