Feeding Body And Soul: A Yogi's Experience At LIB
Cover Photo by @cuethedanger
By Autumn Feldmeier
I am still feeling the high from this year's Lightning in a Bottle! Another incredible year and I have to say that the music was just amazing. GRIZ being my favorite, who crushed it Friday night, playing live saxophone along with a DJ set. This is all while having a political message on the screens behind him. I also loved SF native and yogi Zach Walker, Beats Antique, Lovecraft, Gabriel Sordo and the amazing Marques Wyatt.
In addition to the amazing music lineup, LIB also offered plenty options to feed both body and soul! Usually when I attend festivals, we bring our own food, often times surviving on insta-meals like hummus and chips, salsa or hardboiled eggs (if you're especially motivated). LIB offered so much more! There was the most amazing organic food all day and night. They even served food on Monday, so we could eat while we packed up our stuff. There was great coffee, organic vegan breakfasts that included quinoa and cashew cheese, chicken and waffles to die for and even sushi burritos!! The food was fresh, affordable and abundant so I could keep dancing all through the night.
The experiences to fill your soul were magical. I traveled with mostly non-yogis and dragging them to yoga classes offered me a beginner's mind view of the experience. It was beautiful to see the positive impact the yoga had on the *average* festival go-er. My highlights for the soul were:
- Masood Ali Kahn's concert on Sunday. His mesmerizing combination of the 'Hang' (drum), hand pans and sacred mantras was a perfect meditation on a hot day. I also loved the class he and his partner Sianna Sherman taught together. It blended sound and movement and it was accessible to all levels.
- Jai Dev SIngh arrived dressed in all white Sikh clothing and he had a long beard, he looked serene and deep. I almost regretted bringing my newbie friends, expecting some deep, philosophical talk that's a bit hard to comprehend in the middle of a festival. I looked over at them, expecting them to want to walk out. But, after bringing us into some Kundalini breath-work during our cat cow movements, Jai Dev says, "I imagine many of you were doing psychedelics last night, this sequence will clear out the path for your synovial fluid to flow freely." My friends looked over at me and we all laughed and I knew Jai Dev could teach a festival crowd. The Kundalini Kriya he taught was Joy of the Infinite. He explained the basics of the pineal gland, "Where the root of the nose meets the skull bone, there lies man's gate to God." -Yogi Bhajan. Much different than the vinyasa class we were expecting, Jai Dev had us focus on breath and movement all to inspire flow through the central channel. By the time the class was over, I had dropped my focus from what was going on outside of myself and connected with what was going on inside.
- After a day on the lake floating in gold and pink unicorn rafts, a few of us headed to the DeepExhale class by ex-Olympic trained diver and former elite gymnast Cristi Christensen. Her class was accompanied by the always amazing Marques Wyatt. This was not your Grandmama's yoga! Christi led us through a pelvis pumping practice that ended in a full-on dance party with music vibrating. More dance party than yoga class, we ran around the room connecting with each other, jumping and dancing. It ended with all of us in a circle lying in savasana. This was the perfect final yoga class before Sunday night's dance parties.
I left the festival with very tired legs, a sunburn and I was weary, but my SOUL felt fully fed. LIB is the best mix of yoga and dance that I have been to in a long time.
I hope to see you on the mat/dance floor next year! To learn more about Lightning in a Bottle visit: lightninginabottle.org.