Host of Wanderlust, for its fifth consecutive year, Squaw Valley is quite possibly one of the most beautiful and sacred areas of North America. Rich with history and natural beauty, Squaw is one of the of the most magnetic places on the planet.
Drawing world renowned yoga instructors, speakers, musicians and performers, Wanderlust organizers seek to spread yoga love, sharing the benefits of yoga through diverse modes. One of the most prominent sponsors of the event was Lucy, making stylish woman’s active wear. The creatively adorned Lucy tent, hosted yoga instruction all weekend and was also host to Krishna Das, on Sunday. Known for his seamless integration of beautiful, nostalgic melody with traditional Hindu kirtan, his voice and that of his counterpart, Nina Rao, plus beautiful instrumentals, it was one of many blissful moments that weekend and a great way to end the event.
Thursday evening hosted some of the best musical acts of the entire weekend. Electrifying was the performance of dynamic, Quixotix. Challenging the constraints of one specific art form, this collaboration of artists from various disciplines including, aerial acrobatics, dance, fashion, film, music and visual f-x. Testing all performance boundaries with electrifying visual stunts, and melodic, instrumental and bass fusion, they incredible segue into the headliner for the evening, Beats Antique.
Including new tracks from, Elektrafone, as well as older favorites, the audience stayed entranced by the visuals, while completely letting go to the heart strings of the beat. Sidecar Tommy, & David Satori bring together a fusion of brass bands, string quartet, drums, glitch, dubstep electronica, while music producer & performer, Zoe Jakes seductively captivated the audience with an integration of belly dancing fused with spontaneous & choreographed movement of both disciplinary and cultural dance.
Wanderlust invited a variety of different performers to the valley. With creative, digitally mastered music and visuals of Shpongle, to the soft, nostalgic melodies of Ziggy Marley, the diverse genres offered something for everyone.
Staring at KT22 while I stood in warrior one, I was reminded of this place during the winter. I’m very familiar with Squaw Valley on a blistery and cold, winter’s morning, after copious amounts of snow have fallen. I feel blessed to have experienced awakening to the sound of dynamite; knowing there are hardworking ski patrol on the mountain making it safe so that you can seamlessly float down fresh powder once you’ve made it to the top of the mountain. The grace of connectedness that ties me to this mountain in the winter, creates a deep reverence for this space that carries through the summer.
I believe there were many of us out there that weekend with sincere gratitude for the beauty of the space. The mountain illuminated with bright July sun, with all types of people from every walk of life hanging out. Those new to yoga, and those deeply devoted to their practice, participated in Wanderlust, and no two experiences were the same. That’s what I love about this festival, between the yoga, healing, music, dancing, shopping & eating, there is something for everyone. Whether you were in the tea house, or just outside overlooking Dreamweaver’s nest, admiring the world’s largest stringed instrument, the Earth Harp, the only one like it in the world, the moment was memorable. The Earth Harp strung from the temple last year at Burning Man and was also featured on America’s Got Talent.
Also there was the Prana Shala tent, where I hung out with Janet Stone and D.J. HyFive on Sunday afternoon. Practicing devotional , asana, pranayama, mantra and yoga nidra. We praised divine light and gave gratitude for our lives, with some beautiful chanting to Ganensha~ followed by prayer and mediation on removing ourselves from ourselves, releasing fears and calming our minds. As the story of Ganensha translates, he is the remover of obstacles.
It was my first time ever practicing with Janet. I had heard so many wonderful things about her over the years. After class, I felt transformed. Her classes are designed to remove perceived obstacles from your life; uplifting you into a state of bliss.
With years of teaching experience, and hours on her mat being inspired by Janet Stone and many others, Shaelah Morris, owner of Studio Tahoe in Truckee, has developed a unique teaching style, helping you to melt away your stresses and tensions. With a style all her own, at Wanderlust, Shaelah taught Love Warrior Flow, definitely not a typical vinyasa flow, integrating bhakti chanting, sweet beats, strengthening, balance, sweat & stretching. Shaelah was just named the Lululemon Lake Tahoe Showroom, Ambassador and was honored at a party hosted by Lululemon, the Friday evening of Wanderlust at Plumpjacks. Both teaching conscious evolution, Janet & Shaelah’s classes are personally empowering; feeling the connectivity with self and surroundings. By just being present and going with it, you’ll receive all the benefits.
There were countless other classes to explore at Wanderlust. If feeling sore from all the chaturangas, and memorable minutes in ukatasana, a relaxing afternoon at the pool enjoying the music of DJ Asultany and DJ Dragonfly, overlooking Lake Tahoe was the perfect place to be. Another highlight of my time spent at high camp, were those practicing acro yoga and also a couple of very flexible and talented performers of Quixotix; taking backward bending to a completely different level.
Squaw is now a bit quieter, though it still buzzes with summer tourists, but soon the days will get shorter, the nights cooler. Before we can get too excited for next year’s Wanderlust, we await and hope for, the most gracious blessing of mother earth to the Sierras; a huge winter.
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