Bhakti Fest is my favorite place for top-notch, round-the-clock yoga, kirtan, and satsang (spiritual discussions). The festival has been a mainstay in my travel schedule for more than ten years. However, COVID prompted a hiatus that was longer than my liking. Fortunately, Bhakti Fest returns to Joshua Tree, California, September 15 through 17, 2023.
As always, the lineup is incredible. Krishna Das, Shiva Rea, Kia Miller, Michael Brian Baker, and Radhanath Swami are always on the agenda. This year the main stage closing concert features a rare solo performance by socially conscious music legend Michael Franti.
There are a host of new yoga and workshop presenters, too, including Indy Rishi Singh.
The social innovator, entrepreneur and host of the Political Hope podcast, Indy will lead a unique Neuroplasticity Playshop at the Joshua Tree Lake and Campground. Through interactive exploration, he will guide participants to connect with and respect cultural practices of bhakti (devotion).
He says, “Let’s come up with a way to honor the traditions better, and let's do it collaboratively. My neuroplasticity playshop is an immersive educational experience that gives participants an understanding of neuroplasticity through laughter, kundalini, communication games, and more.”
Neuroplasticity is explained in my book, “From the Boxing Ring to the Ashram.” But, it is not a simple concept. Indy looks forward to guiding a dynamic discussion and sharing neuroplasticity tools through enjoyable and popular practices.
“It will be beautiful to tune in to the different expressions of bhakti, and dancing to and sharing music with incredible human beings.”
An ardent student of Karma Yoga who comes from a lineage of Sikh warrior saints, Indy embodies what is a yogi. Through his outreach and teachings he hopes to inspire deeper integrations of the ancient teachings so people can live in a more harmonious world.
As he describes, “Imagine yogis loving selfless service more than selfies. Imagine if yoga was an important engine to practically and compassionately ensure sustainability and the elimination of unnecessary suffering in our communities.”
Indy lives Patanjali’s yoga sutras, and he’s on a mission to extend them to a wider audience.
“Firstly, the idea of yoga has to be separated from consumerism. Secondly, yoga has the potential to transform our individual selves and the collective, too. Imagine if yoga teachers and kirtan practitioners started to embody showing up as exemplary civic participants. Imagine yoga programs that guide yogis towards physical, emotional, and social growth and regeneration. I feel the best way I can [make this] happen is by embodying the spectrum of yoga myself through my actions and choices.”
Practicing what he preaches, Indy Rishi Singh is active with the Cosmic Labyrinth collective, which “gamifies” volunteerism, self-care, and community building. Indy serves as a board member on Cultivating Self, a non-profit focused on rejuvenating the healers. Additionally, he supports Yoga Mission in Varanasi, India which empowers youth, trains teachers, and provides spiritual support to people in need.
The Bhakti Fest Group celebrates the devotional path that has its roots in yoga, Kirtan, and meditation with annual festivals, frequent retreats in Baja California, spiritual travel experiences, online content, and more. The Bhakti Fest mission is to embrace and present ancient and modern sacred wisdom and traditional and non-traditional spiritual practices.