31 Dec 2012

EAT, PRAY, LOVE IN THE NEW YEAR

My journal was given to me several years ago by a dear friend who had lugged it back from India in her backpack. The day it was given to me was the day I finished reading Eat, Pray, Love. We started the Journal Project last month at Prairie Yogi Magazine. So here I sit, lounging on a sail boat anchored off of Cobia Island in the South Pacific (so Eat, Pray, Love of me- right?) writing in my journal.

From time to time, I'll look back at older entries. In the very first few pages of my journal I had transcribed two excepts from Eat, Pray, Love. I seem to always go back and skim over them at just the right time in my life. I wanted to share them with you and if one – or both- resonate with you, I encourage you to transcribe them in your own journal. They've been awesome navigation points for me if I'm feeling a little unbalanced or unsteady in my life.

Petitioning the Universe
I explained to Iva my personal opinions about prayer. Namely, that I don't feel comfortable petitioning for specific things from God, because that feels to me like a kind of weakness of faith. I don't like asking “Will you change this or that in my life that's difficult for me? Because who knows?- God might want me to be facing that particular challenge for a reason. Instead I feel more comfortable praying for the courage to face whatever occurs in my life with equanimity, no matter how things turn out.

Iva listened politely, then asked, “Where'd you get that stupid idea?”
What do you mean?”
Where did you get the idea that you aren't allowed to petition to the universe with prayer? You are a part of the universe, Liz. You're a constituent- you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me. It will be at least taken into consideration.”

Relationships
I have a history of making decisions very quickly about a man. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than the man himself, and then have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometime far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism.

Ending the calendar year is always so much fun and it's one of my favourite times to write in my journal. I list all of the goals I've accomplished this year, note the changes in my life and plan my intentions for the year to come. I'm a strong believer in the law of attraction, and for me, writing down my intentions always seem to keep me on track with what I want to have manifest in my life. Do you use intention/inspiration boards to attract things into your life? Has it worked?

Happy 2013!

Reporting and sending love to all of our Prairie Yogis from Cobia Island, Fiji!

Monique


Monique Pantel is a photographer, writer and passionate yogi living in Winnipeg, Canada. She also happens to be the online editor and creative director for Prairie Yogi Magazine. Monique loves to create, whether it's writing, cooking, painting, photography or free-styling fun sequences on the yoga mat!
Find Monique online at her website here.

22 Dec 2012

TO GIVE OR NOT TO GIVE

Just like that, yes, the holidays are in full effect. With the big day only days away, many of us are still preparing by cooking, baking, buying, wrapping, checking off lists, and dashing out here, there and everywhere. So what is that we are really preparing for? What is it that you are really giving or not giving this holiday season? Self admittedly, I use to get so wrapped up in all the details of my table display the perfectly creased edges of all my meticulously wrapped gifts, and making sure that everyone on my shopping list was taken care of and that I had spent an equal monetary amount on everyone! This year, and over the past few years, my perspectives have started to shift.

I knew the holidays were coming fast and furious as they always do but I found myself not even allowing the stresses of the holiday season to cross my mind. Instead, I find myself enjoying the time and the choices that I've made to prepare. All the while knowing that these things don't have to be prefect. This way, I don't lose myself in trying to please everyone that I think needs pleasing. I am able to really give who I am and be present. I can take the time to spend quality time with those who mean something in my life. I don't feel guilty about stepping on my yoga mat thinking I should be somewhere else preparing for something else.


The journey of yoga will take each of us to many different places, lighting up new paths, placing new obstacles before us, forcing us to spend time inside of our bodies while learning what it feels like to be honest. Ultimately, finding out that if you are honest you can be real, and if you are real you can be true.


So this holiday season, in the spirit of giving, be true to you and give to yourself by letting go of the expectations of what you think should be happening. Dash through the snow instead of the mall. Spend time mindfully with someone you love instead of spending money. Be present right now instead of giving a gift. And lastly, be grateful for all the moments you've been given and don't forget to do some yoga. 



Written by Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko

Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko lives in Moose Jaw, Canada. She teaches yoga at Body in Mind Yoga. Mei-Ling is a proud mother to her little boy, Sam. Her favourite thing about being a mom is getting to watch Sam grow and share yoga with him. Mei-Ling loves to teach what resonates with her and to share the journey of yoga both on her yoga mat, in the studio and in writing. 
You can find Mei-Ling here.

17 Dec 2012

“I Love You” Chocolate Banana Gingerbread Cake


December is the best time of year to bake. Winter is setting in, and what better way to warm up the house than with delectable smells emanating from the oven? This is the time of year to be gathered close to those you love, so with some gingerbread cake on a plate accompanied with a pot of tea, invite your family and friends over! There are few things that communicate your love as clearly as something sweet and delicious.

Last year during this time, I had a dalliance with chocolate gingerbread, and this year the courtship continues. However, having had a whole year to mature my culinary capabilities, I think I have arrived upon a new rendition that approaches the zenith of gingerbread glory. This latest version uses freshly grated ginger and nutmeg to accentuate their warm flavours against the dark sweetness of molasses, while the addition of bananas keeps the cake moist but light. As with most good things, patience is required: a low baking temperature is used to bake the dense gingerbread through the middle without burning the outside. I love the symbolism of a circle for representing unity and togetherness, so I baked my gingerbread in a round cake pan. If you aren't as hung up on metaphor as me, you can be practical and bake it in a shallow rectangular dish, which would probably reduce the baking time and ensure even baking.

I relish the comfort and security that tradition can bring, so my plan is to bake some version of gingerbread each year from hereon as my own way of embracing holiday ritual. I am so pleased with this year's version, but of course there is always the potential for change (as our yoga practices remind us!), and perhaps next year it will be the same, but different. Until then, I plan to offer this up with warm fuzzy feelings to my loved ones.
------

“I Love You” Chocolate Banana Gingerbread Cake

3 ripe bananas (frozen and then thawed)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (a rasp or Microplane does the best job)
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
icing sugar (optional, for dusting)

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas. (I tend to freeze super ripe ones and then thaw them later - this way I'm not pressured to use them before the fruit flies appear on the counter, and more importantly they are super mushy after this freeze/thaw process.) Add the oil, molasses, egg, and milk. Whisk together until homogenous.

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (sugars, spices, baking powder, flour, cocoa). Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix with a spatula until just combined. If you really want to go all out, mix in some chocolate chips - everyone will think that your cake is the cat's whiskers. Pour the batter into a greased baking pan and bake at 300 F for 40-50 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size of your pan and how spread out the batter is. If a longer baking time is required, increase the oven heat to 350 F. Mine took a looong time to bake (over an hour), so if you are energy conscious you might want to bake a casserole for dinner at the same time. Or dry your clothes in the oven. Or something.

The cake is finished when the top is dry to the touch and a knife or skewer comes out of the middle cleanly. Let cool thoroughly before dusting with icing sugar. Doing this while it is snowing outside makes the activity extra romantic. Serve with love.

Written by Adrienne Shum
Photos by David Quiring

Adrienne Shum is a yoga instructor, an Ayurvedic lifestyle counsellor, and has a Masters in Food Science. She likes to cook, bake, and plan dinner parties. When she is not in the kitchen she is sewing leather pouches and journals (www.facebook.com/branniganandbarry). Please contact her for Ayurvedic nutrition consultations and upcoming workshop dates at adrienne.shum@gmail.com.






Fuelled by an ever growing passion for visual storytelling, David Quiring documents a gamut of life experiences through photography and cinematography. Alongside his photography, David maintains a strong personal yoga and meditation practice, deeply rooted in the principles of Yin yoga. He embraces the opportunity to teach Yin and share the lessons from his own journey, as he believes that the quiet form of Yin is a welcome and necessary complement to the busy Yang lifestyles that people often lead. Find David and his works at www.davidquiring.com.


13 Dec 2012

KEEP YOUR COOL OVER THE HOLIDAYS!



Jingle bells and mistletoe have arrived- but so has the added stress involved with the extra activity December brings. Winter holidays can be a busy time with all the parties, shopping, planning, and baking we want to do. Though this extra activity can be a fun thing, it can also lead to stress and sensory overload. This time of year is the perfect time to find tools to balance our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Yoga, meditation, and conscious breathing are lifesavers during times of stress. The health benefits are instant. Try it: next time you’re feeling stressed, stop and take my Five-Alive break. Find a quiet, comfortable space to sit. Inhale for a count of five, hold for a count of five, and exhale for a count of five, and hold once again for five. Repeat for five times.

Here are 3 more ways yoga, meditation, and breathing can bring calm over the holidays:

1. Do Viparita Karani
Aka legs-up-the-wall pose when you need a break. This pose helps to calm the sympathetic nervous system, the fight-or-flight system, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest-and-digest system. It also gives your heart a rest by pumping the blood from your lower body back to your heart with ease. Put on your favourite song and hang out upside-down for a bit. Bound to help you face a challenge with a proactive perspective.

2. Take it one step further and find a restorative yoga class. 
Not only will you get to do poses like Viparita Karani but other supportive postures just like it. Restorative yoga uses various props, bolsters, blocks, and blankets, to help you relax in poses such as a twist and child’s pose. The benefits of restorative yoga come with long holds and deep breathing.

3. Find a quiet space and take two minutes or more of meditation at the start or end of your day. 
Don’t forget to set a timer—this way you won’t wonder how much time has passed. Find a comfortable position and an even rhythm to your breath and soak in the silence. You can also silently repeat a mantra, like “let” on the inhale and “go” on the exhale, or a word you would like to cultivate in your day, like inhale/exhale “peace.” If you get carried away with thought, notice and bring your attention back to breath for the remaining period of time.

I hope you find these three tools helpful in dealing with the busyness of the holidays. Remember to take care of yourself first so that you are better equipped to take care of and love those around you. 
Keep calm and carol on!

 Lynette is a 500-hr certified yoga teacher, specializing in meditation and restorative yoga. She also has a BA in Communications, works as a freelance photographer, writer, and communications/social media consultant. She is from Saskatoon but loves to experience the world around her and has lived in Mexico and Montreal to name a few.

Lynette is the Saskatoon Community Coordinator for Power of Movement—a national event that raises money for arthritis and autoimmune disease research.

5 Dec 2012

GIVE THE GIFT OF SHRI - THE JOURNAL PROJECT CONTEST

We at PYM know that this season of giving and abundance can be hard on the wallet, and we want to help you out...

We are giving away a custom made Shri Of Life cowel (worth $120) that you can use as a gift or for yourself!
All you have to do to WIN is comment on Prairie Yogi's The Journal Projectwith your favourite intention or yoga story. Every comment counts as one entry!

Be sure to 'like' Shri of Life on Facebook, where artist and prairie yogini Corey-Jill shares her intentions and inspirations regularly.

Contest closes Thursday, December 13 so enter today.

Love + Light + Laughter

3 Dec 2012

TOP 3 WAYS TO ENJOY THE OUTDOORS THIS WINTER- SNOWGA!


The prairies are notorious for those northern winds sweeping across the plains, wind-chills that dip below -40C and snow that piles higher than your waist. 

Now, for most people, the thought of a climate like that has them running straight to the fireplace with blankets and hot chocolate in tow. But, Prairie Yogis have a fun alternative that lets you enjoy the prairie chill- SNOWGA!

How do Prairie Yogis keep warm in the winter?...

#1 We dress for the weather and for play!
The real downer in cold weather isn't the cold itself- it's your gear not being warm enough! Dress in     comfortable, breathable clothing that protects you against the elements. Mocassins, warm toques, mittens and ski pants are just a few of our outdoor must-haves.

#2 We find a fun location!
Go and explore your area. There may be parks, small forests or paths you've never taken before. Make your outing adventurous! Sometimes we're lucky enough to see deer and other wildlife within the city limits! 

#3 We bring some friends!
The holidays are known for a time of over-indulgence. Get quality time with your friends and family by having an adventure outdoors! Try some snowga!





Monique Pantel is a photographer, writer and passionate yogi living in Winnipeg, Canada. She also happens to be the online editor and creative director for Prairie Yogi Magazine. Monique loves to create, whether it's writing, cooking, painting, photography or freestyling fun sequences on the yoga mat!
Find Monique online at her website here.

24 Nov 2012

YOGI ROASTED CARROT + ONION AYURVEDIC SOUP



As we move into a colder season, it's important to stay warm – especially from the inside! This simple soup will certainly help with that. According to Ayurveda (the traditional Indian method of healing), eating yellow and orange foods are warming, and soups help balance the cold and dry qualities of winter, keeping you healthy and happy. 

This roasted carrot and onion soup requires the vegetables to be roasted first, which helps deepen their flavour. The addition of balsamic vinegar adds complexity as the sugar in the vinegar caramelizes and mellows out any acidity. The white miso paste provides even more yummy flavour, as well as a boost of protein. The cooling yoghurt is a welcome contrast to the richness of the soup, while the nutmeg marries it all together.

Feel free to try making this soup with other roasted vegetables, like parsnips or sweet potatoes. It is a great way to use up any leftover veggies from last night's dinner. This recipe makes four to six servings, or two gargantuan ones.

5-6 medium carrots
1 medium yellow onion
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt, to taste
1 heaping tbsp white miso paste
3 cups hot water
Plain thick yoghurt, for garnish
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Peel the carrots and chop into thick coins. Peel the onion and slice thickly. Throw all the veggies onto a baking tray and toss with the oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the carrots are tender and a little brown on the edges. Tumble all the veggies into a blender, add the miso paste, and about three cups of hot water. Blitz until smooth. Add more water if it is too thick. Pour the soup into a saucepan and gently heat until it starts to make little blips at the surface. Add more salt if desired. To serve, garnish with a generous plop of yoghurt and a quick streak of fresh nutmeg. Enjoy!

-Written by Adrienne Shum

Adrienne Shum is a yoga instructor, an Ayurvedic lifestyle counsellor, and has a Masters in Food Science. She likes to cook, bake, and plan dinner parties. When she is not in the kitchen she is sewing leather pouches and journals (www.facebook.com/branniganandbarry). You can contact her for Ayurvedic nutrition consultations at adrienne.shum@gmail.com
   

13 Nov 2012

ISLAND YOGA + SUP FREESTYLE YOGA




If you've discovered and deepened your practice in the confines of a studio space, you've probably been tempted to take those asanas off the mat and out into the world. You've dreamt of, and maybe even tried freestyle yoga: standing tall with in trees in thick of the forest; lunging deep into a strong warrior on the beach, toes buried in the sand; or flowing through sun salutations in mismatched pyjamas in your kitchen. I, myself am a big fan of freestyle yoga, in fact I may have taken the former examples from my own experiences.

I had seen yoga practiced on stand up paddleboards (SUP) by my friends in the Caribbean, and I had yearned to bring my yoga off the mat and onto the water. This past spring, I set the intention to do so, despite being landlocked in the prairies.

In a serendipitous moment in July, on a friend of a friend's stoop in Winnipeg's Osborne Village, I met Corey-Jill Lakusiak. Our connection was instant; women woven of the same cloth. When I told her about the Prairie Yogi community, this radiating yogini extended to us an invitation to join her and her family at their cabin on  Lake of the Woods for a weekend of yoga and paddle boarding bliss.

The power of intention, what an incredible thing.

Just a few days later, Monique & I were greeted with hugs from Corey-Jill and her brother Scott on a dock in Sioux Narrows, Ontario. Meeting the inspiring group of women we would be spending the weekend , we realized that this experience was a rare gift. The women, who all varied in age, experience and background, each shared a friendship through yoga with the Lakusiaks for many years, some even decades. A ticket to Freestyle Island was not something that could be bought. Scott, owner of Abandon Shore Paddle Boarding, joked that they would have to blindfold us for the 25 minute boat ride to the island to ensure the location of their sanctuary be kept secret. 

With no idea of what the weekend had in store for us, I left all expectation there on the dock behind us - a skill I have only recently learned in my years of practicing.

Upon our arrival on the figure-8 shaped island, appropriately named Freestyle Island, we discover that this slice of prairie paradise has just about everything a yogi could ever need to find bliss. A screened in yoga studio built off the main cabin sits perched over Lake of the Woods: a breeze blowing in off the water tickles chimes that echo in the background. The meditation bench - happily removed from the cabin, is nestled under a shady tree and is the perfect place to discover calm and serenity, or to reconnect with their dusty copy of the Tao te Ching. And a sandcastle-worthy beach welcomes soft waves from Lake of the Woods, where some of the freshest water in the world tempts you to take a dip. 

Behind the beach, a path leads you through an enchanted forest to a magical back bay that is home to otters, blue herons, bald eagles, moose, deer, bear and plenty of fish. "This place is practically Narnia!" Said Monique Pantel, Prairie Yogi Online's Creative Director, who found her happy place paddle-boarding on the back bay with the wild life early in the mornings.

Freestyle Island operates off the grid using solar panels and biodegradable/eco friendly waste treatments and has been in the Lakusiak family for over 20 years. Gene & Lynn, Corey-Jill and Scotts parents, are the heart and soul of Freestyle Island. What an incredible family that totally embodies the prairie yogi spirit!  Lynn, owner of Yoga at St-Marks in Winnipeg is one of the matrons of Anusara yoga in Canada, radiating inspiration and grace. And Gene is an ex- Defensive Back for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers whose football career took its toll on his body, he was once hardly able to lift his arms above his head. Yoga helped him regain mobility and flexibility and now has full range of motion in his shoulders. 

Scott's passion for SUP is a perfect complement to the yogis in his family, and Abandon Shore Paddle Boarding & Yoga at St Mark's teamed up to run the weekend activities together. Lynn lead us through a challenging morning practice, with a focus on proper alignment, core strength, and grounding into the feet - elements that would help us being our asanas onto the SUP.  After a scrumptious vegan breakfast, it came time to bring it together, and I couldn't wait to go freestyle on the board. Scott got us set up with one quick SUP lesson, and we were off! He couldn't help but notice the ease with which yogis were able to balance on the SUP their very first attempt, "must be the core strength and innate balance," he said. 

We paddled to the calmer waters of the back bay where we tossed our paddles aside, and Lynn lead us through the asanas as we all experimented with yoga on the SUP for the first time. "It's like a floating yoga mat!" Corey-Jill exclaimed while testing out bridge pose on her SUP.

It was interesting to discover which postures were more and less challenging on the board. Balancing postures, my usual go-to freestyle move, proved to be much more difficult on the SUP, and my first attempt at crow pose, I fell face-first into the drink. A refreshing lesson that falling out of your pose isn't a bad thing. From the water, Lynn coached us, with cues to help with alignment, and we all started to get it, finding the postures that worked best on the SUP: plank; extended side angle; downward facing dog; wide legged forward folds (some of the yogi, including 70 year old Gene Lakusiak, popped up into headstand); and king pigeon. Essentially, the more points of contact you had on the board, the better.

The highlight of the weekend for me was our photo shoot at sunset. Mother Nature co-operated and delivered a fantastic sunset full of passionate pinks and fiery oranges for our backdrop, and Corey-Jill and Lori-Joe Lindroos (from Kenora, Ontario) made SUP-yoga poetry happen out on the water for all of us to see. They even hopped onto one board together and did some partner work. I thought my heart was going to burst with happiness.

At the end of the day, I felt nourished. The challenging morning yoga practice nourished our bodies with beautiful energy, the scrumptious vegan meals nourished our bellys, SUP in the sun into the wetlands full of wildlife nourished our spirits and the kula- the community- of incredible women and men on this retreat nourished the soul.

And the best part - we got to do it all over again the next day! :)

For Manitoba yogis looking to get their hands on SUP and create their own freestyle retreat, contact Scott Lakusiak at Abandon Shore Paddle Boarding, for rental and purchase information and for inspirational workshops over the winter, check out Yoga at St-Mark's calendar.

A big thank you to the Lakusiak family, Yoga at St Mark's, and Abandon Shore Paddle Boarding for such an incredible experience! Freestylers for life! <3

Rachelle Taylor is a writer, yogi, photographer, and the founder of Prairie Yogi Magazine. Taylor forged a deep connection to her practice while living in the Cayman Islands on a working holiday. The return to her hometown, in the heart of Canada, inspired her to create PYM with the intention to inspire, educate, and bring together the strong yoga community of the prairies. She currently lives in Winnipeg, Canada.

12 Nov 2012

WINNER OF THE MONDETTA PRIZE PACK!

 

Drumroll please..... Janna Barkman- congrats! You're the winner of the Mondetta MPG Yoga Prize Pack worth $130!

Namaste + enjoy!

- Prairie Yogi Magazine

9 Nov 2012

MATS OF THE HEART




Don't step onto someone else's mat. That's the general yoga etiquette since I can remember. It honestly doesn't bother me if someone happens to step onto the corner of my mat. I like the idea of yoga etiquette, but I also like the idea of yoga just happening, too. 

My mat has become a sacred place for me. It's the place where I meet myself in person. With no expectations, no obligations, no fronts, and no "will they like me's?". The mat evolves from a sticky surface to a slate that is easily wiped clean each time I step onto it. Everything that forms and transpires along the way can come and go but the light always stays bright and I can glow just a little more as a result. 

With true dedication and the work I've put forth in my practice, I feel like I've really begun to shine. I shine when the pose just happens, and the physical effort turns into a strength that just supports rather than a strength that has to lead. 

Over the years my mat has lead me to places where my work would be revealed with my true self emerging along the way. It's hard to imagine that I can fly that arm balance I only saw pictures of. The steps I took on my mat are living proof that everything accomplished comes with great practice. I waited many years to give into the residing fear inside myself that told me "I'd never do that!". One day I felt a push inside and I gave that back bending arm balance a try. Wow! I asked myself "Did I really just do that?". It turns out, I did. From that particular moment on, I really started to believe that we can do more than we ever think that we can.

I am a true believer that possibilities are endless. I know that what transforms on my mat will be different than those transformations that take place on the mat beside me. The thing about yoga is that change will happen to each of us. The only similarities between us is that the change will be self clearing in someway and that the light inside of us inevitably shines brighter.

So go ahead, step onto the corner of my mat and maybe we'll end up sharing our yoga journey revelations and transformations with one another. My mat is my sacred place. My heart resides on it and there is nothing more beautiful than sharing a piece of that.

Written by Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko

Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko lives in Moose Jaw, Canada. She teaches yoga at Body in Mind Yoga. Mei-Ling is a proud mother to her little boy, Sam. Her favourite thing about being a mom is getting to watch Sam grow and share yoga with him. Mei-Ling loves to teach what resonates with her and to share the journey of yoga both on her yoga mat, in the studio and in writing. 
You can find Mei-Ling here.

5 Nov 2012

WELCOME TO PRAIRIE YOGI MAGAZINE! (CONTEST CLOSED)



Welcome, welcome, WELCOME! We're so excited to have you visit us!

 In gratitude, we'd love to award one of our lucky readers...

Prairie Yogi is giving away a Mondetta Performance Gear yoga package worth $130!

Wanna win? It's easy peasy.

The contest deets:

- Write a short comment about your favourite place to practice yoga- be creative!
- Follow + Like Prairie Yogi Magazine on Twitter + Facebook!
- Follow + Like MPG on TwitterFacebook!

The lucky duck will be announced next Monday, November 12th, 2012.

Thank you to every single person who has supported this project. We're eternally grateful.

Namaste + good luck!

-Prairie Yogi Magazine

1 Nov 2012

PRAIRIE YOGI OF THE MONTH - KEITH MACPHERSON


Prairie Yogi of the Month Keith Macpherson from Prairie Yogi Magazine on Vimeo.

"I was failing French class in the seventh grade grade. I made a deal with my teacher- I had to translate a Bob Dylan song and play it in front of the entire student body at a school concert.

So there I was, in front of a huge crowd- and I started to bomb- hard. I had just learned to play the chords from 'The Cat Came Back' a few weeks earlier, so I started to strum the tune. The entire school started singing along with me. That was the moment I realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to perform for people."

Since then, Keith has stayed true to his teenage dream. He plays in the band Keith and Renee, has toured with Canadian singer-songwriter Jann Arden, reached top 14 on Canadian Idol and even David Suzuki is a fan of Keith. One of Keith and Renee's songs is featured on Suzuki's 'Playlist for the Planet'.

Keith has taken his musical talents and brought them into a different kind of studio- the yoga studio, of course! Keith has been teaching yoga for three years and often sings and plays the guitar during his classes. He says that putting the two practices together came quite naturally.

"I feel like yoga and music are one in the same really. I mean, yoga is such a creative expression and I feel like music is also a very creative expression and the two of them melt together really well."

- Written by Monique Pantel

We're looking for nominations for the next Prairie Yogi of the Month! Email us at prairieyogi@gmail.com with your nomination!

Keith Macpherson is a yoga instructor, recording artist, life coach, public speaker and energy healer living in Winnipeg, Canada. He's travelled to Kenya, Dubai, Hawaii for various yoga, music and healing related experiences. Find him on Facebook, Twitter + his Website.

24 Oct 2012

YOGA BEYOND THE CITY



Meet Rebecca Watson. She's a Manitoba born and bred ex-restauranteur who's got a new mission: bringing yoga to rural Manitoba.

Although Watson's been practicing yoga for years- it wasn't until a year ago that she decided to take a leap of faith and bring her practice to a new level.

"My thyroid was so out of wack- my whole body was actually. Years of stress and over exhaustion literally brought me to a stand still. I flew to Mexico and spent a month in the desert. It was one of the most special experiences of my life."

After finishing her teacher training in Mexico, Watson has felt a desire to bring yoga and share it in  places that it had never been taught.

Enter Mobile Yoga, Watson's new entrepreneurial venture. Every week she cruises out to smaller towns in rural Manitoba spreading some yoga love. Several times a week, Watson will pack her car full of extra mats, blocks and straps and will drive an hour outside of the Perimeter to her eager students, usually already there, waiting outside for her. And her students- who vary in age and ability - all adore her.

"You wouldn't believe how hard they fall in love with yoga. It's so new to them- that experience."

Watson's commitment to bringing yoga to new places reminds us of a documentary featuring one of our favourite yogis- Tara Stiles! She recently filmed the doc Heartland Yogi, where she returns to her roots in the American Midwest (she's a Prairie Yogi, too!)  to teach people about yoga.

- Written by Monique Pantel


Rebecca Watson is a yoga instructor and owner of Mobile Yoga, living in Winnipeg, Canada. Originally from Pine Falls, Watson is an advocate for the slow food movement and was the sole representative from Manitoba at the 2011 Terra Madre convention held in Torino, Italy.