Wanderlust – Not Your Average Festival

By Courtney DiFiore

Wanderlust

[n] a strong or irresistible desire to
Travel • Practice Yoga • Listen to Music
Eat Well • Be Green • Appreciate Art
and create a community around mindful living


Expect the unexpected at Wanderlust. You’ll be surrounded by like minded people all looking to accomplish the same thing, yet differently. It’s poetic actually. You’ll learn, practice, reflect and feel the uncontrollable positive energy that accompanies every Wanderlust. This 4 day festival exceeds expectations and is best described through beautiful visuals.

I can show you a strong warrior pose. I can tell you where the best view is for a sunrise power vinyasa. I can share my pertinacious desire to explore every corner of the globe. But I can’t show you Wanderlust. It’s something to be experienced.

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I can’t describe the calm that settles at ones feet during a dancer pose. How the earth breaths fresh life into your soul with every Pranayama. Everyone’s Wanderlust will be uniquely their own.

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All walks of life will find their way to Wanderlust Stratton. You’ll meet new people and you’ll learn from them too. Share your wisdom, encouragement, your talents and watch the universe expand with love.

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New experiences will present themselves and those wise enough to accept them walk away enlightened. The beauty behind Wanderlust is its depth. You won’t just get a few fun yoga classes and jam out to live shows. You’ll discover new ways to see, be present and move.

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You’ll be challenged and when you are, I hope you grow. You’ll explore and when you’re through, I hope you still desire more. You’ll try something new and when you do, remember success is never giving up.

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Like I said, not your average summer festival.

Wanderlust Stratton 2015: Brand New Not-to-Miss Activities

Wanderlust Festival is less than a month away! (June 18-21, 2015) Can you believe it? Soon we will channel our inner yogi, jam to live bands, taste local Vermont fare and enjoy all that the Vermont summer has to offer. This year, the Wanderlust crew has added some new activities that you can only find at this amazing festival.

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Wanderlust Stratton 2012

Practice.

  • Meditation. More meditation classes have been added to the diverse schedule. Get your om on! Beginners are welcome.
  • Practice in a brand new environment. A black light venue will be added this year, so get your white clothes ready and stretch it out in this unique space!
  • Soulscape Classes. Classes devoted entirely to the music of The Police and The Grateful Dead are on this year’s roster, designed to unwind the tension of everyday life.
  • Gentle Aerial Yoga and Stargazing: As the sun is setting, a class  lead by Carmen Curtis will practice slow and fluid movements with a hammock while watching the stars.
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Wanderlust Stratton 2014

 Listen.

  • Music. Among an abundance of talented musicians set to rock the stage, this year there will be a Musical Hike with Trevor Hall. Explore Stratton’s beautiful green trails to the sounds of Trevor’s acoustic rock and reggae tunes. Another hike accompanied by the tunes of Jacob Cohen and his cello will also be available this year.

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    Wanderlust Stratton 2011

Explore. 

  • The stars. Wanderlust falls on the eve of summer solstice this year. In a class called “Slooh’s Summer Solstice Celebration in Space,” Wanderlusters will get close-up views of the stars through a large telescope and a hands-on tour of the cosmos. If you have ever seen a clear night sky in Vermont, you know this is one you won’t want to miss.

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    Wanderlust Stratton 2011

Learn. 

  • Learn something new with the Tribal Body Marking and Movement – a partner class with exercised that incorporate acro yoga, Capoeira and balancing movements. Then embrace your artistic side by using special pens and markers to create your own unique designs on the body.
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    Wanderlust Stratton – Summit yoga

Taste.

  • TY KU Sake Tastings: On Thursday and Friday late afternoons, sample four types of award winning sake and learn how to craft your own yummy cocktails.

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And MUCH more: check it out! 

Wanderlust re-dux

By Guinevere Hilton

I walked into my first workshop at Wanderlust at Stratton Mountain with an abundance of body image issues, and a well developed arsenal of was to deal with them. I was ready. I knew that I could find lots of reasons to hate on myself, to compare and despair, to judge, belittle and then hop on the self-improvement train (which for me usually means immediately becoming vegan and ending the day curled up in a ball with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in one hand and a pork chop in another). Not this time. No way. I am 40 now! I’ve got this covered. I have spent the last year making it my mission to accept my body and create a place for others’ to love, celebrate and accept theirs. I figured that the chances of this issue rearing up and dominating my experience were slim to none. I was actually excited to show off how far I’d come.

I may have jumped the gun a wee bit. I walked in to the tent and all around me I saw what I wasn’t: thin, beautiful, born with innate fashion sense and a stylist. I was immediately thrown back to being 20 again: living in New York City, trying to be an actress when the flavor of the times was cookie cutter skinny. I wanted to hide. I actually started to cry on my mat. I was sitting there, about to take a workshop with two of my most favorite teachers, Elena Brower and David Harshada Wagner, and I felt so gross, less-than and ashamed that I was considering walking out. I went to the corner and filmed a little video expressing my dismay and concern. My idea was to turn this experience into content for My Real Yoga Body. Then I watched the video, was horrified by how old I looked and promptly deleted it and went back to my mat to continue weeping.

Class began. David started to lead us through a meditation. He opened with the reminder to move away from “self-improvement” and towards being our best selves. Thank you. I softened a little … which just made me cry more. He kept reminding us that “You deserve the best of life, and life deserves the best of you”.   Elena led us through a powerful asana practice; they tag-teamed taught our group in the most loving, authentic and no-nonsense way. I began to move away, at least a little, from my analyzing, self-improvement mind, and towards a part of me that at least was open to the idea that maybe it doesn’t matter so much that I am not a Lululemon model. Yet. Just kidding. Maybe.

There is a reason I started the My Real Yoga Body project, and it is not because I embrace and exemplify body-positivity. It is because my relationship to my body is my embarrassing Achilles heel. I hate that my body, my desire to be what I am not, is one of my biggest challenges. It is an old and familiar nemesis. And I am ready to, as they say in Buddhism, invite it to tea. And then, as I say in Guinevere-ism, smash it over the head with a scone.

At the end of the workshop, David gave us some tips on enjoying Wanderlust and getting the most out of it. The one that stuck with me was about conserving your energetic budget and being careful what you laid your eyes upon. He noted that there was so much exciting activity, interesting people, and neat stuff to buy that the experience could be exhausting and depleting. This helped me SO much through my time at Wanderlust. I reminded myself again and again to choose wisely. To spend a little time window-shopping, and more time looking at trees, mountains and sky. To spend less time sizing people up and wondering where they got those pants and more time making eye contact, laughing, and listening.

I had an amazing time. In the end, body stories did not dominate my experience. They were tempered and calmed by the yoga, the teachers, and the warm, friendly people I met. They became smaller and joy became larger. And again, I am left grateful for the mystery school that is yoga.

 

About the Author:

g hiltonGuinevere Hilton lives on a big lake in New Hampshire with her two beautiful boys. She is the founder of My Real Yoga Body (myrealyogabody.com, https://www.facebook.com/myrealyogabody, and on Twitter and FB #myrealyogabody.), a home for embracing all the various shapes and flavors that make up real yoga bodies. She is eternally grateful to her yoga practice, love that keeps buoying her up and the constantly surprising nature of life. Xoxo!!

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Insider’s Guide: A Co-Founder’s Tips for Wanderlust Stratton

By Jeff Krasno, Co-Founder of Wanderlust Festival

Our Insider’s Guide series offers new ‘lusters a peek into our festivals and introduces veterans to fresh adventures. In this installment, festival co-founder Jeff Krasno provides his tips & musings for a memorable Wanderlust Stratton. Be sure to check out our first post in this series: 25 Experiences You Don’t Want to Miss (Wanderlust Festival Summer 2014)

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One of the aspects I love about Wanderlust is how each festival takes on the essence of its natural and cultural surroundings. This is particularly true at Stratton Mountain.

The beauty of the Vermont landscape is hushed. The mountains roll, the grass is lush, the sky often heavy. The colors blur like a watercolor and the energy is peaceful, old. If our Tahoe festival is Wagnerian with its high, jagged mountains thrusting into the thin air, then Vermont is more Debussy, impressionistic and dreamy.

Sunset at Stratton Mountain, Vermont

photo by Ashley Daige

Driving around Vermont, it is hard to find a town without a green market. Vermont didn’t so much rediscover the local food movement as it has served as an example for local-based economy. From maple syrup to cheeses to micro-brews, Vermont is the national capital of the cottage and craft industry. Even scaling brands like Cabot continue to work closely with local farmers.

On your way to the festival I highly suggest stopping at the Grafton Cheese Factory, on Route 30, on your drive just out of Brattleboro. See the inner workings of the factory and stock up on some cheese for the trip. A little further down the road, just before you get to Newfane, you can pull off at Dutton’s Farm Stand. Strawberries are perfectly in season during festival time. You can pick your own for CHEAP!

Even as Wanderlust Stratton continues to grow (and this year is going to be the biggest yet), the festival has retained a tight-knit, community feel. Snug in the shadow of the mountain and surrounded by dense summer forest, Stratton gives us a unique opportunity to create an intentional community. As you make the final turns up the access road – local victuals in tow – you’ll see what I mean. Stratton really becomes a little Wanderlust village, with yogis blissfully relaxing on the central lawn and strolling down the cobblestone walkways.

Read the rest of Krasno’s Insider’s Guide at Wanderlust.com

Meet the Women of Stratton – Kristin Powers

By Courtney DiFiore

Blog PictureKristin Powers is yet another amazing woman of Stratton. She was only two years old when she put on her first pair of skis. “My grandparents bought a farm just outside of Killington in the 70’s, so ever since I was born, my family would drive up from New York just about every weekend,” shares Powers. As soon as she was old enough to stand, Powers’ grandparents strapped her into those little red plastic skis and brought her down small hills around the farm. It wasn’t until the age of three that Powers began to hit the real slopes. Her and her grandparents would go to Pico Mountain just about every weekend. “It was a chance to get away and do what we love together as a family,” said Powers.

As Powers grew older, she held onto those wonderful memories of the farm and goes back to meet up with her family as often as she can. Still on skis, Powers likes to explore the whole mountain. “I’d say I’m an all mountain rider. I absolutely love going out early and skiing on the freshly groomed trails,” remarked Powers. She enjoys throwing on her favorite music and cruising around on any trails she can find. Last season was Powers first full season skiing at Stratton and she fell in love with the mountain, the community and the people in it. She began as a Coordinator in Human Resources but after a summer of travel and working in Nantucket, Powers is back in a new position as a Training Specialist. Aside from personally interact with fellow employees, one of Powers favorite parts of the job is “having the opportunity to walk a few steps out of my office and be right at the base of the mountain.”

Powers is so into winter sports that she tried her luck with snowboarding last season and fell in love with that too. “It definitely helped that I have some great friends, who happen to be instructors, to get me into it (snowbaording),” Powers told me. “Now, I want to say I’m a hybrid, but I’ll never be able to give up skiing.” Powers is one of those people that love adventure and is willing to try something new, which is why it was no surprise to me that she tried snowboarding too. Powers is now dabbling in the parks, “hitting the baby box last season is probably my highlight.”

Her need for adventure goes far beyond the mountain. “I’m working towards my goal of traveling to every country in Central America,” shares Powers. She’s also looking to get her yoga certification in the near future. Her spare time is usually comprised of yoga, so that makes sense. Powers also enjoys her time spent with friends, hiking, wandering around art galleries, swaying to the rhythms of live music and basically anything that takes place outdoors. I’m glad to see that her wanderlust led her to Stratton, Vermont. Where will it lead her next?

A Vinaigrette that screams “Summer!”

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By Myra Foster

With four Farmer’s Markets in my path each week, there’s no challenge to meeting my daily quota of vegetables without ever cracking a V8.

Ruby lettuce. Baby turnips. Chioggia beets – they look like candy canes and roast up ever so sweet. Fava beans, elusive but so worth the hunt.

Toss it all together with Chef Alex Shinn’s Wanderlust vinaigrette, pour a glass of pinot gris and say “summer!”

Alex created this velvety vinaigrette, lively with fresh herbs, for the Wanderlust farm-to-table dinner. We all wanted the recipe. And he was happy to oblige. Thanks Alex!

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This batch serves a crowd but can be easily adapted.

WANDERLUST Vinaigrette
Blend together:
2 cups Champagne vinegar
6 cups EVOO
½ cup Dijon mustard
½ cup minced shallots
½ cup Vermont maple syrup
¼ cup each of fresh oregano, thyme and chervil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

*Guest post by Myra Foster 

Wanderlust Recap!

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By Courtney DiFiore

The much anticipated Wanderlust weekend has finally come and gone. More than four thousand people filled the resort for this multi-day yoga and music event. With so many eager to master the art of yoga, or if you’re like me (a newbie) explore the world of yoga, Wanderlust was able to cater to all. Classes ranged from yoga, hikes/run and meditation to hoop/slackline, lectures and dance. There was even yoga on horses! Yes. You read right. Yoga. On. Horses. That and yoga on paddleboards may have been some of the most popular classes in fact.

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Let’s not forget the music however!  Integrated everywhere, music plays a huge roll within Wanderlust. DJ Drez threw down beats on some yoga classes during the day, and by night, he was rocking ‘The Greatest Place’ tent. Additional performances included, Quixotic, Caravan Palace, Sarah NeuFeld, Femi Kuti & The Positive Force, and a long list of others.

Aside from the many classes around the mountain, the Village was also the place to be. There were so many great vendors with awesome products. There were body scrubs and oils (all organic of course), Henna, yoga swag (known by many as clothing), dairy/soy/lactose free samples (which I particularly enjoyed, being sensitive to all three) and so much more! To sit here and list them all could very well take the day because there’s so much to say about each (all good too!), but I’ll leave you with that and add one more thing. To everyone who was a part of this year’s Wanderlust at Stratton, THANK YOU! I hope everyone found their true north.

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Welcome to Wanderlust 2013 – Day 1

By Courtney DiFiore

The sun rose on Stratton, illuminating the mountain in all its glory, giving light to thousands of yogis. Greeting the sunrise, yoga enthusiasts, like camels, carry their life on their backs. Armed with water and a yoga mat (or two!), crowds form and a calming, zen energy coats the mountain. This is Wanderlust.

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Day 1: The morning began with a slew of classes: meditative hikes, mindful yoga, slack lining and hooping. Those who weren’t partaking in workshops were seen wandering the village. Lined with vendors, the cobblestone path plays host to a variety of tents, free samples of yummy (and healthy!) treats, handmade goods, water stations, henna and more. As the day progressed, more and more people showed up to join in on this celebration of music and yoga. When the sun

finally did begin to set on the first night of this four day event, the mountain was then lit by only sparklers and fire from the quixotic dancers at the opening ceremony. The pond reflected a mirror image of the crowd as it gazed upon the dancers, drummer and violinist.  The fire dimmed to a light glow and the sparklers died, signaling a change of venue to The Greatest Place (our main tent in the base area). There, the celebration continued into the late hours of the night with a concert full of spectacular music, hooping, yoga and dance.

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Wanderlust began in Squaw Valley, California back in 2009 and came to Stratton Mountain, Vermont in 2011. Additional locations that this amazing festival travels includes Copper Mountain in Colorado, North Shore in Ohio, Whistler in British Colombia, CAN, Tremblant in Quebec, CAN and Chillan, Chile. The hope is that, this festival continues to spread far and wide. There’s talk of sharing this special event with all the Kiwis and Aussies in New Zealand and Australia within the next few years.

Though 2009 marks the first Wanderlust and 2008 is credited for being the year the idea manifested, “the germ of the idea was before then,” says Wanderlust Co-founder, Sean Hoess. Jeff Krasno, another founder of Wanderlust (the ‘O’ in Co-founder you could say), has been running a music company with Hoess for the last ten years; meanwhile, his wife, Schuyler Grant has made a name for herself as a well-known yoga instructor. Grant brought Hoess and Krasno into the world of yoga and all that it entails as she took them from yoga retreat to yoga retreat.

Hoess describes his experiences within the world of yogis by saying, “This is a passionate community. People really care about their bodies and their health and living a sustainable life, but they also really have a great time. They want to go out and dance and have a good time and drink a bunch of wine, you know, like anyone else. So we (Hoess and Krasno) started to think, you know, God this could be a festival actually.”

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And so it began. Hoess and Krasno had all the skills needed to manage the music, event and PR side of things and lucky for them; Grant had an extensive history with yoga, leading this trio to create the largest multi-day music and yoga festival in the world. Day one is in the books, giving everyone a taste of Wanderlust as we look to continue enjoying the great music, fun yoga and good vibes.

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