Yoga, music and nature come together each Summer in Boulder, CO for the magical Hanuman Festival. Attendees travel near and far to experience the music, the magic and their favorite yoga instructors teach memorable, educational, powerful classes. One such teacher is Mary Clare Sweet (MC Sweet) who has been "rocking the festive stage at Hanuman for 4 years". We caught up with this free spirit babe for a little Q&A so she help uncover the power of Hanuman - the Festival, the Pose and the Myth.
Describe the vibe of Hanuman? What do you love most about Hanuman?
Think of the greatest meal you've ever shared with friends. Delicious offerings from an incredible chef paired with surprising sides along the way. The warmth, exploration and love that is felt when surrounded by your best friends in the world, is exactly what Hanuman feels like. Even if you travel solo, you are bound to meet new life long friends.
Why do people go to Hanuman? What can a first-timer expect?
People go to Hanuman to feel the vibration of Love and to learn from the best teachers in the world. The integrity in the classes at Hanuman Festival is unparalleled. As a first-timer, you can expect welcoming, positive energy. You can expect fresh insights into your internal landscape and an imprint of love that will follow you home!
What are the must-dos for Hanuman goers?
What resonates with you most about the story?
I love the Hanuman story, I tell it in my classes often. I think my favorite part is that he has all of these super powers but has forgotten that he has them! He relies on his best friend Rama to remind him of his dharma. It is through his faith in his bestie that he is able to save the day. Truly, the love he has for his friends is his biggest motivation.
What can we learn most about or from Hanuman?
We all have mystical and powerful energies inside that are capable of feats beyond our wildest imagination. Fear makes us forget those powers, so we must rely on our friends and their support to fuel our dreams.
Any other cool fun facts/stories?
Hanuman followed the sun across the sky for 1008 years to learn the holy mantras. His devotion to studying these sacred vibes created the humble confidence needed to live his heroic life. We each need a mantra to keep us on track. Study some sanskrit mantra, study Bob Marley mantra, study Albert Einstein mantra, and create something that you can use on the daily.
My mantra is Be love, be wild, be free.
Do you love or hate it? And why?
LOVE IT! Hanumanasana (or Monkey Pose) makes me think that I can fly. It embodies the spirit of Hanuman as he leapt across the ocean to save Sita. No matter where you are in the pose, it is important to first concentrate on the breath and then cultivate the feeling of moksha. When you release fear, you fly!
What does this pose do for the body?
It is a big hamstring strengthener. It asks you to reign in the energy into mula bandha and shoot it all up to your heart! It is energizing and insightful, exciting, and devoted to love.
Any tips to getting into this pose?
Yes! Make sure that your heart is reaching forward to the big toe and then UP to the sky. Rounding the back depletes the energy of the pose and sinks weight unevenly into the legs. Put both hands on blocks or books to keep your torso up!
"Energetic vibrations of fun run deep in my veins," shares Sweet, "The classes I lead are high vibe, challenging and filled with love. My godfather is ashtanga and my sister is rock and roll. Gracefully tip toe along the fierce edge of your practice, expect sweat, love, and OM."
Experience the energy of Hanuman yourself - the festival, the myth, and the pose - as it bounces off Boulder's Flatirons, blows through the trees and flows down the creek and in your heart.
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