The theme of the weekend was mindfulness; having an awareness of your mind and body was the intention for most. Not only to perfect your warrior and crow poses, but to become more cognizant of how one’s practice could contribute to the overall well-being of their life. It was not your typical festival; less crazy costumes and more yoga pants, organic food and probiotic samples instead of corn dogs and beer vendors, and hours of yoga, lectures, and hikes instead of drug and booze binges. A view of the mountains swept the skies and a sense of peace carried through from Thursday to Sunday.
Against popular belief, the yogi lifestyle does not consist of sitting with your legs crossed in meditation. While a calm mind is the foundation to a strong practice, there is more to it. Throughout the weekend, our physical strength was tested from two to four hours of classes. We started the weekend with a beginners Vinyasa class; it was important to have our basic poses perfected (downward/upward dog, chair pose, warriors). Every instructor had at least one assistant with them who would come and correct your pose to ensure you gained the most out of the class. Other classes we took included Yoga Sculpt which incorporated weights, Detox Flow, and our favorite Yoga FM. Yoga FM was light-hearted vinyasa class with soft rock hits from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s with a petite curly-haired instructor that couldn’t hold a note, hilariously entertaining. Unlike a hard workout at the gym, a yoga practice is followed by a shavasana, perhaps the most important part of a practice, where organ and muscle restoration takes place after stretching and twerking your body into foreign poses. After a physically demanding practice, lay on your back with hands and legs spread at a 45 degree angle, focusing on the breath and bringing life and calmness back into your soul.
There were some incredible guests present at the first Copper Mountain Wanderlust Festival. Tim Ryan, the only Congressman who is an open practitioner of mindfulness spoke about the benefits of a healthy mind and body and the overall improvements our nation may have if more people were open to a mindful lifestyle. Aron Ralston, the real life James Franco from 127 Hours spoke and left those present feeling a sense of purpose and drive. After being pinned against a boulder in Utah’s canyon country for six days in solitary, he freed himself by taking a multi-tool to his arm. Deepak Chopra, New York Times best-seller and global leader and pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine, spoke to a large crowd Sunday afternoon. Sponsors like lucy activewear, Luna, Prana, Bhakti Chai, YogaAnatomy.net among others contributed to the down time between classes.
The music scene at night was nothing like Bonnaroo; it was as if the village had a curfew and only the reckless ones were found dancing in the lucy tent. Performers Quixotic had a circus on stage; if it weren’t for the Colorado fire ban I’m certain they would have had a flame-thrower to complete their act. Beats Antique performed Friday night followed by Gramatik who played twice that weekend. Elephant Revival played to the early weekend crowd on Thursday. Ziggy Marley and his huge band filled the tent on Saturday with positive vibes, and MC Yogi spit his lyrics of love, equality, and balance and paid homage to the Beastie Boys.
A media grounds tour with co-founders Jeff Krasno and Sean Hoess shed some light on the vision of Wanderlust and how the festival came about from a thought to reality. With other locations around the country, the Copper Mountain location just seemed right. So where did the name “Wanderlust” come from? Jeff and Sean explained it as the innate desire to travel, but the metaphorical meaning is so travel to know thyself; a spiritual travel. Regardless of how in touch a person is with their spirituality, at some point in the weekend every person experienced a sense of clarity and understanding. In all, the weekend was a peaceful getaway from the daily grind and allowed those present to get in touch with themselves.
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