The OM Yoga Show London was held at Alexandra Palace from 18 to 20 October 2019. It was my first time visiting the biggest yoga gathering in Europe, and one of the largest events in the world. They are not kidding. It’s big and there is a lot going on!
I was lucky enough to get an early riser £7 ticket for the Sunday. (Tickets to the OM Yoga Show also include entry to the Mind Body Soul Experience.) Being there when the doors opened at 10 am, I was able to walk around a bit and orientate myself. There are so many exhibition stalls! Luckily Alexander Palace is a big space with lots of light, high ceilings and of course the iconic stained glass windows. So beautiful.
The first free class I wanted to attend started at 10:30.
10:30 – 11:00 Vedic Teachings: The Roots of Yoga with Rachel Porquet-Chanmugam
I have been reading Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda, the yogi who brought yoga to the West, so when I saw this open class in the programme, it sounded perfect.
“Let’s add a gentle spiritual approach into our yogic experience! Because we can significantly deepen our practice by focusing on additional aspects, other than just only asanas, breath and meditation. Rachel is a French certified Kundalini yoga teacher.”
I have to be honest here and say that the class wasn’t really what I had expected. It also didn’t help that there was a man demonstrating Vitamix machines only a few meters away, who was blending and talking very loudly absolutely non-stop while we were trying to listen to Rachel and meditate.
Despite Vitamix Man, the meditation was a nice and relaxing start to the morning and set the tone for my day.
11:00 – 11:30 Yoga Ritual for work – life balance lecture with Sinead Duffy
I only attended one lecture, and it was Sinead’s. It was a very informative, practical talk. She didn’t even use a podium, she just sat on the raised step and had a nice chat with us. When I saw her relaxed style and heard her confident voice, I knew I was going to enjoy this talk.
Yoga Rituals are an underused way to bring your practice into your day. Yogandha founder Sinead Duffy will teach how Fragrant Ritual will bring Calm and Balance to your every day both on & off the mat.
It totally makes sense that adding fragrance to your breathing, yoga or meditation practice has the ability to “take you back” to how you felt when you did the breathing, yoga or meditation with a mere whiff of the fragrance. When I smell jasmine, I’m immediately taken back to my first holiday in Corfu. That means that if you smell the fragrance you applied this morning when you said your mantra, at any other time of he day, it will evoke the same feeling and remind you of your mantra.
I really loved the mantra Sinead taught, and I’ve been using it since hearing it for the first time. I actually say this to myself in the shower while using my Rose Caudalie shower gel. Sorry Sinead, I’m not applying your Yogandha products, but I’m applying your teachings.
The mantra is “I choose to be balanced. I am becoming balanced. I am balanced.” And if you feel really good, add the doozy “I am balance”.
I really “get” aiming for more balance. If you for instance have equal amounts of “empathy” and “don’t mess with me”, equal amounts of “listen” and “speaking”, equal amounts of “watching calories” and “eating what you like”, you will have a pretty cool life. Now add a fragrance to the balance mantra, and you’re on your way to greatness.
Mind Body Show
I used 45 minutes before I had to be at my next workshop, to visit the Mind Body Show Experience area. It was so much quieter and calmer that the Yoga Show, and I really felt at home in this space. (Strange how I went for the yoga, and ended up enjoying the non-yoga part of the show the most.) I had always wanted to know what my aura looked like, so when I saw the Psychic Hands stall where you could have your aura photographed, I made a beeline for them. I immediately knew that this experience was the real reason I had come to the Yoga Show. For £25 my photo was taken and for an additional £10 Naz, a clairvoyant, would give me a reading. Sign me up!!
Taking the aura photograph takes just a few minutes. You are then presented with a laminated printout of your aura which also includes a break down of your chakras. On the back is an explanation of what your aura colours, and their position, mean for you. Naz can give you a reading on your chakras and/or your aura, but I just chose to only have an aura reading.
I’m not going to go into detail of what Naz said to me (it was good!) but I will tell you that my aura looked freakishly the same as one the team members at the stall! We both have white at the bottom right of our aura, changing into varying degrees of red and orange. Chandra showed me his older aura which had a lot more green. With the guidance from Naz he has been working on clearing blockages and now his aura looks like this. Naz told me that the white light coming into my aura is my learning from the past three years which had put my life on a new path, and I now just need to continue doing the work and follow the new path, wherever that may be. Chandra has been doing the same, and we both say Bring It On!
12:15 – 13:45 Balancing the Hrit Chakra for Heightened Consciousness with Jane Clapham and Shahn Ahmad
I just about made it in time for this workshop in the Palace Room. Armed with the knowledge from my aura reading, I was very excited to attend the Dru yoga workshop.
“The Hrit chakra is said to be the seat of intuition and sits within the heart chakra and is powerful and essential to all seven main chakras. In this session you will activate the Hrit chakra and open your awareness to hear the guidance of the universe or your ‘inner teacher. This sequence will help strengthen your inner voice and, by focusing on the Hrit chakra, will bring you a sense of joy and wellbeing, returning you to a place of stillness… an inner sanctuary.
The Hrit chakra has eight petals or powers within your body and the salutation to the Hrit chakra will awaken those powers. You will be using the Eagle mudra, the mudra of Empowerment as well as a mudra called ‘the Eye of Wisdom’. (Mudras are ancient hand gestures that focus mental, energy and elevate consciousness.)
The aim of this session is open the doorways into a heightened consciousness. By standing on a higher plateau, see your life unfold, become less attached and gain greater clarity of purpose.”
I found Shahn Ahmad’s mudra sequence the most valuable to me. Considering I had just seen my chakras on the aura photograph printout, doing a yoga sequence to open up my chakras, seem very, very appropriate. I enjoyed learning and doing the sequence. Just a pity I can’t remember it exactly because I would love to practice it regularly. If you are a member of Dru Yoga Online, you can view the whole Balancing your chakras – Hrit Chakra sequence here. The second half of the workshop was two guided meditations lead by Jane Clapham. I felt centered, calm and positive – not just positive in that moment, but positive about life – after this workshop.
The workshop ended at 13:45 and by this time the Yoga Show had really filled up with people and was getting quite busy. I chose to end my day at this point. There was nothing I wanted to buy at the stalls – so many leggings, so many yoga mats! – and I knew I had received from the day what the Universe had intended for me.
Others looked like they had just gotten started. Here is Lydiana Abbott’s Playing with Balance class:
And this is David Kam leading his Athletic Artist class in crow pose – what an impressive murder of crows in leggings:
I had a great morning at the OM Yoga Show and the Mind Body Show Experience. The highlight for me was the aura reading. It was an unexpected bonus, exactly what was looking for (without even realising it) and Naz gave me advice which I applied the next day with great success.
If you plan to visit a OM Yoga show in future, here are a few pointers.
- Use the show guide, which you can get from the website weeks in advance, to plan your day. There is a lot going on and you don’t want to be sorry you missed out on something really special because you spent too much time faffing about at the leggings stall.
- Join the queue for the open classes at least 10 minutes before the start. If you plan ahead, you can put a reminder on your phone so you won’t get distracted by leggings.
- I would recommend paying the bit extra to attend a workshop if there is a topic that interests you. All workshops are between 1 and 1.5 hours long and held in private rooms which gives you a bit of respite from the buzz on the main arena. It only costs an additional £5 or £10.
If you like doing yoga in quirky places, outside, or in iconic London buildings, check out my list of Funky places to do yoga and pilates around London.