For the past five years I have been attending both Bhakti Fest in September and Shakti Fest in Spring. It has been my dream to share this extraordinary experience with people. For the first time, Troy was able to join me to the festival, and our friend Yvonne made her way to California from Germany, to join us on our ventures to the California desert.
Relaxing between yoga classes at main stage
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to take classes with most of the yoga teachers at the event, so this time I decided to dedicate most of my time to listening to Kirtan and chanting along. Yvonne and Troy explored some yoga classes with teachers they hadn’t met, such as a Kundalini class with Kia Miller and various workshops.
Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa with Tim Miller
It was a privilege for me to assist in Tim Miller’s classes on Saturday and Sunday. Quite a big crowd of curious students found their way to the Ashtanga classes, although they most likely were the most challenging option on the schedule. In honor of Hanuman’s weekday Saturday, we chanted the Hanuman Chalisa together with the whole group of students. Message us to join us to one of the festivals in 2016!
Tulku Sherdor teaching Buddhist Chants at the Garrison Institute
Kirtan with Krishna Das
Barely returned from our trip to Hawaii, I packed my bags again to head to the Garrison Institute in Upstate New York for the Heart of Devotion retreat. The lineup was phenomenal: morning yoga classes with Tim Miller (Timji), afternoon sessions on Buddhist chanting with Tulku Sherdor, Hanuman Chalisa’s with Nina Rao, and stories and chanting with Krishna Das, aka KD. The evenings were reserved for Kirtan. I took this picture when KD was chanting during the first night – check out the beam of light shining down on his harmonium!
It was an absolute honor and delight to be assisting Timji during the yoga classes in the morning. Not everyone who attended was an Ashtanga practitioner, and especially to someone new, this practice can be intimidating. I absolutely enjoy assisting people in their practice – especially beginners – and offering modifications to make the poses more accessible. Krishna Das had joked he would attend the Sunday morning class, so we had saved him a spot right in front. As you can see in the picture, the spot stayed empty 😉
Intro to Ashtanga Class
Leslie, Uta & Timji
Tulku Sherdor gave a very special workshop on devotional tibetan chanting (picture at top of post). You can watch the full workshop here.
Another highlight of the weekend was to meet Leslie Kaminoff, who stopped by to catch up with his friends KD and Tim Miller.
Krishna Das will be taking a sabbatical next year, let’s hope for a repeat of this lineup, soon!
Bhakti Fest 2014 in Joshua Tree, California was another once in a lifetime event. The beautiful high desert hosted yogis and chanting fans for six days and offered non stop workshops, yoga classes, Kirtan on two stages, fantastic vendors and a wholesome vegetarian and vegan food court. The experience can not be expressed in words or with images, I hope you can join us to one of the following festivals and feel it for yourself. We are happy to guide you through the experience. Check our events page for upcoming festivals.
My personal highlights:
Workshop with renowned Yoga teacher Dharma Mittra
Ashtanga yoga classes and chanting with my teacher Tim Miller