The Hidden Magic of a Yoga Conference (It’s Not All Green Smoothies and Yoga Pants)

Yoga conferences take place all over the world; from London’s Om Yoga Show to the Berlin Yoga Conference, and the Global Yoga Congress held in Barcelona in 2019. So what is a yoga conference, and are they worth attending?

What is a Yoga Conference

Different conferences have different intentions. Some of them are primarily trade shows, where different ‘exhibitors’ (including yoga studios, retailers, teachers and yoga teacher trainers) can promote their work, sell products, and connect with potential clients. Others are focused on education; with workshops, lectures and seminars led by thought leaders and well known teachers. And some are all about networking. 

They’re an opportunity for yoga teachers to come together with their peers; to meet, discuss, teach, share, and sell.

Most of them are a combination of all of the above. They’re an opportunity for yoga teachers to come together with their peers; to meet, discuss, teach, share, and sell. And for yoga students to get more involved in the broader community; discovering new practices, trying out classes with new teachers, and shopping with exhibiting brands. 

Why Exhibit at a Yoga Conference?

Exhibiting at a yoga conference probably isn’t the best idea for yoga teachers who run their own small teaching business, without a very unique selling point or more global offering Hosting a stand at a conference or yoga trade show is a big investment, and yoga teachers are unlikely to make that investment back via extra students coming to class as a result. 

But exhibiting at a conference could be a great idea for teachers who:

  • Also sell a yoga-related product or products
  • Run high-end retreats on a regular basis
  • Run their own studio 
  • Run a teacher training course

Or anyone who wants to promote a business, or share an educational message, that is relevant to a large audience. 


Should Yoga Teachers Go to Conferences? 

Although not everyone will benefit from exhibiting at a yoga conference, these events do offer really valuable opportunities for yoga teachers who attend as visitors. You’ll get to:

  • Meet other yoga teachers. And that’s really nice and really inspiring, especially if you don’t meet other teachers very often and feel a bit lonely in your profession
  • Listen to lectures and/or participate in seminars with experts talking about new developments in yoga research, and authors sharing information from their books
  • Discover the latest in the business of yoga — and learn how other teachers are managing their businesses and connecting with students
  • Go to workshops and taster classes from other teachers
  • Get a much needed massage 
  • Browse stalls selling everything from yoga mats and props, to new translations of Sanskrit texts — and a vast array of products in between
  • Connect with projects or people you want to work with, and expand your horizons

Sharing space and time with other teachers, students, and likeminded businesses is, perhaps, the most valuable part of a yoga conference. There’s nothing quite like sitting (or practising) in a room with a big group of people who all love what they’re doing when it’s something that you also love doing. It can open up new possibilities in your own practice and teaching, as you learn from those around you and add new threads to your journey.

 Head to a yoga show with an open mind and you can leave feeling inspired, motivated, and connected. 

Truth: there will be lots of things for sale, and a yoga conference might feel more focused on the industry of yoga than the practice of yoga. 

But if you can accept that as part of the way yoga is unfolding in the world right now, there’s loads of good stuff going on. Head to a yoga show with an open mind and you can leave feeling inspired, motivated, and connected. 

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Izzy Arcoleo
Izzy Arcoleo is a yoga teacher and writer based in London. She’s passionate about drawing together physical yoga practices with yoga philosophy and anthropological theory to create practices that are inspiring, supportive and fulfilling.

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