I will begin with the admission that in this life, I have been extremely blessed. In the course of my work in the natural foods industry, I have been present at nearly every major yoga + music festival around the country. Wanderlusts, Bhakti Fests, Tadasana, Yoga Journal, you name it, I’ve been there distributing snacks, squeezing in some classes and generally reveling in the vibe.
But this essay is not about me. This is about how out of all these wonderful events, Hanuman Festival (June 13-16, 2013) distinguishes itself as an occasion to truly raise the vibration. Allow me to describe how special is this festival.
Boulder: The perfect setting
The potential quality of any event begins and ends with its setting. Hanuman is set right in the heart of beautiful Boulder, Colorado. The aptly named Great Lawn of Boulder High School is spacious enough to fit the many white-top tents that populate the festival grounds, but cozy enough to create the sense of playing barefoot in your backyard.
The swimmable Boulder Creek runs along the south edge of the festival grounds, while a short walk north finds the Pearl Street pedestrian mall flowing through the central part of town, offering an array of shops and restaurants with something for everyone. For a town of just 100,000 people, Boulder has an unusually dynamic dining scene. It is an oasis for locavores, with vast options for vegans and the gluten-wary. It is easy to find artisanal cocktails or a down-home dive, a green-chili buffalo burger or a delicate plate of gnocchi.
Walking west, one can literally step right up into the Rocky Mountain Front Range for world-class hiking, cycling and climbing. Indeed, some of the most popular (i.e. SOLD OUT!) Hanuman offerings are hiking with Olivia Hsu and cycling with Amy Ippoliti. This mix of urban and outdoor attractions is something I’ve not seen anywhere else.
The main event: Classes and community
But while these and many other wonders are readily available in Boulder, in fact they serve as mere backdrop to the main event. In my experience, the fundamental draw and most distinctive feature of Hanuman is the community that gathers.
The festival itself arose from within the Boulder community, and it seems no accident that wonderful folks from around the world have wanted to join in and feel the vibe rising for themselves. It really is a rare joy to experience the presence of so many powerful individuals coming together with shared intent — intent to grow, to learn and teach, to share big, important fun.
There is certainly fun for all ages and abilities available. New to yoga? Check out Paige Elenson’s “Foundations of Flow,” or Kathryn Budig’s “Big Book of Yoga Comes Alive” donation class, featuring an all-star cast of ebullient, approachable teachers, including Tiffany Cruikshank, Giselle Mari, Mary Clare Sweet, and Mackenzie Miller.
Are you an experienced teacher or studio owner? Then don’t miss the 90 Monkeys half-day intensive devoted to your professional growth and expansion. The expert faculty includes Amy Ippoliti, Dr. Taro Smith, Sara Ivanhoe, Gina Caputo, Chris Roy and more.
Just want to get inspired? Get to the community tent at 1pm every day for Inspirational Talks presented free to the public by Namaste Interactive. There are also open Community Classes every day at 8:30am taught by extraordinary teachers local to Boulder and Denver, presented by Celestial Seasonings.
Honestly, there is almost too much to do, see and experience in this one short weekend. I haven’t even mentioned the Thursday night kirtan with Saul David Raye, or the dance parties hosted by Trevor Hall (Friday night) and MC Yogi + DJ Drez (Saturday) at the historic Boulder Theater. You may not be able to attend every class or catch every laugh, but trust me — there is plenty enough fun for everyone.
Hanuman is one part carnival, one part professional summit, and three parts family reunion. The only risk of riding the vibe so high is not knowing how to come down. Luckily, Yuki Tsuji-Hoening will be there to share the art of “flying therapeutic massage” as part of AcroYoga, bringing you in for a safe landing from your great leap of devotion.
Personal and planetary healing
Gaiam TV is a proud sponsor of Hanuman Festival 2013. These two organizations share the same essential mission, which is to spread positive, life-affirming information far and wide. Ultimately, the goal is to connect people more fully with themselves and each other and leverage that increased connectivity as a vehicle for personal and planetary healing. What could be more vital right now?
Check out Hanuman Festival on Gaiam TV for a special collection of classes led by teachers you can experience in person this summer.
See the Monkey. Be the Monkey. Jai Hanuman!
Based in Boulder, Colorado, David T. McConaghay is a multi-dimensional professional in the LOHAS industry. He is a writer and Ambassador for Gaiam TV, National Sales & Marketing Manager for TumericALIVE and trusted consultant to friends and colleagues alike. Born a nomad, David is a life-long seeker and independent researcher focused on promoting personal and planetary healing. You are invited to follow him on Twitter @DaveTelf.