Last Sunday, I went to the Barcelona Yoga Conference in Sarrià. It is my third year going, but first time for a main conference day. Previous years, I went to the post-conference events by Shiva Rea and Meghan Currie. These classes where out-of-this-world, but I did miss the atmosphere of the food tents, market, and more yogis. This year I loved practicing with fellow yoga teachers like Xuan, Carla, Nina and Nicky. Besides taking two classes (which I'll tell you more about below), I also did photography in them and out.
I got there with enough time before Nina's rocket class at 12.30 and in the restroom (I always end up meeting people in the restroom haha), I bumped into Carla and instantaneously recognized her from her bright red hair. We have friends in common, and we soon started talking and walked together to rocket class where we also encountered Xuan. Rocket is a yoga style that is based on the Ashtanga practice but "gets you there faster". I really enjoyed the heat, the sweat and how you are constantly challenged in a playful way. Nina also took time to break down certain poses, so this always gave you a bit a rest time. You should definitely check her class out if you are in Barcelona.
The food court had a lot of variety: from pizzas, to raw desserts, juices, smoothies, and vegan hot dogs. I wish I could've tried it all, next year a little more! There were also many boutiques with beautiful clothes (with awesome discounts) such as BYC gear, manduka, shambala and other yogi products. Oh, and you could even get a massage! Pretty rad.
15 minutes after Nina's class, I ran off to Simon Park's class of liquid flow yoga. He mixes a bit of martial arts with very flowy vinyasa (reminded me of Meghan) and precise cueing. I got there just in time before it started. I placed my mat, and without realizing it, I was close to Nicky (so inspiring to practice close to her). This class was huge breakthrough for me: I felt truly present and surrendered in the practice, with no expectations for what would happen with what was proposed. I find that when I am in this state "the magic of yoga" happens: I was able to easily balance in a half-forearm half-handstand pinchamayurasana on both sides and to hold handstand for 10 seconds. I had to keep myself keen and concentrated with my breath and gaze because part of my brain was jumping up and down and on happy dance mode. This is also a very important part of the practice: "letting go and non-attachment to the outcome", letting go of the "goal" itself too so you can stay present and aware.
What do I take with me? The sense of community and the union that yoga creates through people. I felt loved, hugged, and inspired. Morever, it reminded me the importance of going to class because you are exposed to different styles, teachers, and poses that I haven't tried or that I tend to avoid.
Until next year BYC!