Sitar players and yoga gurus
Photo essay from the Toronto Yoga Show floor
I am not that keen on yoga shows and conferences and cannot afford the big-ticket class fees. But I did pay a Saturday visit to the Toronto Yoga Show floor and was drawn to speak with a number of people who seemed sincere and knowledgeable (in spite of the overtly commercial atmosphere). I chatted with some people from Sivananda Yoga. I have been to several of their worldwide yoga ashrams and centres — such as the beautiful Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp north of Montreal, in the Laurentian Mountains — and I often recommend them on Breathedreamgo and in the articles I write. Also enjoyed chatting with Kevin “The Wolf” Alexander, Wearer of Many Hats, from the Northern Edge Algonquin retreat centre. I have wanted to go to this very special retreat on the edge of Algonquin Park for more years than I care to remember. Somehow, after chatting with Kevin, I think this summer will finally be the one. Among other special events, they often host yoga retreats.
The highlight, for me, was unexpectedly coming across sitar teacher Lata Swarn modestly sitting on the floor and playing in a booth selling yoga clothes. I kneeled down and listened, falling into a trance induced by the classical Indian music. Not only can she play like a charm, but she’s a lovely person too — and I discovered that she lives in the same west-end Toronto building as my brother. Another highlight was meeting yoga “legend” Dharma Mittra.
My second favourite moment was coming across my friend Ram Vakkalanka chatting with yoga “legend” Dharma Mittra. In this photo, below, Dharma is holding one of Ram’s CDs — Ram is also a talented sitar player, as well as Sanskrit teacher and yoga philosophy teacher. I notice that Ram is leading a workshop on Inner healing through sacred sounds at Sivananda in Quebec this summer. I think I’ll be going to this!
I did not take part in the free, open classes … but did enjoy taking advantage of some good photo opps.
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