I know many friends and readers who would have liked to attend the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence this year, but couldn't make it. Good news. I'm bringing you the video highlights!
The panel discussions were absolutely priceless. David Swenson made me laugh so hard the video shakes sometimes (sorry about that:). Tim Miller and Eddie Stern could also easily entertain for a living. Nancy Gilgoff and Dena Kingsberg were mesmerizingly powerful Ashtanginis. Nancy was ferocious but loving, and Dena was like your Fairy Godmother incarnate.
I implore everyone to take the time to hear the words of these brave pioneers of yoga. They traveled to a country and culture that were completely foreign to them, where they didn't feel particularly welcome to learn a practice they had mostly only read about, from a teacher who didn't speak English. As Westerners, they were expected to learn more, progress faster, and maintain greater focus than Indian students.
Through their panel discussions, Tim, Eddie, David, Nancy, and Dena brought Pattabhi Jois to life for those of us who will never meet him. They answered questions about yoga, traditions, history, science, and life. Each has their own unique personality and perspective. The thread that weaves them together in friendship is yoga. Looking at them, I felt like I was looking at the first bunch of YTT graduates in yoga history. They were so happy to be together again and delighted to reminisce about their teacher. They reminded us of the importance of sangha (community) and they made a beautiful example of the love, acceptance, compassion, and support that is inherent in a community that practices yoga beyond the mat, in their own hearts.
Here's a link to the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence 2013 video playlist on my channel, Amanda Manfredi. More videos will be added as I process them!