The Spirit of the Suwannee, simply put, but a perfect name for a place so mystical and divine in its natural essence. Located in Live Oak, Florida, wanderers travel near and far to make it down upon the ol’ Suwannee River. Anticipating the magic that coexists amongst the nature, people, music and venue is what has me excited for the next upcoming music festival that Suwannee hosts on their sacred land. Aura festival welcomed many of us this past week (March 6,7,8) with open arms, as singers, teachers, healers, innovators and collaborators united to join forces! An ultimate culmination of compassion, creativity and community; a template for music festivals everywhere.
During the days, the sun blessed us with its presence, peaking out of the clouds and morning fog. The cypress trees giving shade and a slight breeze on and off, great for napping in your hammock, or taking a walk to the river. Campers roam around, as the only agenda for the weekend was to check out the music, eat some awesome burritos (thank you Solar café) and attend some powerful workshops as well as yoga classes! My good friend and yoga instructor, Joaquin De Teresa was the yoga director for this year’s Aura Festival. He honored this title, and wow did he do an amazing job! Between recruiting multiple teachers from around South Florida, scheduling the workshops/classes, while having his own class flows, he still made time to share the love and enjoy the festival in all of its craziness with good friends. Here I shot a few photos of him in his Buddha Pants helping his acro yogi students with their flying postures:
Campfires hold us closer, as temperatures dipped into the 30’s in the evenings. Besides the campfires, other possible solutions of staying warm include dancing, laughing and/or drinking some yummy hot tea (favorably, all of the above). I can’t help myself, as I follow the music, it consumes me; new dance moves are expressed, fully opening up to a raw side of myself that I forgot existed! Skipping around to different campfires, I stumbled upon some sweet Carolina guys! Road tripping all the way from South Carolina, Willie told me he was happy to experience the warmer vibes at Aura Music Festival. This was a joke to us Floridians, as we will never get use to anything below 50 degrees. Noticing his attire, he was only wearing a T-shirt, and Buddha pants! Willie tours and vends amongst the states with a band named ‘Sun Dried Vibes’, make sure to check them out! Thanks for repping Buddhas Willie!
Still to this day, Suwannee River holds number one for my favorite music festival venue, but more so, my home away from home. I look forward to all of my experiences here, whatever the weather or distance may be! The grounding sensation I am left with from camping is irresistible while the connections made are unforgettable. A true blessing to be here with so many beautiful people, who yearn to share their light and yoga medicine! So much wisdom and growth all pact in a one weekend trip; the conscious movement is on the move and treading steady. If you didn’t make it out this time around, hope you hop on the Aura train next year friends!
**Sammi Benowitz on behalf of Buddha Pants