Photos from shaktifest.bhaktifest.com
Guest written by Jillian Love
With the coming of the sunshine and the budding of the flowers, another seemingly endless winter closes and a new festival season begins. Kicking off this season: Shakti Fest from May 10-14, 2018.. Shakti Fest is Bhakti Fest’s smaller and more intimate sister festival. Similarly to its sibling, Shakti Fest promises four fabulous days at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center in the desert of California. Filled with yoga classes, spiritual lectures, vegetarian food and singing and dancing to the call-and-response sacred music of Kirtan.
This festival, known as The Yoga and Music Experience of a Lifetime, offers a unique experience different from the typical festival scene. The weekend is meant to not only nourish and recharge the body and mind, but also to cultivate your connection with community, the divine, and most importantly, yourself. With only 1,500 participants, the intimate nature of Shakti Fest will allow everyone to have an opportunity to easily find a spot for their mat at each yoga session.
Joshua Tree Retreat Center is comfortably nestled among a multitude of old Joshua Trees and offers sunrise and sunsets framed by a beautiful desert mountain range. With the gorgeous painted sky as your backdrop and the beauty of nature your devotional decor, yoga is elevated to an even more sacred experience, giving new life to your Asanas in ways that the inside walls of an urban yoga studio could not fill. There is nothing like the absolute bliss of a sun salutation in the morning as actual sun gently rises and softly warms your body.
Another big draw of this festival is the connection between it’s community. Think of it like dropping in on a huge family reunion. The lineup includes many of the same musicians, teachers, and presenters that are crowd favorites including Mark Whitwell, MC Yogi, Saul David Raye, Hemalayaa Behl, Avatara Levine, and many more. Knowing that there will also be recurring attendees, the crowd will be filled with smiling faces.
After workshops filled with learning and connecting, one can wandering through the many shops offering unique yogacentric clothing or take a stroll to the Main Stage Pavilion. In this area, attendees’ brightly colored blankets and pillows are laid out so close to one another, it seeminglt appears as a big, cozy patchwork quilt. The Main Stage Pavilion provides a resting place in between workshops and music. After a night of ecstatically dancing to sacred music by world-renowned Kirtan artists, a ten-minute moonlit walk through the Joshua Trees brings you back to camp, under the stars of course.
Shakti Fest is known as “A celebration of the Divine Feminine” and occurs over Mother’s Day weekend this year. This confluence is indeed a special gift, giving us the opportunity to focus not only on the divine feminine energy that dwells within all of us, but also how this nurturing energy heals us as individuals and for our planet.
Get your tickets here and join us May 10-14, 2018 in Joshua Tree, CA!