My mind is still bursting from all the incredible energy, learning, and inspiration I received last weekend, when I was lucky to attend the very first Tadasana Festival in Santa Monica, California, with the 3-day pass I scored from My full recap and photographic extravaganza is coming soon, but until then, I thought I would share a top 10 list of highlights that made Tadasana Festival ROCK (in no particular order, because that would be too hard to decide!):

1. Community Hugs– At Tadasana Festival, public contact was not only acceptable, it was enthusiastically encouraged. Many of the classes I attended included group hugging, high-fives, and loving assists during yoga asanas. The yoga community of love was at large.

Reaching out to give your neighbor a hand in Kia Miller’s Breath Within the Breath class

2. Kickass Yoga Teachers– Ok, my line up of teachers included Shiva Rea, Seane Corne, Jennifer Pastiloff, Amy Ippoliti, Kathryn Budig, Sara Ivanhoe, MC Yogi, Amanda Giacomini, Guru Singh, Hemalayaa, Parashakti, Kia Miller, Suzanne Sterling, Tommy Rosen, Steve Ross, and Elana Brower. ‘Nuff said! Well, I guess I’ll say one more thing: there were many more awesome teachers whose classes I wanted to attend, but I didn’t have the time. If I have any complaint about Tadasana Festival, it would be that it needed to be a few days longer so I could experience more!

An Earth Day Prayer with Shiva Rea

3. No $10 Class Change Fees – At the New York Yoga Journal conference, we were made to pay $10 if we wanted to change a class! At Tadasana Festival, I was able to change classes and even attend more than the 3 daily classes included in my pass, as long as there was space. I can’t tell you how much this relaxed attitude made the festival that much more enjoyable and allowed me to create to a richer experience.

4. Beach– I got to do my Daily Downward Dogs for three days straight on the shore of the Pacific Ocean. The Tadasana Festival tents were set up on the beach, and when you walked outside of the classes, the view of the ocean, palm trees, and the ocean air was breathtaking (except on Sunday when it got a little chilly)!

Downward Dogs in the Round, Under The Tents and on the Beach!

5. Music– OMG, I don’t know where to begin. Attending yoga classes with live music is killer! And not only live music, but live music from artists like Wah!, DJ Drez, Guru Singh, Morley, DJ Cheb I Sabbah, Hassan Hakmoun, MC Yogi, The Toure-Raichel Collective, Karsh Kale, Manose, and Vishal Vaid. At night they had Tadasana After Dark concerts, and I got to jam out with Donna De Lory, Manose, C.C. White, and MC Yogi. I’ve got lots of great material and new artists to introduce for my Cool Yoga Music blogs.

Wah! Live at Sara Ivanhoe’s Bhakti Vinyasa Class

6. Connecting – One of the things I love about blogging and social media is that I’ve had the opportunity to meet awesome yogis all over the world. My trip to the West Coast afforded me the chance to finally meet up face to face with some of my favorite yoginis – Joni, Adrienne, Dee, Lo, and Tracie, a dear old friend from my Cali days.

Yogini Goddess Tweetup Meetup with @yogadrienne and @ayogist

7. Awesome Staff– Everyone I encountered at Tadasana Festival was super friendly, helpful, and happy. The volunteers rocked, and there were people stationed inside the tents to help you find a space when classes got full, which was a really nice touch.

Even the Vendors Were Awesome – The Fun Crew at Somersault Snacks

8. Trying New Flavors of Yoga– This was quite the trip to the ice-cream counter as I tried out some Kundalini, Trance Dance, Bhakti Vinyasa, Singing Yoga, and Acro Yoga!

Acro Yoga with my awesome partner Sarah Yovovich

9. Inspiration – Tadasana Festival Confession: I cried in several classes, but they were tears of absolute joy! So many of the teachers lifted my heart, raised my spirits, and helped me peel away layers of doubt and fear so I could realize what really is important…to follow my bliss. Be of service to everyone, and you will be happy. Quite frankly, I was moved.

10. Dancing – Any yoga class where you get to dance, or want to dance, on your yoga mat is a beautiful thing. My hips were jiggling to the awesome music in every class I took. I was blind-folded and danced freely for ten minutes in one, and in several of the classes we were cued to dance and let go!

Ecstatic Dance at Soul Liberation: A Holistic Rave!

11. “I can never stop at 10!” Food– This festival was a vegetarian’s dream come true. No fried Twinkies or corn dogs to be found at this fest; instead there were tasty raw vegan vegetable curry dishes,  healthy green smoothies, healthy snacks and drinks at the vendor booths, and all you can eat Luna bars.

Raw curry vegetables from Lydia’s for lunch

12. Earth Day Love – Very auspicious that this festival was held over Earth Day weekend. Green messages were everywhere, the trash receptacles were clearly marked for recycling with volunteers at hand to help you if you weren’t sure which one to use, and the theme of honoring and protecting Mother Earth was weaved into many of the classes and talks.

I’m lucky to have had many cool yoga experiences, and right now Tadasana Festival is definitely at the top of the list. I heard through the grapevine that Tadasana Festival will be coming to London, New York, and Brazil! I’m putting out the intention right now that I will make it to these international destinations for more yoga, music, community, and inspiration! Thanks Tommy and Fabian for dreaming and putting together such an amazing celebration of yoga, music, and community.

Big Smiles after Day 2 with Tadasana Festival Co-Founder Tommy Rosen

P.S. If you like my black Serene jacket it’s from the awesome folks at MPG Sport and it kept me warm and stylish all weekend long!

If you were at Tadasana Festival, please leave a comment and let me know what you loved about it!