Nothing is more powerful and important to me than the coming together of Earthlings. So on this fine Earth Day, I thought I’d share with you details of the beautiful events that took place on April 18 in Montreal.
Welcoming, uplifting, magical and happy are some of the words I would use to describe last Thursday’s Yoga Mala practices in celebration of our diverse yoga community and 108th Day of the Year.
There were five locations around Montreal (Le Studio Wanderlust, Naada Yoga, HappyTree Yoga, Viveka Yoga & H~OM) hosting simultaneous community practices of 108 Sun Salutations. Yoga teacher David Good also organized a practice in Toronto. Over 30 yoga teachers led sets of Surya Namaskar and we had nearly 200 participants joining us. We also had several online participants tuning in some as far away as Europe and Vancouver! It was amazing. I am still buzzing with joy thinking about it. (See photos)
I taught at Montreal’s new Wanderlust Yoga Studio on the Plateau. We had 75 yogis and yoginis at our location. A screen was set up so we could connect to the other 108 events via a webcast. Each event invited teachers from neighbouring studios and did their own thing at their pace, but it was nice the screen with everyone practicing all over the city.
A few things touched me deeply. As we were setting up, a percussionist named Gotta showed up and asked if he could play for us during the practice. Two other musicians, Marc-Joseph Chalfoun and Frederic Jean, also arrived with their instruments. They practiced, then chanted and played guitar as we completed our last set of surya namaskar and entered savasana (relaxation).
Equally amazing was the young man who did his first yoga practice ever at the 108. I noticed him early as he was at front and not your typical flexible, lean yogi. He would do a few sun salutations and take rest in child’s pose. Then he would do a few more and sit out a few. I was impressed at his perseverance. But it was only afterward, when he came up to thank me, that I find out he had never done yoga before. He also expressed how nice it was for him to feel included.
Each of the hosting studios had with amazing stories of their own. A 10-year-old girl completed the whole 108 at Naada Yoga. HappyTree Yoga’s event was sold out. Some people couldn’t practice, but came anyway to just to enjoy energy. A few people showed up at Viveka Yoga expecting Yin Yoga, but stayed for the 108 and loved the practice. H~OM Yoga Center’s owner Helene was also thrilled with her event. She said the atmosphere was unbelieveable.
Here are some comments I received in the days following the event:
I hope you are happy with your event last night! We had such a great time at Viveka. 37 brave participants showed up so the room was pretty packed. Thank you for including me!
– Marianne Thorborg (Yoga Teacher)
Thank you so much !!!! I did it from my basement connected to Webex!!! It was great!!! Namaste!
– Andrea Herrera-Gayol (Online Participant)
Thank you so much for having organized the 108 sun salutations event. It was truly a great success at Happy Tree! I realized while watching everyone on their mats how beautiful it is to join the community together, and to raise the vibration of our MTL Kula. I had goose bumps! It was very inspiring to be a part of this event and I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to teach a segment of it. I spoke with someone after we finished, and she said that she had tears at one point from the awesome feeling that infused the studio… it touched many people to share this moment together, so thank you so much! – Sonya Beaudoin (Yoga Teacher)
It was AWESOME. The synergy between teachers, studios and students was perfect. It’s like we are all still on a high from it. This is what yoga is. Synergy and community. – Erik Giasson (Yoga Teacher)
Yasmin, Thanks for last night. It was amazing, I applaud your vision! – Jill Campbell (Yoga Teacher)
It was Unbelievable! We had so much fun. There is so much buzz and everybody is talking about next year. Hopefully we’ll do it again. – Melanie Richards (Yoga Teacher)
For 108 Sun Salutations (about 2hrs of flowing), we share the excitement, the poise, the reverence, the sweat, the dare, the placidity, the bravery, the warm fellowship. We come together & unite as a community of like-minded individuals. (…) During this flow of existentialism, we combine & extend our energies as one & each in their authenticity grace their surroundings with this magical vibe of wellness. Imagine the whole world doing this! – Shélia Bessette (Yoga Teacher)
My sincere gratitude to the hosting studios, the yoga teachers, participants, musicians and supporters:
- Frances Vicente, Erik Giasson & Geneviève Guérard at Le Studio de Yoga Wanderlust.
- Dawn Mauricio of Naada Yoga and the Yoga Mala Foundation
- Melanie Richards, HappyTree Yoga
- Marlène Graveline Leduc, Viveka Yoga & Marianne Thorborg, Sun & Moon Yoga .
- Helene Couvrette, H~OM Yoga Center
- Vega for the pre-practice Vega Sport & post-practice VegaOne bars.
- Lululemon Montreal for helping with promo, organization and volunteers.
- Noel Duret (aka DJ MK2) – for spinning beautiful music at Wanderlust
- Musicians Marc-Joseph Chalfoun and Frederic Jean of Yoga for New Times & percussionist Gouta for playing.
- Kieran Guber of Health is Happiness – for setting up the Aprés Yoga smoothie bar.
- Natalie Riviere, Riviere Resources – for taking photos & doing live updates of the event.
- Yoga Community Montreal (YoCoMo) – for helping us spread promote the event & participating.