Yoga fans flock to Stratton Mtn. - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Yoga fans flock to Stratton Mtn.

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Stratton is packed, but not with the usual skiing crowd. Since Friday, the mountain is full of yoga mats, music, and a whole lots of "Om's."

This year marks the 5th annual Wanderlust festival and organizers say it is the biggest yet. The nationwide festival spans over half a dozen locations across America, but since 2011 Vermont is the first stop and this year a younger crowd has meant for a lively weekend.

"There was a guy dancing on the main stage last night with deer antlers on, which I thought was both beautifully Vermont and kind of cool. It has been a lot of fun. By day there is the element of the meditative and the yoga practice and by night it is much more festive," said Sean Hoess, a festival organizer.

Hoess says the number of participants has increased by nearly 40 percent from last year, and officials from Stratton Mountain say that foot traffic does not go unnoticed. Not only does the festival bring in a high volume of business, but the type of business they say fits right in with Stratton.

"So much of what Wanderlust brings to the mountain is what Vermont is known for -- Handcrafted, farm to table, hiking, biking, conscious sustainable living -- I mean it's Wanderlust, it's Stratton, it is Vermont," said Myra Foster of Stratton.

And even off the mountain, the boom of festival goers is appreciated. Like local inn owner Brian Drummond, who says the beginning of the summer is always slow for business, so the event couldn't come at a better time. "This is our best year. This year we had the most people and it was just fun. Everyone that comes here is just in such a great mood and they are in a great mood when they come back," Drummond said.

Although some of the yoga was not for beginners, the festival is aimed for fulfilling all ages and abilities. So much so, that many traveled across the nation to attend. "It's full experience, from yoga classes, to mediation, Pranayama, hiking, trail running -- it really covers everything, all these practices that yoga can be involved in," said Lauren Ghrist of Louisville, Kentucky.

A festival boosting the local economy and helping those attending to relax, restore and renew.  

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