By Dimple Bindra
“Yoga is the union of a person’s inner consciousness and the universal consciousness.”
YogaFEST returned for it’s 3rd successive year and this time the event was held in Gilroy, CA. We were blessed with the most beautiful sunshine for the entire day! This year the Art of Living Foundation, founders of YogaFEST, collaborated with the Sonoma County Fire Relief effort to connect people from all backgrounds and cultures in unity. Yogis from around the Bay Area came together to join in this magical festival.
In addition to the many yoga classes with renowned teachers, there was variety of live music. People ecstatically danced to the beats of Akoma African Drumming, presented by Akoma Arts. Their mission is to bring the rhythms of Africa to children and adults of all cultures, specifically to acknowledge the African influence on many of today's art forms.
I asked one of the volunteers, Mr Raja Vishwanathan from the Art of Living Foundation why he decided to volunteer his time for this event and he replied, "I want to learn something. And by doing seva, my soul feels fulfilled, which increases the happiness inside of me. This allows me to share my happiness with people outside of me.” Mr. Vishwanathan, is a full-time employee at Cisco and volunteers with the Art of Living Foundation.
One of my favorite parts of the day was that I got to hear a LIVE music performance by Breath of Life Tribe. When they played, it was almost as if the musicians are asking, "If we can bring our music together so beautifully, what else could people from all over the world create together?" Their ideas and themes are modern, whimsically individual and yet they directly explore the big issues of the environment, personal freedoms and the struggle against bigotry.
There were over 500 attendees and they all gathered to celebrate the love and joy of yoga. There were many local vendors that were present at this festival such as GroovYoga, Arc Fitness Project, FarmFreshToYou.com, Blue Lotus Meditation, the Yoga Center and many others that enjoyed being part of this wonderful event.
I am already looking forward to YogaFEST next year! To stay in touch and learn more about YogaFEST visit: theyogafest.org.