Nearly 250 dedicated yogis from all around the world gathered in the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica for the Caribbean Yoga Conference’s inaugural event, February 2–5, 2012.
The lobby was full of buff yoga arms, and bohemian sheik clothing as all participants were welcomed with warm hugs and open arms.
Enthusiastic Yogi’s eagerly awaited the opportunity to take classes from celebrity super star instructors, each hand-picked, including Seane Corn, Simon Park, and Toni Bergins. Yoga participants were reminded of the power of self-reflection in the classes and in the workshop style conference. The instructors united together to teach classes and workshops with an emphasis on service and following your heart. The conference was touted as a celebration of sun, sadhana, sand, seva, and sangha.
The event felt more like a healing retreat, with many opportunities for self-reflection, rather than a traditional conference. Kimberly Moon, the founder of the Caribbean Yoga Conference says that this is how she wanted it to be.
Kim is an inspirational catalyst in healing circles who has made it her life’s mission to follow her heart with service to the yoga community. This conference was a tiny vision just a few years ago. With faith, perseverance support and passion you can achieve anything, according to Kim Moon. “Just showing up and saying Yes,” is the life’s work.
Kim lost her full-time job in 2008 due to budget cuts, but she saw it as an opportunity to pursue what was in her heart, her yoga passions. She dedicated herself to building Bella Luna Yoga, and began collaborating with Resorts like Club Med to develop their yoga programs. Which lead her to the ideation of the Caribbean Yoga Conference.
“The Caribbean Yoga Conference came from all of my travels and work within the resort industry,” Kim explains. “I was beginning to see an emerging yoga community in the areas I was visiting, specifically Jamaica, and I wanted to create an event that would foster and celebrate the Caribbean and the global yoga community.”
The conference is rooted in service, which is displayed in the outreach program to the host country. In partnership with Shakti Mind Body Fitness in Kingston, Jamaica, the Caribbean Yoga Conference offered the Shakti Love Scholarship, inviting Jamaican youth counselors, social workers, and teachers to bring their passion, knowledge, and curiosity to the conference at no cost.
Karma Krew united with the conference leaders to bring 15 participants out into the community to teach local orphans at the SOS Children’s Village about healing benefits of yoga. Conference participants inspired the children to move and breath deeply allowing them to appreciate the moment.
The conference wasn’t just a yoga conference but a healing retreat for participants dedicated to a life of passion, love and hope. Healers, connectors, teachers, therapist and yogis came together for an extended weekend of mystic, wonder and awe.
The second annual Caribbean Yoga Conference is scheduled to be in Montego Bay Jamaica again, in 2013.