10 Things that Make Me Crazy about Yoga Conferences.

Via Dianne Bondy
on Mar 23, 2013
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photos taken by the Burlington Yoga Conference
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?"
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


About Dianne Bondy

Dianne is an E-RYT 500 the founder of Yogasteya.com, and Co-founder of Yoga for All Online Teacher Training yogaforalltraining.com. She loves to educate, share, celebrate yoga and diversity and is a contributing author for Yoga and Body Image: A New anthology. She is also featured in Yes Yoga Has Curves and Yoga Journal. She is a columnist for the Elephant Journal, loves public speaking, runs yoga retreats, trains yoga teachers, has a devoted husband, two small boys and not enough sleep. Dianne is big, black, bold and loves all things yoga. Try to keep up with Dianne on Facebook, Twitter, and DianneBondyYoga.com instagram or download one of her FREE podcast on iTunes


36 Responses to “10 Things that Make Me Crazy about Yoga Conferences.”

  1. Griffin says:

    Great list! Number 8 is my favorite.

  2. Dianne Bondy says:

    Jo you know it! I have had one of those in every class

  3. Stephanie :) says:

    Awesome and insightful post Dianne 🙂

  4. Bonnie says:

    Loved it! Yet another great and honest article.

  5. Sandi says:

    I just love you.

  6. Sarah says:

    Excellent Dianne!
    I love number 4!

  7. Dianne says:

    Ahh thanks Stephanie for the read 🙂

  8. Dianne says:

    Thanks Bonnie ..honesty is the best therapy

  9. Dianne says:

    Ahh Thanks Sandi sending you love. Thanks for the read

  10. Dianne says:

    I know big girls need yoga pants too

  11. Linda P says:

    If you figure #3 out, please let me know! In the meantime, I look forwrd to your next super-friendly Thursdy morning Skype class!

  12. anon says:

    wow, really? wow. talk about the last one, judgement.

  13. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Yay … us!!

    Although I come from a very different place, neither being a yoga teacher nor one of the target demo for these conferences …

  14. yogaoffbroadway says:

    Bummer. Sounds like you should attend some different conferences.

  15. HeatherM says:

    I think in the end, conferences have their plus and down sides. Certainly a plus to all the people who might not have been introduced to yoga…how could that be bad?

    Several years ago I hosted a booth as a yoga school and taught a few classes. From those classes came 3 students who were life-time students!

    What you describe is not just the Yoga scene but a 'life' scene and the people in them. The food, the clothes, the whatever are just the hook..and then there is 'yoga.' For the more disconcerting customer/client/student they are aware of these travails, which you will find elsewhere in the world. Just because it is yoga doesn't make it holier….

    I see this as a perfect time/experience and venue to observe human nature in all its glory, folly and misconceptions and preconceptions and …..seeking…seeking…seeking…:- 0 )

  16. Louise says:

    🙂 sitting in my booth at the Yoga Conference LMAO. This resonates loudly:):):):):

  17. Daphne says:

    I agree with you on most of these. But as for #5, I disagree that "'yogalebrities" are "further along the path to enlightenment." That's their career. Most people have a career. And to add, I tire of seeing the same "yogalebrities" at festivals. It gets to a point where the organizers repeat the same old festivals over and over, using the same names on the bill, seemingly with monetary gain as the biggest inspiration to hold the event in the first place.

  18. Dianne says:

    It was meant to be funny and I am observing my own stuff. These conferences are great for observing human nature especially my own. We all have something to learn from observing, listening,and breathing.I had a blast at the conference. I studied with great teachers; had good times with great friends, and nice reflections. We get to choose what we like and what do not like and what we read and whether or not we comment with something useful to humankind!

  19. Dianne says:

    No It was a great overall experience. The teachers were exceptional, the company was amazing and the overall experience was illuminating.. It's NEVER all or nothing

  20. dianne says:

    Beautifully said Heather M. I took this opportunity to really observe myself, my experiences and my yoga. I really did have a good time with great teachers, great friends and Great fun..I had a human moment when I got checked with one too many Bandha Yoga bags

  21. Dianne says:

    Tee Hee thanks for the read Louise..I hope I got to your booth 🙂

  22. Dianne says:

    Thanks Daphne… I am hoping for a little more diversity in offerings next year. It would be nice to see some different faces.

  23. Stacy says:

    Spent all weekend there as an exhibitor and I couldn't agree more. This pretty much sums up ALL my feelings right now…great post

  24. Dianne says:

    Thanks Stacy for the read and the support!

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  26. neighborguy says:

    If I were to add an 11th point to Dianne's list, it would be all the people who lack a sense of humour. The ego-driven seriousness can be palpable at the yoga conferences. Too bad there are no booths where people can buy a plastic bottle of snark…

  27. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Maybe they should have been at a conventional resort instead … PRODUCING their usual bakasana-on-the-beach shots, rather than continuing their hypeCONSUMERISM that they work so hard for and afford so well during their usual work/non-vacation lives.

    Americans work too hard. Those who are high enough on the food chain that they can get away for vacation may be the Masters of the Universe who need a real break–no bottle of snark necessary …

  28. Dianne says:

    Hey Linda we definitely have to hit the mat together again

  29. Dianne says:

    I totally agree neighbour guy! Why does everything have to be so literal.

  30. Lexi says:

    Great article. I was at the yoga conference, and agree that a lot of booths did carry the same products, so lots of competition.

    What a great read:)

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  32. Dianne says:

    BTW Chrispy Bhagat Singh I wrote a wonderfully positive and glowing blog piece last month and no one read it…

  33. Dianne says:

    Thanks Lexi I hope you had fun at the conference

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