Yoga Festival & Naturist Hippies
This past weekend Jordan and I went to a spiritual yoga and music festival in Phillipsburg, NJ called Evolvefest. It was such a great time! This was a 3-day festival, all of Labor Day weekend, but we just went for the day on Sunday. We got there early afternoon and walked around to scope out the scene. It took place on the large Warren County Fairgrounds so there was plenty of space and green grass to dance, play and practice yoga on. There were a few main stages for workshops, yoga, and concerts, a big booth for kids activities and a line of vendors selling fair trade clothing, gemstones, books, purses, jewelry, and spiritual accoutrements like dried white sage. There were also a few cool neon art sculptures and bright starry decorations scattered throughout.
There was an almost constant smell of burning incense or white sage. Observing the other attendees and yogis, it was mostly young people in their 20s or late teens. A lot of lean young guys with dreads, and girls in billowing pants or skirts and bando tops in Earthy colors. I noticed a lot of the guys were shirtless, and I found myself wishing we were in NY so I could go topfree too. Does it make any sense to give women this simple right in one state and not another? Not to me. The people there were so friendly and open as well. If you caught someone’s eye they would actually maintain eye contact and smile. It was refreshing.
The schedule was packed with all kinds of workshops, yoga, hula hooping lessons, spiritual ceremonies, crafts, and more. I started off with a rejuvenating yoga jam session. This is a free form yoga dance with a few loose poses, and then you move your body and limbs in whatever way feels good. It was accompanied by live music with drums, flute and didgeridoo. Then the band took over to lead us in a chant meant for healing. We all sang together and directed the healing sound to friends, family, everyone we’d ever met, and eventually the whole world. The chant leader said sound travels some 700 miles, so I hope the good energy traveled and did some good!
After this we got up to head to another workshop about holistic, healthy living. The speaker, Dalien of 13 Hands, was very animated and funny. He talked about his journey of healing himself through eating wholesome healthy food, clearing chakras and learning to crap a lot (no joke). The talk was a little lengthy, but entertaining. He had us get up to do a few energizing yoga poses together. At the end we were invited to sit back and close our eyes as he played a scintillating concert of song, hang drums and flute.
By then it was dinnertime so we went to check out the two outdoor food stands. Each one had healthy vegetarian options like green juice and hummus veggie wraps. I had the portobello mushroom sandwich, which was surprisingly very flavorful, and Jordan had a grilled cheese.
There was a “Conscious Culture” workshop I wanted to attend, but when we couldn’t find that we ended up at the “Gateway of Ascension Ceremony” at a grassy area called Healing Village. It started off with the minister playing crystal bowls, reverberating hollow notes into the air. We laid on our backs to listen, and assistants walked around to wave burning white sage and feathers around our bodies (to clear any negative energy I think). The minister spoke of a dream vision she had of everyone’s third eye suddenly opening. We did a guided meditation, imagining different color lights going through our chakras. She told us by walking through the “gateway” we were agreeing to participate in a new Earth and live in harmony with each other. One by one we walked through a shimmering gateway lit up and lined with volunteers playing crystal bowls. Greeting us at the other end were “angels” that warmly embraced each one of us and whispered encouraging messages, like “You have a divine purpose in this world.” Honestly I didn’t have any magical awakening, but it was a new, warm and calming experience nonetheless.
The concerts had been going on all day, but we didn’t go over to see one until late that night. A band called Bad Buka was jamming wildly on stage and had the crowd jumping and dancing. We caught a few minutes of it and then headed out.
Attending this event got us thinking about hippies. ”Happy Intelligent People Pursuing Infinite Enlightenment.” The people at this festival were a lot like modern-day hippies, and we would guess 20-30% of the Evolvefest crowd would be interested in what we do. (We hope to get more involved next time if we can!) The types of workshops and activities actually reminded me a lot of the Northeast Natural Festival I attended last year.
About the Author (Author Profile)I'm Felicity, author of Felicity's Blog and co-founder of Young Naturists America. I write about nudism and naturism in today's world along with issues like top-freedom and body acceptance, and various naked topics. Enjoy, and leave a comment when you've got something to say! :)
I agree, but I think it is kind of limited in that we all share an appreciation for the Earth and nature. Hippies (as far as I can see) have many agendas, and didn't have a central force or focus in its heyday. Naturalism has been around for longer, touches all age ranges, shares strong social, moral, and philosophical values, and have central groups that act as a directing voice (supposedly). If anything, after researching both groups, I would say hippies are an off shoot from naturism that didn't quite get it and that is why they are no longer around as they were, yet naturism still is.