Historic Visit with Bryan Kest, by Kelsey Power

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Bryan Kest is coming to Halifax! The creator of Power Yoga is teaching a weekend workshop this April.

American yogi all-star Bryan Kest is collaboratively being hosted by several yoga studios the weekend of April 28-30th in Halifax. It’s the perfect way to celebrate Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio’s 20th year.

The founder of Power Yoga will be at the Delta Halifax’s Baronet Ballroom with room for 150 students these dates.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, Kest first studied Ashtanga yoga on America’s large island state. His family moved to Hawaii when he was 14, and it was here Kest took up the mat at his father, a physician’s, suggestion.  Kest trained with David Williams, the first person to bring this particular yoga practice to America. With his curiosity and keen passion of this style intensifying, he later traveled to India for a year after living in Los Angeles, where he intimately studied under the main proponent of Ashtanga: guru Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Jois is famous for popularizing this Ashtanga, Sanskrit for “eight-limbed,” approach to yoga in the 20th century. This method is often viewed as a modern day form of classical Indian yoga.  This was a time when pilgrimage for yoga practice was not yet normal, and Kest’s experience is seen as quite unique. Upon returning from India, Kest continued his spiritual journey, taking a ten-day Vipassana meditation course of Satya Narayan Goenka’s non-sectarian method. Goenka was considered the foremost lay teacher of this type of meditation and has been commended for sharing and spreading this knowledge worldwide. It was the first of many immersions with this method for Kest.

These two experiences of Ashtanga sequences and self-transformation through self-observation, along with seven years of trial and error, eventually morphed into the model for Kest’s own twist on these traditional practices. Power Yoga was born.  Its motto is: “a fitness routine based on aesthetics feeds your ego, not your spirit.” It’s all about freedom and discovery.

Kest has been teaching this aerobically vigorous vinyasa yoga, possibly more friendly to the western practitioner than its classical form, since 1985. He started this career after being invited by a clinic specializing in eating disorders to share his practice with their clients.

You may have viewed his Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga DVD from 1995, partaken with a practice on poweryoga.com or stepped into his Santa Monica Power Yoga & Meditation Studio, but even if you haven’t you’ve probably heard of these kinds of classes. Power yoga is popular and empowering. These classes are for everyone, though sometimes its name seems to alienate. But the accompanying physical exertion these classes create is meant to mimic those times in life we need to redirect our ego, be honest with ourselves and take a break if one is needed– to create balance.

“My yoga classes online or in my studio are truly a multi-dynamic experience – a confluence of movements combining a balanced sequence with all elements of physical exercise, mindfulness, moderation and meditation. All of these are within a supportive dialogue developed to empower the practitioner. The distinct objective is strengthening the benevolent and eradicating the malevolent,” Kest has written on his website.

Kest also coined operating his studio completely by karma classes, or classes by donation, as another inspiration from Goenka’s nature. Gratitude is an essential element of his practice.

TAYS often offers public yoga workshop to help its students further their yoga knowledge and strengthen their personal practices, but to commemorate 20 years in business we can think of no better way to celebrate than to benefit from Bryan Kest. With more than 30 years of teaching experience to offer, this weekend workshop is sure to be exceptional!


Schedule is as follows:

Friday pm: 7:00 - 9:00. Discussion and Class. This opening session will be part lecture and part physical practice -Bryan explains the objective of Power Yoga and the principles he's learned teaching over 30 years. It'll set the foundation for the entire weekend.

Saturday am: 9:30 - 11:30. Yoga Class. This is chance to put into play all the principles discussed the night before, as we participate in a complete, incredibly well-rounded asana practice.

Saturday pm: 6:00 - 8:30. Yoga Class. This will be the famous "Long Slow & Deep (LSD)" class - a Yin Yoga series and perfect compliment to the morning class!

Sunday am: 9:30 - 12:00. Yoga Class. This class will tie everything in from the weekend into one last amazing asana/meditation practice. Be prepared for a few creative sequences and surprises!

Registration and full information here.

Contact TAYS with any questions at 902-429-3303 / 866-429-3303


About the Author:

Kelsey Power is a freelance multimedia journalist and writer based in Halifax. She is a graduate of the University of King's College with a Bachelor of Journalism (Honours). She is an avid volunteer, who enjoys sustainable living, continuously learning, creating, and contributing to the health of her community. She is probably dancing, reading, or writing, when not practicing yoga at TAYS.