20 Jan 2015

Build your Personal Practice

Words by Heather Gorder Pantel
Thank you for sharing your practice.  Namaste.

I start at the end in order to develop the beginning: the personal practice.

One of the things that drew me to yoga teacher training was the prospect of deepening my own practice… even though my practice was basically nonexistent aside from a few reps of a sun salutation now and again.  Many of us yogis don’t maintain a personal practice, because it can seem complicated and demanding.  I personally didn’t know what to do for a daily practice or how to guide myself through postures and I depended on a studio class (like a lot of others do out there!) to fulfill sixty minutes of yoga and accomplish a full flow.  

It would be wonderful to be able to attend a studio class every day, but a lot of us yogis out there don’t have the time, cash, or convenience of a nearby studio to maintain this.  If we are lucky enough to have a studio practice what do we do on vacations or Sundays or holidays? 

Start slow

A gentle integration is an essential warm up for more complicated and demanding postures later in your series.  Yoga is extremely dynamic exercise that can place great demands on muscles and joints and it can be only after an injury do we truly recognize the value of slow, steady, and comprehensive warm ups.

Take as long as you like

It is a mistake to trap ourselves into the idea that we must fulfill sixty minutes, that we must get up at 6 am, that we must yada yada yada.  Ten breaths in child’s pose might be what we need today.  Tomorrow might be something more.  The important thing is to breathe and stretch and keep loving yoga.

Now I really mean it, thank you for sharing your practice.  Building a personal practice is extremely rewarding and adds an anytime, anywhere yoga freedom to our lives.


About Heather Gorder Pantel

I grew up in Saskatchewan at the edge of the boreal forest with a view of the rolling prairies and I have a great love of this landscape and a desire to write about it.  I have also lived and practiced photography throughout western Canada, I have trained in ceramics in the Kootenays, and completed yoga teacher training in Colorado. My husband and our collection of animals are seeking now a forever home with that same great view I knew as a kid where we can live, love, and practice yoga close to nature.
Examples of my pottery can be seen at www.potteryforthepoeople.com

13 Jan 2015


Chakra flow, rachelle taylor yoga, yoga for healing, water element, svadhisthana chakra

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states.  ~Carol Welc
The chakras, wheels of swirling energy in the subtle body, have become a buzzword in the yoga world. These seven energy centres have inspired jewelry, art, yoga classes, and music. But what are they? And how do they apply to your body + health?
In this series, we will delve into the seven main chakras of the energetic body, one at a time, to bring you to a deeper understanding of your energetic body. Through awareness, meditation, and exercises this ancient Tantric yogic wisdom can be used, in conjunction with your yoga practice, to recognize and work through blockages within the body. The release of these blocks encourages a sweet flow of energy that promotes holistic physical and mental health.

Last week went to the root of the energetic body, Muladhara and grounded down into the physical self. This week, we journey upwards into Svadhisthana, the second chakra, located in the upper part of the sacrum, just below the navel. The element this chakra is water, and the colour of this energy is orange. Its basic right is to feel and have pleasure.

The second chakra develops between the ages of 2-3 years old till about 6 years old, the point in our lives when we begin to separate from our tribe and begin to interact with others outside of our family. This chakra deals with our relationships, creativity, joyfulness, and pleasure. Its main issue/block is guilt.

Physically, this chakra is connected to the hips, groins, and reproductive organs. Svadhisthana's purpose is movement, joy, and connection.

Picture yourself at 5 years old, running through a park on a warm sunny day. You're not running to get anywhere, or to achieve anything in particular, you're simply running (with arms flailing about - without a care for how you look or what others think of you) because it feels good. That's svadhisthana. 

Asanas to balance Svadistana

Chakra flow, rachelle taylor yoga, yoga for healing, water element, svadhisthana chakra

- Dancers pose (N
-Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
- Revolved Triangle (Pavritta Trikonasana)

*When practicing these poses, find a flowing element. Visualize yourself as flowing like water, creating fluid movement between the beath and each pose. While in the pose/meditation, picture a sweet, beautiful sunset.

Learn more about the chakras through asana + meditation with Prairie Yogi's Chakra Flow, a 7-week yoga series starting this Wednesday January 7th at 210-70 Albert Street taught by Rachelle Taylor. 6:30-7:30pm. $15 drop in or $77 for all 7 sessions. Purchase your pass online or drop in.

12 Jan 2015


Sponsored content by Prairie Naturals
To live a healthy life is a common resolution for the new year. But what does living the healthy life mean to you?

For us at Prairie Yogi it means a daily dose of movement (on the mat, in the pool, or on the pavement) and giving our bodies the fuel it needs to support that activity. And of course, when possible, we like to provide nourishment for our bodies with real, healthy food and supplements.

When you begin living your intention of living healthy, looking at food labels in the grocery store can be an alarming awakening. It seems like everything (even health foods) is chalk-full of things you don't want to put into a healthy body: GMOs, high sugar, fillers (that can contain gluten and animal by-products) corn starch, etc...

Thankfully there is a Canadian company, Prairie Naturals, who wants to make having a healthy lifestyle a little easier. Their range of products can be used by vegans, vegetarians, gluten intolerant, and people with digestive issues. This family owned business avoids putting preservatives or anything artificial into their products.  All their products use non-GMO ingredients, and have no additives, sugars, starches, or anything else that can block absorption. Everyone can find a product to suit their needs/dietary restriction to incorporate into their healthy lifestyle.

"Live the Healthy Life" is an empowering reminder to us all that our choices matter. We have the power to decide to live in a way that embraces our health and wellness. It also reminds us that living a truly healthy life includes living a more earth-friendly, ecologically sound life. And it makes us mindful of our responsibility to support and enhance the well-being of others; not only our immediate friends and family, but people all around the world." -Robert Pierce, Prairie Naturals President. 
These Organic Seeds Chocolate Truffle Rolls are tasty, easy to make, and perfect fuel for the yogi on-the-go.
Organic seeds chocolate truffle roll, prairie naturals, healthy snack,
GIVEAWAY - WIN THIS PRAIRIE NATURALS VEGAN PRIZE PACK (Valued at $100!!) See Prairie Yogi Facebook page for more details.

Prize pack includes:

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5 Jan 2015

CHAKRA FLOW I - Muladhara

The chakras, wheels of swirling energy in the subtle body, have become a bit of a buzzword in the yoga world. These seven energy centres have inspired jewelry, art, yoga classes, and music. But what are they? And how do they apply to your body + health?
In this series, we will delve into the seven main chakras of the energetic body, one at a time, to bring you to a deeper understanding of your energetic body. Through awareness, meditation, and exercises this ancient Tantric yogic wisdom can be used, in conjunction with your yoga practice, to recognize and work through blockages within the body. The release of these blocks encourages a sweet flow of energy that promotes holistic physical and mental health.
We begin at the root of it all with Muladhara, the root chakra. This wheel of swirling red energy is located at the base of the spine, is connected to the earth element, and deals psychologically with survival and our physical identity.
Chakra Yoga, Muladhara Chakra, Root Chakra, Rachelle Taylor, Winnipeg Yoga, Holistic Health
"The might oak was once a little nut that stood its ground" -Anodea Judith
When working with the root chakra, we work with grounding principles, growing strong roots and connecting with the earth.
Psychologically, this chakra develops early on in our lives (from the 2nd trimester in the womb to 2-3 years old) and the deals with security, the connection to your tribe/family. Its basic right is be to here and to have. Its main issue/block is fear.

In the physical body, Muladhara deals with the lower extremities of the body. On the mat, we offer grounding into the lower body, connecting into the legs and feet.

You must first ground to begin on your path of growth.  It is only with strong roots that we can rise up energetically towards the divinity of the higher chakras. 

Asanas to stimulate Muladhara

Chakra Yoga, Muladhara Chakra, Root Chakra, Rachelle Taylor, Winnipeg Yoga, Holistic Health-Mountain (Tadasana)
-Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)
-Triangle (Trikonasana)

*When practicing these poses, focus on grounding through all four corners of your feet. Visualize root growing downwards into the earth.
**For best results, practice these poses outside, barefoot, to truly connect with the earth element.

Muladhara mantras to use in your meditation / yoga practice
"The earth supports me and meets my needs."
"It is safe for me to be here."
"I love my body and trust its wisdom."

Learn more about the chakras through asana + meditation with Prairie Yogi's Chakra Flow, a 7-week yoga series starting this Wednesday January 7th at 210-70 Albert Street taught by Rachelle Taylor. 6:30-7:30pm. $15 drop in or $77 for all 7 sessions. Purchase your pass online or drop in.

30 Dec 2014


Winnipeg Yoga events, OM NOM Nourish, Adrienne Shum, Ayurveda, Ayurveda Winter Self Care, Restorative Yoga Winnipeg, Prairie Yogi Events,

Winters in the prairies are tough. The days are short, the air is dry, and our will is tested. My father always said that the hard winters build character, it's why the people in the prairies are so wonderful.

But no matter how much character you posses from the long winters of your life, we could all use a little treat in the midst of the deep freeze. How about nourishment for your body, mind, and soul?

Om Nom Nourish - a prairie yogi workshop with ayurvedic lifestyle counsellor and yoga teacher Adrienne Shum.

75 min restorative yoga practice
Led meditation
Ayrvedic winter self care workshop
Tea + treats will be served

To increase levels of coziness, we ask you to please bring your coziest blanket and favourite mug with you to this event.

To learn more about Adrienne, visit her website: www.adrienneshum.com

*Only 10 partner passes available!

About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is often called the sister science of yoga, as the two practices reinforce and complement each other.  Translated as, “the knowledge of life,” Ayurveda is a healing methodology that addresses the interrelatedness of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of an individual.  Health is found when harmony is established within one’s self, and between the self and the environment.  When Ayurveda and yoga are practised in cohesion, they contribute to the complete development of an individual in all of their capacities.
Excerpt from AdrienneShum.com

29 Dec 2014


As a deep freeze sets in on the prairies, a new year is on the horizon. We reflect on the last 365 days and take account of all we are grateful for as we evolve on our path . 

2014 was the year of epic experiences + crushing big goals. A year of bittersweet ends + exciting beginnings.

Here are some of the memories that will forever be a part of our story:

In the spring of 2014 Prairie Yogi founders Rachelle Taylor and Monique Pantel were the recipients of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg Women of Distinction award in the circle of inspiration category. The PY ladies were recognized for their unique and outstanding achievements, making a distinct and describable difference in the community, and acting as positive role models for other women. 

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect summer day. Twenty-four Prairie Yogis travelled to Patricia Beach to experience SOUL SHINE: bliss on boards with a yoga + paddleboard workshop lead by Shakti SUP + Snow

Mother Nature offered lots of sunshine and a sweet summer breeze. Fears were conquered, new friends were made, and our om-azing community shone bright as ever. An experience that made our prairie hearts burst with joy and gratitude.

In February of this year, co-founder Rachelle Taylor crossed a major goal off of her bucket list when she completed the 200hr Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Yandara Yoga School. Infinitely deepening her yoga practice, making life-long friends, unearthing personal revelations, and becoming certified to teach yoga straight from the heart. 

Join Rachelle for her Chakra Flow Workshop series in the New Year.

For Prairie Yogi, this fall marked a new beginning that has long been a dream... a little space to call h'om. Nestled in a beautiful studio space in the heart of Winnipeg's Exchange District, on the second floor at 70 Albert Street, Prairie Yogi settled into their new space to create + bring together community.

The PY Housewarming party in October with Amelia K Yoga + DJ Sami SoSo was the perfect way to christen the new digs!

As the weather gets colder, our hearts warm with generosity + gratitude. This year Prairie Yogi held its first karma yoga series at its new studio space in Winnipeg's Exchange District to create two hampers for the Christmas Cheer Board.

Thanks to gracious teachers + musicians for creating a warm and inviting space for participants, who donated $320 as well as two tubs full of food and gifts. As we pulled up in front of one of the families' homes to deliver the abundant hamper, the four children had their noses pressed up against the window, waiting for us. The gifts we brought were the only ones under the tree. Thank you for making this possible with your generous donations, prairie yogis!

#5 - PY Prairie Roadtrippin' / Karma Countdown

On a in Saturday in June we packed our bags, stuffed the Peg-City-Yoga-mobile to embark on began a journey we have been talking about for two years. A road trip to connect with the Prairie Yogi community that expands across our beautiful plains.

It was so exciting to discover (and rediscover) these awesome prairie cities and the people that live there. Internet friends became "I can give you a hug in real life" friends. We hiked through parks, strolled along the rivers that connect our cities, and connected through deep yoga practices. With karma yoga classes across the prairies, we raised over $500 for the SK, AB + MB eco networks.

#4 - Wanderlust Whistler

Yoga festivals are the best. So when the team at lululemon polo park offer you tickets to experience Canada's biggest yoga festival in one of the most beautiful places on earth, you say YES! (And thank you, of course!)

In Whistler, we met up with friends + fave teachers Eion Finn + Alex Mazerolle, witnessed a meteor shower from a floating barge in lake Alta (one of the coolest experiences EVER) and got treated like queens while Embracing the Unexpected with the lulu peeps. It was spectacular.

Surrounded by wheat stalks dancing in the wind and the tranquil sounds of the harp, August's Garden Party was a magical evening that we shared with the community. Darlene Svienson guided a Vinyasa style yoga class. And for those of you who don't know Darlene... She's. The. Best. Instagram vegan girl-crush Rae of Sunshine, Ashley Rae, treated the class to vegan goodies she lovingly prepared. Mexican Avocado Ceviche and Chocolate covered Peanut popsicles were devoured by everyone.

This is definitely an experience that we'll have to repeat in 2015 :)

After two years of working as a partner to build the PY community, in September of 2014 Co-Founder Monique Pantel resigned her position as director with Prairie Yogi Inc to follow her vision and build Pantel Photography. Fret not, prairie yogis, she'll still be sharing her talents with us, capturing the beauty and share the stories of this beautiful community.

To see the world through her lens, follow her on Insta @mpantel 

It's a very special moment to when your vision comes to life, after so much hard work + sleepless night. Watching our vision for a yoga festival in the prairies come to life on that beautiful September day was just... Wow. 

Prairie Love festival's inaugural year came together blissfully, and the whole thing exceeded our expectations. Seeing all the smiling faces + witnessing random acts of happy-dances and hugs across the park was just about the best feeling ever. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! XO 

PS - Prairie Love Festival Snowbird Passes go on sale this Thursday!!

To all the prairie yogis out there... Thank you for supporting the vision of an intentional community in the beautiful land of big skies and big hearts. We look forward to more create more epic experiences with you.

11 Dec 2014


Snowga, Winter yoga, Winter activities Winnipeg, Gwendolyn Penner, Prairie Yogi, Winnipeg Yoga
Snowga, Winter yoga, Winter activities Winnipeg, Gwendolyn Penner, Prairie Yogi, Winnipeg YogaSnowga, Winter yoga, Winter activities Winnipeg, Gwendolyn Penner, Prairie Yogi, Winnipeg Yoga

Last night I saw the Nike commercial where the (super-cool) Chris O’Dowd challenges viewers to “choose their winter." In it, the brand takes a satirical approach to tackling the harsh outdoor elements. Rather than running out to purchase Nike’s outdoor gear, I contemplated on how to choose my winter.

My living room window frames a beautiful picture of snowflakes gently falling on smooth dunes of snow. It’s a gorgeous scene to focus on for yoga today. But I don’t want the chilly temperature to stop me from connecting with nature. So I choose to put on my ski pants, jacket, hats, mittens and boots and get outside.

After 10 minutes of vigorous walking, I’m warm enough to stop and enjoy the stillness and practice a mini yoga routine. Alternating walking and yoga a few more times brings me back to my front door refreshed.

Choosing to be outdoors and getting fresh air is good for overall well-being – while staying indoors can make us feel sluggish and un-motivated.


- Sunlight keeps away SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and triggers vitamin D which is important for keeping bones strong.
- Walking and balancing on different terrains (like snow) burns more calories, strengthens core muscles, stabilizers, and ankle joints.
- Endorphins are released when your blood starts pumping in your body, making you feel better and make your skin glow.
- The hushed beauty of a blanket of fresh snow is enchanting.
- No mosquitoes.
- Coming inside to a warm cup of hot tea or cocoa.

So next time you feel the fear of the freeze, choose to call up a friend for an outdoor activity, bundle up and let nature refresh you.

Gwendolyn Penner is a graphic designer and yogi who loves to be outdoors especially on a hiking or cycling trail. She is founder of Yoga Hikes whose purpose is to encourage people to connect with health, nature and community and to experience the uniqueness of Winnipeg by hiking and practicing yoga in different parks ... year round. Visit Yoga Hikes at: www.idlingporsche.com

30 Nov 2014


What an amazing year it has been, prairie yogis. Now its time to end it off right...

In the midst of the holiday hustle + bustle, shopping, dining, get togethers, office parties, and over-indulgences... taking a few moments daily to connect to the things that bring you joy can be easily forgotten. We want to help change that - you deserve the gift of joy for the next 12 days. And some awesome prizes too!

yoga challenge, 12 days of joy, prairie yogi, #12daysofjoy, Prana Vida Style, pantel photography, prairie love festival 2015

Along with some gracious hosts, we're excited to bring you 12 Days of Joy - a social contest with a little twist of JOY infused into every day. Rather than daily asanas to complete, you can participate by incorporating a daily theme of joyfulness into the next 12 days, and share your experience with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook by using the hashtag #12DAYSOFJOY.

We've got great prizes from Prairie Yogi, Prana Vida Style, Mama Malas,  Pantel Photography, and Prairie Love Festival for participants. Be sure to spread the joy by following all of our sponsors on FB + Insta.

Participate daily to increase your chances.

Daily themes for the #12DaysOfJoy social contest

Day 1 - Gratitude
Day 2 - Yoga
Day 3 - Music
Day 4 - Adventure
Day 5 - Nature
Day 6 - Food
Day 7 - Family
Day 8 - Movement
Day 9 - Friends
Day 10 - Giving
Day 11 - Love
Day 12 - Community

Contest begins Monday, December 1st running until Friday, December 12th. 
Winners will be announced Saturday December 13th.

Stay tuned to Prairie Yogi on InstagramTwitterand Facebook for daily inspiration.

20 Nov 2014


The holiday season is a wonderful time to come together as a community and create some magic for those in need.

Practice in a beautiful candle-light space with some of the city's most inspiring instructors, help create holiday cheer for two families in need.

Reserve your space for the class online with an online donation or commitment to donate at the door.

Suggested donation: $10 and/or non-perisible food item/gift for Christmas Cheer Hamper (please see list of non-perishable items / gifts needed)

Featured community teachers:

Wed, December 3rd - Bliss + Beatz
Wed, December 10th - Noah Krol
Wed, December 17th - Sharon Delbridge

Non-perishable food items needed 

(please be mindful that we want to offer healthy options when possible)
Juice (100% Fruit - 1L)
Canned Soup
Canned fruit + vegetables
Jelly Powder
Macoroni + Cheese
Pasta (whole grain if possible)
Spaghetti Sauce
Oatmeal (non-sweetned)
Canned tuna
Peanut butter
Pancake mix
Pancake syrup
Stuffing Mix
Cake Mix
Gravy Mix
Cranberry Sauce
Scalloped Potatoes
Chocolate / candy / treats

Gifts needed 

(Suggested toy/gift cost by age: baby to age 6 - $10, 7 to 11 yrs - $12 - $15, 12 to 14 yrs - $15 - $20)
Toy for 5 yr old boy - Malcolm (likes Toy Story/Transformers)
Toy for 3 yr old girl - Taylynn (likes colouring, princesses + dora the explorer)
Toy for 8 yr old boy - Tyrone (likes lego, cars, building toys)
Toy for 7yr old boy - Memphis (likes lego, cars, building toys)
Toy for 4 yr old boy - Jake (likes lego, cars, building toys)

**If cannot make it to the candlelight karma classes but would still like to donate, you can bring donations to the Prairie Yogi studio during office hours.


12 Nov 2014

Made in Movember MOGA event

The tradition of Movember began ten years ago in the land down under with 30 Mo Bros trying to raise awareness for men's health issues in Australia. The community has since grown to a worldwide movement and the power of the mustache is changing the face of men's health. With movements now in 21 countries, raising 574 million to fund over 800 programs. We love that much like Prairie Yogi, Movember is a grassroots movement. More than 90 cents on every dollar raised as part of Movenber is allocated to men’s health programs. Meaning money donated goes to where it should; research and awareness initiatives. 

Prairie Yogi is excited to be part of the Movember Winnipeg movement for the second year in a row. We are teaming up with our friends at lululemon athletica polo park  and Bliss and Beatz to build and support our Movember community with a Made in Movember MOGA event.

If you missed out last year now is your chance to be part of this movement! Join us on Thursday November 20th from 7-9pm:at Manitoba Hydro Place for Made In Movember MOGA Doors for the event will open at 7pm, please arrive early to check in, pick out a Mo' and place your mat for class. Bliss and Beatz will lead you through a one hour yoga practice from 7:30 - 8:30pm with beatz supplied by DJ Sammy Soso.  Following the class join us for a moustache mix and mingle, enjoy some Prairie Yogi tea, treats and the opportunity to walk away with some great give-aways.
Register for Made in Movember MOGA at www.movembermoga.eventbrite.ca to celebrate the month of the 'stache and support the men in our lives, better yet bring them to the event!

Lululemon athletica polo park’s is also hosting in-store karma yoga classes every Sunday evening at 8Pm in November with all karma donations going to Movember.  Yoga Public is also supporting the Movember movement with all karma class donations for the month of November going to support Movember.

6 Nov 2014


Sponsored content - My Farmers Market Online
We practice yoga to become more conscious. To align with our bodies, to relax, and achieve a state of health and well-being.  It's having, at the very least, an hour in the day that is devoted to you, when rushing through is not an option.

We don't have control over most of the things happened around us, you can't change gas prices, or control the people around you. But you can make a conscious decision to practice, to stay in shape, and work towards a healthy body and mind, that is in your control. Another conscious decision we can make is what we put into our bodies, the food you eat.

Mainstream food has adapted to our busy lifestyles; cheaper, get-it-on-the-go and full of preservatives.

Just as a busy and stressful lifestyle can take its toll on your health, so can sub-par food.

The benefits of making conscious diet decisions are plentiful; increased energy and mood, longterm health and reduction of doctor visits.  Its the best investment you can make.  Not to mention you can taste the difference, actually.

Lets face facts: fresh, healthy food isn't as accessible as the chemical stew being served up at the supermarket.

You need to make a conscious effort to acquire good food. One way you can do that in the prairies is to visit our friends at My Farmers Market online. These strapping young fellas have taken on the task on to do this for you.  This newly adopted company and concept in Winnipeg brings health and convience together. Winnipeggers can now do all their grocery shopping from the comfort of their own homes or on their lunch break at work, and have it delivered to their door.

CONSCIOUS DECISIONS, good food winnipeg, My farmers market online, Winnipeg farmers market,

Other than the convenience of skipping the supermarket, what these guys specialize in is fresh, wholesome and organic food, with a commitment to supporting the local community.

“We make a conscious effort to get as much of our fare from local farmers and growers.  We want to support our local community, farmers and their families.  Making this good food more accessible to the general population is just good business; its a win for everyone.”

If you've ever questioned the processed food or have been looking to take a more conscious approach to your diet... It's only a few clicks away.