Upside Down and Inside Out

Greetings from Malaysia!

I feel like everyone was either getting married, or at a wedding this past weekend.

Well, I was in Kuala Lumpur for a yoga workshop.

A couple of months ago, I was here in KL visiting my mother, when somehow, through some form of social media (hard to keep track these days) it came to my attention that Briohny Smith and Dice Iida-Klein (of Bryce Yoga) were coming to town. Not only that, but Robert Sturman (the famous yoga photographer) would be joining them as well.

Suffice it to say, I booked and got the earlybird deal immediately.

Fast forward to…right now. Monday evening. August 18th, 2014. The start of a new (work) week, the end of the weekend (workshop) intensive. My head is throbbing (though that could be from the casual Tiger Beer I am sipping as I write this blog post, ha!), my hands are shaking, my hamstrings are SO tight, and my entire body is basically in pieces. To be expected, I suppose. But the hours and hours I spent in a room full of eager yogis (mostly from the KL area and Singapore) hanging onto every word that came out of Briohny and Dice’s mouths, captured on their cameras, iPhones, iPads, what have you…were so worth it.

Since I completed my 200-hour Ashtanga teacher training at Downward Dog in Toronto 5 years ago, I have been practicing yoga almost daily. But I’ve never taken a yoga workshop before. I have to say, I think I’m hooked. But what amazes me is how yoga has evolved with “the times” and become so integrated with the digital age. Not only were the dozens and dozens of yogis that participated in the workshop providing live picture and video updates (mostly via Instagram) from the workshop over the course of three days, but Briohny and Dice were so accommodating of this trend, and even invited Robert to co-teach one afternoon…about what, you ask? Why, yoga photography, of course.

Without going on and on as I tend to do, and getting into too much detail here, I’ll just revert to shorthand and post a few images from the weekend to support the rest of this entry.

  • I first discovered Robert Sturman’s photography while flipping through an issue of Yoga Journal earlier this year; this inspired me to explore the art of “yoga photography” more seriously and triggered a spark that I knew already existed inside of me to combine my love of the two forms of art, beauty, and expression.
  • Inversions have been my obsession and mission for the past few months, so naturally I look up to Briohny and Dice and hope to one day reach their level of strength and discipline when it comes to getting upside-down.
  • The fact that they incorporated a yogatography (like this word? Should I coin the term?) component into the workshop shows how aware, grateful, and patient they are as active movers and shakers in the global yoga community; aware of their presence over Instagram, grateful for their success, and patient because it must require a lot of it in order to tolerate people (myself included) in their classes and workshops constantly clicking and typing away, never fully shutting off. Is this really all that yogic? Or just today’s yoga?
  • There are so many great yogawear brands out there. Gotta get more pants and tops.

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em…”

Anyhoo. Take what you will away from this post. There’s no real point here, I’m sort of just writing aimlessly. Briohny and Dice are both beautiful, supportive, loving, mature people, inside and out, and I can’t wait until they come to Hong Kong again in November. I’ll be handstanding and clicking away, of course…

This was a weekend full of Ps: planks, pikes, press-ups, and photography. And when it comes to the latter, the key is to get down low.

Over and out. For now.

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