For those of you who missed the Lake Tahoe Wanderlust Festival in July……sorry!
Bhakti Fest brings together the American yoga community in such a delicious, sweet way. What makes this festival so special is the combination of asana and kirtan as well as onsight camping and lodging options, leading to a full immersion into spiritual practice and a real sense of community. Festival-goers practice asana all day long and sing kirtan into the night. The festival features both outdoor and indoor spaces to host special classes and workshops from many of America’s most celebrated yoga teachers including Shiva Rea, Janet Stone, Saul David Raye, Seanne Corn, Mark Whitwell, Bryan Kest, and Sianna Sherman. On the kirtan stages, we find kirtan 24 hours a day, led by the likes of Dave Stringer, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, The Mayapuris, and MC Yogi.
This week we are checking-in with leading vinyasa innovator Janet Stone from San Francisco, California on her experiences with Bhakti Fest and her plans for this years’ celebration.
Ele: What do you like about the Bhakti Fest experience?
Janet: Moon rising over the desert while devotional mantra pours out from every direction and my heart drinks it in and it permeates every cell of my being. I experience great expansion and a deep remembering about sangha at this humble event.
How is Bhakti Fest beneficial for the American yoga community?
What community doesn’t need to be warmed, awakened, and infused with radiant bhakti?
Our culture tends to call for more, bigger, faster, shinier and this
festival reminds us of the Pranava heard by the heart. OM!
That and it strengthens the spirit to step your feet on the desert floor.
Do you have any special workshops or classes planned for Bhakti?
Every gathering of yogis/yoginis is wildly special and deeply sacred.
In addition, bhakti is a guiding force in my teaching and my life is
graced with some of the most talented and devoted bhakti musicians.
Each of my workshops will be accompanied by some of these musicians. Vision soul grooves meets deep rhythms meets mantras meets fluid body beats.
* Ganesha Flow will take us on a powerful journey.
* Ananda Vinyasa will invoke the practice of finding bliss in all of life’s offerings.
* Durga Flow we will call up our own fierce compassionate nature.
What do you uniquely bring to Bhakti Fest?
A playful reverence that delights in the human adventure and an endless commitment to the practice, study, observance of yoga.
What is your teaching style?
Compassion. Joy. Graceful power. Vinyasa. Mantra.
How is it beneficial and how is it unique from other styles?
The practice of yoga is deeply beneficial. My offering is only unique in that this lineage comes through my form and is accompanied by rhythms in all forms.
Is the desert a good place to practice yoga?
Life in the midst of a seemingly impossible environment is a reflection for the practice.
In the hostile terrain of mind we can find and explore great peace.
Any other comments on the desert?
The warmth and hikes and sunsets and sunrises and moon rises…all of it is a sweet blessing.
How do kirtan and asana practices work together?
These devotional practices nourish each other completely and wondrously.
Any other interesting tidbits you’d like to share?
Here is the full write-up of Janet’s Bhakti Fest 2011 offerings:
Ganesha Flow | Devotion in Motion
We start with our deep roots into the earth, where Ganesha “the remover of
obstacles” resides. This workshop is designed to honor the new beginning
of each breath as we bring fierce strength to the legs and hips, ignite
your core power and liberate your upper body, all to allow you to be more
fully connected to the now.
All Levels. Asana.
Ananda Vinyasa | Bliss in Motion
Ananda means bliss, and on this journey we practice awakening to our
natural state of conscious bliss in all circumstances, as we begin to see
the profound gift of simply being alive. This workshop focuses
on cultivating flexibility of mind, body and heart while exploring arm
balances that take us to the edge, gathering the seeming disparate pieces
of ourselves into one unified whole.
All Levels. Asana.
Durga Flow | Fierce Compassion
The goddess Durga embodies the attributes of fierce compassion, patience,
and fearlessness. Through aligning with her powers, we can experience the
full force of divine love in its gentlest and its fiercest forms. We will
explore Durga’s fearlessness in backbends and discover how it moves
through us in the world. Discover the fierce compassion to open your
All Levels. Asana.
You can visit Janet at janetstoneyoga.com!
Thanks for reading, see you in the desert next month!