Forget the sun and salute the skyscrapers instead at the Evolution Yoga Conference in Hong Kong! Conducting yoga to the backdrop of HK’s skyline and harbour is pretty awe-inspiring, if not a little confusing, as you lay your mat down on a carpet typically reserved for high-heeled networkers in power suits!
With the help of Daphne Tse’s live tunes, intermittent stage performances and the grounding energy of international yoga celebrities and their followers, the venue quickly transforms into a space of openness and community, in true yogi fashion.
Speaking of fashion, if you thought you would miss out on HK’s favourite pastime whilst at the conference, think again. Temptations abound as the latest designer yogawear and accessories take pride of place in the centre of the first floor, trickling down to the lower entrance area. With fashion labels extending beyond practical performance wear to ‘yoga travel’ gear and ‘yoga lifestyle’ gear, visitors are advised to pack light so there’s room for purchases.
The international event staged in the middle of the world draws an impressive line-up of faculty members from Arizona to Zaire! Pre-booking of classes at this conference is an interesting addition undoubtedly serving a number of organisational purposes. As with all yoga festivals, timetable clashes are inevitable as you choose between a class, an intensive or a lecture and anticipate whether your desires will be for nourishment of body, mind or soul!
The impressive line-up of over 50 instructors is sure to raise the bar on previous yoga experiences. A highlight for me of 2013, involved Giselle Mari’s ‘Hot, Hip and Holy’ Jivamukti practice or perhaps it should be called ‘Diva’mukti as the packed audience found themselves interrupting a Vinyasa Flow sequence with a groove to Bon Jovi . How liberating! It is safe to assume that no two classes are the same with every guru bringing their own twist to their practice. Some literally with Eion Finn’s ‘Twist it Sister’ adding some spice to the menu. Class naming has become an art too it seems as yogis try to make sense of “Walking the Tiger”, “Milking the Cow” and “The Psychic Rainbow”.
A good tip for the HK yoga conference is to maximise the convention centre facilities by attending a lecture in air-conditioned comfort and treating your mind to a workout too. Learn about ways to create wellness off the mat or delve deeper into the philosophical aspects of yoga – just don’t be surprised if your presenter sits in half lotus pose on the stage. It is a yoga conference after all!
If you can get through the conference, resisting a photograph with one of your yoga gurus then you will be doing well. With the chance to see yoga celebrities like Saul David Raye, Carlos Pomeda, Patrick Creelman, Simon Low, Tiffany Cruikshank, Amy Ippoliti, Kia Miller up close and personal, all under one roof, the desire to capture the moment on film is irresistible.
Combining the chance to improve one’s yoga practice with the social and professional networking opportunities, it is no wonder that these conferences are sprouting up all around the world.
Beyond the classrooms, it is clear that the business of yoga is now fully fledged, providing way beyond a second income for not only instructors and their entourage, but also hundreds of exhibitors selling their yoga related wares. With teachers now on the international circuit, doing teacher training and VIP events, think it is time to join the revolution. The ‘Evolution’ revolution! Yoga caddy anyone?
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