30 Jan 2016

RECAP #PYSNOWFLAKE2016

PYsnowflake2016, Yoga Festival Canada, Winter wellness, Prairie Yogi, Rachelle Taylor, Winnipeg Yoga, Community, Winter Self-Care
photos by Monique Pantel

01.24.2016 - the day prairie yogis turned a cold day in the midst of winter into something magical.

Winter, and January specifically, tends to be a really hard time of year. With blue Mondays, broken resolutions, and Seasonal Affected Depression... It can be a rough month. But it doesn't have to be. Over 250 people decided to create space in their January for light, positivity, and self-care at the stunning Fort Garry Hotel.

The inaugural SNOWFLAKE winter wellness festival was a massive success. The offerings were delightful, the spaces breath-taking, and the community blew me away once again.

When I dream up these celebrations, I hope people show up, sure. But my truest desire is for people to show up and and dive in. To themselves. To the things they have been running from and need to face before they can let go. To their practice, to soak in the benefits and find inspiration to keep coming back to the mat for the days, week, and years to follow. I witnessed many of the things happen before my very eyes on Sunday, and I am so grateful to those who showed up, dove in, and took care.

Thanks to Pantel Photography and Rachwal Photography for capturing these beautiful moments.

Oh - and Prairie Love Festival tickets went on sale. Get your SNOWBIRD weekend pass today: you'll get the sweetest deal around & be among the crew who help us bring yet another OMazing prairie experience to life.

XO

Rachelle























20 Jan 2016

10 Things to Pack for SNOWFLAKE winter wellness festival

10 Things to Pack for SNOWFLAKE winter wellness festival Yoga Festival, What to Pack for a Yoga Festival, Prairie Yogi, This Sweet Love Photography
Your kickoff to an incredible 2016 is in just a few short days. Everything for the festival is coming together beautifully and we're just as excited as you are to watch the first ever SNOWFLAKE manifest!

In the midst of your excitement, don't forget to prepare wisely for your day of yoga, self-care and community. Here's a list of a few things we wouldn't want you to leave home without on the morning of Sunday, January 24th on your way to the Fort Garry Hotel.

1 - Yoga Mat

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

2 - Blanket / Scarf

We want you to be warm and cozy all day. Bring a blanket or scarf as a pre & post practice layer that doubles as a savasana blanket!

3 - Indoor shoes

While furry boots are a prairie winter essential, they can be quite bulky to wear inside all day. Bring along a pair of comfy, indoor shoes (think slip-in, flats, or runners.) You can store your boots with your jackets in the coat check.

4 - Warm Socks

Because they make savasana sooooooo much cozier.

5 - Water bottle

Bring your water bottle with you and refill often. Hydration is key in taking tare of your sweet self.

6 - Snacks

Yes, your full day pass includes lunch & an afternoon snack, but in case you feel like munching between workshops, pack a granola bar and stop hanger before it occurs.

7 - Wallet

Don't forget your change purse! We've got stellar local vendors featured at this years' Vendor Village, located on the Mezzanine level of the hotel. Most vendors accept credit cards as well as cash.


8 - Journal / Notebook

This experience is created for you as a transformational tool. To discover, to learn, to dig deep within. Bring your notebook and try to find a quiet moment throughout the day to write your favourite passages, to reflect on your experience, to set a goal or intention, or simply to doodle and play with words.

9 - Stones / Mala

Bring along something that feels sacred in your practice, like stones or your favourite mala. (And if you want to learn more how to tap into their powers, be sure to check out RogueWood's Spirited Stones workshop!)

10 - Confirmation of registration + completed liability waiver 

Help us make registration a breeze for all. Come prepared with your ticket (from Picatic) either in printed or online form (taking a screenshot of your ticket is a great way not to lose it in your inbox). Please also take a moment to fill out the online Liability Waiver before you arrive on Sunday: you'll save yourself a few precious minutes in the morning and help us make the registration process seamless.

See you on Sunday, Prairie Yogis (don't have your ticket yet? Don't miss out! Get it here)
♥ Namaste 

29 Dec 2015

5 WAYS TO MAKE WINTER WONDERFUL

Make winter wonderful, Winnipeg Winter, Winterpeg, Love Life Productions, Niki Trosky, Snowflake winter wellness, What to do in Winter, Winter activities Winnipeg,

Winnipeg winters are legendary. My hometown, affectionately dubbed Winterpeg, boasts one of the harshest climates in the world. Not only do we confront temperatures as cold as Mars in the winter months, but we also live with only a small window of daylight to help us through it. With extremely dry air, freezing cold temperatures and a sun that sets at 4:27 pm, it can be hard to find bliss within a Winnipeg winter.

Here are five Love Life tips to keep you sane through the deep freeze:

The Conservatory

Make winter wonderful, Winnipeg Winter, Winterpeg, Love Life Productions, Niki Trosky, Snowflake winter wellness, What to do in Winter, Winter activities Winnipeg,
People always say a great cure for the winter blues is to ’get outside’ or ’get into nature’, but what happens when nature feels like it’s punching you in the face? Go to the Conservatory! In the midst of our white ice cold desert Winnipeg has a lush green humid jungle! Why isn’t there a line up to get in this place?! Are you kidding me? It’s FREE and it’s like walking into an instant tropical island. You can sit with your favorite book or simple settle into stillness and breathe. The colour therapy alone is enough to re­set you into balance. Vote green, vote conservatory!

Get Steamy

Make winter wonderful, Winnipeg Winter, Winterpeg, Love Life Productions, Niki Trosky, Snowflake winter wellness, What to do in Winter, Winter activities Winnipeg,
I have two words that will change your winter: Steam Room. This is a super fast way to defrost your frozen body into a blissful blob. The instant the steam hits your skin you will remember what it’s like to be fully relaxed and open. Not only does it defrost your core but it softens your skin and will give you a nice pink healthy glow. It is an instant trick to make you look and feel younger. For those on a budget hit up the YMCA for an $9 drop in fee. I also recommend you treat yourself to a day at Thermëa. For $55 you can spend an entire day drifting in and out of steam rooms and outdoor pools. It’s pretty much magic.

Yoga 

Make winter wonderful, Winnipeg Winter, Winterpeg, Love Life Productions, Niki Trosky, Snowflake winter wellness, What to do in Winter, Winter activities Winnipeg,
When it’s cold outside we change the way we walk. We tend to hunch our shoulders and look down. We scurry instead of saunter. Hot Yoga ­ or any type of yoga for that matter is a great way to open our bodies back up. Even while you read this you can straighten your spine, take a deep breath in, lift your shoulders up back and down and raise your chin. This simple movement helps keep us happy in the coldest months.

Where your body goes, the mind will follow...


Aromatherapy

Make winter wonderful, Winnipeg Winter, Winterpeg, Love Life Productions, Niki Trosky, Snowflake winter wellness, What to do in Winter, Winter activities Winnipeg,
Never under estimate the power of our senses. Aromatherapy is fun way to beat the winter blues. Try infusing a hot bath with some lavender or putting some on your pillow case for a great night sleep. This wonder scent is useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. This means lavender can help you relax, unwind and sink into your warm beautiful self. You can get fabulous essential oils at Hollow Reed Holistic on Corydon ave.


Eject 

Make winter wonderful, Winnipeg Winter, Winterpeg, Love Life Productions, Niki Trosky, Snowflake winter wellness, What to do in Winter, Winter activities Winnipeg,
Another way to beat the winter is to hit the eject button! If you feel like the core of your soul needs a break then gift yourself one! There are some fabulous Winnipeggers hosting retreats in warm climates this winter. Travel Roots is a great resource for this. Or you can join myself and my yoga posse Bliss & Beatz for a luxury retreat at La Vita Bella Soul Spa in Mexico. Imagine hot thermal waters, warm sunsets and king size beds with fluffy comforters. If you can’t afford to fly away then indulge in a retreat experience here at home - the Snowflake Winter Wellness Festival, it will be a one day oasis for your soul in the middle of our vast prairie winter.



Step into Niki's Lavender Lounge workshop at Prairie Yogi's SNOWFLAKE For to enliven your senses and spirit this winter. Single workshop tickets now available!

Niki Trosky is a pleasure seeker who believes the path of self-exploration can be paved with decadence. She is hosting luxurious healing retreats in Mexico this winter titled "As You Wish."  She believes there is great healing power in giving yourself permission to be happy. Niki recently self-published her first book called "Love Life"  which is about her doing exactly that.



5 Dec 2015

5 Simply Blissful Winter Wellness Rituals

Snowflake winter wellness, amber chalus, prairie yogi, prairie girl, Canada Yoga Festival, winter self care, blissful, winter wellness rituals

Well it's finally December and winter has gracefully arrived in this beautiful Prairie wonderland. 

A time of family, celebration and seemingly endless to-do lists!

And you're a wise, gracious and conscious woman. You know that there is so much to be grateful for in your life. So many amazing experiences to be had. Love to be shared. Friends and family to enjoy. 

But sometimes it doesn't feel that way. 

Just like most women, you get busy. Stressed. Tired out and disconnected from the things that bring you joy. The holiday season and winter months start to take a toll when there is so much to do and even less time in the day to get it all done. 

And I know exactly how it feels to get distracted with the holiday cooking/shopping/doing list that the well intentioned self-care list flies straight out the window. 

In fact, sometimes it gets so bad that I can't even focus or even imagine what could go "right" in my life. Gratitude what?!

Then there are those days when everything seems to fall apart. I've skipped my yoga practice,  lost touch with my like-minded soul sisters and traded my green smoothie for a morning dose of cookies and self destructive guilt. 

The reality? It's on those days that I've ditched the most precious and sacred things on my to-do list in exchange for being "productive, busy & high acheiving". 

It's the mornings I hop out of bed and skip my blissful me-time. I miss out on eating my favourite breakfast (A huge green smoothie, avocado on toast and Yerba Mate tea + travel magazine in hand).

I pass on my yoga pracitice and forget to meditate. And by dinner time I am so exhausted that I can't even remember what day it is. 

All of which leaves me feeling moody, drained and totally unable to bring my best self into the world.  

In those moments, I become less like who I want to be, and more like someone I would rather not know at all.   

The truth is that lack of meaningful self care + not enough time to breath = inner and outer chaos. 

And this is NOT how I enjoy living my life. In fact, it's the exact opposite to what I want for myself and for you. 

I want you to take time out for yourself. To listen to your body. To honour your heart. To be connected to your truth. 

So today I invite you to set out a plan. Yes. Another plan. But this time a plan for simple bliss & freedom...all winter long. 

Here are 5 Blissful Winter Wellness Rituals to calm the chaos and keep yourself lit brightly all season long. 

1. Wake up with your (inner) Light! 

Snowflake winter wellness, amber chalus, prairie yogi, prairie girl, Canada Yoga Festival, winter self care, blissful, winter wellness rituals

This means sooo much more then just getting up early. Because I am NOT an early riser. It really means waking up early enough to cultivate your INNER light. To meditate. To draw. To write in your journal. To lay and simple just be. The way you would on an endless holiday with your love. 

2. Give yourself a (loving) massage. 
Snowflake winter wellness, amber chalus, prairie yogi, prairie girl, Canada Yoga Festival, winter self care, blissful, winter wellness rituals

I discovered this from my incredible Mentor, Dr. Deb Kern. You see, our body craves touch. Not just food and exercise. So take some time each morning before your shower to massage your body with a delicate oil. Or before bed with some luxurious organic lotion. Your feet. Your legs. Your belly. Soothe, surrender and settle into your being, exactly as you are.  

3. Enjoy your (delicious) breakfast. 

Snowflake winter wellness, amber chalus, prairie yogi, prairie girl, Canada Yoga Festival, winter self care, blissful, winter wellness rituals

The easiest of all to skip. But oh-so-powerful. My greatest advice for making this ritual a habit? Choose at least one go-to meal that you can easily make every morning. It's not that you can't change it over time. But if oatmeal with all the fixings will get you up in the morning 15 minutes early, then make it happen every day. Instead of wasting time in the morning wondering what to make and missing out. 

4. Move your body (blissfully).

Snowflake winter wellness, amber chalus, prairie yogi, prairie girl, Canada Yoga Festival, winter self care, blissful, winter wellness rituals


This is one of my favourites! I love to dance. I love to practice yoga. But most of all, I like to move in my own way. Seriously. So give the exercise obsession a break and take a daily walk or stretch before bed. Do what feels good and enjoyable. Without guilt or force. Your body will thank you all day long!

5. Surround yourself with (loving) inspiration!

Snowflake winter wellness, amber chalus, prairie yogi, prairie girl, Canada Yoga Festival, winter self care, blissful, winter wellness rituals

People. Places. Things. You are not meant to be isolated from the world my friend. So even if you can't get away from the snow cave you call home - then make sure everything you are doing/reading/watching/following is filled with love. Skip the violence. Ditch the negativity. Find friends that lift you up. And let go of the need to please. Go to places and events that inspire and uplift you and skip the situations that stress you out! 

Every single day. Without question. Without doubt.

Why? 

Because there will be days that you need that extra nudge to move forward and be your best self. To smile when you feel like crying. To run when you feel like slowing down. 

And this isn't about changing who you are into somebody else.

This is all about honouring who you are so that your real, true, LOVING self can shine through. 

Without the distraction of low blood sugar, a tired body and a heavy heart. 
 So go right ahead. Take some time out for you, and notice the shift. The change. The evolution of your day. 
Want some more inspiration me and other Prairie lovers? I invite you to join me on January 24th, 2016 at SNOWFLAKE Winter Wellness Festival at the Fort Garry Hotel & Spa in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I’ll be leading a self honouring yoga class and workshop on creating your very own liberated lifestyle.   

So if you live nearby (or are up for a little travel!) then I can't wait to see you in person. There will be lots of yoga, incredible music, community and workshops that will teach you everything you need to know about self care in the winter months. 

Until then...take care of your body as though it was precious, powerful and beautiful. Not just as an after thought. 

Even when it craves the quiet. Even when it slows down. Even when it doesn't look exactly the way you want it too.

Snowflake winter wellness, amber chalus, prairie yogi, prairie girl, Canada Yoga Festival, winter self care, blissful, winter wellness rituals
Amber Chalus, founder and creator of The Liberated Woman™ is a Free-Spirited Explorer, Holistic Health Coach, Yoga Teacher and Podcast Host. Her mission is to help and inspire women to nurture their physical and spiritual health through yoga, mindfulness and radical self love. She believes that every woman deserves to feel connected to her body, radiate with confidence and live the life of her dreams - naturally and with love.

She currently lives in Nipawin, Saskatchewan with her charming British husband and adorable rescue dog, Indiana Jones. Exploring even more ways to empower women to Escape The Ordinary, Embody Their Bliss & Find Freedom Within.

Join her community at // follow her adventures on instagram at instagram.com/amberchalus // Take in one of her workshops at SNOWFLAKE winter wellness festival in Winnipeg.

26 Nov 2015

THE MAGIC OF THE PRAIRIES

Prairie People, Prairie Provinces, Snowflake, winter wellness festival, prairie girl, prairie yogi, Vanessa Kunderman,
image by Tine Butler photography
The prairies hold a special kind of magic. A modest, humble and charming air dances between the wheat fields and doesn’t let up when the snow blankets over us. Each of us is enchanting in an unassuming way. We’re self-deprecating and witty, never admitting that we are anything special, but that’s because it’s hard to describe the sort of magic that happens here. It’s unspoken yet understood between each of us.

It’s felt when you see a fresh pair of snow tracks on your walk to the store for milk, knowing that someone else braved the weather to make their hot chocolate creamier. It’s felt when you see a friend burst into the coffee shop, snowflakes dancing into the room behind them. And you really feel it when your love sits down in front of you, flopping his warm toque on the table, and his fuzzy toque hair stares back at you with intention.

We own this cold. It’s in our bones, and it makes us who we are. It is the True North.

We may be known for our golden fields, a staple that we only come to appreciate once we leave to see the rest world, but it’s the short days and dark mornings that make their mark on us. We retreat into ourselves. We conserve. We come from a heritage based on survival, enduring the harshness of Mother Nature, knowing her tough love makes us stronger.

Many of us resist this part of our land, fighting the weather and letting our resistance get the best of us. But it is about embracing the change of seasons to allow us to feel everything we went through over the year. It’s a natural cycle: spring brings rejuvenation, summer allows us to be light and merry, and grow the food that feeds us, fall is the harvest and preparation, and winter is the retreat. It is the time to hibernate and work on ourselves. To let our spirit take over and mull over everything it experienced through the last cycle.

We need to dedicate winter to ourselves. We need to allow ourselves a time of reflection in front of a golden fire, wrapped in a soft blanket and a mug of a warm coffee between our paws. We can’t go-go-go all the time, because we aren’t designed that way. When we ease into the natural order of this existence, we can flourish. We can blossom again when spring comes.

It doesn’t mean we need to bury ourselves underground and only emerge when the snow starts to melt. But it does mean we need to retreat inward. Slow down, and go with the flow. If the wind is howling outside, shrieking out with bone-chilling ferocity, then park yourself on your couch and watch the storm, grateful for your safety. But don’t be afraid to bundle up and make snow angels when the air is soft.


In the prairies, we’re lucky enough to have four seasons: four seasons that allow us to properly fuel through our natural cycles so we can be the best version of ourselves that our spirits intended us to be.

Prairie People, Prairie Provinces, Snowflake, winter wellness festival, prairie girl, prairie yogi, Vanessa Kunderman, Vanessa Kunderman is a writer, designer, and avid crystal collector. She runs a modern spirituality website, Rogue Wood, aimed at making magic and spirituality practical and part of the mainstream. She is a published author and poet, and loves driving fancy coffee. She began her foray into crystal studies after receiving a black onyx and rutialated quartz necklace while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer as a teenager. Her favourite crystals are nummite and moonstone. Want to learn more about the healing powers of crystals? Sign up for Vanessa's SACRED STONES workshop at SNOWFLAKE winter wellness festival.

20 Nov 2015

SAVE MONEY + LOOK GREAT // 5 AU-NATUREL BEAUTY PRODUCTS

natural beauty, au naturel, Tannis Miller, yoga girl, prairie yogi, uses for coconut oil, uses for green tea, apple cider vinegar
The $300 billion dollar beauty industry has tricked us into thinking that to have good quality beauty products, you're going to have to spend a lot of dough.
The average women between the age of 16 and 65 shops for cosmetics five times per year. And on average those women spend $15,000 on cosmetics in their lifetime (and yes, sometimes more).
But what if simple, whole, and inexpensive ingredients (that you probably already have in your pantry) could work just as well as the well branded, cutely packaged products you buy at the fancy beauty stores.
Going natural with beauty products may seem a little “pie in the sky” or a regime that is exclusive to those living in community with waist length dreadlocks... But our very notion of what beauty products are supposed to look like (and cost) is as a result of this multi-billion dollar empire’s marketing tactics.
But here is the simple truth: there are a ton of ways to look and feel more beautiful without spending your life savings.
Here are my five favourite au-naturel beauty products that work, and won't break the bank.

Coconut oil (obviously).

There is no way this list could be complete without this sweet, sweet oil. So of course takes the first spot. If you are unfamiliar with the wonders of this magical oil, simply type it into your search bar, this claim will be supported by millions of blogs, worldwide. Here are just a few 15 of my favourite uses for coconut oil. (note: I always use virgin, organic coconut oil)
  1. Lather up with this great basic lotion. Its cooling properties make it an amazing summertime moisturizer.
  2. Get cooking! Use this non-dairy butter substitute in baking, stir-frys and even on toast. It’s great for cooking because it has a high smoke point.
  3. Mascara be gone! Use as your eye makeup remover
  4. Prevent stretch marks during pregnancy
  5. For super smooth legs, use instead of shaving cream
  6. Protect from harmful ways with this natural SPF 4 sunscreen
  7. It’s a delicious tropical massage oil
  8. Due to its high lauric acid and MCFA content, it’s a great metabolism-booster
  9. If you rub a tiny dab on your hands and then your hair, it’s a great frizz-reducing hair serum
  10. Pucker up and use as a natural lip balm
  11. Use as an intensely moisturizing leave-in conditioner. Rub into dry hair, put a shower cap on and leave for several hours... wake up to silky soft hair, just rinse out! Grat for winter static.
  12. Reduce the itch of mosquito bites
  13. For some people, it can help to reduce acne
  14. It’s great to stimulate hair growth when rubbed into the scalp, daily. It’s also a great deep conditioner — just apply it before bed, put a shower cap on and rinse out in the morning
  15. Add to smoothies to give them a nutritional and flavour boost

Raw Honey

Start looking to the honey jar for more than sweetening your tea. Raw honey is extremely anti-bacterial and ultra moisturizing. 
Use raw honey, as a simple face mask. Warm it between your fingers, and then softly apply it to your entire face. Leave it on for five to ten minutes, and then rinse with warm water. Voila — sweet, soft, glowing skin. For dewy skin, repeat weekly.
Put your Bioré face strips down, and pick up raw honey for natural blackhead removal. Add a few drops onto a lemon wedge and rub it all over your face, emphasizing trouble spots. Leave the mixture on your skin for about five minutes, then rinse with cold water.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Skip your regular shampoo and instead mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with a cup of water to eliminate chemicals and product build-up. Follow with your usual conditioner.

Green Tea

What does it do? More like What doesn’t it do? It flushes out toxins from the skin and helps majorly to promote radiant, smooth, acne-free skin. Not only is it a natural fat burner, but it’s also a natural diuretic which helps to eliminate excess water weight and bloating.
How it does it: Green tea contains catechins — anti-bacterial agents that suppress acne-causing bacteria and help to regulate hormonal imbalances. It also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce redness in blemishes and scars.
Green tea can also combat dark under eye circles with this super effective home remedy:
How to: Chill a cup of green tea in the refrigerator. Dip 2 cotton cotton pads in the cool tea and place them on your closed eyelids. Sit back and relax for 10-15 minutes. As an alternative, you can swap the cotton balls for chilled, used tea bags.
For more green tea uses (because like coconut oil, the list goes on. And on and on), click here.
I hope you enjoyed these suggestions to swap your expensive beauty products with au naturel alternatives. Be mindful that, although awesome and convenient, these all-natural beauty tips are nothing without proper self-care like sleep, physical activity, plenty of water, stress management, and a nutritious diet.
Happy cosmetic grocery shopping!
natural beauty, au naturel, Tannis Miller, yoga girl, prairie yogi, uses for coconut oil, uses for green tea, apple cider vinegar"Tannis Miller is a Creative Communications student majoring in public relations who strives to inspire health, balance, and creativity in a modern world of stress and chaos. She is a certified personal trainer and former professional fitness model who believes in self-care inside and out. Tannis is an advocate of emotional expression, stress-management and all things fashion and beauty."

5 Nov 2015

SNOWFLAKE winter wellness festival.

Snowflake, Canada Yoga Festival, Winter Festival, Yoga Festival, Winnipeg yoga, Winter self care, Prairie Yogi, Rachelle Taylor, inspired giving, Christmas gift ideas

Self care has been on my mind a lot lately. We are so hard on ourselves. And in a society where unrealistic expectations are self-imposed are where a go-go-go lifestyle is glorified, it becomes even harder to give ourself permission to create space to simply take care. To come to the mat with the intention to restore, rather to push past our limits.

Winter on the prairies seems to be especially hard on our bodies and minds. Its a time when we prairie yogis could all use a little more self-care, connection, and light in our lives. It is with this intention that SNOWFLAKE came to life. A winter wellness festival in the midst of a prairie winter, with workshops rooted in self care. On Sunday, January 24th, at the historic Fort Garry Hotel, you'll find yoga, speakeasy sessions, guided meditations, creative workshops, Ayurvedic tips for winter, and so much more. All offered by inspired instructors from across Western Canada.

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Invest in a day of self-care in the time you need it most. Your ticket allows you to pre-register for an unlimited amount of workshops (no maximum!) and includes a healthy spa lunch (with keynote speaker Tracy Hutton), coffee and tea service, and healthy afternoon snack.

Earlybird pricing until November 15th at midnight
Full festival schedule to launch December 1st.

For more information, visit www.prairieyogisnowflake.com

Interested in sponsorship or vendor opportunities? email laura@prairieyogi.com

29 Oct 2015

A letter to my 13 year old self

A letter to my 13 year old self, Rachelle Taylor, prairie yogi, bullying, the power of being a girl

This week I had the chance to share some loving insight with Winnipeg's youth, 100 young women aged 12-14, as part of the YMCA initiative The Power of Being a Girl. I shared my story of being bullied throughout junior high, being tormented and ridiculed, called awful names, and being physically assaulted on the playground over a tetherball game. I told these attentive young women about how I thought in those moments that things were never going to get better, and I assured these girls, that no matter what shit it is you're going through now, it will pass.

To close, I shared a letter I wrote to my 13 year self. I figured I'd share it with you too.

Hi Rachelle,

How are you? Not good. I know... It's me.


Even though you've looked forward to this age your whole life, 13 seems to suck doesn't it. I'm sorry you're going through this. I see you: confused; sad; and oh so beautiful. Yes, even with your glasses and mousy hair. Yes, even when you wear that neon sweater your grandma knit you, and yes, even when you’ve been in the bathroom crying. You are are in the midst of what you’ll later refer to as some of the most difficult times of your life. It’s ok. You’re going to get through this, I promise. Not only are you going to get through, you’re going to thrive.


Stop worrying about whether people will like you. You’ll find your tribe, along the unbeaten paths on exciting adventures around the world, you will feel that you belong.


Please stop spending so much time and effort worrying about trivial things like if you’ll ever get boobs or a boyfriend. You’ll get both, and quickly realize that neither of them will bring you happiness. Instead of worrying, do things that make you happy, life crafting, writing, and taking pictures. Spend your efforts on that, even if the kids say it’s uncool.


Stop trying to please the popular kids, they will never be satisfied and you are never going to find your own satisfaction by looking outside of yourself. And don’t think that they have it all figured out. They are just as confused and sad as you are, they are just better at hiding it.

I know spending all your efforts focused on boys right now seems like a good idea. But I urge you to instead spend more quality time with the boys who are going to love you unconditionally. Like your dad and your little brother. They are going to be going to Heaven much sooner than you think, and you’re going to regret all those hours wasted on boys who weren’t worth the sacrifice.


Stay away from drugs and alcohol. I know in this moment, it seems like they’ll help you fit in, help you deal with the pain you’re feeling, and make you look cool. But they won’t. Stay clear.

Know that I love everything about you, even the things you don’t like about yourself or wish were different... I love. And you should too.


Yours always,


Rachelle



Big thank you to the YMCA for inviting me to be a part of this special day and all the young women who offered me so much inspiration.

Namaste!




The Dark Side of Yoga, Path to being enlightened, 30 day challenge, yoga girl, bliss yoga cayman, prairie yogi, Rachelle Taylor, Pantel Photography,

Rachelle Taylor is a love warrior born and raised in the heart of Canada. This gypsy sprit searched far and wide for inspiration, beauty, and bliss only to return home to Winnipeg where she co-founded Prairie Yogi Inc + Prairie Love Festival as expressions of her love for creativity, yoga, and community. 

8 Oct 2015

TO BE MINDFUL

Amanda Burkowski, Mindfulness, Winnipeg Events, Prairie Yogi, Stress Reduction,
words by Amanda Burkowsky
We hear it all the time, that we must be mindful, reading about this elusive state of beings' benefits online, and hearing it spoken about by our yoga teachers.... but what is mindfulness really all about?

The answer is likely to differ depending on who you ask and that is okay, actually I believe this difference of opinion is beneficial.

My own interest in mindfulness was sparked through yoga, and I began delving into the topic, leaning and researching on and offline. Initially, I thought that I should be more connected to my surroundings on a daily basis and more appreciative of what surrounded me and resided within me. But when I dove deeper, I realized that I wanted to learn more about a formal meditation practice that could help bring me into this blissful state of being, with a calm mind and steady breath. 

Through my search, I have come to find that mindfulness is much more and much less. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as "paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally." Seems a tad challenging doesn't it?

To create a mindfulness practice that resonated with me I began to focus on three specific areas on mindfulness; awareness, non-judgment and self acceptance. 

Awareness: It resides within all of us, but we have become strangers to it. Can we sit and observe our body sensations, our emotions, and our surroundings without creating a story behind them and change our automatic response of doing to that of being with what is.

Non-judgment: Moving away from living on autopilot and making decisions based out of habit so that we can really see what is right in front of us. Can we move through out our day with a beginner's mind so that we can recognize our preconceived notions of life. 

Self Acceptance: Building a deeper relationship to the self, and understanding who we really are beneath our names, hobbies, occupations/titles. Seeing things as they present themselves so that we can learn how to grow and evolve.

With this sense of a deeper connection to my mindfulness practice, I wanted to create an experience for practitioners of all levels to join me for an afternoon of turning our gaze within. Capture Your Moments - A Mindfulness Meditation Workshop is the development of this connection and I will be leading this two hour workshop on Saturday, October 24th at Awesome Hot Yoga and Barre. Participants will develop a better understanding of awareness, acceptance and non-judgment. No experience necessary, though an open mind is highly encouraged. I hope to have you join me for an afternoon of being and learning. 

Namaste.


Amanda Burkowski, Mindfulness, Winnipeg Events, Prairie Yogi, Stress Reduction, Amanda is a mindful, breath oriented yogi and registered yoga instructor with an educational background in individual human development and social work. Amanda provides students an opportunity to develop a holistic perspective within their yoga practice, emotional and spiritual journey. Her classes flow from creatively challenging, to nourishing and soothing for the mind, body and soul. She incorporates moving meditation and stillness to arrive in the present moment fully and completely. Amanda believes that yoga can be accessible for all beings as a way to enrich the human experience.

22 Sep 2015

Autumn: A time to take stock, get cozy, and make changes.

#fallintopractice, autumn on the prairies, yoga in the fall, Yoga new year, Tiffany Barrett, Be Yoga, Ayurvedic tips for fall
By Tiffany Barrett Eyamie, Owner/Instructor, Be Yoga

What's happening right now on our prairie fields, in our parks and our gardens, is mirrored in our bodies and minds. The months of September and October see more significant change, signifying a physical reset for body and mind, more so than it does in the calendar new year in January. So, even though it’s autumn, let me wish you a happy New Year! 

As the air cools and the days become shorter, we begin to draw our attention and energy inward.  We move into cozy mode and seek out experiences that provide comfort and security. We become more attuned to our 'roots' - our routine: what we eat, how much sleep we are getting, how much we pack into a day, how much and what kind of attention we are giving to our families and friends, and where we've landed in our our journey toward self-fulfillment. We take stock! 

I'm not a botanist, but I believe our natural inclination to draw inward, to notice our routine and the changes taking place in our bodies and lives is reflected in nature as well. If you spend some time on the prairies you will feel it. The energetic shift is more subtle than just the leaves changing. It is a time for restoring, balancing, and preparing for the next big expression and transformation of life.

In our yoga practice, autumn is the time to slow down. To steady the body and mind. By aligning with the rhythm of nature – by slowing down and attending to our stocks and roots – we gracefully open ourselves to the magical energy of transformation, and the deep calling of our soul to express itself. 

According to yogic science (Ayurveda), autumn is the most potent time of the year to make deep and lasting changes in your body, mind, and spirit. A perfect time for a New Year resolution!

The offering of this fall practice is an opportunity to set the course for meaningful change. By deeply grounding the feet, legs, and pelvis, we connect to both the awakening and manifesting energy of the root chakra. We take stock and cultivate balance, steadiness and the space we need to hear the calling of our soul. 

Here are some questions we may ask our soul-self (aka. our wise-self) this fall:
-What would I like to create?

-How do I want to feel?

-What do I want to invite into my life?

-What do I want to strengthen or recommit to? 

As we become clear on what we want to invite into our life, our actions become charged with intention, otherwise known as the energy of transformation. Intention is living with a sense of purpose and choice. This allows us to harvest our resolutions. 

#fallintopractice, autumn on the prairies, yoga in the fall, Yoga new year, Tiffany Barrett, Be Yoga, Ayurvedic tips for fallOne caveat: you cannot harvest what you do not care for; be mindful of resolutions that lead to  repression and restriction. Intention is fluid and expansive, not obsessing or contracting. As you align with the purity of intention what you want to change or create will become more deeply true, meaningful and possible. 

I hope you will join me. Let's take stock, get balanced and closer to our soul-selves. Let's set intentions that will grow something wild and deeply true!