Bigger, Brighter—and Better!

Bigger, Brighter—and Better!

Posted April 22, 2015


My third time visiting the Yoga Conference and Show was, as I predicted in my last post, definitely the charm. This year’s show, held April 9-12, 2015, was bigger, brighter, and …better.

From the moment I stepped into the halls booked for the show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, I was impressed with the different layout, which was more spacious than in previous years. There also seemed to be a more positive energy, which you “yoga people” will understand, but one that’s difficult to put into words. The room seemed brighter too. Maybe it was because of the larger space.

The energy was evident in the Yoga Garden where continuous classes were offered, and I enjoyed doing some Pilates. (Yes, it’s called the Yoga Show, but many studios offer Pilates, and other movement therapy, which is all part of the show.) This was a chance to try a new movement style, or experience it in a new way with the addition of a prop. The Garden was definitely bigger so we all had more room to move.

“Ecstatic!” That was how Amanda Bond, the public relations director for Yoga Conference and Show summed up her feelings about this year’s event. Attendance was up—approximately 24,000 over the three days, almost 3,000 more than last year. There were more exhibitors—290 this year, 250 last year; and the feedback coming in, especially on the show’s Facebook page, has been very positive.

No wonder she was so excited when I chatted with Amanda a few days after the show. She told me that things would continue to grow every year and get better. Plans are already underway for next year.

“We’ll be at the Convention Centre and since we expanded our space this year, and plan to do so again next year, as that seems to make a lot of difference to our exhibitors. Everyone had more room to engage with visitors to their booths, and that seemed to lead to more discussion—and more sales, which of course made everyone happy.”

With the focus on health and wellness, the exhibitors offered a variety of products and services. What struck me more so this year was a lack of duplication. While there were some exhibitors offering similar products, there was still a bit of difference between them, giving visitors a lot of choice. There were familiar faces among the exhibitors and some newcomers. While you were certainly encouraged to buy from these vendors, and there was some pressure to do so, it wasn’t a high-pressure sales event as some trade shows become. Perhaps it was the larger space—visitors didn’t seem to feel rushed to move on to the next booth to make room for more visitors.

The trade show is, of course, a large part of the event, but it is the Yoga Conference that sets this show apart from others, according to Amanda.

“What we’ve been hearing is that the workshops we offer—everything from a two-hour to a full-day session with one of 60 international faculty—really add value to the show.” “Rather than these yoga practitioners having to go to see the faculty, they came to us, and there were opportunities to work one-on-one with them during the workshops, which everyone enjoyed.”

Sharing the day with my friend Lillie, who hadn’t attended a show before, was wonderful as I was trying to see it all for the first time as she was. Lillie shared her thoughts on the show on her blog.

As I only attended the event for one day, I didn’t take part in any workshops, but I will give serious consideration to doing so next year, which will mean that I will attend the 2016 Toronto Yoga Conference and Show for more than one day in order to take it all in. Lillie and I commented that you really do need more than one day to really enjoy all that is offered.

In a coming post I will give you more specific impressions about some of the exhibitors and faculty I was able to meet or talk to. The 2015 show was definitely Bigger, Brighter and …Better this year. I look forward to next year, already scheduled for March 31 to April 3, 2016.

I hope to once again attend with a friend, or perhaps a group of friends, as the experience is so much richer when shared. Amanda alluded to that in her comments about the sharing among the yoga community, which is a good wrap-up for this post.

“The Yoga Conference and Show brings so many people together, who are going deeper in their personal yoga practice combined with other core elements of spirituality and personal development. In the future, we will continue to focus on our brand and keep developing the Conference and Show portion to serve the needs of our community. By creating human connections, one-on-one, between Faculty, workshop attendees and other participants, our event offers something currently unprecedented in North America.”







Terry Fox’s Legacy of Hope lives on

On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg into the Atlantic Ocean and began his Marathon of Hope from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Two years later, pop star Michael Jackson released Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, which Terry Fox definitely had. The lyrics of the chorus say it all. Terry ran—through rain, snow, and wind, up and down hills, and around obstacles—and he did it all with humour and hope even though his pain was “thunder.”

I Said You Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
You Got To Be Startin’ Somethin’
I Said You Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
You Got To Be Startin’ Somethin’
It’s Too High To Get Over (Yeah, Yeah)
Too Low To Get Under (Yeah, Yeah)
You’re Stuck In The Middle (Yeah, Yeah)
And The Pain Is Thunder (Yeah, Yeah)

(Video of “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” done by the cast of “Glee.” I like this version better than the videos I found of MJ.)

I’ve driven across Canada, and while you may not always be aware of them, there are some mighty hills in Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec and Ontario, especially Northern Ontario. I cannot imagine tackling those on foot!

terry fox 2

To say that Terry was an inspiration is a huge understatement. A telethon held in his honour just after his death raised $10.5 million. The annual Terry Fox Run, started in September 1981, and other events held in Terry’s honour worldwide, have raised more than $700 million to continue fighting cancer. The cancer that originally befell Terry is now curable, according to researchers, and that’s thanks to funds received from the Terry Fox Foundation.

terry fox 3

There were many tears when Terry died, but as you’ll see in this clip, he left people with a sense of pride and hope too. Flags on federal and provincial government buildings flew at half-mast the week he died, an honour usually reserved for politicians and other dignitaries. Terry was a dignitary—having become the youngest person to be named to the Order of Canada. A stamp was also issued in his honour.

Terry’s plan was to run across Canada at a pace of approximately 50 km—yes, 50 km a day! and reach British Columbia, where he would dip his leg into the Pacific Ocean, in about four or five months. There were many days that he ran at least 42 km—that’s a full marathon! As we know, he had to give up his dream after 143 days running 5, 373 kilometres. While he may not have made it to BC, that distance is pretty close to the breadth of the country. I know because my husband cycled from Victoria, BC to Victoria, PEI, a distance of almost 5,500 km in 2005.

So yes, Terry, you did run across Canada!

In September 1980 Terry returned home to receive treatment for the cancer that had now invaded his lungs. That continued for the next nine months, but he couldn’t outrun the cancer anymore. Terry Fox died on June 28, 1981, one month before his 23rd birthday.

Terry’s initial goal when he started was to raise $10,000 for cancer research. When he reached Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland, he found out they’d raised his $10,000—one dollar for each citizen in town. Terry set his sights higher–$24.17 million—one dollar for every Canadian citizen—matching the population of the country at the time.

Now there’s a new goal: to raise $35 million for cancer research with the Terry Fox events—once again matching the country’s population.

While April is “designated” as the month to usually raise funds for cancer research, September is also an important time. The 35th Anniversary of the Terry Fox Run is set for September 20. There will be events across the country around that same time. Let’s remember Terry, and his family—and their courage.

This is what Terry said shortly before he died,

“Maybe now instead of being afraid and saying ‘Look how hard Terry tried and he still got cancer,’ instead people will say ‘look at the effort he put in and he died of cancer — we’re really going to have to try hard in order to beat it, harder than we ever have before.'”

Terry definitely started something. He would have been the first to run across Canada using an artificial leg. He inspired Steve Fonyo and Rick Hansen on their journeys. Terry’s shy smile, humbleness, and hop-along gait endeared him to everyone he met, and everyone who watched him.

Let’s start planning now to make the 35th anniversary event the biggest, and best one ever. Terry got the Marathon of Hope started, and he’s left a Legacy of Hope. It’s up to us to keep it going.

He deserves no less.

terry foxAll images courtesy of Terry Fox Foundation images page.




Third Time Charm at the Toronto Yoga Show

It started two years ago with my introduction to The Three Minute Egg. Now it will be a “third time charm” attending the Toronto Yoga Show and Conference.

namast-eggImage courtesy of 3ME Canada (Trillium Connection)

The Canadian distributor, Samara Zoetmulder, owner of Trillium Connection,  kindly sent me a set of the Namast-Eggs, pictured above.  She had been introduced to the Eggs at the Toronto Yoga Show and Conference in 2012 and was immediately hooked on the beauty of these yoga props. After using the Eggs, and attending the 2013 show to meet Samara, I was also hooked.

It might have been seeing this restorative pose, using the Three Minute Eggs.

restorative pose, SamaraImage courtesy of 3ME Canada (Trillium Connection)

I was also hooked on the Yoga show. This year’s show and conference, in the North Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, begins on Thursday, April 9, and runs until Sunday, April 12.  You can check out the full schedule here.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you’ll be sure to notice the Yoga Garden Area, where there’ll be continuous demonstrations for participants to join. There is something almost empowering to be with a group of more than 100 yogis. Even if you choose not to participate, it’s a wonder to watch. There is also the Cultural Arts Area where there are presentations on the various aspects of yoga.

Organizers describe the show as “A 3-day urban yoga retreat designed to galvanize, grow, educate and inspire your practice.” Some of the conference sessions are geared more towards yoga teachers than the “average” practitioner, but there is definitely something for everyone.

With more than 300 workshops, 60 master instructors, and 250 exhibitors, how could there not be something that will appeal to you?

In between or after the sessions, you can grab some lunch or dinner provided by one of the food vendors. Or you can explore the area after the show and visit one of many local restaurants.

I have to thank Samara for her generosity introducing me to the Three Minute Eggs. I use them frequently as they are extremely versatile—not only for yoga, but for Pilates, and stretching.

It will be a “third time charm” visit at the Toronto Yoga Show and Conference. You might even see me in the Garden trying out a new pose or prop.

The Toronto Yoga Show – 2015

“Spend time shopping amongst 250+ conscious minded organizations and companies offering products and services inline with your mindful attitudes. Participate in over 60 hours of Yoga, Cultural Arts and Lectures.”


Friday, April 10, 2015 • 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Saturday, April 11, 2015 • 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Sunday, April 12, 2015 • 10:00 am – 6:00 pm


Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building
255 Front Street West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Show Floor Admission is $15 for ALL 3 days April 10-12, 2015

(Workshops are not included in this. See the website for more details)

$15 Show Floor Tickets can be purchased on site or online

Full details here