I just want to say that I truly enjoyed my experience with the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence from the moment Lisa made the first connection to the end of the show. We were made to feel very welcome and from my perspective, it could not have gone better. I commend you two on an exceptional event that you put on with grace and warmth. Being in the room with the legends but at the same time feeling like one of them was extraordinary. I have been in the fitness industry since the mid 80’s. Participated in conferences on a regular basis as an attendee and exhibitor, large and small. I really sensed that the flow of the programming was perfectly balanced for practicing, listening, shopping and free time. I felt we had the opportunity to meet and great every single person and hopefully we left an impression on many of them. Lisa and I look forward to bringing Fit Bodies, Inc. back again next year.
– Suzelle Snowden, Fit Bodies, Inc.
Jenny Bouwer and Deborah Ifill are true visionaries. In arranging the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, they have brought Mysore to the US. In so doing, they have brilliantly expanded its reach by making it more accessible. While nothing can replace a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Ashtanga, there is something for everyone involved in the Ashtanga community at the Confluence. And as a newcomer to the tradition it was delightful to observe. I overheard teachers enthusiastically converse – and reminisce – with colleagues and friends; the genesis of these relationships can be traced to decades-plus long annual visits together to Mysore. I saw students welcome adjustments from teachers with whom they had never interacted – and may never have, had it not been for the Confluence. And exhibitors, which was my perspective, soaked it all in, and were afforded ample time to mingle and interact with one of the most dedicated communities in the pantheon of the yoga tradition. The thoughtfulness with which the schedule was arranged, the attention to attendee detail and in particular, the layout of the space, was awe-inspiring. This was an ideal setting for us to launch our mat, Yoga Reincarnated. The space was so well conceived that many attendees passed our table, but it wasn’t intrusive to them. And there was ample time planned into the schedule to interact with attendees in a way that wasn’t invasive to their practice or their participation in the discussion panels. Everything came together seamlessly, which was a testament to the behind-the-scenes rigorous effort by Jenny and Deb. We intend on being an annual fixture at the Confluence!
– Aseem Giri, Kharma Khare
The Ashtanga yoga confluence was a huge success for Yogamat Clothing. We were able to connect with a lot of like-minded yogis who supported us in our efforts to produce athletic clothing that not only makes you look clean, but also is easy on the environment. We were thrilled to be a part of it and are looking forward to the next one. The organizers made the logistics super easy for us.
– Karri Jinkins, Yogamat
It was our privilege to be a part of the first Ashtanga Yoga Confluence in San Diego! We were vendors selling our children’s yoga program Bal Yoga for Kids and were very impressed with the professional organizational skills and warm interest shown to us both before and during the Confluence. We highly recommend being part of this weekend as we certainly met many people from many parts of the US and other countries, which helped us, introduce our book and make many sales.
– Sylvia Roth & Glenda Kacev, Bal Yoga for Kids
Last March Yoga Styles was thrilled to participate in the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. As a rule, we avoid first year events…aside from being unproven; typically there are many glitches that need to be worked through. Not with this event! The organizers were organized, had a great level of communication and produced an amazing event with a fabulous group of Yogis/Yoginis. The setting was beautiful (who doesn’t love San Diego!); the event was both intimate and expansive. Everyone we encountered was having an absolute blast! We are honored to be part of such a fabulous event and are looking forward to the second annual Confluence! See you all soon! With gratitude for being part of this movement.
– Susan Nichols, Founder, Owner, lead visionary, Yoga Styles, LLC
Jenny and her team did an amazing job of putting on the first Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. It was a great venue, and full of wonderful people from around the world to connect with.
– Penny, Organic India
The Ashtanga Yoga Confluence is a totally unique and magical gathering. It’s a blessing to tap into the flow of energy that results when so many senior teachers are in a room together, and the insights shared during the panel discussions and workshops are super inspiring, not to mention, the hilarious and heart-warming stories of Guruji! The spirit of yoga is exemplified here, as a portion of the proceeds from the event benefit Yoga Gives Back. Being at the Confluence does not feel like being at a commercial venture, though there is swag available for those of us who are fashionably inclined 😉 Being at the Confluence feels like reconnecting with family. It’s an opportunity to deepen our connections with teachers and students, and come together to share our passion for this beautiful practice we call Ashtanga yoga.
– Pranidhi Varshney, Yoga Shala West, Los Angeles, CA
I was FINALLY able to attend this year’s Confluence. I am so grateful for the experience of practicing and being in the presence of so many Ashtanga master teachers. My favorite panels were the Women’s Panel and the closing Panel Discussion with all of the teachers. The way the teachers interacted with each other and responded to the audience was memorable and inspiring. As a busy mom of 3, I now hear Dena Kingsberg’s voice urging me to practice every morning because ” I will be tired and sleep deprived no matter what, I might as well be tired and sleep deprived with yoga.” Logistically, the Catamaran provided a great venue for the event. The rooms were spacious and clean. I live in San Diego and found parking easy. It is also in close proximity to a lot of restaurants and coffee shops., plus the beach and bay were perfect for walks during breaks between classes.
– Aryn Rannazzisi, Aryn’s Family Yoga, San Diego, CA
The Ashtanga Yoga Confluence was a very special experience, a first-time for being in San Diego and also studying with many of the senior teachers and assistants. There was such joy, lightness and enthusiasm about the way the teachers conveyed and strived for the Ashtanga method to be upheld that it left me very inspired, both on and off the mat. I attended the 3 Mysore sessions in the morning. Despite my nervousness about not knowing many of the teachers in the room, being 9 weeks pregnant and just recently starting to practice gently again, I honestly felt both supported and encouraged by all the teachers. I learned a lot in these 3 days. The afternoon sessions and panel discussions were brilliant too with diverse questions and broad answers once again with a sprinkling of joy and humor throughout. It felt like a great community of people, rather than a big commercial ‘show’, with just a few well-selected vendors and helpful volunteers and staff on hand whenever needed. It was a great place at the Catamaran Hotel and Resort. I can happily say without a doubt, I’d love to return to this event in the future.
– Emma Isokivi, Edinburgh, UK
The Ashtanga Yoga Confluence is a magical place where streams of wisdom and experience meet. It is a gathering to honor and celebrate the Ashtanga yoga tradition. It is nourishing, historic and a beautiful way of passing things on to future generations of practitioners. I feel I am with family in the deepest way. I am Grateful to be a part of it.
– Michelle Dorer, Ashtanga Yoga Center, Outer Banks, Nags Head, NC
Coming from a small village in the UK to a bustling metropolis like San Diego was an adventure when I arrived – mainly because I knew it meant lots of surf and yoga…and ohhhh the yoga. We all know San Diego is saturated in all types of yoga and a pretty diverse range of qualities in terms of teachers and studios. However, something pretty remarkable was organized, the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. Six of the most well versed Ashtanga yoga teachers in the world were all under one roof with 350+ students and a whole load of good energy. I was lucky enough to find out about the Confluence directly from one of the organizers, and man was I impressed. Such a great event! In many minds, an organized yoga event can feel a little commercial but the Confluence was nothing of the sort. It was a peaceful, low-fanfare experience that made me happy to be part of the Ashtanga community, a community that continues to amaze me with its openness and strong ties to tradition.
Walking into a hot and humid room with some of the Ashtanga worlds big-guns can be a little daunting but the Confluence’s peacefully and friendly atmosphere soon see you into your practice calmly whilst being adjusted by one of the many teachers or their assistants. For me that was a huge benefit of the Confluence practically, even with so many people practicing, there was a lot of help with asana and time for questions with the teachers, assistants and fellow ashtangis. Aside from the practice there was plenty of time to dive deeper into the philosophy surrounding the practice, those everyday questions you still have after reading so many blog posts and even some lectures from Manoj Chalam who uncovered some of the mystery surrounding Hinduism for even my naive ear.
Suffice it to say, I know where I will be the next time the Confluence is held! For sure its my first AYC, so some may say I have beginners enthusiasm, but I don’t think that’s the case after speaking to so many 2nd, 3rd and even 4th time visitors to the event who all say its a calendar highlight. We can all learn a lot from the energy and teaching of 3 days. Looking forward to the next Confluence.
– Andrew Frederick Johnson, United Kingdom
Thank you so much for creating this event and letting me be a part of it! Though I will never have the chance to practice with Guruji, hearing all the stories from the senior teachers makes me feel like I know him and that I am carrying on an important and rich tradition. It’s also an incredible feeling to be part of a community that truly loves and respects each other. I feel so lucky to be a part of it! Looking forward to the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence next year!
– Michael Daligdig, San Diego, CA
I attended the 2012 and 2013 Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. They have been very inspirational because of the ability to meet fellow astanghi’s and listen to the ‘master’ teachers. There is no other event where this would be possible. Add to that a lovely setting, the Catamaran Resort in Mission, Bay San Diego with incredibly organized staff to make sure all the events ran smoothly. This concept is a powerful one, and I personally am very grateful to have been able to participate in it. As an added benefit, selected vendors were on hand to present yoga related wares. Each year I have been able to purchase items that would not have been available to me, or that I wouldn’t have noticed. This is truly an unprecedented opportunity for those interested in Ashtanga Yoga.
– Louise Bahar, Manhattan Beach, CA
I’m so happy to have gone to this powerful event. Many thanks to those responsible for the second annual Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. The teachers were so generous, sharing practical information, and telling stories, some hilarious! The range of practices were vast. Especially sweet were the songs of Sangita, the yoga of music. It was a great way to honor Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and preserve the tradition. Ashtanga on!
– Jen Compton, Prattsville, NY
Thank you for putting together one of the most amazing yoga experiences I’ve had in 11 years of practice. Seriously – that could not have been a better event – logistically perfect, easy to get in and get out, great resort and most importantly fantastic and down-to-earth instructors and assistants. I’d practiced before with David, but it was a complete privilege to experience Eddie, Richard, Nancy and Tim. The fact that it was obvious that they all genuinely enjoy one another was icing on the cake. I also appreciate that you didn’t oversell the event and pack us in like sardines. In each class (be it lecture or asana), I had enough room and did not feel crowded or squished. Kudos to you all for putting on such a wonderful Confluence. There are very few places on earth I wouldn’t go for that type of experience again, so please keep me posted if you do another one (SO in!). Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you!!!
– Courteney Mitchell, Boston, MA
Congratulations on the outstanding and immensely inspiring weekend! Wow, I’m still glowing from it. The Confluence was so well organized and went so seamlessly, and everything about it exceeded my expectations in every way. Kudos to you and the other organizers! That was really a major happening and a great spoonful of nourishment to our community of Ashtangis – delicious! I can’t thank you and your team enough. Please continue to do great things! Merci & Namaste,
– Kevin Morrisey, St. Helena, CA
I just want to say a big thank you and congratulations on the successful Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. I had so much fun and I’m so glad I was able to experience it. I learned so much over the weekend from all the classes and workshops and discussions sessions. And the energy was so incredible and inspirational and definitely something you can’t get without experiencing it first hand. I sort of went into withdrawal after it ended. It was so sad going back to work after this weekend. Ha, ha. Things seemed to go really smoothly during the conference. Hopefully this will become an annual event.
– Jennifer Lee, San Diego, CA
I want to tell you all how much I appreciated the Confluence. It seems like I went on this beautiful Yatra. You guys did a fantastic job. All of you were great. In fact no one was unhappy. I still can’t stop smiling and can’t seem to get rid of my green Confluence band. I can’t thank enough to all the teachers who came. All of us got every adjustment we needed in our Mysore practice. The lectures were fantastic. Eddie’s Puja transported me to the River Ganges in India. He is a learned soul bless him. All the teachers were fantastic. Thank you, thank you and thank you to all of you. Especially Tim Miller I bow down to you, Thank you. Please let us know again if you organize another one. I will be there in a heart bit. Love,
– Neemu Murthy, Laguna Beach, CA
What a TREAT for all the senses. My absolute gratitude to you and the team for pulling together what would have to be the most well organized, warm and funniest conference I’ve ever been too. Because it was so flawless on the surface only gives credit to the preparation that you had ALL put in.
COUNT ME IN FOR NEXT YEAR!!! With Love,
– Eileen Hall, Sydney, Australia
I wanted to thank Tim and Carol Miller, Jenny Bouwer and Deborah Hiland for envisioning and hosting an amazingly fun and inspiring event in San Diego last week. I was so happy to see and teach alongside my old friends, Tim, Richard Freeman, David Swenson and Nancy Gilgoff, and to see the wisdom and experience they embody after so many years of practice.
In the wake of Guruji’s passing, Jen and Deb came up with an idea that, if kept up, could do a lot to help maintain the teachings and community that Guruji built up in the West. For the Ashtanga yogis to gather together and share stories, teachings and practice together in such a relaxed and familial setting was beautiful and profound.
The final mantras of the Rig Veda say:
Meet together, talk together, let your minds apprehend alike; in like manner as the gods concurring accepted their portion of the worship.
Common be the prayer of these assembled, common be the acquirement, common the purpose, associated be the desire. I repeat for you a common prayer, I offer for you with a common oblation.
Common by your intention, common be the wishes of your heart, common be your thoughts, so that there be union among you.
I think that the Confluence went a long way towards fulfilling these mantras, and the ‘common’ that we all held was our gratitude for Guruji and what he taught and gave us. It was clear last weekend in San Diego that Ashtanga Yoga is alive and well in America. Now it is just a matter of maintaining it – which of course, is always the hard part. So, as Richard said on one of our panels, after a long, and subtle explanation on what happens when you enter into the state of samadhi through Isvara pranidhana, “Therefore… we have to keep practicing.”
Thanks again, Tim, Richard, Nancy, David, Jen and Deb, for a great weekend, and most importantly, to everyone who attended.
– Eddie Stern, New York, NY
WOWEEE!!!!! So amazing. I feel so blessed to have been a part of the fab weekend. A once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was an outstanding event, down to every last detail. Want to send kudos and gratitude your way. XOXO
– Heidi Lender, San Francisco, CA
A few months ago, I was privileged enough to be a participant at the first ever Ashtanga Yoga Confluence. I had never been to a yoga-thing like this at all, much less an event specifically about Ashtanga Yoga. It was an amazing 3+ days that challenged me, inspired me and focused me in the directions I most appreciate. I was far from alone in my enjoyment of the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence 2012, and the big question everyone had was “will there be another one next year?” Well, the answer is yes.
– Gabriel Marihugh, San Diego, CA