31 Aug 2014

A PERFECT PAIRING


A darling of the Manitoba music scene, to many Demetra Penner is something of a familiar face. 

But what some may not know is that this multi-talented prairie dweller has been quietly sharing another one of her gifts with the world all along. 

From discovering yoga as a teen growing up in a small prairie town to practicing in a tree house in 
Thailand, Penner not only has years of self-study under her belt, but a long-time affection for the 
practice. She completed her teacher training in Bali in 2009 and since has been active teaching and 
playing live music classes at studios and festivals around Manitoba. 

These days, Penner’s schedule is comprised of classes with students ranging ages two to eighty. 

With the enthusiastic preschoolers, sequences are paired with song (think ‘row-row-row your boat 
pose’). With her older students, whom she describes as the “real warriors,” the focus is on breath 
and self-compassion. 

When talking about teaching, she speaks passionately about truth-seeking, co-learning, and 
personal growth – but her favourite part about teaching yoga? 

“Sharing. Sharing these moments with these people.”

A touring musician for over three years, Penner has played at many noteworthy festivals and venues 
across Canada. Slowly, she has moved away from her familiar acoustic “dream folk” to a new, 
perhaps more chilling, sound that layers and loops many instruments with Penner’s strong, ghostly 
vocals. But don’t be alarmed: this new sound is no less dreamy.  

While her music is evolving, as music does, defining this new chapter is an intention to combine 
these two important branches of her life: yoga and music. Rather than treating them as passions 
apart, she is beginning to sew the two together. Part of this plan includes constructing her 
upcoming tour so that it surpasses the typical beer-soaked bar scene, opting instead to perform in 
yoga studios, festivals and other intentional spaces. 
Clearly an adventurer at heart, Penner’s exploratory spirit has taken her all around the world, 
including some extended, and meaningful, stays across Canada. Of note is living a year in Churchill, 
and from there finding opportunities to explore even further north into the Arctic. 

“The North really got into my bones.”


Neither far nor wide, this traveller’s most recent move was to a new home nestled among the trees 
on the shore of Lake Winnipeg. Whether it be writing music, practicing yoga, reiki, or working on 
her own line of natural skin care products, this cabin in the woods is now where “all the magic 
happens.” 

While drawn to many things, Penner seems most impassioned by simplicity, authenticity and 
helping others to see things clearly. And the evidence suggests she has a talent for making 
connections. And, in this instance, that means not only seeing the common thread, but actually 
sewing them together: urban and rural, young and old, north and south – and, now, yoga and music. 
She might have run away to a cabin in the woods, but our guess is we’ll be hearing a lot more from 
Demetra Penner. 

Demetra will be leading a morning meditation with music at Prairie Love Festival, on Sunday September 7th at FortWhyte Alive.

To get in touch about music, yoga or any other projects, visit www.demetra.ca.

25 Aug 2014

MYSELF - BEYOND THE SELF

Niki Trosky, Prairie Yogi
Words + Image by Niki Trosky
Once upon a time I travelled to India to learn how to meditate. I wanted to learn how to quiet my mind. I was nursing a broken heart and I was grieving the loss of a loved one. All I wanted was some peace of mind. I hit the eject button with the desire of landing in another world. A world that would help me escape the one I felt tortured in.

I landed in Ohso’s International Meditation Resort. I found myself in the middle of a new-age-inner-space camp and decided it was easier to sit and silently judge than to participate.

After a week of avoiding almost everything but a luxurious pool side and tennis courts I realized that no one was judging me. No one was pressuring me to participate. No one was expecting me to accomplish or achieve anything.

From this space of relaxed freedom I felt myself naturally open up. All of a sudden I was curious to see what everyone else was enjoying. I plunged into an intensive meditation schedule that included everything from screaming like a banshee to whirling like a Dervish to sitting perfectly still. My enthusiasm felt authentic and effortless. I found immense joy in my exploration of self.

Even the parts of my past that I had carefully avoided were not so scary anymore. I began to explore all of my dark bits with a ray of light.

The idea that I had to become a zen buddha who could sit blissfully still was replaced with a deeper joy of allowing things be just as they are. I came to the understanding that my thoughts had no power over my well being. I gave myself permission to relax into whatever view points decided to arise. There was no longer a need to change a negative thought into a positive one. There was no longer a desire to try and control and micro manage my points of view. I was able to relax into the simple understanding that all of my thoughts were perfect just as they were.

For me this awakening was subtle, yet deep. It was liberating to learn that my thoughts could simply come and go as they pleased. I found great joy in welcoming old patterns of unwanted thoughts. They went from torturous to familiar. As soon as I invited them to stay they seemed to scatter and grow disinterested in me. My simple allowing of them released their control over me. I discovered freedom in the absence of resistance. I was finally free to let things simply be.

I was finally able to connect with myself beyond the self.

I now understand that no matter what happens my higher self will always be powerful and clear.

I can take comfort in knowing that whether I am happy or sick, poor or wealthy, in love or broken hearted, my consciousness is always free. It will remain untouched by the thoughts that I have. It will always be present and the path of least resistance will always guide me back to it.

Giving myself permission to relax into my most awakened state I often find myself flooded with appreciation. Giving thanks for this beautiful life somehow makes it even more beautiful.

Allowing my thoughts to run their course, allowing my body to relax no matter what my circumstances and connecting to my higher self has pulled me into the gift of the present. I now understand that enlightenment is not something I can achieve, it is not a place I need to find, it is my natural state of being and my only job is to relax and appreciate it.

Namaste,

Niki

Niki Trosky is a renegade creating global change through social installations,  empowering photo shoots, sacred healing retreats, private life council, writing, innovative school curriculums & public speaking events. 

Join Niki on September 7th at Prairie Love Festival, and be sure not to miss her offering: Melodic Meditation accompanied by AndrĂ© Clement.

20 Aug 2014

GARDEN PARTY RECAP



Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,

So. Ugh. Our hearts. We just love you guys. All of you Prairie Yogis. This community is the best.

Last night was pretty spectacular and we were definitely feeling the Prairie Love. Surrounded by wheat stalks, dancing in the wind, 45 Prairie Yogis practiced a vinyasa flow class guided by Darlene Svienson. 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. 

The Prairie Yogi photobooth was buzzing with yogis adorned with baby's breath flower crowns and six beautifully crafted crowns donated by Kiera Molet-King! 

Keep posted for our always awesome recap videos!


Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg, Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Assiniboine Park Formal Gardens, Darlene Sveinson, PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL, prairie yogi, Prairie Yogi Garden Party, yoga winnipeg,
Baby's first yoga class, Phalyn Powell,
And we even had baby Ben take in his very first yoga class ever- at one month old.
He's going to be soooo enlightened when he grows up- haha! <3

11 Aug 2014

PRAIRIE LOVE UPDATE: TICKETING CHANGES




Prairie Love Festival, our own yoga festival celebrating community, art + music, is fast approaching and we couldn't be more excited!

We've received wonderful feedback since we've launched our ticket sales, thank you. We listened and have implemented some changes to make the festival more accessible to all and that add extra value for current ticket holders as well.

Changes to Prairie Love Festival Tickets


1 - You are now able to purchase a one-class pass to attend a single yoga class, workshop, or inspirational talk.

2 - Day pass holders are now able to pre-register for 4 activities instead of 3.* (Please keep in mind that you are still able to attend as many activities as you like on the day of, so long as there is space in the class.)

*People who have already purchased their day passes can now pre-register for one more class

Eventbrite - PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL

We are stoked to bring together our awesome community for this epic experience!

Check out the Prairie Love Festival schedule for more info on workshops and activities available.


7 Aug 2014

PRAIRIE YOGI OF THE MONTH- AUGUST 2014 - DJ ROBINDRA


We met DJ Robindra on our Prairie Yogi prairie tour and his sweet beats during a Saatva inspired class just made is feel.. OMazing. He's the co-founder of Bloom in Edmonton (along with Myrah Penzaloza- this woman is seriously a unicorn!). DJ Robindra finds inspiration in a flow state, something he finds through music.

"What inspires me is the present moment and what’s amazing about playing music, is that there comes a time when you get into the flow, and you experience this timelessness. If you’ve ever been to a concert, you can tap into this musician and feel that flow state."



6 Aug 2014

******DRUMROLL PLEASE*********

High fives + hugs to all who entered our Instagram photo contest last month!



We were blown away by the beauty and bliss captured with the hashtag #PrairieLoveFestival over the course of the contest. Thank you for sharing your prairie love.

And the winner of TWO day passes to Prairie Love Festival, Sunday September 7th at Fort Whyte Alive is......


@Phinney44 for this beautiful shot of @TheOnlyEmilyEver
Congrats! Email prairieyogi@gmail.com to redeem your passes.

Do you want to win your pass to Prairie Love Festival?
Join us tomorrow (August 7th, 2014) at Stephen Juba Park for our final Karma Countdown yoga class. Donate $10 or more to the Manitoba Eco Network and you'll be entered to win your day pass to this epic experience.