being yoga: the world comes to the omega institute

Gak! Where did the time go? I have no explanation for my blog absence. A day goes by, then another day, and suddenly it’s 9 days after my last post. I don’t even have an excuse, since I have no job or volunteer responsibilities. And it’s been monsoon season in Montréal, so I haven’t even been outside working on my tan. But I have started up a new session of French school, and I’ve been all DIY lately – fixed my bike (myself! with the help of the lovely folks at the Mile End Bike Garage), hacked a wireless connection (my own, not even illegal, so there), and finished the never-ending knitted blanket. These little projects, and general summer revelry, have kept me away from my computer.

BeingYogaSo I’m getting ready for the upcoming Omega Institute yoga conference, Being Yoga 2009, which will be happening August 21 – 23 at the Rhinebeck campus in upstate New York. It will feature the usual suspects in the yoga community, such as Shiva Rea, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee, Seane Corn, etc. But there will also be a focus on living your yoga, and there will also be sessions on non-yoga modalities (tai chi, dance, Thai massage). The institute is committed to sustainable living practices, and this event will be an opportunity for them to show off their recently completed Omega Center for Sustainable Living. This state-of-the-art building has been getting attention from the national media for its innovation and eco-friendliness (see this Fast Company article).

I have a love/hate relationship with yoga conferences. On one hand, I love the idea of yoga teachers and practitioners gathering in one space to share ideas and practices. But the reality of the conference structure – with back-to-back workshops and no common meeting area – leaves little time for conversation or exchange of ideas/experiences. Most of these events are held in 5-star hotels or conference centres, which are sterile and bland and kind of surreal. The exhibition hall can be a consumer frenzy – and since I’ve usually attended these events representing ascent magazine, I’ve felt caught up in this frenzy, but also oddly removed. It’s been disheartening to sit at our little booth and watch everyone rush straight towards the chakra jewellery and tie-dyed yoga pants. (I did also get to meet long-time readers and sincere practitioners who are yearning for connection and depth, so that was a good thing.)

Anyway, I expect this conference will be a little more low-key and simple, with a retreat feel and better food. I’ve been pouring over the schedule, trying to narrow down my choices – it’s so hard, when there are 8 or 10 sessions happening during each time slot! And I’ll have no magazines to hawk, so I’ll be able to purely immerse myself in the experience for the whole weekend.

Watch some famous yoga teachers tell you why you should be there:
Being Yoga in Rhinebeck from Omega Institute on Vimeo.

  1. Omega is great. Was there over 4th of July weekend for a buddhist workshop with Lama Surya Das and the Hubs took a cooking workshop.

    but yoga conferences anymore? uh, not so much….

  2. yes that was me last week – 7 days of no posting and i felt like a complete stranger to my own blog, lol.

  3. The conference was great. Omega is a wonderful place to have such a conference – given the laidback, nature-oriented environment.
    I started with a 4hr intensive with Shiva Rae, which included her very spiritual and tribal dance immersion.

    This was the first time I had to learn from Rodney Yee, David Swenson, Seane Corn and so many other wonderful teachers. Being able to engage with each of these teachers that mold the common foundations of the Yoga Sutras into their own interpretations is where the magic (for me) is.
    So much to learn in such a small time.

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