Sunday, April 7, 2013

Having your cake and yoga too…

I always have mixed emotions when I attend any kind of yoga conference. On the one hand I’m excited to practice (I teach just about every day), and to be able to practice with a stellar line-up of teachers is kind of like icing on my yoga cake. On the other hand I often feel a little covetous. I want yoga all to myself and I resent seeing all these svelte, tattooed, attractively freaky yogis, who seem to be so obviously living that totally yogic lifestyle that for me, seems so elusive. (I know – I can be very judge-y – I’m working on it!) And so Saturday afternoon, I once again found my petulant self in that same, self-imposed predicament as I waited online to check in at the Yoga Journal conference in New York City. I arrived just as the early afternoon sessions were breaking and I surreptitiously watched the flushed and blissful beings gilding around Hilton’s marble lobby, laughing, greeting old friends and connecting with new ones. I had some time, so after picking up my badge I headed for the bazaar. (Shopping always makes me feel better.) The YJ bazaar is pulsing with energy and colorful vendors. Everything from yoga mats, to essential oils, to artful jewelry and chic yoga fashions. As I was scoping out an outrageous pair of yoga pants, I ran into an old friend who promptly introduced me to the designer of the Violet Love clothing line, Rebecca Meyers. Turns out, she’s from LA, and her fab line was launched on the success of her “no-headache” headband. I had to buy a pair of what are sure to be my new favorite pants, and Rebecca insisted on a headband too, which I must admit is sa-weet! Then, I hit an awesome handmade jewelry stall and got a great deal on some seriously funky earrings from New York local designer Selen. Hearing drums and singing, I quickly made my way over to a bona fide yogic happenin’ -- Acro yogis, drums and kirtan created an atmosphere of community and joy causing me to soften and smile as the last bits of my petulance melted away. As I watched in awe, I heard someone[s] screaming my name and two of my students rushed over to hug me. Overflowing with energy and excitement as we compared our schedules, we quickly realized it was almost time for the late afternoon session. I decided to try Jason Crandell’s Sun Salute Survival Guide. (I’ve become a big fan of his on Yoga Glo.) It felt so good to be able to settle onto my mat and listen to Jason’s skillful directions and soothing voice. As I glanced to the right and left, the yogis on either side of me offered me a knowing smile. We are all family here, we are all living our own uniquely freaky yoga lives, and we are home. Om Shanti RT

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