The mythic Topanga Canyon blue sky and warm red earth was the site of this year’s third annual 3-day yoga love celebration MokshaFest. The word Moksha मोक्ष (MOKE-shah) is an ancient Sanskrit sutra that means freedom, liberation, or release. And what a dive into blissful release it was! Dreamy sounds of kirtan floated from the main tribal gathering area, backed by drums and chanting from the tent temples strewn across the Topanga Community House Commons. The weather was a perfect blend of cool dewy mornings, smooth breezes, hot sweaty sunny afternoons blending to twilight balm with a finish of nippy desert night.
The classes were an exotic mixture of traditional Hatha yoga, Sufi movement, meditation, Pranayama, Anusara, meditation, Kundalini, Sattva, NAAM, breathing, Vinyasa, Flow, breathing, Kundalini, singing, Kundalini, chanting, meditation and more Kundalini – in case you missed your Shakti awakening – morning noon or evening. Teachers from India joined local stella lunas to bring humor and lightness of being into the clamor of yoginis and yogas waiting breathlessly to dive into the pools of blissful breathing. The heat and humor were a good mix of levity with many local yoga teachers of every discipline including a strong presence of Khalsa led sessions.
Moksha Fest was a quintessential scene of the new world order ala Cirque du Soleil. A colorful rainbow of Fellini-esk personalities, traditions, ethnicities, ages, gods and goddesses swaying in FULLY LIBERATED MOKSHA fed by raw foods, nectarian $9.00 smoothies, Moon Juice and their sweet sweaty Selves. Reminiscent of a Moroccan market, the market place was filled with sellers of crystals, silky slippery floating clothing, divine jewels, healing oils, balms, fragrant pure scent powders – a multitude of experiences akin to the Kumbh Mela that could be inhaled, imbibed visually, auditorily or taken with blessings by the biodegradable cupful.
The LOVE was palpable. Musicians sang mantras of every hue – Om Namah Shivaya was heard in every molecule of space surrounding the centre of the Los Angeles creative canyon – in every octave, nuance and trill. “Guru Dave” was a popular superhero of every performer. It was great fun to hear how all these ancient mantras from far flung traditions are now the ROCKING beat of this tribe. Endless waves of Om Mani Padme Hum, Om Tare tu Tare, Shee Bhagavate Namah, Parabramah, Hare Om Tat Sat, issued forth from heaving bosoms, sweaty chests, sweet throats and bejeweled time travels weaving a spell under the sliver of moon, accompanied by a brief show of the Love planet Venus and the star, Regulus. Drums of every kind accompanied the various musicians, along with exotic murdungas, flutes, bass, guitar, and the ever present harmonium.
A crown jewel was Jai Uttal on Saturday night who raised the vibration and the audience to their feet for hours of floating rythyms that levitated us into the next Loka. Stories of Hanuman the all serving and strong monkey god appealed to the children and the childlike. The finishing touch was Sweetness Incarnate Snatam Kaur on Sunday who healed all the levels of creation, from the starlight swirls of the farthest reaches of the Universe to the thumb-sized being in the sesame-seed blue pearl in the cave of the heart.
In my own little Universe, I experienced a levitating Holy Spirit Presence under the healing hands of one of the master massage therapists, Jannell. Laying there after 2 hours of Pranayama and Kundalini yoga sessions, I was literally flown away by a Divine Blissful Presence that lifted me out of my body into the Spirit Realm, with a healing balm of non verbal etherial Spaciousness. Trust. Faith. Know the Next Step is guided by forces greater than those we in our feeble imaginations can only barely fathom.
What’s next? This full moon weekend will unfold with many celebrations – some free or by donation, Here’s just a sampling of some of my favorites among myriad activities in the LA area.
- 7/19 – Friday, 8:30 p.m. Daniel Stewart and Friends Post Mokshafest Kirtans at Rising Lotus, 13557 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA – (Donation $10-20)
- 7/20 -Saturday & 7/21 Sunday – Frank Lloyd Wright Organic Resource Center – Mary Wright Art on the Land Workshop and Art Show. Saturday 1-5 pm Watercolour Workshop $25 – Register at www.elwright.net/wrightway. Sunday 1-5 pm Free Art Show
- 7/20 -Saturday 7:30 p.m. Gurupurnima celebrations at Gurumayi Chidvilananda’s Siddha Yoga LA Meditation Center, 1845 So. Bundy Dr., LA 90025 (Free). (Also 7/22 Monday 7:30 chant )
- 7/21 Sunday 5:00 p.m. Diana Lang’s LifeWorks Yoga Free FULL MOON MEDITATION TELECONFERENCE.
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- Yoga Out Doors Activities (YODA) with Sri Hari Moss of Agoura Hills Yoga Upstairs. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
- 7/21 – Sunday 9 a.m. Yoga at the Beach off PCH near 6800 Westward Beach Road, Malibu
- 7/22 – Monday 7:30 p.m. Full Moon Yoga class at Malibu Bluffs on PCH where Malibu Canyon meets Pepperdine University.