by Guruka Kaur
This year was the seventh annual Yoga Festival in Chile. For the last two years the festival has been attended by about 350 people from all over South America: Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Boliva, Ecuador, Peru, and Columbia, and Mexico and as far away as Spain! This year the Chilean Yoga Festival joined 3HO Foundation International in using the same theme—the First Sutra of the Aquarian Age: Reconoce que el otro eres tu - Recognize the other person is you!
It is a very cozy and inspiring event giving people the opportunity to experience the 3HO/Sikh Dharma Kundalini Yoga lifestyle in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. And since the seasons are reversed on opposite sides of the equator, the end of January is the middle of the summer!
The festival offers one class at a time and everyone comes together for the classes, which are built around the theme. Experiencing the Kundalini Yoga lifestyle through the South American cultures is very warm and fun. This year all the classes were taught in Spanish. The festival team makes sure all senior teachers in South America are invited to teach. There is a Gurdwara with a Spanish Akhand Path (though you can read in Gurmukhi) and a very colorful bazaar. Teachers come from North America: Jai Hari Kaur of Mexico, Hari Nam Singh of NYC, Gurubachan Singh of New Mexico, Gurudev Singh of Texas, and Hari Charn Kaur and Guruka Kaur from KRI, 3HO/IKYTA respectively.
The festival ended with a Teachers Conference: The 8 Elements of Excellence by Yogi Bhajan (as was offered at Summer Solstice and the European Yoga Festival). Following the festival there was a KRI Trainers Forum.
I’ve heard that Yogi Bhajan once described Chile as the heart of 3HO. It’s hard to describe the love and kindness present there and how wonderfully those of us who have come from afar are cared for. And there are always amazing stories to hear. This year there was a large group from Venezuela, where the government allows very little travel out of their country. They cannot pay anyone who comes to teach from outside of Venezuela and KRI is working with a team of trainers to do a level one training as a seva. What a beautiful community. The need for the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan is so great in their country, and they are so inspired to serve. And the Chilean Yoga Festival is really a great opportunity for all to live these teachings and go home even more inspired.
The Chilenos think of this as the South American Yoga Festival and they are planning to create 3HO South America. They have an incredible team which brings this event together every year and every year it gets better. So if you are looking for a different way to experience these beautiful teachings, check out the South American Yoga Festival at www.festivalkundalini.com. For those of us from north of the equator, there is nothing quite like flying into summertime and being with the warm hearts of our brothers and sisters.