“Conscious Hip hop is the modern mantra – affirmation backed with rhythm!” – Aimee Bracks
“But I don’t like rap.” I have said this many times in the past. In reflection I can now see how tainted my idea of Hip Hop was by what circulated radio stations in the 90s, often fuelled by pain and a host of unsocial values. Yet, when I was invited to teach at Ahimsa, something in me got curious – “Conscious Hip Hop you say?” It felt fresh, spurring my childlike curiosity. I went along to my first experience of Hip Hop Yoga with Aimee Bracks at Summer Healing and EVERYTHING changed.
Aimee walked into the room full of energy as she began to play some beats and guided us through a vinyasa sequence. As we got into the practice, rapper Charlie White joined the stage and began unleashing his lyrics into the space, rapping, rhyming and creating impromptu verses in creative expression. My body found new freedom and expression as I began to move in new ways that were clearly influenced by the spontaneity with which he approached his art. As he poured out his heart and soul through the mic – my body responded in wanting to open, to dance, to flow – especially as he humorously lightened the room by relating his lyrics to the way people were moving.
A number of women who were feeling courageous stepped up to the mic and joined in, having a go at freestyling on the mic and later commenting that they had never before felt such self-confidence and healing through the use of their voice.
This festival was not like any other Hip Hop or Yoga I had experienced before. It was the most refined form of poetic spirituality backed by solid beats, all linked together in a container of Consciousness and Yoga Asana. As organizser Aimee Bracks explains, “Yoga Asana fuses spirit and matter in the physical movement of the body, conscious hip hop is the lyrical weaving of letting spirit flow through ones throat chakra in full harmony with the universe and its creation…Conscious hip hop is modern mantra – affirmations spoken in rhythm just as the sages once sung scriptures, they are now backed by modern beats. When we bring the hip hop into Yoga, it’s another element – and that beat can be represented as the heart beat, the beat of the earth which makes it a big immersion beyond our individual self.”
” Let us with tuneful skill proclaim the origin of the Gods, so that in future generations these origins may be seen, when these songs are sung.”– Rig Veda (10.72.1)
The effect of hip hop is the activation of Vishuddha (Throat Chakra) through the words and grounding of Muladhara (Root Chakra) with the rhythm creating a tribal beat that connects people into their heart rather than just listening with the mind.
Beyond just a festival
The potential of fusing these two both for healing and confidence in ones self is huge, but Aimee’s vision goes beyond just the festival. “A big inspiration for creating this festival was realizing that we are stepping into an integration era, where ‘enlightenment’ and ‘yoga’ are coming through in all areas of life and spirituality is showing itself in every field”, she says. Everything we love can be spiritual these days, spirituality should be joyous and be received through the pleasures of life. Hip-hop, heavy metal etc it can all be our path as long as there is awareness.”
The Ahimsa Festival is bridging the gap between entertainment and spirituality – the first day of the festival will be purely music and the second day is a fusion of the same international artists collaborating with local yoga teachers to create transformational experiences for participants. Workshops include How To Freestyle, Blindfolded Yoga, Psychedelic Cacao Ceremony Yin Yoga, Hip Hop Yoga, Rebirthing Breathwork and much more.
Tickets are only $50 per day, or $80 for a double day pass.
March 11: Hip Hop & Rebirthing
For a sample of some of the performers, see –
I’m Alive Now – Illuminati Congo (USA)
We Keep It Natural (Organic) – Illuminati Congo (USA)
Deep As The Seas Sleepless – Kalki (CAN)