OM Fest – Connecting with Ancient Spirituality

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!

OmFest3This 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.

map1The 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.

MC Yogi and I :D

MC Yogi and I 😀

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.

Omfest2We 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.

OmFest1Until 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!


supupdog

Matilda frickin’ loves sharing the positive things she stumbles across in life! In addition to silly blogsyummy 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 ;). 

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Ponder Your Purpose, Your Passion and Your Potential.

eagleyogafest1With Eagle Yogafest just a week away I’ve been pondering how profound Yogafest was in my life. Yoga festivals in general are wonderful experiences where the ‘yoga retreat’ comes to you. A welcoming atmosphere full of happiness and healing fills the autumn air in quaint Eagle, Colorado. This is a time to find a closer connection to your True Nature.

eagleyogafest4In reflecting, there are five traces of Eagle Yogafest that have stayed with me.

  1. Going deeper with a great variety of lectures and classes! There are opportunities to try new things and expand ones practice. Check out this Budokon Yoga video! Asymmetrical Arm Balances, Conscious Vinyasa Flowing, Aroma Therapy, Acroyoga, Slackline Yoga, Ayurveda and more!
  2. Knowledge flows freely. Extraordinary teachers discuss deeper aspects of the yoga practice and lifestyle! Everything from the keys of the Yoga Sutras, yoga psychology, understanding Chakras, energy conservation, pranyama breath work and unraveling individual shining expressions. 145_yogafest2013Touching workshops provide information on healing with essential oils, practice balancing on top of your partner, and removing obstacles to really let it all go. (Let it all go is the gift I received at Eagle Yogafest last year. Read about the moments that changed my life in this book.)
  3. This is not simply a yoga festival at a venue, where people come and go and in between they are lost in the city. This is a whole town event full of community where the friends and
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    Mingle Party at Yeti’s Grind

    connections you will make will be everywhere and linger in your heart forever. The Mingle Party at Yeti’s Grind was so much fun! What a great way to start the weekend! Everyone just enjoyed chilling together. The Yoga Pants Party at Bonfire Brewery is so great! Everyone wearing Yoga Pants gets their first beer free! I like the Glutart- gluten free beer best. 🙂

  4. There is lots of love! From the very first night at Free Community Yoga the loving energy flowed opening our hearts. Everyone interacted playfully happy and the room seemed to beam with peace and promise. eagleyogafest6Later heart opening classes, workshops on flipping your perspective, and dancing to raise our vibration at the Hardscrabble Concert continued to unite friends and family.
  5. Leave feeling empowered. Maybe we stuck that amazing handstand from the inversion workshop, found our center on the Slackline or maybe we didn’t. Afterwards we practiced letting go because we know each time we try we get closer. We head home with smiles on our faces very conscious of our invigorating strength, curious courage and fierce potential.

Why not escape to the mountains and see what Eagle Yogafest brings to your life! Tickets still available here.

eagleyogafest

Matilda frickin’ loves sharing the positive things she stumbles across in life! Check out her other articles and recipes.

A Second of Oneness.

Uttanasana

Uttanasana

Today I found myself.

If I lose myself again tomorrow, that’s okay.

I may lose myself tomorrow— or in five minutes.

If I find a deeper version of myself tomorrow, it doesn’t take away.

Today I found myself.

Matilda did ten hours of laughter yoga training, danced around the room like crazy for one song, a few forward folds, and bliss. Magic— the feeling of oneness. She is trying all sorts of interesting therapies. If you dig her blog you’ll love her book Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe – Dating and Sexcapades of a Yogi.

Peace in! ~M