JOSHUA TREE AND BHAKTI FEST
I am currently about a month into second trimester of pregnancy - at week 17. Well, I was expecting magically at week 13 for my symptoms to transform as my trimester changed, but then I had to remind myself to listen to the wisdom of my body - it knows.
I noticed that something wasn’t feeling right at work in my company (side note: I have never worked as hard as I have since being pregnant, perhaps sort of prepping for needing some time off post baby) and at our weekly meeting I just let out some tears - feeling pressure to make a decision on whether to move forward with a project - I was leaning towards a no and was making it mean that I had failed. Anyway, a couple days later, I got an email from a friend mentioning they were selling last minute tix to a yoga festival - one I knew that I loved and had thought it was too late to plan to go.
My intuition and body spoke up! I needed a break and I was going to take it on my terms! We were making it happen - I convinced my husband to join me (he too is an entrepreneur and we both appreciate the flexibility in lifestyle we have as a part of this) and the next day we were packed to go camping at Joshua Tree and to attend Bhakti Fest. We got there just after sunset and found a spot to camp in the dark which “felt” right (we couldn’t see!) - it turned out to be the perfect spot. We arrived on a Wednesday and took the festival full on for Thursday and Friday.
After not really being active or practicing yoga regularly you would think going camping (for the first time with my husband) and being in the middle of the harsh extremes of the desert to practice yoga may not be the most appealing situation - but again, I FELT it in my body that I must go.
Once we arrived, setup camp and stared at the magical stars in awe, I knew all was meant to be and that this time away in deeper nature was good for my being as well as the baby (and for my husband!). It turned out to be quite a romantic trip in which we got lost in our own world while he simultaneously got to see a side of his yogini wife’s world he hadn’t seen.
On the first day, we attended yoga at 8am, a chanting workshop with the amazing Gina Sala who has the voice of an ancient goddess and angel at 9:30am, walked around a bit, had some lunch and attended class at 2pm with the amazing Mark Whitwell. Mark is quite authentic and I love how he embraces philosophy into his classes - he is adamant on creating a shift in consciousness, in various ways, and I love it. His topic of choice (amongst a few) was that yoga has also been a victim of the patriarchy and its time to reclaim the beauty of both the feminine and masculine wisdom within it. I did enjoy when he singled me out in class to say I was the embodiment of this new wave of yogic wisdom and beauty. That was a highlight for me for sure:)
We roamed, napped, ate, listened to music in the evening. Watched the stars again at night, still in complete amazement. Mahdad and I came out to Joshua Tree to celebrate our 1st anniversary 5 months prior and we never really embraced the stars like we did whilst camping on this particular trip, so I was happy he got to see just how magical they are there.
On our second day we did back-to-back morning yoga, at 8am and another at 9:30am with the amazing Govinda Das & Radha - where we combined devotional chants, dancing and yoga.
We then went to a workshop on opening the heart chakra - though the teaching was a bit slow paced, the exercises practiced were nice, especially one in which we brought our attention to what we can offer the world - I went on and on about all that I am super passionate about :) And then we were told to offer all of that to ourselves, which was a beautiful exercise in openness to receive.
At one point, we went to our tent for some relaxation and snacks and to just refresh. While there, the yoga space that we were camping closest to started playing some pretty upbeat music - a combination of kirtan (devotional chants) and electronica - it was like the world of the festival combining with one of my husband (and mine too) favorite world - so we started our own personal dance party in the desert - dancing with Mahdad in the middle of the desert with such energy and joy was by far one of my favorite memories of the weekend. And we sometimes give these cosmic hugs to each other, one in particular that he gave me on our second date that was just another one of those signs of me listening to how good it felt in my body. Anyway, after our joy, laughter and dancing, we gave each other one of those cosmic hugs. At one point, Mahdad taped me dancing to this music (we later joined in to the dance class and learned the music is called Kirtronica! - definitely check out Jaya Lakshmi and Ananda. So here is a clip which just brings joy to me about that particular afternoon and Mahdad’s and I pure delight when the music came on (we had no expectation and it was our first introduction to it)
That evening, we went to a sound healing for which we both fell into a bit of a deep sleep and then later, Mahdad heard MC Yogi and Bhagavan Das perform - artists he hears me play at home all the time and enjoyed putting faces and personalities to.
I don’t think its just coincidence that going to BhaktiFest happened right after a new moon in which I really did some powerful rituals, including re-doing my altar and setting powerful intentions.
Anyway, Saturday morning we left - I would have loved to stay the whole festival but in convincing Mahdad to join me, I told him I would keep my commitment to taking him to the Long Beach airport on Saturday morning for a pre-planned sports conference he was attending in SF. So on Saturday, off we went.
I learned a very important lesson, listen to the wisdom of your body, it knows what you need. For me it is doing the things that bring me joy - like dance! :):):)