As the colder months of winter seem soon to set it, unfortunately, we must all prepare to hunker down at home as social distancing measures continue to be needed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Luckily, the expat community in Turkey and the country’s most well-known healthy living experts, from here and beyond, have mobilized to create a series of captivating events that will be held online in the week or so to come. Open and free to all, check out these wonderful opportunities to enhance your mind, body and soul with others seeking knowledge, communication and good practices to share with like-minded spirits.
Oct. 28-Nov. 1: Bodrum Yoga Festival goes virtual
This year will mark the third year in a row that the Bodrum Yoga Festival will be introducing yoga and a wealth of holistic and healthy living practices through dozens of free workshops. The only difference this year is that instead of being held open to the public and in locations such as the Trafo municipal tea garden or the Hey Joe café in Bitez, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will be taking place exclusively online, which means it will be accessible to all and anywhere and not just limited to the lucky residents of Bodrum.
Taking place from Wednesday, Oct. 28 to Sunday, Nov. 1, the 3rd International Bodrum Yoga and Healthy Living Festival will be held under the slogan “Live from Home, Healthy at Home”. Like years past, this year’s festival has been organized by Menekşe Karaman in conjunction wıth the Bodrum Municipality and will have approximately a dozen workshops a day. In addition to a wide variety of yoga practices, in which some will also be offered in English and Russian, there will be multiple breathing courses as well as theoretical seminars on topics such as “Our Relationship with Foreign Languages”, which will be offered in Turkish, and “With Ayurveda through the Pandemic” and “Prevention and Cure through Ayurveda”, both of which will take place in English with Turkish subtitles. The Bodrum Yoga Festival will also be holding a global meditation and discussions on mindfulness and healthy nutrition as well as practices on meditation, qigong and tai chi. In addition, there will be a number of music performances, including the singing of mantras by none other than Seda Bağcan, the niece of world-renowned vocalist Selda Bağcan, who is a well-known singer in her own right and chants mantras in her albums as well as leads mantra chanting workshops all over the world.
At this festival, the sky literally is the limit as sessions will be accessible online via Zoom, first 100 participants who register, as well as broadcast live on the Bodrum Yoga Festival YouTube channel, where the video workshops will also be available for later viewing. To check out the extensive schedule of events visit the Bodrum Yoga Festivali Facebook page. Everyone involved with the event volunteers their time to share their skills to enhance the lives of others interested in adopting healthy lifestyle practices, which couldn’t be more important than in the present.
Oct. 28: Because We’ve Read Istanbul Chapter Kick-Off
“Because We’ve Read” is an international book club with over 25 chapters worldwide, and this Wednesday, Oct. 28 will mark the start of the Istanbul chapter. Founded by Iranian-American Muslim activist and blogger Hoda Katebi in 2018, “Because We’ve Read" is an online book club that challenges understandings of the status quo and normal narratives on topics such as global politics, race, gender, capitalism, etc. Every two months, new reading lists are announced and are made accessible online, followed by live discussions with guest speakers broadcasted on YouTube and Zoom discussion meetings held by local chapters. The global live discussions are led by Katebi herself and have hosts guests such as Indian author Arundhati Roy and Canadian filmmaker and author Naomi Klein.
The Istanbul chapter is being kicked-off and organized by Yabangee and Istanbul&I, Yabangee, which is an expat-focused website and community offering advice, resources and events geared toward foreigners in Turkey, while Istanbul&I is an international youth organization devoted to creating social change through volunteerism. This Wednesday’s kick-off event of the online book club will be a continuation of the “Black Lives Matter” panel hosted virtually earlier this month. Participants are asked to read the first essay of the famous civil rights book “The Fire Next Time” by James Baldwin (1963) and come ready to discuss it. The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Turkish time. There is a link to register for a spot on the Facebook event page, and the reading materials are available on becauseweveread.com.
Nov. 4: Learn Coding from Le Wagon
Le Wagon is an international organization offering coding workshops from branches in 39 cities, including one of their newest additions, located in Istanbul’s Galata neighborhood. Founded in Paris in 2014, Le Wagon offers nine-week intensive courses in which participants with no prior experience learn to master full-stack web development. Voted the World's Best Coding Bootcamp annually since 2017 and having worked with over 8,000 people thus far, Le Wagon will be offering a free two-hour coding webinar in English that will teach how to code and design a website using HTML, CSS and Bootstrap library. This very special event, which will have live online instruction, will take place between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4, and is hosted in conjunction with Yabangee. There is a link to register for this free event on the Facebook event page “Free Coding Webinar with Le Wagon.”
If after the event you feel that coding is something you may want to pursue professionally, Le Wagon will be hosting one of their acclaimed “Bootcamps” from Jan. 18 to Mar.19, 2021, which is then followed by a “Career Week” event in which course participants have the opportunity to meet hiring startups and possible launch a new career in information technology.