When I attended the Bali Spirit Festival – www.balispiritfestival.com – for the first time two years ago, I was lucky to have enough time to dedicate to the full 5 days program. This year, I am only blessed to attend the last two days so I was determined to make the most out of them, at the same time trying not to get too worn out…
As I collected my Media Pass on Saturday morning at the Purnati Center, my eyes quickly scanned through the full schedule of the festival: soooo many different and varied classes and seminars had already happened in the past three days, some not to be repeated. I felt so bad to have missed all that action.
I continued scanning the daily program and I realized I had little time left to make it to the Grove Pavillion, where I enjoyed the wisdom of Malaika Maveena Darville. Malaika, of Canadian and Jamaican ancestry, brings a wealth of wisdom for an immediate awakening as we got to dance in circles, mimicking impersonations of Shiva and Shakti: we interacted with each other, touching hearts and hands and sharing with all present beings. It was such a strong experience made of dance, release, and of a deep looking into our own heart. Malaika class is called ‘5 Elements Shiva Shakti Heart Activation, and I was fully taken by it. Towards the end, tears rolled down my cheek. What an emotional start, I thought. I was indeed ready for more.
I was about to join the ‘Gospel Singing Dancing and Drumming Revival‘ at the Amphitheater when I noticed that Sam Weinsntein was preparing his class at the Bale Down. I could not miss it, as the night before I had been quite taken by the description of his classes: “Yoga with heart, postures, breath and a bit of sweat and laughter”. If fate was bringing me to him, I thought I could not resist it. I found a tiny space in the crowded room and soon realized I was in the right place!
Sam is a passionate teacher who enriches detailed Iyengar yoga and therapeutic postures, a class for everyone and at any yoga level, entertaining thanks to his stories and anecdotes about his life journey into yoga, his time in India and more. The class ended up being tiring due to the fast flows we endured, I must admit, but it was also so rewarding and warm. I hope you cross Sam’s world path one day.
Lunch was a great affair of Balinese earthy food and organic veggie wraps at the Dharma Fair, where all sort of food mingled: Indian, vegetarian as well as delicious cakes and tasty coffees. There were yoga clothes and merchandise stalls, art and jewelry, and a wealth of eco-information to be digested too!
Outside of the pavillions, local Balinese women were dressing the lawn with colourful flowers in fantastic floral carpets, and the Brazilians were preparing their capoeira class. There were lots of people of all kind of nationalities and ages, and it felt great to be in such a multiethnic environment. I had not felt that magic since the previous Bali Spirit Festival!
I split the following two hours between Colombian Daniel Rojas and his great class on inspirational dance, and the amazing singer/guitar player duo Daphne Tse, a regular at Bali Spirit Festival, and Zenthai Shiatsu master, Australian Gwyin Williams, who combined his yoga class with Chinese medicine for a unique therapeutic practice, accompanied by Daphne’s cool, relaxing sounds. At 3 pm my energy was about to leave me.
I had missed the 1pm Press Conference on HIV/AIDS but promised myself to look online at their amazing foundation work. Check them on Facebook or on Youtube: Ayo Ubud. I had also missed the Media Panel discussion on Ayurveda practice, but this is Bali Spirit Festival: you can’t have it all, it is all about choices…
The choice of the last workshop of the day was a bit of a dilemma for me, but in the end, music and philosophy won my heart and I made my way to the Main Pavillion to listen to Jeffrey Armstrong’s speech accompanied by live Indian music by Kevin James and Friends and by Punnu Singh Wasu.
Motivational speaker Jeffrey Armstrong enlightened us about the Bhaktri concept whereas we are all our own gurus if we consider the Bhaktri dimensions. First of these dimensions is to realize that we should all care and respect all living beings, and be regulated by their lifestyle. Mantra chanting was a great way to feel unite with the group, and we expressed gratitude to the planet and to Bali in particular.
Here, at the Bali Spirit Festival, we are called to understand more and more about our magic planet Earth, and we leave as ambassadors with a very special message to the world. Kavin James’ lovely interpretations of the mantra songs closed my first, inspiring day at the Bali Spirit Festival.
See you tomorrow!
Asianitinerary stayed at the Lodtunduh Sari Villas – http://asianitinerary.com/lodtunduh-sari-villas-ubud/
Malaika Maveena Darville
Malaika Darville is a world class Global Facilitator, ISHTA Yoga teacher, Water Dance Practitioner, Lomi Lomi Practitioner, Tantric Workshop Facilitator and Global Humanitarian. She is the Creatrix of 5ELEMENTS DANCE ACTIVATION™ and has been sharing her passion and wisdom internationally for the past 25 years. Committed to her own personal development and healing she has lived and studied all over the world. She embodies the Earth wisdom of the Indigenous people she was privileged to spend time and learn from including one year in an African Village. Her workshops are high energy, powerful Shamanic Activations for both men and women to restore balance, connection and community. For more information, see: www.inmyelements.com
Sam Weinstein has been teaching yoga for 42 years. His first mentor was the yoga legend of consciousness Pujari of 70’s San Diego California -launching Sam on his path of yoga and consciousness.
After Sam completed Pujari’s 3 year yoga teacher training he went on to India to Study with B.K.S. Iyengar in Poona. Sam is developing a teaching style called Transformational Yoga. A merging of detailed Iyengar Method, simple hatha yoga, flow, and therapeutic. Stretch, Breathe, Sweat, laugh, a tear or a smile. Geared to all levels emphasizing only go to your edge. He is a passionate teacher full of stories of India and life. Sam has total faith in all his students, their goodness and their beauty. It is with this faith that he encourages students to discover themselves and allow transformation. Sam and his wife Sydel run The Home Of Yoga in Mosman Park Western Australia. They run a Yoga Teacher Training program and lead yearly Yoga Retreats in Bali. For more information, see: www.homeofyoga.com
Based in Scandinavia, professional Dancer, Choreographer, Actor, Nutritionist, Yoga Teacher, Daniel Sonic Rojas has been dancing for more than 20 years. In addition to dance, Daniel has a strong practice in Yoga, Meditation and Nutrition, including certification as a Yoga Instructor and as a Raw Food Chef.
As a performer and teacher, Daniel is known around the world for his creativity and individual way of expressing himself by telling stories through dance. Combining his Latin roots and his experiential journey of many years as a professional dancer/performer, Daniel has created his own style that he calls CONTEMPORARY-BREAK. At the 2015 BaliSpirit Festival Daniel will be teaching Embodied Dance, a unique play shop created by Daniel ‘Sonic’ Rojas, that combines elements of different dance cultures to inspire freedom & creativity in dancers, as well as non-dancers, to break the boundaries of dance and explore feeling through movement. It is Daniel’s aim to integrate Yoga, Dance, Meditation and Nutrition into a holistic offering to better understand the Body/Mind, as well as a way to spread his message to the world: Live, Love & Dance. For more information about Daniel, see the following links:
Interview for Savory Academy on Contemporary Break: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKo9EkwdcYM
Personal Promo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlQTeVS90Sw
This is an interview he gave about teaching yoga for dancers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gKdFAICxFY
Gwyn Williams has spent 15 years effectively combining Traditional Chinese Medicine with Yoga to create Zenthai Shiatsu to allow a unique, therapeutic and awakened art to deepen your practice and share with another. Also a martial arts and acroyoga teacher, he utilizes a lifetime of learning from masters of Thai Massage and Osteopathy to share his prime passion.. Awareness. The way you hand touches the mat ,your foot rises into the air or your touch meets another body will definitely become a more rich and sacred experience.
For more information, see: www.zenthaishiatsu.com
Back at the BaliSpirit Festival for the third year in a row, Jeffrey Armstrong, Founder of VASA (the Vedic Academy of Sciences & Arts), will challenge your mind and open your heart and show you a vision of a new world that blends modern science with timeless wisdom. Part guru, part poet, a CEO with endless energy and passion, he considers himself “an astronaut of inner space” and believes that a instinctual need for balance is what has led to the unprecedented popularity of yoga. Jeffrey is an award-winning poet and best-selling author of numerous books including his recent book: Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar, Ancient Wisdom for a New World, published by Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster. He is a relationship expert, philosopher, practitioner and teacher of the Vedas for over 40 years and spent five years in an ashram as a brahmacharya (monk). For more information about Jeffrey, see: www.JeffreyArmstrong.com
Punnu Singh Wasu
Punnu Singh Wasu born in Hyderabad, India into a family that has a true love for Kirtan. He is a multi talented musician, singer/composer, healer, yoga teacher & a spiritual activist. He is a devoted harmonium, mandolin and tabla player with a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest core of listeners. Punnu offers a variety of classes & courses at The Yoga Barn, Bali among meditation & melodic sound journey – his Indian Kirtan is a highlight. Aside from his other performances globally Punnu also has performed in Bhaktifest Joshua Tree in 2010/11 & at Bali Spirit Festival in 2010/12/13 and 2015. Check on him at www.punnuwasu.com