29 Aug 2013


Being in a creative flow is much like being in a really great yoga freestyle flow. Your sense of time is kind of lost, you're in a total zone and when you eventually come out of it you feel spectacular- like you've created a real masterpiece.

Getting into this creative shakti at times takes no effort and sometimes it feels forced and inauthentic. If you're feeling a little less inspired than usual here are four tips to awaken your creative shakti through yoga.

Start your day with green tea and whole foods. This fuels the body and mind, something that is important for the creative process. We love green shakes, hemp seeds and fruit in the morning! Take a few moments in the morning to meditate and create an intention for the day, or for your creative process. Sending energy towards something you desire creates the awesome thing called manifestation, or power of intention.

Use your practice to experiment with the idea of freestyle and letting go of structure and pattern. Let your creative soul explore different postures. Your yoga helps you bring awareness to what's going on in your body and mind. This awareness and flow can help you drop into a creative state. Take note of everything that comes to you- it's important information!

Or any type of music really. Music is arguably one of the strongest forces for summoning inspiration. Science says so and we agree.

Like the old saying goes "Just do it". Sit down, or stand up- however you create and just start. Let it flow and let the creative process begin.

What gets you into the groove of creating Prairie Yogis?

28 Aug 2013


I am a Prairie Yogi, Prairie Summer, Kayak along the Assiniboine, Winnipeg Summer, Summer Love, Rachelle Taylor,
I am a Prairie Yogi, Prairie Summer, Kayak along the Assiniboine, Winnipeg Summer, Summer Love, Rachelle Taylor,
I am a Prairie Yogi, Prairie Summer, Kayak along the Assiniboine, Winnipeg Summer, Summer Love, Rachelle Taylor,
I am a Prairie Yogi, Prairie Summer, Kayak along the Assiniboine, Winnipeg Summer, Summer Love, Rachelle Taylor,
Weekends in the prairie summertime heat are best spent at one of our many fresh water lakes or beaches, wouldn't you agree?

But what to do when you're 'stuck' in the city on a weekend with temperatures soaring and the summer sunshine is begging you to come out and play? With no lake to swim in and no beach to sunbathe on, what is a prairie yogi to do?

Look to the beauty of your backyard for new adventures!

Just because we love the lake, doesn't mean there aren't plenty of things to do to enjoy the sun shine inside the perimeter, you've just got to be creative. Sometimes it's hard to appreciate the simple things right in front of us when we think that the only way to enjoy the weekend is to get away.

See the city from a different angle on kayak or canoe along the Assiniboine river. Go for a walk, without agenda, through your neighbourhood. Stop for an ice-cold beverage. Play catch in the local park. Go sit next to the fountains at the Legislative Buildings or at one of the many of our over-looked (but beautiful) downtown parks.

What are some of your favourite ways to spend summer weekends in the city?

26 Aug 2013


Smartphones have made us more connected than ever, with access to the whole world and a wealth of information at our fingertips. But has this cyber-connectivity made us, as a society, more or less connected in real life?

In two minutes this beautiful, poignant, short film created by actress & writer Charlene deGuzman, explores just what effect our smart phones have made on the precious moments that make life beautiful.

Do you think your smart phone makes you more or less connected? Share your thoughts!

21 Aug 2013


There's nothing quite like settling onto your mat in an udiscovered place. A place where food, culture, and the people are different than what you're used to. The beautiful thing about yoga is that you can bring it anywhere. So whether you're meditating on a nature hike or dropping your mat in a new studio, here are two ways you can bring your practice with you- wherever you are in the world.

It goes without arguing that busting out some yoga in the great outdoors is one of the most awesome things ever. But, finding some peace outdoors is a great way to explore a new place through your yoga practice. Whether you're hiking, biking, walking, running or sitting, taking the time to find your breath creates a deeper connection to where you are and ability to appreciate the moment. In this space, there really is no need for a mat (unless the earth is wet or mucky). It's an amazing way to travel and be connected.

If freestyle isn't your thing, or you're looking for something new and challenging- try a drop-in class at a local studio. If you're staying at a hotel, ask your concierge if they have any recommendations for somewhere close by. It's here that you'll meet new people and possibly try a completely different sequence. Sometimes language can be a barrier, however yoga is somewhat of a universal language that all yogis speak through their asanas. So if you don't speak Mandarin or Italian- don't stress, just follow the flow! 

* One of my favourite yoga moments while travelling was hiking to the top of Monserrat Mountain in Spain. We hiked mid-day in very humid, hot conditions that took us over an hour to reach the summit. When we finally arrived, we sat and just breathed and took in the view. It was so spectacular. I marched down a bit, found a nice flat rock, and started through a freestyle yoga sequence. My travel (and life) companion was awesome enough to capture the moment in the photo above.

Namaste Prairie Yogis! 

20 Aug 2013


Rachelle Taylor, Lucky Chahal Photography, Be happy, The science of happiness, blissful living
Photo by Lucky Chahal Photography
While psychologists have focused plenty of energy on the field of depression over the course of our history, the psychology of happiness is a newly emerging field that has grown immensely in the last five years, and some of the results may surprise you.

Money and material possessions aren't what researchers have found to bring us happiness. Scientists have found that once basic needs are met, that there is no significant improvement in overall happiness from that point on. For the average North American, that plateau kicks in after an annual income of around $60,000.

So now that the age old saying that money doesn't buy you happiness has been scientifically proven, we can explore what does, in fact, make people happy.

Here are three of the most powerful things I have encountered on my informal research through books, documentaries and inspiring people that when put into practice will make you a happier person.

Spread Gratitude

In a recent study, researchers found the the single biggest contributor to positive psychology is to spread gratitude. Hmmmm. How about that? Happiness isn't anything that you can receive, but rather to receive happiness we can give gratutite to those we love and appreciate.

In this video, created by Soul Pancake, they tests these findings and the results are clear. Spreading gratitude increases happiness levels in all. The most significant increases in happiness levels were shown in those that were feeling down or off that day.

Pick up the phone and call (no, texting or emailing won't cut it) someone who you are grateful to and let them know it the next time you are feeling down. You'll be surprised that spreading love is much more powerful than simmering in hate and negativity.

And if you are like me, and those you are most grateful to are no longer with us, speak your gratitude to them in a quiet moment on your mat. Just because they are gone, doesn't mean we cannot spread gratitude to them.

Create Community

The movie Happy is a must-see documentary that was ground breaking in the study of the psychology of happiness. It was shot over four years across fourteen countries around the world and in their research, they found that the happiest cultures on earth had one thing in common: the sense of belonging and purpose through community.

Be like the people of Okinawa, Japan, who have been pronounced the happiest culture in the world (and unsurprisingly, they also have the most people over 100 years old per capita in the world as well) and be a part of your community. Get involved. Do something meaningful with your free time that helps others, and you will find that the person you end up helping most is yourself.

If you are looking for ways to get involved in the prairie yogi community, stay tuned to our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) where we advertise group yoga dates, and events that bring our prairie yoga community together.

Get Outside and Play

Fresh air, nature, and physical activity are all proven ways of increasing serotonin (aka happiness) levels in the body.  Eion Finn, founder of Blissology - a yoga practice focused on the art + science of happiness says that happiness is love, and that love is found in nature. Connecting with the earth soothes us in a primal way, just like the ancient asanas in our yoga practice do.

Feeling down and out? Had a bad day at work? Fight with a loved one? Go outside. Even if you can't get out of the city limits and enjoy the expansive beauty that is the prairies, you can take a walk to the local park. Sit in half lotus under a tree and take a few moments to breathe in the fresh air, no matter what the forecast calls for. It will do you some good.

What are some things that make you feel happy? Share your happy moments with us on social media with the hashtag #PYHappy or with your comments below!

19 Aug 2013


She is a down to earth prairie girl with a passion for healthy living. Her name is Chantal Raper, but most of us will know her by her Instagram name Nutty4Nutrition. Instagram became part of her life in May 2012, and has grown to have over 60,000 followers from all over the world.  Her love for sharing her passion for healthy eating leaves her “waking up everyday more inspired than the last”!
Chantal’s journey began after the death of her brother, she was living an unhealthy lifestyle and was “sick and tired of being sick and tired”. Like many of us out there, Chantal, thought that the low fat, fat-free, sugar-free diet that is all over the media would be the jump start her healthy lifestyle.  After little success she changed her thinking and realized that she needed to go about it a different way. And most importantly that she needed to do it for herself, not for anyone else!

So, she started doing her research and made a list of things she wanted to change and some health related goals. She tackled this list one goal at a time and would not move on from one goal until it felt like it had just become part of her everyday life.  Slowly she started to see progress, she was less tired and bloated and had so much more energy. She stared experimenting with cooking and grew to "love the challenge of making fun, delicious, and nutritious meals". Her instagram account Nutty4Nutrition was created from this new found love, she started sharing her recipes and her followers began to grow...a growth that has been continuing steadily to this day. Today Chantal describes herself transformation as, “girl just wanting to learn how and what to eat to gain optimal health to a girl who inspires others daily.
We love her Instagram page for her relatable prairie humor, delicious recipes, health tips and weight loss inspiration. We also love that she believes in balance and “maintains balance by throwing away all the RULES”! She does hot yoga, cardio boot camps, rollerblading, biking, cycling classes, circuit training only when she can fit it into her schedule. Although she does eat healthy nutritious meals most of the time because she truly enjoys it, she believes in indulging like at her recent bachloerette party where she "danced, drank, indulged."

To celebrate the return of summer weather Chantal is sharing her Strawberry Coconut Cheesecake recipe with us. Check out her latest ebook for more delicious recipes!

Strawberry Coconut Cheesecake 

 Ingredients (for the crust)
• 3/4 cup raw pecans
• 18-20 pitted dates Directions-Pulse pecans in a food processor or blender until you reach a fine crumb texture. 
• Add the dates and pulse until all crumbled and combined.  
• Press down firmly into an 8 inch round dish and refrigerate as you prepare the filling.  

Ingredients (for the filling) 
• Coconut cream from 1 chilled can of FULL FAT coconut milk. *Note: Place can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and the cream will all rise to the top. The longer the can is stored in the fridge, the thicker your cream will be.
• 4 oz/half a brick of light plain cream cheese, room temperature 
• 4 tbsp honey or other sweetener of your choice
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 1/2 cup of mashed strawberries/strawberry purée  

Directions -Scoop out coconut cream only into a large bowl (use some liquid only if the cream is too thick to beat). -Add all other ingredients except the strawberries and best with an electric  hand mixer.-Mash your fresh strawberries or warm frozen strawberries on a skillet until soft and than mash and fold into the coconut cream cheese mixture.-Pour the filling into the crust and garnish with whatever you want! -Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving (I usually let mine sit overnight)!  ***Try more strawberries, sliced almonds, pecans, coconut ribbon, and/or raw cacao nibs for garnish.

Check out Chantal's blog for access to more recipes and her ebook!

17 Aug 2013


Imagine waking up in the morning with a burning emotional wound pulsing anxiously through your body. The feeling is almost unbearable and you would do anything to escape the discomfort. You’re living on welfare, you can’t afford to buy beer from the vendor or over the counter pain killers from Shopper’s Drug Mart, so you reach for a bottle of mouthwash and, instead of swishing a capful around in your mouth, you glug down two large gulps. Within seconds of tasting the intense, minty, green liquid, you feel a slight release, so you take another sip - and another, and another. Before you’ve had the insight or awareness that comes from self-reflection or positive influence, your body has become completely dependent on a substance that you’ve used to relieve your emotional pain. This is called “addiction.”
My name is Jordan Bellan and until about two years ago I too had an overwhelming addiction that ruled my life. My addiction didn’t come in the form of something I could consume, so rather than truly delve into discovering why my life had become so miserable doctors medicated me with anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. The truth was that I had developed a severe addiction to sex and love and no matter how many pills I took, overcoming this addiction would take more than a pharmacy. I needed spiritual guidance.
To be clear, I’m not writing this article to shun the pharmaceutical industry, nor am I writing from an anarchist point of view in any way, shape or form. I am writing this article to tell you that I have overcome my addiction to live a deeply peaceful life, and I reached this point because I learned that my mind was not a good indicator of what choices would deepen my peace. My heart however, was, is and always will be.

I want to tell you about a revolutionary new center in Winnipeg that can help you diminish unnecessary anxieties, overcome severe depression and deal with challenging life situations. I want to tell you about United Friendship Circle.

Located on Albert Street in Winnipeg’s Exchange District is a building called the Emma Goldman Building. Unlike the majority of buildings in Winnipeg, the Emma Goldman Building is owned by the members who run businesses inside it. Effectively, the whole building is a co-op. United Friendship Circle is one of the members of this co-op. Located on the third floor of 91 Albert Street, United Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that offers free and donation-based wellness programming. Our intention is to help our participants achieve a state of complete physical, social and mental well-being. The center began offering programming in February and is starting to offer more programming each month. Though we have been struggling to get public funding, there has been no shortage of volunteer support. 

If you’re reading this article and feel connected to the words you are reading, below are some simple ways that you can help this center thrive.
  1. Attend a program and pledge a donation. We have yoga and meditation classes throughout the week. Every Friday night at 8pm we share community film screenings preceded by a guided meditation.
  2. If you or someone you know has been feeling lonely, isolated, depressed, suicidal or lost, refer this person to our programming. If people don't know that we're here, we truly can't serve our purpose.
  3. Stay connected by liking us on Facebook.
  4. If you're a yoga instructor, a dance teacher, or you work in the fitness industry, volunteer to teach a program in the center. Until we get public funding, we rely heavily on volunteers to assist us with our programming.
  5. Get inspired and continue to strive in your own way to live the happiest and most peaceful life possible. Happiness is contagious, and when you feel happy, you unconsciously share that happiness with other.
And hey… If you ever fall off the band wagon, we’ll be there to support you, every step of the way.

Jordan has been teaching yoga classes since the age of 19. He has helped to successfully open yoga studios in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Canada. With over six years of international teaching experience, five teacher training programs completed, numerous workshops and lectures attended, and thousands of hours spent in meditation, contemplation and practice, Jordan currently works at Moksha Yoga Winnipeg, and also teaches yoga, meditation and philosophy on a donation basis at his studio located at 91 Albert Street.

Contact him at info@unitedfriendshipcircle.org

15 Aug 2013


Summer time is: basking in the sunshine, camping, watermelons, lounging on patios, and lots lots more.

The heat of the season fosters an expansive quality in our lives - we have a greater capacity for learning, loving, laughing and living.  As Ayurveda (the traditional Indian approach to healing) encourages us to live according to the seasons, in June we jumped in the car for a road trip for six weeks to see more of our world and broaden our experiences.  Amidst being humbled by nature’s strength and delighted by her beauty, we were reminded that a simple life is the best sort of life - a life that places emphasis on intimate connections with people and the things around us. 
The food we eat is just one of these relationships, and cooking with creative intelligence means we honour what we put in our bellies and pay respect to the earth.

So in the spirit of summer and simplicity, here is a way to soak up the remaining warmth of these sweet days.

Roasted Summer Fruit

You will need 

Roast-worthy fruit, such as: peaches, nectarines, apricots, pineapple, apples, pears...etc.  

A campfire, a barbecue, or an oven on its broiler setting.

If using a campfire

Cut your fruit into large chunks and firmly secure on to the end of a long poker or stake.  The best time to roast your fruit is when the flames have subsided slightly and the embers are glowing.  Hold fruit close to embers and turn slowly; eat fruit when you feel it is ready.

If using a barbecue 

Make sure you cut the fruit large enough so it doesn’t fall through the grill.  With the heat set to medium-high, roast your fruit directly on the grill, turning once.  Blackened edges are a good thing.

If using an oven’s broiler

Place the fruit on a lightly greased baking tray (use butter or vegan butter), cut side facing up.  Broil for five minutes, until it starts to sizzle and brown.

Savour your summer!

Written + photos by: Adrienne Shum
Additional photos by: David Quiring

Adrienne Shum, MSc (pictured above) is an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counsellor and yoga instructor. She will be leading workshops on Ayurveda at Yoga Public that focus on establishing healthy relationships with food and ourselves. The first workshop will be on Saturday September 14th, 2-4 pm. Please contact Adrienne or Yoga Public for more information.

David Quiring is fuelled by an ever growing passion for visual storytelling, documenting a gamut of life experiences through photography and cinematography. His work is strongly influenced by his travelling adventures through Canada and overseas. He continues to be devoted in this pursuit in both the personal and professional realm, which he chronicles at www.davidquiring.com.  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.

14 Aug 2013


What a wonderful way to start the weekend!

Dr Kristen Mitteness of the Corydon Chiropractic Centre lead the group of thirty people through a flowing vinyasa sequence in idyllic surroundings: next to a pool of water, fountains flowing; with the acoustic serenading of Derrick McCandless in the background; surrounded by pieces of art.

The morning was capped off with a scrumptious brunch of fruit, quiche, and coffee with friends, old and new, catered by the staff at the WAG.

A big thank you to everyone who came our to experience bliss on the rooftop of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. We really felt a lot of love and support, and are truly grateful.

We are always looking to bring cool, new experiences to the Prairie Yogi community. If you have an idea for an awesome yoga-inspired event, email us: prairieyogi@gmail.com, We'd love to help you make it happen!

13 Aug 2013


Jeramie Andrade is an educator at lululemon athletica Polo Park who embarked on a yoga journey starting January 2013. Her challenge was to sweat for 365 days straight! You can follow along with her journey on her blog 365sweatdates. She is just past the 200 day mark and has invited us into her journey through sharing her triumphs, struggles and transformation.

The Challenge

When I look back at the last two hundred days I can still remember the moment when I told myself I was going to sweat every day for year. I already had envisioned my failure early on because I had never really committed to anything longer then 30 days. I started this journey really unsure of where it was going to take me and sitting here writing for Prairie Yogi Magazine 200 days later is absolutely mind blowing! 

The Doubts

In the beginning I actually thought this idea was ludacris and I was already creating excuses in my mind about how I wouldn't find time and there would be so many factors contributing to my failure. One of the most powerful things that anyone has ever told me, came from a fellow lululemon'er "everything is easy, it's your mind that creates the struggle". 

The Turning Point

Day 39 was one of the most pivotal moments for my sweat challenge. Yoga public was celebrating their one year anniversary with 108 sun salutations and I jumped into class not exactly pumped to go, but looking forward to a good sweat. Up until this point in my challenge I had been doing 2 or 3 classes a day and I already knew I was burning out. Battling out 108 sun salutations in an hour and 45 minutes was like climbing an enormous mountain. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I had signed up for another class and as I walked out it dawned on me that it wasn't about how many classes I did in this challenge but rather really appreciating and fueling the machine that I've taken for granted for so long; my mind and body. This became a turning point in my practice. It no longer mattered to me about what I had done and shifted into where my body wanted to take me. I was struggling because in my mind I needed to do more classes but as you let go of all those thoughts those struggles automatically disappear. Whenever you devote your time into anything that you do, you start to recognize things that where always there but you missed because it wasn't at the forefront of your mind. Once you recognize that, your mind and body start to work together in a way you never could imagine. 

A New Found Wisdom

Everyday is a new breath and I get to create something new, something amazing. It is strange when your body gets so accustomed to working and twisting in different ways that your muscles remember what you think your mind forgets. I think that is what yoga is - uniting your mind and body in a way that the separation of the two is unrecognizable. 

Continuing the journey

After 200 days I finally see a light at the end of this tunnel! This year so far has been one of the most amazing years of my life! I'm not sure what I'll do after 365, if I'll just keep going or take a break. For now I can only celebrate where I am and be excited for what's waiting ahead!

12 Aug 2013


The word “intention” is a mysterious word. It is full of unknown possibility. There is a lot of talk about setting intentions, especially at the start of yoga classes. I say it all the time when I teach, 

“If you would like to set an intention for your practice or the rest of your day, take the time now.” 

What does this really mean? 

Clear intentions are like creating signs to guide you along your road. Goals are destinations. Intentions inspire us to act. They encompass your hopes, emotions, and values. Intentions can be as simple as stating that you will have compassion for others for the rest of your day or you will let go of trying so hard during practice tonight.

We don’t just set an intention and then sit there on the meditation pillow hoping and waiting. We set intentions and then work hard and move forward with more focus and clarity. Intentions require us to check in and be honest with ourselves about what we want and don’t want. The get us moving forward down a path but they leave breathing room for us to move freely. Our ideas, beliefs, and curiosities are fluid and we will continue to grow and change. Along the path we drop what doesn’t work and add what does. Setting intentions keep us moving forward in a natural and intuitive way.

When setting your intentions:

Be clear and concise 
Know you are capable 
Say it out loud or write it down
Let go of expectations

I often use my intention as a mantra, like repeating “patience” or “thank you” throughout my day or practice. Set intentions in a way that resonates with you. Doing so will allow you to live in the present moment with more awareness. Remember, the future shows up as the present moment so take care of your moments and you’ll take care of your future.

By: Lynette Suchar



What are some of your favourite intentions that you carry with you in your day or your practice? Please comment and share :)

9 Aug 2013


A highlight of our summer was getting to sit down and chat with founder of Blissology (and Canadian yoga royalty) Eoin Finn.

Watch our interview to learn more about the art + science of happiness, what it's like to be a yoga dad, and this happy yogi's soul place. 

6 Aug 2013


If you have been following Prairie Yogi for any length of time, chances are you're already seen Amber on our site, in our inaugural print issue, or at Prairie Yogi events. She has been the single biggest supporter of prairie yogi since day one.

This inspiring yogi is always a person worth celebrating, but even more so today - it is her birthday!

Amber and I met three years ago when we were both working at a popular downtown Winnipeg restaurant. The first time we hung out, we went to a yoga class and out for smoothies. I could tell she was an incredible spirit, but it wasn't until her thirtieth birthday that we become close. She threw a legendary celebration at  Peg City Yoga, turning the studio into a black light and neon barefoot dance party. It was there we discovered our mutual love for tearing up dance floors, electronic-funk music, and cute, emotionally unavailable men.

We've been inseparable ever since.

Amber's porcelain skin radiates with the kind of beauty that only comes from a person who's authenticity is shining through. People are drawn to her personality, and she makes friends easy with her radiating smile, up-for-anything attitude, and her killer accessories (like the hula hoop that she carries, folded in half and slung over her shoulder.) She always a part of what is going on in the city, and she has a seemingly endless list of people that love her. Her trademark style that is admired by street style columns across the country and online.

This certified yoga teacher, cross fitter, and obstacle course runner embodies what it means to be strong and beautiful. She uses her back bending skills to pursue her hobbies that include fire dancing and hula hooping. A creative muse, she starred in my first ever video project: a story of love and lust at first sight.

Earlier this year Amber showed me just how incredible of a friend she is. In the most tragic moment of my life, Amber was there. On her knees crying next to me, holding my hand. Later that night, when I said I wanted to be alone, she knew better, and showed up at my door with a dozen donuts, my favourite guilty pleasure, and her incredible sense of humour. She managed to bring light, laughter and love to the darkest moments, when I needed it most.

She is not only my best friend, a fire warrior, and all-around inspiring woman.... She is also a realtor. And a darn good one at that. She treats her clients as she would want to be treated, works harder than anyone I know, and genuinely cares about the people she is working for.

She spreads her good nature by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the Green Action Centre.

Amber is truly one of those people that has everything: great clothes; tons of shoes; art adorning all of her walls... So what do you get her for her birthday?

That's when it hit me. The one thing this woman always wants more of is new business. So if you or someone you love is buying or selling their home, I would highly suggest using Amber as your realtor.

Or at the very least, follow this Green Realtor on Twitter for some clever tips on living a greener lifestyle ;)

Do you know and love Amber as much as I do! Share this article with your social media following.