Ground control to major tom…do we have permission to land?
Hello ellooo…elloo… from Wanderlust Festival in Lake Tahoe! We hope this missive is reaching planet Earth. We had every intention of recapping each day as we lived it at Wanderlust as we did in Vermont, but then the mothership came down and swept us up into the earthy ether. For those of you reading along at home, here are the highlights from the 4 day fest in our own yogadork style, with candor and pretty pictures. Read on!
As we mentioned on Day 1 recap the biggest difference between VT and Cali is the sun. Great sury-almighty! Even the locals were enthusiastic.
Overheard at Wanderlust: “Hey look at the sun on that plane, its all glowwwy.”
If you’ve never heard of Maty Ezraty or taken class with her boy are you missing out! The legendary teacher who co-founded YogaWorks with Chuck Miller and developed the style that combines elements of Ashtanga, Iyengar and Viniyoga, doesn’t do a lot of touring gigs, so we were pretty psyched to see her teaching teachers’ classes at Wanderlust. And she is a teachers’s teacher. Her classes may have been the only ones you went to without feathered hair and body paint as prerequesites. Here she is with volunteer assistant Vinnie Marino.
Her reputation of being a tough cookie preceeded her, but we found Maty to be a spunky, funny, if not punchy, incredibly knowledgable and approachable teacher. We often consider alignment based classes to be like flossing. Maty’s shoulder girdle class was like going to the dentist for a full fledged deep cleaning, with those metal picks and the works, but without the funky fluoride (maybe a little drooling).
Rinse and spit. Rock and Roll.
Though Vinnie Marino makes pilgrimages to NYC a few times a year this was our first experience with the Yoga King‘s rock ‘n roll vinyasa. Have to say we had a lot of fun yogaing to the Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead. Also, we were starting to get a little homesick in the middle of all this nature and sun, so Vinnie’s NYC accent was a breath of fresh city air.
Michael Franti…and the crowd goes wild!
Seane Corn and Franti teamed up again for the Yoga Aid challenge which once again brought out the yoga dance party. One thing’s for sure, east coast, west coast, no matter, yogis flip their lids for Franti. And for a good cause!
*Yoga Service Announcement* Don’t forget you can now text “OTM” to 20222 to donate $10 to Off The Mat. Also, a reminder that any photo we sell from the road will benefit OTM as well.
Michael Franti and Spearhead led us all into the night with his rock yoga bop shoo bop. Once again there was yoga yoking, toking and shooting stars. We don’t know what it is with this guy, but he somehow makes the cosmos shift and shake.
The evening’s recap would not be complete without a shout out to the best little traveling karma free food stand, The Krishna Kitchen. We fell in love with them in VT and were so excited to see TKK serving up maha plates on the west coast.
Also a pleasant suprise, our VT pal Lloyd! There he is volunteering with The Krishna Kitchen, a touring Bhakti crew since 1965. We met Lloyd in VT where he told us about his adventure to VT via Tennessee, where he’s from. He made pals with the Krishna Kitchen folks and they invited to hop on the caravan to CA. Lord, Lloyd was born a travelin’ yogi. And so it was with the band of yogypsies at Wanderlust Squaw Valley.
SUNSHINE = sunburn. Turns out Shakti doesn’t come with SPF, but like the 5th Dimension, we let the sun shine in.
Fantastic landscape and western winds blew us in to John Friend’s Intro to Anusara where we were encouraged to let the dance of Shiva move us. “As soon as we try to do it by ourselves we block the energy,” said J Fri describing our yoga practice as a step toward “discipleship.” We danced with the Divine, or perhaps the Divine danced us?
We love arena rocker John’s ability to personally connect to hundreds of yogis at one time and pull some silly kooky jokes here and there. He’s a talented speaker and knows how to command a room of practioners of all levels to return to the beginners’ mind, and you guessed it, melt our hearts.
Yep, we’ll say it, a J Fri festival experience isn’t that far off from a trip to revivalist camp. Devotion, Devine, Discipleship. Throw some D’s on that b*tch. And, scene.
No Cali Yoga Festival trip would be complete without a bit of “cosmic yawning” courtesy of Shiva Rea. Prana flow trance dance was accompanied by DJ Random Rab and free flowing breakdowns. This was our first Shiva class and quite honestly it was probably the most suitable for the setting of sunshine and hippies. Oh, we love the California free spirits!
Girl Talk took the stage Saturday night and blew our faces off with his crafty DJing skills, balloons and confetti. PARTY. It was the first non-yoga music we’d heard all weekend, and you know what? Anyone mashing up samples of Rick Astley, Queen, Huey Lewis and the News and T.I. was exactly what this crowd needed.
Other yoga class highlights: Shuyler Grant’s “Hipster Flow: East Coast vs. West Coast” yoga jam where YD represented…heyy-ohh, and Jonny Kest’s much needed Detox Flow. As the brother of Bryan (whom we LOVED in VT) Jonny is a little more spiritually inclined; still a ballbuster, though perhaps in a subtler way. It was all a lot to take in, but we tried to follow Jonny’s words and allow ourselves to empty before we can be full. Oh and that we should yoga until we’re sick (entrepreneurs note: JK suggests a new mat equipped with barf bags for yogis over “detoxing”).
Inhale. Exhale. Savasana.
TNFWW: Thank Nature for Wente Wines. After long days we enjoyed spending the evenings chilling and sharing a glass of the best thing grapes were made for, besides a childhood PBJ. We don’t know what they put in the soil out here, but it’s probably illegal where we’re from.
More to come: Springer style “Festival Final Thoughts” plus more updates from the YD’s wild ride! Coming up, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Santa Barbara and the CA coast.
Thanks to our sponsors Wente Vineyards and Hugger Mugger, for without you we would be pawning our yoga teachings for gas money.
Photos above by J.T. Liss. Check out more photos from the trip at J.T. Liss Photography on facebook.