We were there! The ultimate yoga insider on the New York Yoga Journal Conference

As the yoga world's first agent, Taylor knows everyone. We asked the ultimate yoga insider to be our eyes and ears on the scene of last weekend's Oscars for yogis.
Ava Taylor
Yoga Insider and YAMA Talent founder, Ava Taylor (at right)

The annual New York Yoga Journal Conference is Oscar Weekend for Ava Taylor.

As the creator of YAMA Talent, Taylor is the yoga world’s first agent. So her clients—aka the best and brightest yoga instructors—were there this weekend making their mark on the mat.

Since Taylor is the ultimate yoga insider and knows everyone, we asked her to be our eyes and ears on the scene. Here’s what went down, unabridged, and uncapitalized:


3:41 pm On the 44th floor of the hilton and i just had my first beer meeting of the conference.  going to be a long weekend.

my check list is almost complete, except for my mani/pedi, sharpies, extra black moleskine, business cards, class schedule, client’s class schedule, meetings set, and outfits – shit, still working on that, conference on site contact loaded in speed dial.


4:30 pm – at the marketplace. vendors are all frazzled, setting up their booths, eyeing and spying each others goods. everyone’s looking to see which yoga teacher’s wearing what: i know Lole nabbed Elena Brower and Anue secured Bo Forbes.

bumped into Get Your Dance On goddess Natasha Blank – and managed to say “stoked” AND “dude” in the same sentence. she’s SO naturally high.

YAMA Talent Ava Taylor Yoga Journal Conference
Ava Taylor brings her office to the Yoga Journal Conference (Photo: Francesca Magnani)


8:00 am – forgot my damn yoga mat! was a little frazzled running out the door:  had trouble choosing which canvas tote to bring. the Jean Paul Gaultier won. Adele playing at the Hilton when I walked in. (not live.)

9:30 am registration: two of my class choices were sold out – (means I chose popular classes): Shiva’s 10:30 AM Sat & Bo’s Sunday 8:00 AM (Note to self: Must not drink too much wine at the presenter’s dinner on Saturday night)

10 am with Waylon Lewis from elephant journal is on! had 45 minute power session at Stage diner for coffee. biz details later, but he’s recently become vegan.  love his gold trimmed cowboy shirt too.

11:30 am back at the hilton to meet with Veria Living TV exec Eric Young who’s working on a show with Sadie Nardini. Then Shiva Reafloats past with her entourage. she literally floats.

henna tattoo
Getting a henna tattoo at the Marketplace

Eric and I tour the marketplace. it’s something of a high school reunion meets health and wellness carnival – coconut dream ice cream pops floating by, henna tattoos, charcoal sketches at the Yoga Works booth, Lululemon’s playing Michael Jackson, David Life & Sharon Gannon signing books. Got a hug from Ganesh Das!

Speaking of high school, I spotted a varsity jacket that read YOGA TEACHER on the back – LOVE!

Eco Trend Report: Seems like mason jars are replacing stainless steel.

Bill Harper says it’s nice to finally meet me, though we’ve met twice before. find out he’s a big surfer and that Yoga Journal also owns Backpacker Magazine. he jokes we should create a dating service and have all the yoga girls meet the backpacker guys.

I’m getting texts from VERY excited yogis about tonight’s Get Your Dance On (GYDO) party entertainment. Example: “Should I wear my wig?”

6:00 pm Dana Trixie Flynn arrives rocking a tee shirt that reads LIFE and gives Elena Brower tulips. Loving the rowdy crowd. All 400 yogis sang Alicia Keys“New York” a la DJ Drez = brilliance.  Shiva is sporting a high ponytail, like really high – LOVE! GYDO begins!

Seane Corn Yoga Journal
Seane Corn Yoga Journal (Photo: Cleveland Groove)


8:00 am – did my alarm really go off at 6 AM. ohh. decide on all black outfit. look says, Parisian cowgirl.  spot Seane Corne with a studded metal purse and motorcycle boots looking distinctively BKLYN.

Jules Febre running into Gary Krafstow. Dharma on escalator with dark rock star sunglasses.  Also on escalator, “excuse me, can you move out of my way?  i’m late for Seane Corn” – there are only two of us on the escalator!

Cannot resist asking the YJ staff “ASK ME” girls, “will i be pretty?  will i be rich?” it’s a show-tune kind of day. Kasey Luber’s theme of the day was Broadway Yoga I hear – must be something in the air?

afternoon: sometime during my henna tattoo I realize i haven’t eaten since Wednesday, and ask someone to grab me some soy chocolate milk before I pass out.  feeling very Lindsay Lohan. my team hits the Hip Hop Asana class.

mid-afternoon: meet patricia fox and the folks from Subaru. Elena Brower gives me some cacao-covered seeds, i jokingly ask her if they  were $11 dollars. she replies $18. run into brette popper of YogaCity.com

Overheard: “will you hold my harmonium? want a seed? Peru is the new India. my 12 year old just got her 500 hour”

6:00 pm  presenter’s dinner – already missing the piano from last year’s fete. Sharon Gannon, Dana Trixie Flynn, and Nikki Costello having a reunion –  they were in Sharon’s first ever Jivamukti teacher training together.  like early 90’s, Life Café era.  yogis, know thy history!

sadie nardini and sharon gannon talking – wonder if it is about eating meat?  will get the scoop later. sharon is gorgeous.

Tao Porchon-Lynch wearing high heels at 93 – GOD BLESS!  Nice hug from Cyndi Lee. Notice Bo Forbes is eating her own kale & brown rice from whole foods.

Smooshed myself into the table with Kaitlin Quistgaard, Elana Maggal, Leslie Kaminoff, Manoj Chalom, Sadie Nardini, William J. Broad – which meant sharing a seat literally with Scott Blossom. Apparently William is a great guy – and no one hates him despite the NYT debacle.

Elena Brower and Dana Trixie Flynn
Elena Brower and Dana Trixie Flynn teaching the Get Your Dance On class and dance party kickoff (Photo: Cleveland Groove)

Finally got the cajones to introduce myself to Ana Forrest – she said good ovaries were enough. ended up joking about all the props you need for her classes— water, a strap, a block, 2 mats, a large towel, a pocket knife, and bow & arrow.

YJ speech was quick – good thing, we were out of wine. noticed how much taller Colleen Saidman Yee is than Rodney Yee, which I think is totally HOT.

left early, walked through times square and over to Swing 46 for some dancing with Krafstow, Kaminoff, Maggal & Dana Trixie Flynn. Maggal can really move! almost midnight.  will have to avoid Ana tomorrow at the conference – that 8 AM class ain’t gonna happen.


Up early for photoshoot at great lawn with flavorpill — we’re getting ready for round two of yoga at the great lawn. central park is outrageously in bloom.  all those acro yogis are the conference so, I have to bring it for the video shoot.

speaking of blooming things, I grabbed glitter from Laughing Lotus for the 1pm Community is the New Guru class.  which ended with everyone singing “lokah samastah sukhino bavantu” to a ukelele

1:30 “Yoga Shouldn’t Hurt” lecture now in progress!  Then heading to Trader Joe’s to prep for the kirtan and after-party at Laughing Lotus. 

Evening: At Laughing Lotus party, Sascha Lewis and Natasha Blank canoodling on the red couch. Kaminoff brought his own libations. I conduct several late night blog interviews – hope my bindi was still on straight, ahem.

almost midnight.  how can this be? will take my 10:30 call tomorrow from bed. cannot wait for next year’s conference.

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