In the Land of OM – Adventure #1

Cat Chin

As I enter the grounds of the Tadasana Festival of Yoga & Music, I have to walk through the Eco-Conscious Marketplace, which is a cluster of many tents, each one offering many amazing and green products to purchase. But I need to check in and get to a class, so shopping and browsing can wait.

There are classes and speakers held in five major tents with the top yoga teachers and experts in healing, all sponsored by yoga friendly advertisers, like, Yogaworks, Kevita, thedailylove, Namaste Interactive and Subaru. The tents are arranged in a circular position. It is like a little village, where you can see everything that is happening. The whole vibe here is peaceful and serene. There are long lines for each class. But everyone is really relaxed and courteous – no jumping the line or road rage behavior here.

These are huge tents, which can accommodate over 100 people lying on yoga mats. This is out of my comfort zone. I am not a big crowd person — in fact I avoid them. Although in my college years, I was at many rock concerts at huge stadiums, with 30,000 to 65,000 people packed together on the green. But there were a lot of mind-altering substances then, which I suppose made it bearable and such an adventure. Oh, to be 18 again and carefree! But now it is 2012 and I tell myself that I can do this. Then I plunge into the opening in the tent.

At the front is a large raised stage where the live band and instructor conducts the class. I’ve been able to get into a class taught by Saul David Rave, accompanied by four musicians playing guitar, flute, drums and bass. It is very packed. But everyone is so gracious and considerate, especially since this class lasts for 90 minutes. Saul asks us to move our mats right next to each other, about an inch apart, so everyone can get in. So you really get cozy with your neighbors.

The music is new age, soothing melodies. His voice is calm and hypnotic. We lie on our backs and go through a series of breathing exercise warm-ups. Then we move through a low level flow series of poses, as he talks us through each one with commentary about connecting with the earth and each other. There is a sense of shared community and collective energy flowing through the room, towards a common goal of experiencing a feeling of a spiritual “oneness” with the universe. During the entire class, a cool, ocean breeze flows through random openings in the tent. You can feel the salt water mist on your skin. We eventually are on our feet, moving and dancing, and letting the music sweep us up in a euphoric swelling melody. Then we are lying on our mats, connecting with Mother Earth, feeling our hearts beating, our breath slowing, a sense of well being and accomplishment. I am floating when I exit the class.

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