Epic Music, High Vibes At Lightning In A Bottle!
Cover Photo By Jess Bernstein
By Courtney Alex Aldor
Dear LIB, how did you make the music sound SO good? I heard a rumor you had some of the best speakers in the game, but still…
Every artist sounded better than the next. I want to know - how did Lightning In A Bottle get the music to sound so good and get such an amazing and diverse line-up of musicians? From CloZee to Rising Appalachia to Flying Lotus (in 3d!!) to Climbing Poetree to DJ DragonFly to obscure Native American flute playing, reggae bands and west African medicine music. But I guess I’ll never know because this write-up is about your yoga programming, which was equally as epic. Because when I found myself waking up after only 4 hours sleep, I wasn’t sure how a yoga class would benefit my aching body. But when my friend dragged me to Kishan Shah’s class mid-morning and he had us slowly moving with some of the best anatomy cues I’ve ever received…well I was pretty pleased. For both newbies and vets alike, it’s good to get a reminder sometimes how valuable it is to have such clear direction. For instance, pick your toes up while in downward dog to make sure all corners of the feet are engaged. Or rise up from your lower back before bending back to open the heart without compressing and injuring the spine. In today’s busy world (and at festivals), it is just so important to have these types of reminders. And of course, there was my fave - QiGong (yes, finally!!) which is so relaxing and grounding at a festival. Even better, I found one could drop in to any class at any time, which felt so inclusive and nurturing. In our daily lives, many of us already rush so much.
There were amazing talks, mostly on the theme of how to help the environment. Those that stood out offered practical and easy solutions, such as Wes Wittikamper and Mikuak Rai’ of 13months28days.info. They suggested simply getting on the moon calendar so that we in the West can be naturally connected with the cycles of nature, of our planet, even if we live in cities. Why? Because currently we’re on the Gregorian calendar, which does not match the moon cycles, and tends to throw us slightly off. Getting back on moon time is easy to do: Simply acknowledge the new and full moon. Anything from a nice ritual with friends to sending an emoji will do. Another suggestion came from a panel called ‘Wisdom of the Elders’ which featured elders from various traditions around the globe. Their solution? The Earth knows how to fix herself, if only we stop standing in our own way. So, focus on joy, focus on what’s working, focus on what has been done that has worked and focus on positivity. That will speed up her healing, as we are one with her, and we were all born of this Earth with our own unique gifts - so use them as feels best. Jai Dev Singh, with his easy Kundalini yoga techniques for awakening to our heart’s joy, showed us how.
Of course, there was a fun-house, a tea-house with epic music, a pom-pom tree, DJ’s handing out ice cream…amazing food with some great vegan choices, including some in the campsites to help with a slow morning, complete with massages available at the communal showers a ‘block’ away from my tent. I received some great cranio-sacral with Kalev Epstein. What did I need that wasn’t there? The opportunity for reusable kitchenware or compostable-only items, although I heard Bakersfield wouldn’t allow it, so a petition for that might be in order, hey SF Yogis? After all, a good way to help the environment is to show the people how it’s done.
Lightning in a Bottle festival is kind of like an adult playground (and with kids!) and I seriously can’t wait until all of life is like one big high-vibe LIB.
To learn more about Lightning In A Bottle visit lightninginabottle.org.