City of OM ~ Ottawa's Yoga Festival | The Life of K: City of OM ~ Ottawa's Yoga Festival

Thursday, July 6, 2017

City of OM ~ Ottawa's Yoga Festival

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It's hard to put into words the experience of attending something like City of Om. For someone who normally practices yoga at home by herself, being out in the open and surrounded by people was intense. I felt very vulnerable and the fact that I was sick just compounded things.

A quick trip to the doctor confirmed it was a cold and not strep throat like I feared, but still, I was feeling worn out heading into the day. Even so, I set my alarm and made my way to Lansdowne for the Free Spirit 5K starting at 9am.

Free Spirit 5K.
Just by making my way across the grounds to the start of the run, I could feel the vibe of the festival. People were happy and cheerful and buzzing with energy. I walked past the great lawn, packed with early morning yogis, moving together.

Scenic 5K.
I also felt out of place in my big, comfy sweatpants, among a sea of lu lu lemon. I put that out of my mind and hobbled my way through the 5K along the canal. On the other side, roared hundreds of motorcycles in the annual Ride for Dad so the run wasn't the peaceful experience I was expecting. I made it and when I was done I chugged my watermelon drink and I don't even like watermelon!

My first huge class on the great lawn at Lansdowne.
After changing and dumping my running gear in the car, I met up with some friends and chatted before heading to the great lawn for the post-run class. I set up my mat and took in all in - the people, the sights, my body cooling down. It was my first hour of 5 that I would spend doing yoga that day.

I surprised myself by being able to close my eyes and follow along with the class like I was back home by myself. I was aware of the people around me, aware of the birds chirping and the traffic going by, but able to go inwards and really sink into the practice. Does that sound a little out there? Maybe it is but it felt amazing.

Ready for inversions with yogi Phil.
My goal for the day was to try all sorts of different classes and I managed just that. I did that first class, an acro yoga class, a goddess flow, a desire map and an inversion class. Some classes I had friends with me but some I ventured into by myself. In both the acro yoga and inversion classes there was partner work and I had no trouble finding one. My acro yoga partner was a woman older than me who said some things that made me think about my journey so far and where I might like it to go. My inversion partner was a wee thing who helped get me up on my hands and cheered when I didn't fall on my face.

Packed class with yogi Kate.
The funniest class was probably the goddess flow near the end of the day that I did with two coworkers. None of us was feeling the womanly vibe and the free-for-all dance party at the end of class was a stretch.

I was considering a 6th class but my body had had enough so I packed up and went home, my body sore and my heart full. I can't say enough about the City of Om and what it meant to me.

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