21 Feb 2015

AHH-SANA // THAI YOGA MASSAGE PARTNER WORKSHOP

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Words by Monica Angelatos // Images by Veronica Angelatos

We are all born with an innate ability to offer healing touch. Most of us have experienced the nurturing, caring, companionate healing touch of our mothers. Societal norms have led us to become a touch-deprived society, yet our bodies scream out: touch me, hold me, squeeze me, heal me. But no one seems to be listening…

thai yoga massage, partner yoga winnipeg, healing hands, loving touch, winnipeg events, winnipeg yoga, monica angelatos, prairie yogi Join Monica Angelatos as we explore a lazy yogi’s Ahhh-sana practice.  You and your bestie, sister, or lover will share in a mutual un-Thai-ing of each other’s emotional and physical knots, through the therapeutic techniques of Thai bodywork. As you move through a guided partner-supported asana sequence, you will take turns giving and receiving Thai yoga massage.

Thai Massage is a therapeutic, soothing and deep practice.  You will learn techniques such as palming, thumbing, pressing and stretching.  We’ll move through a series of applied yoga poses that open the joints, lengthen the muscles and stretch connective tissues. Stimulating the tissues causes stagnated energy to become unblocked and flow through the Sen energy lines, restoring balance in the body and leaving you and your partner with a deep sense of well being.

No experience is required. Monica will provide clear, easy-to-follow directions to create a safe environment for your exploration. Bring a partner with whom you feel comfortable being in close contact. You will leave the workshop feeling the bliss of having had a great yoga practice as well as a great massage.


thai yoga massage, partner yoga winnipeg, healing hands, loving touch, winnipeg events, winnipeg yoga, monica angelatos, prairie yogi


Things to bring:
Yoga Mat 
Blanket
Pillow
eye-pillow (if you have)
Water bottle

Limited tickets available in this intimate workshop on Saturday March 14th at Prairie Yogi's studio space at 210-70 Albert.


ONLY 10 PARTNER PASSES AVAILABLE



18 Feb 2015

5 TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL HOME PRACTICE

home practice, yoga at home, Tahnee Fournier, prairie yogi,
Words by urban Priestess + prairie yogi Tahnee Fournier 

Having a home yoga practice is a wonderful way to deeper your own understanding of yoga, however it comes with its own set of challenges. Getting to the mat is often the hardest part about yoga and even more difficult is attempting the home practice. It is one sure way to learn what obstacles block you in your practice while learning to overcome them. Plus no one gets to see you in your manky sweats, unwashed hair, or drinking a coke, or fall out of a pose. My attempts at getting into handstand with a dog underfoot are laughable. Home is a perfect place to practice when leaving the house just isn’t an option. 

home practice, yoga at home, Tahnee Fournier, prairie yogi,

The key is to create structure around your home practice, much like the foundations of a house. We start with the basics and build from there. Eventually the cheerios from the kids or dust bunnies or laundry will become less intrusive to the mind as the practice and benefits increase. 

1 - Organize the space around your mat

If you are using the kitchen like myself (only non-carpeted spot in the house) this requires sweeping otherwise the cheerios from breakfast stare at me relentlessly in down dog. Take five minutes before the practice to make it tidy and think how proud your Mother will be.  If you don’t, those damn cheerios give a good stink eye, trust me I know. If it floats your boat, use aromatherapy. Light incense, whatever you need to set the mood for your practice. A few minutes of cleaning and setting the mood makes a world of difference. 

2 - Create a little alter (puja) where you can place meaningful objects on it.

home practice, yoga at home, Tahnee Fournier, prairie yogi,
My alters align with the current season and always have a deity (God or Goddess) with qualities I want to work on within myself. Nataraja, the dancing Shiva and Lakshmi have two permanent positions while the rest of the Hindu pantheon such Ganesha, Kali, Hanuman and Saraswati and others are on rotation. Other Goddess such as Brigit and people like Mary Magdalene also make appearances. And of course, crystals. Who can resist? They sparkle, are pretty, and make me feel good. I’m found of black moonstone, clear quartz and amethyst. It’s another excuse to go shopping and see what crystal is calling your name. And they do, call your name. I dare you to walk into a crystal shop and walk out empty handed. It. Does. Not. Happen. Included on my alter is a  plant to represent growth, a candle to represent light and pictures of loved ones. Whatever you love, get it on the alter and let it feed your yoga practice space.





3 - Set a date + time for your practice

Whether it’s 5 mins or an hour, set your timer and get to that mat. Create the discipline in your body by doing it. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your home practice. If you get to the mat 1x a week, that’s brilliant. Start there and build it up. Can only do 5 minutes? At least that’s something. We need to  honour the small steps we make and 5mins of a home practice is better then zero minutes of a home practice.

4 - Make it fun, play music

You aren’t any less spiritual because you want to rock out on that mat. I’m a big fan of Marques Wyatt from Deep-La and Tasha Blank from New York and Smalltown DJ’s from Calgary. All available on Soundcloud. When I’m not feeling inspired, I have a little movement dance party and before I know it, I’m yoga-ing my way through the practice. 

5 - Intention. Ah yes, the intention

Make it real, make it honest. For example, this week it’s about the breath (when isn’t it?) Allowing the breath to guide my body while I navigate the warrior series including the dreaded virabhadrasana 3 (airplane pose), one of my least favourites. One I definitely prefer to practice at home when no one can see me swear under my breath (while breathing) as I shake like a sewing needle. Keep the yoga simple and don’t overwhelm yourself. Remember this is about building a home practice up, not berating yourself for noting knowing how to get into Scorpion.

home practice, yoga at home, Tahnee Fournier, prairie yogi,
 
If I can leave you with anything, it’s to make your home practice approachable and inviting, whatever it takes you to get to the mat. I love music, having a Lila Mala on the mat (for decoration) and a BKR bottle.  I also reward myself with a delicious coffee after. We often quit before we have even started so I hope these five tips can inspire you to make some time for yourself, get to that mat! and keep you trucking along happily in life. 

12 Feb 2015

From our Hearts to Yours this Valentine's Day // Manitoba Harvest

Manitoba Harvest, Hemp Hearts, Our hearts to Yours, Valentines day, Guilt free treats for your sweetie
Sponsored content by Manitoba Harvest // Image by Monique Pantel
'Tis the season of love and sweet treats from the heart. At Manitoba Harvest, their hearts (and sweet treats) are made of hemp. 

A company built on educating on the health and environmental benefits of hemp, that strive for sustainability in all that they do as manufacturers and marketers of the highest quality hemp food products right here in the prairies.

Their mantra, Hemp + Happiness, isn’t just some catchy phrase... It's their belief. A belief that all of us are better people when in a state of happiness. Our outlook changes, our energy increases, we are inspired, kinder people. Oh the power of positivity!

We hope you enjoy this recipe, from our hemp hearts to yours, and have a wonderful long weekend full of love and positive vibes.

Guilt-Free Treats for your Sweetie


No Bake Hemp Truffles

Manitoba Harvest, Hemp Hearts, Our hearts to Yours, Valentines day, Guilt free treats for your sweetie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cocoa or raw cacao or carob powder
  • 1/3 cup Hemp Pro70 Chocolate flavour
  • 1 cup nut or seed butter (stirred well) 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (substitute brown rice syrup for a kinder option) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch sea salt
  • 2 tbsp Hemp Hearts



Directions

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl to create a uniform texture.
2. Fold in wet ingredients by hand.
3. Form into 1-inch balls and roll in Hemp Hearts. 

Chef's Notes

Recipe courtesy of Julie Daniluk. Visit her website at: https://juliedaniluk.com.

Yield: 18 balls


For more recipes using Hemp click here.

WIN A HEMP HEARTS VALENTINES' PRIZE PACK

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Enter to win on our Facebook page

9 Feb 2015

Mindful Leadership: Transform Yourself to Inspire Others

Words: Lindy Norris // Photo: LKB Photography

It started in The Valley - now it's here.

Mindfulness is paving its way into the modern workplace. Several years ago, after securing its influence in corner offices amongst Google, Apple, eBay, Goldman Sachs, and McKinsey, the traditional Buddhist practice shifted Eastward.


What is "Mindfulness" Anyway?

Simply put, mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness and enlightenment. At work, this translates to brief instances of mediation to re-focus and re-centre, thereby increasing self-awareness, clarity, sense of judgment, and productivity. As TIME explained, it "finds peace in a stressed-out, digitally-dependent culture."

Mindfulness is not something we should be sold on: it's inherent, but we need to learn to tap into it under pressure. It increases productivity and allows decision making based on reality, rather than wishful thinking or fear.

Before erasing yourself from the movement, consider the days you spent hours in meetings, only to later agonize in recounting details you didn't write down. Or, the days you arrive home from work, only to realize you recall nothing of the commute. Your body is present, but is your mind? 

Might be time to test drive mindfulness.




Quickly named by Harvard, Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, Entrepreneur, Wired, Inc.com, and HuffPost as the secret to leadership, mindfulness is proven to reduce stress, foster emotional intelligence, improve C-Suite capacity, increase complex thinking, and support self-regulation and effective decision-making – to name a few. Benefits are limitless, and transition seamlessly between professional and personal wellness.

Mindfulness has eclipsed yoga studios to become ubiquitous in boardrooms. Why? Our omni-connected, hyper-communicative, over-scheduled and multi-tasking culture has eroded ability to focus. "New nature" sees us operating multiple screens, simultaneous conversations, over longer hours per day: a digitally intellectual marathon without reprieve. We skip breaks, work through lunch, and hunker down with laptops late into the evening - innocent when done sporadically, but toxic when habitual. Thoughts scatter, judgment clouds, self awareness wanes, and leadership capacity suffers.

Our brains demand calmness, space, expansion, and reflection to function at optimal levels. For leaders and employees alike, peak performance demands intellectual sharpness and agility in making tough calls. Through mindfulness, we can trigger internal reset to gain clarity and perspective on big picture decisions.


Still Not Convinced?

The belief "Mindfulness = Profitability" is widely maintained amongst North America's most notable entrepreneurs. Howard Schultz, Warren Buffett, Chip and Shannon Wilson, and Mark Zuckerberg are just a few of those whom adopted mindfulness early and continue its practice today. They recognized impact of clarity on business decisions; from business decisions to operation; and operation to profit. Consider the proven benefits of mindfulness:

 It reduces the tendency to overthink, allowing you to focus more on the moment instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future

 It reduces chronic stress by providing tools to diffuse daily stressors and the clarity to navigate challenges

 It generates wisdom and ability to leave the "me-centered" point of view, instead really listening to perspective from others

 It allows you to find stillness, thereby improving judgment through better ability to assess current situations and enhance sense of self

• It improves soft skill development such as attitude, confidence, work ethic, and communication (as mentioned in my recent article on growth, soft skills has become vital to development and maintaining a competitive edge) 

 It increases positive emotions, while reducing negative emotions and stress (...everyone loves a positive leader!)

• It changes our brains, increasing density [capacity] of gray matter linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy (also known as Emotional Intelligence)

 It allows concentrating completely on one thing at a time, by helping tune out distraction and improve memory and attention skills

 It facilitates response versus reaction (we become rigid when we think we know what to do - seeing situations clearly opens better paths to embracing new ideas)

 It increases self-regulation (thereby avoiding knee jerk reactions) and the ability to make decisions objectively

With nothing to lose, it's no surprise the most visionary leaders subscribe to a lifestyle rich in mindfulness.

**Article originally published in Golden Girl Finance

4 Feb 2015

ROCK YOUR BLISS AT PRAIRIE LOVE 2015

Are you ready to make shift happen, Prairie Yogis? Get ready, because bliss crafters Mary Beth La Rue + Jacki Carr of Rock Your Bliss are coming to rock the prairies at Prairie Love Festival 2015 
The duo, from Venice Beach, California, being yoga + goals come together blissfully to create seriously inspiring workshops. They are goal coaches, yoga teachers, lululemon + tiny devotions ambassadors, and members of the Wanderlust Festival circuit. You won't want to miss the workshops these babes are offering at Prairie Love: Yoga. Goals. GratitudePlot Twist, Add Bliss;  and The Power of Play.

 "Through years of friendship, many sweaty yoga classes and life changing conversations over green juice or red wine, we’ve found a combination that is truly transformational."


Our Bliss Beliefs
We believe that balance and good conversation is key.
We believe in community. In collaboration.
We believe in positive vibrations and the Light at the center of every being.
We are yogis who like our practice sweaty and we like our margaritas on the rocks.
We are the adventure seekers, the lovers, the ones on the dance floor.
We believe in sleeping under the stars and playing in the ocean, forever and ever.
We believe in fire pit story telling, s’mores, and wine glasses half full.
We believe in feeding curiosity and starting every single day with a grateful heart.
We believe in shedding worn-out ways of living.

We believe in packing our backpacks and running off to Mexico.
We believe in coming home.
We believe in transformation, and loving the process.
We believe that Love wins. Always and forever.
We didn’t just choose this, we are this.
Rock Your Bliss.


Snowbird discount weekend passes for Prairie Love Festival are available for sale on prairielovefestival.com - only a limited number available (and they're selling fast!)
Scoop yours up before prices rise!

3 Feb 2015

Enjoy the full moon, inspiration to DO MORE AND BE MORE!

Leo, Full Moon, Tahnee Fournier, Prairie Yogi
I am a Leo. I am a lioness.  
I have a pack yet I prowl alone with the whisper of the trees as my accompaniment.  
The full moon guides the courage in my heart and the wisdom of my soul. 
I am fierce and demand ferocity back; I give you all and more. 
I exhibit my creative power and move fully into every action, every movement, every breath. 
I let nothing hold me back.  
I represent true raw power, awakened love and the grace of Nature. 
I am the Lioness.

Leo, Full Moon, Tahnee Fournier, Prairie Yogi
Tahnee Fournier, ERYT-500 with 15 years of teaching experience nationally and internationally is known for being inspiring and devotional to the practice.  Currently she co-directs the yoga teacher training program at Bliss Living and Yoga in Grand Cayman, is an ambassador for Daub & Design and Manduka Yoga and has online yoga videos with YOGO.TV while calling Saskatchewan home.
Tahnee is a Mother, an urban priestess, jewellery designer, an equestrian, wine-lover and loves to collaborate with incredible human beings on projects that invoke joy, love and laughter.

2 Feb 2015

4 Ways to Free your Mind During a Prairie Winter

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Image of Hannah Rose Pratt by Monique Pantel - Words by Nikki Zajac 

Since recently moving back to the prairies from California, I noticed that there was something missing. Nothing obvious, but at the same time very pressing. Now, coming back to a real winter is a huge shift from palm trees and sunny skies. The more time I spent marinating on what my intuition was trying to communicate to me, the clearer it became. It wasn't, however, until I got my butt outside that I had my breakthrough realization.

I'll tell you what that is, but you must first know how much I craved to be indoors beside a warm, sizzling fireplace with a hot cup of spiced tea on a cold winter day. This was what I was missing earlier this winter. I have completely indulged and have since satisfied my cozy fire cravings. It was after I got my fix that I started to get a little stir-crazy.

Everything changed when I decided to gear up and spend the day outside. I felt refreshed, revitalized, alive and free. I couldn't stop smiling. Yes, it is those powerful nature vibes that sunk into my pores and made my body dance with happiness. One day, one moment, everything changed.

Now, I know that I am not the only one living in the prairies during the long winter and at times, feeling caged in.

I want to share 4 ways to free your mind this winter and help you connect to yourself in ways you have been missing out on.

1- Go on a hike. 


Gear up and get yourself outside on a beautiful winter day. Go to a park or a quiet location surrounded by trees. Go solo, with a furry pal, a friend or partner. The most important thing is to dress for the weather so you can fully enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. Breathe deeply and take in the perfection of the trees and snow. Spend some time connecting to what you are grateful for in your life. By the time you are done, you will feel refreshed and your mood will be elevated.

2- Snowga. 


Nuff' said. Dress for the weather and go do some snowga (snow + yoga). It's fun, challenging (err, balancing on uneven ground) and extremely peaceful.

3- Take up a winter activity.


If you don't already engage with a winter sport, plan a day to do so. Rent some skates, cross country skies, or a snowboard and get out there! Who knows, maybe you will discover your next passion?

4- Winter photography. 

Whether it is an iPhone or a high-quality camera, get outside and take some pictures of your surroundings. It is a great way to connect to nature, stimulate your creative juices and practice a new skill.

There you have it. Prepare to free your mind and up the joy in your life this winter. Remember cold doesn't necessarily mean hibernate. Honor what you are given and find small ways to enjoy your winter. And most importantly, it is all about the balance of yin and yang energy. (I’ll save that topic for a future post).

As I always say, Freedom is a state of mind.

Namaste.

Nikki is a Flow Yoga Instructor and Self-Love Guide from Winnipeg, MB. Not only does she help women align their bodies with yoga, but she also helps women align their lives. Her holistic approach to teaching brings spirituality, love and wisdom to all. She believes that the answers we seek in life come from within and that happiness comes from the willingness to love yourself fully. To Nikki, yoga isn't just a practice on the mat, but a practice of life. Off the mat she is a lover of green juice, hip hop dancing, nature and unplanned adventures. 

Find more of Nikki on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and instagram.