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Are you ready to experience a yoga festival but not sure what to pack—or expect? Whether it’s a mat bag to make traveling between venues easier, your go-to water bottle for 24/7 hydration, or comfy shoes, it’s essential to have the right things.
We chatted with Kyle Michaud, the founder of The Yoga Expo, on what a fun, all-day yoga festival is all about—and what to bring!
The Yoga Expo LA is an opportunity for like-minded individuals to come together and experience a day full of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. Our event comprises nearly 200 exhibitors and sponsors, over 70 yoga instructors from around the world, and more than 12,000 members of the worldwide yoga community. It’s a one-day experience featuring renowned teachers and a marketplace filled with unique yoga apparel and accessories, vegan food and beverages, and other brands and organizations that will help you stay happy and healthy. There’s also a sound healing stage, and power vinyasa and inversion classes!
In 2018, nearly 250 teachers from all around the globe applied to teach at The Yoga Expo LA. Year after year, we pride ourselves on offering the most diverse selection of yoga classes, workshops, and keynotes available in the global market. In 2019, we have two teachers flying from as far as Australia to lead classes on stage! Aerial Yoga, Face Yoga, Handstands 101, we have it all. With over 60 classes and workshops offered, we recommend attendees build their schedule online before the big day to avoid major FOMO.
While our event is indoors and we have plenty of amenities to make sure everyone has a comfortable, safe experience, hydration and rest are key to enjoying the entire day!
BYOM—bring your own mat! Also, keep your phone handy to take Insta-worthy photos and even save contact info of new friends you might meet.
My favorite moments are seeing the happiness on people’s faces as they explore our venue to unwind and enjoy the positive energy from everyone around them. Our lives have somehow become so stressful and demanding, and the time we take for ourselves is so often displaced for others. I think this is a significant driver for attendance—mindfulness and yoga are in high demand, as we hear our physicians, leaders, and close family and friends coming to realize the importance of self-care. When you listen to yourself, everything comes naturally, and that’s the purpose of meditation and yoga. That’s the purpose of Yoga Expo.
Picture this... we’re about a year into a global pandemic, it’s dark by 5 p.m. before you even get off work, and it’s a crisp 40-50 degrees outside at night (a bit chilly for an outdoor spin ride). Not only have you watched every show and movie on Netflix, Hulu, and possibly even Disney Plus—you’ve scrolled through every virtual workout class in your general range of fitness. Put simply, you’re bored and craving something that makes you feel alive—that pre-COVID connection and sweat. Something out-of-the-box that feels like the summer of 2016 when you wore real clothes, and the world was your oyster.
Okay, now that I’ve set the scene—this was exactly where I was at, mentally, when I downloaded Mindbody Flex. A part of me wanted to download it as motivation to exercise more, but I also wanted to experience working out virtually with real people and instructors, from all over the US.
So, I’m scrolling through my class options for the day, and I think to myself, “let’s see what’s going on in Miami.” I mean, why not? Miami is the healthiest and happiest city in the US, I was curious. I was immediately blown away by my options. I was expecting yoga, barre, meditation, and sculpt classes, but Tai Chi, sound meditation, self-defense, life coaching, kickboxing—all in one place? All for the same price of one pre-paid pass? I had never seen so many diverse and unique classes in one place. I wanted to take a week's vacation just to try as many as I could. The world, and my choices, felt big for the first time in months.
After a few moments passed and I was able to process all that was in front of me—I had this epiphany moment. I was going to make it my goal to try the most out-of-the-box, fun, and interesting classes. After almost a year of being in my comfort zone, I desperately craved the feeling of switching it up and learning something new. I made this my mission and got to work signing up for classes.
Since the app lets you see workout classes and their times weeks in advance, I was able to plan my classes out for two weeks. I decided on a Barre class with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, a twerk-aholics class, beginner’s Tai Chi, a sound meditation, and kickboxing to name a few. Even though I wasn’t leaving my house for these workouts, I felt like I was going places. It made me so happy to get that same excited and partially nervous feeling of trying something new, with other people who would also be doing the same thing.
Like a cliché rom-com, the hero of this story fell back in love with her past-love turned enemy. Just like you’d expect. But it reminded me why I loved going to group classes so much in the first place. With livestream real-time workouts I instantly had that feeling of being coached when you go to a new class and step on your mat, bike, or on that machine, you’ve never been on before—whatever that feeling looks like to you. I looked around and saw real people just like me that were about to take that same journey. While I didn’t get to see those people face-to-face, they were there with me. We took those classes together.
I also loved getting to try such a wide variety of classes without signing up for five different memberships or studios. It was a great way to see what clicks for me. I mean, the chances of me getting to fly to Dallas for a single workout with the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders? Ambitious, but unlikely. I could start my day and pick a workout that fit my mood. Raining and gloomy? Let’s do a cleansing sound meditation. A case of the Mondays? Time to release some steam with a kickboxing class. The possibilities are endless and personalized to me.
Ab-so-lute-ly, yes. Even if you’re not silently resenting your current virtual workouts and colder weather outdoor classes, I would suggest you try this out. I say this because I believe we could all benefit from that feeling of traveling, getting out of the house, trying something new, and connecting with other people who have the same interests as us. It’s comforting to be reminded that we’re all in this together and the world is still much bigger than the places we’re hunkering down. Workouts can still be riveting, and we can still try new things that get us a bit more out of our comfort zones with each new virtual experience!
I know I’m not the only one who feels like they have fallen into a virtual fitness rut as of late. This is precisely why it’s the perfect time for you to expand your horizons when it comes to your at-home workout routine.