Seize the Days at Bhakti Fest West August 29, 2013

E-News from LA YOGA Ayurveda and Health Magazine
Follow us
LA YOGA Magazine Cover
September 2013 Issue
On the Cover: Celesta Hodge
Photo by: David Young-Wolff

From the Editor

There are some events within the yoga community that can feel like a touchstone to mark the year. Over the past five years, Bhakti Fest has become one of those. I remember the first moments I set foot on the sacred ground of theJoshua Tree Retreat Center to step foot into the whirlwind of music, chanting, yoga, and workshops–they were moments when I felt a sense of both awe and connection. Awe related to the depth and breath of the yoga community and the commmitment to practice within in. And connection found in the moments we all stand, sing, and pratice together.

It is undeniable that Bhakti Fest has instigated a shift in the terrain of yoga practice in the world today. The integration of devotion and the breath, teaching and asana, music from before dawn until well past midnight; dancing in the rain, celebrating for any reason imaginable–these ideas have changed the face of modern yoga. And the landscape will never be the same.

If you’ve been to Bhakti Fest, go again. If you’ve not yet made the pilgrimage, then pack your bags.

While there are still officially a few more weeks of summer, for many, Labor Day heralds the time of returning to school, to routines, to work, to shifting our own internal patterns. Ayurvedic practitioner Dana Tilak offers some ideas for how to integrate the principles and practices of Ayurveda within this time. You can read the short version of her suggestions in print or in ourdigitial edition, or an expanded version of her thoughts at LA YOGA: Ayurveda. For my own detoxification, I’ve been in the midst of a project that involves sorting and giving away clothes I don’t wear, sifting through the electronics in the house and office, and watching what I eat and how much I exercise. According to Ayurveda, detoxification is an ongoing practice. One we would do well to process with devotion.

With Love,

Felicia Marie Tomasko

Felicia Marie Tomasko, RN
LA Yoga Magazine, Editor in Chief

Bhakti Fest

Upcoming Events


6:00 P.M. – 8:15 P.M. YogaWorks Teacher Training Preview with David Lynch and Jorge Luna. Come prepare to practice, meet our trainers and ask questions if you are interested in deepening your practice or becoming a teacher. YogaWorks South Bay.


Training for Healing Arts Entrepreneurs: How to Win Sponsorships for Your Business. Taught by Laura Brown, founder of Flagstaff Yoga Festival. This two hour web-access training is FREE for LA Yoga readers. Click here to learn how to get paid in advance for your business in the Healing Arts Industries through sponsorship and partnership. Access anytime over the next 5 days. Offer expires Tuesday, September 3.


8:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M. “Kriya Yoga Initiation and Workshop.” A rare opportunity to learn authentic Kriya Yoga from Himalayan Kriya Yogi Sadguru Yogiraj Sri Sri Mangeshda. Contact Ahasuki for more info.

5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.  Dharma Yoga LA Grand Re-Opening Celebration. The DMYLA community celebrates five years of service, their new studio, their new nonprofit status, and their mission to bring more people to Self-knowledge. Yoga Demonstrations, Music, Refreshments. 4569 W. Washington Blvd, Los Angeles.


8:30 A.M. World Peace Pilgrimage. The fifth annual interfaith World Peace Pilgrimage welcomes all faiths to come together at Mounty Baldy with the mutual inanition of sending peace and light to the world. FREE


7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. Mahamandaleshwar Shri 108 Swami Maheshwaranad Puriji Maharaj. During this inspirational sating, Swami Maheshwaranad will share his experiences interacting with sages and spiritual masters worldwide. Vedanta Temple, Hollywood. 1946 Vedanta Pl., Los Angeles.


5th Annual Bhakti Fest West. The largest gathering of yoga teachers and kirtan artists in the western world, the fifth annual Bhakti Fest West includes Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Bryan Kest, CC White, Shiva Rea, Girish, Dharma Mittra, Radhanath Swami, Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, The GuruGanesha Band and many more. ($50 discount code: LAYOGA) Joshua Tree Retreat Center.


5th Annual Bhakti Fest West. The largest gathering of yoga teachers and kirtan artists in the western world, the fifth annual Bhakti Fest West includes Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Bryan Kest, CC White, Shiva Rea, Girish, Dharma Mittra, Radhanath Swami, Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, The GuruGanesha Band and many more. ($50 discount code: LAYOGA) Joshua Tree Retreat Center.


5th Annual Bhakti Fest West. The largest gathering of yoga teachers and kirtan artists in the western world, the fifth annual Bhakti Fest West includes Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Bryan Kest, CC White, Shiva Rea, Girish, Dharma Mittra, Radhanath Swami, Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, The GuruGanesha Band and many more. ($50 discount code: LAYOGA) Joshua Tree Retreat Center.

7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. Finding Balance in the City of Angels. An inspiring evening of music and spiritual talks including a conversation with Sister Denise Lawrence, Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord, and music by violinist Shelly Ren and pianist Valeria Morgovskaya. Free. St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral. 514 West Adams Blvd., Los Angeles.


5th Annual Bhakti Fest West. The largest gathering of yoga teachers and kirtan artists in the western world, the fifth annual Bhakti Fest West includes Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Bryan Kest, CC White, Shiva Rea, Girish, Dharma Mittra, Radhanath Swami, Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, The GuruGanesha Band and many more. ($50 discount code: LAYOGA) Joshua Tree Retreat Center.

Divine Feminine Yoga Telesummit 2013

Join the Divine Feminine Yoga Telesummit 2013 on Women, Money and Yoga. From September 3-12, learn from eight inspiring women who found their divine path to financial freedom through yoga. Gain the confidence of knowing your true worth, do what you life, and feel comfortable and relaxed around money in the meantime. Access to this online event is Free; all you need is a computer (or a phone line) to participate from anywhere in the world.

If you can’t join live, you can access a free online replay after each interview. For more information and to sign up, visit: Divine Feminine Yoga Telesummit.

We’re honored to be the sponsor of Yoga Chat with the Accidental Yogist on every Wednesday from 1:00-2:30pm Pacific.

Here’s the link to this week’s podcast celebrating the 5th anniversary of Bhakti Fest, featuring interviews with Donna de Lory, Zat Baraka, and Kristin Olson as well as kirtan from festival musicians: Five Years of Bhakti Bliss in the Desert

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes by clicking here.


Melon Salsa Recipe

Mango Salsa Recipe
We enjoy the nutritious benefits of most members of the gourd family – watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber – yet few of us are familiar with the most bitter, and thereby the most beneficial, gourd of all: bitter melon. A cup of bitter melon contains 23 calories; it is also an excellent source of vitamins B, C, and E, folic acid, zinc, fiber, magnesium, and contains twice the potassium of a banana.

In LA YOGA’s September Yogi Foods, Red Jen Ford explores the health benefits of the bitter melon and ways to incorporate it in your diet. One item on the menu? This healthy and refreshing Melon Salsa Recipe.

Not-to-be-Missed at Bhakti Fest

Bhakti FestThe 5th Annual Bhakti Fest West is set to be an weekend full of yoga, kirtan and heart opening activities from September 5-8. Where to begin? Here’s our suggestions of day-by-day events not to be missed: LA YOGA Recommends: Bhakti Fest West.

Full festival passes are still available for $325. Day passes for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are available for $100 each; weekend passes (Saturday and Sunday) are also available for $175. Use code ‘layoga‘ to receive a $50 discount. VisitBhakti Fest Tickets to purchase your ticket now!

Implement Ayurveda with Evolve Naturally

Evolve Naturally
Ayurveda and Yoga are growing in popularity as more people discover the incredible benefits of sustained natural living. These powerful ancient sciences bring balance–eliminating causes and symptoms. The result is overall improvement in every aspect of life.

Getting Started with Ayurveda is an online video course that helps you implement Ayurveda at your own pace. Stream lessons at your convenience wherever you are, and learn simple secrets to unlock the vibrant health that is your birthright. The Evolve Naturally team brings Ayurveda and Yoga to life for all individuals! If you interested in the truth of where weight gain and disease begin, how you can bring your suffering to an end, and the timeless art of living a life of perfect health, then Getting Started with Ayurveda is for you. Start today on your delicious path to wellness!

Myra Lewin, an expert in the fields of Ayurveda, Yoga, nutrition, meditation and energy management, created Evolve Naturally to provide personal support and courses in Ayurveda and Yoga. Guiding participants to balanced living is the mission of Evolve Naturally. Visit Hale Pule Evolve Naturally to learn how to get started.

Alchemy Event 2013 Master Plan

Alchemy Event
Join the Alchemy Event in co-creating a new humanity at the upcoming Master Plan event from October 4-6 at the Radisson LAX Hotel. The weekend long event will include lectures, panels, exhibits, health, technology, healing, meditation, music, and healthy foods. Keynote speakers include George Noory (pictured right), Dr. Peter Gariaev, Princess Kaoru Nakamaru, amongst many more. Exhibit tables are still available for only $199 for the three-day event.

Three day tickets are on sale until September 1 for only $149. Get $50 discount by entering code: ‘layoga’. Tickets will be available at the door for $80 per day; cash only. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit Alchemy Event.

Top Outdoor Places to Practice Yoga in Los Angeles

Outdoor Yoga in Los Angeles
As the summer is coming to an end, we’ve created a list of the outdoor yoga classes you must take before the summer’s ending.

From yoga on the pier, to the mountains, to the tops of buildings, the places to practice in Los Angeles are as versatile and endless as the city itself. Here is our list of our top five must-visit places to practice this summer (and Indian Summer!): LA YOGA: Outdoor Yoga in Los Angeles.


Athleta Opens on Third Street Promenade

Athleta Opens on Third Street PromenadeOn June 27, Santa Monica’s trendy Third Street Promenade welcomed the new Athleta retail store. Spacious, bright, and upbeat, Athleta Santa Monica celebrates and empowers the female form with flattering apparel and their “Power to the She” philosophy.

Athleta combines a community-minded and eco-friendly commitment with its retail presence, including an eclectic schedule of free fitness classes including a running group, Zumba, yoga, and kickboxing. For more information on the newest branch of Athleta, visit: LA YOGA Open Doors.

The Sacred Art of Yuan Miao

The Art of Yuan Miao
“On the Wings of Phoenix Rising: The Art of Yuan Miao” will be on display at Ethos Art Gallery from August 23-September 12. For an in-depth interview with Yuan Miao and the inspiration behind her work, visit LA YOGA: The Sacred Art of Yuan Miao.

For more info on the exhibit that features pieces made from Miao’s own hair, visit: New Century Foundation.

Open Your Heart with Ram Dass

Ram Dass Retreat
“Celebrate Aloha” with Ram Dass, Krishna Das and Friends for the 5th Anniversary of the “Open Your Heart in Paradise”Retreat at Maui’s beautiful Napili Kai Beach Resort from December 4-9.

Join beloved Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield for morning meditations and his dharma talks with Mirabai Bush andTrudy Goodman. Enjoy daily Words of Wisdom sessions with Ram Dass and soaring nightly kirtans with Krishna Das. Practice daily hatha yoga with Saraswati Markus or beachfront Qi Gong with Joyanna Cotter. Special sessions include “Aloha in Action” with Lei’ohu Ryder/Maydeen Iao and chanting Hanuman Chalisas with Nina Rao and Friends. Ocean side resort, health conscious meals, and transportation included from Kahului Airport.

For more information and registration, visit Ram Dass or email.

Ram Dass gathered his most essential practice-based guidance for living fully in the here and now into “Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart.” Released on August 1, readers will find within these pages a rich combination of perennial wisdom, humor, teachings, and stories from Ram Dass’ most valued spiritual practices. For more information or to pre order, visit Polishing the Mirror Release.

Celebrate Vivekananda Legacy: Dharma Yoga Festival

Dharma and Yoga Fest
Celebrate Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary at the Dharma and Yoga Fest in Norwalk, CA. On September 21, Excelsior High School will transform into a transformational ground filled with live kirtan, yoga workshops, spiritual discourses, and more. Chant with the Kirtaniyas, meditate with Dancing Shiva teachers, and be awed by traditional Garba dancers. Participants from the Self Realization Fellowship, Kali Mandir, and Internationl Society of Krishna Consciousness will all unite to honor the monk who bravely stood before the Parliament of the World Religions and made an appeal to unite all spiritual traditions in 1893.

Admission and parking is free for the festival. For more information, visit Dharma and Yoga Fest.

Beware of Your Inner Infant

LA YOGA Astrology
The mysticism of the Moon throughout the month of September may bring up hidden sensitivities and emotions. Ground down and tap into your mature self by being consistent, bold, and open.

On Tuesday, September 1 through Thursday, September 3, “we may experience some emotional frustration and battles of will when the Moon and Mars join in Cancer,” explains Sam Geppi in LA YOGA’s September astrology.”Mars is debilitated here, so we are not feeling so confident and powerful. Add to that the emotions and sensitivity of the Moon In Cancer, and your ‘inner infant’ may rear its head.” For more explanation of current astrological trends, visit  LA YOGA: Astrology.

Sam Geppi is an internationally-respected Vedic astrology teacher. For free Vedic astrology DVDs and courses: Sam Geppi.

Passport to Prana: Yoga Posers

Passport to Prana
LA YOGA is grateful to team up with Passport to Prana, the original multi-studio yoga pass that entitles you to one class at each of participating yoga studio throughout Los Angeles for just $30.

A yoga class inside the upscale Fred Segal store in Santa Monica? Yes, please. Mary, our accommodating Yoga Poser instructor, eased everyone into the room. Yet it was the hardest class I’ve ever taken,” shares Erynne Elkins. “But that’s a compliment. She encouraged us to embrace our varying comfort levels in this Total Poser Flow class. And everyone did by giving it their all. Be sure to register online as this popular class fills up fast. And don’t forget to bring a water bottle and towel. Get ready to take your practice to the next level, because these “Posers” are the real deal.

Are YOU ready to explore new LA studio and places within with a Passport to Prana card? VisitPassport to Prana.

Rescue a Dog Today

Big Bear Shelter
The County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health Animal Care & Control is holding several dogs at its Big Bear Shelter that are at a high risk of being euthanized immediately.

Browse the Paws for Peace Facebook Album to meet the dogs that are currently being prepared for euthanization.

To rescue or adopt a dog today, call the Big Bear Shelter at (909) 866-4943.

Giveaway: Rope & Canvas

Rope & Canvas
LA-based indie brand Rope & Canvas recently launched its own line of handmade vegan espadrilles! Like most simple things, Rope & Canvas was born out of a basic need: unable to find a pair of casual vegan shoes adapted for the SoCal weather, founder Michael Falck was reminded of the espadrilles he wore during childhood summers in France. He went looking for craftsmen honoring the age-old tradition of the Basque country and found a manufacturer that made the shoes he had in mind: classic espadrilles made from jute and cotton – natural, breathable and comfortable.

Find out more about Rope & Canvas‘ products and philosophy and get 30% off your first purchase with code LAYOGA30.

LA YOGA is excited to give away give away three pairs of espadrilles – size and color of the winner’s choosing! Enter to win by liking LA YOGA on Facebook and writing us with why you want to win!

Our Sponsors

Violet Love Bhakti Fest Ram Dass Retreat
Skirball Cultural Center One Yoga for the People Passport to Prana
YogaWorks The Natural Epicurean David Young-Wolff