If you know me a little you may know that I love Yoga. With a passion. And not for the pretty poses, or because it helped me lose weight. I love it the most because of how it’s always there for me. It’s my comfort when I’m sad. It’s my medicine when I feel sick. It’s my happy place where I smile and laugh. It’s my playground where I try out new things.
It’s all of that and more.
And someone who has helped me so often to find all that -and more-, is Adriene. You may know her from her YouTube Channel Yoga with Adriene. Adriene offers free Yoga classes through her YouTube channel and there is Yoga for everyone and every mood. There is also a membership site where you get even more Yoga and a few other extra’s (sign up for the free 7 day trial if you’re curious!)! I am so happy I get to call her my friend and I was honored when she asked me to come assist her on the 2018 Roadshow in the UK (understatement of the year!).
The Road Show is a tour that Adriene and her team organize every year. This year the Roadshow came back to Europe and with the help of Adidas the team was able to make it an unforgettable few weeks!
In the UK leg of the tour, I witnessed what happens when you open up Alexandra Palace – the people’s palace – to 2400 Yogis who all KNOW how to find what feels good. Magic, that’s what happens!
After that the venues got “smaller”. At the Oval Space we could still smell that a few hours earlier some serious clubbing was being done there. While the crew mopped the floor, the FWFG team used incense to turn the room into a perfect spot for 200 or so Yogis to roll out their mats. Twice. One morning session and one afternoon session. We then went even smaller. In the beauty that is Kew Gardens, lies the Nash Conservatory. A breathtakingly beautiful location where 100 Yogis gathered just after sunset for the final UK event of the Roadshow. It was intimate and so beautiful.
What all these events had in common, no matter how big the room or how close everyone’s mat was to their neighbors mat, is that it felt intimate. It felt right. It felt good.
During this tour, for the first time I had a chance to look around the rooms and see everybody move (instead of being in the room moving myself). I had so many moments where I felt goosebumps, where I just couldn’t get over how amazing this was to see. It was like a beautiful dance. And no matter where I looked, I saw smiles, I saw how sometimes people were so moved a tear would roll down their face. I saw bliss.
The theme of this Roadshow was Up Your Connect. And that’s really it, isn’t it? What Yoga does? Where the magic of it is? It connects us. To our body. To our breath. To the people close to us. During the classes, our assists consisted of bringing that “extra layer of love” as Adriene calls it. Not to push or pull you into a pose, but to give you a little extra warmth, or that soft touch to help ground you. Never before have so many people reached out to me to squeeze my hand after an “assist”, or whispered “thank you”. We are connected.
After the classes in the Oval and at Kew there was time for Meet & Greets and while people were in a queue (a long one mind you), they were all smiling. And chatting. And connecting. It didn’t matter that they had to wait. I got to talk to most of the people who queued up and it was such an inspiration to meet them. Some traveled from afar, some came to more than one event. Some had their very first public class right there, some had stories to share. I felt honored to talk to them, to hear their stories. It confirmed to me yet again, the power of Yoga.
I am grateful that Yoga has a voice like Adriene’s. Bringing it to so many people. She was and is one of my biggest inspirations. Not just in Yoga but also in kindness and in just what a bad-ass woman she is. I was so lucky to be a part of this tour and I hope that if you haven’t already, you may look her up and find something that feels good to you.
For more from Biddy, check out her webpage http://www.yogavayu.nl/en/welcome/