Yoga Teacher Kristin Olson and the Devotional Journey of Shakti Fest

Shakti Fest: A Devotional Revelation

Stepping into the world of Shakti Fest  was like an invitation into a mother’s sweet embrace. The Spring, 2019, location at the Joshua Tree RV and Campground provided a new level of intimacy to the already heart-filled experience of these weekends.

The festival is centered around a little lake buzzing with animal life: swimming fish, ducklings and dragon flies making their subtle own music. The offerings of movement, stillness, sound and song were all blending with the natural beauty present in the desert. We were hugged in by surrounding mountains and treated to saturated sunsets. The entire nature-based experience is a visual and visceral treat to the senses that supports the ability to sit in meditation to go find center within.

Shakti Fest Participants

Celebration the Divine Feminine on the Devotional Journey of Shakti Fest

We all were in a state of change together, after having become comfortable in the original festival location (Joshua Tree Retreat Center) that so many of us loved for ten years. Shakti Fest on Mother’s Day has always helped to celebrate the divine feminine — a welcomed rebirth and a long drink for those of us who were thirsty for connection.

Again this year, healers and the teachers came from around the world to be recharged in the sun and light desert rain. A time to be led by love, dance, and play amongst the faces of those doing such profound work in the world. We know it’s important for us to fill our own cups and I witnessed so many cups being filled. Massages, shady naps, breath-work classes, stretching and asana practices, as well as the celebratory and rhythmic collective stomping and dancing feet were all parts of the whole—a cacophony of happenings in one place.

The Celebration of Kirtan

The celebration was both a reminder of and a return to our own oneness. Govind Das and Radha of Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica kicked off the love fest with a kirtan on Thursday night. The entire gathering was teary-eyed under the stars while Radha’s powerhouse of a voice praised the feminine “Ma” energy of the universe, dedicating the music to each of our mothers.

Harmon Clarke was our energetic Master of Ceremonies, introducing sacred music artists including MC YOGI, Jai Uttal, Fantuzzi, Fannah Fi Allah and many more who inspired us to get on our feet, grooving and shaking on the back of Mother Earth at night after days of practice. The festival offered an abundance of high-vibration nutritious vegetarian and vegan food and drinks to keep us going through it all.

Kids Kirtan at Shakti Fest

Quiet and cool nights could be spent in a tent, RV, or in a rented colorful trailer on the grounds. Some retired early to rest, while others created their own circles of song long into the night. Shakti Fest was filled with such profound moments. Everything (from the yoga mat to the sound baths) created a magical wonderland for the lover of Bhakti, or devotional practice.

Everyone I connected with was in a state of awe. We acknowledged just how much can be discovered when we are together, sharing, and practicing devotion in our favorite ways. Be it the light or shadows that are revealed to us, everything in the container of the festival experience is all for our benefit: to learn and to help us make our way back to our nature of unconditional compassion.

Gratitude for the Practice

Namaste, Shakti Fest, and to each person whose hearts/hands went into the making of this transformative weekend of motherly love. Jai Ma.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Dawn Sorenson
Dawn Sorenson is an artist/writer, yin yoga instructor and healing advocate with a focus on our emotional bodies. Trained all over Asia and blends eastern/western modalities for a balanced approach of ancient and modern. Based in Santa Monica, she is a lover of life, people and all things transformational. www.rootandrisehealing.com