Yoga Festival Near Pittsburgh Promises Exciting Lineup, Interesting Speakers

Wanderlust/ Facebook

“Unplug from the ordinary. Adventure awaits.”

This is the pitch for Wanderlust Snowshoe, a three-day yoga festival taking place in Snowshoe, West Virginia, on June 3rd through June 5th. The event is part of the larger Wanderlust family of festivals, “celebrations of mindful living” that bring together yoga instructors, musicians, speakers, and chefs from all around the world. Festivals currently take place in Snowshoe, West Virginia; Lake Tahoe, California; Snowmass Village, Colorado; Bondville, Vermont; Whistler, British Columbia; Mont Tremblant, Quebec; and Queensland, Australia, with single day “108 Events” taking place at many additional locations.

Photo by Joe Longo for Wanderlust Festival
Photo by Joe Longo for Wanderlust Festival

The Wanderlust Snowshoe event is a favorite amongst Pittsburgh yogis for its proximity and lineup of interesting activities. This year, Wanderlust offers practical workshops for yoga practitioners like “Hips: Rock ‘Em n’ Unlock ‘Em!” and “Backbends From The Ground Up,” as well as more spiritual classes like “Taoist Insight Meditation” and “The Yoga of Mantra.” Each class is taught by an expert in the field, and the festival gathers some of the East Coast’s more renowned yogis, like Maty Ezraty, Matt Giordano, and Mimi Rieger. On Friday morning, Pittsburgh’s own Michelle Planert, a popular teacher at the Yoga Flow studios in and around the Pittsburgh area, will be teaching a class called Tune into Tarot.

The lineup of events is almost overwhelming, with multiple classes offered in each one of thirteen categories, which range from Yoga to Music to Outdoor Adventure, as well as Meditation, Food & Wine, and Hikes & Runs. There are classes in slacklining, a sport similar to tightrope walking, as well as blacklight flows exclusively to Top 40 tunes, the music of David Bowie, and the music of Daft Punk. Over twenty musical acts are scheduled to perform, including Karsh Kale, a musician and producer who has spun records for Barack Obama, and Nahko and Medicine for the People, fronted by an Oregon-native known for his stirring and heartfelt lyricism.

Photo by Joe Longo for Wanderlust Festival
Photo by Joe Longo for Wanderlust Festival

On the speaker side, Wanderlust Snowshoe has booked Joel Salatin, a third-generation organic farmer who features prominently in the award-winning documentary Food, Inc, as well as Kerri Kelly, a corporate executive who found the yogic path after losing her stepfather during 9/11. Also present will be Dr. Michael Salonius, whose studies on Post Traumatic Stress have led him to found SPARTA (Spiritual Process and Resiliency Trauma Association), an innovative program of recovery for those suffering from PTSD, and Rodney Yee, a yoga instructor and author, among others.

For food, the Wanderlust festival has partnered with several local vendors for quick bites , barbecues, and lavish, family style Farm-to-Table dinners. If you have some free time from June 3rd to June 5th, Wanderlust Snowshoe promises to be an unbelievable experience. Single day tickets are available on the Wanderlust Eventbrite page for $135, but the best deal is the three day pass, which costs $330. Extras like aerial yoga classes, stand-up paddleboard yoga classes, and mountain biking cost $15, $25, and $75, respectively.