Yoga forum bends bodies, minds
More than 800 yoga enthusiasts and teachers gathered to celebrate the joys of yoga this weekend as the 3rd annual Texas Yoga Conference took place at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
The conference, which began Friday, was three full days of yoga, workshops and classes.
“I bought a pass for only one day to see Sean Johnson,” said Abbi Armstrong, a University of Evansville alumni who just moved here from Indiana.
Johnson is the founder of Wild Lotus Yoga in New Orleans and the founder of Soul School, an interdisciplinary yoga and spirituality teacher-training program that focuses on bringing soul and imagination to the art of teaching yoga.
Johnson taught an asana yoga flow class called “Wild Lotus Flow,” which, according to the conference website, focused on the “sensuality of vinyasa yoga with the heart and soul of Bhakti yoga in a unique vinyasa experience that weaves creative sequencing, storytelling, live music, inspiring poetry and enchanting mantras.”
This workshop was sold out at this summer’s Yoga Journal Conference and fortunately didn’t sell out this weekend, but the room was still packed with yoga mats.
“The class was everything I hoped for, I really enjoyed it,” Armstrong said. “The technique and music was simply awesome.”
The conference featured many workshops including lectures from Nydia Darby, Nicolai Bachman, Liz Antognoli, Sheri Cherokee, DeAnna Nielson, Shanon Caldwell, Tracie Brace, Cody Drasser & Stephanie Shorter, Lisa Ware and Pam Johnson, among others.
Eric Paskel, Yoga Shelter founder and lecturer on “The Yoga Approach to Relationships,” explored the Vedic roots of the yogic approach to relationships.
“We tend to be ‘experts’ on everyone else’s life, but when it comes down to looking at our own, we are lost, confused and stuck,” Paskel said.
“The only happiness anyone knows is conditioned by an external agent. People are convinced that the happiness they experience is true happiness — but the true path to happiness and success in relationships rests in recognizing and respecting the order and grandeur of this magnificent universe,” Paskel said.
Third-year conference participant Susan Snell made a point to attend Paskel’s lecture because he brings a message that can speak to everyone.
“His lectures are life changing. He is full of life lessons that everyone, yogi or not, can learn from,” Shell said.
Returning participant Jessica Dunegan thought Paskel’s delivered a great message that came at an opportune time.
“It really spoke to me, and I feel better about myself knowing that I can take his knowledge and use it for my life’s relationships,” Dunegan said.
Along with the demonstrations and lectures, attendees were also able to listen to the sounds of Desert Dwellers, Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band, Sound of Meaning, and local favorite Tyagaraja and M.Welch, among others.
Though the conference is now over, many yogis are already anticipating what 2012 will bring.
“I can’t wait for the next year’s conference,” Dunegan said. “There was so much to offer with all the yoga classes and workshops and vendors. I had a blast — this is an experience of a lifetime.”