An Intimate conversation with Sridhar, founder of Bhaktifest and Govind Das
Govind Das (Ira Jeffrey Rosen) took his first meditation class in September 1993 at University of Maryland, which first awakened his love for the spiritual teachings of the East. While living in Los Angeles in 1994, due to health concerns (ulcerative colitis) he began to look for alternative ways of healing. After years of different practices (vinyasa yoga, ayurveda, buddhist meditation etc), Ira Rosen found his yogic “home” in the path of Bhakti Yoga: the “yoga of the heart” or “the yoga of love and devotion”. It is in this tradition of “Bhakti/Devotion” where Ira was given his spiritual name, Govind Das, which means “servant of the Divine”. This path of service is at the root of his spiritual life – to serve the love and spirit that lives in the heart of all. His journey has led him to India on 9 different occasions to immerse himself in the ways of the bhakti tradition at the Ashram of his “Guru” or main spiritual teacher – Neem Karoli Baba, as well as spending time in holy yogic places like Vrindavan, Varanasi, Rishikesh and many more. Through his journeys to the “motherland of yoga”, India, Govind Das has enjoyed the company of many yogic saints, sadhus, and teachers. It is from these transmissions that Govind Das shares the authenticity of the Bhakti and Yogic path. He would like to place a flower of gratitude at the feet of his yoga teachers and guides here in California – Bryan Kest, Saul David Raye, Shiva Rea, and Mark Whitwell, and bow to his Bhakti and Kirtan teachers Ram Dass, Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das, Krishna Das, Shyam Das, Raghu Markus and many, many more.
His yoga classes are an innovative approach weaving fresh and fluid Vinyasa yoga sequences & Yin and Restorative Lunar styles of yoga, all with the teachings of Bhakti and dharma. The emphasis is on yoga as spiritual ritual of devotion. And always a mixed with a deep dose of mantra, dharmic quotes, affirmation, sweat, dance, joy and laughter. As a healing artform, Govind Das intends to create an environment where the yogi/yogini can find a nurturing, nourishing, and balancing experience of breath, energy, and movement/circulation. As a bhakti art form he encourages yoga in the spirit of celebrating life, body as sacred temple and cultivating an intimate and loving relationship with the Sacred.
Govind Das’s uplifting and inspirational message encourages the process of spiritual awakening and the conscious affirmation that life is a great gift to be treated with great respect. Says Govind Das, “Now is the time burst out of limiting and fear-based social/family/cultural and environmental conditionings and live a fully empowered and creative life centered on love and truth.”
Govind Das and his wife Radha live in the hills of Pacific Palisades, CA overlooking the Great Pacific Ocean with their son Malakai and daughter Ruby Jaya.
Govind Das Website: www.bhaktiyogashala.com/