In Joshua Tree, CA when Shakti Festival opens your heart to awareness, something inimitably felt begins to stir. Arrived at Shakti, full of the savory love and excitement that one become accustomed to…but couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.

Chants, Drumming, Sound Baths, Mantras, Gongs, Dancing, CBD, good vibes, Conscious Food/Elixirs, Artistry, Meditation, Eco Apparels, Crystals & Gems, all stretching into the Unknown permeates the ether at Shakti Fest. Everywhere one turns, see villages, students of life; vibrant smiling faces greeting and encouraging to enjoy the Shakti vibe, celebrate evolutions of life, relinquish self gifts and share in other’s gifts. But still, something was missing…

Kirtan lovers, ecstatic dance fans and even those unfamiliar with reverential music all raving about Shakti being an One Stop Luv Fest. Track after track, session after session, back bend after downward dog, breath after exhalation, the festival rocked visionaries like breatharian Michael Brian Baker, musician activist Fantuzzi, lyrical artist MC Yogi, Shelly the Hoop dancer, etc…heartfelt presences and innovative musical stylings to ancient mantras of love, medicine and healing. The feels were warm and fuzzy, yet incomplete.

Wind stormed teachers, sun-kissed yogis, sisterly gurus, all offering love nods, heart hugs and namastes all day into the night, under the stars. Even the Joshua trees flex like Aerial yoga, breathe & wave Aho from all directions dancing amid the live kirtan music…sacred ground for sacred space. There was that feeling again…

As the closing ceremony concluded, hearts were topped off with love..and then it became apparent. What was missing…the reflective heterogeneity of the diverse world we are attempting to represent and connect. It is easy to proclaim we are all one when we all look alike.

Hm? Now, of course, you know that the womb hood, perpetual evolution, love and inclusion vibe that is so thoroughly practiced at Shakti Fest would never, ever, intentionally exclude anyone, especially not those many of the practices are derived from. However, perhaps it is time for all of us to increase our efforts of agape and comprisal to ensure that more members of ethnically diverse groups are invited, included and celebrated. Om Shakti, om Shaaakti!! Ommmm…
Aminah Tolbert is a reporter/photographer for Wolof Times, based in Los Angeles (CA)


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#ShaktiFest #TheBreathCenter #Aerial #Shakti2018 #Fantuzzi #Hoop #Bhav #Woloftimes #Kirtan #joshuatree


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Since 2011, for five days each May, we have featured the best yoga teachers, Kirtan musicians, and workshop leaders in the world. We are part of the Center for Spiritual Studies, a 501c3 nonprofit that supports charities across the globe, mainly in India.
Proceeds generated each year, after we cover our costs, go to our chosen causes. We accept donations to help us provide extraordinary festivals and give support to those less fortunate than us. We invite you to view our gallery. We hope to see you in the Bhav!
During these troubled and turbulent times in America and in the world, it is with great urgency that we come together to build and deepen spiritual community.
As we delve deeper into our spiritual compassionate heart, we open up to the kindness and generosity we have within all of us. In harmony with Mother Earth we come together in a living practice to create change as one voice, one heart, one being. In our togetherness we can further that goal of unity and love and elevate our collective vibration.
Lets gather for the first real heart-centered festival of the year. On May 10-14th we celebrate the Divine feminine energy that dwells within all of us and honor the Motherly Love that is so sorely missing on our planet. In reverence and love for the Mother, join us in celebration this Mother’s Day weekend.
Shakti Fest celebrates the devotional paths of yoga, Kirtan (sacred music), and meditation and places a special emphasis on the Divine Feminine. Our festival is a drug and alcohol-free vehicle for evolution of human consciousness through a heart-centered revolution. Bring your yoga mats this coming May to the idyllic Joshua Tree Retreat Center, located in the beautiful region 2 hours east of Los Angeles. Practice with the best yoga teachers in the world, dance to sacred music by world-renown Kirtan artists, and take workshops with leaders in the field of personal growth. Camp out beneath the stars or stay at one of our many accommodations on and offsite; enjoy the swimming pool and free filtered drinking water; stop in at “Conscious Kids Land” and expose your children to other enlightened families; enjoy the best vegetarian food at any festival. We offer student, senior, and local resident discounts. We’re building sacred community—join us!

You may obtain more info and purchase tickets here: