March 18, 2011

Wanderlust Miami: One Day Down, What Are You Missing? ~ Carmel Hagen

Checking in with Jeff Krasno, co-founder of Wanderlust.

Hammams. Bathrobes. In-pool concerts. Sweaty, hazy yoga by the light of the moon (and the syrupy psychedelics of Pink Floyd). We know it’s not spring break—it’s Wanderlust—but in the words of another man’s vacation-turned-out-of-body experience, “What does it mean?!”

Because we’re taking part in this music-meets-yoga-meets-Miami festival, we checked in with Jeff Krasno, co-founder of Wanderlust and owner of NYC’s Velour Music Group, for some more detailed thoughts on the days to come:

The first Wanderlust I attended was at 6,000 feet, and thirty steps in any direction led me face first into a pine tree. This time around we’re at sea level, and that same distance could lead me face first into a cushy pile of well-tanned silicon. What overall event vibe differences do you think we can expect in Miami?

The Standard is truly an amazing property with hands-down the best bath house in the United States. There has been a commitment at the Standard to yoga and wellness since it opened and there is a community that has developed around this atmosphere. It’s also not pretentious. The Standard provides a unique canvas for us. Have you ever enjoyed a concert while lounging in a pool? Or practiced yoga in a hammam? The offerings vary from burlesque and belly dance classes to drumming workshops to intense asana on a huge deck by the bay.

Tell me about some ‘can’t miss’ highlights of the Wanderlust Miami event lineup.

We’re debuting “Yoga Side of the Moon”—a sweaty, nighttime asana class set to Pink Floyd’s anthemic “Dark Side of the Moon” L.P. We’re bringing in moving lights and hazers. It’s going to be an experience. Additionally, we have Dr. Paul Gannon as a speaker who has developed the most comprehensive and effective cleanse program today. In terms of the yoga lineup, we have an impressive list of yoga instructors coming in from New York in addition to well-known Miami local talent.

You’ve done a lot of work with the Tahoe events to keep Wanderlust as green as possible. What are some of the environmental perks or trade-offs of hosting the Miami event inside a major city as opposed to nature?

We have a comprehensive greening program at Wanderlust that includes everything from recycling and composting, to carbon offsets and carpooling, to bio-diesel for our generators, corn-based cups and flatware, local and organic food and so on. We are trying to move towards a zero waste event and are making substantial steps towards this goal in 2011. However, we are a destination event and people will burn fossil fuels coming to the event. So it’s a work in progress. We are trying.

Event production, especially at this scale, can really un-zen a brotha. Were there any particular mantras/meditations/other spirituality strongholds that kept you sane during the planning process?

Thoughtfulness, mindfulness, learning from others, self-discipline, focus, patience, and simplicity— while I make no claim to have mastered any of these principles, they all are helpful guideposts I can return to again and again. One thing that I’ve discovered is that, like yoga, running Wanderlust is a way of life. It certainly can be a challenge to find balance between Wanderlust and the rest of life. But yoga helps with that too!

Anything else we should know before stepping into The Standard?

You must wear a robe. You must hit the hammam. You must have a drink on the deck.

Wanderlust Festival is a revolutionary yoga retreat and music festival with events in Miami, Vermont and Lake Tahoe. For more info, check out wanderlustfestival.com.

Carmel Hagen does things with words, the internet, and words for the internet. After six years of online journalism, advertising and internet startup experience, she came to yoga seeking to extend the benefits of mindfulness, limitlessness and balance to the innately joyful – though sometimes all-consuming – process of creativity. So far, it’s working.
On Twitter: @carmelelise
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