Yoga, like sword ownership and sleeping, is an ancient practice whose benefits are just now being appreciated. Reap the rewards of ancient ways of life with this GrouponLive deal to the three-day Bhakti Festival at Alliant Energy Center. For $125, you get a three-day adult festival pass from Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 1 (up to a $257.74 value, including fees). Check the schedule for detailed information on performances and workshops.
The Midwestern sister to a gathering based in the desert of Joshua Tree, California, Bhakti Fest brings three days of concerts, yoga, and workshops to Madison. Throughout the weekend, the air will thrum with the sounds of kirtan, an Indian folk music tradition of call-and-response chanting rich with intoxicating rhythms and melodies that build verse by verse. Performers from across the country add drums, harmonium, guitar, and strings to the waves of vocal sound, inducing an atmosphere ripe for spiritual awakening and making any birds overhead float to the ground in a blissful trance.
The deep, soulful voice of Krishna Das headlines the lineup of spiritual musicians. Originally from New York, Das has toured the globe with music that interweaves feverish cadences with traditional and modern instrumentation. The former rock n' roller explains the atavistic appeal of chanting by saying that it "just hits you and you want to be a part of it…you don't have to know what it means." Some 20 other kirtan artists join him, including veteran sacred music composer Jai Uttal and the vibrant Donna De Lory, whose electronic rhythms blend with lyrics in both English and Sanskrit.
Minds and bodies come together in 30 yoga classes and workshops on topics including spiritualism, nutrition, and eco-activism. A vendor village attracts eco-friendly artisans purveying clothing, jewelry, and vegetarian and vegan cuisine.