On Sunday, April 1, Jill and I headed over to the Toronto Yoga Show. Thanks to her endless presence at Moksha Downtown and her eco-friendly job, she managed to score a few free passes, and chose to take me. Hooray!
Having never been to a yoga trade show, I was unsure of what to expect. Now, after completing just one, I can tell you: it’s exactly what you think it is. There’s lots of socially conscious and extremely expensive clothing, lots of people trying to convince you to get your posture checked and plenty of Toronto studios letting you know that they are the very best studio in the city.
The yoga community weirds me out a little bit, not going to lie. I’ve always struggled with middle class North America misappropriating and commercializing the non-exercise aspects of yoga. This presence was definitely felt at the show, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Plus, Jill and I got to do cool things, like a suspension yoga demonstation and a partner yoga workshop.
The partner yoga workshop was in the yoga garden at the centre of the show. We decided to come to the show about an hour before the workshop, walk the floor, take the class, then head home.
On the floor, Jill won a free class to Yoga Tree (jealous!), discovered Three Minute Egg Yoga Blocks (I want some) and generally moaned that our Lulu Lemon yoga bags are too small for all the crap we carry.
Then we finally caved and stopped at one of thos chiropractor booth. Thanks to all my running, my body is constantly in some state of pain. Thanks to a slightly pushy salesperson, I learned that my right shoulder is higher than my left, my left hip is higher than my right and I put 10% more weight on my left foot when I run, walk or event stand. So, all those times I’ve had knee problems in yoga or hip problems in running — I should blame my weight distribution. Jill had the same problem, but on the flip side (high left shoulder, high right hip). After the suggested we purchase their expensive consultation (which we declined), we decided to blame our mother for our less-than-perfect bodies. Genetics. You can always blame genetics.
Next, we headed over to a Suspension Yoga demonstation. A new studio, OmGym, opened up in Leslieville recently. I hopped in the swing and flipped upside down. The head rush you get is intennnnnse. You eventually get used to it, and it’s pretty fun being upside down. The instructor spoke of the health benefits (blood to your brain makes you smarter, being upside down helps you digest better, it helps circulation, blah blah blah), and after a few minutes I was ready to be right side up again.
I want to try a class (the whole thing is not upside down, thank goodness!), but it sounded pricey, so we will see.
Finally, we headed to the partner workshop. Sebastian Kowilak and Kaelyn Wong led us through an hour of a 8 Limbs, 2 Hearts Partner Yoga Flow class. The verdict? Partner yoga is fun! It takes you deeper into poses than you can go by yourself and it’s inherently child-like, playful and silly. I’ve alywas been wary of partner work in my other classes, but since it was Jill (and, let’s face it, we did poses like this when we were 8 and 9 for kicks, not realizing it was yoga), any shyness or concern melted away. I can’t wait to take a proper workshop with this team.
In conclusion? The Yoga Show was a decent way to spend an afternoon. I wouldn’t purchase a pass next year, but if you can score one for free, by all means check it out.