Twas a sea of yellow and white, which is most likely exactly what Lole White Yoga organizers had envisioned for the 2200 person yoga session held this morning at Montreal’s Olympic Park.
“I am so happy it didn’t rain,” sighed Nathalie Binda, VP of marketing at Lole. Lole (Live Out Loud Everyday) is the Montreal based fitness clothing label that organized today’s massive outdoor free yoga session for peace. They also hosted a similar event last October on Champs Elysées in Paris. “We had Montreal at heart,” said Binda. “We chose the Olympic Stadium as a location, because it’s iconic (like the Eiffel Tower in Paris).”
Indeed, the temperature was ideal. Slightly overcast and breezy is exactly what you want when you are surrounded by thousands of people sun saluting on rubber mats over concrete. I decided not to practice, but rather walk around and take in the atmosphere of this remarkable event while exercising my Twitter and Instagram muscles. (I’m new. You can find me @yasminyoga.)
The practice started with a prayer led by well known Quebec yoga teacher Lyne St Roch: “The heart doesn’t judge or condemn (…) so we can live freely and in peace.” She also highlighted the fact that “students were asked to dress in white not only because it’s the color of peace, but because white encompasses the full spectrum of colors.”
Accompanying St Roch’s instruction was beautiful live harp music by M’Michele, a Montreal based musician. St Roch was on a stage with two ‘backup yoga instructors’ offering variations for beginners and advanced students. Their practice was projected on large screens framing the main stage, just like at a concert. The hatha yoga sequence easy enough for almost everyone to follow and assistant teachers, in yellow, also circulated giving hands on adjustments.
Although it was a free event, organizers had participants register online beforehand– a brilliant publicity campaign! According to Binda, White Yoga ‘sold out’ last week with 2000 sign ups and as of last night, the waiting list had close to 900 names, said Binda.
Clearly, a giant marketing success for Lole and an amazing event for the Montreal yoga community.