By: Melina Paris Music Columnist
Novices and yogis took over Bixby Park this past month, during Long Beach’s first Mantra Mela, a Yoga and Kirtan Festival.
The name Mantra Mela essentially means a chanting festival and kirtan is the music. However, much more was included in this festival for the rapidly growing community of yoga devotees in town.
Mantra Mela included yoga classes at three different stations throughout the day, an assortment of vegan, vegetarian and raw foods. There was a healing village with practitioners from Long Beach’s Sacred Roots Holistic Spa offering in part, massage, cupping and reiki and Tibetan sound healing. A variety of vendors were on hand, including Natural Holistic Baby, The Peace Corps and book booths. Workshops happened throughout the day on ayurveda, “Art of Happiness.” There was also a Krsna Lounge with music from a mix of traditional kirtan instruments like drums, sitar, karatalas, small Indian hand cymbals and harmonium, a pump powered reed organ.
Dharma Shakti, the owner of Yogalution Movement and Ayurveda, produced the festival. A dedicated community servant and up and coming spiritual leader, Dharma initiated Long Beach’s Yoga on the Bluff. She has a large following of yoga practitioners who attend her free classes on the bluff.Up to 250 people gather on weekends for her classes. Dharma’s mission is to help Long Beach recognize what it has in its own community andput yoga on the map in a big way.
“Yoga on the Bluff has always been my main vehicle and I think it will always remain my main vehicle somehow to promote that,” Dharma says. “For the longest time, people have always had to drive into Los Angeles when they want to take advanced yoga classes or see great instructors.” (more…)Read More