The Yoga Journal Conference just wrapped up in San Francisco and boy was it a pleasurable experience. I will not say it was necessarily pleasurable holding the wheel (aka - back bend) for 10 breaths while holding my right leg toward the ceiling. Yep that was a challenge, but I felt great afterward.
There is something appealing to me about a bunch of folks in a ballroom of a fancy hotel sweating, breathing like Darth Vadar and trying new and challenging things.
I am not going to lie to you, the conference is expensive, but Yoga Journal offers scholarships and has a work exchange program. You volunteer to help at the conference in exchange for classes. You can also just sign up for individual classes or one day of the conference. There is a Beginner's conference too so if you are looking for a yoga boot camp or to start a yoga practice this could definitely be for you.
There are conferences happening all over the U.S. and if you want to see if there is one happening near you just
New York, NY - March 7th and 8th
Grand Geneva, WI - May 4th - 7th
Estes Park, CO - September 23rd - 30th
Boston, MA - dates TBA
The classes are filled with folks of all ages and races. But the attendees were predominantly women. The classes were also full of people with varying degrees of yoga experience, which makes anyone new to the practice of yoga feel welcome. The other bonus is that you can experience different styles of yoga. There's a lot out there.