As a Yoga Teacher for seven years and a practicing Yogi for over 15 years, i love any chane i get to deepen my practice. So when i was invited to attend the OM Yoga Show by the organisers a few months ago, i jumped at the chance. Not only would i get to sample little tasters of all thats new and interesting in the Yoga industry right now but i'd also get a chance to train with some of my Yoga Heros!
I quickly booked and paid for my spot at about 3 Workshops each day and packed all my best Yoga gear, knowing to leave space for the undoubtable tons of new Yoga clothing i would be purchasing at the event. I flew in from Ireland on Thursday night and was lucky enough to attend the launch of The Private Yogi's residency at Not Just Yoga in Notting Hill. You can read about that here
Then it was off to my first Workshop 'Handstands for Yogis' with Sylvia Garcia from The Life Centre, London. There is nothing Sylvia doesn't know about Handstands, so much so she makes them look easy, when we all know they are one of the hardest poses to get right in Yoga. Sylvia trained with the founder of AcroYoga Jason Nemer. If you get a chance to try one of her Handstand Workshops, i highly recommend you do and that you listen intently, she has so much to share.
I had planned a pretty hectic schedule for my first day as i wanted to take in as many Workshops as possible, so i was straight into Dylan Ayaloo's 'Sexy Backbends' workshop next. Dylan, the founder of Hot Power Yoga, took us through a vigorous and intense hip opening and ham-string stretching practice which really pushed me to the limit having just come from Handstands, but in a good way!
The whole aim was to set us up for the Backbend section of the workshop in the final third of the class. We suddenly found all those horrible lunges had paid off and we were able to take our bends that bit further than usual. If you check out my instagram you'll catch a nice video of Dylan taking a fellow student from Standing to Wheel and back again. Dylan is a terrific and slightly terrifying teacher - there's no slacking in his classes that for sure!
Can you spot me in the crowd post-Backbend Workshop?
From Backbends, it was straight to Jivamukti Yoga with Andrea Kwiatkowski for a really playful and fun class. Andrea leads Movement for Modern Life, and has such a great philosphical view within her classes that focuses alot on the idea of breathing through difficulty and 'letting go' I absolutely loved it because it was so different to my usual class.
I finally broke for lunch and managed to have a little wander around the stands. I was sore and i was very, very, stretchy but i wasn't beaten. i had one more workshop to go and it was the one i had been looking forward to all day 'Sacred Geometry Vinyasa' with Benjamin Sears and Goldie DJ-ing. Its not often you get to experience a class with one of the worlds leading Yoga Teachers. Benjamin is renowned for having founded LUXYOGA and for being a master of the very physical Vinyasa Yoga practice. And how often do you get to experience a Yoga class with Goldie DJ-ING? Its like both my worlds colliding in a very beautiful way. Sign me up!
I was sore, i was tired and i was asleep within about 20minute of getting back to my hotel. Having calculated i had done 7 hours of continuous practice that day! And thats not a badge of honour, thats actually quite stupid because the next day i could hardly move! Us Yogi's tend to be people of extremes, and perhaps thats why we're drawn to Yoga?
Day 2, was an entirely different yet still enjoyable experience for me. I was sore from the days Yoga before, i had aches where i never knew i had muscles (que some really odd parts of my butt!) and I was walking like a cowboy having loosened up my hips so much the day before, but i was happy and i was in my happy place! But i knew on Day 2 i wouldn't do quite so much Yoga!
I started the day off with my pals from The Private Yogi who were teaching an Open Class in the main arena, followed by a Vinyasa Flow class with Claire Missingham. I took it easy this time, my shoulders and hips were tender from the day before. Claire has a fantastic attitude in her classes and her instruction is spot on.
Then i sampled Chris James 'Mind-Body Cleanse' class. Having had a quick chat with him the day before and bought some of his 'Gorgeous Greens' superfood powders i was intrigued. Chris is a terrific teacher and is highly knowledgeable on Nutrition and working that into your practice for better wellbeing overall.
I had client meetings on Day 3 of the Show that kept me away from the event, but i will definitely be back in March for the next show. Its a fantastic opportunity to connect with fellow Yoga Teachers, learn from the best in the industry and pick up some serious Yoga threads too, plus theres all the samples of yummy raw chocolate, coconut smoothies and the like. You'll be like the cat that got the cream (the coconut cream) if you're into Yoga, i definitely recommend it!