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TEDx-style conferences for yogis unfurl in New York

Iyengar Yogathon
A demonstration at the 2007 Iyengar Yogathon. (Photo: flickr/Gerry Visco)


Yogis have been coming up with all kinds of creative ways to get together—from retreats, to festivals, to trippy dance parties. Now, they’re holding TEDx-like conferences.

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York hosts its annual Yogathon on Sunday, June 3, and Laughing Lotus is inviting its sparkly followers to its first summit-style gathering the weekend of June 15.

If the Yoga Journal Conference or Wanderlust is the TED conference of the yoga world, these gatherings are TEDx events—specialized meetings of smaller groups within the larger scene, meeting to share ideas and build community.

Jivamukti’s annual “tribe gatherings” are the most well-known in the category. The week-long summits bring together devotees from around the world to practice with Sharon Gannon and David Life and soak up the Jiva doctrine via meditation, chanting, and talks on topics like vegan living.

Laughing Lotus’ first gathering seems to follow a similar model—lots of intensive classes with Dana Flynn and other star teachers, peppered with community-bonding events like devotional singing and lectures. (The one on yoga’s influence on body image looks interesting!)

The Iyengar Yogathon’s main attraction is a “choreographed display of entertaining and inspirational yoga poses” by top teachers, plus classes and a yoga fashion show. Fashion brands unknown.

If the community think-tank model is catching on in New York, there’s bound to be an official TEDx conference filled with yoga intellectuals soon. —Lisa Elaine Held