Wanderlust 2010 kicks off yoga, music and art celebration | SierraSun.com

Wanderlust 2010 kicks off yoga, music and art celebration

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

Jason Shueh/Sierra SunVisitors strike a stretch at Elena Brower's Anusara Yoga: From Precision to Potency class on Friday morning.

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. and#8212; Sheltered beneath a stretch of canopy, the arms are rising. The palms are lifting, the fingers gently spreading like a slow bud of pedals. The scene is a panorama of men and women with closed eyes, looking as if they were awaiting some sign from Granite Chief, Squaw Valley’s 9,050-foot peak towering just beyond.

Yet, no sign is given. Instead, the static of a microphone bursts to life. It’s the voice of Elena Brower, a certified Anusara yoga teacher and New York City resident, giving finger-by-finger, toe-by-toe instructions. All of it part of her class, Anusara Yoga: From Precision to Potency, and more broadly, part of Squaw Valley USA’s 2010 Wanderlust festival.

The festival, taking place from July 7 to Aug. 1, is a gathering of musicians, artists and yoga gurus from around the nation and a four-day Mecca for the devout yoga enthusiast.

and#8220;This is a festival combining my two favorite loves, yoga and music, in an amazing space,and#8221; said Jana Kilgore, section manager for the festival’s Anusara Village.

Kilgore, a certified Anusara yoga instructor from Berkeley, Calif., said she came to the festival to share the style of Anusara yoga with other yoga enthusiasts and to enjoy the festival’s eclectic atmosphere.

and#8220;Anusara is a very intelligent system in using universal principals of alignment to really help everyone to experience the best in themselves,and#8221; Kilgore said. and#8220;So much growth and transformation comes out of these types of weekends and this weekend of Wanderlust especially.and#8221;

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Tahoe local Shannon Duclos, owner of Lotus Yoga in Tahoe City, said while there are many reasons for her to be at the festival, yoga education and outreach is the main draw.

and#8220;It’s a great event that brings thousands of yogis together from California to New York and it’s just an introduction to all different styles of yoga,and#8221; Duclos said.

She said the event is a unifying for locals in the Tahoe area whether they participate in yoga exercises or not.

and#8220;It’s just bringing the community together like Tahoe City and Truckee and bringing people like me here, a small business owner,and#8221; Duclos said.

In her studio Duclos said she hopes to add a few new styles taken directly from the festival such as Anusara to combine with Lotus Yoga studio’s Power Yoga, Hot Yoga and Core Power Yoga techniques.

Apart from Wanderlust’s buffet of exhibition booths, concession stands and its checkerboard sprawl of yoga mats, the festival also boasts a variety of uniquely designed tents containing everything from meditation lectures to professional artwork. In one such tent sit Mike Russek and Debrah Vogt, art aficionados and co-owners of Dialect, a Los Angeles-based modern art gallery.

The duo transported more than $93,000 of professional pieces from L.A. for the event, arranged and hung within the white canvassed walls of a makeshift mobile gallery.

and#8220;We love selling art. We love bringing it to people. We love giving people this experience where they find something and they make a connection with it,and#8221; Russek said.

He said Wanderlust facilitates that type of artistic connection where visitors aren’t limited to one type of art, music or activity.

and#8220;Unlike a traditional gallery experience, this experience becomes a little more than simply walking into a galley. It’s got something going on outside of it as well,and#8221; Russek said.

Many of the pieces on display he said were chosen for the upbeat atmosphere of the festival goers. Artwork within the gallery ranged from traditional mediums such as acrylics and oil to contemporary mediums such as laser etchings.

and#8220;Mike and I had the dream and the vision a two years ago to create a modular art gallery and travel around the world with it. So this is kind of us getting closer to the vision,and#8221; Vogt said.

Vogt said they opened their gallery late Thursday night and have already received a great response and support from both the Squaw Valley resort and the visitors.

and#8220;It’s been awesome we’ve had a great response, we pretty much pulled down the curtains and started selling work,and#8221; Vogt said.

Checking sound controls as he holds his guitar, Frank Fitzpatrick is preparing to accompany musician Steve Gold and his band, a self-described and#8220;alchemical blend of American blues and spirituals, folk pop, world and Kirtan music.

Fitzpatrick, a music producer from L.A., said he made the pilgrimage to the festival to promote the integration of yoga and music and especially to promote his all-star benefit CD series, titled “Yoga Revolution” featuring artists such as Sting, Anoushka Shankar, Seal and Sheryl Crow.

Fitzpatrick said proceeds for the CD will provide free yoga and fitness classes to kids and to the public at more than 1,000 participating studios throughout North America.

and#8220;Yoga and music both help you to balance a connection with your inner self and help you live a more peaceful and balanced life,and#8221; he said. and#8220;We’re just trying to teach people about it and bring the awareness up,and#8221; he said.

For more about the festival, including a full schedule of yoga classes, concerts and more, visit http://www.wanderlustfestival.com.