Yoga Conference + Mountains = Amazing?! ~ Anthony Actis

Via elephant journal
on Oct 1, 2012
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image: Jaime Anderson via Pinterest

Today sparks the start of the 2012 Yoga Journal Conference in Estes Park, Colorado; the festivities begin today with a Tantra Yoga Immersion, lasting until Wednesday.

From what I can gather, its intention is to be a cohesive multi-day experience.

I, unfortunately, have to miss out on this wonderful opportunity, to take advantage of other learning experiences that I have the privilege to be in the midst of: graduate school. With my academic schedule for my Master’s program in Hydrology, I’ll be busy with groundwater and surface water engineering courses as well as other applied math and research stuff…but only through Wednesday!

Wednesday afternoon I will make the exhausting cross-country trip to Estes Park, Colorado.

Alright, hyperbole…it is, in fact, a wonderful scenic, hour-long excursion to the northwest of my abode in Golden, Colorado. At the moment, I have absolutely no idea what my lodging will be like; I suppose that unless I find a couch or floor space, I will most likely be camping in the nearby forest.

Considering the time of year, perhaps camping in the majestic fall Colorado weather for a few days would be quite nice!

This conference is my first experience at a super-large-yoga-awesomeness event of this caliber; I hope to present you all with some sweet photographs and mostly non-exaggerated tales of exploring the mind and body through asana, meditation, discussion, nature and most of all, life.

Part of what I am looking forward to most is exploring the crowd and meeting other people in attendance. As an attendee representing elephant journal, it strikes me as important that an immensely diverse crowd will be in attendance—I hope to learn a few stories from these people while I’m there and share them with the world (anonymously or not, either way).

Of course, delving deep into the different styles, teachers, cues, etc. of asana will be completely amazing.

Courses that peak my interest: Open Your Heart with Ana Forrest, Live Inspired and Upturned: The Empowering Handstand with Shannon Paige, The Secrets of Pranayama with Rod Stryker, Yoga Nidra: The Science of Destiny and the Yoga of Fulfillment with Rod Stryker, Jedi Training with Jason Magness, Yin Yoga and Subtle Body Anatomy with Sarah Powers and Backbending with the Subtle Breath with Richard Freeman.

On Thursday, I plan to attend the all-day intensive with Ana Forrest entitled, Open Your Heart.

The website’s description speaks of learning to “remove the motional shielding from the heart” and making “room for seeing and absorbing the beauty and sweetness in our world” through many heart-opening poses and focusing upon breathing in a manner that opens up the core.

While there is a studio in Denver that has many Forrest classes, the style is something that I have not previously experienced or had exposure to—I really look forward to exploring the breath and movement through a course from Ana herself.

Friday morning is a class with Shannon Paige on handstands.

My asana practice struggles to confidently explore handstands with any stability; the YJ event website says that this class will, “embody all the stages of evolution and patterns of confidence that unfold step by step into standing on your hands in the middle of the room with strength and grace.”

Can this be more appropriately presented to me and my flailing upturned legs? I think not!

Additionally, the Rod Stryker course, The Secrets of Pranayama peaks my interest.

In the last year, I have acknowledged in my practice that the depth of an asana is not important with proper alignment. I think that this extends beyond alignment of joints and should incorporate synchronizing the breath with the mind and body.

Certainly this is stressed in most yoga classes, but exploration of various breath techniques is something that I eagerly anticipate. With myriad options to choose from at YJ Conference, there will be nothing less than many inspiring classes.

I drove through Estes Park last weekend and the trees were all changing along the Peak-to-Peak Highway going south to Nederland and Blackhawk; as the seasons bring forth a delightful change toward fall (and snow before long!) Yoga Journal brings an amazing opportunity for personal exploration into the awe-inspiring mountains of Colorado.


Anthony Actis is starting up the next chapter of his life as a graduate student in Hydrology. He recently spent five weeks driving 8600 miles from London, England to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to raise money for The Lotus Children’s Centre in Ulaanbaatar and have himself a proper adventure. He is a scientist, an engineer, a philosopher, a yogi, an adventurer, sometimes a bit of a lush (although increasingly less often) and completely drawn toward everything associated with his native homeland of Colorado. He finished a 200-hr teacher training in Denver but wants to grow his personal practice and knowledge further before teaching (if he ever does want to teach). As a citizen of the world, he is enamoured with francophile culture, asking difficult questions, people watching, airports, being uncomfortably polite and courteous, early morning asana, existentialism, pain au chocolate, fake mustaches, awkward facial expressions and Oxford commas.




Editor: Bryonie Wise

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One Response to “Yoga Conference + Mountains = Amazing?! ~ Anthony Actis”

  1. Chris Grosso says:

    Hey Anthony. I'll be flying in Thursday as I'm performing Kirtan Thursday evening with Alanna Kaivalya who is teaching there all week. I'll be there until Sunday and doing some EJ coverage as well! Hope to meet you in person!