Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome. It is our hope that this page of frequently asked questions will help to guide you to your best Sat Nam Fest West experience. You will find a variety of questions that address many of the areas associated with the festival experience. After reading through these FAQs if you have additional questions please inquire. We would be happy to help.
Overall Sat Nam Fest Experience
How is Sat Nam Fest different from other yoga and music festivals?
Sat Nam Fest shares Kundalini yoga and mantra in an immersion experience unlike any other. Kundalini yoga is the yoga of awareness, and combines movement, breathing, chanting, meditation and so much more! The teachers and musicians are world class, but everyone still interacts like family. You’re as likely to see your favorite chant artists in a yoga class as you are on stage!
I’ve never attended the festival before. I’m new to Kundalini Yoga. What can you share with me to help me feel at ease about fitting in?
Everyone here came for the first time at some point, and many people who are coming this time are first timers just like you! There are plenty of beginners, but also many very friendly and welcoming people with a lot of experience under their belt who can help you out. Absolutely everyone is welcome here, just as they are. Sat Nam means ‘true identity’…it means we want you to be comfortable living and sharing the true you with us all. We can’t wait to meet you!
Is there a page, group or forum online where I can meet others going to Sat Nam Fest before the festival?
How many people generally attend the festival?
Sat Nam Fest West expects to see more than 1,000 people this year. With 3 stages, there will be opportunity for you to be in small, intimate break-out groups, or jump into the large main stage area for group energy!
Can I pick and choose what I want to participate in?
Absolutely! You are entirely self-guided at Sat Nam Fest. There are a few workshops (gong, mala
making) that require pre-registration and have a fee, but everything else is included. You can
always take down time on your own to schedule a massage, walk through the bazaar, head to class,
take a swim in the pool, stroll through the labyrinth or just be you!
Can I move about from one area to another at any time?
Yes. If you have purchased an event pass that is valid for the day/s that you are onsite, you can freely walk through the bazaar, between event spaces, and around our campus at any time.
Will there be time for quiet rest and reflection?
You can always take time for yourself to rest and reflect. Enjoy the spectacular desert landscape.
You’ll also find that many of our workshops offer quiet opportunities for rest (take a look at
our crystal singing bowl and gong workshops!)
Are we allowed to take pictures and video at Sat Nam Fest?
Absolutely! In fact, we LOVE it when participants share their pictures and videos online. Hashtag #satnamfest so we can find you and you can find other attendees sharing their experience, too!
What if I buy a ticket for only one day, but I get there and love it so much I want to stay?
No problem! Just head over to our registration desk and tell them you want to stay! We’ll be happy to accommodate you if we can.
What if I mostly like the music, but don't really want to do the yoga?
There’s so many options, you can usually find other things to do if you don’t want to do the yoga. But even so…just about every class incorporates live music. If you just want to listen, you can always hang out and enjoy the music during class!
Is there somewhere I can learn more about the yoga and become more familiar with the mantra music before I attend?
Definitely! It can take a lifetime to really learn these powerful mantras, but you can become familiar with a lot of them via Spirit Voyage’s Mantrapedia. There are also a number of blog articles on Spirit Voyage’s blog about Kundalini yoga and mantras. Head here for the Spirit Voyage blog —> www.spiritvoyage.com/blog Head to this page for more info on Mantrapedia → www.spiritvoyage.com/mantrahome.aspx
Is Sat Nam Fest or Kundalini Yoga about or based on religion?
It’s definitely not “about religion.” People from all paths enjoy Kundalini yoga, and we consider our event spiritual, but not religious. However, there is an element of the Sikh religion involved, as the Kundalini yoga path is a path that came out of the tradition of the Sikh Gurus. You will see people who are Sikhs teaching (and non-Sikhs too), and there is an optional Gurdwara ceremony in the morning, which is a Sikh ceremony open to all. There are always two ways to experience much of what we share. For example, the mantra “Guru Ram Das” can be translated two ways. Guru Ram Das was a Sikh Guru, a heart-centered master of kindness and service, who can be called upon for assistance and miracles. There’s also the literal translation of his name “the wisdom that comes to a servant of the Infinite.” So if you are chanting that mantra, its your choice whether you chant to Guru Ram Das the teacher or Guru Ram Das the wisdom inside of you. As for us, we believe in the light of all paths. We hope you do, too!
What to Wear to Sat Nam Fest?
Is there a particular dress code that is preferred or expected?
You’ll see a lot of people wearing white, but there’s no dress code. We suggest bringing something
to cover your head during meditation, but it’s not required. Wear what brings you joy and elevates
you! And if you’re planning to do yoga, wear something you can move in. (FYI…If you attend
Gurdwara, you will need to cover your head as a part of the tradition, but attending Gurdwara is
Do I have to wear all white to Sat Nam Fest?
There’s very few “have to’s” at Sat Nam Fest. If you want to wear white as a part of the experience, please do!
Why do so many people at Sat Nam Fest wear white?
Wearing white is a part of the technology of Kundalini yoga. It boosts your aura and helps you feel radiant. Why not give it a try?
Do I have to wear a turban or a head wrap?
We do suggest it for certain meditations, and many opt to experience Kundalini yoga with it on all the time. It helps to bring the energy up your spine and raise your Kundalini energy, but honestly…you don’t HAVE to wear anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. (One exception, in Gurdwara, the head is covered. It’s a part of the tradition and is a completely optional experience.)
Why do so many people at Sat Nam Fest cover their heads?
It helps to raise the Kundalini energy up the spine, makes meditation more effective, keeps you grounded when you’re doing a TON of powerful pranayam and chanting, and makes many of us feel great!
What do I need to have prepared so I can get through registration quickly and smoothly?
When you purchased your festival pass, housing pass and meal pass, we sent you an email with
confirmations and bar codes for each of those items. Please print those out (or have them ready to
show on your smart phone or tablet), and that will speed up the registration process.
During the week before the festival, we will be distributing an email that will have a link where you
can sign your festival release and waiver form online before you arrive. Please do so and that will
speed your registration process as well.
If it is impossible for you to do either of these, no worries! We are happy to help as long as you have
your name and ID when you arrive. We will move you through registration as quickly and pleasantly
as we can. We’re expecting you!
What will the registration/check-in process be like when I arrive?
We’re super friendly! When you arrive on site, follow the signs to registration. You can park near
registration on arrival to complete the process. When you arrive at
our registration area we’ll smile and say “Sat Nam!” We’ll be really excited to meet you (or see you again). You will
then complete your release form and any other details we need from you.
If you need additional meal or workshop passes you can purchase them in registration, if they are still available.
We’ll show you where you are staying on a map when you arrive (if you are staying on site) and
answer any questions you have. It’ll be fun! Also, if you have any questions during your experience
at the festival, stop by the registration area and talk to our hospitality staff and they will be happy to
Can I expect there will be plenty of Sat Nam Fest staff to help answer questions when I arrive?
Yup. Just come to hospitality or registration! Alternatively, if you see any staff members like security, you can also ask them for help finding your way.
What are the hours of registration and what if I will arrive after it closes?
Registration will be open during the following hours:
Wed, April 8 11:00am – 9:30pm
Thurs, April 9 7:00am – 9:00pm
Fri, April 10 7:00am – 9:00pm
Sat, April 11 7:00am – 12:00pm
Sun, April 12 7:00am – 10:00am
Please plan your travel to arrive only during these hours. If your travel plans change at the last
minute, please give us a call at 888-735-4800 x 712 if you must arrive outside of these hours.
Packing Essentials for SNF, Weather Preparedness
What are the essentials that I need to bring with me?
Make sure you have clothing for a variety of weather and temperatures. The desert can be a changeable place…sometimes very warm and sometimes very cold. Be prepared for rain. Lip balm helps in the desert, and we’re always glad we’ve brought it along. Also bring a flashlight and a water bottle!
What would I be happy to have along, if I have room?
Most people like having a yoga mat and shawl along for the ride. Some like to bring sheepskins or other cloth mats.
Is there anything I should be sure to leave at home?
Alcohol and drugs. We’re a sober festival.
What if I can’t fit my yoga mat into my suitcase and I’m traveling by air?
There are usually yoga mats for sale in the bazaar at Sat Nam Fest, and often people stop in someplace like a Walmart on the way into the site if they know there are essentials they need to pick up.
Do air travelers normally check two suitcases...one with yoga mat, sheepskin, etc...and one with clothes, etc.?
Depends. Tenters generally pack one suitcase with tenting gear and yoga mat and then another for clothing. But that’s all up to individual preference. Some people like to wear lots of different outfits, others are comfortable with just a few!
What will the temperature in the main yoga/music hall be...it’s a big tent, right?
The tent at Sat Nam Fest West is outdoors. The temperature depends on the time of day and the weather. It might be very warm or chilly. Dress in layers!
What is the daily temperature fluctuation at the time of the festival?
This really is never standard and never up to us. Mama Desert is the boss! It could range between the 50s and the 80s in April.
Chant / Mantra Music
I love the music, but I’m not into the yoga, will there be enough at the festival for me if I choose not to participate in the yoga?
Definitely. This year we have art workshops, mala making workshops, gong workshops, mandala making workshops and straight up musical concerts. You can avoid yoga altogether if you want. But there’s always INCREDIBLE music in the yoga classes, so why not just bring your mat and sit with your eyes closed in the back? You’ll be glad you did!
What if I don’t know all of the mantras that are being sung?
No worries! Most people don’t know all of them. You’ll fit right in. For morning sadhana, we will have the mantras printed in a booklet for you to use. The lucky thing about mantra is that its repeated, so there’s often an opportunity to pick it up as you go along.
Is it OK to sing along any time I feel inspired to do so?
Absolutely! We look forward to listening.
What language are the mantras in?
Most of the mantras are in Gurmukhi. Sometimes there are mantras in English. Every once in a while you’ll hear something in Sanskrit.
How is this mantra music different than Bhakti Yoga mantras music?
It’s very similar, its just in another language and doesn’t directly invoke Hindu Gods. Sometimes an artist might decide to incorporate a Bhakti mantra into their set, so don’t be surprised if you hear one. However Kundalini mantras are often shabads, which are longer musical passages from sacred writings and primarily in Gurmukhi.
I love to dance, is it OK to dance to the music?
Yes it is. At Sat Nam Fest we want you to feel comfortable expressing yourself and living in joy. The one place we ask you not to dance during the music is in Gurdwara.
Will the classes at SNF be too challenging for me if I'm a beginner with Kundalini Yoga?
All Kundalini yoga can be done by beginners and yogis at any level. There are often things that a beginner won’t be able to do…but you just do the best you can. If you can’t get into a pose, don’t worry… just do your best. If you can’t hold your arms as long as required… just do your best! Kundalini yoga is very non-competitive and is just about your personal, private experience. We don’t compare!
Are there any particular teachers or classes you’d recommend if I’m not an advanced yogi?
You definitely will be able to do all of the yoga in Ramdesh’s relaxation workshop with Ashana. She’ll be doing lots of gentle movement and lie-flat-on-your-back relaxing gentleness. But we encourage you to just jump in and do your best no matter which class you opt for!
How much room will there be to spread out between people?
That depends on the room and popularity of the class. Sometimes you’ll have tons of space, other times you’ll get pretty cozy.
If something’s too challenging, can I feel comfortable and supported in resting when I need to?
Absolutely! Yogis of all shapes, sizes, and ages come to Sat Nam Fest to play and enjoy their time. You do what you need to do! Keep up the best you can, but definitely take a time-out when you need one!
If I’m an advanced yogi, will I find enough at the festival to inspire and challenge me?
Certainly so! There are many challenging classes and in-depth workshops to keep you inspired, plus the full Aquarian sadhana in the Amrit Vela.
Are there options for me if I choose to do something other than yoga?
You can shop, get bodywork, learn how to play the gong, study ayurveda, or just hang out with new friends! You can also jump into the pool on site, explore the desert of Joshua Tree, or walk the sacred labyrinth.
I love the teachings and the music, but have physical limitations. Is it OK for me to sit and watch a yoga class, without participating?
One hundred percent!
Will there be meditation? What kind of meditation?
Oh my yes! Kundalini meditation, of course. This will look many different ways, because there are many different Kundalini meditations. Dive in…you’ll get experienced quickly.
Do I have to participate in morning sadhana?
No. It’s entirely optional.
What is morning sadhana?
Morning sadhana is a core practice in Kundalini yoga where we practice together in the amrit vela or
sacred hours before sunrise. It begins with the recitation of Japji, a sacred spiritual text. It then
incorporates about an hour of physical yoga to wake the body up. After that we sit and chant a
series of seven Aquarian mantras together for deep meditation.
The practice starts at 3:45am and ends at about 6:30am. If you wake up late and miss the beginning
of sadhana, no worries, but feel welcome to come and join us when you are able, especially for the
For more information about this beautiful practice, check out the Spirit Voyage blog.
On Thursday morning we will start at 4 am with a special sadhana focused on Japji. Information on
that special sadhana will be provided in the workshops led by Snatam Kaur and Pritpal Singh on
Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Sat Nam Childrens’ Camp
Is Sat Nam Fest Kid-Friendly?
Yes! We have an amazing children’s program for kids to run around and be creative with other children. It’s one of the most amazing programs we offer.
Can I bring my kids to Sat Nam Fest?
Indeed you can. Many children, especially older children, enjoy being a part of the adult classes and concerts. Visit our Sat Nam Children’s Camp page for program information.
Are non-parent participants accepting of other’s children being at the fest?
Yes. We do ask you to be mindful of other people’s experience and take your child outside of the class or event if they are being disruptive, but Sat Nam Fest is a very family friendly environment. We even have the children come up and teach us sometimes during the course of the closing ceremony.
How far is the camping area from the yoga/music area?
Depending on where you choose to camp, the main festival tent will be about a 10 minute walk from the main camping area. The walk from the camping area to the main tent area is a slightly up hill, so it takes a bit longer in that direction. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes for the walk from the camping area to the rest of the retreat center.
How far is the camping area from the restrooms and showers?
Since you can choose where you tent, you can choose how close to and far away from the restrooms and showers as you feel comfortable.
Are the camp showers co-ed?
No, while the male and female showers are in the same building, there are separate sides to the building for men and women that are marked.
Are there designated campsites, or do we just choose a spot to camp where ever we’d like?
There is a designated camping area that we ask everyone to camp within. However, that area is quite large and you are welcome to choose wherever you would like within that area.
Is there a separate area for family camping?
Yes, we will have a family camping area marked off for families on arrival.
Do we need to be aware of any animals coming into camp?
One of the joys of camping is the vast outdoors. The retreat center is located in a desert area close to the Joshua Tree National Park. Please be aware of bugs and rodents that thrive in such an environment. Given this, you are discouraged from keeping food in your tent. Larger animals do not prefer to be near so many people, so will not likely be spotted near camp.
Are there going to be quiet hours in the camping area?
Yes. We ask that everyone be respectful of any other campers tenting near them and that many like to attend sadhana, which starts before sunrise. Please keep your voices low and your activities in/near your tent quiet after 9pm and before 6am.
Is there private housing or do I have to share space?
Yes there is private housing, however it is currently sold out. If you are interested in private housing we suggest you consider glamping as an alternative.
I’m traveling alone, but will be staying in shared housing. Is there any way for me to know who I’ll be staying with ahead of time?
Yes! You may email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as we can. However we cannot give you another participants contact information.
Is there a way to connect with others looking to share housing?
Are the dormitory accommodations co-ed?
There is one women’s dorm and one men’s dorm, which are not co-ed. If you purchase a bed in the small dorm with kitchenette there is a possibility that you will be in a co-ed dorm.
What if my accommodations are not to my liking, can I upgrade or change my housing option once I arrive?
Yes! If you are unhappy with your accommodations or decide you would like to change your housing you can come to registration and we will try our best to accommodate you in a different space.
Are the shared bathrooms co-ed?
Some shared bathrooms are co-ed, although not all are.
Food Program, Juice Program & Dining Experience
Will there be other food options available onsite, if I don’t purchase Food Program Passes?
Yes! We will have several food vendors onsite this year, and you can always purchase food passes onsite if you decide you would like to eat in the food program.
Am I allowed to bring my own food with me to the festival?
It really depends on the type of housing you are purchasing. Many of the rooms have no kitchen, or space to store food and we ask that you do not bring food into the tenting area as it encourages animals. If you would like to enquire about which housing types allow for food please email email@example.com.
Do any of the accommodations offered have kitchens for preparing my own food?
Yes, the small dorm with kitchenette has a small kitchen that you can prepare your own food in. There is little to no cookware or dish ware in these kitchenette, so please plan appropriately. Also remember that you are sharing the space, please be respectful to your roommates with when you are cooking, and that you are cleaning up after yourself.
Does the menu offer alternatives for people with specific food allergies?
The menu offers some vegan and gluten free options as well as a section of basic grains and vegetables. We do not make any guarantees when it comes to allergies, however we encourage you to ask the kitchen staff about ingredients if you are concerned about something specific.
Will I be able to eat meat at Sat Nam Fest?
Sat Nam Fest is a vegetarian event and does not offer meat options.
Will there be plenty of fresh water to drink throughout the festival? Is this included, or do we have to purchase water?
We will have water stations throughout the campus for your use. The water at Joshua Tree is not
suitable to drink, so you’ll need to drink from our specially marked water stations. We want Sat Nam
Fest West to be a disposable water bottle-free camp – so please bring a reusable water bottle with
Do I have to stay on the festival grounds, or can I stay off site?
You can choose to stay off-site if you prefer. There is parking available on the grounds, but be sure
to get a parking permit for your car and be ready to show your wrist band to the security team at the
entrance when you arrive each day.
What’s the closest airport?
The Joshua Tree Retreat Center is located approximately 30 minutes from Palm Springs International Airport, 1½ hours from Ontario Airport, 1 ¾ hours from Orange County International Airport and 2 hours from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Los Angeles airport is the largest airport in the area and will likely have the most flight options.
Is there shuttle service from the airport?
Yes. Here are the airport shuttle options:
Park Ave 760.799.4506
AM/PM Shuttle 760.409.8826
Is there a rideshare group I can connect into?
What is the connection between Spirit Voyage and Sat Nam Fest?
Spirit Voyage is a record label and Kundalini yoga lifestyle company which founded Sat Nam Fest. Spirit Voyage is the mother brand…we gave birth to Sat Nam Fest! Many of the same people are involved in running both organizations.
What is Sat Nam Foundation?
The Sat Nam Foundation is a charitable organization founded by leaders at Spirit Voyage. It is dedicated to providing channels of service to Kundalini yogis to make a difference around the world. www.satnamfoundation.org
How is Sat Nam Foundation related to Sat Nam Fest?
Sat Nam Foundation is the beloved charity sister of Sat Nam Fest. Many of the same people serve the Sat Nam Foundation as serve and perform at Sat Nam Fest. It’s how we change the world outside of our festivals!