Yoga Show London 2011 Review

by Greg Watson October 29, 2011

 Taken from our facebook page:

Well, to those that read our posts you'll be well aware we're not the greatest fans of the Yoga Show. Not because we don't think there should be a show dedicated to all great things Yoga, because we think there should be, but when we went to the show for the first time last year we were extremely disappointed with the LOOK, FEEL and overall QUALITY (or lack of it) of the show itself. Again I have to make it very clear that urbanyoga isn't aiming it's criticism at the teachers or exhibitors that attend or run workshops/classes and do their very best to provide visitors with a good experience. Our criticism is fully focused on the event organisers and their inability to produce a show that truly offers visitors with an enjoyable, exhilarating, interesting, visually stimulating and worthwhile experience. Because unfortunately the Yoga Show 2011 isn't any of these things.
To begin with, on entering the show this year, the very first exhibitor you see is one selling food blenders (or to give it it's proper name the "TNC Food Machine"!) Now I'm sure it's a great food blender, and they were giving great demonstrations of it smoothie/juice making skills, but is this really the right product for a yoga show? Should it be the very first stand you see when you come into the show? I'd be extremely surprised if you surveyed 100,000 people and asked what they'd like to see at a yoga show if they said "food processors" So, if I'm right about that, then why are they there? I know what food processors can do and if I want one I'll buy one down my local currys/dixons/john lewis etc and not (as most people do) pay £12 for the privilege to look at one at the yoga show! I've singled the food processor stand out as an example but for me the whole show (again) was filled with oddities (face massagers, tarot card readers and more!) and this for me isn't what a Yoga Show should be about. I do yoga. I run a yoga retail store, my friends do yoga, and none of them, I mean NONE of them want a face massager, a food processor, or want their fortune told.
Of course one of the main features of the show is the many workshops and sessions run by the different guests covering a wide variety of different subject matters and specialism's, but again there seemed to be zero thought into the presentation of these places and I didn't feel in any way like I wanted to take part. Again, like last year, they were just blank, boring, uninspiring open spaces of exhibition hall floor with a bit of rope to create a barrier and some mats laid out! The teacher or guest would put on a microphone/headset and then blast out there session to half the hall. How can anyone deliver a class/talk/demonstration in a set up like this, especially as so much of the content was about focus/meditation or learning new postures/forms of yoga? And as there were 4/5 different spaces doing this at opposite sides of a relatively small hall, all at the same time, you ended up with this mass of noise that didn't make any sense at various key points in the venue! And again, with all respect to the hard working teachers that gave a presentation, where are the big speakers? Again, I want to see a Q&A with Bikram Choudhury or a Masterclass with David Life etc. These would be blockbuster presenters. This would be special. How about a mini catwalk where new yoga clothing could be showcased? or a section dedicated to health foods/drinks (2 stands at the show selling health food bars isn't really a great choice). Seperate out the PRO stands i.e people selling products (like teacher training & Insurance) to cater specifically to people interested in this and not scattered throughout the hall like they were. (yes some people are interested in teacher training but 95% aren't so why should everyone have to see it?)
I could go on and on and on about the total failings of this show but I've already written an essay and I think if you've read this far you've got the point!
Like so many things in life you need balance. And this show has none. You need focus and this show has none. The show needs some glamour and again there is NOTHING glamorous about this show. It's tired, dated, old fashioned and quite simply odd.
I got a FREE ticket and I still wanted a refund!

Greg Watson
Greg Watson


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