Sitting on the terrace of a cozy little café by the beach, the gulls screaming, the sea lying still like a lake under a cloudy sky I reflect on what happened to me during the last two days of the conference.
After all this excitement, the crazy dancing, a deep connection during Thai massage and a breakneck Rocket class I needed something to integrate and ground. Yin Yoga and Live Music with the Shakti Mamas sounded like the perfect option. And it was! These sweet French ladies, dressed like old school hippies and speaking from a place of deep female wisdom, helped me to come back to earth without loosing the connection to the Bhav I had been in for the last couple of days.
Opening my hips in shoelace (argh) and stretching my shoulders after way too many chaturangas (mmhh) comes as a long awaited release. An extended Yoga Nidra session in the end does the rest: Accompanied by far away singing and drumming I feel the sides of my mouth softly turning upwards. When the Mamas then ask me to relax „my chicken“ instead of „my cheeks“ I cannot help but reengaging my face muscles for a big, loving smile. In this state of total surrender I do really feel that rose bud in my heartcenter the Mamas are talking about. Petal by petal it opens to reveal a polished gem shining with all the bliss it had been collecting over the weekend.
Minutes later I find myself sitting under the tent of Yoga 3 waiting for the closing ceremony to begin. Soaked to the skin by the heavy rain, but surrounded by hundreds of chit-chatting friends my heart is overflowing with love. Can it get even better? Yes, it can: A blissful Kirtan, Krishna Takis jumping all over the place, Wari and Pau wittily thanking everybody and eventually all those dancing souls naturally forming a big circle. Arm in arm with everybody we sway in one single movement.
To even top the top Gaura Vani takes over the final round of Kirtan. And he really knows how to guide us into ecstasy. Like Krishna Das on Saturday Gaura cuts us off at the edge of bursting and lets us stand in silence. The Krishna-Mantra still vibrating in our hearts. How wonderful to end this experience by immersing into the warm embrace of a hundred-voiced Om! On our way back to the metro a friend from Sofia says: „This was better than any drug I have ever taken.“ And he tried a lot!
Getting out of the bullshit
What really closed the circle, though, was Krishna Das’ post-conference workshop on Monday. In between chants, old and new, he told stories. About seeing the sun after being born and raised in darkness, but also about his personal journey: „You will be famous one time, but not rich!“ a 160 year-old sage in India once told the young American.
But coming from a family where nobody really paid attention to anything it took „KD“ quite a few detours to become the famed Kirtan-singer he is today: A missed career as a rockstar, depression, drug addiction, suicide attempts, finding his guru – and leaving him again. „I knew what was good for me, but strangely I decided not to pursue it. I was blaming other people for my fate and playing the victim. I actually put chains on myself to keep me down.“
„Getting out of the bullshit is hard. Almost impossible if you are by yourself“, KD continues. „You have to develop serious will power. But you also need some leverage.“ This could be a spiritual practice, a person who you see as guru, maybe a community.
I would add: Or an exceptional experience like I had during this Yoga Conference in Barcelona. It lifts you up. And reminds you of what you might already know deep inside: „Start doing the things you love!“ as it says on one of the official byc-shirts. „Those experiences are all great“, KD adds. „But there is still one thing: You gotta stick with the practice! And keep company with like-minded people!“ Aye, aye, captain! I’ll be back to byc next year!
Sitting on my little terrace by the beach the sun suddenly cuts some holes in the clouds. Her fingers shed sparkling spots on the silver lake that is the sea. As cheesy as it may sound: I still feel that gem in my heart the Shakti-Mamas were talking about. It’s well protected by a beautiful pink rosebud. Whenever I water it and allow the blossom to open I can see the diamond shining, radiating with overflowing love. What a precious gift to take home! Thank you, thank you, thank you!