Yoga Gets The Spotlight In Snowmass During Wanderlust Festival

Jul 3, 2014

The Wanderlust Yoga Festival starts in Snowmass on Thursday. Resort officials say hotel bookings are double what they were this time last year in Snowmass because of the festival.
The Wanderlust Yoga Festival starts in Snowmass on Thursday. Resort officials say hotel bookings are double what they were this time last year in Snowmass because of the festival.
Credit Ali Kaukas/Wanderlust

Yogis from around the world will descend on Snowmass Thursday for a festival called Wanderlust. The six year old traveling event brings yoga, live music, lectures and food to the places it visits. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

The Wanderlust Festival started in Lake Tahoe in 2009. This year it’s traveling to seventeen locations including Snowmass, Australia, Chile and Brooklyn. Co-founder Jeff Krasno says the idea came after he and his business partner traveled to Costa Rica for a yoga retreat.

"It was just such an incredibly immersive and transformative experience and we came back so inspired and we wondered whether we could scale what would be the world’s largest yoga retreat."

It started as a music festival with yoga happening on the side. Now, yoga is the focus with classes taught by well-known teachers such as Rod Stryker. Local instructors are part of the festival too, as well as innovative yoga concepts like slacklining and doing yoga on a paddleboard.

It’s more than just yoga. It’s about a healthy lifestyle, Krasno says, so food is part of the event.

"We’re working on developing farm to table dining experiences, a wine tasting experience that will draw from the local environment. So, it will have it’s own character."

Wanderlust primarily attracts people from urban environments. Most of the ticket sales for the Snowmass festival have been to Front Range residents. So, Krasno says, the natural environment is a big draw.

"You get out to Aspen and it’s like, ‘we have you at hello.’ You park your car and you’re out there in the beauty of the Rockies and hopefully you can disconnect and immerse yourself in the natural environment. And, we find after three or four days of that, you’re more apt to go through a bit of a transformation or a change."

Another reason the organizers put Snowmass on their schedule is because they say, there’s a thriving yoga community here. It’s the festival’s first year in Aspen/Snowmass but organizers want to come back. 

Officials at the resort booking company Stay Aspen-Snowmass say Wanderlust will provide a big boost for Snowmass. Hotel bookings there are nearly double what they were at this time last year. The festival wraps up on Sunday.