Posts Tagged ‘Yoga Festival Toronto’
So I’m back from Yoga Festival Toronto! The intention, as usual, was to blog live from the event, but that didn’t happen, as usual. I was too busy going to workshops and lectures, making new friends, and reconnecting with old acquaintances, instead of typing blog posts on my phone or laptop.
The weekend was rich and full, with many great conversations, new ideas and fantastic people. I was especially excited to share it with my Yocomo partners in crime, as we conspire to create a similar event in Montreal next year. We’ve all come back to our fair city feeling inspired and pumped about the task ahead.
Every workshop, keynote and lecture that I attended was enjoyable, but here are the three events which left the strongest impression on me:
Mark Singleton ~ This scholar and yoga practitioner based in New Mexico recently released Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, considered by many to be a seminal text on yoga. He presented two morning lectures, complete with slides and a little laser light, and was interviewed by Priya Thomas in a keynote conversation. He started off by explaining that he wrote the book because he had seen a disjunction between what he was doing in yoga class and what he was learning in textual study. His extensive research was motivated by the observation that there was something missing from the story, and the book was his attempt to understand how “yoga” has become synonymous with asana.
He made it clear that the book is a cultural history about the derivation of yoga postures, but not the origins of them (despite what the title implies). Over the course of two lecture sessions, Mark took a small, eager group of attendees (who were mostly yoga teachers and bloggers) on a condensed journey through Yoga Body, starting in the 19th century, when Hatha Yoga was associated with magic in the West. He also detailed the influence that developments in the northern European physical cultural movement had on asana practice in colonial India, and its ties to Indian nationalism (with the underlying agenda to build better bodies to forcefully resist colonization). Continue Reading
Yeehaw, am I ever excited about this weekend’s Yoga Festival Toronto (Aug 19-21)! It all starts on Thursday afternoon with a Montreal-Toronto road trip with my Yocomo (Yoga Communauté Montréal) peeps, then a whole weekend of superb yoga programming, along with old friends (and new!), good conversation and tasty healthy food.
I am, of course, looking forward to seeing renowned Ayurveda teacher, Dr. David Frawley, and my fave yogi surfer blissed-out-dude, Eoin Finn. My level of excitement about Mark Singleton’s lectures (and, especially, his conversation with Priya Thomas from Shivers Up the Spine) can only be rivaled by how I felt before seeing The Jesus and Mary Chain at Lollapalooza ’93. And of course, I can’t wait to be on the Yoga Journalists Panel with cyberfriends Carol Horton and Bob Weisenberg ~ meeting them both in person for the first time.
But there’s also a whole line-up of fantastic faculty, mostly based in Toronto and Southern Ontario. These hidden gems may not be “big names,” but they have deep practices, a wealth of information and solid teaching skills. Here are my 5 must-see faculty members (in no particular order): Rosemary Jeanes Antze, Marlene Mawhinney, Laura Sygrove, J.P. Tamblyn and Monica Voss.
Rosemary Jeanes Antze is the senior Canadian teacher in the yoga tradition of TKV Desikachar, and affiliated as a Teacher Trainer with the Krishnamacharya Healing and Yoga Foundation (KHYF) in Chennai, India. Through Yoga from the Inside (www.anaama-yoga.ca) she offers a teacher development and mentoring program, as well as retreats for beginners to experienced teachers. Rosemary began practising yoga while a dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. Community and relationship lie at the heart of her teaching which brings the benefits of yoga into everyday life.
She will be teaching workshops each afternoon, centred on Langhana, Brhmanan and Samana. Continue Reading
For a guy whose life mission includes encouraging people to slow down and relax, Eoin Finn is incredibly busy.
The yoga teacher, avid surfer and ocean worshipper – who is based in Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island – has a packed travel schedule and many projects on the go. He’s also the new father of Ananda Lion (best baby name ever). I caught up with him via Skype from his oceanfront home, where he was briefly resting between appearances at Wanderlust California and the Toronto Yoga Festival (August 19-21).
Eoin talked to me about yoga in the modern era, Blissology, the precarious balance between love and selfishness, Joseph Campbell, his Hammock Enlightenment project, and the inherent contradiction of being an environmentalist yoga teacher who is often on the road. Check out our two-part conversation below!
I love community. I love the community that has sprouted up around it’s all yoga, baby, and I love the wider community that the blog has connected me to. I love that blog comments and Twitter allow me to connect with people all over North America, from the comfort of my living room (or on the bus, at the café, wherever I happen to be).
As much as I love online community, I love real community even more. But I have to admit, it’s harder. I have to leave my house. I have to fit it into my schedule. And often, community, or my ideal of community, can be difficult to access. Last summer I went to Toronto for the Yoga Festival Toronto, and I was amazed (and even a little jealous!) of the yoga community there. I saw a celebration of diversity, integrity and progressive ideas. When I returned to Montreal, it seemed pale in comparison to what’s happening in Toronto. I wondered: What is happening in my own city? Where do I even begin to find it? Continue Reading
Happy Canada Day! Did you know that the Canadian yoga community is getting a bit of a reputation for being intelligent and innovative? It’s true! It’s also true that the conversations in the yoga blogosphere (an act known as “yogging”) are helping to push the contemporary North American yoga community in new directions. Yogging as a practice will be explored in a special panel at the Yoga Festival Toronto (August 19-21, 2011) which I am very happy to be part of, along with Carol Horton and Bob Weisenberg.
In preparation for this panel, I’m going to be investigating what it means to be on the cutting edge of a supposedly ancient tradition, why I blog about yoga, and what blogging can contribute to the practice, and you can keep up with all the action here on it’s all yoga, baby. Carol already got the party started on elephant journal with her provocative post, Why Yoga Blogging Matters.
I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Yoga Festival Toronto and it was one of the most inspiring and affirming yoga gatherings that I’ve ever been to. Here’s an introduction to the festival, with an interview with the organizers, and my post-festival roundup.