Thursday 1st November 2012
As I write this, I haven’t been near my Yoga mat for nearly two weeks. As I run Yoga Bliss, an online Yoga Shop, (which I try to do it with the best intentions but it’s a difficult paradox) the Yoga Show is something of a ‘must’ for me and having not attended last year I was interested to see how it would be for us this year. Our stand was located next to the Main stage just as it has been in past years, so we’re on the periphery of the show but in a busy, sometimes noisy area where the ‘circus’ plays out in front of us while we work. We arrived on Thursday lunch time to set up and then had Friday, Saturday and Sunday in which to sell our goods to customers, then Sunday as the show closes, we pack the whole thing up again and take it home. This was the fourth time that we’ve taken part in the show.
Although I enjoyed the show immensely, there’s no substitute for meeting your customers face to face, it is now Thursday evening and I feel that it’s only now that I’m starting to ‘shrug off’ the effects of being in that crazy, frenetic environment for three days. It seems ironic that I should describe an event where Yoga people come together as frenetic but that is how it was. Not in a completely bad way as there was plenty of ‘love’ under that huge glass roof and plenty of good intentions. I loved the fact that fellow Yoga teachers that I know from teacher training courses and workshops over the years came and found me to say ‘hello’ and have a hug. Those connections and that support meant so much…
When I got the chance to have a wander around the show, there were many, havens of calm and peace. There were quiet times at the main stage when the music was beautiful, the sentiments were heartfelt and the smiles were contagious. The open classes that were in progress, the welcoming womb-like tents where people were being led through meditation practices, Swamis, Himalayan Yoga Tradition, healing, Shiatsu massage, reflexology… all going on in their own little spaces both separated from the throng and connected at the same time …
There were things going on that made me wonder what I was doing there and what certain elements had to do with Yoga but what occurred to me was that it isn’t my place to ‘judge’ what is and isn’t Yoga. I was first attracted to a very physical form of Asana, Ashtanga Vinyasa and although it was taught to me in the traditional way, when I began my Yoga journey, it was definitely for the physical benefits. I became interested in the other limbs of Yoga over years (I’ve been practicing for 11 years and teaching for 5). I didn’t dive into Yoga fully aware that there was more to Yoga than just the Asana. That came later as my teacher explored the other limbs and passed her learning on to us.
The cynics will tell you that the show is over-commercialized but what struck me was that Olympia was full of like-minded people, all at different stages of their Yoga journey, some years down the line and some just starting out but they were all united in their intention, whether they were aware of it or not.
Thank you to the Yoga Bliss team, both of our ‘Yoga Blokes’, Steve (Webmaster), Steve (Logistics) and Sonia (Finance), as always, your contribution was invaluable, your professionalism unsurpassable and your sense of fun inimitable. Thank you for keeping me in my place and thank you for making the show a big success for us!