15 Sep 2014

THE SPACE BETWEEN

Words: Lynette Suchar - Image: Tamara Michelle Photography
In yoga, sometimes my favourite moments are the spaces in between a pose. I crave that pause, that “pose” between a pose. That pause seems to happen so naturally, a reprieve for a breath or two. It’s almost like life freezes for a moment, like all thoughts disappear, until movement carries me away again. Breath is the constant throughout your yoga practice. Breath carries you from one pose to the next. Through each transition, each posture, each pause, our breath supports us from stillness to movement. The pauses are possible because of our breath, steady gaze, and strong foundation. Consider these three elements when flowing through your vinyasa (movement with breath) practice:

1 - As we transition from posture to posture, remember to come back to your inhale and exhale. Breath is the first tool you can cultivate in your practice. It is often the first one that we forget and we end up holding our breath as we hold our pose. Remember that with inhale comes expansion and the creation of space. On the exhale comes the grounding and the surrender. Let your breath fuel your movement and when you find yourself in a pause between two poses, drink in the breath and let any tension soften on the exhale.


2 - Find the softness within. Whether still or moving from pose to pose, find your drishti, or one spot to focus on. This one-pointed gaze will help you stay present in your movements and pauses. If we start looking around, our mind, body, and breath are distracted. As you fix your attention to one spot, allow your eyes to be soft. Move through your practice and settle into the pauses with a gentle determination. You can be strong and soft. Notice how allowing that softness into your eyes and jaw changes the space between a pose.


3) Root down to flow and grow. Another element that will give your practice stability and strength is to find a strong foundation. Find stability and equanimity wherever your body is touching the ground, and from there grow tall. This foundation can be applied whether you’re on your feet or upside down, whether you’re flowing from Updog to Downdog or holding Warrior Two. Root down to grow tall.

Find your breath, a gentle gaze, and your stable foundation in between each pose and you have three tools to guide you through the stillness and the transitions on and off the mat.

3 Sep 2014

7 THINGS TO PACK FOR PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL


You've been waiting all summer, and now it's here! Prairie Love Festival is just days away and we're just as excited as you are!

In the midst of your excitement, don't forget to prepare wisely for your day of yoga, nature, music, and community. Here's a list of a few things we wouldn't leave home without on the morning of September 7th

1 - Yoga Mat

It is a yoga festival after all! If you love props in your practice, being those along with you too!

2 - Walking shoes

The various venues are spread out throughout the FortWhyte Alive Park and we wanted to make sure all PL Festival attendees got to experience all of the beautiful natural spaces the park has to offer. Comfy shoes just make life better!

3 - Weather appropriate accessories

We're happy to see the forecast calling for sunny skies, so pack a hat. But since it is still fall, don't forget to pack extra layers, a scarf, and a sweater in your bag.

4 - Water bottle

Bring your water bottle with you and refill often. We want our yogis to be hydrated and happy! There are water fountains throughout the park for your hydration needs.

5 - Snacks

Yes, there will be food for sale at the FortWhyte restaurant (salads, soups and sandwiches) and Green Carrot Juice Co will have some healthy bowls and wraps to fuel you throughout the day. Having snacks on hand is a good idea for when you're bouncing between classes- you never know when hanger (hungry + anger) is going to strike!

6 - Wallet

Don't forget your change purse! We've got stellar local vendors at our Festival pop-up shop as well as our newest line of fall apparel for sale, a cash bar (beer + wine) to help with the sunset dance party open from 6pm - 8pm. No ATM on site. Vendors accept cash + credit cards.

7 - Journal / Notebook 

It'll be an experience that you will want to document. Bring your notebook and try to find a quiet moment throughout the day to write your favourite passages, to reflect on your experience, or to doodle and play with words

Festival Map

The festival grounds at FortWhyte Ailve, a nature sanctuary within Winnipeg's city limits, are beautiful and expansive. Be mindful that transit time between venues can take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes from OM sweet OM.

A copy of this festival map which will be included in your festival guidebook that you will receive on the morning of the festival. So we've got you covered on this one.

We cannot wait! See you all on Sunday!

<3 Namaste



2 Sep 2014

DISCOVERING MY SOUL'S VOICE THROUGH KIRTAN



My kirtan practice has helped me discover and express my soul's voice. It's given me the courage to get past my fears and do what I love full-time as a business. ~copyright by Beth Martens 

As a mantra singer, voice liberator, archetype and business coach I love, love investing my time in passionate, edge-pushing and right-brained women entrepreneurs, particularly when they have a rebel flair. Because femme-preneurs are called to be extra courageous with their voice and take daily risks to be seen and heard, I am attracted to their immense vulnerability, beauty and potential for having a lot of impact. No one tells them what to do, they tell themselves.
I discovered my soul’s voice - telling me what to do, calling me, romancing me, making unreasonable demands of me - over eight trips to India to study ancient mantras, yoga and meditation. Not to mention a 3 year battle with cancer I wasn’t supposed to survive and the rebirth of valuing my life’s work through a business in the spiritual arts and teaching women to be valued for their unique super-powers.
From the moment I began to sing and meditate on sanskrit mantras, I was clear they were magic keys for me - for abundance, for strength, for peace, for clearing the path to right action. I didn't know I was going to be called to use mantras and my voice to literally save my life and to navigate the subjects for which I had little affection and a lot of fear, such as death, conventional business, money and the world of it.
Practicing and leading kirtan led effortlessly to stillness in my thoughts, breath and emotions. Singing kirtan gave me profound peace without having to impose my will over the rapid-fire action of my thinking mind and all the feelings that go along with it. It was an open doorway to a happiness I hadn’t yet experienced that transcended the regular ups and downs of day-to-day life. It didn’t require a big sweat, a big set up, a lot of space. But it did require courage - to get up in front of people and either perform the music that it inspired me to write and record, and to lead others in finding their soul’s voice as well.
Why is it a magic elixir for making courageous moves in the world? Kirtan helped me build up my fifth (throat) chakra, and I don’t mean that it just strengthened my vocal cords. It also built up the emotional & spiritual muscle it takes to put myself out there, to give it up, to let what’s in my heart bubble up into a creation of some kind. It’s scary because once a creation leaves your lips, you cannot retrieve it. You can’t take it back. You can’t send it back for corrections. If it wasn’t “perfect,” it’s out there, at the mercy of people’s kindness, not to mention ones own.
Singing mantras empowered me to have an authentic voice, to speak my truth and to get in alignment with my soul’s calling. Now more than a decade after surviving cancer, I am a rebel-passionate leader of women entrepreneurs, empowering them to work with archetypes and their authentic voice before the stakes get as high as they did for me.

31 Aug 2014

A PERFECT PAIRING


A darling of the Manitoba music scene, to many Demetra Penner is something of a familiar face. 

But what some may not know is that this multi-talented prairie dweller has been quietly sharing another one of her gifts with the world all along. 

From discovering yoga as a teen growing up in a small prairie town to practicing in a tree house in 
Thailand, Penner not only has years of self-study under her belt, but a long-time affection for the 
practice. She completed her teacher training in Bali in 2009 and since has been active teaching and 
playing live music classes at studios and festivals around Manitoba. 

These days, Penner’s schedule is comprised of classes with students ranging ages two to eighty. 

With the enthusiastic preschoolers, sequences are paired with song (think ‘row-row-row your boat 
pose’). With her older students, whom she describes as the “real warriors,” the focus is on breath 
and self-compassion. 

When talking about teaching, she speaks passionately about truth-seeking, co-learning, and 
personal growth – but her favourite part about teaching yoga? 

“Sharing. Sharing these moments with these people.”

A touring musician for over three years, Penner has played at many noteworthy festivals and venues 
across Canada. Slowly, she has moved away from her familiar acoustic “dream folk” to a new, 
perhaps more chilling, sound that layers and loops many instruments with Penner’s strong, ghostly 
vocals. But don’t be alarmed: this new sound is no less dreamy.  

While her music is evolving, as music does, defining this new chapter is an intention to combine 
these two important branches of her life: yoga and music. Rather than treating them as passions 
apart, she is beginning to sew the two together. Part of this plan includes constructing her 
upcoming tour so that it surpasses the typical beer-soaked bar scene, opting instead to perform in 
yoga studios, festivals and other intentional spaces. 
Clearly an adventurer at heart, Penner’s exploratory spirit has taken her all around the world, 
including some extended, and meaningful, stays across Canada. Of note is living a year in Churchill, 
and from there finding opportunities to explore even further north into the Arctic. 

“The North really got into my bones.”


Neither far nor wide, this traveller’s most recent move was to a new home nestled among the trees 
on the shore of Lake Winnipeg. Whether it be writing music, practicing yoga, reiki, or working on 
her own line of natural skin care products, this cabin in the woods is now where “all the magic 
happens.” 

While drawn to many things, Penner seems most impassioned by simplicity, authenticity and 
helping others to see things clearly. And the evidence suggests she has a talent for making 
connections. And, in this instance, that means not only seeing the common thread, but actually 
sewing them together: urban and rural, young and old, north and south – and, now, yoga and music. 
She might have run away to a cabin in the woods, but our guess is we’ll be hearing a lot more from 
Demetra Penner. 

Demetra will be leading a morning meditation with music at Prairie Love Festival, on Sunday September 7th at FortWhyte Alive.

To get in touch about music, yoga or any other projects, visit www.demetra.ca.

25 Aug 2014

MYSELF - BEYOND THE SELF

Niki Trosky, Prairie Yogi
Words + Image by Niki Trosky
Once upon a time I travelled to India to learn how to meditate. I wanted to learn how to quiet my mind. I was nursing a broken heart and I was grieving the loss of a loved one. All I wanted was some peace of mind. I hit the eject button with the desire of landing in another world. A world that would help me escape the one I felt tortured in.

I landed in Ohso’s International Meditation Resort. I found myself in the middle of a new-age-inner-space camp and decided it was easier to sit and silently judge than to participate.

After a week of avoiding almost everything but a luxurious pool side and tennis courts I realized that no one was judging me. No one was pressuring me to participate. No one was expecting me to accomplish or achieve anything.

From this space of relaxed freedom I felt myself naturally open up. All of a sudden I was curious to see what everyone else was enjoying. I plunged into an intensive meditation schedule that included everything from screaming like a banshee to whirling like a Dervish to sitting perfectly still. My enthusiasm felt authentic and effortless. I found immense joy in my exploration of self.

Even the parts of my past that I had carefully avoided were not so scary anymore. I began to explore all of my dark bits with a ray of light.

The idea that I had to become a zen buddha who could sit blissfully still was replaced with a deeper joy of allowing things be just as they are. I came to the understanding that my thoughts had no power over my well being. I gave myself permission to relax into whatever view points decided to arise. There was no longer a need to change a negative thought into a positive one. There was no longer a desire to try and control and micro manage my points of view. I was able to relax into the simple understanding that all of my thoughts were perfect just as they were.

For me this awakening was subtle, yet deep. It was liberating to learn that my thoughts could simply come and go as they pleased. I found great joy in welcoming old patterns of unwanted thoughts. They went from torturous to familiar. As soon as I invited them to stay they seemed to scatter and grow disinterested in me. My simple allowing of them released their control over me. I discovered freedom in the absence of resistance. I was finally free to let things simply be.

I was finally able to connect with myself beyond the self.

I now understand that no matter what happens my higher self will always be powerful and clear.

I can take comfort in knowing that whether I am happy or sick, poor or wealthy, in love or broken hearted, my consciousness is always free. It will remain untouched by the thoughts that I have. It will always be present and the path of least resistance will always guide me back to it.

Giving myself permission to relax into my most awakened state I often find myself flooded with appreciation. Giving thanks for this beautiful life somehow makes it even more beautiful.

Allowing my thoughts to run their course, allowing my body to relax no matter what my circumstances and connecting to my higher self has pulled me into the gift of the present. I now understand that enlightenment is not something I can achieve, it is not a place I need to find, it is my natural state of being and my only job is to relax and appreciate it.

Namaste,

Niki

Niki Trosky is a renegade creating global change through social installations,  empowering photo shoots, sacred healing retreats, private life council, writing, innovative school curriculums & public speaking events. 

Join Niki on September 7th at Prairie Love Festival, and be sure not to miss her offering: Melodic Meditation accompanied by Andr√© Clement.

20 Aug 2014

GARDEN PARTY RECAP



Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,

So. Ugh. Our hearts. We just love you guys. All of you Prairie Yogis. This community is the best.

Last night was pretty spectacular and we were definitely feeling the Prairie Love. Surrounded by wheat stalks, dancing in the wind, 45 Prairie Yogis practiced a vinyasa flow class guided by Darlene Svienson. 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. 

The Prairie Yogi photobooth was buzzing with yogis adorned with baby's breath flower crowns and six beautifully crafted crowns donated by Kiera Molet-King! 

Keep posted for our always awesome recap videos!


Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg, Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Baby's first yoga class, Phalyn Powell,
And we even had baby Ben take in his very first yoga class ever- at one month old.
He's going to be soooo enlightened when he grows up- haha! <3

19 Aug 2014

FIVE WAYS TO SAVOUR THE FLEETING DAYS OF SUMMER



I love summer. You love summer.... We all love summer! 

But like all good things, it too must come to an end. The four seasons are temporary and eternal at the same time. They remind us of the truth of life, as Buddha so concisely put it, that everything changes.

The extremes of summer and winter, along with the transitions in between, is part of what makes the prairies feel like home. And while the summer's end is in sight, and the transition to shorter, cooler days has begun, there are still ways that you can make the most of the fleeting days of summer.

Here are five suggestions from your friends at Prairie Yogi:

TAKE A WALK

.
There is just something about walking that is beneficial for the body and mind, perhaps it's the act of mindfully moving forward. Combine that with time outdoors and fresh air, and now you have a free, accessible way to feel good and get outside.

In these final weeks of warm weather, find ways to incorporate more walking into your life. About to drive to the grocery store to pick up a few things? Why not walk instead. Meeting with a colleague or co-worker? Take it outside for a walking meeting, à la Steve Jobs. Feeling full and lethargic after a big family dinner? Walk it off. Get everyone involved and enjoy a sunset stroll together. Wherever you're walking, leave your smart phone behind, you'll be better equipped to enjoy the smells, sights, and sounds of nature without it.

EAT LUNCH OUTSIDE


As much as you'd like to take these next two weeks off work to simply bask in the sunshine, it isn't always feasible. But just because you have to work Monday - Friday doesn't mean you can't enjoy the final weeks of the summer sunshine. Make the most of what you've got, your lunch hour, by taking it outside. Weather you're brown-bagging, mason-jarring, food-truckin' or dining out, take it outside to break up your day with fresh air and warm rays. Even if you've only got 10 minutes, get outside. You have all of winter to stay cooped up in your cubicle.

You even can take it a step further and take advantage of the free lunchtime yoga classes at Memorial + Millennium Library Park. There may only be a few classes that remain, but there is still time to enjoy free fitness in the park thanks to the Downtown Winnipeg Biz.

FROLIC IN BEAUTIFUL GARDENS + GREEN SPACES


There are so many beautiful green-spaces across the city (even if you aren't in Winnipeg, I can confidently say after our summer road-trip across the prairies, that prairie cities have some pretty wonderful outdoor spaces) why not set aside the time to discover them? Make a date with yourself, your main squeeze, or your partner in crime to wander around a beautiful garden, park, or green space. Bring your camera with you and experiment with photography. You can use these photos in a few months for #tbt when you're frozen and missing summer.

Our final event of the summer, the PY Garden Party in the Formal Gardens at Assiniboine Park tomorrow will be a great way to enjoy an evening with friends in a majestic green-space. Savour your favourite summer flavours: sunset salutations, flower crowns, sweet live music, and vegan treats by Rae of Sunshine Life. Limited tickets are still available, get yours  here.


BREATHE DEEPLY

While rushing through day-to-day tasks, it can feel like the final moments of summer are slipping away from you, while in reality, they aren't slipping away at all... You're living them. In the moments when you feel sad or anxious about the transition ahead, or even while enjoying one of the sweet summer moments (that now have taken on a bitter-sweet feeling as it all comes to an end,) take a moment, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. You are alive. Right now. To enjoy this very moment. Inhale gratitude for this moment, and on your exhale release any anxiety, negativity or stress with your breath. Repeat.

If you can take these deep breaths of gratitude for summer outside, wonderful. Connecting with nature is good for the soul. But these breathing exercises are just as effective when you're stuck inside, too. Here you can still feel gratitude for the ability to wear your favourite summer outfit and footwear that lets you see your toes.


FEEL THE LOVE







On Sunday, September 7th, we've created an experience where you can soak in all the wonderful things that summer brings. Take a walk, eat outside, frolic in nature, breathe deeply and feel the love at Prairie Love Festival at FortWhyte Alive.

Tickets are still available to participate in the various yoga, meditation, and creative workshops that the festival has to offer. If a daypass is out of your budget, you can still feel the love - the park is open to the public and free to attend that day for those who want to enjoy the free events, music, and entertainment happening throughout the park all day. So bring a friend, pack a picnic, and feel the warmth of prairie love, before it's time to bundle up.

11 Aug 2014

PRAIRIE LOVE UPDATE: TICKETING CHANGES




Prairie Love Festival, our own yoga festival celebrating community, art + music, is fast approaching and we couldn't be more excited!

We've received wonderful feedback since we've launched our ticket sales, thank you. We listened and have implemented some changes to make the festival more accessible to all and that add extra value for current ticket holders as well.

Changes to Prairie Love Festival Tickets


1 - You are now able to purchase a one-class pass to attend a single yoga class, workshop, or inspirational talk.

2 - Day pass holders are now able to pre-register for 4 activities instead of 3.* (Please keep in mind that you are still able to attend as many activities as you like on the day of, so long as there is space in the class.)

*People who have already purchased their day passes can now pre-register for one more class

Eventbrite - PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL

We are stoked to bring together our awesome community for this epic experience!

Check out the Prairie Love Festival schedule for more info on workshops and activities available.


7 Aug 2014

PRAIRIE YOGI OF THE MONTH- AUGUST 2014 - DJ ROBINDRA


We met DJ Robindra on our Prairie Yogi prairie tour and his sweet beats during a Saatva inspired class just made is feel.. OMazing. He's the co-founder of Bloom in Edmonton (along with Myrah Penzaloza- this woman is seriously a unicorn!). DJ Robindra finds inspiration in a flow state, something he finds through music.

"What inspires me is the present moment and what’s amazing about playing music, is that there comes a time when you get into the flow, and you experience this timelessness. If you’ve ever been to a concert, you can tap into this musician and feel that flow state."



6 Aug 2014

******DRUMROLL PLEASE*********

High fives + hugs to all who entered our Instagram photo contest last month!



We were blown away by the beauty and bliss captured with the hashtag #PrairieLoveFestival over the course of the contest. Thank you for sharing your prairie love.

And the winner of TWO day passes to Prairie Love Festival, Sunday September 7th at Fort Whyte Alive is......


@Phinney44 for this beautiful shot of @TheOnlyEmilyEver
Congrats! Email prairieyogi@gmail.com to redeem your passes.

Do you want to win your pass to Prairie Love Festival?
Join us tomorrow (August 7th, 2014) at Stephen Juba Park for our final Karma Countdown yoga class. Donate $10 or more to the Manitoba Eco Network and you'll be entered to win your day pass to this epic experience.




29 Jul 2014

SOUL SHINE SUP - RECAP



soul shine, yoga SUP, prairie yogi events, epic experiences, Lake Winnipeg, Patricia Beach SUP,

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of the Divine. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of the devine that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

soul shine, yoga SUP, prairie yogi events, epic experiences, Lake Winnipeg, Patricia Beach SUP,

Wow.

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect 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. These experiences make our hearts burst with joy and gratitude.

The light in me sees, and honours, and LOVES the light in you 

Namaste.

soul shine, yoga SUP, prairie yogi events, epic experiences, Lake Winnipeg, Patricia Beach SUP,

soul shine, yoga SUP, prairie yogi events, epic experiences, Lake Winnipeg, Patricia Beach SUP,
soul shine, yoga SUP, prairie yogi events, epic experiences, Lake Winnipeg, Patricia Beach SUP,
soul shine, yoga SUP, prairie yogi events, epic experiences, Lake Winnipeg, Patricia Beach SUP,

Be a part of the community and let your light SHINE - join us this summer at one of our epic events.

23 Jul 2014

PY GARDEN PARTY



Savour the flavours of summer at the Prairie Yogi Garden Party: outdoor yoga, live music, sunset savasana, flower crowns, iced tea, and tasty treats.

Join us in the evening Wednesday, August 20th from 7 - 9 as we bloom together as a community.
♥ Yoga by Darlene Sveinson
Treats by Ashley Rae (aka. Rae of Sunshine Life)
Flower crown photobooth
♥ Live music by a special guest!
images via pinterest, instagram and Prairie Yogi Inc.

Limited tickets available for this intimate event.
Only 15 partner passes available - treat your bestie to the sweetness of summer!