Interview | Jeff Krasno Talks Wanderlust Festival

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Jeff Krasno, one of the founders of Wanderlust Festival discusses the fest, his vision for the future of it, and how it perfectly blends yoga, music, and nature.

Although there were 1000 yogis and a staff of almost 100 people on site on Tuesday in New York, Jeff Krasno was a vision of calm. Seeing him walk around in his Lulu Lemon T-shirt, Khakis and flip flops, one would never guess he was the creator of this incredible event and the man in charge. Jeff handed his three beautiful daughters over to co-creator and wife Schuyler Grant to sit down for an interview about Wanderlust, its mission and goals for the future.

Amanda: What is Wanderlust?
Jeff: Essentially Wanderlust a combination of yoga, music and nature and feeling good. But we do have a core purpose…what we’re really trying to do is create community around shared values. We have events like this around the country and try to bring people together around some essential ideas to hopefully try and create a platform for mindful living. Whether that is yoga or the arts or conscious consumerism or fair fashion, environmentalism, organic foods..these are the core principles and seem to be part of a growing cultural trend in this country. Essentially what we’re doing is bringing people together around those core principles to have fun, but also to live a happier and healthier life.

Amanda: How do music and yoga complement each other?
Jeff: Obviously there is an alignment between rhythm and breath and yoga and music. That’s clear. I think if you can find those moments when your breath is in line with the rhythm of the music and you’re flowing in a yoga practice, that can be some of the most sublime and transcendent moments really. Where you’re losing your sense of body and time and just floating out there, A lot of people experience that with sports, you know when you’re ‘in the zone. With the combination of music and yoga you’re in a similar flow.

Amanda: What’s your vision for Wanderlust in the future?
Jeff: We have a vision for Wanderlust in the context of the world. If our purpose is creating communities and our vision is doing that by creating large events around mindful living, then our vision I guess is a more conscious world. And if we can play a small role in creating that, then that’ s a good life.”

Amanda: Who are your partners?
Jeff: My initial partners were my best friend and business partner and my wife. My wife (Schuyler Grant) is a yogi, studio owner and teacher for a long time. The inspiration really came from her and the community that she introduced me to. My business partner (Sean Hoess) is an incredibly smart, capable thinker, lawyer, and a person who is able to synthesize ideas and make them happen. So I was very lucky to be at the vortex of those two influences, one that was kind of visionary and one that is very execution oriented.

Amanda: Who are your sponsors?
Jeff: We have been very lucky to partner with brands that are very lenient with my vision for the brand. and brands that believe in what we’re doing and share a common vision around wellness and health. We’ve been fortunate to do these seven events that were created with Smartwater that are free community oriented yoga classes in 7 parks in cities around the US.

A lot of people are realizing that yoga, organic food, things that used to be considered kind of marginal, very lefty or very hippy are now really mainstream parts of our society. and I think the more that we can usher those things into the mainstream a lot of good things are going to come with it, the least of it is a more healthy population.

Amanda: How will you continue to work with local farmers in the communities where Wanderlust takes place?
Jeff: In Vermont for example, we are going into a place where we bring a large experience and a large footprint. So you know,we want to reach out into the local community to involve them in the event in every way we possible can. In Vermont, there’s such an incredible culture for local food and for craft culture in general, cheeses, maple syrups, those kinds of things that make up the mystique of Vermont. We teamed up with a group called the Westover Farmers Market who are bringing a bunch of their farmers on site over the weekend to bring in locally grown and produced foods…I think it adds to the event and contributes to the local economy and the local culture

(note: Wanderlust will be tapping into the farmer’s market and offering a similar experience in the California foothills Wanderlust event in July.)

Amanda: What can someone expect from Wanderlust?
Jeff: We’re really trying to be paticipatory and event as possible. There are a lot of events where people are relegated to staring at a stage or sitting in a seat. Our attendees are participants amd part of the fabric of the event. They are obviously doing yoga, moving their bodies…but there is so much more that we’re doing now with hiking, theatrical; performances, burlesque performances aerial performances.and classes, where people can actually come, take a class and become part of the performance at night.

(The experience we offer is about) pushing people and their boundaries and what they can expect from themselves. And that’s how we can really create a transformative experience, where people find something new about themselves after 4 days or even after one day that they didn’t know they had or didnt realize they could do. And that they’ve pushed through some kind of fear, or some sort of blockage and gone home feeling better than they came. Thats a lofty goal and I don’t expect it to be a transformative experience for everyone although I know it is for some people but if people can in some way go back to their lives enhanced, and bring the hyper reality of Wanderlust into the regular reality of their home life, then we’ve accomplished something.

Amanda: What’s your favorite yoga pose?
Jeff: For my own well being I have to sit in Virasana every night. And sometimes its in front of the computer or event in front of the television. But I have to do it, otherwise I don’t function well…Virasana helps me get up and out of bed and walk.