Texas Yoga Conference and Music Festival
Texas Yoga Conference and Music Festival was held Friday, February 17 to Sunday February 19, 2012, at the University of Houston. The third annual conference and music festival brought yoga leaders and musicians from around the world. Over 60 classes and workshops were led by yoga teachers such as Ana Forrest, Michele Herbert, Christina Sell, David Regelin, Moses Love, and Les Leventhal.
The Texas Yoga Conference was founded in 2009 by Jennifer Buergermeister and Roger and Albina Rippy. They were passionate to represent and support Texas yogis and inspire the general public to learn more about the many branches of yoga.
The music festival kicked off Friday night at 6 pm with the event Bhakti Bash, which consisted of nationally and internationally renowned recording artists, Tyagaraja Welch, David Newman, and Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band.
Welch and his wife Gunjen Mittal started out the night with a riveting performance.
“I started music at the age of 9 with my dad,” Welch said. “My dad writes his own music and plays the guitar. I was able to learn from that.”
With Welch on the guitar and Mittal accentuating the sound with her Indian classical dancing, which consists of dancing with bells tied around the ankles, there is a unique fusion to the music.
“Life inspires me so that’s how the music creation happens,” Welch said.
For the past two and a half months Welch toured through India, playing in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, and Rishikesh. He was able to collaborate with musicians such as Kailesh Kher.
David Newman’s set was next on the list for a night filled with Kirtan chanting.
“Bhakti yoga, which is yoga of the heart, mainly comes from chanting,” Newman said. “When I am singing or playing music I feel in the zone. I am the most calm and nothing else comes to my mind.”
Newman started to learn about spirituality from a young age.
“I started meditating as a teen because my parents took me to a class. I was drawn towards spirituality, and then later in college I started getting more into the physical components of it,” Newman said.
The night ended with the musical stylings of Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band.
Their music is part of a trend that brings mantra music into the mainstream, giving ancient sounds a contemporary voice that transcends musical, cultural and sectarian boundaries, as stated in the press release.
“Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band’s performance was fantastic,” an audience member, Michelle Paul, said. “I was intrigued with this style of music and the best part was experiencing the diverse crowd along with the singing and dancing.”
Shruti recently graduated from University of Houston with a BBA in Finance and a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism. On her free time, she loves to find new up and coming lounges/bars and restaurants where she can hang out with friends and family. Also, traveling is a must! Her goal is to visit every continent at some point.