By: Brittany Pires
More than just a few days of flexible arm balancing and deep ujayi breathing, the 7th annual Texas Yoga Conference welcomed yogis of all levels to deepen their practice with some of the most well-known yoga teachers and speakers in the country. Upon entering India House, the conference location, yogis beamed with happiness as they were welcomed with smiles and rose petals.
The yoga high flowed on as sweaty yogis moved from one session to the next, soaking up all the inspiration they could get to apply to their own practices or the practices of
their students. While students were silent in the classrooms, they were buzzing with excitement in the hallways, with conversations focused on recent sessions or favorite teachers and studios.
Throughout the 3 days of the conference, workshops, classes and trainings offered insight and knowledge to breathing techniques, meditation, teaching assists, branding, and different styles of yoga, ranging from traditional Ashtanga and Kundalini to Acro Yoga and Hoop Yoga. Each teacher set up their class according to their own style, modifying placement of the students, whether they were on mats or chairs, and whether it was asana, lecture, or a combination of both.
While om’s and asanas brought the community together, so did the plethora of music, art, and vendors that offered jewelry, food, natural products and yoga gear for purchase. Everyone came together for yoga and the wellness it promotes, yet another unifying factor was definitely the colorful leggings that could be seen on all different body types. Malas were all the rage at the 2016 conference and a class was even offered by Alyson Atma Simms on how to make them.
When attendees were not immersing themselves in asana, many enlightened themselves with the various musical performances. The conference opened with a Kirtan performance by Conscious Houston’s Anish Pillai, who also closed the Saturday evening schedule. Music for Yoga also took place on Saturday, which included a live, interactive music presentation with a variety of teachers. To close out the conference on Sunday afternoon, the Bhakti House Band performed a concert while the Sunday FUNday Acro Yoga sessions took place.
The Texas Yoga Asana Showcase allowed yogis the opportunity to perform 6 yoga asanas in 3-5 minutes that demonstrated strength, flexibility, balance, breath control, focus, and poise. Performers earned claps and smiles as they wowed the audience with their routines.
While in its 7th year, the Texas Yoga Conference had one of the biggest displays of Acro Yoga, both in the form of a Therapeutic Flying class and a varied workshop with the Acro Yoga Houston teachers and community. The workshop was broken down into mini sessions, led by Nosa and Susie Edebor, YogaSlackers Laura Fraser and Jeff Newton, Heather Smith of RhAcroYoga, Jonathan Stein of Acroyoga.org, and Caty Beth Christy of Acrovinyasa. Students were able to learn and hone in on the fundamentals of Acro Yoga, a well the different styles that fill our Houston community. Smiles grew rampant as laughter and Bhakti tunes filled the room. A memorable moment was witnessed when an the Acro Om circle synched harmoniously with the live band. Many said the moment was so beautiful, it brought tears to their eyes to see the unification of so many individuals. Aside from the organized sessions, an Acro jam occurred on the opposite end of the room, giving attendees time to play and discover the beauty that Acro Yoga partnerships can create.
The Texas Yoga Conference was founded in 2009 by the Founder of Breathe the Cure, Inc., Jenny Buergermeister, who organizes the annual event with supporters from all over the state. TYC is not a conference in the traditional sense, but more like a yoga retreat and a party in one. The energy of the weekend was one that can less be described than felt. Hugs were expected, chanting was commonplace, and happiness was a given in all forms and facets at this truly wonderful yogic experience.
A special thanks to the sponsors, Texas Yoga Association, Yoga Spots, Gish Picks, iMatrix, and Natural Awakenings Magazine for making this event possible.