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Thursday, January 18, 2007

the SYTAR conference, day one

after months of planning and preparation, the big event is finally here! the symposium on yoga therapy and research (SYTAR) started its four-day run today, january 18, 2007.

hundreds of yoga teachers, yoga practitioners, and medical professionals from around the country (and the world) have already arrived to attend the conference at the LAX hilton. registration started today; there were also some pre-conference workshops that were held earlier this afternoon.

my first volunteer shift is scheduled for tomorrow morning, from 6am (argh!) to 11am. i'm looking forward to seeing some familiar faces as well as maybe even getting a chance to meet some of the featured speakers.

even though i wasn't scheduled to volunteer today, i suffered through an hour and a half of freeway crawling, aka rush hour traffic, to get to the conference site after work today. the reason: i wanted to attend the kirtan with david newman, aka durga das. no matter how painful the drive was, it was worth it; not only did i chant along with david and his fellow musicians -- singer mira, guitarist philippo franchini, and a percussionist whose name escapes me at the moment (it's late, and my brain seems to have gone to sleep before me) -- but i was also able to purchase a copy of his latest CD/DVD, into the bliss, and even get david to autograph it for me. another addition to my kirtan chant groupie collection :)

sadly, the kirtan itself only lasted about an hour, which was about the extent of the attention span of the majority of the audience since many of them had flown in that day and wanted to get some much-needed rest. i suppose if i want to hear more of his music, i can always attend his concert at insight yoga friday night or at rising lotus sunday night. we'll see.

speaking of much-needed rest, i have to get up in a few hours for my early morning shift tomorrow, so i'm going to have to cut this short... good night!