Last Sunday (February 12th, 2017) I had the joy of being part of the first ever Expo Yoga organized in Montreal cofounded by two incredible, inspiring women: Katrina Besner and Mélanie Brunet. An event which reunited yoga enthusiasts from all backgrounds and brought yoga to the people. I myself first fell in love with yoga when I was going through a burn out at the age of 26; I had just gotten my Master’s degree in psychology (how ironic!) and started my first full-time job. At the time, my mind was constantly racing and filled with anxiety and I didn’t know how to take care of myself and my mind. Yoga became a way to center myself and calm my mind and body. That being said, I am in no way an expert at poses nor am I even able to touch my toes after 14 years of on and off practice, flexibility just ain’t my thing! But it has taught me to be ok with that and reminds me to just BE and do what feels right.
I saw the ad for the Expo Yoga a little late so many classes were already filling up quickly, there were so many to choose from. The variety was overwhelming! I narrowed my choice to three classes: an Asana Class featuring the Bali Method, the iRest Yoga Nidra class and a Yoga Tune Up Flow class.
Asana Class: I met a 92-year-old yoda, I mean yogi!
The session starts with an Om chant led by a seated “old man” (which I find out later is quite the Mick Jagger of the yoga world: Dr. Madan Bali) and two women dressed in white from head to toe and I’m thinking, oh crap! what the heck have I gotten myself into? But then I listen to this man speak in his relaxed yet stern voice, I start hearing the foundations of all yoga practice: to calm the mind and be mindful of the sensations in our bodies. Then he mentions that he’s freakin’ 92 years old and that’s when I start paying attention for real… maybe he’s on to something! The premise of the Bali Method consists of tools to calm the mind (how appropriate for me!). As said by Dr. Bali himself “Too much thinking causes a brain drain where our minds are being literally fried with stress”, eeeeeshhhh scary since it’s something we are all guilty of at some point! But true, ‘cause our thoughts guide every other thoughts but also our actions and reactions to the world. The session was a series of poses which helped a lot, of course I stayed in Savasana (a.k.a, corpse pose or rather in layman’s terms: just lying on the floor) maybe a lot more than others (hey, I stayed up all night with a sick 4-year-old, I was just listening to my body and that was fine!)
iRest Yoga Nidra: No it’s not an app as I originally thought!
I guess I am biased in saying that this was my favourite session because Bram Levinson (yoga teacher at Luna Yoga but also gives yoga classes at Cogeco on Wednesdays and so much more) himself gave this session. His no BS style and honesty comes true very naturally. In this particular classe he presented the iRest Yoga Nidra which was developed by Richard Miller a clinical psychologist who initially used his technique in the US military among soldiers helping them recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but is an amazing technique to shed our fearful thoughts and relax the mind. This class brought me a better understanding of the true meaning of our lives by sorting through the suffering and mending the negatives encountered. It is easy to get bogged down in our every day stresses and forget to appreciate every second of this life and meet each moment with curiosity. We are more than these bodies yet these bodies is what allow us to experience and take in everything this life has to offer. The session consisted of being guided into different phases of relaxation, and when you give in without resistance you might actually konk out. As it happened to me and wake up wondering where the heck I was! But after a sleepless night it felt soooo good.
Yoga Tune Up Flow: Got me some balls!
The last class I registered for was given by the funny, sweet and awesome Dawn Mauricio. I used to take her yoga classes about 8 years ago and loved her easy going style. In Yoga Tune Up it is more about dynamic stretches and variations of the traditional poses, oh yeah and we played with balls, therapy balls that is. Yoga Tune Up Flow is complementary to a yoga practice and can only enhance the traditional poses. I didn’t fall asleep on this one but can tell you that after my day I was way more relaxed when I got back home.
All in all it was a pretty educational and fun event. Loved the energy, and oh yeah the kiosks were full of cool products, wouldn’t be complete for me without some shopping… Am hoping there will be another edition next year (or sooner) and maybe you can join in the fun if you missed it this year. Namaste