Yogatan June 2017 – 8th Event
Yes, it is hard to believe, but looking back in my notes, I’ve come to realize this Yogatan June 2017 is the 8th time we’ve held this event. This Yogatan was very special to me for a number of reasons. It is the first time we’ve expanded the event to 2 days; we had 20 different sessions for participants to choose from; we had instructors from a variety of countries (Israel, Canada, South Africa, mainland Honduras) in addition to others of us that live on the island of Roatan; and we ended our first day with a musical venue featuring Nashwa-Odeh Nasrala, and Zendrik van de Merwe.
This was also the first time we had a photographer available for the full event to take pictures and record just how much fun took place as well as the exchange of energy that resulted.
Having a cross pollination of Instructors provided for a much varied choice of yoga classes. We offered everything from Stand Up Paddleboard yoga, to Partner Yoga, Acro Yoga, along with the typical Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Yin, Kundalini, and Aqua Yoga. We also have expanded Yogatan over the past two event to include PiYo and other options from Jill Wittry, Owner of Core Pilates. With this expansion comes new interest from students to explore and expand their horizons and knowledge of other styles of yoga, as well as experience the styles of different Instructors.
In addition to the physical classes offering asanas, we have begun to offer lecture classes as well. This time two were on the schedule. Megan Lefler taught a class on Chakra Wisdom that was well received by the students, and Barbara Wastart taught an experiential class on Mantras and Mudras.
We believe it is important to include these types of lecture classes as they help us understand there is more to Yoga than just the asanas. We must remember there are 8 limbs of yoga:
YAMA – Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows
NIYAMA – Positive Duties or observances
ASANA – Posture
PRANAYAMA – Breathing Techniques
PRATYAHARA – Sense Withdrawal
DHAHRAN – Focused Concentration
DHYANA – Meditative Absorption
SAMADHI – Bliss or Enlightenment
Back to Yogatan June, 2017. We had a beautiful day for our event. The weather was gorgeous, and everyone excited to participate. This is Saturday morning, registration. Bright and early, registration began at 7:30. After registration people milled around getting to know one another before classes began.
Orientation on Saturday morning, we began our Two-Day Yogatan with an ice breaker and group meditation. Here we are ready to go around the room and introduce ourselves to each other. We learned each other’s name, where we are from, and how long we’ve lived on the island, or have been here visiting.
Thanks to Susie Leiper, certified Labyrinth Specialist, she constructed a Labyrinth on the floor of our Mangrove Center. This is where our group meditation began. The purpose was to eliminate and discard things we no longer need as we walk silently to the center of the Labyrinth. Once in the center one takes as much time as necessary to connect with the Divine and prepare oneself to be filled with new ideas, projects, thoughts, etc. As you exit the Labyrinth still in silent meditation one focuses on those new things you want to bring to your life. This can be a very powerful meditation, and a great way to start our event, focusing on ourselves and what we want from our lives.
One of our first sessions of Saturday morning was Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga led by Christine Etches. The bay was calm, and Christine and 3 others were eager to get on the water to experience yoga on the boards. I’m sure it would have been a great class, had the sun not been shining quite so brightly which caused one of the boards to pop and deflate during the class. This led to two of the students doubling up on a board, and unfortunately paddling back to the dock with little SUP Yoga actually taking place. In our interest to insure the boards were pressurized properly we had not taken into account the bright sunshine and what it does in terms of expanding when heated. Not only did the board during class deflate, but a bit later after all boards were back on land, and in the area to be cleaned before putting them away, a second board popped and deflated as well. Just like a balloon that has been over inflated. Lessons learned the hard way.
Fortunately being Yogis, we all take challenges in stride and let them roll off our back gently. No harm no foul, and the rest of the classes proceeded as planned.
Gabriel Gq. was a new Instructor for this event. She hails from Quebec and led Vinyasa Wild & Free as well with her partner Ariel Kedmi, Acro yoga. They own and operate a yoga studio in Quebec, called Yoga Shak Montreal.
This couple also taught Acro Yoga which was enthusiastically embraced and practiced by the students. Below you see Marilou Lavalee doing the Acro Yoga, and her facial expression tells the complete story.
Partner yoga was another huge hit. Something new and different. Zendrik van de Merwe and Nashwa-Odeh Nasrala led this class along with the Thai Massage workshop. It opened people up to a whole new way of doing yoga, both figuratively and physically.
The students enjoyed the Thai Massage workshop working on each other.
Elly Smith led students in a beautiful Kundalini Hatha flow session on the dock.
Megan Lefler led a Chakra Wisdom lecture series on the dock.
Water classes were offered as well. Elly Smith led a Aqua Fitness class, and Barbara Wastart led an Aqua Yoga class.
Not all of the classes are depicted here, nor are all of the Instructors. In addition, other classes were taught by Moony Koch, Marilou Lavalee, Michele White, Jill Wittry, and Ali Calvaruso. During out two-day event we also had Practitioners onsite to offer therapeutic treatments as well as the “Juice Guy” Enrique with his flavorful juices for sale.
This event is a precursor to what is to come. We continue to “grow and improve” this event. Our next Yogatan will be January 13 & 14, 2018. More information will follow, but it will be similar in concept to what we just did in June. So if you missed our June Yogatan, or if you’ve never had a chance to participate, make your calendars and join us the 2nd weekend of January, 2018. For those of you interested in participating from off island, there will also be special packages to include lodging and meals.
In the interim, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, Barb via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or PM me (Barbara Wastart or Upachaya) on FaceBook.