Seriously? People do this for fun? To relax?
After two more minutes of my trembling, tenuous positioning, our teacher instructed us to “return to a Down Dog.” That’s yoga-talk for the Downward Facing Dog pose, a position that would have you place your hands and feet flat on the floor and bend 90 degrees at the waist to form a perfect right triangle with your mat. My Down Dog looked more like a trapezoid.
“Let’s come out of the Down Dog and go into Chaturanga,” my teacher instructed. Chaturanga sounded like a South American celebratory dance to me, so I again snuck a peek at the teacher’s pet on the purple mat in front of me. She was doing a pushup. A Chaturanga is basically a pushup, and nothing like a festive Rio de Janeiro beach dance.
As we repeated the Down Dog/Chaturanga/Sun Salutation/Warrior Pose choreography again and again, sweat dripping steadily by now, I found myself wondering why so many people are into this yoga thing. It’s basically stretching and exercising, I deduced. What’s the big deal? And how on earth could they center a four-day festival around it?
That’s right. There is a four-day-long festival dedicated to yoga. It’s called Wanderlust, and the formula calls for plopping a bunch of yoga-heads on Stratton Mountain, supplying them with endless yoga classes and presentations all day, feeding them excellent food in the evening and entertaining them with great live music at night. It all happens June 21–24, 2012.
If you’re picturing (like I was, at first) a couple of yoga instructors in a rolling field, surrounded by a few hundred festival goers while a handful of musicians strum acoustic guitars, you’re WAY off. Thousands of people show up to take classes and hear lectures from dozens and dozens of world-renowned instructors. Not one, but two big stages are set up for national musical acts. There’s a vendor village, several bigtop tents erected for yoga classes and a cinema.