Toronto's new, secret yoga society
Yoga isn't exactly an activity associated with clandestine meetups and social media but a new organization called Yoga Happening just might change that. Yoga Happening is a new and unique yoga studio in Toronto: it has no walls, no schedule and no permanent instructor. Yoga classes are organized exclusively through its twitter feed and Facebook group and the details are only released one or two hours before the class start time. The goal is for yogis, from novice to advanced, to lose their attachments to teacher, studio, or place.
Yoga Happening will occur as spontaneously as possible in locations around Toronto - from gallery to rooftop to park to parking lot and will be led by a rotating roster of surprise instructors, one of which is John-Paul Tamblyn (JP), part owner of Octopus Garden and ubiquitous yogi about town.
In order to weave your body into a flexible web of lengthy appendages, the idea is to use the internet -- another kind of web -- to get you there, or at least, to the process of getting you there. The first "practice" will take place at Winston Churchill Park on "top of the only mountain in Toronto," says the organizer. Students will learn anything from "how to do downward dog with a swing to how to do corpse pose in wet grass and love it."
Although Yoga Happening uses social media - which by nature is a very inorganic method of communication - as a way of spreading the word, its 'go with the flow' ethos is essentially yogic. I have always found yoga to be a means with no end and because of this, it has an elementary, impractical beauty. "Embracing the opportunities that the universe starts presenting and eventually realizing that the universe knows better than you" is, as Tamblyn says, key to any student of yoga.
In this light, Yoga Happening - a kind of studio in the clouds - teaches you to become the ideal student before you even make it to your first practice - you don't know where you're going, where you'll end up or how you're going to leave once you've gotten there. (Except, rumour has it that students will congregate post-class at Ezra's Pound),.
Get it? Neither do I. But I intend to keep practicing until I figure it out...
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