Written by Ram Das Kaur
I have just returned from a fabulous 2 week Summer Solstice Kundalini Yoga gathering in New Mexico on a magnificent mountain top near Espanola, N.M. Despite the so-called recession, this annual gathering grew by 15%, bringing our gang to a whopping 2003 people!! That is a LOT of chanting voices, let me tell ya! Over 32 countries were represented including first-time participants from Togo & Ghana West Africa.
Most everyone brings their tent and we camp on beautiful Mother Earth. The day begins at around 3:00 am (yup… that’s right) when a group of gentle troubadours come around singing the wake-up song with guitars and percussion. We then bundle up and make our way to the great big yoga shelter where we do our sunrise yoga & meditations, commonly called Sadhana. The last hour is a special treat as live musicians guide us through the chanting with their heavenly voices and instruments. Total Bliss!!!
The days are then filled with a large variety of yoga workshops led by teachers from all over the world. So much choice, so little time!! The diet is light, cleansing, vegetarian and ususally quite tasty with the evening meal crowned by the Mung Beans Rice & Veggie stew (see http://www.adishaktiyogacentre.com/recipe4.html for recipe!), aka Kitcheree. Evenings in the Yogi Tea Café held in the big top tent are filled with live music, dancing, laughing & snacking. Next door is the Bazaar where I admit I was very generous with the awesome vendors! I picked up some fabulous new yoga CDs!
One of the most important aspects of this Summer Solstice gathering is the Karma yoga (i.e. Selfless Service) that everyone is called to partake in. I co-managed the Divine Soles Foot Soaking Team, which I’ve enjoyed for the last 4 years. We provide cool basins of water, essential oils & lotion for tired, dry feet that have been doing too much sandal-walking in this dusty desert area. It’s great fun and we had a fantastic team of sevadars from many parts of the globe. We made our station Canada-Central as so many of us were Canadians. You couldn’t miss us – we had two huge Canadian flags blowing in the wind!! Many thanks to Meherbani Kaur for providing these along with Canadian pins we gave to EVERYBODY!! Who wouldn’t want to be made an honourary Canadian!
We also did 3 great days of White Tantric Yoga: very deep meditation done across from a partner in long lines of participants. Each day included at least 1500 yogis!!! Believe me if that doesn’t raise the roof nothing will! In fact, every time we do these 3 days of Tantric at Summer Solstice we bring in rain and huge clouds & rolling thunder. Must be experienced to be believed!