YJ Entry #5: Tuesday, September 23rd at 11:35 p.m. ~ Estes Park
So the format of daily schedule at the Grand Gathering goes like this:
- Morning Meditation from 7 – 7:45 a.m ~ Monday with Sally Kempton, Tuesday with Douglas Brooks and Wednesday with Bill Mahony
- Master Class with John Friend: 9:30 – 12:30; All 800 of us together!
- Breakout afternoon sessions: 3 – 5
- Evening Activity: Monday panel discussion with Tantric Scholars; Tuesday Kirtan chanting and dancing with Shantala & Wednesday is the TALENT show! With this group, who knows what’s likely to show up!
We are hopping from first thing in the morning until we crash on our bunks at night. The time between sessions sounds like a lot, but when you have to get 800 yogis through a food line, there’s not a lot of time left over.
What time we do have is often spent in the Sponsor Marketplace or the Yoga Journal bookstore. (Imagine ~ every Yoga book, DVD & CD around, PLUS miscellaneous blank journals, organic chocolate bars, silk masks and a variety of other yoga “things” ALL in one location. It’s like shopping the yoga section on Amazon.com only here you can actually HANDLE the merchandise before UPS does!) Truly people, does it get any better than this?!
Yoga Journal Bookstore: Little Building, BIG Treasures
There are a dozen or so vendors at the marketplace for the Anusara Grand Gathering. Many more are coming for the Main Conference. Now let me say, there seems to be a phenomenon that occurs when you’re at something like this: shopping doesn’t REALLY count when you’re out of town. (And Brian, honey, I’m not the only person who suffers from this affliction.)
But I have to say, I’ve been good. Well, I kind of have to be. My suitcase weighed 49.5 pounds at the gate so I am severely limited on the weight I can take on without a surcharge … that or I’m just gonna have to throw some stuff away before I go home. (I never really liked that orange top anyway, and just how many pairs of socks does a person really need?)
I DID buy one of Shantala’s CD’s and a pair of sexy Crocs. Yes, I did say “sexy Crocs” which up until earlier today I thought was an oxymoron. I told the Crocs rep I would most certainly become their best model at the conference. When I find a pair of shoes I love, look out! (I bought them in Bronze.)
Demographics & Observations
Would love to know the demographics of the participants: (Come in Yoga Journal, Come in!)
- How many states are represented?
- What countries? (So far: China, Canada, Spain, Australia, England, Tasmania)
- Male/Female Breakdown (Appears pretty equal to me.)
- Teachers vs. “just” Practitioners
- How many are brand new to Anusara Yoga? (More below)
One of the things that has surprised me is the number of folks I’ve met here at the Grand Gathering who have had never before practiced Anusara Yoga. I just assumed that everyone that came for this part of the conference would have had some Anusara Yoga practice, but that is not the case. Based on the questions in some of our breakout sessions, I suspect that I’m not the only one who’s been surprised by this.
For the second large group practice with John, a designated area of the room was sectioned for those who were new to the practice or had therapeutic needs. This allowed for greater attention by the “assistants” (certified AY teachers). It was really a stroke of genius and showed how great teachers adapt to “what’s before them.”
There is so much to share but if I do not get to bed, there will be nothing to blog about tomorrow as I will SLEEP through everything! So …
Namaste ~ Namas – go!