It’s my yoga, I can party if I want to.
Didn’t you know, yoga is a party! Well, it can be. According to reports from Wanderlust this summer, the yoga festival grounds are turning into a real humdinger of a hoedown complete with music, dancing, booze and contorted shenanigans. Oh yes, and yoga. We’re talking the new hippie/hipster scene to rival the peace-loving rockers of Woodstock, the far-out art creating community of Burning Man and the free to “just enjoy life, man” sensibility (we mean booze and drugs!) of both. (We totally just heard some of you crazy kids say awe-sum! We caught the eye roll, too.)
“We realized that there is a crowd that likes to dance and drink, but they are also serious about their yoga,” says co-founder Jeff Krasno, who conceived of the festival with his yoga-instructor wife, Schuyler Grant, and college band mate and business partner, Sean Hoess.
That first event, held at Lake Tahoe, featured mostly traditional yoga classes and lectures during the day and music at night. Four years later, Wanderlust is taking on a life of its own, say the founders. “Each year more artists show up — they create temporary art installations around the grounds — and we’ve added some alternative yoga offerings.” Classes like slack-line yoga and hoops yoga (a combination of yoga, hula hooping and dancing) are packed.
Let’s be honest, there’s always been room for deviation and getting high in yoga culture, and not just from the increased oxygen. Just ask the Beatles or the Cobra Club in Brooklyn or the lot of us who detox and promptly retox with a little post-yoga vino or brewski (hey, it’s hot outside) or prefer to belt out a favorite Journey song in the middle of Surya Namaskar A on occasion.
But, it’s an interesting thing when hundreds of people gather together in a mini yoga village on a 4 day retreat to “deepen” their practice with crowded celeb-teacher taught classes, drunken indie rockirtan dance parties and loopy hoops yoga, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. And vendors. Don’t forget the multitude of vendors. Or perhaps that is the perfectly normal reaction to today’s growing yogapop culture of big happy fun? And why can’t we have fun?
LA YogaWorks teacher Sara Ivanhoe explains that it is simply a uniting of yoga and enjoying life:
“I like the part of the Wanderlust message that you can practice yoga and still enjoy life. In our culture we have lost sight of the fact that the practice of yoga is meant to serve us and make us feel better, spiritually and physically,” she says. “Yoga shouldn’t be punishment; it shouldn’t be about whether you are doing it ‘correctly.'”
We opted out of the festivities this year, because we’re having too much fun hanging here with all of you! But we’re curious what your experience was if you went. Was it über awesome? Did you leave enlightened or burnt out?
Did you attend other yoga fests this summer?
We’d love to hear about it.
burning man image photo credit: scottlondon.com
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