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Michael Franti and yoga spice up Expo West tea launches

What's Michael Franti have to do with new tea and yoga? A lot, based upon this natural product brand's mission.

Most people at Natural Products Expo West use their mornings to sleep in after a long night of networking parties and social events with 67,000 others in the natural products industry. I, however, like getting up at the crack of dawn to do yoga. I should say, I like the idea of doing yoga at the crack of dawn. Waking up at 6 a.m. after a long night of screaming over loud music to talk about kombucha and veganism wore me out, but not enough to skip out of Rise and Shine Morning Yoga. Why wouldn’t I skip yoga when I had a 12-hour day ahead of me?

1) It was sponsored by Bhakti Chai, so I know I would get my caffeine on.

2) Michael Franti was performing live before, during and after the yoga set.

3) Because I probably should get up and start moving my fragile body before getting ready to tackle 2,600 booths of vendors.

Bhakti Chai was all about celebrating the body, mind, and soul—of course while offering new products to sample. Yogi Mary Beth LaRue was there getting everyone pumped to open their chakras (or at least do their best modified Down Dog like me). Michael Franti was singing about sunshine, and everyone was super perky and ready to take on the world at 7 a.m. It was a pretty awesome experience to be in the middle of the convention center walkway, barefoot doing yoga with hundreds of your closest friends ... all with a personal concert going on in the background. This was a perfect event to tie in with the Bhakti Chai brand feeling. Per a Bhakti Chai press release:

Every year, Bhakti strives not only to share their delicious and unique products with Expo West attendees, but also to find ways to engage, inspire and rejuvenate them. Michael Franti, known for his upbeat music and commitment to social justice is the perfect fit to inspire through music and movement.

“Starting the morning with a Michael Franti concert and Yoga with Mary Beth is the ideal recipe for our industry to celebrate all the success and momentum we’ve seen in the last year, while looking forward to other ways in which we can innovate and inspire,” explains Bhakti founder and CEO Brook Eddy.

"We're thrilled to be aligning with Bhakti Chai in Anaheim," says Franti. "I'm a huge fan of their products - and of their social mission. Expo West is the perfect place to collaborate!"

Mary Beth LaRue agrees, saying, "I am impressed with Bhakti Chai's commitment to conscious practices and look forward to celebrating on our mats that we are all ONE."

Bhakti Chai launched some great products at Natural Products Expo West 2014 including some dried tea (finally!) and two new ready-to-drink flavors featuring almond milk (yes!) from the most-excellent Califia Farms (double yes!), as well as loose leaf branded chai tea.

Erica Dermer, best known as Celiac and the Beast, spent long days (after the aforementioned enlivening stretches) perusing Natural Products Expo West as a part of the We.Blog editorial board team.

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