The 2016 Yoga Expo is making its Los Angeles debut on saturday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Master teachers from around the globe will join L.A.’s top local teachers and studios to give participants an opportunity to connect, reflect and learn about the joys and benefits of yoga. Attendees will have access to unlimited yoga and meditation, programs, live music, local and sustainable food samples, a unique 20,000 square foot yoga-themed marketplace and more.
The Yoga Expo launched in January 2016 and hosts events throughout the U.S. and Canada to educate and empower participants to enact social change through their daily choices. Founder Kyle Michaud says “I started the Yoga Expo because I wanted to create a community where students and teachers have the opportunity to connect. Students take classes with local and international teachers, explore our yoga-themed marketplace and enjoy a day of mindfulness.”
Yoga practice is still—slowly but surely—finding its way into the lives of African Americans. Raja Michelle, owner of Green Tree yoga studio in South L.A., says, “we associate yoga with being skinny, White, and even upper class.” The stereotype is however based in truth. About one in every 15 Americans practices yoga, according to a 2012 Yoga Journal study, and more than four-fifths of them are White.
But that hasn’t stopped more African Americans from showing an interest an incorporating yoga into their daily lives. The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza offers a free yoga class every Saturday at 10 a.m. which is 95 percent Black—including the instructor—and its always a full house.
This Saturday’s expo will feature several African American instructors.
Chioma Nwosu – Slow Flow with Chioma (Room 409A 11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
This Slow Flow class uses penetrating rhythmic beats, engagement of the root chakra and connection to breath to open the consciousness to a deeper level of self. Through a powerful flow of heat-inducing asanas students will transform the physical practice of yogic shapes into a soulful expression of active meditation. (Beginner/Intermediate).
Aja Whitten – Roots Yoga: A Kemetic Yoga Philoso-flow (Room TBA 1:10-2 p.m.)
Accompanied by rhythmic drumming, this class is a moving, hieroglyphic meditative flow for every body that roots Iyengar tradition in Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) postures to bring your mind, body, and spirit into alignment. Each session grows through you in postures, geometrically progressed sequences, breath work, sound therapy, and meditation. “The class begins with raising our consciousness of how Kemetic civilization and cosmology continues to inform our awareness through mythology and socio-historical analysis. We then relate this expansion of mind to the physical and energetic postures that make up the practice of Smai Tawi, Kemetic yoga. This (w)holistic Afrikan practice opens your body channels and invites spirit to free you from root to crown”.
Quentin Jones & Ocean Lorraine are two musician-artists infusing the styles of their predecessors with a youthful vibe all their own to create poly-rhythmic soundscapes that enhance the flow of the class.
De Jur Jones – Yin to Restore the Spirit (Room 409A 5:10-6 p.m.)
De Jur was deeply transformed by her first Yin Yoga class and that is how Yin became her primary teaching style. Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of Yoga with poses held for longer periods of time applying gentle pressure to the connective. Connective tissue responds differently than muscle and requires this slow approach to facilitate opening. Longer holds increase circulation in the joints and improves flexibility. Yin practices help us to restore peacefulness and vitality in our lives. This is a deeply meditative practice. It allows us time to sit with ourselves, be still and witness. No prior yoga experience needed. This is an accessible yoga class.
Be rest assured this exposition will have something for every skill level, including classes for children, seniors, couples, classes for meditation, dance inspired yoga classes and more than 115 vendors in the expansive marketplace.
Tickets are $35 and ticket holders are entitled to all events all day. Tickets can be purchased at www.theyogaexpo.org Also, $1 from every ticket purchase goes to support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
The Yoga Expo will run from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and the Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. For more information, including the full class schedule visit, www.theyogaexpo.org.