The yoga community has come a long way here in the US in the last twenty years and the Tadasana Festival is another reflection of this growth. The fact is, yoga just works and truly helps to change people’s lives. But more then just the asana practice, the community itself is now taking on a life of its own which is why so many events like this are popping up all over the place. This will be the first Tadasana Festival taking place in Santa Monica CA on Earth Day weekend April 20 – 22nd and we were able to speak with Tommy Rosen about it.
(Editors note: Please forgive the all caps response from Tommy.)
Q: The Tadasana Festival (and other yoga festivals) is a testament to the fact that the yoga community has reached a critical mass here in the US. Where do you see the yoga community heading in the next five years?
A: THE MODERN PRACTICE OF YOGA HAS STRUCK A CHORD WITH THE HUMAN RACE AT THIS TIME IN A LARGER WAY THAN EVER BEFORE PARTICULARLY IN THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA. NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION AND RIGHT NOW, THERE IS NO LACK OF NECESSITY TO GET A FEW THINGS STRAIGHT WITH OURSELVES, OUR FELLOWS AND WITH PLANET EARTH. THE GLOBAL YOGA COMMUNITY, AIDED BY THE INTERNET, IS GROWING IN SUCH A WAY THAT THE PRACTICE OF YOGA WILL BE AS WIDESPREAD AS WORKING OUT AT A GYM IN A RELATIVELY SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME. I BELIVE THAT SOON CHILDREN WILL GROW UP WITH YOGA ON A MASS LEVEL, WHICH IS AN INCREDIBLY HOPEFUL POSSIBILITY THAT HOLDS GREAT PROMISE.
THE CULTURE OF HEALTH AND WELLNESS, THE LIFESTYLE, THAT SURROUNDS THE MODERN PRACTICE OF YOGA IS ALSO BEING EMBRACED ON A MASS SCALE. ORGANIC FOOD, DEVOTIONAL, WORLD AND OTHER FORMS OF ECLECTIC MUSIC, THE PRACTICE OF MEDITATION, THE BUILDING OF SECULAR COMMUNITIES THAT SUPPORT A SPIRITUAL PATH RATHER THAN ORGANIZED RELIGION, AN APPRECIATION OF ANCIENT EASTERN TRADITIONS COMBINED WITH AN EQUAL APPRECIATION OF MODERN-DAY TECHNOLOGY AND CONVENIENCES ALL PLAY IN A PART.
THE GROWTH OF THIS COMMUNITY OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS WILL CONTINUE AND REACH A TIPPING POINT. GATHERINGS SUCH AS TADASANA WILL GROW IN NUMBER AND LOCATION. SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN WITH STARBUCKS, CENTERS OF YOGA AND HEALTH WILL BE MUCH MORE PLENTIFUL THAN WHAT YOU SEE TODAY. THIS WILL SPREAD TO EUROPE, SOUTH AMERICA, AFRICA AND IRONICALLY WILL RETURN TO INDIA IN A VERY BIG WAY.
Q: Is the Tadasana Festival only for individuals who are in the yoga community and practice yoga already or do you plan on making it open for non-yoga enthusiasts?
A: TADASANA IS A FESTIVAL FOR ALL PEOPLE THOUGH NOT ALL PEOPLE WOULD NECESSARILY BE ATTRACTED TO IT IN ITS INAUGURAL YEAR. THERE IS SO MUCH OFFERED AT TADASANA FROM FOOD TO LECTURES TO YOGA AND MUSIC. IF PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN AT TADASANA THEY WOULD FLOCK IN UNMANAGEABLE NUMBERS TO THE TADASANA FESTIVAL. AS IT IS WE WILL BE AT CAPACITY, BUT SO MANY MORE PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO BE THERE IF THEY UNDERSTOOD IT. OF COURSE, THE PRACTICE OF YOGA IS SO MISUNDERSTOOD AND IT BRINGS UP A LOT OF UNCOMFORTABLE FEELINGS FOR PEOPLE LIKE BODY ISSUES AND INTIMIDATION. YOGA IS THE MOST WONDERFUL THING TO EXPERIENCE AND IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT LIVE CONCERT GOING ON WHILE YOU PRACTICE, THAT COUL DMAKE FOR ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS OF YOUR LIFE WHETHER YOU PRACTICE YOGA OR NOT. ALSO, MANY OF THE YOGA EXPERIENCES AT TADASANA WILL BE MORE MEDITATIVE THAN PHYSICALLY CHALLENGING. THERE IS SUCH A VARIED OFFERING THAT NO MATTER WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR YOU COULD FIND SOMETHING PERFECT FOR WHERE YOU ARE AT.
Q: What can yogis expect from this upcoming Tadasana Festival and what bands/teachers/speakers are you personally most excited about?
A: YOGIS CAN EXPECT TO HAVE THEIR LID BLOWN OFF. SERIOUSLY, WHEN I LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE AND PUT MYSELF IN THE SHOES OF THE ATTENDEE, I LITERALLY AM BESIDE MYSELF WITH TOUGH CHOICES. OF COURSE, I KNOW THESE TEACHERS AND THEIR ABILITIES ARE EXTRAORDINARY. AND TO COMBINE THIS WITH AWESOME MUSICIANS, IT’S LIKE ALL YOU CAN DO IS PICK A CLASS AND BE IN IT AND THEN HEAD TO ANOTHER ONE AND ANOTHER ONE. IF YOU GET TIRED, JUST LAY YOUR MAT DOWN AND LISTEN TO THE SOUND OF THE MUSIC AND THE BREATH OF THE COMMUNITY AROUND YOU IN PRACTICE. PERSONALLY, I HAVE TO EXPERIENCE ELENA BROWER AND AMY IPPOLITI TEACHING TOGETHER WITH KARSH KALE PERFORMING OR SAUL DAVID RAYE WITH SIANNA SHERMAN OR ASHLEY TURNER WITH SHAMEN’S DREAM OR KIA MILLER WITH AYKANNA. THE LIST GOES ON.
AND I HAVE GOT TO SAY A WORD ABOUT THE DAILY LOVE LECTURE SERIES AND THE POSITIVELY POSITIVE PANEL SPECIFICALLY. 4 WOMEN ALL OF WHOM HAVE OVERCOME THE MOST CHALLENGING HARDSHIPS YOU COULD IMAGINE AND GONE ON TO BECOME INSPIRATIONS TO THE WORLD AROUND THEM. THIS WILL CRACK YOUR HEART WIDE OPEN.
Q: With the current trend of yoga festivals, how do you plan to differentiate Tadasana Festival from Wanderlust, Bhkati Fest, Hanuman Festival, and the others?
A: I TEACH AT HANUMAN AND BHAKTIFEST AND HAVE TAUGHT AT WANDERLUST. I LOVE EACH OF THESE FESTIVALS FOR THEIR INDIVIDUAL PERSONALITIES. TADASANA IS THE FIRST FESTIVAL OF ITS KIND TO COME TO A MAJOR CITY. THIS IS ONE IMPORTANT POINT OF DIFFERENTIATION. ASLO, OUR MUSICAL OFFERING IS VERY DIVERSE IN COMPARISON WITH OTHER FESTIVALS. BEING AT THE EDGE OF LOS ANGELES HAS ITS ADVANTAGES AS WELL. URBAN FESTIVALS THAT SPREAD YOGA AND MEDITATION ARE VERY IMPORTANT. THEY WILL NATURALLY BE MORE ATTRACTIVE TO MORE PEOPLE. MANY FOLKS WHO ARE NEWER TO THE PRACTICE OF YOGA WILL NOT NECESSARILY GO FAR AWAY TO EXPERIENCE IT, BUT IF IT COMES TO THEIR CITY, THEY JUST MIGHT DIVE IN.
Q: Lets talk logistics! With so much going on, what would you recommend as the best way for someone attending to get organized and ensure they get the most from their experience? How will the logistics of the streets be organized with studios opening their doors and events taking place on the beach? Are you trying to put Burning Man on Main Street!?
A: COME TO RAWVOLUTION RESTAURANT ON THURSDAY TO PICK UP YOUR CREDENTIALS. THIS IS A “GROUND ZERO” LOCALE IN OUR COMMUNITY FOR MANY OF US AND IT WILL GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO DIVE RIGHT IN. JOIN US FOR OUR OPENING CLASSES AT 8:00AM ON FRIDAY MORNING..DOESN’T MATTER WHICH ONE. THEY ARE ALL INCREDIBLE. THE HANG AT THE TADASANA YOGA VILAGE WILL BE LEGENDARY. GRAB SOME TEA, A SMOOTHIE, KICK BACK WITH FRIENDS, HIT A CLASS, HAVE A CREPE OR A SALAD, LISTEN TO A LECTURE, HIT THE MARKETPLACE, HAVE A DEEP CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE WHO CHANGES YOUR LIFE, OR AN IMPROMPTU DISCUSSION ABOUT CONSCIOUS BUSINESS, TAKE A SWIM IN THE OCEAN, HUG SOMEONE, KISS SOMEONE AND REPEAT FOR THREE DAYS. MAIN STREET SANTA MONICA IS 3 BLOCK AWAY. IF YOU WANT TO WANDER, YOU’LL BE IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
AT NIGHT YOU’LL CHECK OUT TADASANA AFTER DARK, OUR EPIC EVENING CONCERT SERIES IN DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA. THIS WILL BE THE PLACE FOR SOME OF THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS MUSICAL PERFORMANCES OF THE YEAR HERE. FOR LOS ANGELES, THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING.
EVERYTHING IS ORIENTED TO THE YOGA VILLAGE. ALL OUR HOTELS ARE WITHIN A MILE OR TWO. DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA IS LESS THAN A MILE. YOGAWORKS MAIN STREET, THE SITE OF OUR OFF-VILLAGE CLASSES IS 3 BLOCKS AWAY. OUR TADASANA MARKETPLACE HAS OUTSTANDING FOOD AND SO DOES THE CITY AROUND US.
Q: You chose a tough weekend to launch your first event with Coachella and other Earth Day Festivals taking place on this weekend. Will your future events continue to take place on this weekend or will you be adjusting the date later on? Or lets make this question even easier for you: can you please move your event to another date so we don’t have to choose between Coachella, other Earth Day events, and your event?
A: IMAGINE THE GALL OF COACHELLA TO ADD A SECOND WEEKEND! WE BELIEVE THAT TADASANA IN LOS ANGELES SHOULD BE AN ANNUAL EARTHDAY EVENT. THAT SAID, IF WE TRIED TO MOVE TO ANOTHER DATE, THERE IS NOWHERE TO GO WITHOUT COMING UP AGAINST ONE OF THE OTHER EVENTS IN THE REGION. WE WILL, HOWEVER, BE PRODUCING TADASANA FESTIVALS IN POINTS ACROSS THE U.S. AND INTERNATIONALLY, WHICH IS VERY EXCITING. THESE WILL LIKELY NOT BE EARTH DAY EVENTS SO IF YOU ARE GAME TO HOP ON A PLANE, WE WILL GET TO SEE YOU AT SOME OF THESE. IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE DO WHAT YOU CAN TO MAKE IT TO TADASANA AT LEAST ONE DAY THIS YEAR. WE PROMISE TO TAKE GREAT CARE OF YOU DURING WHAT WILL BE ONE OF THE BEST WEEKENDS OF YOUR LIFE.
To learn more visit Tadasana Festival