Monthly Archives: June 2012

moksha festival highlights

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June 27, 2012

This week’s topic: Moksha Festival Highlights

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Interviews:
Dave Stringer, musician
Dr. Siva Mohan, ayurvedic practitioner
Mark Whitwell, yoga instructor

Featured Music:
Govinda Jaya Jaya, Dave Stringer
Tribal Nam, Marti Walker
Hari’s Rapture (Radha Ramana Hari Bol), Jai Uttal

* * * * * * * *

i recently landed myself a small gig helping to promote the moksha festival this coming august, so i thought: why not dedicate an entire show to the highlights of the festival? of course, i’d already done that for last year’s event, but as long as all the guests were different, it would be an entirely different show, right?

so i looked at the list of yoga teachers, musicians, and speakers, crossed out those whom i’d already interviewed on previous episodes, and started sending out feelers to find people who could call in to the show.

long story short, i got hold of dave stringer (whom i’d run into at the city yoga studio city AND lululemon studio city grand opening parties), dr. siva mohan of svastha health in long beach (who had reached out to me sometime ago and i’d finally gotten around to inviting her to join me on the show), and mark whitwell (whom i’d run into at lightning in a bottle and who had just published his new book, “the promise of love, sex, and intimacy“).  hmmmm….

considering how moksha was a yoga+music festival, i’d figured that i’d have a wealth of  music to choose from, but strangely, most of the musicians, while relatively well-known here in the LA kirtan scene, haven’t released any albums. at least not yet. so i started off with music from the festival headliners — dave stringer and jai uttal — and started picking and choosing from among the CDs i had from marti walker, govindas and radha, momo loudiyi, emy berti, dan blanchard, and the breath of life tribe. needless to say, i couldn’t fit them all in; but then again, there’s more than a month to go between now and the actual festival. so they’ll all get air play, sooner or later. in fact, all of them have already been played on this show. so there. 🙂

except for some sound level problems i seemed to have on the callers’ end (which forced me to crank up their volume in the edited version of the podcast), the show went well and i thoroughly enjoyed all the conversations i had with my guests. i was mesmerized while listening to dave’s story about how saul david raye (who’ll be teaching at moksha) produced his first album, siva’s story about how she integrates her medical school background with her ayurvedic training, and mark’s story about how yogic breathing can improve your sex life. how, you ask? read the book!

i kept glancing at the clock, wondering if i could buy myself more time. and i eventually realized that i’d completely used up not just the allotted interview time but also the time i’d set aside for some music. which is why i ended up with just three songs this show. but i’m sure the witty repartee more than made up for it (you don’t agree? then maybe YOU should be a guest on the show!).

as far as the meaning of the lyrics to marti walker‘s “tribal nam”, i found a website with the lyrics and their meaning: hari haraye namah.

silly me mentioned this blog at the end of the show but forgot to provide the url. if you’re reading this, you’ve obviously figured out what it is!

i’ll look into getting the links for the groupon and goldstar deals that i talked about during the show and post them here. so stay tuned.

update:

here’s the link to the groupon deal: Up to 51% off a One-Day or Two-Day Festival Pass (deal available until midnight 6/30 or sold out)

and here’s the link to the goldstar deal: 50% off the Sacred Music Pass (deal available until sold out)

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blissed out

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June 20, 2012 – Blissed Out

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Interviews:

Tiffany Russo, yoga instructor
Ashley Walsh, co-creator of The Chocolate Invitational
Mikki Sage, co-creator of The Chocolate Invitational
Jared Koch, founder of Clean Plates

Featured Music:
Shiva, MC Yogi
Chamatkari, Shantala
Find What’s Sacred in This World, Duke Mushroom
Burn (One Love), Ash Ruiz feat. FreeWill Luminous (audio from YouTube video)

* * * * * * * *

amma, often referred to as the hugging saint, was in town, and i had planned to see her to receive darshan, or blessing, in the form of a hug during the special devi bhava evening held on the last day of her visit.  in previous years, i had made the pilgrimage (if you can call it that) along with thousands of others to see her, and because the act of hugging each devotee is very time-intensive, priority numbers are given out to allow everyone to walk around the vendor area, get something to eat, and/or meet up with friends. and each time, i’d waited just long enough to get my hug (usually until around midnight), then left for home to go to sleep.

this time, though, i decided to hang around past darshan to experience the entire blissful event — which most likely wouldn’t end until late the next morning. which also happened to fall on a wednesday, the same day i tape this show. so to keep with the blissful –and sleep-deprived — state i’d be in while floating to the studio, i decided to pick topics that bring about bliss, at least for me.

clean plates had curated the lunch at the downward dining event i’d attended that saturday, and because the whole idea of a guide book to restaurants with healthy options really appealed to me, i reached out to jared koch, the founder, and he agreed to join me on the show. at that same yoga+lunch event, i bumped into PR-connected tiffany caronia, and when i told her about how i wanted to include chocolate in the show, she hooked me up with mikki sage, a friend of hers who was organizing a chocolate/wine/art event in venice the next week.

on sunday, i stopped  by tiffany russo’s sunday’s poolside yoga class at the W hotel in westwood and enjoyed it so much that i asked her if she could chat a bit about it. she said she could. got the guests; now the music!

MC yogi’s new “pilgrimage” album was to be released the day before the show, so that was a definite contender. i had some free downloads from duke mushroom and ash ruiz; i added in those, too. and to celebrate benjy wertheimer’s birthday (thanks to facebook for the notification), i picked something from his and heather’s latest album, “jaya”.

as i had predicted, i was exhausted when i showed up at the studio. 17 hours of waiting, sitting, chatting, chanting, and barely snoozing took its toll; i’m glad the show went as well as it did — except for when i accidentally kicked a piece of equipment underneath the table during the show and the sound suddenly went wonky. i’ve edited out the sounds of my crawling underneath the table to troubleshoot the problem to save you from my embarrassment 🙂

as promised, here are the links to the videos mentioned on the show…

“alleluia” from shantala:

“burn (one love)” from ash ruiz:

now please excuse me while i take my leave and catch up on my sleep…

healing body, mind, and spirit

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June 13, 2012 – Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Interviews:
Nicole DeAvilla, yoga therapist
Ashana, musician
Sarah Garney, resonance healer

Featured Music:
Shante Prashante/Love Abounds, Brenda McMorrow
Homecoming, Devadas Labrecque
Ave Maria, Ashana
Ra Ma Da Sa, Aykanna
Take Your Burden to the Lord, Devadas Labrecque (podcast bonus track)

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it all started when i was contacted by nicole deavilla‘s PR person about her new book, the 2 minute yoga solution. i thought it made for a good interview, so i asked her to send me a review copy and penciled her in for a guest spot on the show. some time later, i ran into new york-based parashakti (creator of “dance of liberation”), whom i’d met at the recent tadasana festival and who happened to be in town. next thing i knew, i had her agreeing to join me on this week’s show. so with one guest talking about yoga for healing and the other about dance for healing, it became clear to me what our topic would be: healing!

with one more guest needed to make a quorum, i scanned my facebook event list and came across sarah garney‘s resonance healing workshop. i contacted her, and thankfully, she was available.

now that i had all my guests lined up, it was time to find music for the show. i put out a request for healing mantras on facebook, and soon after, musicians brenda mcmorrow and devadas labrecque suggested some of their own songs, with devadas emailing me tracks i didn’t have. i selected one from each artist… just two more songs to go!

while rummaging through my CD library, i found some albums i’d picked up some time ago from ashana, a musician i’d met at sat nam fest. they were filled with songs of healing; all i needed to do was to pick one from the many. the show was coming together really nicely…

that is, until parashakti sent me a message that she had to fly back to NYC for an important meeting and would be enroute during the show. eek, what to do? long story short, i managed to get hold of ashana, who agreed to fill in the newly-emptied timeslot (and i’m holding a spot for parashakti in a future episode).

finding a song to end the show didn’t take much effort — the kundalini go-to mantra, ra ma da sa, was a clear choice. i had three versions: snatam kaur’s, mirabai ceiba’s, and aykanna’s. and since i’d just received news that aykanna’s sukhdev and akahdahmah jackson had a new baby girl, their rendition got the nod. congratulations to the new family!

the show went on without any major technical glitches – thank god! however, because the songs i’d picked ran long (averaging 9 minutes instead of the usual 6 minutes), the show ended up running long, too; it was hard to cut the interviews short because there was so much to talk about! i did end up abbreviating the closing ra ma da sa from its original almost-12 minutes to a slightly shorter 10.

by the way, here’s the intro deal sarah garney offered to listeners of the show:  email her at info@sarahgarney.com and mention “yoga chat” to get a 20-minute mini-session for just $33.

note: a couple of times during the show, i’d mentioned devadas’s song, “take your burden to the lord”, so i decided to include it at the end of the podcast. it added another 5 minutes to the already longer-than-usual podcast, but what’s a few minutes among friends? 🙂

bhakti in the heartland

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June 6, 2012 – Bhakti in the Heartland

until i can figure out how to embed the podomatic player, click here to listen to the podcast.

Interviews:
Taz Rashid, Bhakti Fest Midwest Street Team Coordinator
Pascale LaPoint, musician
Ragani, musician

Featured Music:
Hare Krishna (Preston Klik Remix), Devi 2000
Guru Kripanjana, Dave Stringer & Kim Waters
Om Narayana, Brenda McMorrow
Gajaananaa, Kirtan Path
Vishnu 360, Ragani
Hare Om Shivaya, Michael Cohen

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it was monday, and with just two days to go before air date, i still had no idea what i was going to cover on this week’s show.

i checked my go-to source of inspiration — facebook — and saw a note on the yoga chat page from pascale lapoint, a member of the bhakti fest midwest street team. scheduled to be held june 29th through july 1st, the festival in madison, wisconsin was just three weeks away. it sounded like the perfect time to highlight this first-time event, so i asked pascale if she would be available for an interview on the show. not only was she available, but she could also get the street team coordinator, taz rashid, to call in, too. perfect!

after scanning the kirtan line-up for the event, i realized that there were many midwest-based musicians set to take the stage, among them dave stringer (wisconsin), ragani (wisconsin), mike cohen (michigan), pascale lapoint’s kirtan path (minnesota), devi 2000 (illinois), and even brenda mcmorrow (ontario – which technically isn’t in the USA, but just across the water from michigan and wisconsin). hmmm… wouldn’t it be nice to score an interview with another musician? i’d always wanted to meet ragani; at the last minute, i got her to agree to join me on the show. sweet!

ragani was nice enough to send me radio edits of some of her newer music, so along with that and the other tracks i had on CDs, on itunes, and on the internet, i had more than enough music to fill a show.

the plan was to go heavy on the music and light on the talk. it didn’t quite happen that way; as usual, we talked too much 🙂

for those of you who want to participate in ragani’s kirtan video, the deadline to submit your video is june 30th. here’s the link with instructions: worldwide virtual kirtan. and here’s the video. have fun!