Saturday, April 4, 2009

Yoga Show, Day 2

I taught a class in the morning, so I walked in the door just in time to see Seane Corn conclude her session in the Yoga Garden. I sat down for the meditation. I really, really wish I could have seen her teach. By the way, Seane Corn's hair? Not as curly as it is in the posters. Just sayin'.

Today, I brought along my light 'teaching mat', which I'm perfectly at ease leaving unattended. Then I staked out a spot and took off to find some yummy snacks before the next session. Whenever a session got dull, I wandered off to the booths to play with yoga merch and chat up the vendors.

I had some really amazing conversations. I'm in the midst of doing some marketing and outreach for my teaching. I chatted up a very successful teacher from Ottawa who has just launched two new DVDs. He gave me some great tips about getting my foot in the door for corporate yoga and marketing my services for private sessions.

I also *ahem* had some birthday money in my wallet. I bought a few things. I replaced my cheap mala with a lovely tiger's eye mala. I bought Dr. Cohen's AcuBall at a discount. And I bought a product very similar to YogaToes called 'Healthy Toes'. The latter may prove to be the most fun because I've been making silly jokes about YogaToes for years. Reviews coming soon.

Yes, I know, I know. I was rolling my eyes about merch, but I caved in. At least I didn't buy the yoga mat bag I was eyeing. It was a beautiful bag, but I already have a bag that I never use (but resistance may be futile - I grabbed the bag-makers business card).

I started to recognise some familiar faces in the Yoga Garden today. I'm not the only one 'camped out' there. I chatted at length with another yoga teacher who, like me, got a freebie pass to the show. The pilates teacher behind me does this every year - he buys a three-day show pass for $15 and camps out in the Yoga Garden for the sessions. I ran into someone from the YTT I attended six years ago. I chatted with yoga students who are here for the free classes. It was fun.

I attended 9 half-hour sessions. Today's theme seemed to be “How Not to Teach.” The biggest surprise was how many 'famous' teachers are actually ineffectual assholes in a real teaching situation. A few of the Big Names absolutely left me cold. Also, if Shiva Rea's adherents are any indication, I'm just not into Prana Flow yoga. It's not my thang.

I also reconfirmed that I really dislike Pilates. I knew this already, but the few Pilates presenters reminded me that if I never do 'the hundred' again in my life, I won't be missing much.

Nischala Joy Devi totally wowed me with her guided relaxation. When I saw her on the schedule, I thought: "Uh oh. Flake-o-rama'. I couldn't have been more wrong. She's a great lady, a clear and compelling teacher and she accomplished something truly impressive: she got me to slow down for a half-hour. Although it's entirely possible that I was so exhausted at this point I would have fallen into a soft silly putty state regardless, Nischala rendered me floppy and drooling in under ten minutes. I can't recall the last time I felt so deeply relaxed. I emerged feeling like a million bucks. I'm seriously going to seek out her relaxation CD. Loved her!

The highlight of the day: I got to meet Rodney Yee and his lithe, velour-short-shorts-clad companion, Colleen (read about the scandal here). In my DVD player, Rodney is forever young, trapped in a world that is perpetually the 90s. In person, Rodney's black pony tail is threaded with gray and he's looking a bit worse for the wear. He's aging! Who woulda thunk it? But he gave a great class and I have to admit, he and the infamous Colleen made a wicked team. I actually liked them.

And I have to admit, it's never a bad day when you get a nice adjustment in downward facing dog from Rodney Yee. (it was just a bit surreal watching him stroll around the Yoga Garden during the class, like my DVD player had exploded into life...or sucked me into its screen).

I left early because I had a dinner to go to. I missed the Hare Krishnas and the woman demonstrating a yoga strap sewn together in two places which she is selling for $40. *eye roll* (Neat idea, maybe I'l buy a strap and sew two loops into it).

Here's a rundown of the sessions I attended today:
Seane Corn - Ashtanga Yoga
Twee Merrigan - Prana Flow
Neil Perason - Yoga for Chronic Pain
Jonathan Urla - Yogilates
Alycea Ungaro - Pilates
Michelle Cormack - 5 Elements Vinyasa Flow
Anodea Judith - The Chakras
Nischala Joy Devi - Guided Relaxation
Rodney and Colleen Yee - Yoga

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