22 Feb 2013

PRAIRIE LETTERS OF LOVE


Sometimes we get incredibly sweet messages of love from all over the prairies. The Prairie Yogi community is so awesome, we thought we would share a kind message and photo from Kevin in Saskatoon:

Hi Prairie Yogis!

I love your concept, bringing all Prairie Yogis together as a Kula to celebrate this practice of Oneness. I live in Saskatoon and teach at four studios around town, spreading the teachings in three styles. I also do a lot of work with inner city kids teaching them yoga and empowerment through breath, really giving them the tools to be comfortable in their own skin and teaching them how to relax.

I spent the last few years teaching in Vancouver but made the move back about six months ago to spend time with my family, they're my number one. I teach guided meditation as well, was trained by Deepak Chopra school. I just set up a workshop in South Africa later on in the year for children with Aids, giving some hope, love and inspiration. I truly feel blessed and so grateful for this practice and being able to spread the teachings.

Love,

Kevin

18 Feb 2013

HOW YOGA CONNECTS YOU WITH YOUR PASSION

Prairie Yogi Keith Macpherson connects to his passion of music and songwriting through his yoga practice. Have you ever been to one of his musical classes at Moksha Yoga?
When I'm deep into my practice, I'll start thinking about the things I really love. I'm not talking about people- I'm talking about passions. The things that make you feel alive and connected. For me, it's painting, photography and travel. For some, it could be music or gardening or dancing. Sometimes I'll get a wave of guilt wash over me, a gentle reminder that I should make more time in my life for the things that I'm passionate about- the things that make me feel connected.

HERE ARE 5 TIPS TO HELP YOU DISCOVER YOUR PASSIONS WHILE PRACTICING YOUR PRANAYAMA:

1. LISTEN
Listen to what your heart is telling you. Thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, stream through your mind during your practice. Listen attentively to what you hear. These messages are very important!

2. ACKNOWLEDGE
Stop and acknowledge these messages. Don't let them be swept away in the bliss of your practice... which brings me to...

3. REMEMBER
It's easy to get caught up in your practice. Thoughts bounce around and there is a lot to take in in one class. If you make a point of remembering when something important, like a passion or creative outlet comes up, make a mental note!

4. TAKE ACTION + EXPLORE
After your class, write down what you have discovered- or in some cases, rediscovered. Find some time in the next few days to allow yourself to explore your passion, new or old. Pick up a paint brush, join a dance class, try pottery lessons or bake some ayurveda cookies!

5. BE GRATEFUL
It's important to be grateful for things that bring you joy in your life and more importantly share those gifts with the people that you love.


17 Feb 2013

BE THE CHANGE


Just a small reminder to be the change you wish to see in the world. Slow down. Appreciate small gestures. Be patient and kind. Involve yourself with things that will benefit others.

Have you ever thought of volunteering? Meet new people and do something new. Spring is just around the corner. How about contributing to your community garden? The opportunities to lend your time and skills to others in endless. Share your abilities, and like Ghandi once said: You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

12 Feb 2013

TEA FOR EATING DISORDERS


Emily Doer has a lot on her plate- but that wasn't always the case. Doer has struggled with an eating disorder for years. In the summer of 2011, she sought help through the Adult Eating Disorder Program at the Health Sciences Centre. There, she was able to cope with the disease that had increasingly taken over her life. Now it's Doer's mission to give back to a program that helped her recover.

Over the weekend, Doer hosted a Tea for Eating Disorders at the Fort Gary Hotel. In organizing the Tea for ED, Emily reconnected with Erika Hunzinger; a yoga instructor living in Winnipeg. Erika, like Emily, has struggled with her eating disorder for years. 

"I remember reading Erika's story featured in the Winnipeg Free Press. I Googled her name and sent her a Facebook message. It's funny because years later, Erika messaged me on Facebook when she heard about Tea for ED event I was organizing. She didn't realize I was the same girl who messaged her just a few years ago." said Doer.

"Since we've met in person - a few months ago, we've been hanging out and a friendship has developed. It really shows  the power of bringing people together. She's really an emotional support for me, actually." said Hunzinger.

For both young women, yoga was introduced as part of a healing in their treatment. Yoga still remains a constant in each of their lives.

"What yoga has really helped me with is this moment this breath. Every breath I have choice. I can keep choosing to move forward, and that's how I would consider my recovery now. I wouldn't say I'm recovered with a period of the end of that sentence. I remind myself that I should be grateful for my body and by not feeding it I'm starving people of their yoga teacher and I'm starving myself from growing as a spiritual person." said Hunzinger.

Now Doer wants to pay it forward and start a discussion about eating disorders. 

"I want to raise awareness about eating disorders and also raise money for the program that helped me get my life back on track. There's a huge demand for treatment and I want other girls to have the same opportunity I did to get better." said Doer.

-Written by Monique Pantel

To find out more about the Tea for Eating Disorders or to donate, visit the Tea for ED website.
Cornelia Bean also created a special tea blend for Tea for ED. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the cause.

4 Feb 2013

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE AND COOKIES

Most years I avoid thinking about Valentine’s Day due to the images that it can conjure up: painful loneliness if one is single, or saccharine, mushy, lovey dovey coupledom (equally painful). Really the most enjoyable V-Days that I’ve had were when I was a child and it was an excuse to eat lots of sugar in the form of chocolate and red candy. Nothing makes me feel more connected and loved than sharing in a binge of red frosted cupcakes. As such, I’ve decided that adulthood should follow a similar theme, and this year I plan to make kitschy edibles to provide to my Lovey Dovey and other sweethearts in my life. Naturally they should consist of chocolate, and the requisite pinky red hue of the holiday.

So how to demonstrate my feelings in an appropriately ostentatious way? Nothing says “I care” more than homemade baking - even more so if they happen to be homemade Oreos (oh yeah). A labour of love indeed, as this is quite a process: first you must make the cookie, whip up the filling, and then sandwich it all together. The filling can be a soft pastel pink or a deep garnet red, depending on how crazy you get with the red food colouring.

The most important ingredient of course, is L-O-V-E :) Honest! In all seriousness, Ayurveda places strong emphasis on the quality of one’s mind when you are making food, because how you feel and think will be imparted on what you make. A loving mind makes loving food. Who knew that corny sentimentality and traditional medicine could overlap…

Serve these, and expect to be high on love and sugar.

Valentine’s Day Oreos
Makes 12-16 cookies.

For the cookie:
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
red food colouring

Mix together all the dry ingredients. Using your hands (because it’s more sensual), mush in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Add the milk and vanilla and continue mushing the dough with your hands until it starts to stick together and look cohesive. Shape into a log (2.5” diameter) and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour until the dough gets firm.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Unwrap the dough and slice thinly. Place dough slices on a lightly greased baking tray about 1” apart and bake for about 10 minutes until the middle of a cookie is dry. Let them cool on a wire rack.

When you are ready to assemble the cookies, beat together the ingredients for the filling. Add 1-2 drops of food colouring if you would like a pale pink, more if you are veering for lush red passion. Smear a teaspoon of filling on a cooled cookie, and sandwich it with another cookie. Do this quickly or you will start to eat everything before it is assembled and you’ll have to make another batch. Serve with love.

If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda, Adrienne is hosting her next Ayurvedic
workshop at Moksha Yoga Kildonan on Saturday February 16th, 6-7:30 pm. Ayurveda, the sister
science of yoga, is the traditional Indian approach to healing. This workshop will discuss the main Ayurvedic principles that we will use to set the intentions for a 10-day lifestyle cleanse to detoxify the body and mind. Attendance of a previous workshop is not required. Please visit Moksha Yoga Kildonan's website or the event's Facebook page for more details.

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

   

1 Feb 2013

INSTAYOGI

Prairie Yogi Magazine's favourite downward dog, Marni.

Sharing your practice as a yogi used to be so simple. You would show up to class, do your sun salutations with the rest of the yogis in the room, roll up your mat and that was that. 

Instagram, however, has changed the freestyle yoga game. Online communities of yogis are posting pictures of themselves bringing yoga to all corners of the globe. 

Last fall we started following Mawe Hernández, from Monterrey Nuevo León, Mexico on Instagram. Hernández started something he calls the #asanaproject.

"I had the idea of capturing images of asanas in unusual contexts, outside a shala or a mat. People doing yoga in the park, the fair, the market, the street, the library, beach or mountain- every place where it was "weird" and then perform them. So the it came to my mind, the name: Asana Project." said Hernández.

The idea of freestyle is nothing new, but the way we are sharing the asanas is. Instagram has given yogis an immediate way to connect with others all over the world by using a simple hashtag. Love #sidecrow? Finding beautiful, original photos is just an Instagram search away. 

"The mission of #asanaproject is simply to have fun enjoying yoga, proving that this beautiful practice can be wherever your heart wants, just celebrate ourselves, your beauty, your body, and celebrate life."said Hernández.

You can follow Prairie Yogi Magazine and Mawe Hernández on Instagram: @prairieyogimagazine + @maweom.

WIN A LIFESTYLE PASS BY TAKING PART IN THE #ASASNAPROJECT- just make sure to mention @priarieyogimagazine in your Instagram asana post! Contest closes Friday, February 8, 2013.

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.