Over 800 yogis packed the center of Pioneer Courthouse Square, sitting in eager anticipation upon colorful yoga mats. They had arrived to set a new world record for building the longest yoga chain. India, the home of the ancient practice, currently holds that distinction.
A yoga chain, in case you’re wondering, isn’t some mad version of Twister with yoga poses (my first guess). It’s actually more like a stadium wave, except you have to hold your pose until the wave reaches the very last person.
The event, ‘The Great Namaste’ was organized as part of the 4th Annual World Domination Summit (WDS), a gathering of speakers and participants who share life-experiences and stories of creativity.
The conference organizers seem to have a penchant for wanting to break world records. Last year, they set the record for the largest number of people floating on water in tubes, while holding hands, right here on the Willamette River.
“We like to do things in big groups,” said conference organizer, Chris Guillebeau.
A minimum of 697 people was needed to break the record. They made that goal with Cat Pinfold who traveled all the way from Sydney, Australia. And then a hundred more people squeezed into the square. Yoga enthusiasts who couldn’t make it in, followed along, holding poses on any flat surface they could find in the vicinity.
Of the yogis in attendance, Guillebeau estimates that half are attendees of WDS and the rest are local Portland residents. Some were seasoned yoga practioners, like the Meyer family from Portland: Dad, Jess, and his daughters, 6-year-old Mirabelle and 3-year-old Meera. As they waited for the event to begin, both girls bided their time by happily twisting themselves into asanas. Others were excited novices like Robert Herkes, 60, from Big Island, Hawaii. This was his first attempt at yoga.
The group went through a few rounds of poses to make sure that they would make the record on at least one try. WDS volunteers peppered the arena making sure everyone followed the wave and helping with poses.
Guillebeau says that it will take a few weeks before the Guinness book officially recognizes the record.
Portlanders will witness yet another attempt to enter the Guinness Book this week. On July 12, Portlanders will attempt to set a new tree hugging record at Washington Park.