Grunge youth

Om...mmmmmmmmm

Have you been to a yoga festival? If the answer is yes, you should add this one to your list. If the answer is no, you should start your list with this one. If this sort of thing is your cup of tea, that is. I suspect for some yogis, yoga festivals are just a bit much. But for others, like me, on any given day, sweating in a packed studio alongside ten, twenty-five, a hundred people is such an emotional, beautiful experience. Why wouldn’t a yoga festival, where hundreds upon hundreds of yogis dance together in a sea of people and vibration, moving to a shared set of asanas no matter the branch you practice or the limb in which you most often exist—exist in for now anyway, since, hopefully, the longer you practice and live yoga on and off the mat, you learn more and more about the philosophy, boundless ideas, relating to the world around you—discussing life goals, morality, ethics and self-discipline, potentially similar (or dissimilar? That’s fine too.) worldviews, the larger sense of community, why would that not be stimulating and contribute to the greater picture of yoga as life?

Wanderlust is the nation’s leading conscious lifestyle festival. There are only four of them this summer, and we’re lucky enough to have one at Copper Mountain Ski Resort, in Copper, CO, July 5-8…this festival is your July 4th after-party. The timing couldn’t be more right to celebrate the birthday of our country and our declaration of independence from Great Britain, oh so, so long ago. Yet, so not long ago, in the grand scheme of things. I really, really hope our forefathers would be proud. In a time of political unrest—and when isn’t it?? I think about a quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero when people suggest that decline in moral standards and human behavior is a modern manifestation: “Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.”—thoughts of and acts of freedom and equality can make one feel pretty grateful to have certain liberties. Or disappointed, depending on how you look at the everyday struggles, the social and the political strife and challenges of our time. Though, I’ll err on the side of optimism and confidence in mankind. Whoa, different topic for a different day…I digress…

Wanderlust: Breath In. Rock Out (the festival slogan, not my words). It’s an interesting, exciting lineup of yoga and music, including Ani DiFranco, Ziggy Marley, Beats Antique, Gramatik, Krishna Das, MC Yogi, Quixotic. The first time I saw Ziggy Marley was in Telluride, CO. He opened for Michael Franti—everyone’s got to see Spearhead at least once, don’t they? More times than that and you hear the same stories over and over from Franti, just insert the name of the most current war our military is spearheading…bring the power to the peaceful is right, tallest of tall men!—and the following day, they played a free show in town park to honor the first anniversary of the War in Iraq. It was a day to be earth-aware and, above all, cognizant of the role our country plays on it: crunchy, peaceful, awe-inspiring, sad and sorrowful for lives lost, optimistic and hopeful for lives saved, bright, sunny, warm, snowcapped mountain view—you know, a perfect luminous day in March in colorful Colorado.

The mission of the Wanderlust festival is to provide an ethereal retreat inclusive of powerful yoga, inspirational music, dancing, organic farm to table dining with some of the country’s top chefs and winemakers, a thought provoking speaker series and outdoor activities. In the vein of ethereal retreats, there’s a beauty bar on site to sample hair and skin care products from some of the country’s greatest organic, natural and high-quality botanical beauty lines. Huh? The best you can get at most music festivals is maybe a little running-water and hand-sanitizer station outside the Porta-Potty things. Absolutely thankful for that amenity, though, you bet.

There are yoga-plus tickets available and music-only tickets available: it’s time to schedule your activities now since they fill up fast. With yogis like Deepak Chopra, Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Baron Baptiste, Gurumkh Kaur Khalsa and Rodney Yee leading, the yoga surely will be breathtaking and sentient, and with motivational speakers like Aron Ralston—you recognize the name, he’s the mountaineer who amputated his own arm…Between a Rock and Hard Place is right, sheesh— and political activists like Eli Pariser, your worldview just cannot remain small after four days at Wanderlust in Copper Mountain beginning the day after the day that commemorates our liberty and freedom.

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