The magic of Backwoods music festival 2019 on Mulberry Mountain lies largely in the hands of Aubrey Warren, the Workshop Coordinator. Beyond her meditation workshops, her vital role is to invite kind hearted souls to lead workshops that will instill positivity, encourage growth, spur laughter and make the festival experience truly transformational. As we approach Backwoods in Ozark, Arkansas this May 31st- June 2nd we reached out to Aubrey for an exclusive interview.
The Festival Fairy Godmother reveals Backwoods and meditation secrets.
Do you have a festie name that you would rather me call you by?
Festival Spirit Godmother, you never know, I might just pop up and sprinkle you with fairy dust.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Northwest Missouri, a small town. I moved to Dallas to attend college at DU.
How did you get involved with Backwoods Music Festival?
I love this story, my husband and I committed to going to festivals on an annual basis for marriage therapy.
The first festival we attended together was Wakarusa. I was at the very last Wakarusa in 2015 when I decided to take up hoop. I bought a hoop and went to a hoop class there. The yoga class just stopped and I had a vision of myself teaching yoga on the mountain.
The following year I literally had my first festival gig fall into my lap. A friend that works with Insomniac invited me to lead a yoga workshop at Middlelands. That festival was a life changing experience. It was a coming of age for me, with festival life. I was broken hearted when Wakarusa died so when I found out Backwoods was coming to Mulberry Mountain, I knew I had to host a yoga workshop on the mountain. I mediated on it and reached out. I poured my heart and soul into an email and Javier (Backwoods Producer), totally felt my intention and made space for me.
After the year, I went up to Javier and told him I have been teaching (yoga) a long time and this is what we did well this year and this is what we could improve for next year. I said, you have two choices, you can hire me back to lead one of the yoga workshops next year or you can hire me to coordinate the whole thing. He felt my passion and desire.
So I guess you can say I visualized and negotiated my way into the role.
Each day of Backwoods you host a guided meditation. Do you have an idea on what each day will consist of?
Absolutely, there is a science to getting people into a meditative state. Diaphragmatic breathing is the foundation of everything I do. Literally most people don’t know how to breathe, they don’t use all the mussels involved with it. I spend 5 minute teaching people how to breathe. Then we go to systematic relaxation for the body, in order to get into a deep meditative state your body needs to be completely relaxed, because the body can distract the mind.
The second part of medication will vary based on the day. There will be a chakra balancing meditation, there will be different forms of meditation that will help reprogram the brain, to encourage positive thought patterns.
I will get a feel on where people are energetically and allow that awareness to inform where the mediation goes. It’s a form of medicine, I don’t like to assume what people are needing, so I will see where people are and go from there.
What is your favorite style of guided meditations?
My favorite style of mediation is the style that guides people back to themselves. It is my deepest desired to bring people back to themselves.
Do you have any recommended videos to use at home?
If people want to go to my website, https://aubreywarren.com, they can find my guided meditation there.
Do you have any idea on what to except for Michael Murphy’s Laughter Yoga? Or Jaquintine Means forbidden knowledge workshop? Please elaborate on other workshops people need to know more about.
There a lot of other amazing teachers. I’ve never done laughter yoga, but I’m excited to try it. What I learned is that you get in a group of people and you make each other laugh. You are all making eye contact with each other.
For what I understand a lot of his (Jaquintine Means) teachings are based on Hermetic principles, based on ancient teaching of Hermes and other Greek philosophers, ancient symbols, rituals and secret societies.
I know we also have Damian Shreve who is going to talking about different forms of plant medicine and how you can use these plant medicines. Shanty Nolan, she is going to be there presenting pranayama meditation, the word means breathe or life force, it also means spirit. The meditations are literally breathing exercises.
The way you manipulate the breathe can cause different psychological responses within the body.
One exercise helps stimulates the vagus nerve, which amplifies health and wellness in every organ in the body. She will teach us alternate nostril breathing that helps balance out the emotional state so it will help people who suffer from anxiety, depression or mental illness of any form.
There is one breathing practice she will teach that helps stimulate and release dopamine in the brain.
There are actually pathways in the brain that help us get to mental and emotional states that chemical dependency get people to as well. Learning these techniques will be good for people looking for a natural release.
Is that something monks practice to reach a state of euphoria?
Yes! There is breathing exercise in the Yoga Sutras, The Meditation of the Lotus of the Heart. To get through that entire mediation takes an advanced breathing practitioner, because you have to control your breathe in a certain way.
You can use your breathe to squeeze the pineal gland in you brain, when your squeeze your pineal gland, you release a micro dose of DMT.
Backwoods Music Festival Workshop Lineup
Meet the Workshops Leaders
What has been your biggest challenge of your role? What has been the most fun part?
One of the challenges is that I want to share everything and there is just so much time and space, so you have to be picky and choosy. Telling people no is never fun, people who really have a passion and desire to be there.
The most fun is going to happen on the mountain.
I really loved every step of the way. Honestly, the most fun is working with the Producers, Javier and Will, who are open to creating this sort of content (workshops) at a rave. It’s great seeing how much Javier and Will truly care about the experience. It has been so fun being able to follow my heart and passion.
Do you know of any secrets for this year, something Will and Javier have up their selves?
Were going to be doing a flash mob. Right now we are deciding when it will happen… That will be a surprise, when and where the flash mob will happen. Only way to know is to show up to rehearsal… Also, if you have a drum bring it. We are going to do a drum circle.
When you look up at the stars, what is one question you would like the answer to that humans haven’t been able to answer yet?
Will my husband’s relatives ever come back down to claim him? *Haha* just kidding. How much of a role do extraterrestrials actually play in our world? I’m pretty sure there is an outside force, I have had too many mystical experiences. Also, is it really possible to step into other dimensions?
What is one item on your bucket list?
To go to India. I would love to go to all the major countries and continents. One of the biggest gift my parents ever gave me was the gift of travel. One of the few things you can spend money on and turn up richer in the process.
Do you have any wishes you would like to put into the ether?
One wish I have is for Nahko and Medicine for the People to play Backwoods next year, a Sunday set. It’s like going to church.
Please feel free to reach out to Aubrey for a wealth of yoga and meditation knowledge and to find out what else the Festival Fairy Godmother has cooking. Look forward to the beautiful energy that will be harnessed on Mulberry Mountain.
Get to know all the workshop leaders, discover the festival´s story and learn more about the lineup through our previous articles before you head to Backwoods 2019.