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Yoga Tree's Tim Dale Ready to Experience Wanderlust

Continuing our coverage of July's Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley, we caught up with Tim Dale, founder of Yoga Tree (http://www.yogatreesf.com). With four San Francisco studios, Tim and his wife Tara have established Yoga Tree as the ultimate haven for serenity-seeking city-dwellers. A slew of Yoga Tree teachers will be leading classes at Wanderlust, July 24-26, and you can still get tickets at http://www.wanderlustfestival.com/. Read on to find out Tim's take on music, yoga, and crossing over to the dark side.

7x7: How did you get involved in Wanderlust?

Tim Dale: Our reputation goes all the way back to New York, and the producers of the event are from New York. They wanted to have a strong yoga element, so they called me and told me what they were up to. I’m from Squaw Valley and have a close connection with Michael Franti. It was actually quite serendipitous. For the last several months, I had been talking about wanting to do an event combining yoga and music, and this just came along at the right time.

7x7: Has Yoga Tree ever been involved in anything like this?

T.D.: Yes – we do Power to the Peaceful (http://www.powertothepeaceful.org) every year, and we do Yoga Journal conferences (http://www.yogajournal.com/conferences), which have live music elements to them. And Yoga Tree itself offers live music during several classes. Les Leventhal had a class with a drummer, a guitar player, and a didge [didgeridoo] player. And often times, we do live music and yoga together in class. One reason [for us to be involved] is so people connect Yoga Tree and music. Our ten-year anniversary is coming up, and we have big festival planned for October 10, probably at the Castro studio, where there’s a stage, and a big room that can fit over 100 people comfortably.

7x7:  Who are you most excited to see perform?

T.D.: I’m really excited to create a community in Squaw. And to kirtan [Sanskrit for “to repeat”; a call-and-response chanting in Yoga] with Jai Uttal. Jai and I go way back, and he lives in the North Bay. He just released a new album, which you can check out on his website (http://jaiuttal.com).

7x7: Do you think music plays an important role in the yoga practice?

T.D.: Yes, they’re very closely linked. They reach the same age group, the same demographic. Lots of people love hearing music and love doing yoga – there’s a huge crossover. Not only that, but when you come out of a yoga class, you’re just ready to hear a song – you have that “Yoga buzz.” Michael [Franti] is awesome – he has a huge message, and his music is very danceable. He has a lot of high energy. We’ve been practicing yoga together for 7 years.

7x7: You’ve been involved in many San Francisco nightlife spots (including Eleven, Fumé, Undici, Eddie Jack's, the DNA Lounge, the Tap Room Bar, the Up & Down Club, and currently, Le Colonial) – is it hard to balance that lifestyle with yoga?

T.D.: It’s not. They actually compliment each other really well. As long as you’re not too abusive and don’t swing too far into the dark side.