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Wanderlust LIVE Becomes the Magic Kingdom Anusaraland Could Have Been

in YD News, Yoga Pop

Curtain up. Light the lights.*

Sad about Anusaraland going down with the ship? Wipe your tears, magic kingdom fans, because Wanderlust LIVE sounds like the awe inspiring revamped, redux version, a la ‘Titanic’ 3D.

Wanderlust Festival, a nationwide yoga and music bonanza and yogapop powerhouse now frolicking into its third year of festiveness, is taking up permanent residence in the blossoming yoga community of Austin, TX. Where John Friend had promised a magical mystical center in the heart of Encinitas, CA complete with workshops, concerts, a soundstage for global transmissions, all a bit premature, Wanderlust is poised with the power and cash to offer all that plus the glitz, feathers and freelovin’ of the festival on a daily basis in one contained HQ. Oh dear.

The multi-purpose 6,000-square-foot venue, a joint effort between the founders of Wanderlust Festival and Lollapalooza, hosts a yoga studio, cafe and retail boutique which is supposed to bring together “the best yoga programming and yoga instructors — both local and national — top music acts, inspirational speakers, film screenings, community gatherings and much more.” Meaning a completely overblown yoga funhouse that will capitalize on the yogapop bubble and generate loads of money. Nevermind wheeling into town elbowing other Austin yoga studios for the spotlight as if they didn’t exist (we missed the part in the marketing materials about community). [ed note: We tend be wary of the machine and The Man if you haven’t noticed.]

Color us crotchety, but anything that employs the words “unorthodox kickbutt restorative class” and studio motto “a new place to rock out, consciously” has our third eye itching. The yoga class descriptions carry varying shades of vagueness on style or lineage, as do the teacher bios; lots of lovey words about Wanderlust eclipse any useful info about where the teachers trained and what real experience they have, which we’ve noticed seems to matter less and less these days. But heyy, it’s all about the love and light mannn, and groovy playlists.

It may be too early to judge, but we’ve experienced the trippy, happy love fest that is Wanderlust, and we have to tell you it took an additional four days to shake the alternate Peter Pan reality that hooping and booty shaking has on one’s psyche. But perhaps with Anusara out as a major sponsor the kula-aid will take on a different flavor. Wanderlust LIVE opens tomorrow, Friday the 13th. We await the fantastical reviews with the antsy anticipation of a yogi post-radiant core class waiting for his açaí bowl.

Who knows? We’re eager to be pleasantly surprised. It’s show time.

*Curtain up! Light the lights!
We got nothing to hit but the heights!
I can tell, wait and see.
There’s the bell! Follow me!
And nothing’s gonna stop us ’til we’re through!
Honey, everything’s coming up roses and daffodils!
Everything’s coming up sunshine and Santa Claus!
Everything’s gonna be bright lights and lollipops!
Everything’s coming up roses for me and for you!

“Everything’s Coming Up Roses” song by Rose from the musical Gypsy



46 comments… add one
  • AM


  • Vision_Quest2

    Cher Bono had it right … ” ♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ and the beat goes on ♫ ♬ ♪ ♩ “

  • So…it’s like a mega studio?

  • That was one brilliantly hilarious write-up! ROTFLOL. You’re turning into a hard bitten NYC yoga traditionalist in your old age, Dork 🙂

  • Honomann

    The Wanderlust logo looks eerily like the Starbucks logo. Sounds like they are providing the same product too.

  • This phrase sums it up: “…a completely overblown yoga funhouse that will capitalize on the yogapop bubble and generate loads of money.” Thanks for an entertaining read, YD!

  • Just Curious

    The Anusara teachers in our studio use all the methods to persuade students to go to the Wanderlust to show our support for JF , and if we decided not to go, we would receive tons of phone calls from the community to encourage, plead us to change our minds and join the group . Without JF and his big followers, will Wanderlust continue to enjoy its short– lived success ?

    • Stewart J. Lawrence

      I would support a solemn day-long ceremony that closes with a Buddhist-style self-immolation rite performed by the top 10 yoga celebrities? While the audience is gathered overhead in the rafters performing the Fire Hose Pose.

    • third eye

      How very Landmark Forum of them to make those recruiting calls.

    • Stewart J. Lawrence

      Some children blame Mommy when Daddy leaves. And now that evil Mommy’s gone, maybe Daddy will come back?

      Then again, they could just be hopped up on John’s weed stash. Let’s see what happens when they’re down to stems and seeds again.

      • Vision_Quest2

        So, according to your analogy I see that Jeff Krasno is the stoned, delusional “mother” of Wanderlust … covering his bets on the return of the “Daddy” of his quasi-movement …

        [No, I’m not good at logic. Not the most rational. But I like this psychodrama a whole lot … ]

  • Vision_Quest2

    Yeah, what would Disney World, Disneyland and Euro Disney be without Mickey Mouse …?

    Yes, the Wanderlust logo does look like the bastard child of a Starbucks logo and a Woodstock Music & Art Fair (1969) logo ….

  • Curious

    Has anyone actually seen the studio? Seems like it would be, umm, a pretty well lit practice space if it actually looks like that in real life. And what exactly is the connection between Wanderlust and Anusara, anyway?

  • Interesting

    So, Wanderlust is actually doing what JF SHOULD HAVE done… build in a more affordable centrally located (mid-america that is) location. John’s “Center” was nothing more than a pipe dream of a clearly blinded man with delusions of grandeur. As for the relationship between Anusara and Wanderlust, I would venture to guess that wanderlust will continue to do just fine without Anusara. That team has more successes behind them than just Wanderlust, they seem to know what they are doing and it is doubtful they would over extend themselves. They may have to foot a little more of the bill so to speak, unless of course they can find another sucker will to throw money around to make themselves appear larger than they are. The begging people to come to events was more in regard to the “extra” Anusara events tacked onto wanderlust than the main events.

    Maybe someone from Anusara can tell us how much money they flushed down the toilet at these events, bet it would blow your mind… probably not melt your heart though.

  • Vision_Quest2

    Mark my prophetic words: Wanderlust LIVE will become one of the following:

    A Baptiste-Affiliated studio
    A Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training Center
    A Dharma Mittra Yoga affiliate
    A Jivamukti affiliate
    A Jois Yoga Affiliate
    A “Kula Revolution” (or whatever the name is by then) outpost

    I have no use for studio “brands”

    Just calling it as I see it

    • Vision_Quest2

      The dead giveaway was their terminology: “unorthodox kick-butt restorative class” ….

      That could only be a manifestation of egos combined with playlists … so could latching onto a main brand around which other styles orbit be far behind?

      Anyway, in that sort of environment and ONLY in that sort of environment, I would rather have the kind of restorative class insultingly aimed at us Baby Boomers, thankyouverymuch!

  • Of course, Jenny, you didn’t call a single person with any affiliation to Wanderlust in regards to this story. Not me. Not my partners. Not the new studio. You did no research or you would have known that last night there was a free class for the entire community of Austin teachers and studio owners at the new studio. Or you would have known that the studio is built largely from reclaimed wood in a development area of the city. Never mind the 14 hour days that people with a dream put into it over the last year. Of course, complaining that the blogosphere isn’t real journalism is like listening to your grandpa talk about the Brooklyn Dodgers — when athletes were sportsmen and writers were journalists.

    I don’t know you well but I suspect you’re in your late 20’s or early 30’s — a time people often spend mired in cynicism. I know because I languished there, too. I went to Columbia University with my Wanderlust partners, Schuyler and Sean. We were wide-eyed and idealistic — hell-bent on saving the world. And when reality struck, I spent a dozen years drowning in New York snarkiness. With Wanderlust, we discovered our path to accomplishing some of the high-minded goals of our youth. We think that living mindfully can help change the world. Schuyler and I birthed our kids at home. We dedicated ourselves to eating organically and living as sustainably as possible. Schuyler built one of the most respected studios in the city with one of the most vibrant communities. We try in our daily live to live a life that is good for us, for our children, for the people around us and the earth. And we built Wanderlust on these principles. We strive to create community around mindful living. And through the tireless work of countless young people in a funky office in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Wanderlust has made a very small little mark for itself.

    I know the yoga world is squeamish about business. We believe in conscious business where the bottom line equally values profit and social good. When people conflate growth with “selling out” — what we’re really doing is selling out the yoga community. The yoga community is important. It has a contribution to make. It has something to say to mainstream society. And it’s only going to be heard if there are platforms big enough to give it a strong voice. We need to build institutions, groups, and, yes, festivals and studios that can support mindful living and buttress community and the exchange of important ideas.

    One thing I’ve learned is that 10% of a good idea is having it. Permits and build-outs, mission statements and business models — this is what makes ideas real. You’re undeniably smart. I hope for your sake that you decide to actually create something instead of trying to divide our community for the sake of pithiness. You have a great opportunity with your blog to create community and stimulate important discussion. Until then, you’re just Jenny from the blog.

    If you want to call me and talk about how we can galvanize our community politically in this crucial year or how we might be able to work together long-term to build a mindful voting block then pick up the phone. That is what we spend a good amount of our time thinking about – not groovy playlists. Anyone is free to email me on this at jeff@wanderlustfestival.com.

    I hope this gets you some traffic.

    Jeff Krasno
    Wanderlust Co-Founder

    • abbylou


      I also went to Columbia. I don’t think we were there at the same time though.

      Wanderlust does not appeal to me in the slightest. It’s marketed so hard. It seems really contrived. It doesn’t seem like it’s about bringing people who genuinely love yoga together so much as it is about branding, cultivating an image, and selling a lifestyle.

      “Mindful,” “sustainable,” “conscious,” and”green” are buzz words. Why does there have to be a “yoga community?” Why does the “yoga community” have to make a “contribution,” and why does it have to deliver it’s message to “mainstream society?” (FYI,the kind of yoga associated with Wanderlust is pretty mainstream these days.) That just sounds like babble concocted to fool people into feeling good about buying more things.

      It doesn’t take grand gestures. People, including those who practice yoga, contribute to the universe by how they live their lives each day. It is not necessary to go to a yoga festival to “contribute” or to say something.

      Your response to Jenny makes me even more suspicious of the “yoga community” than I already was .

      • simply yoga

        What you said, abbylou.

    • honomann

      You lost me at name dropping Columbia University.


      • Vision_Quest2

        Wow … I second that …

        School snob, yoga school snob—what’s the difference ?

        Jeff should stick to running a studio and putting on shows; and otherwise he will act like many of the other studio owners; many of whom grub for a buck.

        I am pretty much through with studios; and have been such for nearly a year. And I do yoga regularly.

    • simply yoga

      That’s pretty arrogant, Jeff. Why are you assuming “Jenny” has any intention of “building a mindful voting block?”

      Is your worldview really divided into two such black and white concepts? Either you’re for us or against us?

      If “Jenny” isn’t a political or business animal, then she’s the anti-christ? This (as far as I can tell) is an observational blog. There is snarkiness and plenty of sweet, poignant, funny, informational pieces. Lots of both, from one person’s perspective.

      Whatever interests “Jenny” on any particular day, I assume (not knowing “Jenny”) is what she writes, what she comments on, what she wants to share.

      You’re awfully sanctimonious and your post didn’t accomplish much, unless you consider 1,000 pats on the back for the way you choose to live, an accomplishment.

      Yoga’s been doing just fine for zillions of years and if you think it will be wiped off the planet if you don’t single-handedly promote it, sounds practically delusional.

      “We need to build institutions, groups, and, yes, festivals and studios that can support mindful living and buttress community and the exchange of important ideas.”

      To this, I say… BLECH.

    • noel

      It isn’t necessary to call anybody. She is an outside observer witnessing and then letting us decide or investigate whatever.., go back to your giant yoga cult starship, columbia boy

  • Beth

    Wow, that Jeff dude needs to breathe. You sure know how to piss them off, Jenny from the blog.

    • Vision_Quest2

      LOLOL …. Yup.

      He is either part of the solution or part of the problem.
      Must be tough to have to play it both ways …

      No time to breathe.
      He’s an entrepreneur … NOT that there’s anything wrong with that.

      Excepting, I long to see Wanderlust, Inc. – The Movie when it comes out …

  • Peggy

    I don’t think people should be shamed or intimidated or charged high fees to create community, and who’s to say Yoga Dork isn’t stimulating “important” discussion, oh yeah you Jeff. Don’t tell me how to vote.

  • simply yoga

    Epic fail, Jeff. I was semi-neutral about the whole business (I’ve never been to one of your events and it’s not my bag) until you came on here with your puffed-up, self-righteous, accusatory nonsense.

    Really, check yourself at the door! You’re doing yourself and your mega-adventure no good. No good.

    Just a little free advice.

  • Hanna

    I expect snark and sarcasm from yoga dork but did expect such a snotty reply from the promoter of a yoga festval. Turns me off to going to that studio and fest knowing that my money is going to this guy. Seems pretty thin skinned and make me suspect of his claims about community.

  • simply yoga

    I’d put hard cash on “jenny” being more yogic in her day to day life than Jeff, Inc.

    How many food, bling, bauble, faux sacred art, etc. booths are at these events you create? How much are the vendors paying you for the privilege to sell, and how many over-inflated bucks much will the fools, uh, customers, be forking over for a kale sandwich or mala beads?

    Ka ching!

    Plueeze, paying-through-the-nose for enlightenment, for community, for righteous-living. How much more of this babble can we take?

    Why can’t someone for once just call their business what it is? A fun event where you can dance and sing and let your freak flag fly, do some yoga, some hula hoop, or whatever. Why does it have to be couched in such grandiose rhetoric?

    Just go… make your money, let the kids have some fun, let the yoga stars and the yoga star musicians make some dough. Just call it what it is. It’s ok, really, Jeff. Nothing wrong with being a businessman. People do it all the time. Don’t be ashamed.

    • Vision_Quest2

      Actually, the less-ashamed ones are forced out of the yoga studio business by the market. Don’t wish that on this guy … many people don’t and won’t see the disconnect. Those are the ones who would be attracted to this kind of thing …

  • Yoga Chick

    There is no such thing as “kick butt” Restorative Yoga. It goes against the very nature of Restorative Yoga. I’ll pass on Wanderlust. I found Jeff’s post snarky and dismissive. And anyone who partnered with John Friend and his almighty cultiness is questionable at best. So, Wanderlust ~ you’re dismissed. Good luck grooving on. Some of us will stick to yoga sans the high techness, bright lights, and pseudo yogic phraseology.

    • Vision_Quest2

      … they only call it that because they expect members of Generation Whine to try Restorative out and not fall asleep in it … also may save on props … they have to replicate the “outdoor experience” aesthetically ….

  • noel

    this Jeff guy is seriously tooting his own delusional horn. epic fail is hella right, what a scumbag. I was skeptical of this wanderlust crap, now i know to stay the fuck away. thanks froggie

  • Come on, people now, people now People now, come on, people now, I’m just trying to bring some smug to the lonestar state as my crunchy friends and I sit around and smell our own farts all day. Gahhhhhh, its woo like you don’t care. Well, from now on, I’m only going to associate with other well to do yoga junkies Everyone else is just ignorant, mmkay?

    • Waylon Lewis

      You tell them, Jeff. They are all mean people here and they hate me also. I give them all a thumbs down!

  • Julie

    Hmmm…another self-righteous guy whose name begins with “J” trying to tell me I need join his kula…I mean club…to do yoga right.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  • Just because John and I have the same publicist means nothing.

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