toronto yoga conference 2013

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This past Saturday I had the opportunity to go to the Toronto Yoga Conference at the Metro Convention Centre with some of my fellow lululemon friends. Amy arrived downtown at my friends house at 6:30 am and we got ready and headed to the Convention Centre to register and head to our first class.

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Our first class was Finding Your True North: A Baptiste Master Class with Pauline Caballero, founder of Power Yoga Canada. Pauline has traveled with Baron heaps and assisted on numerous teacher training’s. I really enjoyed her workshop style class. We broke down tadasana, or mountain pose alignment which you can find in every pose and paired up for tons of adjustments and postures. I really loved the class but it was definitely in my comfort zone. I’ve done so many Baptiste style classes I felt like it definitely went back to basics and some foundational elements but I don’t think it was a particularly enlightening practice for me. Pauline is an amazing teacher and I loved being in her presence again. I would still love to take a Baptiste training some day but I do enjoy a class with more flows rather than so much stop and go.

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Next I met up with Arianna for a partner flow workshop with Sebastian and Kaelyn of 8limbs2hearts partner yoga. They were absolutely incredible. Arianna and I laughed so hard through the entire practice. It was synchronized beautifully with both partners facing each other on their mats lengthwise. One was partner A and the other was partner B. Sebastian would speak to and cue partner A while Kaelyn spoke to and cued partner B. Both partners were often doing different things incorporating adjustments to each other as well as… inversions! Daredevil downhill cyclist Arianna obviously loved the acrobatics as did I. For one posture partner A had to lie on their back, feet flat on the ground, knees bent and lift their lower back with their hands coming into a bridge posture. Meanwhile partner B put their head in between partner A’s thighs and proceeded to float up into a headstand. I realize this is hard to picture but it was hilarious. My head was literally between Arianna’s thighs resting against her bum. The practice ended with an amazing partner massage and a laughter filled practice of looking deeply into our partners eyes. We learned so many cool postures and couldn’t wait to get back to the store to practice on our (somewhat unwilling) friends!

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My one qualm about the conference was our gift bags. I would rather not get a gift bag than have it be so wasteful. They had majorly marketed ‘happy’ water which was bottled in plastic. Water is a free resource! I really hate bottled water and think especially at a yoga conference they should be promoting re-usable bottles and sustainability. Oh not to complain but one more thing, the food vendors only offered dairy or soy milk which I found interesting considering a lot of health food people or yogi’s prefer an alternative ‘milk’ like rice, almond, coconut etc. However, the salad, juice and coconuts were AMAZING!

That night I taught a special class at Country Zen for earth hour which was really awesome. We had all the lights out, no music only candles and I felt super lucky to have the opportunity to lead so many of my friends, peers and new faces through an extra special earth hour class.

I had a jam packed yoga Saturday and I can’t wait to attend even more classes at next years conference,

with downward dogs and sun salutations,

Sarah Alicia Harvison

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