California's Symbiosis Gathering has something going for it that few festivals do: a body of water. This year's installment transpires at the 2900-acre Woodward Reservoir just north of Oakdale. Whereas Burning Man has art cars, Symbiosis has art boats. And mermaids. Mermaids who perform mermaid burlesque or “mer'lesque,” regale the children of Symbiosis with ocean stories and even swim in the reservoir. Mike Gaines, ringmaster for San Francisco's Vau de Vire Society, is the man who contracts the scaly beauties.
Gaines spent a stint in Fort Collins once. “I moved to Fort Collins from Southern California, where I'd grown up. I was on my way to medical school but needed to live in Colorado for a year to qualify for in-state tuition. In that time, I started working in film, and became addicted to the art and process of live production. Then I found an old church and decided to forego med school and look into opening an school for film and dance.”
I was never a Deadhead. I never followed Jerry Garcia and company around the country in a VW Microbus. But I would consider following Wanderlust in Deadhead fashion (Volkswagen's new electric Microbus would be fitting transportation). The yoga lifestyle festival is the largest in the world, with incarnations in Vermont, California, Canada, Australia and Colorado. Wanderlust returns to to its current Colorado home-base in Aspen/Snowmass June 30 through July 3.
“Wanderlust is an opportunity to choose your own adventure and live it in a beautiful, natural location,” said Wanderlust co-founder Jeff Krasno. “We look forward to bringing people together to celebrate, exchange ideas and experience the good things in life.”
Jack Cuneo isn't normally attracted to large crowds. But the Kindness Yoga teacher is making an exception for Yoga Rocks the Park.
“It’s always a magical time,” said Cuneo. “There’s just something about the experience of practicing and cultivating healthy habits alongside such a big and diverse group of people. I’m usually an introverted person, but I love it. To be honest, it gives me a little bit more faith in the world.”
Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula isn't just for alcohol-fueled college kids. Less than 80 miles from Cancun, you can imbibe a fresh coconut and practice mermaid pose on a quiet beach. “A lot of people associate the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico with the big, touristy resorts of Cancun,” explains Kindness Yoga instructor Ginny Biddle. “Maya Tulum is intimate and quiet. It's located on a pristine stretch of Caribbean coast near the eco-friendly village of Tulum. Tulum's safe, has a great vibe and offers tons of yoga and healthy food. It's also near 1000 year-old Mayan ruins and the 1.3 million-acre Sian-Ka'an Nature Reserve.”
Jennifer Lux is a curator of connection. “I am a connector/networker at my core,” says Lux. “At every yoga studio I've practiced at since the late 90s, I've quickly gotten to know and love the owners. Working initially to promote local teacher trainings, I started supporting social media efforts and customer experience for two Denver yoga studios. I was asked to support Yoga Rocks the Park Denver in 2010, along with Friday Night Yoga Club and Colorado Yoga Events. I helped grow YRP nationally until it was sold.”
Stress. It can motivate our finest moments—adrenaline-fueled superhuman strength has saved individuals pinned by 3,000 pound vehicles—or give us gray hair prematurely (see every President ever). Most people react to environmental stressors in a kind of involuntary, knee-jerk manner. There is a better way, though. Think of your brain as an animal that can be trained. Just as intentionally smiling or laughing can actually positively enhance your mood, curating your thoughts and thought patterns can radically and dramatically transform your daily reality.
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