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
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
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 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.