Follow Your Heart…to Bhakti Fest West

guest written by Jillian Love

Easily one of my most anticipated events this year is Bhakti, taking place September 7-12 at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center in California. Since the festival’s inception in 2009, it’s grown into the premier event for Yoga, Kirtan and spiritual growth enthusiasts. Bhakti Fest exudes heart-centered intention and boasts an unbeatable lineup of top yoga teachers, amazing kirtan performers, spiritual leaders and workshops.

Bhakti yoga is one of six major branches of yoga, representing the path of self-transcending love or complete devotion to God or the divine. Bhakti Fest features a full 72 hours of yoga with master yoga instructors, including the one and only Shiva Rae, creator of Prana Flow Yoga.  Shamanic Kirtan with Juan Pablo Barahona and Ahau is another experience that is not to be missed. All levels are invited to come learn from these and other leading teachers like Yogrishi Vishvketu, Janet Stone, Kia Miller, Govind Das & Radha, and so many more!

Kirtan refers to the singing or chanting of God’s praises. A distinctly unique feature of Bhakti Fest is that it offers non stop kirtan performances, making it the ultimate devotional music festival. Bhakti, the path of devotion, is believed by some to be the quickest way to self-realization. Spiritual leader and author Ram Dass has said of this form of bhakti, “When you are in love with God, the very sound of the Name brings great joy.”  Bhakti signifies both devotion and a loving attachment to the Divine. This year’s performers include, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Trevor Hall, MC Yogi, Dave Stringer, Karnamrita, Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band, Donna De Lory, Larisa Stow, Fannah Fi Allah, Shantala and many more!

Last, but assuredly not least, Bhakti is renowned for having an inspiring lineup of heart opening mind expand workshops, and the full schedule is already available online. I am personally looking forward to Dawn Cartwright’s “Divine Lovers Rose Petal Puja & Cacao Ceremony” and am planning to arrive early for the Pre-festival Intensive with Saul David Raye & Jeffrey Armstrong  Bhakti: Ancient Path of the Love in the Heart of the Modern World.

72 yoga classes, 84 hours of sacred music, and 108 workshops means there is plenty for everyone. Bring your family and enjoy the swimming pool, or have your children explore the Bhakti Family Village. This is an inclusive event that offers discounts for students, seniors, military and local residents, as well work exchange opportunities. So follow your heart and get your tickets now. See you there!

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