Fernando Molina of Ananda Yoga made an amazing observation in his enlightening lecture on “The New Yoga” during OM Fest in the Mayan Riviera. He pointed out that yoga festivals are where union is even more apparent because the variety of different styles of yoga come together creating a community of peace, healing and light!
This is exactly the experience OM Fest delivered! From the most spiritual kundalini session I’ve experienced to waving our hands in the air and clapping during a vinyasa flow with MC YOGI, we truly saw many yogic methods from the hearts of mindful leaders united together as a community of love!
Similar to other yoga festivals I’ve been to, my spirit is on fire in the afterglow of OM Fest. Bliss shines through me, my smile is ear to ear, and I feel great about myself, my job, my relationships, and I have hope for the rest of the world’s crises, too!
OM Fest is the first international festival I’ve attended and the first festival I’ve taught at. Several very special elements made OM Fest unique.
The ancient civilization of the Yucatan are the Mayan people who created one of the most developed and sophisticated cultures in the Western Hemisphere pre-Christopher Columbus’s ‘discovery’. The Mayans were very spiritual beings worshiping primarily gods of nature. Their sun god, Kinich Ahau, their rain god, Chaac, and their earth god Ah Uuc Ticab.
What does this have to do with OM Fest? Our gathering took place at historically one of the most spiritual ancient regions in the world, and that divine energy was prevalent. For thousands of years the people of this area have been connected. Connected to nature, connected to time and space, and connected with themselves. They predicted eclipses and built majestic temples aligned with longitude and latitude lines that cast shadows of snakes only during the equinox. The Mayan ancestors were in touch with everything.
Amazing teachers, spiritual healers, and peace givers came together with beautiful worldly intentions. Best part is OM Fest is a place where intimate connections flourish! Who doesn’t want a chance to get one on one time with amazing teachers?
Claudine Lecorre took us on a path through a striking visualization before teaching a Kundalini class on strengthening the nervous system. Someway, somehow in working Kundalini up the spine through breath we encountered Zen. Victor Varana taught Kalam-Balam— The Path of the Snake and the Jaguar tying the ancient knowledge both to the practice in our minds as well as for our bodies. Combining methods from two of his passions, yoga and Aikido, he moved us through honestly the most unique sequence I’ve probably ever experienced. Olga Lingard shared her sweet spirit and knowledge of Anusara in an astonishing workshop where hard energetic work pays off with deep relaxation.
We practiced balance in Michael Gannon’s Ashtanga workshop, we practiced trusting each other in Marina Barberena and Eliu Flores’s Acro Yoga class, and we practiced connecting to nature in SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Yoga with Kat Carroll and Itzel Olvera.
Paul King gave an enchanting Iyengar practice that freed my muscles and my spirit. Ayurvedic conferences taught us how we can heal our selves by living well. We gazed inwards with Antonela Roselli as she dug deep within Pratyhara, one part of the eight limbs of yoga that doesn’t get very much attention in North America. We opened hips and hearts. We played like children during laughter yoga, and we slept like babies after sound therapy by Shaman Ahau.
Until living in the Mayan Riveria, I hadn’t given much thought to our ancestors or ancient spirituality. Another aspect I hadn’t given much thought to is the effect that music has on our bodies. Since we are such a huge percent water, vibrations have a subconscious effect on us. From beautiful ringing Tibetan singing bowls to the sweet lullabies from Paloma Devi, from Ale Sai of the musical team Moksha chanting ‘Om Namaha Shivaya’ to MC YOGI’s mantras—it was all there! Dancing barefoot in all areas is accepted, encouraged and inevitable. Inda and Yani’s angelic voices chanting mantra sent healing energy through the roof! Smiles twirled as hips swayed. Culturally, these people know how to have a great time. #IMoveLikeAGringa
Another great aspect accompanying the sacred tones was the captivating art! Amanda Giacomini, a remarkable artist was gracious enough to share a copy of three paintings of Shiva, Hanuman and Lakshmi with everyone. Mandalas of all sorts of colors and sizes were displayed. Siri Nath Kaur even taught a Kundalini class on Awakening our Creative Power. Positivity and love flowed freely. I still feel the energy of everyone giving and receiving!
International yoga with international students and international teachers brings international ideas. This kind of variety just doesn’t exist in the festivals I’ve participated in before. (Which is fine, they are aimed at different demographics, I loved those festivals too, and all yoga is good yoga!) OM Fest was refreshing, inviting, welcoming, healing and uplifting all at once! What an event!
All of the traits of OM Fest have made a lasting impression on my heart, and it’s already reflected so brightly in my life and my relationships! I feel it’s added a sense of being well-rounded to my yoga practice. I have found meditation easier to come by and more enjoyable to stay in. I couldn’t be more thrilled with this weekend and hope everyone gets the opportunity to attend such an event! Like OM Fest on FB to receive OM Fest 2015 information as it becomes available. And if you are looking for a spiritual escape close to home, please consider the Mayan Riveria for one of your next adventures. It’s sure to please!
Matilda frickin’ loves sharing the positive things she stumbles across in life! In addition to silly blogs, yummy organic recipes and reviews, Matilda writes for elephant journal and is the author of the hit novel Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe – Dating and Sexcapades of a Yogi. Check it out and follow me around ;).