30 Dec 2014


Winnipeg Yoga events, OM NOM Nourish, Adrienne Shum, Ayurveda, Ayurveda Winter Self Care, Restorative Yoga Winnipeg, Prairie Yogi Events,



Winters in the prairies are tough. The days are short, the air is dry, and our will is tested. My father always said that the hard winters build character, it's why the people in the prairies are so wonderful.

But no matter how much character you posses from the long winters of your life, we could all use a little treat in the midst of the deep freeze. How about nourishment for your body, mind, and soul?

Om Nom Nourish - a prairie yogi workshop with ayurvedic lifestyle counsellor and yoga teacher Adrienne Shum.

75 min restorative yoga practice
Led meditation
Ayrvedic winter self care workshop
Tea + treats will be served

To increase levels of coziness, we ask you to please bring your coziest blanket and favourite mug with you to this event.

To learn more about Adrienne, visit her website: www.adrienneshum.com

*Only 10 partner passes available!

About Ayurveda

Ayurveda is often called the sister science of yoga, as the two practices reinforce and complement each other.  Translated as, “the knowledge of life,” Ayurveda is a healing methodology that addresses the interrelatedness of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of an individual.  Health is found when harmony is established within one’s self, and between the self and the environment.  When Ayurveda and yoga are practised in cohesion, they contribute to the complete development of an individual in all of their capacities.
Excerpt from AdrienneShum.com

29 Dec 2014


As a deep freeze sets in on the prairies, a new year is on the horizon. We reflect on the last 365 days and take account of all we are grateful for as we evolve on our path . 

2014 was the year of epic experiences + crushing big goals. A year of bittersweet ends + exciting beginnings.

Here are some of the memories that will forever be a part of our story:

In the spring of 2014 Prairie Yogi founders Rachelle Taylor and Monique Pantel were the recipients of the YMCA-YWCA of Winnipeg Women of Distinction award in the circle of inspiration category. The PY ladies were recognized for their unique and outstanding achievements, making a distinct and describable difference in the community, and acting as positive role models for other women. 

We couldn't have asked for a more perfect summer day. Twenty-four Prairie Yogis travelled to Patricia Beach to experience SOUL SHINE: bliss on boards with a yoga + paddleboard workshop lead by Shakti SUP + Snow

Mother Nature offered lots of sunshine and a sweet summer breeze. Fears were conquered, new friends were made, and our om-azing community shone bright as ever. An experience that made our prairie hearts burst with joy and gratitude.

In February of this year, co-founder Rachelle Taylor crossed a major goal off of her bucket list when she completed the 200hr Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training with Yandara Yoga School. Infinitely deepening her yoga practice, making life-long friends, unearthing personal revelations, and becoming certified to teach yoga straight from the heart. 

Join Rachelle for her Chakra Flow Workshop series in the New Year.

For Prairie Yogi, this fall marked 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 settled into their new space to create + bring together community.

The PY Housewarming party in October with Amelia K Yoga + DJ Sami SoSo was the perfect way to christen the new digs!

As the weather gets colder, our hearts warm with generosity + gratitude. This year Prairie Yogi held its first karma yoga series at its new studio space in Winnipeg's Exchange District to create two hampers for the Christmas Cheer Board.

Thanks to gracious teachers + musicians for creating a warm and inviting space for participants, who donated $320 as well as two tubs full of food and gifts. As we pulled up in front of one of the families' homes to deliver the abundant hamper, the four children had their noses pressed up against the window, waiting for us. The gifts we brought were the only ones under the tree. Thank you for making this possible with your generous donations, prairie yogis!

#5 - PY Prairie Roadtrippin' / Karma Countdown

On a in Saturday in June we packed our bags, stuffed the Peg-City-Yoga-mobile to embark on began a journey we have been talking about for two years. A road trip to connect with the Prairie Yogi community that expands across our beautiful plains.

It was so exciting to discover (and rediscover) these awesome prairie cities and the people that live there. Internet friends became "I can give you a hug in real life" friends. We hiked through parks, strolled along the rivers that connect our cities, and connected through deep yoga practices. With karma yoga classes across the prairies, we raised over $500 for the SK, AB + MB eco networks.

#4 - Wanderlust Whistler

Yoga festivals are the best. So when the team at lululemon polo park offer you tickets to experience Canada's biggest yoga festival in one of the most beautiful places on earth, you say YES! (And thank you, of course!)

In Whistler, we met up with friends + fave teachers Eion Finn + Alex Mazerolle, witnessed a meteor shower from a floating barge in lake Alta (one of the coolest experiences EVER) and got treated like queens while Embracing the Unexpected with the lulu peeps. It was spectacular.

Surrounded by wheat stalks dancing in the wind and the tranquil sounds of the harp, August's Garden Party was a magical evening that we shared with the community. Darlene Svienson guided a Vinyasa style yoga class. And for those of you who don't know Darlene... She's. The. Best. Instagram vegan girl-crush Rae of Sunshine, Ashley Rae, treated the class to vegan goodies she lovingly prepared. Mexican Avocado Ceviche and Chocolate covered Peanut popsicles were devoured by everyone.

This is definitely an experience that we'll have to repeat in 2015 :)

After two years of working as a partner to build the PY community, in September of 2014 Co-Founder Monique Pantel resigned her position as director with Prairie Yogi Inc to follow her vision and build Pantel Photography. Fret not, prairie yogis, she'll still be sharing her talents with us, capturing the beauty and share the stories of this beautiful community.

To see the world through her lens, follow her on Insta @mpantel 

It's a very special moment to when your vision comes to life, after so much hard work + sleepless night. Watching our vision for a yoga festival in the prairies come to life on that beautiful September day was just... Wow. 

Prairie Love festival's inaugural year came together blissfully, and the whole thing exceeded our expectations. 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 

PS - Prairie Love Festival Snowbird Passes go on sale this Thursday!!

To all the prairie yogis out there... Thank you for supporting the vision of an intentional community in the beautiful land of big skies and big hearts. We look forward to more create more epic experiences with you.

11 Dec 2014


Snowga, Winter yoga, Winter activities Winnipeg, Gwendolyn Penner, Prairie Yogi, Winnipeg Yoga
Snowga, Winter yoga, Winter activities Winnipeg, Gwendolyn Penner, Prairie Yogi, Winnipeg YogaSnowga, Winter yoga, Winter activities Winnipeg, Gwendolyn Penner, Prairie Yogi, Winnipeg Yoga

Last night I saw the Nike commercial where the (super-cool) Chris O’Dowd challenges viewers to “choose their winter." In it, the brand takes a satirical approach to tackling the harsh outdoor elements. Rather than running out to purchase Nike’s outdoor gear, I contemplated on how to choose my winter.

My living room window frames a beautiful picture of snowflakes gently falling on smooth dunes of snow. It’s a gorgeous scene to focus on for yoga today. But I don’t want the chilly temperature to stop me from connecting with nature. So I choose to put on my ski pants, jacket, hats, mittens and boots and get outside.

After 10 minutes of vigorous walking, I’m warm enough to stop and enjoy the stillness and practice a mini yoga routine. Alternating walking and yoga a few more times brings me back to my front door refreshed.

Choosing to be outdoors and getting fresh air is good for overall well-being – while staying indoors can make us feel sluggish and un-motivated.


- Sunlight keeps away SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and triggers vitamin D which is important for keeping bones strong.
- Walking and balancing on different terrains (like snow) burns more calories, strengthens core muscles, stabilizers, and ankle joints.
- Endorphins are released when your blood starts pumping in your body, making you feel better and make your skin glow.
- The hushed beauty of a blanket of fresh snow is enchanting.
- No mosquitoes.
- Coming inside to a warm cup of hot tea or cocoa.

So next time you feel the fear of the freeze, choose to call up a friend for an outdoor activity, bundle up and let nature refresh you.

Gwendolyn Penner is a graphic designer and yogi who loves to be outdoors especially on a hiking or cycling trail. She is founder of Yoga Hikes whose purpose is to encourage people to connect with health, nature and community and to experience the uniqueness of Winnipeg by hiking and practicing yoga in different parks ... year round. Visit Yoga Hikes at: www.idlingporsche.com

30 Nov 2014


What an amazing year it has been, prairie yogis. Now its time to end it off right...

In the midst of the holiday hustle + bustle, shopping, dining, get togethers, office parties, and over-indulgences... taking a few moments daily to connect to the things that bring you joy can be easily forgotten. We want to help change that - you deserve the gift of joy for the next 12 days. And some awesome prizes too!

yoga challenge, 12 days of joy, prairie yogi, #12daysofjoy, Prana Vida Style, pantel photography, prairie love festival 2015

Along with some gracious hosts, we're excited to bring you 12 Days of Joy - a social contest with a little twist of JOY infused into every day. Rather than daily asanas to complete, you can participate by incorporating a daily theme of joyfulness into the next 12 days, and share your experience with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook by using the hashtag #12DAYSOFJOY.

We've got great prizes from Prairie Yogi, Prana Vida Style, Mama Malas,  Pantel Photography, and Prairie Love Festival for participants. Be sure to spread the joy by following all of our sponsors on FB + Insta.

Participate daily to increase your chances.

Daily themes for the #12DaysOfJoy social contest

Day 1 - Gratitude
Day 2 - Yoga
Day 3 - Music
Day 4 - Adventure
Day 5 - Nature
Day 6 - Food
Day 7 - Family
Day 8 - Movement
Day 9 - Friends
Day 10 - Giving
Day 11 - Love
Day 12 - Community

Contest begins Monday, December 1st running until Friday, December 12th. 
Winners will be announced Saturday December 13th.

Stay tuned to Prairie Yogi on InstagramTwitterand Facebook for daily inspiration.

20 Nov 2014


The holiday season is a wonderful time to come together as a community and create some magic for those in need.

Practice in a beautiful candle-light space with some of the city's most inspiring instructors, help create holiday cheer for two families in need.

Reserve your space for the class online with an online donation or commitment to donate at the door.

Suggested donation: $10 and/or non-perisible food item/gift for Christmas Cheer Hamper (please see list of non-perishable items / gifts needed)

Featured community teachers:

Wed, December 3rd - Bliss + Beatz
Wed, December 10th - Noah Krol
Wed, December 17th - Sharon Delbridge

Non-perishable food items needed 

(please be mindful that we want to offer healthy options when possible)
Juice (100% Fruit - 1L)
Canned Soup
Canned fruit + vegetables
Jelly Powder
Macoroni + Cheese
Pasta (whole grain if possible)
Spaghetti Sauce
Oatmeal (non-sweetned)
Canned tuna
Peanut butter
Pancake mix
Pancake syrup
Stuffing Mix
Cake Mix
Gravy Mix
Cranberry Sauce
Scalloped Potatoes
Chocolate / candy / treats

Gifts needed 

(Suggested toy/gift cost by age: baby to age 6 - $10, 7 to 11 yrs - $12 - $15, 12 to 14 yrs - $15 - $20)
Toy for 5 yr old boy - Malcolm (likes Toy Story/Transformers)
Toy for 3 yr old girl - Taylynn (likes colouring, princesses + dora the explorer)
Toy for 8 yr old boy - Tyrone (likes lego, cars, building toys)
Toy for 7yr old boy - Memphis (likes lego, cars, building toys)
Toy for 4 yr old boy - Jake (likes lego, cars, building toys)

**If cannot make it to the candlelight karma classes but would still like to donate, you can bring donations to the Prairie Yogi studio during office hours.


12 Nov 2014

Made in Movember MOGA event

The tradition of Movember began ten years ago in the land down under with 30 Mo Bros trying to raise awareness for men's health issues in Australia. The community has since grown to a worldwide movement and the power of the mustache is changing the face of men's health. With movements now in 21 countries, raising 574 million to fund over 800 programs. We love that much like Prairie Yogi, Movember is a grassroots movement. More than 90 cents on every dollar raised as part of Movenber is allocated to men’s health programs. Meaning money donated goes to where it should; research and awareness initiatives. 

Prairie Yogi is excited to be part of the Movember Winnipeg movement for the second year in a row. We are teaming up with our friends at lululemon athletica polo park  and Bliss and Beatz to build and support our Movember community with a Made in Movember MOGA event.

If you missed out last year now is your chance to be part of this movement! Join us on Thursday November 20th from 7-9pm:at Manitoba Hydro Place for Made In Movember MOGA Doors for the event will open at 7pm, please arrive early to check in, pick out a Mo' and place your mat for class. Bliss and Beatz will lead you through a one hour yoga practice from 7:30 - 8:30pm with beatz supplied by DJ Sammy Soso.  Following the class join us for a moustache mix and mingle, enjoy some Prairie Yogi tea, treats and the opportunity to walk away with some great give-aways.
Register for Made in Movember MOGA at www.movembermoga.eventbrite.ca to celebrate the month of the 'stache and support the men in our lives, better yet bring them to the event!

Lululemon athletica polo park’s is also hosting in-store karma yoga classes every Sunday evening at 8Pm in November with all karma donations going to Movember.  Yoga Public is also supporting the Movember movement with all karma class donations for the month of November going to support Movember.

6 Nov 2014


Sponsored content - My Farmers Market Online
We practice yoga to become more conscious. To align with our bodies, to relax, and achieve a state of health and well-being.  It's having, at the very least, an hour in the day that is devoted to you, when rushing through is not an option.

We don't have control over most of the things happened around us, you can't change gas prices, or control the people around you. But you can make a conscious decision to practice, to stay in shape, and work towards a healthy body and mind, that is in your control. Another conscious decision we can make is what we put into our bodies, the food you eat.

Mainstream food has adapted to our busy lifestyles; cheaper, get-it-on-the-go and full of preservatives.

Just as a busy and stressful lifestyle can take its toll on your health, so can sub-par food.

The benefits of making conscious diet decisions are plentiful; increased energy and mood, longterm health and reduction of doctor visits.  Its the best investment you can make.  Not to mention you can taste the difference, actually.

Lets face facts: fresh, healthy food isn't as accessible as the chemical stew being served up at the supermarket.

You need to make a conscious effort to acquire good food. One way you can do that in the prairies is to visit our friends at My Farmers Market online. These strapping young fellas have taken on the task on to do this for you.  This newly adopted company and concept in Winnipeg brings health and convience together. Winnipeggers can now do all their grocery shopping from the comfort of their own homes or on their lunch break at work, and have it delivered to their door.

CONSCIOUS DECISIONS, good food winnipeg, My farmers market online, Winnipeg farmers market,

Other than the convenience of skipping the supermarket, what these guys specialize in is fresh, wholesome and organic food, with a commitment to supporting the local community.

“We make a conscious effort to get as much of our fare from local farmers and growers.  We want to support our local community, farmers and their families.  Making this good food more accessible to the general population is just good business; its a win for everyone.”

If you've ever questioned the processed food or have been looking to take a more conscious approach to your diet... It's only a few clicks away.

4 Nov 2014


Amelia barnes, Landon's Legacy, Angel Mama Healing Retreat, Karma Yoga, Prairie Yogi Pop Up shop, Prana Vida Style,
The beauty of being part of community is the ability to come together and support people in need of a little love, and a little help. When prairie yogi (and instagram yogi queen) Amelia K Barnes lost her baby boy Landon in July, we received many emails asking what we could do as a community to help support and love this beautiful soul. We've created a special gathering in our space, Love - Light - Legacy on November 27th to do just that.

Amelia is trying to create something beautiful from her tragedy, a legacy for little Landon, something to hope + healing to other angel mamas around the world. To do this, she has created Landon's Legacy, a healing retreat for Angel Mamas at Pinewood Lodge in Manitoba. To book the space, she needs to put down a $3000 deposit, which she is hoping to raise entirely by donation. This money will ultimately reduce the cost for participants of the retreat.
Amelia barnes, Landon's Legacy, Angel Mama Healing Retreat, Karma Yoga, Prairie Yogi Pop Up shop, Prana Vida Style,

Spaces for this 75 minute karma yoga class, with live music by Demetra Penner, at 210-70 Albert Street are extremely limited (you can reserve yours here). Pop Up Shop, featuring Prairie Yogi + Prana Vida Style, is open to the public from 5 - 9pm, with a portion of all sales going to this wonderful cause.

Can't make the event? You can still donate to support Landon's Legacy by clicking here and participate by practicing on November 27th with love in your heart, and hashtagging your photos #lovelightlegacy.

31 Oct 2014


written by Rachelle Taylor
"Life asked death, why do people love me but hate you? 
Death responded: because you are a beautiful lie, and I am a painful truth."

Hallowe'en in the west has become a day/weekend to indulge in excess, but the true roots of this day actually lies in celebrating those we have lost. October 31st, Dia de los Muertes (or Day of the Dead,) is celebrated in Mexico and around the world as a day to gather, pray for, and remember friends and family members who have died.

It is no surprise that somehow the meaning of this day has been lost in North America, as our Western culture has positioned the Inevitable as taboo to discuss. We don't like to talk about the one reality that unites us all. But when we begin to talk about death, as a fact rather than a scary outcome, it allows us to be more connected to and value the present moment.

Having lost two of the greatest men I have known too soon, I would say that I have experienced death and grief more than most people my age. And even though I would do anything to have them back for even just a moment... I can honestly say that my dad dying of a rare cancer and losing my little brother in a tragic snowboarding accident aren't the worst things that have ever happened to me. Actually, I see both of these losses as gifts in my life. Their loss has made me value each and every breath I get to take. It's also allowed me to release all fear - because now I know that I can live through what I once thought impossible and actually come out of it okay.  Most importantly, losing them gave me the courage to fully live life and do what I love, and hopefully through that I can inspire you to do the same.

Here are two things that loss has taught me about death that has allowed me to live a more full life.

1 - It will happen to you.

This is the one certainty, and there is no escaping it. So why are we so afraid? We're afraid to experience it, afraid of what (or what doesn't) come after it, and we spend our lives thinking of ways to escape it, despite it's inevitability for each and every one of us.

Being aware of this fate that we all share connects us as living beings. Coming to terms with your own mortality will make you more aware that each breath is a gift.

"Life. No one gets out alive."

2 - Death doesn't end a relationship

For those of us who are left to live in the pain of loss, we tell ourselves that this is the end of what we loved about them in our lives. And that this person is now forever locked in the past tense. 'I loved them.'

But alas, this isn't the way it has to be. Just because someone is no longer alive doesn't mean you have to stop loving them in the present day. Actually, actively loving them will make you feel more complete, and make the sweet moments of your life even sweeter.

I have found great comfort in actively loving those that I have lost, present tense. I love Tom and I love Nick, and I love grandpapa & Grampa Don. How? By sending them love + light when I think of them. By laughing out loud when I hear something they would find funny. By speaking to them in quiet moments. By celebrating their lives, taking extra enjoyment in the things they liked most and that we shared together. By honouring and visiting the places that they loved on their behalf.  I trust that somehow they are able to hear the ripples of my laughter, and ponder my quiet questions. That they can feel that spark of joy, and enjoy the beauty of the world through my eyes on the other side.

Living life with love for them in my heart makes me feel more alive, and make life more full.

Some of favourite memories of the men I have loved + lost, including a visit to Mosquito Creek, BC (bottom right)- the place where their ashes lie to rest in peace.

Make this Hallowe'en an opportunity to return to the roots of the meaning of the day. Now is the time to start the discussion with your loved ones, what do you believe happens after you die? What do you want your celebration of life to look like? What scares you about dying? You'll be surprised at how alive and connected these conversations will make you feel.

Happy Day of the Dead, prairie yogis. May you celebrate and love those you have lost, present tense.

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

29 Oct 2014


We're excited to bring Prairie Yogi's signature brand of epic, inspiring experiences back to Saskatchewan in November with two Big Sky Brunch + Yoga events in the land of the living skies.

Join us for connection + culinary delights with some of the community's most inspiring teachers.

REGINA - SATURDAY NOVEMBER 29th @ Royal Regina Golf Club
Vinyasa flow with Mei-Ling Chow Mintenko

Saskatchewan Yoga, Saskatoon events, What to do in Saskatoon, What to do in Regina, Yoga Community, Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko, Tahnee Fournier, Lynette Suchar, Prairie Yogi Events

Tickets are limited for this intimate community gathering - we hope you'll join us!!

Online Ticketing for BIG SKY BRUNCH - REGINA powered by Eventbrite

SASKATOON - SUNDAY NOVEMBER 30th @ Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Yang / yin flow with Tahnee Fournier + Lynette Suchar

Saskatchewan Yoga, Saskatoon events, What to do in Saskatoon, What to do in Regina, Yoga Community, Mei-Ling Chow-Mintenko, Tahnee Fournier, Lynette Suchar, Prairie Yogi Events

Tickets are limited for this delicious gathering of intentional community - we hope you'll join us!!

20 Oct 2014


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. 


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


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