Toronto Yoga Conference & Show is held annually in downtown Toronto at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC).
Toronto Yoga Conference & Show 2017
The Set Up
The Toronto Yoga Conference & Show gets a lot of big name yoga teachers and offers a wide assortment of yoga/meditation workshops. The result is a tremendously successful conference with tough class selection. Without a doubt, it is heartbreaking having to decide between so many intriguing classes and workshops. Of the conferences I have been to previously (Wanderlust & Yoga Journal Live), I prefer the schedule process at the Toronto Yoga Conference. There is no class cap; no limit to the number of classes you can take in a day. Also, there are more class options and variety for each time slot. The evening events mean your day could continue on even longer. I clocked 7 to 8 hours of class time a day.
So, if you are dropping cash or points on a plane ticket and accommodations, the value for money here is high. Pack your days full and you will definitely get your money’s worth at the Toronto Yoga Conference. All 4 days of the conference are full days as well, encouraging attendees to stay another night rather than head back early.
The Little Things
The conference badge versus the wrist band. Winner: Conference Badge! The badge had your name on one side and your classes including room numbers and times printed on the back. Finding your next class was simple. It also sped up the process of entering each workshop as the room attendant need only check your badge rather than a list. Plus, badges made getting to know people in class much easier. Especially helpful for those of us that can remember faces, but not names.
VIP Status. It is worthwhile signing up for enough hours to classify as a VIP attendee at the Toronto Yoga Conference. As a VIP, I received a conference zip-up hoodie (sweet, soft & fleecy inside), a high quality yoga block, meditation CD, and various other treats bundled into a smashing hot pink (keepsake) conference bag.
The conference guide was useful and stunning — a magazine-style guide complete with articles on the teachers and their work. The guide also contained detailed descriptions of each class and a handy check-list for when you are trying to narrow down your class selection or quickly see what others classes are offered in a certain time slot.
Be sure to follow along with Yoga Conference on social media leading up to the conference. The organizers post tons of giveaways. I won a $50 voucher on Instagram to a dream catcher booth. Got myself a stunning 3-D catcher that has been inspiring my days.
Thursday and Friday offered mostly full day workshops. Then, I was able to slot an additional 2 hour class into each evening. I love the long workshops. They really allow you to dig deep, open up, grow and connect with a teacher. Lecture was paired with a yoga/meditation practice. My ideal learning process: theory followed by practice. Be sure to bring a journal! I used my journal in most classes to take notes or for in-class exercises.
Everyone will find something of interest with the variety of yoga and meditation classes/workshops on the conference menu. Although, you may find you click with one teacher so much, you sign up for all their other sessions. I noticed a few people taking this approach. If I had known Coby Kozlowski would blow me away on the last day of conference, I would’ve signed up for all her other classes. Next year then!
Class sizes to expect at the Toronto Yoga Conference. For the big name teachers, the classes were huge. Yet, the rooms were sized to suit the number of students so I never felt cramped. And, understandably, the demand for these teachers is considerable. If you’re a yogi and Seane Corn comes to your city – well, enough said. All the other classes were small with 30 or fewer people. In one of my largest classes, Rodney and Colleen worked the room adjusting our poses. So, I definitely felt like I got enough attention from the teachers.
Bring a journal!
I try to schedule classes with a hearty spread of teachers as you never know what (or who) might capture your soul. Learning from such a variety of talented teachers, I feel like a received a lifetime of gifts in a 4-day span. My schedule consisted of a full day workshop on Desire Mapping & Yoga, a full day retreat with Rodney and Colleen (check out my review of Colleen’s Yoga for Life book), a mala making workshop, sixth chakra focused class with Seane Corn, Ayurveda class with Melanie Madhuri Phillips and many more…
Danielle Laporte (author of the Desire Map) donated her book, workbook and 6 CD audio to every student in the workshop. Sweet eh? And, I have since gone back through the desire mapping process to pin down my core desired feelings. Dani March conducted the workshop. I am rarely comfortable speaking with someone I just met, but I felt immediately at ease with her. Check out Dani’s site, she’s a life coach as well.
Coby Kozlowski is a student of Lorin Roche and the Radiance Sutras. Her morning meditation class was a last-minute addition to my schedule. And, one of the best decisions of my life.
My core desired feelings: Jazzed, Grounded, Dynamic & Bold
Try new things. Indeed, this is my mantra for life as I frequently fall into the pit of unnecessary and bland. New things expand our minds and make life interesting. These conferences take this mantra to heart. There are many opportunities to try out different types of yoga or meditation. I expanded my mind this time with indoor paddle board yoga and goddess flow yoga. But, what really blew my mind wide open was the Radiance Sutras meditation class. This class introduced me to a new way of approaching meditation. Meditation doesn’t require a cross-legged seat in a dark silent room, eyes closed for lengthy periods of time. There are so many ways to meditate and your entry to meditation could be virtually anything. And, the end result, this approach allows you to reach a state of mindfulness naturally and more frequently throughout your day.
Now, I am conscientiously working with Lorin Roche’s Radiance Sutras. Written in verse, the sutras are works of art. It will take a lot more time to digest this text. It has the makings of a book to carry with me through life. Seeing meditation in this new light is a revelation. Meditating with the Radiance Sutras is quite enjoyable.
I am in love ….with the Radiance Sutras.
The vendors are an important component of the Toronto Yoga Conference and in fact a stand-alone experience if so desired. Indeed, you can get tickets solely to the show floor which covered an entire level of the convention centre. If you are taking conference classes, your conference pass will provide automatic access to the show floor. And, even though you’ll inevitably spend money, it is worth it to check out the shops. There are more wellness vendors here than at the previous conferences I attended. Rows upon rows...upon rows. You could lose hours of your life.
I had minimal time so I floated through only pausing when a particular product or person caught my attention. Spent a bit of time at the Joyous Health booth, snagging a great deal on Joy’s detox books and tea. Even got to chat with Joy herself. The aerial and indoor SUP yoga classes along with the mala making workshops had their own designated spaces providing a good show for shoppers as they passed by.
Location: MTCC. There was a generous discount on rooms at the adjoining hotel the Intercontinental Toronto Downtown. And, super nice rooms with amazing views! Many of my pictures on the trip are from my window. The sunrises, sunsets, night lights, busy streets… all spectacular from the 19th floor. There was a chaise lounge and coffee table alongside the window which became my go–to for meals, reading, writing, or relaxing. The super comfy beds were blanketed in pillows.
Convention Centre access is conveniently located through a door next to the hotel’s front desk. No need to exit the building which was particularly handy since the weather was cold and/or wet.
I feel like my life has significance and that the activities I partake in are important and worth doing, mindfully. Also, I am inspired to craft malas on my own. I’ll be sharing some hand-made malas here on YogaShelf soon. And, I have a lot of big picture plans chasing through my head. My days post conference have been full and exciting.
My Yoga Immersion 3.0 was an experience beyond all possible expectation. So, if you’re trying to decide on a conference to attend. Go to the Toronto Yoga Conference. And, I will be attending next year for sure. The feel good high I had returning from this conference was like nothing I have ever felt. And, the amount of mind expansion…has changed me. I truly feel like a different person. Life is great. I am happy. I feel at peace with myself.