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By Kara-Leah Grant,
I am so excited. The countdown is on to the NZ Yoga Conference happening this Easter at Kawai Purapura in Auckland.
It’s the second annual conference and the organisers are expecting double the crowd they had last year.
I’ve just booked my flights to head up and am now counting down the weeks before Conference time.
Here’s why I’m so excited to be at this fabulous NZ yoga event.
1. The NZ Yoga Conference is hosted by Kawai Purapura Retreat at their beautiful grounds in Albany.
I haven’t yet been to Kawai Purapura but I’ve seen the map of the centre on their website. It looks divine.
There’s a stream encircling two sides of the grounds, there’s several hiking tracks including one to the glow worm grotto wich takes about twenty minutes, there’s a swimming pool and outdoor areas with names like Glade, Orchard and The Plains, plus there’s several spaces for hosting events including Lotus, Shanti and Prema.
Just being in the space is going to feel amazing.
2. The atmosphere
Oh the atmosphere, the atmosphere… anytime you bring a bunch of yogis together in a confined space, you’re going to create some magic. There’s teachers and students and families and stall-holders and staff and residents.
All those people are there for one reason and one reason only – to share yoga.
Sounds like absolutely bliss, an opportunity to immerse oneself in yoga and the yoga community
3. New friends
Without a doubt I will met some amazing people at this conference, one or two of whom will become super good friends. It always happens when you spend a few concentrated days with like-minded people diving into something you’re all passionate about.
4. Old friends
I’m really excited to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in awhile like regular YLB contributor Melissa Billington and Christchurch-based yoga teacher Katie Lane. These women are goddesses and I’m stoked I’ll get to play with them – and maybe even manage to make it to one of their workshops.
There’s also people I’ve been in contact with through The Yoga Lunchbox that I’ll finally get to meet in person. It’s always awesome to meet a face to the name.
5. The Progamme
The Conference organisers have packed the programme full of interesting and exciting teachers and classes. There will be some serious Swami action with Swami Durgananda – the Spiritual leader of Samata Yoga – and Swami Muktidharma, the NZ Acharya (spiritual guide) from Anahata Yoga Retreat both delivering workshops.
Plus there are loads of other choices including people like Melissa Billington, Katie Lane, Vincent Bolletta and Premratna. There’s Acroyoga, Taoist Yoga, Bhakti Yoga through Dance, Nia, Creative Vinyasa and Shakti Dance.
With six separate spaces in action all Friday and Saturday the hardest thing is choosing who to see when.
6. I’m teaching a class & officially launching the print version of Forty Days of Yoga
I’m super excited because I’m teaching a class in Lotus on the Friday morning at 9am. The room has gorgeous wooden floors and fits 50 people comfortably. It’s going to be pure delight to teach at a Conference in the midst of that atmosphere – and to share my understanding of yoga with new people.
Expect a Vinyasa Flow class that will liberate you and inspire your home practice.
And what better place to launch the print version of Forty Days of Yoga than at the second annual NZ Yoga Conference? If you come to the conference, you’ll be one of the first able to buy the book in print. I’m doing a book reading in Prema at lunchtime on the Friday and will also be hosting a stall (see below).
7. Samuel can come with me
The Conference is family friendly, and has an entire programme organised for kids that includes things like Kids Yoga and Kids Acroyoga. It will be wonderful to take him with me and have him soak up the vibes and play with all the other children.
8. Music & Performance
OK, so the progamme is jam packed full of great teachers, but there is also a full entertainment pogramme including sacred music by Shakti, singer-songwriter Dylan Wade, electro-meditation from Jeffree Clarkson and Kirtan with Jyoshna La Trobe and Gus Simonovic with his roster of poets and performers.
I adore mixing music with yoga, and love the fact there’s Kirtan on offer at the Conference. Nothing like Kirtan to open the heart and blast free the consciousness.
In between attending classes, workshops and performances, you can check out the mant different stalls that will be on offer. You just know there’s going to be some great yoga products available direct from those who make them. I love buying straight from the person behind the product – it makes the transaction that much more power.
Melissa Billington and I will have one of those stalls – I will have the print version of my book ready to sell and Melissa will have photobook and CD sets of her 6 week Basics Series. That’s 6.5 hours of audio classes and 50 pages of photos to help you through a Forty Day Practice.
You’ll have the chance to pick up one of the first print copies of Forty Days of Yoga direct from me. I can even autograph it if you like
As if all of that wasn’t enough… this year the Conference has added two days of Intensives to the programme. Sunday and Monday are set aside for in-depth workshops with selected teachers. For example, you could spend two days with Swami Durgananda looking at The Metaphysical Body, or a day with Drs Shridhar and Pooja Madella on Yoga Therapy.
Finally, one of the best aspects of this conference is how reasonable all the prices are.
There’s still time to get early-bird prices. You’ll pay $120 for any and all of the Programme on offer Friday and Saturday. That’s potentially 12 hours of yoga with a wide variety of talented teachers. The intensives are all $50 for a day.
Accommodation is also reasonably priced, starting with marae-style offerings at $20 for two nights. Four nights of camping will only cost you $60.
If you haven’t considered going to the NZ Yoga Conference, or maybe didn’t even know it was happening, head over to their website and take a good look. Guaranteed you’ll see something you love.
See you there.
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