20 Oct 2014

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MASSAGE

lesley brown, massage therapy, holistic wellness, prairie yogi, massage therapy awareness week.
October 19 - 25 is Massage Therapy Awareness Week
Yoga and massage therapy go hand in hand. The two arts, that both work to stretch the muscles and detoxify the body, are sisters in the holistic wellness family. Lesley Brown, prairie yogi and massage therapist from Winnipeg, MB, shares six tips on how yogis can get the most out of their massage sessions.

Images courtesy of Equilibrium Massage Therapy and Wellness Centre



Be on Time

Walking into the clinic already calm rather than in a panic over parking will allow you to melt into the table even faster.  Plan to arrive at your appointment early and if it's your first time at the clinic, give yourself an extra five minutes to have to fill out a health history form. 

Communication

You would never walk into a coffee shop and order a latte when what you really wanted was a sugar-free vanilla soy latte with no foam. Take the extra moment to discuss with your MT what's going on with your body, what your goal is for the massage, and areas you want focused on or avoided.  Agreeing on a treatment plan will get everyone on the same page and set you up for getting what you need from that session.  Once the massage is under way, find your voice and speak up if there is something making you uncomfortable. Room temperature, music, and massage pressure can all be adjusted.

Bring it back to the Breath

Treat your massage like savasana.  Not the place to be making lists, or planning.  Stressful thoughts cause your body to react, your breath becomes shallow and your body tightens.  If you catch your mind wandering, take a couple of diaphragmatic breaths and focus on letting go while you exhale. 

Find your Edge

The time breakdown can be compared to a Yoga class with a peak pose, you wouldn't expect Full Wheel to be the very first thing you do.  Warming up with breath work, sun salutation A's and some gentler preparation poses will allow your body to open more easily once you get to the peak.  Allow your MT to warm up the tissues and work up to firm, focused pressure.  “No pain, no gain” is a massage therapy myth.  Even if you want a deep tissue massage, you must be able to relax and breathe through the pressure for it to be effective. Everyone has a different tolerance and some areas are always more sensitive than others. Continue the communication throughout the duration of the massage if you need more or less pressure. 

Get some Svadhyaya

Finding a Massage Therapist you are comfortable with is essential. Take some time to self-reflect on how you move around the world and what kind of interactions you enjoy.  Have you had the same hair stylist for 10 years?  Set your yoga mat in the exact same spot every class?  Do you love trying different Yoga teachers, styles and studios? There's no wrong answer here.  All Registered Massage Therapists in Manitoba have a 2200hr certification, but beyond education, everyone has a different style, personality and may offer different modalities within their practice. If you enjoy building rapport and familiarity, honour that.  If you thrive with change and new experiences, use it to your advantage.  Looking at other aspects of your life can help you to figure out how to find a massage therapist -or several- to help facilitate your health goals. 

Be Consistent 

What you do with your body between treatments has a huge impact on how long the effects of the massage lasts.  Realistically, one hour of massage will not “fix” an injury that you've had for years, or undo the effects on your body of sitting at a desk for 40hrs a week. Yoga is often recommended to clients because of the attention to breath and feeling it teaches, and the balance of stretching and strengthening it offers.  Whether you current goal is injury rehab, stress reduction and relaxation or correcting your posture, bringing mindfulness to your body will help you find comfort in your time off the mat and off the table.



Lesley Brown is a Registered Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher and AcroYoga teacher.  Find her at lesleybrown.ca and facebook.com/acroyogawinnipeg

17 Oct 2014

INTO THE WILD

Wild thing, into the wild, wild and free, sarah carson, Prairie Yogi, Fort Whyte Alive.Yoga,

“All good things are wild and free.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Time passes quickly. It’s in moments like these that we realize it was weeks ago when summer took its final bow, the trees are now nearly naked, and (gasp!) winter is not far around the corner. But that shouldn’t mean that our practice be banished indoors just yet.

A regular yoga practice can help us to sustain that feeling – that breath of fresh air when spring comes – all year round. Connecting to the breath while opening up our bones, muscles and hearts lays the groundwork that allows us to unleash something special – whatever that might be. 

Wild Thing, or Camatkarasana, is a powerful backbending, heart-opening pose to help us do just that.  

Wild Thing

Wild thing, into the wild, wild and free, sarah carson, Prairie Yogi, Fort Whyte Alive.Yoga,
1. Start in side plank, or come to side plank from downward dog.


Wild thing, into the wild, wild and free, sarah carson, Prairie Yogi, Fort Whyte Alive.Yoga,
2. Breathing in, expand and lift the hips. Breathing out, gently reach and place the left foot on the mat, knee slightly bent.  

Wild thing, into the wild, wild and free, sarah carson, Prairie Yogi, Fort Whyte Alive.Yoga,
3. Still breathing, think of a long spine while tucking the shoulder blades into the ribcage. Reach the left arm back as you drop the head. With a solid left foot, lift the hips higher toward a full backbend and expression. 
Stay in the pose for 5-10 breaths. Come out by slowly coming back to side plank, then lowering to the floor. Repeat on the other side. 

As a more advanced posture, coming into Wild Thing can be challenging. While we often want to simply stretch out and do what feels good (this is welcome at other times!), ensuring that the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders are all aligned is especially important here.    

Wild thing, into the wild, wild and free, sarah carson, Prairie Yogi, Fort Whyte Alive.Yoga,

The Benefits

Deep backbends and heart openers can be emotional, and this pose is no different. It is an intense opening of the shoulders, legs, spine and heart. Building to the Wild Thing gives new meaning to ‘long spine’ – and is just the thing to get that breath of fresh air. 

“The reason why I really like it is that it really shows off other sequences and other poses – the benefits of them – all in one posture,” explains local yoga instructor Janna Barkman.

“Another benefit too is that it’s so fluid – you’re never done moving in it. So even though you’re holding it, you’re still moving, you’re still trying to elongate your spine and reach out.” 

Taking it Outdoors

Barkman is the instructor of a new yoga and fitness program this fall at FortWhyte Alive. The program was inspired by many of Barkman’s recent experiences, including attending this year’s Prairie Love Festival.

“Seeing how people thrived while they were here and just loved the space – I had never seen the space used like that before.” 

Participants can expect a unique mix of cardio exercises and therapeutic yoga practice – all in the great outdoors.  Whether it’s working up a sweat amongst the trees or practicing waterside, this is one last opportunity to breathe in that sweet, fresh air and enjoy a moment of solitude on the floating docks. 

“When you’re out here, you don’t have to try hard to get into that meditation, you just do.” 

Wild Thing runs every Saturday 10:00-11:30am until November 15, at FortWhyte Alive. Call (204) 989-8355 to register or for more information.


Sarah Carson is a researcher, writer and girl of a thousand hobbies based in Winnipeg, Canada. You can connect with her on Instagram or by checking out her website.

16 Oct 2014

Learning Adventures Costa Rica. Good Vibrations - Yoga, Health and Wellness

Sponsored Content - Learning Journeys powered by Perillo Tours, Inc.

Celebrate the holidays and winter with a gift of self-discovery and giving back!


Join Perillo Tours as we venture through beautiful Costa Rica, a land alive with natural beauty and energy. This trip is designed to welcome all who are looking for a sojourn of the soul. You will enjoy daily yoga and meditation, farm to table food, community service projects, horseback riding, zip-lining, canopy walks and even a cooking demonstration in a rural mountain village.  Perfect for single travellers as well as friends and couples!

   “A truly transformational experience” -Susan-Los Angeles, CA

At Learning Journeys, we believe in a new kind of wellness vacation. One where you are moving, touching, feeling a destination – not just staying put in one location.  Our unique journeys help you explore the world, give back to the community and ultimately re-connect with yourself. All while keeping your daily practice and enjoy delicious, healthy food that works with your diet.    
With a Nomadic Health and Wellness Experience you’re not limited to one place but rather have the pleasure of enjoying several destinations in one trip. All of our journeys incorporate culture, nature, culinary traditions, community service and meeting the locals. We think this variety of sensory experiences only serves to broaden the mind, body and spirit.  Join us on an adventure of the mind, body and soul.

What Sets Learning Journeys Apart?


Keeping Our Practice
Each of our trips has yoga and meditation built into the itinerary. Who says you can’t travel and keep your practice?  Learning Journeys makes it easy.   

Delicious, Healthy Food
Learning Journeys believes that healthy, locally sourced food is an integral part of the travel experience. Are you a vegan? Gluten-free? No problem. We can work with your special diet to be sure you eat well while traveling with us!

Giving Back to Community
Getting involved in the local community is the best way to truly understand a culture. At Learning Journeys, we take it one step further and give back with a local community service project. Our guests say this unique interaction with the locals is often what they remember most about their travels with us.    

Small, Inclusive Group Size
Our programs are small, limited to 25 guests maximums. We are also happy to welcome and work with yogis of all levels, even beginners. If your non-practicing travel companion wants to come along too, no problem, we welcome them!

Perfect for Any Occasion
Looking to mark a special birthday or anniversary? Do a mother/daughter trip? Just get away on your own? Our trips are versatile and welcoming to everyone. 

Supported By Years of Experience

Powered by Perillo Tours, Learning Journeys offers the best of all worlds. We are on the cutting-edge of new spiritual and thoughtful travel but also bring nearly 70 years of travel planning experience to the mix. Let’s just say, we know how to plan the journey of a lifetime! 

Good Vibrations Itinerary


Day 1: Arrive in Costa Rica
Afternoon transfer to  San Ramon Cloud Forest, at a Five Green Leaves by The Certification of Sustainable Tourism (C.S.T.), Costa Rica’s highest award for sustainable practices and operations.  Enjoy accommodations where comfort and conservation co-exist in harmony, reflecting a commitment to sustainable hospitality.

Day 2: Cloud Forest, San Ramon, Nature Hike, Optional Zipline/Hanging Bridges
AM Yoga class. After breakfast we will take a relaxing walk into the clouds as you step into the heart of the cloud forest with our own nature interpreters who will unveil a secret world of rich tropical life along four different user-friendly trails. As a part of only 2.5 % of the planet’s remaining cloud forests, this unique forest habitat continues to amaze all who enter this protected nature reserve of over 2,000 acres.  Relax and enjoy the magic of the cloud forest or visit Arenal

Day 3: San Ramon. Community Project, PM Cloud Forest Walk
AM Yoga class. After breakfast we gather to work on a community project at a local primary Costa Rican School. Lunch upon return. Afternoon to relax at the spa or wellness center.
PM Cloud Forest Walk: If you’re looking for the region’s wildest nightlife, look no further. When the sun goes down, the cloud forest transforms like no other habitat in the world. Night is when the cloud forest breathes; pumping out higher concentrations of oxygen along with layers of the sweet fragrances of nocturnal plants and flowers. You’ll discover a world rarely seen by visitors to other parts of Costa Rica. PM – Guided meditation after dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 4: AM Yoga Class
AM Yoga Class. Morning to enjoy the sauna and whirlpool. Mid-morning, transfer to Quepos in Manuel Antonio National Park. Whole foods boxed lunch. Afternoon at leisure to relax poolside or visit the stunning beaches.  Dinner at hotel included. (B,LD)

Day 5: AM Yoga, Manuel Antonio
AM Yoga Class. After spend the day in Manuel Antonio National Park.  Beach picnic and guided meditation on the beach.  PM return to the hotel for dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Manuel Antonio Rural Mountain Adventure, Community Project
AM Yoga. After breakfast, we will depart for the mountain range of Fila Chonta. Experience a unique piece of Costa Rican rural heritage and biodiversity during the Santa Juana Rural Mountain Adventure. This unique mountain adventure is a guided nature, conservation and cultural expedition.  Visit the tiny farm village while enjoying an authentic “Campesino” style lunch in a typical rancho co-hosted by members of the local community. Afternoon community project.

Day 7: Departure. Early departure to International Airport Juan Santamaria (SJO) to take your flight back home.



Costa Rica Good Vibrations- Yoga, Health and Wellness 
7 Days/6 nights  
December 14-20th, 2015 or February 22-28th, 2015 
Investment:  $2175USD per person – Includes all accommodations, daily yoga & meditation,  activities and all meals-farm to table!  
Single supplement- $450
Limited space opportunity- Book by October 30th and receive a $250 discount per person

Book by calling Learning Journeys at 888-884-8259 
Or by emailing Info@LearningJourneys.com

15 Oct 2014

PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL - GRATITUDE + RECAP

Prairie Love Festival, #prairielovefestival, Eoin Finn, EOIN FINN YOGA FESTIVAL, Yoga Festival

It was a very special moment to when your vision comes to life. Watching the vision for a yoga festival in the prairies come to life on that beautiful September day... Wow. 

Prairie Love festival came together blissfully, and the whole thing exceeded our expectations.

A big thank you to all of our sponsors (Yoga Public, Equilibrium Wellness, Vantage Studios & Print Shop, Max Pro Lighting, lululemon athletica polo park & Harmony Tree Studio,) to Kal Barteski for scripting Prairie Love Festival's visual identity, to Blissology and all the teachers & speakers who shared their light with the Prairie Yogi community. BIG LOVE and massive thanks to all participants of the festival, we created this for you. 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

We hope watching this recap video inspires you to pursue your dream, whatever it is. You can take your vision and make it a reality. Whatever it is you spend your days dreaming about... Stop dreaming about it, start doing it. 


And the winner of our grand prize draw- a yoga + spa weekend for two at the Fort Garry Hotel, Ten Spa + Yoga Public is.........

AMANDA PITZ

Don't forget to save the date - Prairie Love Festival 2015 coming 'atcha September 12 + 13!

Prairie Love Festival, #prairielovefestival, Eoin Finn, EOIN FINN YOGA FESTIVAL, Yoga Festival

Namaste.

14 Oct 2014

TRANSITIONING: ON + OFF THE MAT


The fall equinox has come and gone. The leaves have turned to beautiful shades of red and orange. They have fallen off of the trees that hang over our heads to rest on the ground beneath our feet.

Like the ever-changing seasons, we experience many transitional points in our lives. New careers, new relationships, a move, starting a family, or graduating from university, no matter what it may be we are constantly moving forward, evolving, changing in one way or another.

Being aware of these times of change is not only important in our every day lives but also within our yoga practice. Transitions from asana to asana are not meant to be a time to rush - forgetting our intentions and instead focusing on what’s next to come.

Rather these blissful moments have much more meaning and significance.

Here are a few tips on transitioning within our yoga practice and off of the mat:

Be here now – Instead of always worrying about future events, what we are doing after class, tomorrow, or next week allow yourself to be truly present and take it all in. This moment, right here, right now is the only one that exists and as time has its way of naturally moving us from point A to point B, we should allow it to do so while we ENJOY the present moment.

Be patient – It is common to see students transiting out of an asana as though they had been counting down to the cue “release”. Instead we need to appreciate that in our yoga practice we are allowed to slow down, let our bodies open up and respond to our breath. We need to do this with a mindset of patience while allowing silence and stillness to occur, creating space for ourselves to be vulnerable and accept what is.

Appreciate the beauty around you (in its many forms) – From the breath, to the sweat, to the tears, to the heat and to the rhythm of moving together in unison – we create true beauty within our yoga practice. This is the perfect time to reflect on and appreciate our surroundings and take this gratitude out into the world to share with others.



Amanda Burkowsky is a spiritual, breathoriented yogi and yoga teacher.  

As a program facilitator and social work student, Amanda incorporates yoga and holistic healing to individuals and groups and believes in the empowerment of all people she works with. 


9 Oct 2014

PY House Warming PARTY!

Prairie Yogi housewarming, Amelia barnes, DJ sani soso, Prairie Yogi Apparel,

Fall is a great time for new beginnings. The start of a new school year, a new job, or returning to the mat are all symbolic of the season.

For Prairie Yogi, this fall marks 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 now has a space to bring community together and sell our prairie inspired apparel.

You're invited to experience what PY is all about at our House Warming Party on Saturday, October 18th. Join us for the festivities from 12 - 4.


Prairie Yogi housewarming, Amelia barnes, DJ sani soso, Prairie Yogi Apparel,

-Move and groove from noon - 1pm with Amelia Barnes + DJ Sami Soso's 60 minute flow yoga + DJ experience (spaces are limited, reserve yours here)
-Pop by between 1 - 4pm to shop, mingle + connect.
-Admission is FREE
-Sami Soso will stick around to provide some sweet beats for us throughout the afternoon.
-25% off all Prairie Yogi apparel!
-Enter to WIN a partner pass to BIG SKY BRUNCH
-Tea + snacks served all day

Hope to see you there - if you can't make it, don't fret... 
As of November 1st our office is open to the public:
Wednesdays - 11:30 - 6
Thursdays - 11:30 - 5
Saturdays - 11:30 - 4
Feel free to pop by, shop, snap a photo, have a cup of tea, or chat with us. 
We' can't wait to connect with you!

8 Oct 2014

Love on, live on


Love on. 

In the lexicon of popular Winnipeg yoga instructor Keith Macpherson, it means to share an overwhelming abundance of love and appreciation for someone in your life or, just as importantly, to yourself. This year, Macpherson plans to share the concept of  love on with as many people as possible through yoga, performance (speaking and music) and coaching with the launch of his personal brand of gratitude and optimism.

For the 35-year old yogi, he doesn't have to look far for inspiration. "It starts within me and it starts within you," explains the passionately positive Macpherson. "Happiness is truly an internal job. There’s nothing externally that will complete us. We are living in a culture where we’re looking for love outside of ourselves when it already exists within us. In a nutshell, love yourself unconditionally. That's where happiness resides."

He would know. In addition to living the yogi lifestyle, Macpherson has been writing and performing music for almost half of his 35 years on this planet, including his work with country/pop duo Keith and Renee. Performing music on stage, sometimes in front of thousands of people, provided Macpherson a false sense of security and comfort. "I quickly realized that when I played guitar and sang, I could hide behind an invisible mask that would cover up who I really was and I was given the attention I was so desperately seeking outside myself," remembers Macpherson. 

Despite receiving seemingly endless accolades and praise externally from music fans and industry reps, internally a craving for love and acceptance persisted. The void permeated negatively into every aspect of his life, especially romantic relationships.  It wasn't until a trip to Hawaii in 2010, the introspective introvert citing the lowest point emotionally in his life, saw things clearly for the first time in his life while being blinded by a brilliant waterfall. "While standing under that waterfall something profound shifted in me and life has never been same again. In that moment of awakening, so to speak,  I found myself surrendering up all my years of deep hidden, sadness to the only person who could genuinely validate my happiness - and that was the spirit within me." 

Happiness is an internal job. It's a statement you will often hear Macpherson confidently convey during any of his yoga practices or performances. Yet, he'll be the first to disclose there is no prescription for perfection when it comes to self-love -  it's a continuous commitment that takes work. 
"I have come to understand that the secret to happiness and acceptance already lives within me and the key to unlocking and remembering this is through the practice of loving on myself and loving on others." 

Love on has not only become Macpherson's mantra, but also the impetus for new endeavours in 2015, including writing a new book and recording his first ever solo CD. The latter involves working closely with producer, musician and long-time friend, Mark Reeves. The tandem is recording more than 10 tracks in a remote recording studio near Gross Isle, Manitoba.  A release date and brand launch is expected in early 2015.  



For more on love on and how to practice it, visit: www.keithmacpherson.ca

5 Oct 2014

BIG SKY BRUNCH - INN AT THE FORKS


We're cooking up another epic experience for you Prairie Yogis!

Join us on Sunday November 2nd as the community comes together to move, connect, and feast at Winnipeg's luxury boutique hotel in the heart of the city.

The one and only SAM Manchulenko will lead an inspired 60 min flow class (suitable for all levels and abilities), followed by community smiles, local vendors, PY photobooth, and wait for it.... gourmet brunch catered by the Inn at the Forks chefs.

Vegetarian + gluten free options available - email prairieyogi@gmail.com with any dietary restrictions.


Tickets

Single ticket: $49
Partner pass: $88*

Yoga, brunch, community smiles, taxes and gratuities included in ticket price. 
*Limited number of partner passes available.


Event management for BIG SKY BRUNCH powered by Eventbrite

Our Big Sky Brunches are a favourite with the community!


Big Sky Brunch + Yoga - Prairie Yogi from Prairie Yogi Magazine on Vimeo.



25 Sep 2014

So you're all blissed out after that yoga festival, now what?


You were there, you did it. Oodles of yoga class, met new friends, added to your mala collection, ate delicious vegan foods, and now you are buzzing with life.  All the promises of a festival were met with a bang to the body and heart.

Now, you’re home and the reality of home life is proving to be a hard transition with your new found high and remembrance of your true joyful nature.

You notice that your partner walks heavy and it irritates you, your kids which you love and adore seem to screech loudly, the fridge has no raw or life-giving foods, everything is becoming a bummer. And worse the monkey mind has seemed to returned with an assortment of thoughts such as 

‘My partner just doesn’t get me, we aren’t on the same vibe.’

‘I need a new job, my current one doesn’t lift me up, I think i wanna be a yoga instructor'

‘I’m gonna take up kirtan and travel the world'

Balancing your yoga festival buzz can be difficult to keep once you walked into the front door and back into your 'real' life. There are a few things I highly recommend to get rooted back into home life after an out-of-this-world yogic experience.


Get grounded right away. I suggest pizza. Yes, it can cause havoc on your gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, fat free digestive tract but it will ground you. It will help you sleep and land you back in reality. It is a comfort food and while some of my yogi fiends will disagree with me, I find there is nothing better then eating a great margarita pizza to get grounded. That or potatoes or peorgies, really anything that is considered rajas, heavy and oily.

Have sex. Connect with your partner. While you’ve off hugging everyone else for 8 seconds and feeling the good vibes, your partner was probably minding the home front, cleaning up, looking after the kids, driving them around and all the jobs you normally do so you'd be able to get your bliss on. It’s time to get connected with the one who supports you on your wunderlusting wanderings. Get intimate and bring them into your world. Don’t expect them to know how you feel, but share the bliss by breathing together and nourishing one another between the sheets.

Don’t try to do too much the next day, even if you are feeling like a superhero (a superhero with tight hamstrings, mind you.) Your body just went through the equivalent to a full car detailing, a complete cleansing of internal and outer bodily realms. Allow yourself the time and space to soak it up and savour the fabulous moments you had, cause you did, have a whole bunch of fabulous moments, right?! That's why you are buzzing and now trying to deal with what we consider a mundane life after the amazing heart-opening experience of the yoga festival.


Your yoga festival experience is designed to lift you up. It is supposed to inspire you, touch deep into the inner realms of the heart and connect you on a plane that we don't always experience in our day to day living. The point is we can take that feeling away with us into our daily lives, holding it dearly in our hearts, remembering that connection is a part of us. We are supposed to inspire after a festival and allow it to seep into moments back into our reality real world, such as being stuck in traffic or when the dog poops (again) in the living room. These memories are available to be called upon and fill you up; its important to remember those and your life around that also fills you up every day and moment of your life.



Tahnee Fournier, ERYT-500 with 15 years of teaching experience nationally and internationally is known for being inspiring and devotional to the practice.  Currently she co-directs the yoga teacher training program at Bliss Living and Yoga in Grand Cayman, is an ambassador for Daub & Design and Manduka Yoga and has online yoga videos with YOGO.TV while calling Saskatchewan home.
Tahnee is a Mother, an urban priestess, jewellery designer, an equestrian, wine-lover and loves to collaborate with incredible human beings on projects that invoke joy, love and laughter.

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.