Bhakti Fest, the originator of yoga and kirtan festivals in the now wildly popular yoga festival scene is pleased to announce the return of Bhakti Fest Midwest, for its second season July 5-7 at Willow Island Alliant Energy Center, in Madison, WI. The keynote address of the event will be delivered by His Holiness Pujiya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, one of India’s most revered and beloved spiritual leaders. As one of the top festivals in the region, the event brings yoga, kirtan music and wisdom workshops to America’s heartland. In addition to Bhakti Fest’s unique focus on kirtan music, along with hosting the country’s top yoga teachers, Bhakti Fest Midwest brings together some of the top wisdom teachers and breathwork leaders of our time for over 15 workshops.
Pujya Swamiji is the president and spiritual head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India, one of the largest spiritual institutions in India to which tens of thousands of people from every country, every culture and every walk of life flock for inspiration, peace, and divine connection. He is also the founder and chairman of India Heritage Research Foundation, an international non-profit humanitarian organization running a wide variety of free schools, orphanages, medical clinics and women’s empowerment programs. Additionally he is the founder of Ganga Action Parivar, a world-wide family of scientists, environmentalists and activists working to preserve and protect the sacred Ganges River.
Grammy nominated kirtan artist Jai Uttal will give a workshop on “Awakening Bhakti” where he will share and demystify some of the secrets of kirtan, particularly the fact that with just a little understanding of music and rhythm and a lot of self-acceptance we all can sing and lead and share our hearts with others. The practice of chanting, itself, can become our teacher, guiding us home.
Popular Michigan yoga teachers Abby Bechek Hoot and Dave Tomaszewski will lead a workshop on “Ancient yoga for modern life… Practices for conscious living” that will explore traditional and timeless yoga techniques combined with modern philosophical wisdom to create a pragmatic and simple practice that one can do every day to live a more conscious, compassionate and vibrant life.
Breathwork workshop leader Michael Brian Baker is the founding member of West Los Angeles’s Breath Center healing movement and an avid student of life. He carries with him teachings for a simpler way of walking in our world and is an advocate for the powerful shift that occurs when we take better care of ourselves though selfless service to those in need. Baker will lead a three part workshop with sessions on each day of the festival. Day 1 he will address “Perception and the shape of our world,” day 2 “The Truth of love indefinable,” and day 3 “The responsibility of prayer and healing.”
Other workshops include noted kirtan artist David Newman (a.k.a Durga Das) on “Bhakti Yoga: The Way of Love”; David Haberman a professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University, will speak on “Revelations of Divine Love in the Bhagavad Gita”; Bikram yoga teacher and aroma-therapist Darlene Vander Hoop will present “YIN YOGA with aroma therapy”; Additionally Bhakti Fest’s spiritual godfather Ram Dass will give a special video message.
According to Sridhar Silberfein, founder and producer of the Bhakti Fests, “At Bhakti Fest Midwest we like to allow space for context of the other spiritual disciplines at the festival – Yoga Asana – the physical yoga practice, and the devotional yoga of kirtan – Bhakti Yoga. Our workshops bring all the aspects together on the mental plane fostering greater understanding among our attendees. Having H.H. Pujya Swamiji deliver the keynote adds an even deeper level of wisdom and unity to our event.”
In addition to the workshops, the kirtan at Bhakti Fest Midwest include international superstars of kirtan Jai Uttal, Wah!, and Dave Stringer, plus regional favorites including Milwaukee’s Ragani, Columbus’ Mike Cohen, Minneapolis’ Kirtan Path, Wild Moon Bhaktas and Sitara & Kalyani with Pavan Kumar, Chicago’s Amy and the Bliss Tribe and Rich Logan, and many other inspiring performers.
Similarly the yoga lineup features world class yoga teachers Saul David Raye, Govinddas & Radha and Yoga Slackers, along with the Midwest’s yoga leaders including Detroit’s Eric Paskel, Milwaukee’s Pam Bliss, Columbus’ Laurel Hodory, Chicago’s Daren Friesen, Indianapolis’ Nikki Myers, and more.
Additionally there is a marketplace with eco-friendly vendors offering delicious, high vibrational raw, vegan, and vegetarian foods and beverages, yoga gear, clothing, musical instruments, crafts and more.
Saul David Raye will present a pre-festival intensive in Madison. For information and tickets please see http://bhaktifest.com/category/festivals/bhakti-fest-midwest/bfmidwest-intensives/.
Picturesque ponds create a natural boundary for the plush green grass and limestone walkways that make Willow Island the ideal outdoor event venue for Bhakti Fest Midwest. Large, elegant Willow trees outlined by the Madison skyline craft a stunning backdrop and unmatched ambiance for the event.
Tickets for the event, including a $50 discount for seniors and college students, $75 tickets for teens and FREE admission for kids under 12, plus the full lineup and tons of info are available at http://bhaktifest.com/category/festivals/bhakti-fest-midwest/.