Combine great yoga, outdoor music concerts and a stupendous mountain setting: take a family vacation at one of the Wanderlust yoga festivals.
Expect to find excellent teachers, both "big names" known in the world of yoga, and teachers drawn from the local area for each festival. Guests have multiple choices from a range of different styles in every time slot, and there are four or five time slots every day.
Classes reflect the enormous variety of yoga classes that exist today, from power classes that will satisfy any cravings for a physical workout, all the way to restorative yoga, yin yoga, and meditation classes. The schedule also includes many intriguing choices -- such as Chakra Bija Vinyasa, which combined asanas with chanting the bija (seed sounds) for the chakras 108 times. There are classes on handstands, on standing (tadasana,) on The Subtle Body, and on Awakening the Luminous Mind in the Buddhist tradition. These examples are from the Whistler Wanderlust, but all locations have an impressively varied schedule.
Also at the Whistler Wanderlust, many yoginis – and observers -- were interested in “Slackline Yoga”, which is is basically described as “yoga on a tightrope”, and which took place in an outdoor area. Likewise, AcroYoga (which mixes acrobatics and yoga) took place outdoors in a “Play Circle”.
The full festival price typically includes a four-day weekend; at Whistler, this meant a full day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and on Sunday four shorter time slots that ended mid-afternoon, at a price of $475 (2012.) any guests bought a day pass for $99.50, which gave access to four or time time-slots for yoga classes during the day, plus evening entertainment. (One day had four time-slots with two-hour classes, some had five time periods, each an hour and a half long.)
Wanderlust's founders come from a background in music concerts, and music is a big focus of the festivals. Guests can expect that evening and night-time entertainment is going to be a highlight.
Free Outdoor Concerts: these events, typically with many kids in attendance, are fun for festival-goers and for the local host community. For instance, Krisha Das, whose music is played in countless yoga classes, gave outdoor concerts at multiple Wanderlust locations in 2012. On another evening at Whistler in 2012, Sean Corn and Michael Franti mixed yoga and music in a conce"> in a park.
Ticketed Music Performances: Wanderlusters can extend the night into the wee hours if they wish. Sample performers in 2012 included Ziggy Marley and Thievery Corporation.
Families are welcome at Wanderlust festivals! As noted above, kids can enjoy the free outdoor concerts along with their parents, and kids 10 & under have access to the festival grounds and musical performances when accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Wanderkind Kids Programs: this day-time on-site program for ages 4 to 10 was offered at the U.S. locations for Wanderlust in 2012, with activities such as yoga (of course), music, arts and crafts, hula hooping. Daily price was $50.
Mountain Resort Kids Programs: families can also sign up for the childcare and kids programs that are typically offered at a mountain resort. For instance, Stratton in Vermont offered childcare for ages 6 weeks to three years. At Whistler in 2012, kids could sign up for the summertime adventure programs offered at Blackcomb and Whistler mountains.
Note that kids must be 11 or older to attend scheduled activities such as yoga classes and Speakeasy talks; a valid ticket is required and minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in all yoga venues. (2012 info.)
Other Features at Wanderlust Include:*
- A Speakeasy venue for lectures
- Interesting movies that relate to yoga, Buddhism, etc.
- A Farm to Table dining experience (at an extra charge)
- Hiking: short hikes were offered as part of the daily schedule in same time slot as a yoga class; for example, a two-hour Morning Meditation Hike included hiking, music, and time for meditation; longer excursions were available also.
In 2012, Wanderlust had four locations: Stratton Mountain Ski Resort in Vermont, Copper Mountain in Colorado, Squaw Valley - North Lake Tahoe in California, and Whistler BC. The first Wanderlust was in Squaw Valley was in 2009; Wanderlust Vermont started in 2011, and 2012 was the first year for Copper Mountain and Whistler. Look for repeats to be announced for the upcoming year.
*Always check for updates!
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary experiences for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.