30 Jun 2014

WHY I GAVE UP

Written by Laura Wittig / Image by Monique Pantel

I’ve always wondered why there has been such a negative connotation attached to “giving up.” Since our youth, we've been told to “never give up,” and that “nobody likes a quitter.” Giving up meant that you were weak. Giving up made you a failure. It has only been as of fairly recent when I have discovered how wonderful giving up can actually be. 

As human beings, we tend to hold onto everything. We hold on to the “to do lists” we are constantly making in our heads. We hold on to the negative feelings towards someone we had a disagreement with days, months or even years ago. We hold onto the notion that we have to present ourselves in a certain way to society. We cling tightly to our egos… the list goes on.

We don’t often stop to think that this backlog of information, stress and negativity can only be described in one word: Exhausting.

The buzz phrase swirling around is currently “just let it go.” Now- correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this carefree and seemingly easy notion of “letting it go,” go against everything that society has raised us to fight for? It has been engrained in us for many years that we mustn’t give up- in fact we are often worse for it if we give up, BUT now we are supposed to just let it go- and everything will all be a-ok?! 

I believe the ability to give up is an art form that more people should make a conscious effort to practice, because the reality is- sometimes we can't do it all.  From my own experience, it just didn’t make sense to me that I was repeatedly told to work hard, fight for what I wanted, never give up- and now- that so many of my dreams and ambitions have begun to come to fruition  (and now that there aren’t enough hours in the day and I sometimes become stressed out,) I’m supposed to  all of a sudden, just "let it go!?”

I do not believe that it is as easy as being able to flip a switch and suddenly just let it all go. Giving it up and letting it go are indeed skills to be practiced and learned over time. 

For me- my yoga practice was the first place that I began to master the art of giving up. I gave up my ego- when I eventually learned that not everything had to look and feel perfect. I gave up forcing myself to exercise just for the sake of exercising, sometimes when my body was begging me not to. I gave up prioritizing my life solely based on a physical list I had constructed, and I starting doing things because I actually wanted to. Being able to finally sync my mind with my body through my yoga practice was the foundation of these skills for me.

I hope to be able to continue to develop these skills and to keep reinforcing that it’s okay to give up. 

You’ve earned it. Sometimes you absolutely need it.  

24 Jun 2014

SOUL SHINE SUP YOGA - SOLD OUT


Let your soul shine on Saturday, July 26th at Patricia Beach as we bring together yoga, community + SUP.

This dynamic 90min workshop with Shakti SUP + Snow's Ashley Bourgeois will bring your practice from the beach to the board - no experience necessary.

Make a day of it! Bring a friend, pack a snack and hang with us at the beach before/after your stand up paddle board workshop. 

$40 early bird (before July 1st)
$45 regular

Time Slots Available:
9:30am - SOLD OUT
Noon - SOLD OUT
2:30pm - SOLD OUT

**Space is extremely limited - get your ticket asap!

Curious about what to expect? Read about last year's yoga + SUP event.

23 Jun 2014

PRAIRIE YOGI OF THE MONTH - MATT YAUSIE



"You're releasing into something that's wild and sweet, all at the same time. Yoga and music and so amazing because it's like, they're meant to be together, I feel, like peace and love. It's that combination that's pure. It's a freedom of expression, it's a connection- it's something that's deep."

DJ Mateo aka Matt Yausie will be joining the talented roster of teachers for Prairie Love Festival this fall. His yoga and music classes are pure bliss and we can't wait to share it with the Prairie Yogi community!


19 Jun 2014

Take Flight With AcroYoga


The deep backbends, graceful balancing acts, and seemingly impossible stacks of human bodies make for some serious yoga eye candy. But flying high (and snapping the obligatory photo) is only one, very small, part of an AcroYoga practice. Equally, balance and strength are essential, but neither needs to be of the superhuman variety.

AcroYoga is a vibrant, playful – and relatively new – style of yoga, combining traditional yoga asanas with the dynamic movement of acrobatics. And like traditional yoga practice, the focus on breath awareness grounds familiar postures like bird, camel, and mermaid – only, with acro, the full expression of poses takes place midair.


Members of Winnipeg’s AcroYoga community can be seen practicing in parks and outdoor festivals throughout the summer.

Yoga instructor and massage therapist Lesley Brown brought AcroYoga to Winnipeg only a few years ago, in 2011, after attending her first of what would become many workshops in the United States.

“This person was like, ‘Can I fly you?’ and I didn’t know what that meant,” she recalls, laughing.

Returning home, Brown was hooked, and eager to continue her practice. Realizing she was probably alone in this pursuit, she ordered the AcroYoga manual and started hosting acro gatherings, or ‘jams,’ in her back yard. Soon this led to teaching acro classes at the Rudolph Rocker in Winnipeg’s Exchange District and then onto Peg City Yoga, where she continues to instruct today. In the process, Brown, one of Canada’s few certified AcroYoga instructors, watched as a community blossomed around her.

This was Heather Whittaker’s first time trying AcroYoga.
It’s not difficult to understand why. While AcroYoga can certainly be intimidating to newcomers, the energy that Brown and the acro community have created is infectious. Newcomers of all levels are welcomed to class with a smile. You are unlikely to find a yoga class where there are more ear-to-ear grins, squeals of joy or high fives. The focus on trust and playfulness makes for an especially supportive environment. There is always someone there to (literally) catch you when you fall.

AcroYoga instructor Lesley Brown spots.
AcroYoga ‘jam’ at the Old Market Square during the TD International Jazz Festival, June 2014.
Don't let your fear of falling dissuade your curiosity. Counterbalancing every flyer is a partner, the base, who supports and keeps the movement firmly rooted to the ground. A spotter guides every posture, transition and ‘pop.’ Brown stresses this in her classes, which makes for a safe practice that is accessible to everyone. And perhaps it’s this supportive environment that responsible for what is, for many newcomers, the most striking thing about acro: the relative ease of getting into the balancing postures that only moments earlier seemed wholly impossible.

But acro is more than just a test of strength or display of flexibility. Because it’s an activity typically done in pairs, it’s just as much an exercise in communication, understanding and compassion. Thai massage and therapeutics play a major part. Here, you’ll find friends and strangers speaking with respect, understanding and trust. And while yoga is typically a solo activity, acro forces participants to bring the mindfulness and awareness that are cultivated in individual practice into our relationships with others.

That empowering, energizing feeling that comes when balancing metres in the air is what keeps many yogis coming back. But it’s just as much about pushing personal barriers and boundaries. It seems that AcroYoga is, by design, meant to push our expectations, limits and zones of comfort. And most of us can probably use the occasional gentle reminder to let go, trust, and see just how high we can go.

AcroYoga classes – accessible to all levels – are being offered all summer at Peg City Yoga every Thursday at 7:00pm. Beginners and drop-ins welcome. Be sure to join the AcroYogaWinnipeg Facebook group for updates on workshops and park jams. Lesley Brown will be teaching an AcroYoga class at Prairie Love this September. Get your tickets here.



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 Jun 2014

PRAIRIE YOGI cOMmunity - KARMA COUNTDOWN ROAD TRIP TOUR!

6 cities,  7 days, 9 events and a big, beautiful, Prairie Yogi cOMmunity!
Noah Krol of Peg City Yoga came along for the ride... we just LOVE him!

On Saturday, June 7th, we packed our bags, stuffed the Peg-City-Yoga-mobile and 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.

We're not usually short for words here, but it honestly blew us away.

It was so exciting to discover (or 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.


Winnipeg
Kicked off the tour with a Karma Yoga class at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market. After class we had a chance to cuddle a baby lamb and goat! Tickets for Prairie Love Festival went on sale, too!

Brandon
We had an amazing turn out in Monique's second home! Nearly forty yogis gathered at Hanbury Hill for a Big Sky, Big Hearts flow class led by Noah Krol.

Regina
Queen City showed us some love by filling the Artisian to capacity. DJ Mateo spun while Rachelle guided the class through a sweet, groovy class.

Moose Jaw
Oh Moose Jaw. You guys kind of captivated us. Special shout out to Myles - who is just an amazing human. We practiced in an amphitheatre, beside a waterfall. Seriously. It was magic.

Edmonton
After plummeting down the watersides at West Edmonton Mall (#NoFear), we had a bountiful (vegan/gf!) dinner from Noorish. Andrew Misle, DJ Robindra, Myrah Penaloza, Teresa Byer, Amandra Tardiff  and a few other yogis opened their home and arms to us. It was awesome to say the very least.
Andrew + DJ Robindra guided a beautiful Saatva inspired practice at Latitude 53 with gentle adjustments from Myrah and Teresa. We capped off the evening with some delicious fresh fruit popsicles.

Saskatoon
We gathered at the Albert CC for a fun, inspiring practice from Lynette Suchar. Afterward, we enjoyed a glass of organic, free trade wine and creamy parfaits!
The next day we ended our Prairie Yogi tour with an outdoor class overlooking the river. The practice was lovingly guided by Saskatoon superstar-unicorn yogi Clancy Sullivan.


Keep posted Prairie Yogis - we've got a recap video coming for you soon!
And thank you to Lululemon who has been SO incredibly supportive of us! We love you!

15 Jun 2014

Dear Dad,


Dad,

Thank you.

For sharing with me that life's sweetness lies in music and living in the moment.

For encouraging me to think critically, question authority, and speak my mind. To stand tall in the face of bullies. To love myself first, every single part of me. Because, just like the oxygen mask in aeroplanes, your can't love anyone else until you love yourself first.

For showing me how to throw a football. Guys dig a sweet spiral.

For not letting me win, even when you were double my height and triple my size, to let me see that if I wanted to win I'd have to work hard and often lose, learn, and get back up and try again.

For teaching me that movement is medicine for body and mind.

For your unwavering support. For being at every single one of my basketball or baseball games, for taking us for donuts after swimming lessons. For teaching me how to run my first business: ice cold sodas for sale out of a cooler in our Radio Flyer wagon at the local baseball field. You genuinely believed I could be and do anything my heart could dream, which made it easier to believe myself.

For raising me to be strong enough for anything, including losing you.

For teaching me that life isn't fair, death is only proof of that fact. That the inevitable changes throughout life are opportunities to build strength and demonstrate character. For showing me first hand that death doesn't end a relationship. Thanks to you, I know how it feels to be eternally loved.

And thank you Dad for continuing to speak to me from the stars, in sunsets and quiet moments. I hear you, I feel you. I love you.

Love,


Your sunshine, your only sunshine.


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.

9 Jun 2014

PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL - TICKETS ON SALE NOW!


Connecting community through storytelling + experiences, Prairie Yogi Inc. is excited to bring you Prairie Love Festival, a yoga festival celebrating community, music, and the arts on Sunday September 7th at Fort Whyte Alive in Winnipeg, MB.

We're bringing renowned yoga teachers from across the country, including Eoin Finn of Blissology, along with musicians DJs and speakers for this one day celebration of the land of big skies and big hearts.

Find out who will be there + get your tickets at prairielovefestival.com

3 Jun 2014

PY LAUNCH PARTY YEG

Since publishing the story A Place I have Come to Call H'om'E a few months ago, our intrigue for Edmonton, the prairie metropolis with the most yoga studios per capita in Canada, has only grown deeper. We're told that their strong and beautifully diverse yoga community is something that needs to be experienced...

And since we believe whole heartedly in experiences - we're making the trip to the city of Champions and bringing our signature style of fun, community focused events with us!

Edmonton - we want to connect with your community and we hope you'll join us on Wednesday, June 11th for our Prairie Yogi Launch Party YEG!

We have connected with some of your favourite instructors and DJ to create an unparalleled PY experience. Andrew Misle will guide you, with some help from the lovelies Teresa Byer + Myrah Penaloza, through your 75min practice in an exquisite venue. And YEG Bloom's DJ Robindra Muse-ic will be on the turntables throughout the practice and stick around to keep the good vibes going for a post-practice patio party. Food trucks, wine, community smiles, and dance party to follow.

Andrew Misle - www.andrewmisleyoga.com / Instagram: @sattvamisle

Teresa Byer - photo by Jenn Crebas Photography

Get your tickets today - limited number of partner passes (2 tickets) available!


1 Jun 2014

FITNESS IN THE PARK - DOWNTOWN WINNIPEG BIZ


At the beginning of summer, all prairie yogis vow to themselves that "this summer is the summer I will make the most of the beautiful weather and spend plenty of time outside!"


The Downtown Winnipeg Biz is making it easier to do just that by offering their Fitness in the Park program. Every Monday and Thursday you can enjoy complimentary lunchtime yoga classes (donations accepted + all levels welcome) in downtown Winnipeg's most cherished green spaces.


Join us over lunch all summer long at the following Downtown green spaces:

Mondays
Noon - 12:45 at Memorial Park
Thursdays
Noon - 12:45 at Millennium Library Park

Yoga classes are taught by Yoga Public.
Classes offered between June 2nd - August 28th, weather permitting.
Donations accepted.

For more information on the Downtown Winnipeg Biz Fitness in the Park program (including complimentary Zumba classes,) check out their website and like them on Facebook.