The Evolve Yoga and Wellness Festival provided a full day of delicious asana, pranayama and meditation set amongst the gardens, the sunshine, and magestic beauty of Abbotsford Convent.
I have it on pretty good sources (but it's not official) that there were 1000 tickets sold for the event .. which is brilliant .. and surely reflects the passion of Melbournians (and those who travelled further of course) towards the practices of yoga and meditation, and the chance to spend time with the 'tribe'.
I had planned to spend the entire day in the Peace Room ... attending a selection of half hour meditation workshops with a short break in between to stretch the legs and get some sunshine. There was definitely more interest than there was room however so I missed a couple of workshops .. but the one's I did attend were great (more tomorrow on those) and the bonus was the opportunity to catch up with a few friends, and enjoy some time with a girlfriend in the Bakery listening to some amazing jazz musicians and a lively crowd obviously enjoying a family day and some autumn sun.
One class I was really keen to attend was the Yoga Nidra (guided meditation) session after lunch .. but the crowds were so long (and the room way too small for the interest shown) so that I ended up taking some time to explore some of the courtyards around the convent (this is a photo of one we saw, setting up for a wedding tonight). My girlfriend and I wondered aloud why the organisers hadn't arranged for the Nidra class to be conducted outside .. since we were blessed with such wonderful weather, just the hint of a breeze, and a broad expanse of lush green grass area all to ourselves.
Then before we knew it someone had made an impromptu arrangement .. and Stephan Kahlert from Byron Yoga Centre was called away from his cappaccino to share the delights of Yoga Nidra with the large group who had missed getting into the inside event. How lucky were we!!! We had the sublime experience of meditation outside with nature and air and earth all around us .. the sun warm and relaxing, the grass soft and cool. A wonderful journey inward (with a side trip to a temple high in the snow covered mountains) was the most perfect way to end the day.
You just never know when the magical moments are going to meet you on the path .. and today's impromptu meditation on the grass in the sunshine was one of those very special 'in the moment' events. Thank you Stephan it was lovely to meet you and we all appreciated your wonderful meditation session.
Congratulations Byron Yoga Centre for a wonderful event. I hear it is scheduled again for next year!