Another Magical Year At Sat Nam Fest Berkshires
Cover Photo by Pashupa Goodwin
By Gregg A. Jackson
Wow, another Sat Nam Fest ( A Kundalini Yoga and Music Festival) in the Berkshires! What a breathtaking experience and venue! I would love to see this festival happen every month. While they also do this once a year in Joshua Tree in Southern California, and they held this event for 10 years in a row in Mexico, the one I went to was on the East Coast, in the stunning Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. This one is held each year in August.
The quality and experience of the Kundalini Yoga and Music was top notch, and included several of my favorites. Snatum Kaur and her husband SoPurkh Singh spent the entire first day teaching “Infinity of the Soul through Sacred Sound." It was about the power of sound, which we call the Shabd Guru in Kundalini Yoga, and how it can be used for clearing blocks, the past and best preparing your body, mind and soul for its truest destiny (often called our Sat Nam). I attended the tail end of it, just in time for the actual chanting and singing, and it was really beautiful and mesmerizing. Within 5 – 10 mins of starting, I could feel a wonderful sense of peace, happiness and joy. What I’ve noticed in Kundalini Yoga, is that when you chant of the mantras and sing the songs they really stays with me for many hours, and sometimes days and weeks, and I love the resonance and feeling that I have.
The following day was a great assortment of really phenomenal teachers and I choose to attend the workshops with Yogi Amandeep and Mahan Rishi, and wholly mackerel what an amazing treat! Yogi Amandeep’s depths of spiritual mastery, teaching skills and personality are an exceptional treat and someone I try to see every time he’s at Sat Nam Fest. And I have to admit, that his use of a sea shell (conch) is quite unique and fun, and something that I find exhilarating during a Yoga workshop.
Mahan Rishi is highly regarded as one of the top Kundalini Yoga teachers in the East Coast, and especially in the NY Tri-State area. He has a penetrating gaze, while also making jokes when leading his workshops. He’s also a musician, so you never know when he’ll move to his percussion instruments and play along with the music or the band that presents with him.
There were at least 2 concerts each day, and while I was so sorry to miss the GuruGanesha Band perform their Grateful Dead like folk music, I was able to attend the morning concert for Aykanna. They are a magnificent husband and wife team that combine soul, jazz, motivational speaking, gospel-like preaching (but not much) along with Kundalini Yoga music and chanting. While I am sure you can’t imagine this combination, you should keep them on the radar and try to see them.
Ajeet Kaur performed Friday nights concert, and was soulful, heartfelt and moving. She was serene and peaceful, which was a nice thing to see and experience. I was excited to hear that she just produced her own album without a record label.
Jai-Jagdeesh of course was her funny, personable and magical self while singing, performing and sharing what is going on in her life. I never miss a chance to see her, and was so glad to see her again this year. I especially admire how loving and caring she is for her audience, friends and family.
If I was to be most honest and revealing, I think the breakthrough workshop of the week was from Akah Jackson, the husband/male singer for Aykanna. His workshop was titled “Vibrate! Fuel for Transformation and Longevity," and it certainly was that. With him was his wife and musician friends Ezra and Tripp Dudley who accompanied his teachings with their soulful jazz-like, Kundalini Yoga music tones. He blended his magnificent personality with his motivational teachings into a powerful, heartfelt teaching of love, joy and transcendence.
“Rising Dawn of the New Age," with Gurmukh was the last workshop of the Sat Nam Fest and it is always the highlight of the event! It was accented by Aykanna and most of the musicians from the week on-stage singing. Gurmukh led us through a “birthing canal” that was part-conga-line and part-birthing through a tunnel. It was a super powerful class.
Several well meaning and deeply shared requests were made to get involved with and support the Sat Nam Foundation which is doing truly important work around the world. See more at: