The Waking Hour @ All Day I Dream of Park People

Nestled amidst the trees in sunny Golden Gate Park, the feeling of summer was alive and well as we welcomed in yoga practitioners and event attendees to The Waking Hour at the All Day I Dream dance music festival on June 30th. Everyone quietly gathered under the canopied decor of strung lanterns and floral arrangements, eagerly anticipating the opening ceremony guided by sound healer, Cheryl Bowers of Reno based company, Heart of Sound, and Oakland-based yoga instructor and holistic health practitioner Hayley Ebersole of Body-Mind Freedom.

Hayley started the day calling in the intention of mindful participation by allowing our consciousness to be present with the protests to protect immigrant families from being separated, which was simultaneously taking place across the nation during this time. She described her experience at The Waking Hour as a “life-altering experience of co-creating a sacred space with so many conscious music lovers in an event that might traditionally have been dedicated to purely to Dionysian pleasure seeking. When so many people come together to breathe, open their bodies and create a heart-centered vibration, the effects ripple outward and are felt, consciously or unconsciously, by the entire community. We reclaimed Golden Gate Park for love and then danced our pants off all day to celebrate that love. When the Yogi exits her cave to dance at the altar of Dionysus, the whole world benefits.”

Cheryl, working in tandem with Hayley, heightened the vibration of The Waking Hour with her expert use of gongs, crystal sound bowls, chimes, and various other sound-healing instrumentation. She explained, “The Waking Hour provides a foundation for one to connect deeper into themselves through intentional movement, ceremony, and yoga. It builds a unique container to keep one dive into a more ritualistic space before a festival of high energy and multi-faceted vibrations.” This is the third consecutive year that Cheryl has performed at All Day I Dream in Golden Gate Park, having been present for the first one when the event had been created to provide some entertainment for early arrival attendees at a time when amplified sound was not permitted in the park. She reflected on this evolution of the event, expressing that it “fills me up to see the amount of people looking for a richer, more inherently intentional experience to engage in before the party sets in. We all need connection now more than ever, with one another, and to hold each other up: The Waking Hour is that light.”

Brittany Tilleman