This September offered an experience of a lifetime as I journeyed to Kaua'i, Hawaii with Manifestation Media for the first annual ALOHA Yoga and Peace Festival where TLooP and I offered a musical Prana Vinyasa class for attendees on Sunday morning at 10 AM. Not knowing what kind of journey I was setting off for, I packed my bags and set off for the airport on the preceding Thursday afternoon to embark on a 12 hour travel to the Garden Island.
Upon arriving, the warm, damp air greeted me without hesitation and my senses were overwhelmed by the smell of floral notes floating in the air. Before long and with a ride from my dear friend and boss at Manifestation Media, Brielle Bataille, I arrived at the hostel where I stayed for most of my trip to the island - nervous about my first hostel stay ever but excited for the adventure at hand. It was already late, so after some catching up with Tony (TLooP) I laid my head down to rest for the festivities to come.
Friday morning, I awoke to a glorious view of the ocean right from the bed where I slept. "Wow," I thought, "this place is magic." Before the sun was on the horizon, I had found a place to lay my mat out for some Sun Salutations and practice on the oceanfront. Tony was soon there to join me. A gentleman approached me and noted that it was an excellent idea to flow with the ocean at that time and I noted a Sanskrit tattoo on his back. Low-and-behold he was waiting to check into the hostel as well and is an amazing photographer! Brad (this new-found friend's name) had heard of the festival and was wanting to go, and I had an extra ticket! At that point, before the Sun rose on the first day there, I had already made a new friend.
After a delicious Acai bowl at The Coconut Cup, Tony and I made it to the festival grounds for the first time. My words cannot do this beautiful and sacred space the justice it deserves.. Oceanfront, lush grass, palm trees, tropical flowers and other amazing plants, and amazing, light-filled beings all over the place. I took part in several workshops and classes that day and had a profound and powerful experience at the World Wide Peace Meditation lead by the Visionary Mother of the festival and beautiful lightworker, Anya Love.
After the meditation, I got to experience another one of the Core Team Member's classes, Asheeliyah Insha's Sol Embodiment class was a wonderful mid-afternoon treat and I was blissfully thankful to be a part of the flow. Shortly following this moving class, Mi'ka Moon awed the audience with her performance on the main stage.
I then ventured to the Mu Lodge where another Core Team Member, Lotus Sattva, and Scooby Hugs with Bears4Peace.org had created a safe space for spiritual awakening, discovery and peace. All of the bears and a plush place to commune were all included in this area created for holding council. Lotus also taught a workshop on holding council where everyone got to share their experiences and glow in the light of community with one another as we discussed love, pain, joy and growth.
This day at the festival grounds ended for me after the opening ceremony lead by a native to the island. We learned a bit about Pachamama, the winds and tides of the island, and the sacred ground on which we danced, played and explored for the time there.
The night after the festivities lead Tony, Brad, a new hostel friend named Olivia (who was also there for the festival) at a sake bar where we laughed, drank and sang to new friends and good times.
After morning yoga by the beach on Saturday, Brad, Tony and I decided to bus it to the festival... And ended up on an accidental journey throughout the island which landed us at the grounds 3 hours after departing the hostel. Once we arrived, I made friends with Kapha Music and his beautiful partner, Christina, and began taking workshops and classes for the day with the highlight being the moonlit Ecstatic Chakra Clearing Dance led by Asheeliyah. Following that, the amazing Tubby Love and Amber Lily graced the stage with energetic and fun tunes that had the whole audience grooving!
The next morning I was buzzing with energy as we pulled up to the festival grounds. There was a full double rainbow across the whole sky. Tony and I knew it was a good omen for our upcoming class. Before I knew it, I had a microphone on and TLooP Music was plugged in and ready to start! After Jen's Hot Buddhi, we were a "GO"! Tony and I lead an amazing and slightly difficult class to raise Prana energy in the bodies of the practitioners who joined us. The energy and bliss I felt teaching on these grounds was unlike any other thing I've ever experienced in my life. I can still feel the vibrations of this class deep in my bones.
The rest of Sunday was a blur of fun, excitement and joy for all that life offers. TLooP and Kapha collaborated on an amazing track during TLooP's set in the afternoon that day (which was all captured by another awesome friend we met, Ish). We celebrated the end of the festival with a midnight swim in the ocean that bordered one side of the festival. We did it! One year down, many to come.
The following two days consisted of friends, fresh tropical fruit, Acai bowls, swimming in the ocean, handstands, yoga, camping on the beach, Pina Coladas, breaking rules, breathtaking sunsets and sunrises, playing with a sweet pig (thanks to Ish), and general fun-having.
All-in-all, this trip to Hawaii made me feel at home, blissful, blessed, infinite, connected, grateful, and simply joyful. It's in my dear hopes to make this travel again next year and take part in the 2nd Annual ALOHA Yoga and Peace Festival, when many of my made friends will be living on the Island in happiness.
Thank you for reading. Peace, Love, Light and Blessings to you.