Skip Nav
Vegan
You'll Never Eat Another Gummy Bear or Marshmallow Again After Hearing What It's Made From
Ab Workouts
11 Workouts For Ab Day Inspiration
Healthy Recipes
Celebrate National Margarita Day With Our 144-Calorie Cocktail

Les Leventhal Interview About Wanderlust

How a SF Yogi Stopped With Mistakes and Rose to the Top

Les Leventhal is a playful yogi who's been known to show up in class shirtless, tattoos showing, and always ready to rock. He's got an East Coast edge, but a Hanuman-like playful spirit. In short, he definitely set himself apart from the stereotypical image of a yogi at the Wanderlust Festival in Squaw Valley where I originally met him.

Les is a former addict (he's been in recovery since 2001), but while he was still using, a friend suggest he try yoga. He wasn't hooked initially, but as he got deeper and deeper into his practice, he found that early-morning classes couldn't happen if he was out partying until all hours of the night. For him, Wanderlust is a "big syringe of everything I ever wanted to experience when I was out there using." He's drawn to the beautiful vibe of the festival, the way everyone shows up for themselves and how it's constantly evolving — just like modern (and sometimes a very musical) yoga.

For those who prefer silence during their practice, it's probably best to stay away from Les's class, where you'll hear everything from Krishna Das and Jai Uttal to Joan Jett and Billy Idol — plus a little Rihanna for good measure! To those who don't agree, Les said "everything is yoga music. People should just find that place and space and let it motivate them."

ADVERTISEMENT

As a teacher, Les doesn't believe in the word mistake, but he does see certain misalignments pop up in his classes. He constantly finds himself correcting people's feet: "When people are new, they don't have the connection that these turned feet can affect your hips, and that those hips can affect your shoulders, and that can sort of affect the muscles of the back." He's also a fan of props, which many yoga students are often self-conscious about using, but according to Les, props "teach students how to really engage muscles, especially in the legs."

For students who are fearful of pushing their bodies too much, he has a lighter perspective. While he doesn't offer a pose, or a sequence, or a retreat that can turn that around, he stresses that "it's OK to stay basic and new for a really long time. The first couple of years, just let yourself be new and fall."

Les will be teaching at the Wanderlust Yoga in the City event in San Francisco, but if you can't make it, then follow him on Twitter to stay up to date on all this yoga adventures.

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
50 Shades Darker Dakota Johnson Exercise
Healthy Snack Ideas For Workouts
Michelle Lewin Fitness Instagram
Latina Fitness Influencers on Instagram
How to Get Back Into a Workout Routine
How Do the Kardashians Stay Fit?
Trainer Jeanette Jenkins's Body-Positive Motivational Quote

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds