June 24, 2011

Hanuman Popped My Cherry – That Cheeky Little Monkey

With Wanderlust and LOHAS starting and everyone off doing what is new and exciting, I am still listening to the Hanuman Chalisa over and over again with icebags on my mula bandha and waiting for someone to call me.

Yes, my Hanuman Festival wrap up is coming a little later than I anticipated, but when Chelsea Roff of Yoga Modern came out with her wrap up: Memoiors of a Yoga Festival Virgin, and I already had the title for my post saved in my drafts (as this was my first yoga festival as well), I felt a little, well… slutty.  How elegant and beautiful her title is, and how crass and inappropriate mine is. I have been wrestling all week with whether or not to post with this title. I have also been battling the dilemma of actually going back to my real job, where my boss has made comments to me like, “I am concerned you are doing too much.” (note to self: Don’t EVER tell anyone EVER again that you have a tendancy to over commit – it will always get thrown back up in your face.)

Anyways… those are my reasons why I am just now writing about my experience at Hanuman and Chelsea Roff will probably have her first post out about Wanderlust before this gets published.  Damn her.

So many festival goers have shared their thoughts on the yoga, the love, the bliss, the music, the community, what a rockin’ “Off the Mat” Divine bad ass Suzanne Sterling is or how Colin Wiseman (Elephant Journal web master) and I totally checked out Donna De Lory’s ass at the Elevation Celebration.

The beautiful Donna De Lory PHOTO: www.carlkerridge.com

When I was asked to be a part of the Hanuman Festival team (or should I say, when I begged to get involved), it was to come on as social media, blogging, tweeting and the live activation concept.  I am a total geek for modern media and have sometimes been critized for it because I incorporate it into my practice (See exhibit A below of Kasey Luber and I. Me with mudra and camera over my head.). Someone looked at us posing for this picture and said that I did not look very yogic… yes, right to my face.  I plead ahimsa.

PHOTO: Hanuman Festival

To her credit, I was not going for a 3rd eye drishti or anything here. Just because I have a camera in one hand, holding a mudra with my other hand, uploading a facebook picture and writing the next catchy title for my up coming elephant journal article with my third and forth hand (the camera could not pick up these mystical images, nor could it see Hanuman himself sitting on Kasey Lubers left shoulder) does not mean that I was not having a totally present “yogic” experience. What is yoga anyway than to still the waves of the mind, in the midst of this crazy ever changing chaotic world, right?

To be a part of a media team, and also have the opportunity to report positive, uplifting, funny news from the Hanuman Festival was truly a rewarding and humbling experience. We captured the light, we recorded the love and we filmed community in action. It was so incredibly powerful.

“We need to see platforms like facebook and twitter as tools to assist us in spreading the message, not see them as the message spreader themselves.” ~ Waylon Lewis

I co-host a weekly radio show called Where is My Guru, and we aired the show live from the Hanuman Festival.  I invited Waylon from right here on elephant, Dan Wilf, founder of Yoganonymous and Kasey Luber, CEO of Big Happy Day to be my guests with the topic revolving around social and conscious media.  The show was amazing.  These high vibrating cats all sharing how they use the media to ignite a positive change in the world around us. Waylon shared that we need to see platforms like facebook and twitter as tools to assist us in spreading the message, not see them as the message spreader themselves.  They are very powerful tools, yes, but it is our own voice that can speak through these portals to connect with others.  We are the people.  We have the power. Whether you are on a yoga mat, a meditation cushion, behind a video camera or staring at that little cursor trying to encapsulate your thought into 140 characters or less, think about the fragile opportunity you have in your hands to infuse the world with light and laughter, teachings and lessons, realities and truths… or something else. Check out the entire archive of the show.

To be honest – this was my teaching during this festival.  Modern conscious media and also the leaders behind the festival that supported and truly saw the need to spread the positive vibration we were creating across hearts, bodies, souls and soundwaves, airwaves, cyberwaves.

This is how the media team blisses out PHOTO: www.carlkerridge.com

As I pull out a cigarette, ( to re-live my very alive, very human and somewhat very tantric experience Hauman provided for me… and FYI – the cigarette is a metaphorical reference back to the title which I know you all wish you could forget) I recall my most precious memories of the festival. It did not take place in a class or at one of the night events.  It did not take place during one of my interviews with a teacher there. It was with Kasey Luber, sitting in the media room (farthest thing from a yoga “space” you could think of).  She recited the entire Hanuman Chalisa to me.  It was beautiful. It was amazing.  And then, I tweeted about it.

The Hanuman Chalisa

Jai Hanuman.

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