Monday, April 11, 2016

Yoga Conference Toronto

I saw the information last year for this conference and my curiosity was piqued. I do enjoy going to conferences and so when I read of the Toronto Yoga Conference I thought it should be something I needed to see and experience. After all, this is called, "Miles and Mats", so any and all exercise is part of the information I want to make part of my knowledge. I will be honest, I didn't what to expect, besides the usual collection of a lot of booths with all sorts of things that would be an interesting to learn about.

While there was a cost of $15.00 for tickets that would be good for the entire four day show, I was given a couple of free tickets, and also found that there was plenty of people on Twitter that had links to even more free tickets. Now the tickets were good to get a person onto the show floor and to try out some yoga workouts and a few other things that were free. What I didn't realize there was also various meetings and learning sessions that at a cost would open to some good learning.

With free tickets I went down to Toronto. I wore comfortable clothes to try out some of the workouts, brought my travel mat and headed down there. Parking at my usual spot I jumped on the subway and off to the Metro Toronto Conference Centre. I saw a few people with mats and knew I was on the right way. Usually when I go down to the MTCC, I am in costume going to FanExpo.

I entered the Conference Centre, showed my ticket and got my bracelet. So I went up the stairs and entered the conference. It was quite the experience, there was a lot of booths which had all manner of products and services. It went from food, to mats and equipment, and all things related to Yoga. Clothes to jewelry was there for the purchase. What I was interested in was taking some of the courses. I had noticed there was a course on dealing with Yoga for Runners. It was there for all who wanted to take part. It was part of the purchase price and since the ticket was free, it was worth waiting for and having the time done. The person who was to teach was Christine Felstead, who from what I learned, had written a book with that title and produced a number of DVD's which would be there for purchase. This was a person who knew what they were talking about. So was going to wait.

While the conference was packed with booths, the middle area was called the Yoga Garden and it was here the various classes would take place. From the brochure, there would be classes one right after the other in quick succession.

What was impressive was the number of people who were putting their mats down and experience the various yoga styles. It looked good, so I took one workout before the Runner one. It was a Kundalini Yoga class. Since I am still a newbie, I didn't have much of an understand as to the style. It was taught by a very good teacher. There was a concentration of breathing, both breathe through the nose. What I have noticed is that Yoga concentrates on breathing, and it seems that Kundalini takes it a step up. I am not an expert nor will I claim to understand Kundalini at all, so I won't pretend to have an awareness, it's probably something that takes a life. It was a 30 minute class and very well attended. In fact a lot of people took advantage of the free classes, if anything this made the conference. A taste of free classes that exposed to various styles and teachers. I was only able to get over in the afternoon and I'm thinking next year I will spend more time at the Garden.

The Yoga for Runners class was an hour long and a very challenging experience. She wanted to work all those muscles that would be hard used during running. Certainly it was a good course and afterwards I felt it, especially in the leg muscles.

After those classes I walked around to see more of the conference. So many great booths and items to buy. I learned there is a program that if you bring an old Yoga mat, you can get a credit of $10.00 for the purchase of a new mat. There were the main yoga mat companies represented; Gaiam Yoga, Jade Yoga and even a new company B Yoga. There was also an announcement of Kulae opening up a Canadian website, selling great mats. This is a note to myself, next year bring the funds and purchase a new mat. Get one from one of those interesting companies. I'm thinking of the everyday style of mat, the travel seems a little too thin and I need something to bring when I travel, but give that extra padding.

One aspect I wanted to have a Thai Massage. I've heard it's an interesting experience and so I noticed a number of booths that offered massages for 10 minutes or more. After a wander, I went to the Urban Nirvana booth for a 15 minute massage, the price was $20.00 and thought it would be a good experience. Also with all the walking and Yoga, why not have a massage. It was great. Yes a lot of stretching, which was a bit intense at time, but wow, the after affect, felt so great. While the therapist did stretch and use muscle manipulation, it felt super afterwards. He gave a massage on my calf muscles that felt so good. I have got to say, the staff from Urban Nirvana was very polite and friendly. I think if I ever wanted to have another Thai Massage, it would be from Urban Nirvana.

After enjoying the sites, sounds and some free food, plus a coconut water; it was time to go. The experience overall was positive. It was a good location with lots to see and experience. Plus I did buy a towel from Jade Yoga.

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