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

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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!

16 Jul 2014

MOKSHA YOGA WPG PRESENTS - YOGA @ THE FORKS


Every summer Moksha Yoga Winnipeg brings together community to raise money for charity with their Yoga in the Park event, and this year they are taking it to the next level. On Saturday, August 16th join us for an all-day event at the Forks' Scotia Bank Theatre, offering five yoga classes and two concerts with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the Mondetta Charity Foundation.

Moksha Yoga Winnipeg, Yoga at the Forks, Scotiabank Stage, Prairie Yogi, Prairie Yogi Apparel, Keith and Renee, The lytics"We want to create an awesome day that is accessible to all, that celebrates community, local music, and is super fun," says Shauna Jessiman, manager of Moksha Yoga Waverly.

Participants will have access to
- Good healthy food vendors (Myers' Deli + Green Carrot)
- Wonderful yoga (Moksha, Moksha Flow, Family Yoga + Barre Express classes)
- Sweet shopping + vendors (including your fave PY merch!)
- Stellar local music (performances by the Lytics + Keith & Renee)

Advance tickets are only $20 for a day pass or $10 for one class.
Tickets will be available at the door as well - $50 for a day pass or $20 for one class.
Purchase your advance tickets here.



All ages and skill levels welcome to this family friendly (+ pet friendly) event.
Event will take place rain or shine.
Please bring your online receipt + yoga mat.
We encourage you to be green, do your part - bring a reusable coffee mug, water bottle, and shopping tote with you, and leave nothing behind :)



9 Jul 2014

METTA MEDITATION- SPREADING LOVING KINDNESS

May all beings be happy, healthy, and free of suffering.

An ancient practice used primarily by Buddhists throughout history, Metta is a Pali word meaning love, friendliness, or kindness... Concisely put, loving-kindness. You don't have to be a Buddhist to benefit from this practice.

Loving-kindess is described as the heart fully awake in friendliness, compassion, and empathic joy. And while living in a state of loving kindness is a wonderful intention, it seems that judgment of others (and ourselves) too often creeps into our thoughts. So loving-kindness in itself (like yoga) is a practice, one that begins intentionally and with time can express outwardly into your life.

Coming back to your meditation cushion for a few minutes to offer yourself this ancient practice will not only bring you closer to a constant state of Metta, but also have positive ripple effects in the world around you.

I have found this meditation to be a wonderful place to start for beginners curious about meditation and wanting to try it for the first time.

Practice Metta meditation at home:


There are 5 stages to this practice, start with 1-2 minutes in each stage, and add on an extra minute to each stage as you progress.

-Begin in a comfortable seated position in a space that is free of clutter/distractions.
- Close your eyes, relax your jaw, and just breathe.

Stage 1 - Feel Metta for yourself
Bring your awareness to your self, the energy you feel within your self and say quietly:

May I be happy
May I be healthy
May I be free of suffering
May I be at peace

In between each of these mantras, take a slow, smooth breath. Visualize yourself happy, healthy, free of suffering, at peace with each breath.

Stage 2 - Feel Metta for a loved one
Picture someone close you to, visualize them, think of your connection, their great qualities, and feel love for them in your heart. Keeping their vision within you, quietly say:

May he/she be happy
May he/she be healthy
May he/she be free of suffering
May he/she be at peace

Again, take each of these phases slowly with your inhales, and as you exhale picture sending your energy of loving kindness to them.

Stage 3 - Feel Metta for someone neutral
Now think of someone you don't particularly like or dislike, this may be someone you don't know very well or an acquaintance. Picture them in your mind and repeat the phrases from stage 2.

Stage 4 - Feel Metta for someone you dislike
Next think of someone you actually dislike, an enemy or a foe, and picture them in your minds eye. Do not get caught up in negative feelings. Picture them in your mind and visualize them being surrounded by light, love, and happiness while repeating the phrases from stage 2.

Stage 5 - Feel universal Metta
Finally, picture the entire world, everyone and everything in it, and wish loving kindness for all.
Keeping this vision in your mind and heart, quietly say:

May all beings be happy
May all beings be healthy
May all beings be free of suffering
May all being be at peace

Do not underestimate your power to spread loving-kindness to all living things. Metta has a beautiful ripple effect: begin inwards, and it watch it spread outwards.


Rachelle Taylor is a love warrior, yoga teacher, and rookie meditator. 

A tranquil spirit trapped in a busy body, Taylor is co-owner of Prairie Yogi Inc + Prairie Love Festival, a contributor for the POWERHOUSE newsletter, an inspired speaker, and winner of the YMCA Women of Distinction Award.

7 Jul 2014

CREATE YOUR OWN EPIC EXPERIENCE - PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL



You've got your day pass and cannot wait to experience Prairie Love Festival, our very own celebration of yoga, community, music, and creativity. The wait is over - the stellar schedule, with Prairie Love workshops and activities, has been released. Earlybird ticket holders are now able to sign up for three activities and create their own unique experience.

With such an incredible lineup, it seems like an overwhelming task to pick and plan your day. Here are a few things to keep in mind when registering for your activities.


Mix it up

Don't let the temptation to pick three of your favourite style of yoga class get the best of you. Be mindful. Are 3 back to back powerful vinyasa-style classes a balanced approach to getting the most out of your day?

When picking your schedule, we recommend choosing a variety of workshops. Think about your mind, as well as your body, and be sure to sign up for at least one of prairie love's inspired talks, lead meditations or creative workshops.


Try something new

Prairie Love Festival is the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something you've always wanted to, like AcroYoga, Kirtan, or meditation.

We've brought together the regions most inspired teachers to guide you through incredible experiences, don't pass up on the opportunity to experience something new and amazing.


Three is just the beginning

If three activities doesn't seem like enough to fill your day, don't stress. You'll be able to join additional workshops on the day of the festival, pending available space. So for now, pick the three workshops that you absolutely cannot miss, and if you want to fill your day with additional classes, you're free to show up to any scheduled activity, and if there's space, we're happy to let you in with your full day pass.

That brings us to our next point...


Give yourself time to relax, reflect, and reconnect

Don't overload your schedule with back to back classes and activities. Give yourself time in between workshops to rest, to eat, write in your journal, take photos, and participate in heaps of free activities and music offered throughout Fort Whyte all day long.

Just like savasana at the end of our yoga practice helps our body and mind absorb the benefits of the asanas, breaks between classes will allow you to reap the benefits of your Prairie Love experience.



Don't have your ticket yet? Get yours here before prices rise and get first access to your choice of workshops + activities. Don't delay - earlybird tickets are selling fast!

2 Jul 2014

PRAIRIE YOGI OF THE MONTH - JULY 2014 - MEI-LING CHOW-MINTENKO



"It's very important to me, as a teacher, to guide my students through an experience." 
- Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko

Meet Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko, your Prairie Yogi of the Month for July 2014. Mei- Ling lives and teaches in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and is excited to share her passion for arm balancing and inversions at Prairie Yogi's Prairie Love Festival on September 7th, 2014 in Winnipeg, Canada.