30 Apr 2014

EQUILIBRIUM FOR ALL

E-qui-lib-ri-um: a state of rest or balance.

Four years ago Jenna McMahon opened Equilibrium. Yesterday, Equilibrium celebrated the launch of their new website. and extension of their brand hosted at Mona Lisa Restaurant in Winnipeg. Guests snacked on a healthy spread of sushi, veggies, fruit, and sipped on champagne to celebrate and support McMahon and her Equilibrium team.
Prairie Yogi team with Jenna McMahon (middle) at last night's launch event hosted at Mona Lisa Restaurant.
Equilibrium's mission can be found in its name: to help clients find a state of rest or balance. McMahon understands that the journey to health and wellness isn’t linear, that’s why they offer a team of diverse specialists. To be the best in health and wellness, the Equilibrium team is committed to lifelong learning, always growing to provide their clients with the current standards of quality care.

“We all consider ourselves eternal students. We’re still humbled in our ability to care for people and we are still so grateful for every relationship that walks in the door and every journey we’re invited to go on,” says Jenna McMahon, owner of Equilibrium, yogi and registered massage therapist specializing in pre-natal treatments for over 13 years.

Our bodies, in a state of flux, are always trying to find balance. From homeostasis to warning signs of aches and pains, our bodies constantly communicate with us. In yoga we learn to listen to our bodies, understanding the importance of mind body connection and placing attention on this constant feedback.

 “When walking into Equilibrium you know you don’t just have one therapist on your side - you have a whole team of therapists on your side,” says McMahon.

Equilibrium has created a comforting, peaceful space for clients to begin - or continue - their wellness journey. From a soothing massage to rehabilitation, clients receive customized treatments based on their needs. The team will help you listen to your body and take care of it. Come to Equilibrium to find your balance. 

Services offered: 

Massage therapy services: 
- General Massage
- Deep Tissue Rehabilitation
- Myofascial Massage Therapy
- Acupuncture
- Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Natural healing services:
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Acupuncture
- Holistic Nutrition
- Reiki

Pre-Natal
- Prenatal Massage Therapy
-Labor and delivery support services

For your convenience, Equilibrium bills Great-West Life and Blue Cross directly for massage therapy.

Check out their new online space, or say hello on Facebook.

29 Apr 2014

GRATITUDE BOWL - RECIPE

Photo and recipe by Rae of Sunshine's Ashley Rae.
With the weather getting warmer and summer approaching, the last place that some of us want to be is the kitchen! But healthy eating is still important, right? And when it’s warm outside, we want to feel light and refreshed. This is where THE BOWL comes into play. I’ve fallen in love with rice bowls, noodle bowls, green bowls, rainbow bowls, you name it – if it fits in a bowl, I’m into it! And you should be, too! Know why? Because fruits and vegetables are healthy, they’re cleansing, they’re light, they’re nutritionally satisfying and they’re quick and easy to prepare! Also, when your eating out of a bowl, your portion size remains under control, your food is fun to eat (with a fork or chop sticks) and your time in the kitchen is minimal.

A lot of people often ask me where I get my ideas for the dishes I make. I have one answer: colour. I love to eat with colour, and when you’re eating out of a bowl, the colours can get so bright.
Here are the steps to follow:
First, choose a beautiful bowl that you’re going to enjoy eating out of.
Second, experiment with fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, noodles, rice, beans, lentils – whatever your heart desires! The sky is the limit so make it your mission to create a bowl overflowing with as much healthy colour as you possibly can. Do this and you know you’re on the right track! It’s as easy as that!

I’ve been making a lot of Sunshine Bowls lately and this is one of my favourites. When the asparagus gets extra crispy, it reminds me of tempura without the batter. I don’t always braise or sauté my vegetables. Sometimes I like to eat them raw with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, but who doesn’t enjoy a good crunch? I hope you love it as much as I do!

Gratitude Bowl
1 bunch asparagus, washed & trimmed
2 Tbsp & 1 tsp olive oil, divided
½ cob corn
½ red pepper, sliced
½ cup zucchini, chopped
½ cup broccoli, chopped
1 Tbsp buckwheat
1 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1 cup mixed greens

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Put asparagus in a large bowl and pour 1 Tbsp olive oil over it. Mix with your hands to ensure all of if is covered in oil.
3) Spread asparagus on a pan and bake for 20 minutes until crispy.
4) In a frying pan heat 1 Tbsp oil.
5) Add broccoli and zucchini and sauté on medium high until slightly crispy.
6) Cover cob of corn with 1 tsp olive oil. In another frying pan, sauté corn on high until slightly golden.
7) In a bowl, combine mixed greens, red pepper slices, corn, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, buckwheat and raw sunflower seeds.

Enjoy! xo

With a mission to show the world that it's possible to live a happy, healthy, balanced, 'sunshine' life without hurting or killing animals Ashley Rae spends her time creating food, juice and smoothie recipes in her kitchen.
Equally passionate about animal welfare, plant-based nutrition and self-care, Ashley also enjoys running, gardening, fresh flowers, red wine, music, the ocean, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Ashley Rae is 28 years old and lives in Winnipeg, Canada with her husband and two cats. 

24 Apr 2014

BLANK CANVAS: A PRAIRIE YOGI EXPERIENCE

Winnipeg yoga events, Monique Pantel, Rachelle Taylor, Tiffany Barrett, Be Yoga, Creative Workshop, Yoga Workshop Winnipeg, Vision boarding, Prairie Yogi Experiences

"The most inspiring space is a blank page."

BLANK CANVAS - a creative workshop to bring life to your vision, kick start your goals, and bring your dreams to life!

Saturday May 24th, 2014
12:30pm - 3:30pm
The White Studio, Aspire Studios - 289 King Street, 3rd Floor


Tickets
$50 / $45 *Early bird - pricing ends May 9th
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association

Includes
-60 minute yoga class lead by Tiffany from Be Yoga
-Goal-setting workshop with Rachelle, PY's director of inspiration
-Vision-boarding workshop with Monique, PY's director of creativity
-All art supplies, post-practice snacks and tea, and Prairie Yogi journal to take home

Very limited space available for this intimate workshop, purchase your ticket today.

23 Apr 2014

MILES OF MIND

Photos: Sivananda Yoga Camp - Words: Carley Van Osch
Remember that final scene in Fight Club, when buildings are exploding around Edward Norton, and the Pixies start playing in the background? All goes black, and then they howl, “Where is my mind?” 
This is often what I’m reminded of whenever my teacher says to me, “where is your mind?” It’s one of his favorite lessons, which he repeats consistently.  

We are going through the majority of our lives unconsciously, or at least not fully present. We zip between thoughts of the past and worries of the future so quickly that there is hardly time for awareness of now. When we stop to look, where is my mind?, we often find it miles and miles away, dwelling on a completely unrelated matter. Here we are, studying or working or getting our groceries or doing our practice, yet our minds are in a universe of their own. How much potential is left vacant because of this endless wandering? How much clarity would we be allowed if we were able to pause this, even just for a few moments? How much peace would we get if for just one moment it all went silent. 

In meditation we are practicing becoming acutely aware of thought waves arising in the mind. We set aside a certain amount of minutes, and after that, get up off the mat, pat ourselves on the back, and say “good work for the day.” But sitting down for meditation is merely a means to an end, a conscious practice of a constant habit. Meditation is not theoretical, it is hands on. It doesn’t end when the ten, twenty, thirty minutes are up. Meditation is practicing mechanisms to recognize and release thought patterns. It is teaching us to observe our minds, each subtle movement at each subtle moment. Then we move on to disassociating from these thoughts, realizing they are a passing mental state changing constantly. On the mat, the steps are clear and concise. But off the mat, it is more difficult to maintain awareness of what is passing through our minds, or more suitably, where our minds are going. 

Awareness is what my teacher, Swami Shivabhaktananda of the Sivananda Yoga Camp, means when he asks “where is your mind.” Are you conscious of your mental condition as you go about your daily tasks? If you were to become more conscious, could you choose which states to inhabit and which to discard? It is viewing yoga as a state of mind, or rather, an awareness of the state of mind. The more we meditate, the more we practice, the more we are able to raise this level of awareness. Our minds are no longer allowed to run wildly and blindly between highs and lows and past and future and all other disassociated circumstances. We become one pointed, our focus increasingly narrowed to the state at hand, the present.  



The benefits of this I have seen through Swami Shivabhakta. Running the Yoga Camp is often an 18 hour a day, 365 day a year task, especially for its director.  Yet between training courses, weekend programs, guest speakers and everything else Ashrams require for upkeep, Swamiji stays energetic, uplifting, and dedicated. He is a source of good vibes, simply through being in his presence. This is where I have seen evidence that these practices are effective. It is because Swamiji has such awareness, and selectivity, of his thought waves, that he is able to work tirelessly to spread the messages of yoga. He is affected only by what he chooses to allow, and the power of choice makes all the difference. So practice. Practice, practice, practice. As much as you can remember, ask yourself, where is my mind? Then put it where you want it to be, and keep bringing it back there again and again and again. 

Choose your thoughts, choose your attitude, choose your life. 

21 Apr 2014

OPEN YOUR HEART - BACK BENDING

Words: Alex Wenger - Image: Jenn Crebas Photography


“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” –Rumi

In practice we open our hearts by reaching up, tilting back, and looking up to the sky. Yoga, for many of us, begins as a practice focused on fitness. But as we deepen and explore, our practice evolves to bring light into dark spaces within us, breaking those unresolved barriers. We strive to let go of the tension we’ve built up and when we feel release... It can be an emotional ride.

“Back bends can create anxiety but it rids us of it at the same time. You have to go somewhere that scares you in order to have that sense of calm afterwards,” says Sherri Schroeder, Yoga instructor from Moksha Yoga Kildonan.  

Sherri’s favorite asanas are backbends, a very emotional and uneasy group of poses with many variations. Even the most flexible and strong yogis need time to become comfortable surrendering to the backbend. Designed to bring heat into the body, lengthen the spine, and open the heart, backbends open us to vulnerability and challenge us to trust ourselves.  

For the typical North American, we are hunched over our keyboards and always moving headfirst throughout our day. This forward-facing action takes a toll on our backs, pulling them forward and rounding out the curvature of the spine. Breaking that pattern by doing the opposite action in our bodies through a backbend may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first. As we lift our chests up and walk our gaze backwards we’re slowly bringing the natural curve back into our backs.

Physical benefits of back bending: 

-Improves posture: realignment of the spine
-Relief of back pain/tennis elbow
-Stimulates the central nervous system
-Increases lung function
-Boosts the immune system
-Increases energy

Emotional benefits of back bending

-Combats depression
-Offers new perspective (by literally tuning your world upside down)
-Grows compassion


Remember to breathe, lift up, and have a strong foundation when doing a backbend to prevent any damage to the spine. Take your time and lengthen on an inhale and release into the backbend on an exhale.

Three fun backbends to awaken the spine, increase energy:


Baby Cobra: Bhujangasana (all levels)

      -Lying on your belly, stretch your legs back with the tops of our feet pressed into the earth.
-Plant your palm next to the ribcage with elbows up like grasshopper arms.
-Lift the head and chest off the earth into a mini backbend, without any force from the hands or below the waist

Bow pose: Dhanurasana (intermediate)
-      
-Begin lying on your belly with our arms alongside you, palms facing up. 
-Rotate your shoulders back,  and we reach back to grab onto your ankles.
-Kick back the feet into the hands, rocking the weight onto your belly, slowly bringing our gaze up towards the sky.
-Keep the knees hip width a part, in this pose we’re lengthening the spine and feeling our torso and thighs lifting off the ground. 

Full Wheel: Urdhva Dhanurasana (advanced)

-To set up this pose, begin on your back with knees bent, soles of your feet resting on the mat hip distance apart. Your feet should be close enough to your bottom you can touch them with the tips of your fingers.

-Place your palms on the mat by your head with the elbows reaching up and fingertips pointing towards the shoulders. To begin, press into the feet and palms slowly bringing our hips up to the sky and rest the crown of your head on the mat. Press into the base of your hands and your feet to slowly straighten your arms and legs. Your shoulders are rotated back and your feet are parallel.

-Release this pose slowly by first tucking your chin into your chest 


A series of forward folds are a great way to counter a back bending practice.


14 Apr 2014

PRAIRIE YOGI INTERN - ALEX WENGER

 I’m Alex, and I’m excited to be Prairie Yogi Magazine’s very first intern!

I first came to my mat when I needed to de-stress from the International Baccalaureate program in High school. I found yoga settled me and helped me find balance both physically and day to day. My practice is challenging, relaxing, inspiring, and strengthening all rolled into one and I’ve been hooked from the start. This month I’ve committed to deepening my practice through a 30-day challenge. 
Prairie Yogi Internship, Prairie Yogi, 30 Day Yoga Challenge,
Just like our alumni, Rachelle and Monique, I’m a part of the Creative Communications crew at Red River College. After five years of post secondary education, I’m pleased and proud to be graduating twice this year from the University of Winnipeg and Red River College.

I am very grateful and blessed to be a part of the Prairie Yogi Team and our ever-expanding Prairie Yogi community. I’m positively giddy to be working alongside Prairie Yogi women I admire and to have the opportunity be a part of what Rachelle and Monique have created. I can’t wait to see you all at Big Sky Beats!

My current favourite yoga pose:  Wheel! First wheel, next inversions!

My Intention of the month: Practice compassion. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” – Dalai Lama

Namaste!

Alex Wenger

11 Apr 2014

EDMONTON YOGIS GLOW WITH GLOW JUICERY [+ CONTEST!]

Words by Amanda Bell-Tardiff, Images by Jenn Crebas.

I recently completed a 1 day juice cleanse with Glow Juicery in Edmonton, Alberta. Glow with now two locations in Alberta is a perfect little juice bar that is bigger than life in presence within the community! Glow Juicery is giving away the same one day cleanse I completed - open to anyone in the Edmonton area! Find out the contest details below, but first- here's how I found the cleanse.

This 1 day cleanse was all mapped out and very easy to follow not to mention so so soooo delicious. Throughout the day, I felt nourished, satisfied, and content. It called for a salad at noon but I choose to omit the food and stick to fluids, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible for the entire day. Note that It is very important to stay on top of water consumption throughout the day in between the juices in order for the body to feel hydrated and satiated, I also choose to incorporate coconut water twice in addition to the juices.
All the juices were beyond delicious! (my all time favourite continues to be energy glow! YUM). My usual pattern after work would have been to do something active, a run or some weights, however listening to my body and following the instructions of the cleanse I chose to go home and curl up with some tea and a book. Before bed I did a 20 minute meditation and breath work, followed by a solid 8 hour sleep!

So, what's the correlation between juicing and yoga?

I strongly believe in incorporating juicing, green smoothies, holistic cooking into your daily life. This begins to nourish the body and develop a loving and healthy relationship with food. Becoming detached of old habitual patterns and developing mindfulness and awareness in each and every action especially when it comes to food consumption and the methods in which it is consumed. Throughout the day of my juice cleanse I started to notice my body telling me stories of feeling depleted, tired, and in need of a coffee. As opposed to giving in as I would usually do, I figured “what a great opportunity to dive deeper inward”. And I chose to give my body rest from the adrenal depleting caffeine kicks. (don’t get me wrong I love my americanos)

The practice of yoga is also the practice of diving deeper inwards and the breaking of old habits and patterns, thus creating space in our lives, bodies, and hearts to be fully present and inspired through each thought, word, and interaction.

The way to healing the body, mind, and soul begins in the gut. With Juicing comes this heightened awareness of the attachments we choose and create in our lives. (I.e. cup of joe in the morning). You may notice the first day or so of a cleanse (depending on your initial level of health) that you may feel tired, foggy, and in withdraw of the processed sugars, caffeine, trans-fatty acids, sodium, grease etc. This is simply the body telling you stories. We all create stories in order to justify our actions (mostly the actions we don’t feel so proud of) the same thing occurs with food. The body has created a story and thus created a habit. This gets shaken and stirred as you begin to introduce something new; fresh, raw, and organic GREENS in juice form!

Choosing to take part in a juice cleanse twice a year is something that I have incorporated into my life. It is a reminder to slow down, simplify and go inwards.It is a great opportunity to take it easy, to 
de-clutter the mind and your life. 


CONTEST TIME! =
CONTEST CLOSED. CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER TAYLOR BREAULT
Enter to Win a One Day Glow Beginner Cleanse Program - Valued at $55
This program includes 6 juices.
Ener-G Glow + Citrus Glow + After Glow + Vitamin G + Glow Boost + Earthy Glow


Contestants can win 3 ways:  
Follow, share, tag and hashtag to win via Instagram @prairieyogi @glowjuicery #IwantToGlowJuicery

Share this on Instagram! Don't forget to follow + hashtag!
Take a look at Glow Juicery's fabulous fresh juice menu.




9 Apr 2014

IDA ALBO PRAIRIE YOGI OF THE MONTH- APRIL 2014


"The thing about it- and there is an 'it' about yoga- is the perspective it gives you off the mat."

Ida Albo is your Prairie Yogi of the Month for April 2014! Owner of Yoga Public, Albo shares her love for yoga and the ways she's seen it change people's lives.

Yoga Public is Canada's largest yoga studio, offering a variety of  over 100 classes a week ranging from Ashtanga to Yin with Hot Yoga, Hatha, Meditation, Restorative, Vinyasa, and more.

Every month we highlight a beautiful Prairie Yogi soul - someone who is doing amazing things in the prairie yoga community. If you would like to nominate a Prairie Yogi of the month email us by clicking here telling us who + why.

7 Apr 2014

5 BENEFITS OF A HOME PRACTICE


sarah carson, home practice, yoga at home, 5 benefits of a home practice, prairie yogi, why practice yoga at home

The last time we spoke, I shared some of my deliberations and anxieties over removing myself from the comforts of my home studio, and on the irony of coming into a home practice all the way over in the motherland of yoga. Having made the journey to India and back, and practicing at home all the while, I can definitely say that practicing at home packs some serious benefits, even for the most loyal (or apprehensive) of studio-going yogis. Here are a few reasons to think about practicing at home:


sarah carson, home practice, yoga at home, 5 benefits of a home practice, prairie yogi, why practice yoga at home


Welcome change 

Though not without a certain amount of hesitation, I traded in my sweat drenched, vigorous practice for a more calm, intentional morning ritual. My progress wasn’t as rapid or measurable as when doing a regular power-flow practice and certainly not as fancy – but change is good. I read some books, tried new things, and starting thinking about yoga from a new perspective.

Get personal

It’s useful to think of home practice as more than merely practicing in the house, but as a personal practice. Even with discipline to not peek at others in the room, studio practice is inherently public, visible. I realize now how much I draw on energy from others – and even aim to please. At home, I can’t meet at friend, be seen, or seek other external returns. At home, practice is private but also intensely personal in both the challenges and rewards.

Embrace imperfection

For me, this was definitely the biggest challenge. For whatever reason, there was this lingering fear that I would forget my sequence or that it wouldn’t live up to my own expectations. Once I was able to fully let go of the idea that I needed to complete an exact 60 minutes of practice with perfectly timed postures and transitions, practicing again became easy. We should substitute ‘practice makes perfect,’ for ‘no practice is perfect.’

Reclaim yoga 

In India, even this perfectionist became accustomed to practicing in a cluttered, concrete room as my partner snoozed in the bed next to me. Back in Canada, I’m growing used to practicing on a charming but uneven hardwood floor and visits from affectionate house cats. Sure, it’s not ideal, but it works. We don’t all have spare bedrooms or rain showers or even proper yoga mats. And yet, yoga still works. The fundamentals of yoga are still there for everyone to use – and the funny thing is, we don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to do so.

Explore the uncomfortable

Some months ago, the thought alone of having to practice by myself conjured up what is still a baffling level of anxiety. As it turns out, exploring those pockets of fear is worthwhile (big shocker, right?). For me, this meant shedding another layer of my perfectionist self, which allowed me to, well, just kinda go for it. Getting to the heart of our hang-ups is one of the greatest perks of stepping onto the mat, wherever the mat might be.

sarah carson, home practice, yoga at home, 5 benefits of a home practice, prairie yogi, why practice yoga at home
sarah carson, home practice, yoga at home, 5 benefits of a home practice, prairie yogi, why practice yoga at home



Now, have I written off studio practice completely? Not exactly. But no longer do I feel I need to go to yoga to do yoga. And for me, that was the biggest thing. I am by no means a home practice guru, but, as it turns out, I don’t have to be. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be pretty, because that’s not what it’s about and because no one is watching.

Happy (home) practicing!


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

2 Apr 2014

BIG SKY BRUNCH + YOGA RECAP + VIDEO



Watching this recap vid makes our eyes well up and our hearts burst open with love. What an awesome Prairie Yogi community. Shawn Flaman guided 108 Prairie Yogis through a flow practice (which had some wild cards like partner work and a CHAKRA DANCE!) this past Sunday morning at the Marlborough Hotel. After class, we all gathered for a delicious brunch catered by the Marlborough. Shout out to the Brandon yogis who drove in to attend Big Sky Brunch, too. So awesome.


A big thanks to:
The Marlborough Hotel for having us in your space.
SmartWater for providing water for all of the thirsty yogis.
Mala Collective for a beautiful piece we gave away.
Academy Florists for 108 daffodils to give to every yogi (hello spring, we know you've GOT to be on your way!)
Sarah Cameron Jewlery for her gorgeous pop-up shop displaying her jewelry.
Leather and Lace Jewelry for donating beautiful prizes.
Yoga Public for dishing out karma passes to every single person who attended. 
And finally to Shawn Flaman who shared her beautiful energy and guided us through the morning practice.

We can't wait to get together once again for another awesome Prairie Yogi experience. Join us for Big Sky Beats  on April 30th, 2014 at The Gates on Roblin. You can get your tickets here.

Namaste Prairie Yogis!