Just this past week I attended a four day Asia Yoga Conference courtesy of namaste magazine, Asia Yoga Conference & Pure International. In the almost 3 years of living in HK this is the first Asia Yoga Conference I’ve attended. I received a complimentary 4 day pass (worth $5,000HKD or $640USD) by submitting an essay on how yoga has affected me. One caveat, the essay is limited to 150 words. Initially, I thought, “Wow! How time efficient is this!?! I can probably crank something out in an hour or so. I write 500-700 word blogs all the time.”
WRONG! Haah, hah. It took several days to get the wording just right. It started off at approx 300 words or so and it was amusing to say the least how I could condense a message and condense it even more. The final piece ended up being 142 words. So as I was sending it off to the namaste editor, Frances Garins, I sent out with love and positive thoughts of manifestation.
Guess what?!? I received a message from Frances a week before the conference saying that I won! I immediately called her back and thanked her profusely. When I went onto the website to register for classes I was so surprised to find out that there were so many workshops/seminars/lectures on other things besides ‘downward-dog-upward-facing-dog-yoga’.
There were meditation classes, chakra, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga psychology, yoga philosophy, mindfulness yoga (you know I definitely attended this one!), astrology, Kabbablah, Buddhism, self development, reiki, Nia Dance, Kundalini…you get the picture. I recommend everyone to look at the selection of classes next year and attend one class they are passionate about. Even if you can’t afford one class there are complimentary classes offered as well. I’m definitely going to take advantage of these complimentary classes next year!
It was a bit overwhelming to pick from all the different choices. But at the end of the day, I’m so glad and grateful of being enlightened by all these wonderful teachers sharing a message they’re so passionate about. There was so much positive vibes and love it gave me the energy to attend 8-9 hr classes everyday.
I’ll have to save the specifics of the experiences of each class for another blog post (click here to see part 2 where I summarize each class). In the meantime, here are some pictures from the conference and my essay contest winning entry (you can also check it out in the June 2011 issue of namaste…get a copy from Life Cafe or Pure Yoga). Enjoy!
For more pictures check out Facebook by clicking here.
Yoga In My Life by Julie Chiu
Yoga is still a fairly new practice in my life. In the past, bingeing on a pint of ice cream was the usual “don’t-deal-with-stress-or-negative-feelings” distraction tool of choice. More recently, I have learned how to incorporate more productive stress alleviating strategies like yoga. Yoga provides an avenue to become more mindful of limiting thought patterns. Change can only occur when there is awareness.
I still have perfectionist tendencies and would get upset at myself for missing out on yoga practicing opportunities. Thankfully, I understand that self-compassion and persistence will help me get to a better place. Everyone’s journey to an optimal yoga practice is unique. I choose to focus on the process rather than the results. I will get there. One mindful pose and breath at a time.
Namaste (“I honor the Spirit in you which is also in me” -Deepak Chopra)
Julie Chiu, RN, MS(Hons), CHC, IC® is a certified health coach, seminar leader, trainer, nurse, and pioneer of mindfulness-based coaching in the Asia-Pacific region. She is Hong Kong’s only Certified Health Coach (National Society of Health Coaches), Intrinsic Coach®, Certified Intuitive Eating Pro® Counselor and Mindful Living Behavioral Specialist. She also serves on the professional advisory board of the National Society of Health Coaches and is a contributing author to “Evidence-based Health Coaching for Healthcare Providers: Program Manual”, 2nd Edition.
Julie is known as the “How To” Lady and helps clients gain more clarity on their passions, overcome obstacles, break free from unhealthy lifestyle habits, and reach their goals through individual coaching, corporate seminars, and group workshops. In addition to coaching clients, she writes for online and print media and conducts lectures and workshops on mindful eating, weight management, stress reduction, effective communication, changing limiting thought patterns, law of attraction, and evidence-based health coaching.