If you practice yoga, then you know these two words – Yoga Journal.
And if you’re even remotely interested in deepening your practice, then you know Yoga Journal is a badass, yoga know-it-all community. And if you want to learn, grow, and explore your practice on another level, then you MUST go to Yoga Journal Conference.
That’s a direct command yogis, not a request.
See here’s the deal, I didn’t buy into the whole idea of Yoga Journal Conference – the teachers, the location, or the commercialization. Most importantly – I couldn’t see past the ridiculous cost, which as a 20-something year old girl, is the glaring problem when deciding whether or not to attend.
Before the conference, here’s what I thought would happen:
- Take a shitload of yoga classes back to back, who doesn’t love that.
- Learn some badass yoga tricks, woo-hoo.
- Meet and take photos with the biggest names in the yoga game.
- Take some notes here and there.
- Be super sore, like not able to move sore.
And here’s what actually happened:
- I did take a lot of classes – (5) two hours sessions + (1) 8 hour intensive session.
- I didn’t learn any “badass” moves, but instead how to perform the simplest postures with the best integrity. This is where the real work lies yogis – learning the hard stuff in the easy poses, so the hard poses become easy.
- I did meet the biggest names in the yoga game, and they’re all just like me and you – another yogi. Was I star struck by their presence? Yes, a bit. Was I waiting 30 minutes after each class to take a photo? Yes. Will I forever remember their knowledge, presence, and personality? Double yes.
- I took notes, upon notes, upon notes. I wish I could’ve recorded every workshop, that’s how incredible the teacher’s words are. It’s more than I ever expected friends, that’s how EPIC the information is.
- I wasn’t super sore. Did my muscles get a nice workout, duh. But was it so intense that I couldn’t move, no. I chose a schedule that varied between flow, workshop, and lecture – this was on purpose so that every part of me had a chance to grow (body, mind and soul).
Well, as much it pains me to say, I was 100% wrong about my assumptions/judgments/preconditioned notions about Yoga Journal Conference. Basically, it’s the freaking jam, nothing else compares, it’s a must-do every year for me, and I can’t recommend it enough for all of you.
And here’s why:
1. You will grow
You will grow in every direction – body, mind and soul.
Your physical strength will be tested. Your mental capacity will be challenged. Your spiritual depth will be awakened.
You will experience and endure hours upon hours of physical yoga practice, lecture based discussion, and thought provoking material. The sum of these three experiences will produce a taller, prouder, stronger yogi.
Your personal practice will change, your studio practice will change, your teaching will change, and your relationships will change. I can say that, wholeheartedly, because all of that happened for me, for my fellow friends that attended, and for the strangers who surrounded me throughout the conference.
You will grow, period.
2. You will learn
This is a given, but it’s a must cover topic as I was incredibly humbled by the knowledge and experience that was available to me at the conference.
The teachers are everything – personality, charisma, knowledge, presentation, connection, physical, emotional, strong, vulnerable, and most importantly – REAL.
These people – Seane Corn, Tiffany Cruikshank, Maty Ezraty – they are real, authentic people. They don’t flaunt fancy yoga brands, yoga jewelry galore, or anything materialistic for that matter. They show up, their raw selves, and give you as much undivided attention as possible. They are real people, with real experiences, and loads of information to share.
Be ready yogis, your heads will be spinning with information overload, but in a good way. Come armed with a notebook, pencil/pen, and an open mind to soak it all up.
Oh and maybe drink a cup of coffee or two…
3. You will change
My view on why we practice yoga, how we practice yoga, how I teach yoga, how others teach yoga, how I present the yoga practice, how the world is perceiving the yoga practice, it all was challenged. I re-evaluated the truth behind my actions and realized that a lot of what I do is ego driven, unfortunately.
But fortunately for me, I have the opportunity to change this. I have the ability to become more authentic, more knowledgeable, and better versed in the what/why/how of my practice and my teaching practice. I can change, I will change, and I have changed.
And guess what, you can change too (with or without a conference).
Question of the day: How are you? How’s your health? How’s your relationships? How’s your life? How are you? Ask yourself this every day, because you are important. You are worthy of self-love. You are the reason we are here. Together, collectively, we are a movement of love, light, and truth. So again…. How are you?
4. You will gain perspective
Anytime you step outside your comfort zone, attend a conference with thousands of people, and learn from experienced individuals, you’re bound to leave with a new perspective. And if that’s not the case for you, I highly recommend a refund for whatever event you attended then.
But this perspective was different, it was more intense, stronger, longer-lasting so to say.
I practiced next to people of all different backgrounds, I cried next to people whom I’ve never met, I connected with friends on a deeper, more authentic level, and most notable – I shifted within myself.
5. You will be inspired
This one is last (on purpose), because at the end of it all, you will leave with an overflowing, renewed sense of love and passion for the practice of yoga.
Some people might say to hell with it, I’m done with my day job, I’m done with the daily grind, I’m doing yoga every damn day. Others might feel a renewed sense of why they started, what brought them to the practice, and how to regain that momentum. And then others, like me, will leave with a burning hot fire under their ass to bring it. To bring their A game to every part of their practice – personal and teaching.
Regardless of what you experience at the conference, everyone leaves inspired, whether it was your original intention or not. Because here’s the thing, when you combine incredible teachers with dedicated yogis, the outcome will always be inspirational, always. Not one person stands the chance of leaving uninspired, it’s simply not possible.
It’s been a full month since I left the conference, and I’m still feeling that #yogahigh…. just saying.
Okay yogis, there you have it, the authentic reason why you should dedicate a weekend of movement and money to the yoga practice. If you’re super interested in attending but still can’t fathom that price tag, don’t fret.
Click here, apply, become a volunteer, pass some ish out, then go for free!
Or, save your money, stop eating out, ask for it as a gift, and go because you can!
As always – questions, comments, suggestions, feedback, or general yoga love, leave it down below. Until next time loves – xoxo.