Tag Archives: yoga

Zen Mystery | Spiritual Center, Tea Room, and Boutique

18 January

zen mystery spiritual center in Dania Beach

When I met Denis in 2001, he was going to school for a Bachelor in Liberal Arts. I laughed thinking, what is that? who studies Liberal Arts? Of course, that was me back then. I used to think that if someone was going to pay for college, they should major in either engineering, law, or medicine; anything else was a waste of money and time. So I asked him what Liberal Arts entail and what kind of job he would have. He replied that he wanted to open a spiritual school where he and other people could teach spirituality and an integral program similar to that of Ken Wilber’s.

When we started dating and things got serious, I worried for him because finding a job with that degree was going to be difficult and opening a business seemed horribly scary to me. I had always said that I didn’t want people to depend on me to earn a living, I had rather let someone else worry about my paycheck. So a business, to me what not an option. He went back to school and got a master’s degree in Educational Technology, and I was very proud of him and his new career.

Over the years though, as I worked on my spiritual journey, and opened my mind to trust the Universe, I realized that I liked Denis’ idea of a school. I didn’t like to call it a school, I called it a Center, an Integral Lifestyle Center.

Visualizing Zen Mystery

For a few year I dreamed about it, visualized it, and even made a vision board with everything I pictured having there. I had even picked the building where it was going to be. And two years ago, as a trial, Denis and I opened a consulting business in online marketing which is another area we were experts at. Inbound Den opened in August 2011 to help conscious businesses promote their companies online.

Last year, Denis quit his corporate job to work full time on Inbound Den. That gave us the opportunity to feel comfortable in owning and running a business.

Taking a Leap

I’m a big fan of Marie Forleo, Kris Carr, and Mastin Kipp, and I had been dying to go to RHH Live because I was ready to take the leap into our Spiritual Center. But the price, the time, everything wasn’t working out for me to go to NYC and learn how to run a business. Sad about this one day, I opened my email and saw a message from Omega Institute about a workshop on how to start your own business and taught by Stephan Rechtschaffen, founder of Omega and former CEO.  The price was right, the time was right, the topic was exactly what I needed, and who better than Stephan to learn from? WOW. I book that baby right away and went without a doubt.

I had told myself that I was going there just to take notes for Denis so that he could make his dream of a school come true. But the reality was, that I was the one that needed the hand holding. And boy, what a great place to shed the fears away! Omega in Rhinebeck was the perfect space to do just that. I learned a lot from Stephan and my classmates that weekend and was so inspired each minute I was there that I just couldn’t contain myself. I was ready to give birth to our baby: Zen Mystery.

Zen Mystery, Spiritual Center, Tea Room, and Boutique

We found the perfect place four our center. As of today, we are working very hard to open our doors in February 2013 and share with you all Denis’ vision that has been cooking in his heart from over a decade. We will be offering meditation classes, yoga, tai chi, dance, and more. In the tea room we will have vegan pastries and snacks like sandwiches, soups, and salads. In the boutique, we will have some clothing, accessories and other products that are aligned with the Integral Lifestyle. We also want to make the classroom available to anyone in the community that needs space for workshops or classes since it’s difficult to find a central location with plenty of parking.

You can go to our facebook page for Zen Mystery to stay tuned for updates on the opening day and what will be offered there.

We hope to see you soon in Zen Mystery in downtown Dania Beach!

Simple Yoga Sequence at Home

10 September

One of my good friends moved to France about two years ago to study, and she recently asked  me for help with yoga. So I typed up my favorite simple yoga sequence for home, which is the one I also use when I teach or substitute teach for my friends, and send it over to her in Paris to try. Many people since then have asked me to create a routine for them to use at home that is easy for them to do alone without having to watch a video or plug in their computer to get someone in youtube. So here is my favorite yoga sequence for a one hour class/routine.

Simple yoga sequence at home

Simple Hatha Yoga Sequence

This sequence is divided in several parts or sections that will create a complete routine that is easy to follow at home.

Beginning Meditation

Come to a comfortable seated position. Grab a towel, bolster, or block to support you if you need to. Bring your hands to your knees or to your heart.

Take a deep breath and relax your mind.

Begin with chanting 3 OMs inhalin and exhaling OM.

Take a deep breath and think of all the wonderful amazing things that happened to you today.

Awakening & Standing Breathing Exercises

These are the warm up exercises

Rotate feet 3 times each way.

Rotate knees 3 times each way.

Rotate shoulders 3 times front and back.

Rotate hands 3 times each way.

Rotate neck 3 times each way.

Rotate head 3 times each way (look to the left, back to center, look to the right, back to center).

Bring your arm over your head, clasp thumbs from both hands together for side stretch (Inhale pull to the left, exhale back to center. Inhale pull to the right, exhale back to center).

Sun Salutations

Sun Salutation are done in rounds meaning one round is both sides. I suggest a minimum of 3 rounds, 5 max.

Simple Sun Salutation Sequence 

The simple sequence is as follows: Inhale (IN), Exhale (EX)

Start by standing in mountain pose at the front of your mat. Face East to do your sun salutations.

IN arms up over your head.

EX bring your arms down and to touch the math or toes (bend your knees if you need to).

IN look halfway up up.

EX bring your right foot to the back of the mat.

IN bring your left foot to meet the other one for plank pose, and hold your breath while in plank.

EX bring your knees down, chest down chin down to the mat,

IN and come and up to upward dog or cobra (which ever you prefer)

EX to downward dog

IN bring your right foot to the front of the mat

EX bring your other foot to meet it

IN come up, arms up

EX bring your hands to prayer (chest)

This is half of one round, then you would do the left foot and that would be 1 complete round.

Some people do chaturanga instead of the knees-chest-chin, come thru before up dog or cobra. But if you have never done a correct chaturanga, is better to stick to knees, chest, chin come thru. I had been doing chaturanga all wrong for 8 years until 2010 when a teacher in an advance class showed us!!! It’s sad but most teachers don’t teach a correct chaturanga, specially at gyms

Advanced Sun Salutation Sequence

Include warrior poses in the simple sequence above, in round 3, after downward dog when your foot comes to the front and you are in  a lunge position, start with warrior I, then II. I never do warrior III in sun salutations though.

And then after one round of warriors, the next round will have triangles (trikonasa).

Add Warrior I and Warrior II to simple sequence (if round 4).

Add prayer twist to simple sequence (if round 5).

Add trikonasa from warrior II to simple sequence (in combination with either 2 above).

Balance

Tree Pose on both sides. Release each side with control. Shake legs after coming out of Tree Pose.

Dancer Pose on both sides. Release each side with control. Shake legs after coming out of Dancer Pose.

Spine

After the balance poses, I like to start working the spine.

Begin with Dandasana, hold for a few breaths and do a forward fold.

Next is, Janu Sirsasana, hold for a few breaths on each side and fold.

Lay on your back and bring knees to chest, head to knees, hold for a few breaths, and release.

Detox Poses

After working the spine, I find that detox poses are best to follow.

Start with a twist from Janu Sirsasana on both sides. Hold for a few breaths in each side.

Laying down twist, knees to chest and bring to each side. Hold for a few breaths in each side.

Laying down twist one leg to the side, do both sides. Hold for a few breaths in each side.

Core Poses

The core is extremely important and one of the hardest to workout in a regular gym routine or yoga routine. I like to do boat pose and when I have advanced students or athletes, I will have them do boat situps, never touching the ground :)

Boat pose, hold for a few breaths.

Inversions

My favorite inversion to do in class is dolphin. I don’t believe in head stand for myself. I do enjoy 90 degree hand stand on the wall, but I don’t include either in my routine or classes because they don’t call to me. It’s an inner voice that tells me head stand is not for me. So I practice other inversions such as Dolphin, Plow, or Shoulder stand instead. For this simple routine, Dolphin works great.

Dolphin and Dolphin push-ups (10 if possible and increase as days go by)

For more advanced students, dolphin pushups with one leg up

Final Meditation

For the final meditation, enjoy about 10 minutes in Savanasa, reflecting on your practice or giving thanks to yourself for doing something for your body and mental health. And when you are ready, come up to a comfortable seated position and chant OM.

 

What other poses would you add to this routine to make it your own? Share with us!

 Photo by InboundDen

 

Meditation | Where to Start

02 September

Another one of my blogs for MentalBlox.com on meditation. Many people ask me where they should start. I always recommend finding out what type of meditation will work from them and the reason is that I don’t believe meditation is well understood at the beginning. So starting with something that works for you, will help you enhance your spiritual practice.

Private yoga classes in South Florida

 

Three Types of Meditation

Meditation is key in spiritual growth. We hear it all the time on the internet, in the streets, on TV, etc. But most people avoid it because their image of meditation is of someone sitting still in a dark room quieting their minds. Creating a meditation routine is the first step to start, but finding the right type of meditation that works for you is most important.

Guided Meditation

In high school, attending a catholic girls-only school, I enjoyed going to mass every day. I now understand it was my meditation routine. It was a guided meditation lead by the priest. It worked for me because it is difficult to quiet my mind on my own. Guided meditation works for me the best, whether is chanting or simply visualizing the words I hear. I’m able to work on different aspects of my life, relax, and quiet my mind. You can design your own guided meditation and recorded and play back to yourself. Guided meditation can help those that are just now getting started in their spiritual path.

Dynamic Meditation

I know people who have no problem with quieting their mind. However, their issue is not being able to “quiet” their bodies. They are the ones you see in yoga not holding still the poses, not being able to sit for a long period of times and not because it hurts their bodies but because it’s simply too hard to stay put. These are the people that enjoy always being busy and physical work. These people may benefit from dynamic meditation and Kundalini Yoga, where the body is moving while meditating. It doesn’t work for me, I have to keep my body still to go deeper, but for those that find anxiety in not moving, dynamic meditation would work best.

Mantra Meditation

Choose a mantra and repeat it. For people that practice physical yoga, there might be mantras they know from their yoga class. I choose mantras from my spiritual books and chant them. I also enjoy practicing Bhakti Yoga, which is devotional yoga, a way of chanting mantras in a call-and-response way also known as Kirtan. Attending Kirtan is a way of mantra meditation and even movement meditation if you dance. Mantra mediation and Kirtan work for me because it quiets my mind and calms me. Many yoga studies offer Kirtan in addition to meditation and yoga classes, but if you are unable to find Kirtan in your area, simply play a few Kirtan CDs and sing along. Sirius XM recently launched Krishna Das radio, so if you have Sirius in your car, you can chant while driving!

Meditation comes in different forms. Finding the right type of meditation and creating a daily routine will help you grow in your spiritual path.

 

Which of these above would you try first? Share with us your thoughts!

 

Photo by InboundDen

The Spiritual Vegan Diet

21 August

Ahimsa The Spiritual Vegan Diet

Last year at Bhakti Fest, one of the MCs talked about a lifestyle challenge he entered as a way to improve his health. As he started the new vegan raw diet, he realized that his new diet is part of what Ahimsa in the yoga world means: Non-violence towards animals. I connected to that because being a vegan for me now is more of a choice-of-energy that enters my body than non-cruelty towards animals. But I knew Ahimsa meant much more beyond food. I was inspired by this topic and wrote about it on my post for MentalBlox.com. Here is a copy of the post:

 

Ahimsa | The Non-Violent Spiritual Diet

If you are a student of Yoga, whether it’s the asana practice only or all the other parts of yoga, you have heard the term Ahimsa. It means non-violence and avoiding harming ourselves and others including animals. Many yogis and yoginis are vegetarian or vegan, because, a true practitioner of yoga will take a vow of non-violence. Eating animals is part of Ahimsa because of the suffering and the violence animals are submitted before they died to become food on a plate. Vegetarism is a start, but Ahimsa is much more beyond being a vegetarian.

You Are What You Eat

I chose to become a vegan many years ago, at the beginning for health reasons, but now I choose to stay vegan for energy reasons. I don’t want the energy of another being in my body; I feel it affects my spiritual path, especially if the animal was hurt and tortured during the dying process to become food for humans. I’m fortunate to be allergic to eggs and dairy and therefore I’m not able to eat those either. Many of my friends have been able to get deeper once they adjust their diets to the principal of Ahimsa. And it’s no surprise that many religions avoid eating certain animals because they might not be as “pure” as others or because some animals are sacred and cannot be consumed.

Walking The Walk

When I started learning more about yoga, deepening my practice thru my teacher training, I became more aware of the term Ahimsa and why it was important in order to advance in my spiritual path. I felt great I was a vegan and thought that was all to it. Ahimsa doesn’t just refer to food and the killing of animals for food. It refers to everything in our lives, not having harmful thoughts about ourselves or others and other violent actions that lead to negative emotions like anger, frustration, fear, rage, and anxiety. So I had to stop wishing people on the road traffic tickets for bad driving, getting angry at my cat for spitting hairballs on my white couch, or killing roaches that come in to my house after a rainy day.

But the most difficult part has been not wounding and hurting me with my thoughts. Every time we judge ourselves and say mean things, we hurt our souls and self-esteem. I know it sounds corny but it’s true. Saying “I’m fat and ugly, nothing fits me”, or “I have a horrible hair day”, or “I’m so stupid”. Even not saying it out loud but thinking it, we are hurting ourselves. And if you have children or siblings that look up to you, they are learning from you to say those things about themselves too.

The Process

It may take a while for us to get used to being more loving towards ourselves and others. I started moving to the middle lane when I see a car coming fast behind me on the left lane, so instead of wishing them a ticket, I let them pass me. I stop telling myself how “fat I feel” when clothes don’t fit or calling myself “stupid” for closing a drawer on my fingers. One might be clumsy at times but it doesn’t mean we have to call ourselves a name or attach a negative feeling to that. Love your clumsy curvy self and the roaches or other animals that share this earth with us. That is the first step to Ahimsa.

Are there other ways you have come to realized Ahimsa applies in your life? Share with us!

Zen and Diet: Can Food Assist You on Your Spiritual Path?

22 July

denis sunduki

Denis and his friends started this project last week. It’s a documentary on whether a person with a strong spiritual practice can take their practice to a higher level with the introduction of a healthy diet. Here is some information on the current project as described by Denis below.

Outline for the Documentary

  • Carlos Londono as Director/Star, Frank Padron as Director of Photography, Denis Soukhanov as Producer/Expert
  • Daily spiritual practice should include: meditation, yoga, satsang, kirtan
  • Weekly recorded conversations
  • Expert Interviews
  • Daily Video Journal
  • Diet is based on pH Miracle by Robert Young

Phase 1: Yogic Diet (30 days)

  • End of First Week: coffee replaced with green tea
  • Whole Food Vegetarian Diet
  •  “Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible, before being consumed. Whole foods typically do not contain added ingredients, such as salt, carbohydrates, or fat.” – Wikipedia
  • Organic when possible
  • Avoid stimulants (coffee, alcohol, drugs)
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement
  • “In the Ayurvedic tradition, foods that are considered sattvic include most vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), fruits, legumes, and whole grains.” – Yoga Journal
  • Learning Ahimsa
  • Fasting on Ekadashi days (11th lunar day, twice a month)

Phase 2: Beyond Ahimsa – Vegan Diet (30 days)

  • All of the above
  • Avoid all animal products (no dairy, no honey, no eggs)
  • At least one big salad a day
  • Learning about pH of the foods
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement

Phase 3: Alkaline Diet  (30 days)

  • First week (Green Juice fast)
  • 80/20 pH balanced
  •  80/20 Raw Vegan
  • Green Juices and Green Smoothies for breakfast
  • Multi-vitamin whole foods supplement

 

Before and Way Before

26 June

Many friends have been asking me to post pictures of Denis and I when we first began our journey in the health food path. But first, here is one of my favorite clips from the Sopranos that kinda reminds me of the pictures you will see below. I call these pictures, the pictures of when we were over weight: the Sopranos… you’ll see why.

Denis lost a total of 93 Lbs

I lost over 50 lbs.

 

Most of the weight loss came after we switched to raw vegan, but the first weight we lost was after we switched from red meat to only poultry and fish. After a few years on just fish, we lost more weight again.

I do have to confess that being only raw vegan, can also add weight. I’ve been able to keep my weight stable for 2 years and continue to stay on that weight. I have also been able to build muscle on just raw by adding vegan protein. However, the minute I stop exercising to build muscle and didn’t change my way of eating, my weight changed.

Each person is different as I always say, so we all must find what works for us.

Taking a Break

09 May

I used to hear older people say that once you turn 18 life goes fast. I turned 18 and, well it went fast but not too fast.

I started hearing that it would get worse when you turn 30. Well I just turn 30 and yes life still going fast, but not because I got older. I believe it is because I took on too much since the beginning of 2010.

It all started with going to Bhakti Fest and “preparing” for it. And when I came back from Joshua Tree, I decided to go get certified to teach yoga immediately. It was 20 weekends, and with a full time job, it was extremely busy for me. I also  turned 30 and threw a party to celebrate, then it was thanksgiving, the holidays, and I got married.

Then came New Year’s, still in school, and lots of projects at work. So blogging went out the window and so did reading. I even open a new website/blog that hasn’t taken off yet, but will soon. With all the work and homework and reading and attending yoga classes, I was absolutely ready to quit everything.

In March, I Finally  graduated from Yoga Teacher School and had a breather. But not by much. Friends from out of town came to visit, other friends turned 30 and there were parties to attend, and then at work we decided to move another building. Yey, fun for me!

So instead of drinking heavily, I took on reading fiction series until the next Anita Blake novel is out June :)

Taking a break has been great, but I’m ready to blog again and have many ideas for not just this blog but also my new yoga blog.  So stay tuned for more to come here at panyvinito! I think I may actually finish the post with all the “Before & After” pictures… yes! Long over due!

Blessings,

Lina

30 Things I’m Grateful For

14 November

In celebration of my 30th birthday, I decided to share 30 things I’m grateful for and some of the best things I’ve done, encounter, experience so far. They are in no particular order, the list was done in the way I was inspired to write it.

Beach

Moving to the beach is one of the best things Denis and I have done in our lives. It has been a spiritual experience for me. Being so close to the ocean has been life changing for me. There is no bullshit here, just you and your true self. That’s what the ocean has done for me and I’m very grateful for it.

Denis

Yes, he’s been THE BEST thing in my very short life. He’s been there for me when I’m down or up, put up with my drama, and has supported me in my spiritual journey. He’s my universe, my guru, my roomate, my lover, my friend, and partner in everything. I’m grateful the universe put us in the same computer lab back in college.

Shasta

Experiencing Mt. Shasta has been one of the most peaceful and adventures journeys I’ve had. I love that beautiful sacred mountain and I’m thankful for all the experiences I had there.

Sedona

Many milestones happened in Sedona for me. Getting lost in the dessert, discovering truth, dropping my heaviest baggage, drumming circles in the night, and my first Blue Moon experience was there too. I’m only sorry I’m boycotting Arizona for what they’ve done to my people there, but as soon as they get real people back into place, I’m sure I’ll be back to my beloved Sedona.

Kitty

I never had pets, but always considered myself a dog person. We rescued Kitty after hurricane Wilma and she’s been really happy with us and loving. When I’m sick or alone in the house, she stays with me all the time. She’s unlike many cats and has taught me that you can’t have two controlling people trying to do one thing. I’m glad she’s off the streets and she enjoys being home in a warm bed with fresh food everyday.

Anita Blake

Anita has taught me so much, specially things I already knew but had forgotten. She inspires me to be brave and not be ashamed. She taught me to never ask someone to do something you would never do yourself. She reminded me that sometimes the monsters are better than humans. She’s now one of my best friends and I’m so grateful to have her in my life.

Raw

Eating raw food has been an incredible journey and learning experience. I have been able to accomplish so many things thanks to being raw. I can’t say I’ll be raw my entire life because life is uncertain, but if I can, I’ll stay raw forever and ever.

Kirtan and Yoga

Discovering Kirtan and yoga 9 years ago was life changing for me. It jump start my heart to the right path and continues to guide me in my amazing spiritual journey.

Blogging

When I first started blogging, it was hard for me to break away from my usual way of writing college papers or office reports. It took a long time to feel comfortable in here. Blogging how now become another tool in my way of healing. I blog for 7 blogs now where I can express my knowledge or feelings in all different aspects of my life. It’s so great to be able to share content with different audiences.

Moving to USA

I always knew I had to go somewhere far and when the opportunity came I took it. I’m grateful I was able to come here and start my spiritual journey which otherwise would not had happened in Colombia.

My Prius

I’m all about making a statement, voting with my money, and walk the walk. Even though the prius may not be the best car for the environment, it makes a stand and it shows people they can afford to be green. The prius is one of the best things I’ve purchased, and if I can afford one, anyone can too!

Kids

I’m extremely grateful for not having children. I’ve been able to be a mother to others that needed one. I’ve been able to experience things that otherwise would be difficult to do if I had children. I’ve been able to experience unconditional love without having to bring another human being to this overcrowded world. And someday I hope to repay this experience by helping children who don’t have parents or are alone in the world just like I was.

Volunteering

I’ve volunteered in different projects, charities, organizations, etc. It’s always an amazing experience to give back without expecting anything in return. To be able to give from your heart and not because someone expects you but because your body, your heart, your soul, your mind wants to. I’m grateful to give back every time I can.

The 2001 Omega Yoga Conference in Miami

This is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my very short life. Denis dragged me to volunteer at this conference 9 years ago and it was life changing for me. I discovered Yoga Trance Dance and haven’t been the same since then. I’m so grateful for having attended this conference because it was one of the milestones in my life.

Shiva Rea

She’s a Goddess and absolutely loving. Shiva has inspired me to take a leap of faith and jump in to something I would not have the courage to do without the love.

Ganesh

My favorite Elephant God! He’s with me at all times either on my neck, my arm, my purse, my bag, my car, my office, every room in my house. Ganesh helps me remove obstacles and protects me. I’m thankful he’s with me every minute.

Manifesting

Learning to perfect manifestation techniques is one of the best things I’ve accomplished. I’m very grateful for knowing how to do it, and for everything I have manifested.

Clearing Clutter

My favorite hobby is clearing clutter. I first discover clearing clutter on my way back from my first trip to Sedona and it’s now one of my favorite spiritual practices. Creating sacred space in your own space by clearing clutter is something I strongly recommend to anyone. I’m thankful for respecting my own space by clearing clutter and creating a sacred space.

Oprah

Yeah ok, she’s in the list. But not because of her show or her “women power” spirit (which yes, I love), but for teaching me to forgive myself and for sharing her story. I’m very thankful for her openness because that contribute to my spiritual journey and healing process.

Mayhem Fest

I wrote an entire post about this, and I’m grateful for that experience.

Bhakti Fest

Experiencing Bhakti for 6 days was amazing. I wrote about and my journey to preparing for it. I’m grateful to myself for allowing this to happen for me.

Suzanne Sterling and C.C. White

Discovering Suzanne and C.C. was like finding a jackpot at the end of the rainbow. No other two women have inspired me so greatly to explore my spiritual musicality. Their voices are filled with so much love and devotion that is intoxicating! They are Goddesses and I will never forget them!

David Deida

Mr. Deida opened my mind to love and healing. His teachings, work, concepts are mind blowing and extremely accurate. He’s contribute to my journey and I’m very grateful I was introduced to his work.

Laurell K. Hamilton

Laurell is my newest role model. She is very honest and open to sharing her love for writing and caring for her fans. She’s helped me heal wounds with her own personal stories of healing and I’m extremely grateful have found her, her work, and her blog.

Becoming a Vegan

Becoming a vegan has been one of the best things I’ve done. Nothing teaches you more compassion and freedom than being a vegan. Not only has it improved my health, but it opened my mind to a new world that connect my spiritual path with every other aspect of my life. I’m grateful I changed my lifestyle and eating habits to create an environment for compassion and love to help me heal.

Belly Dance

One of the best things I’ve done for my body and my belly. Nothing encourages femininity and freedom like Belly Dance does. My belly and I are very happy and thankful for Belly Dance.

Osho Zen Tarot Cards

I pull a card every week and that’s the meditation or subject I work on for the week. Many times things I don’t want to “fix” or heal come up, but I’m grateful they do so that I can stay honest and work on those issues.

Music

Music has always been there for me. It was the first way I knew how to heal. It keeps my mind and heart open to new things. To not judge and to listen. To really listen to what’s there. It’s the only way I can successfully meditate, to get lost in the sounds. I’m grateful for the music in my life.

Me

I’m thankful for me. For all the work I’ve put into my healing and spiritual path. For everything I’ve accomplished and for being here today to write this blog. For forgiven myself and loving myself even though it was the hardest to do. As I celebrate 30 years of pain, love, happiness, sadness, madness, misery, joy,  passion, accomplishments, blessings, etc, I’m thankful for being here today and sharing these 30 things I’m grateful for.

~ Blessings

From Mayhem to Bhakti

02 October
Bhakti Fest

Bhakti Fest

That’s right! Last month I went to Mayhem Fest here in Florida with headliners Korn, Lamb of God, Rob Zombie, and Fiver Finger Death Punch. This month, I went to Bhakti Fest in California with headliners Krishna Das, Bhagavan Das, Deva Premal & Mitten, Jai Uttal, Wah!, and Geoffrey Gordon to name a few (very few).

Two very different festivals, but both very similar to me. People gather, complete strangers, to enjoy music that transport them to a different place, that elevates their spirit. I enjoy all music, except country music; (don’t ask me why, it just doesn’t do anything for me).  So going in, I had similar goals to accomplish at each festival that relate to spiritual growth and the intentions I had set on the last Blue Moon.

Independence

I’ve been working on becoming more independent and trusting the universe that nothing will go wrong if I do things on my own. I used to be scared of being away from Denis too long because I always felt we would loose precious time being apart. I also feared that something would happened to us and I wanted to spend as much time together. I got inspired last year to work on this issue and so far I’ve been able to accomplish it. Proof is I went to Mayhem Fest without Denis and at Bhakti Fest we had different schedules, and last week, I went to a concert by myself. Just me, myself, and I had a blast!

Fear

I don’t have many regrets in life, but the ones I do have are all tied to fear. Being afraid of doing something. Well no more! I decided to evaluate whenever a fear surfaces and tries to stop me from doing things I want to do. For example, when I first got tickets to Mayhem Fest, I was afraid for Denis. It was going to be his first “rock” (metal) concert (for 8 hours!) and I was afraid. So instead of selling the tickets or giving them away, I went with someone else. At Bhakti I was scared of doing yoga for 5 days (including the intensive) and of going to LA. I had heard so many scary stories of the police, etc in LA that I almost wanted to skip visiting the city.  But I didn’t let that fear stopped me and jumped in to each class for 5 days and went around LA trusting our GPS!

Let Go – Clearing Mind Clutter

Most people know that I. LOVE. CLEARING. CLUTTER! I’m now convinced is one of my talents I was born with! But clearing the clutter in the mind is much more difficult that cleaning your space. So I went to both festivals hoping to clear some of the clutter in my head and it worked!

Dance

I love dancing but I almost never have time to dance. So this time at both festivals I took every opportunity to dance. Well, yes at Mayhem there isn’t much “dancing” but jumping and throwing your hands in the air count as dancing. Oh and who can forget rocking your head and hair back and forth to the sound of any Lamb of God song? Yeah that’s dancing in my book!

Guilt

Mayhem Fest - Korn

Like Korn‘s song says: “Let the Guilt Go“, that is one of my BIGGEST issues I’ve been working out this passed 10 months. As any person brought up in the catholic religion, we are made to believe everything is our fault and we must feel guilty for everything. When I was getting ready to go to Mayhem Fest (10 minutes before I left the house) I felt guilty for not taking Denis with me. I finally talked it out loud and expressed myself and realized how stupid of me. I would have felt guilty taking him because metal is not his cup of tea and for not taking him. At Bhakti Fest, I felt guilty leaving early, at 1am, and not staying for the later kirtan even though I was exhausted and sleepy. I felt guilty for not buying more things to support the vendors, and felt guilty for not going to more yoga classes. Finally, I talked to myself and reassured myself that it was OK to rest and not overwork my body and overspend beyond my traveling budget.

At each festival the music, energy, and situations helped me overcome different issues I had to deal with. As different as both festivals were, I went in with the same goals. Best part of both festivals, I had a great time!

Preparing for Bhakti Fest

08 September

When I found out that I was going to Bhakti Fest 2010, I was extremely excited but realized I had to get in shape. Why you may ask? Well, the festival is 4 days of Kirtan, yoga, and speakers. Kirtan is almost happening 24/7, so I knew I’ll be sitting for a long time.

To prepare for Bhakti fest, I did what I usually do for any concert or event I go to. I practiced all the songs and studied all the musicians and learned everything I needed about the event. I don’t need to memorize the mantras for kirtan, because we know most of them already from all other kirtan events we have attended over the last 9 years.

For Yoga though, I actually started by registering for yoga classes early this year. But then I quit for awhile and then panicked that time was running out and I was still not ready for 4 days of yoga. So I signed up for an unlimited class pass for vinyasa flow yoga and have been attending three times a week. I guess you may think I’m nuts preparing like I was running a marathon, but if you think about it, I’m doing a “yoga marathon”.

To add more pressure, Denis actually registered me for an all-day-intensive with my FAVORITE yoga teacher/master/goddess ever! Shiva Rea! If there were yoga groupies (I’m sure there are), I would be her groupie. I absolutely adore her and have taken every class she has taught in South Florida. My favorite class is her Yoga Trance Dance.

One year, she invited Denis and I as special guests to one of her classes and it was awesome. I don’t know if she’ll remember me this time because I have lost a lot of weight since the last I was in her class, but I always keep her in my heart. So I gotta be ready for her class.

It’s going to be an exciting time for us, since we get to see a lot of our favorite musicians and speakers. Krishna Das, Deva Premal, Jai Uttal, Geoffrey Gordon, Bhagavan Das, Wah, Prema Hara to name a few. Speakers include Ram Dass, Sam Geppi, etc. Yoga teachers include Shiva Rea, Saul David Raye, Sean Corn, Duncan Wong, and many more!

Hopefully in all my bliss this week, I’ll be able to tweet about this wonderful event.  In the meantime, here is a preview of my favorite kind a yoga. Blessings!