I’m way behind the ball on this because the Pittsburgh Yoga Expo was a full month ago. Nonetheless, it’s an annual event so it’s worthwhile to share it with yinz, so you can keep a reminder in your calendar for next year. I’m an infrequent yoga practitioner (I try to make it into a studio once a week). Thanks to a groupon, I’ve been trying out bend yoga for the last few weeks, but my usual go-to is Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill. Bikram Yoga is a 26 pose series performed in a room heated to 105 degrees. Bikram is a good course for you if you like consistency– Since I go infrequently, doing the same poses every time helps me really see my changes and improvements from session to session. I also like that I can tell exactly where we are in the class without having to look at a watch. Needless to say, Bikram is not the right yoga for you if you want a lot of variety or if you want to do all kinds of acrobatic headstand things (no headstands in that series of 26). It is also a great option for you if you have a lot of free time, because the class is 90 minutes long and you DEFINITELY need a shower afterward. I do not have a lot of free time, which explains why I go so infrequently.
Rebecca Rankin, owner and lead yogi of Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill organizes the Pittsburgh Yoga Expo every year. I heard about it last year, but was not able to go. When the tickets went on sale for this year’s event, I was very excited to snap one up. Also, I made sure to get a pedicure, as I did not want to scare the yogis with all-day exposure to my feet.
The Expo features 25 minute workshops all day long, in which you get a little taste of various different types of yoga. It truly is an all-levels experience, and is a nice option if you want to try new things out. There were practitioners of Forrest Yoga, Chakra Yoga, Core Active Yoga, etc. There was a lot of core work, which I am NOT good at, but since the sessions were only 25 minutes long, I could tough it out even in sessions that were very challenging for me.
The one suggestion I would have for next year is that I hope they bring in more food vendors. They do advertise that there will be food vendors present, but for most of the day it was only juice vendors and one vegan bakery vendor, who had a very limited supply of lentil stew. I would have brought a lunch with me if I knew that were the case (as it was, I scarfed down a vegan muffin and some juice), but it would have bee even better if there were some vendors there selling more substantial fare. All that yoga makes me HUNGRY.
My favorite part of the day was the demo session, when Rebecca Rankin and Zeb Homison showed off the crazy stand on your head yoga stuff.
I put this picture in here because this is the pose that LOOKS like it would be easy but IT KILLS ME every time we get to it in yoga class. I can’t even lift my leg up, forget bending over and touching my toes. I have enough trouble just lifting up my knee and not falling over. It is HARD, but he makes it easy.
The Yoga Expo is also unique because it had an arm balances workshop, where they broke down grasshopper pose into small manageable bites, and so many people in the room were able to do their first arm balance! I tried hard, but didn’t make it this time around (thank you, T-Rex arms of mine), but I think if I work harder at strengthening my arms and core, I might have some success next year.
The event is really well organized, flows really well, and for $15 ticket (in advance) is a steal for an all-day series of workshops. See yinz on the mat!