8 Day BHAKTImmersion

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March 10 – 17, 2018 – Downtown

with Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band

Bhakti Yoga & Soul Celebration In The Heart Of New Orleans with Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band

Sean and the band’s 8 Day BHAKTImmersion attracts yogis and yoga teachers who wish to experience the inspiration of bhakti yoga in a deep, fun, integrated way. The sessions are educational, experiential, and help participants to empower their creativity through the arts of bhakti yoga. Participants in the BHAKTImmersion have hailed from Italy, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Canada, across the country, and of course the New Orleans region.

PLEASE NOTE: Space is limited. The last few BHAKTImmersions have SOLD OUT several months in advance. Early registration highly recommended.

Sing your heart out, rekindle your soul, awaken the gods and goddesses within you, tap into your inner poet, dance like a child, feel your fingers tickle the harmonium as you accompany your chanting, get your hands on a drum and find your rhythm, explore the beauty, romance, and celebration of New Orleans, rejoice in the awakening of your unique voice and creativity.

Enhance your connection to Life through Bhakti yoga and kirtan. This 8 Day Intensive is for anyone who wants to steep in bhakti- the yoga of the heart, for yogis who are seeking to deepen their practice, and for yoga teachers seeking inspiration in integrating more bhakti into their classes.

The week opens with Sean & The Wild Lotus Band performing at The New Orleans Sacred Music Festival on Saturday, along with artists from many other traditions and cultures.

Starting on Sunday, mornings are focused on self-exploration and satsang through singing meditation, interactive chanting, exploration of the archetypes of the gods and goddesses, guidance on how to bring more bhakti into your life; dancing, storytelling, mythology, journaling, and love poetry from the Bhakti tradition. Through the week there will also be a couple of  bhakti on the mat asana practices led by Sean and accompanied by Alvin and Gwendolyn. Afternoons include more kirtan and supportive instruction in: basic harmonium with Sean; basic rhythm and drumming workshops with Gwendolyn; and basic guitar-and-bass-for-kirtan with Alvin. Evening celebrations include opening dinner gathering; house party with live local music; and NOLA music outing with Gwendolyn. Participants may wish to stay Sunday for The Congo Square Rhythms Festival.

All events will be held at Wild Lotus Yoga- Downtown on the upper 2nd floor of The New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St Claude Ave at St Roch, unless otherwise noted. We have been closely involved with the creation of the Healing Center over the last 5 years. In addition to Wild Lotus Yoga, this 55,000 square foot, 4 story building also houses The New Orleans Food Co-Op Grocery; Fatoush a Mediterranean restaurant/coffeeshop/juicebar; Cafe Istanbul performance hall; AHA affordable healing arts center; Island Of Salvation Botanica; The Street University; interfaith space; The Building Block, an incubator project for businesses specializing in sustainability and green projects; ASI Credit Union; Downtown Fitness Center; police sub-station; and more. The New Orleans Healing Center is one of the most ambitious and progressive recovery projects in New Orleans, and we are thrilled to be a part of it and for you to experience it.

For those of you who are interested, we have set up a discounted community housing program with local hosts in town for $25 a night who provide a simple private room with clean sheets and towels and access to kitchen. The earliest registrants will be eligible for this community housing up until housing is no longer available. Some of you have requested housing within walking distance of The Healing Center. Please know that the neighborhood around the center is a funky, urban, residential environment with lots of historic New Orleans ‘shotgun-style’ houses, and home to many artists, musicians, bohemian characters, and street life. We also have housing in other New Orleans neighborhoods, best accessed by car.

If you’d prefer to stay in a b&b or hotel, there are many in the neighborhood around the Healing Center. B & B’s in the Marigny neighborhood would be very close by. B&B’s or hotels in the French Quarter are also an option. AirBnb.com is also a great resource.

If you are interested in seeing more of the city and getting around with the most ease, renting a car is highly recommended, especially if you’re not staying near the Healing Center. Public transportation in New Orleans is not as convenient or easy as in other big cities. If you are staying nearer to the Healing Center, some of the B&B’s have bicycles for their guests to use. You can also rent a bicycle at Bicycle Michael’s.

Schedule may change slightly in the flow of the week.

Saturday: 

10am- 10pm: The New Orleans Sacred Music Festival, featuring music from a wide variety of cultures and traditions, begins at 10am with a Peace Walk to The New Orleans Healing Center. There will be many performances and prayers from a wide variety of artists and musicians from different cultures and traditions. See all the details, lineup, and schedule at www.NewOrleansSacredMusicFestival.org.

4-5:30pm BHAKTImmersion Welcome & Orientation at our studio Wild Lotus Yoga- Downtown on the upper 2nd floor of the Healing Center. Depending on your interest in the festival, you don’t need to arrive until this meeting. Important: Please bring your altar items to this meeting.

6:30-8pm Our set of mantra music as part of the festival inside Cafe Istanbul downstairs.

There will be plenty of other music for you to enjoy throughout the day. If you are bringing your own instruments, there’s no need to bring to studio until our Sunday meeting.

Sunday: (9:30am: doors open: snacks, tea & settling in) Important: please bring your altar offerings. Session: 10am – 5pm / BHAKTIMMERSION with lunch break. 7:30pm – 10pm / DINNER GATHERING at Sean’s house

Monday: (9:30am: doors open: snacks, tea & settling in) Session: 10am – 5pm / BHAKTIMMERSION with lunch break. 10pm til / optional LIVE LOCAL MUSIC night on the town with Gwendolyn

Tuesday: (9:30am: doors open: snacks, tea & settling in) Session: 10am – 5pm / BHAKTIMMERSION

Wednesday: (9:30am: doors open: snacks, tea & settling in) Session: 10am – 5pm / BHAKTIMMERSION with lunch break. 7:30pm til / DINNER & HOUSE PARTY at Gwendolyn’s with live music

Thursday: Free Day to explore New Orleans. (7:30-8pm doors open, snacks, tea & settling in) Session: 8–10pm / BHAKTIMMERSION evening session

Friday: (9:30am: doors open: snacks, tea & settling in) Session: 10am – 5pm / BHAKTIMMERSION with lunch break

Saturday: (9:30am: doors open: snacks, tea & settling in) Session: 10am – 5pm / BHAKTIMMERSION with lunch break.

NOTE: As an option, not formally  included as part of the BHAKTImmersion, on Sunday is a free music festival The Congo Square Rhythms Festival in Armstrong Park, not far away from The New Orleans Healing Center.  You may wish to stay and enjoy this.

We will be providing a yummy homestyle vegetarian dinner at our Sunday night and Wednesday night gatherings with a local vegetarian chef, as well as simple healthy snacks during our daily gatherings. You will be responsible for all the other meals. There is a restaurant and food co-op grocery in the building, a wonderful urban food court called The St Roch Market right across the street, and dining options in the neighborhood.

At the Sunday morning orientation you will receive a guidebook binder which will include bhakti resource materials we’ll be working with during our time together including articles by Sean; singing, harmonium and rhythm exercises; a list of other bhakti resources, and more. This book will be a great resource to support your bhakti practice once you return home as well.

There will be two Bhakti On The Mat yoga sessions held during the week guided by Sean and accompanied by Alvin and Gwendolyn, but the main emphasis is on other bhakti yoga practices. You are welcome to take any yoga classes while you are in town at either the uptown or downtown studio for a special 20% discount. See our schedule of over 60 classes a week at both locations here.

Massage and other healing arts practices are available right next door to the studio at AHA (Affordable Healing Arts). The spiritual readings downstairs at Island Of Salvation Botanica also come highly recommended.

Sean’s father Bruce is a certified New Orleans tour guide with lots of knowledge of the city and some unique perspectives. From time to time he takes small groups out for custom-tours of New Orleans. We will help arrange a tour for those who are interested on Thursday. The price of the tour which runs for 3 hours is $35 per person. If you wish to take a tour, we will make arrangements for your to pre-register during the week of the BHAKTImmersion.

  • altar items: we’ll be making a community altar at our Sunday morning orientation so please bring a meaningful item or image that reflects your heart and soul
  • journal and pen
  • a favorite poem or quote that opens your heart
  • a set of colored markers
  • a drum, if you wish to focus your time on rhythm
  • a harmonium, if you wish to focus on harmonium (we will also have several harmoniums there for you to share if you don’t have one)
  • guitar, if you wish to focus on guitar for kirtan
  • any other instruments you wish
  • comfortable walking shoes
  • warm and lighter clothes- it’s also possible it could be mild, so bring a few layers so you can improvise with the weather
  • at least one set of festive clothing for our Wednesday night house party
  • umbrella, particularly if you’re going to be on foot
  • water bottle (we have a reverse-osmosis water dispenser at the studio for you to refill you personal bottle)
  • yoga mat (we also have a few mats at the studio you can borrow)
  • yoga clothes
  • cushion or backjak to sit on (optional, as we have plenty of blankets and bolsters as well)

Early registration highly recommended.

Early Bird Special: $975 if registered by Nov 1st, 2017. $1075 if registered by Feb 1st, 2018. After Feb 1 – $1175. Register with a $500 non-refundable deposit. Full balance due by March 1st.  Price includes BHAKTImmersion experience plus guidebook, daily snacks, two dinners, and admission into the New Orleans Sacred Music Festival.

SIGN UP ONLINE HERE

E-mail [email protected] with any questions.