I’ve been looking forward to the Anjunabeach yoga set ever since Above & Beyond announced it in April. The atmosphere of acceptance, generosity, and love at Anjuna events will bolster our ability to find those things internally before embarking on the aural adventure the boys always provide. Before this last crazy month of events and festivals every weekend, I was doing yoga three times a week to Anjunadeep podcasts upon waking in the morning. It’s the best way I’ve found to start my day with gratitude, bringing energy to every cell of my being, and centering myself within my head, heart, and soul.
Having grown up in a Hindu commune, to me, yoga is an integrative mind, spirit, body practice that the Western world has bastardized into an exercise regimen. The Bhagavad Gita (6th-3rd century BCE) refers to yoga as a practice to control the senses, and therefore the mind. The ultimate goal is achieving moksha, a release from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth driven by the laws of karma. But the most important aspects of yoga are lifelong practice, commitment, and dedication to God.
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Now, if you do believe in God, Hinduism allows for the worship of any incarnation of God as they’re all versions of the same One. So you can practice yoga focusing on whatever deity you choose. And if you don’t believe in God, yoga has been proven to improve a myriad of health problems including body pains and arthritis, lowering blood pressure, boosting the immune system and is also believed to reduce ADD/ADHD in children. Either way, there are many spiritual benefits to the practice of yoga.
I work in a pediatric eating disorder clinic with children who often have a variety of mental health problems in addition to their eating disorder, like depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation. As an empath, it’s difficult not to absorb the emotions of those around me, and yoga allows me to consolidate my energy within in preparation for my day. In this way, I can give love and healing without losing myself or being drawn into the energy of others. We also use yoga at the clinic to aid our patients in their road to healthy recovery. It teaches the kids stress management, mindfulness, and shifts their relationship with their bodies and movement itself. These skills can then be taken home and used as interventions when the kids encounter whatever triggers their eating disordered thoughts or habits.
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So when my friends and many Anjunafam expressed displeasure about the yoga set cause they’d prefer an Oceanlab set, it pained me, though I won’t lie, I’d also LOVE an Oceanlab set. However, when was the last time you got to perform an act of mind, body, and spiritual growth with thousands of Anjunafamily from around the world and your favorite boys behind the decks laying down tracks that hit you in the feels? If you say ABGT250, I’ll say, that was 9 months ago! It’s time to refresh, renew, and revitalize your spirit so we can dance through the day and into the night imbued with love and acceptance in our souls. In fact, the word anjuna means “change” in Arabic, so allow the music into your body, let it transcend your self-imposed boundaries, and empower your spirit by changing you.
Isn’t that what Above & Beyond do? Don’t they change your life in big and small ways? Doesn’t their music evoke the purity of emotions that make you feel understood and recognized as the unique and glorious person you are inside? If that’s the case, then join me for the Anjunabeach yoga set, with your feet planted hip-width apart on this gorgeous planet and feel the sand between your toes. Close your eyes and focus on the sound of the crashing waves and the mellow ambient tracks. Raise your hands to your heart in pranaam and let your soul greet the souls around you, all of whom are seeking what you seek–peace, love, health, joy, and fun while on this Earth. I’ll see you vibrant souls there!