Wandering Wanderlust. ~ Anthony Actis

Via elephant journal
on Jul 10, 2012
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Moments ago I arrived at my house in Golden, Colorado from the Wanderlust Festival at Copper Mountain. After a somewhat long, congested drive, I’ve been able to process what I’ve experienced and gained from the weekend.

My first realization happened upon my arrival Thursday afternoon.

I felt really awkward for only buying passes for the music. In fact, I didn’t attend a single yoga class the entire time. Perhaps this simply demonstrates my frugality, as there were many magnificent yoga teachers at the festival.

Something inside me simply had no interest in paying several hundred dollars for the ticket though.

I watched, loitered, observed, meandered, mingled, hiked, and danced to great tunes, but no yoga.

It seems obvious that one may feel a bit out of place at a yoga festival without, well, doing the whole yoga bit. But the feeling was rather strange, beyond what I would have anticipated. While I haven’t generally attended large yoga festivals in the past, I have been to a few.

This one felt different, as if social behavior had somehow regressed to grade school.

Packs of [brand x] wielding yogis and yoginis moved throughout the festival grounds in cliques. For the most part it felt quite closed off, a secret club of sorts.

Individual interactions with strangers went about as expected. Wonderful people with beautiful smiles and open hearts were willing to share a few moments of their time in friendly discourse, speaking as if we were decade-old friends catching up.

I even left the weekend with several new acquaintances and a couple new friends.

I had the privilege of meeting Waylon Lewis himself, and hearing him speak about how individuals in the yoga community can better serve the world. I somewhat strangely met elephant journal’s Lindsey Block and shared an amazing conversation with her over an early morning hike.

Currently, I am a little confused about the dichotomy of Wanderlust’s vibes between the micro and macro scales, between the bulk group of attendees and the individual.

Why was there such a large discrepancy? Certainly large groups cannot really avoid anonymity, but I think the secret password must have been left at home with my yoga mat.

The weekend was relaxing and enlightening. I’ve learned a lot about my own perceptions toward the yoga community and its different manifestations. I may not have practiced asana at the various classes, but I was able to marvel at magnificent trees, dirty my feet on trails, see my breath in the cool morning air, as well as meditate and write secluded in nature.

Time in Colorado’s mountains works as excellent therapy for the mind and body.




Anthony Actis is starting up the next chapter of his life as a funemployed youngster and graduate student with ideas and dreams that make him dangerous to conventional society. He is preparing to drive from England to Mongolia to raise money for The Lotus Children’s Centre in Ulaanbaatar, and have himself a proper adventure. He is a scientist, an engineer, a philosopher, a yogi, an adventurer, sometimes a bit of a lush, and completely drawn toward everything associated with his native homeland of Colorado. He finished a 200-hr teacher training in Denver but wants to grow his personal practice and knowledge further before teaching. As a citizen of the world, he is enamoured with francophile culture, asking difficult questions, people watching, airports, being uncomfortably polite and courteous, early morning asana, existentialism, pain au chocolate, fake mustaches, awkward facial expressions, and Oxford commas. Feel free to connect via my travel blog or Facebook.


Editor: Thaddeus Haas

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10 Responses to “Wandering Wanderlust. ~ Anthony Actis”

  1. cathywaveyoga says:

    I would really like to hear mor eof how and why 'this one felt different as though social behavior had regressed to grade school".
    The clothes?
    The ages?
    The shapely bodies?
    That groups were rushing around from one class to another?
    Why did you use 'cliques"?

    I clicked onthis article with appreciation of wanderlust and what I believe can be offered there. I am saddened that you ar e typpfying so many people with no apparent reason. I can nto attend a full festival this year, but Im going to a one day and next year a longer one and I probably will go the least cost package with some yoga.

  2. Anthony says:

    Hi Cathy,

    In reference to the behavior regression, I primarily am meaning that I perceived there to be cliques of people that didn’t really interact or mingle very much between each other. It came across as different social groups within the yoga community that kind of kept to themselves.

    Perhaps another component was that the grounds did not really have a central area to pass time, so people were constantly dispersed. I don’t think it was so much anything about the clothes, their individual bodies or even the festival activities. I’m not really sure why, but I spoke with a few people who also detected a similar vibe and behavior with the weekend.

    I think Wanderlust is a great festival, and like I stated, I did really enjoy myself.

    I hope that my asking about the discrepancy between group mentality in the yoga community (as I have perceived the weekend to have been) and the individual is not coming across as typifying the people themselves. The social behavior that I observed is what strikes my curiosity.

    Definitely go check the festival out if you have the opportunity. I think I would have thoroughly enjoyed the yoga offered, but it didn’t line up with this festival for myself. I am sure I will continue to attend yoga festivals, whether practicing or just hanging out.

  3. harriet says:

    look for "Ten Things I Loved About Wanderlust" that should be hitting elephant today for the bigger picture. but I also appreciate this perspective. Also, one way to cut out the cost and really be a part of it is to volunteer. – Alexa Maxwell

  4. […] out our coverage of Wanderlust Festival Copper Mountain here, here, here, here, […]

  5. […] their dedication to talking about such important issues, I have been running a campaign to help the Wanderlust Festival evolve to being vegetarian or at least […]

  6. kim amlong says:

    Please follow the actions of: Diana Vitantonio, Tina James, Doug Swenson, and Mike Nichols, the first Wanderlust teachers who have signed the petition to “Say No to Meat at Yoga Festivals”. I wish all the teachers would come together and pledge not to teach at festivals that are not at least Vegetarian. Thanks so much for your support and love for All Sentient Beings. Please don’t support cruelty, suffering and the destruction of the environment. Ask Wanderlust to take Meat off the Menu Today! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/973/236/055/say-no

  7. kim amlong says:

    Read this to understand why I am so passionate about Wanderlust's evolution. How I Tore off the Chains and Broke Free from the Reign of Pain! http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/07/from-rocky

  8. kim amlong says:

    How Far Can Yogis Bend the Philosophy to Suit Their Hedonistic Lifestyles? Only You can Prevent Yoga Festivals From Evolving into Mindless Meat Fests!! Read the Article and Take Action Today !http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/07/are-yoga-festivals-evolving-into-mindless-meat-fests-kim-amlong/

  9. […] introduced our names, places we had traveled from, inspirations and “growing edges.” We were a community of yogis from around the world coming together to share and hone our interest in […]

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