March 23, 2013

10 Things that Make Me Crazy about Yoga Conferences.

photos taken by the Burlington Yoga Conference

Here I am in Toronto, one of my favorite cities in the world doing one my must favorite things to do: yoga!

I’m at the Toronto Yoga Conference. I haven’t been here in almost four years and now I remember why. Yoga conferences drive me crazy. They take me out of my ommmm zone. There, I said it! They drive me crazy. Hold up now, I am embracing all parts of me. I am exposing you to my shadow side. Yoga is about awareness and knowing yourself fully.

Here are 10 reasons yoga conferences make me crazy:

10. They are usually at the most inconvenient times of the year. Why aren’t yoga conferences scheduled during warmer months  and in the summer?  Here in Canada it’s so much nicer to practice yoga in the summer months.The Toronto Yoga Conference is always in March and it kills me. Not only do I have to lug around my six pound mat and bag, block, bolster, snacks, water bottle, reusable tea mug, conference goodie bag and meditation cushion, but I have to deal with coats, boots, hats and mitts. I swear I am having a hot flash no need to go to Moksha class now.

9. I know you love natural deodorant and Indian food, but know that those two things do not go together. So choose one and commit to it. I say the natural deodorant if you don’t mind. Reapply hourly please. Your natural scent might smell good to you, but it is ruining my pranayama practice. Save the Indian for another occasion when you won’t to be an inch away from another person sweating and breathing.

8. Shut up and listen to the teacher! OMG, really is it all about you? There’s someone who always thinks they know more than the presenter and feels the need to one up them. Do you really want to argue with the person you paid to learn from? What happened to being humble and taking the seat of student when the teacher is present. I would really like to hear the teacher and not all about your life, fears and aches and pains. Maybe later at the juice bar you can fill me in but not when I paid for a workshop from a renowned yoga teacher.

Rod Stryker, “If you don’t work systematically, you don’t know what to expect from your practice?

7. Don’t push me out of the way with your huge mat bag! There is room for all of us in the space; maybe not in the front row but somewhere?! You pushing ahead of me to grab your space in the conference room is rude!

6. Where is the diversity? Why aren’t they all kinds of presenters at the conference? In the city of Toronto I see everyone represented. The diversity here is spectacular but why don’t I see this  at the conference? I’m sure there are great teachers out there with diverse cultural backgrounds that might like to be included in this gathering.

5. Yogalebrities make me crazy! Just because  you are further along the path to enlightenment does not mean you get to be rude and condescending when someone doesn’t agree with your opinion or yoga findings.

4. Why does yoga clothing stop at size 10? Yoga clothing manufacturers and vendors you are missing a huge market.

3. In a practice that is about love and inclusion, why aren’t yogis more friendly? No one makes eye contact when I pass them in transit. My mission is to smile and say “hi” to everyone I meet, even if they don’t say hi back!

2. Yoga show vendors you have too much of the same stuff. Diversify your products. We don’t need three booths of healing crystals.

1. No more judgement. I mean this sincerely. Be open to everyone at the conference. No one yoga style is any better then the other. Having a bigger body doesn’t make you less yogic, and embrace things you don’t understand. Be kind. Be gracious. I can’t believe how much whispering and judgey eyes I see at the conference. Yoga is about inclusion. Yoga is about everyone. Yoga is about loving oneself and creating awareness. We all can do the latter with more conviction instead of just lip service. Let’s truly serve everyone.

Bonus: Not enough bathrooms for all this raw vegan food we are eating…Just sayin’.


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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