I had a wonderful time at the Laughing Lotus summit this weekend. Valuable lectures, powerful classes, healthy food, and exuberant people. Their press team had invited me to attend, and I was very happy to join the teachers, alumni and community there. Laughing Lotus was my home studio for a couple years after I did my vinyasa training (at Atmananda), and I am a big fan of Dana Flynn. It was a pleasure to return, after a few years of Anusara, and enjoy the non-stop dancing flow once again.
An early start to the day (7am) was a good excuse to take it easy Friday night, and prioritize health for the weekend. Empty sidewalks created a feeling of retreat, right within the city.
The studio was as warm and welcoming as I remembered. Every badge said VIP :) Jamie Lyn started us off with simple chanting, and then a silent meditation. So nice and centering. I always forget how much stronger meditating in a group can be.
From there I went to Sun Celebrations with Mary Dana Abbott and Kate Duyn Cariati. They are both so vibrant and smart, it was a blast. We warmed up with lots of sun salutation variations (and great tunes), and they kept us sweating as they tag-teamed teaching. People were dancing, laughing, singing throughout the class. Annie Mulgrew assisted and the three of them made me feel very well-adjusted :)
Kate also taught the prenatal lecture after that. I’ve not ever had prenatal training, and she gave us great notes on her experience from private clients, group classes, and her own practice through pregnancy. I learned a TON and am looking forward to passing it on to my mama friends!
At the lunch break I chatted with the crew, and then headed to the big room to quiet down for a while. Dana told us a story of the previous tenants’ refusal to vacate the new space, until she showed up with a copy of the lease and a bullhorn! True lotus spirit :)
For my afternoon session, Alison Cramer taught Ayurvedic approaches to Lotus Flow. She gave a clear and entertaining overview of the doshas, and practical tips for adjusting our lifestyles. We closed with an hour or so of cooling asana for Pitta season. (Slower tempo, fewer poses, quieter music and cues, fewer inversions and backbends, more forward bends, hip and heart opening.) I was expecting a typical restorative class but she gave us a full vinyasa experience (to keep those strong pitta brains engaged), with a gentle closing. Delicious.
I was filled up and wiped out (in a great way) by the end of it — asleep before 10pm, and still asleep through my alarm the next morning ;) Very grateful to receive all this wisdom, great big thanks to Lisa Merckle and crew for organizing a wonderful weekend!
(This year’s summit sponsored the Lineage Project, a great initiative to bring yoga to at-risk and incarcerated youth. Consider a donation? http://lineageproject.org/)