31 Mar 2015

MEET PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL 2015 HEADLINER : ERICA BLITZ

#PrairieLoveFestival, bliss, Creativity, energy, Erica Blitz, Gandhi, Headliner, Highest potential, inspire, Love, Namaste TV, prairie love, yoga,
#PrairieLoveFestival, bliss, Creativity, energy, Erica Blitz, Gandhi, Headliner, Highest potential, inspire, Love, Namaste TV, prairie love, yoga,
#PrairieLoveFestival, bliss, Creativity, energy, Erica Blitz, Gandhi, Headliner, Highest potential, inspire, Love, Namaste TV, prairie love, yoga,
This California girl has prairie roots, hailing from Edmonton, AB. A yogini, writer, and international adventuress, Blitz travels the world offering inspiration and yoga teacher trainings. She is the architect of seasons 3 + 4 of Namaste TV.


Yoga is something we experience deep within our being. It does not require strength or flexibility; it only requires a willingness to learn how to feel authentically and respond honestly to whatever it is you notice. Moving from point to point, breath by breath, and completely absorbed in the present moment, yoga teaches balance: structure and fluidity, strength and flexibility, support and surrender, stillness and motion, limits and liberty, feat and trust, holding on and letting go, stability and freedom.

In asana, we learn more than just the physical form of the pose; we also learn to stay steady, calm and alert whether we are in a simple pose or in a challenging pose. When we are able to maintain a sense of presence and equilibrium in any asana, we can translate this off the mat to maintaining a healthy mental and emotional balance in life.

In spirit of greater success, happiness and fulfillment in life, I am committed to the practice of yoga and believe that health and well being are wonderful results of practicing yoga - but the actual purpose of yoga is to awaken our highest potential as human beings. 

My classes are based on the creative play of Vinyasa, the verve of Ashtanga, and the life-affirming essence of Anusara. Grounded in a supportive and inviting space for everybody to experience the benefits of yoga, my classes weave a balance of intensity and grace into rhythmic, mindful movements that build physical strength and flexibility, reduce stress and quiet the mind. Together with a focus on breathing, physical alignment, and dynamic movement, I create an inspiring moving meditation that is simultaneously fun, challenging (yet accessible) and calming leaving you energized and centered long after you've left your yoga mat.

"I believe in the power to live simple + love big. To move + be moved. Join me."

Practice with Erica on seasons 3 + 4 of Namaste TV


Grow your practice with Erica this September at Prairie Love Festival 2015
Spark creativity, increase your connection to your greatest potential, and quiet the mind. 
Like the snow, discounted snowbird passes are almost gone! Invest in yourself and get a Prairie Love weekend pass today. 


17 Mar 2015

From Body Battlefield to Body Beautiful Through Ahimsa



I remember the moment my body became a battlefield. I was sitting on the couch watching a documentary on ballet.  I remember we had just moved to a new town (we moved a lot when I was growing up) and I was nervous about starting school and making new friends.  I remember them talking about the physical requirements they looked for when recruiting students to their school:  long neck, short torso, long legs - turned out at the hip, and not an ounce of fat to be seen.

I remember thinking that if I looked the way they did, then I would be accepted in the new school I was about to walk into. I watched that documentary on ballet and then headed to the bathroom, assessing my own body in the mirror.  Long neck - nope; short torso - kinda; long legs - definitely not; turned out at the hip - yup, people always said I walked like a duck; and fat - well…

In that moment, I transformed.  I went from a girl who didn’t really notice how my leotard fit in my dance classes to one that wore layer upon layer to avoid the reflection in the mirror.  I began to reject food and accept hunger.

As I moved through high school, throwing up my food became a more effective method for expelling the hatred I carried for my body and emotions.  In college, I was bingeing and purging five times a day and dancing eight hours a day.

After college, I swam between the spaces of anorexia and bulimia, willing my body to lose weight, still under the illusion that the number on the scale was a number by which I could be valued in this world.

I moved to Chicago and sought therapy, went to support groups, and worked with a nutritionist. Then, I found a yoga class with a beautiful teacher, Erin Cowan at Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago. She helped me tune into my breath and the true strength and power that resided inside.  I began to learn that I am perfect, just as I am.

As my yoga practice evolved, I learned about Ahimsa.  The very first Yama in Patanjali’s Eight-Limbed Path of Yoga.  Ahimsa.  Non-violence toward others, but even more importantly, toward oneself.  This concept was only presented to me by the Universe when I was ready to hear it fully and completely. When this moment arrived, it helped me on my path to full recovery from eating disorders.  I learned my negative thoughts and the abusive behaviour I directed toward myself prevented me from moving forward, from truly living a more nourished life.

When I fully put Ahimsa into practice, my asana and meditation practices are filled with freedom. I give myself permission to be right where I need to be.  To practice and meditate in a way that shows me just how beautiful I really am.

Because I am beautiful, and perfect, just as I am!

Heather Evans, MS, RYT-200 is the Founder of and Motivation Maven at Journeys on the Mat. She is a passionate teacher who is inspired by everyday moments of bravery and is fiercely dedicated to social justice and equality.  In her classes, there is a deep emphasis on breath, playfulness, and personal empowerment. Her mission is to break boundaries and connect people to the moment and their deeper selves in shared spaces of inspiration and support.   

Heather completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training with the School of Sacred Arts in Bali and was immensely inspired by the teachers, culture, and nature. In addition, she holds a Master of Science in Public Service Management and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies.  Heather has traveled to and lived in many places around this world and currently calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, home.  Heather’s personal mantra:  Every moment, every breath is a new opportunity to seek joy, connection, and inspiration.

Connect with Heather at www.journeysonthemat.com

10 Mar 2015

THE MOST AMAZING PHOTO YOU'LL NEVER SEE

Yogi, Prairie Yogi, Rachelle Taylor, rachelle taylor yoga, Cayman Islands, Bliss Yoga Cayman, Yoga + Sup, IN the moment, Intention, Bliss

Expectation is the root of disappointment. This is a mantra we all know well. But knowing this doesn't seem to keep us from creating high expectations for future events.

I myself am guilty of envisioning the perfect moment, daydreaming (when I should be working) of a perfect experience. And within that experience, a perfect photo opportunity - because what's an epic experience without the ability to share with all your friends - that I'll capture beautifully. Add a sweet filter and a clever caption or quote and it'll be sure to garner a ton of likes and comments on how amazing my #vacay looks like from the frozen prairie. At least that's how my fantasy goes.

But what effect does this motivation for a great photo have on the moment when it finally comes? Truthfully, it means I'm not really in it. Because instead of fully experiencing the moment, I'm wondering: how can I take a photo of this experience that will both be flattering yet appear effortless; whats my best angle; what pose should I do; what filter will I use, etc.

A few weeks ago I had this one specific photo I kept fantasizing about wanting over my upcoming holiday: me in asana while floating effortlessly on a stand up paddle board with an epic Cayman sunset in the background.

So before I took off for the Caribbean island, I bought a GoPro, set up a private yoga + sup session with the amazing girls at Bliss Yoga Cayman, and I fantasized about the shots I would get. I envisioned all the different angles I could shoot from my SUP: I'd get some of me, my teachers, and my friends, of course. I couldn't decide which asanas would look best, but I suppose I could leave those up to the teacher. Maybe I could even put together a little video montage. OMG, I can't wait - this is going to be so great! In this midst of busy-ness in my mind while preparing for my migration south, I forgot to pack the battery charger for my fancy new camera. Doh! This discovery - five minutes before my session - meant that I wouldn't be able to capture this experience to share on social.

Is an experience less amazing if you can't share it? What if the moment is epic in every way, but you don't capture a pic... how will your friends know how amazing it is be to be you in that moment?

With my current intention of trying to see the positive in all experiences,  I decided to see this forgetfulness as a gift. Without the ability to capture my experience, I was given the opportunity to be fully in the moment. I met the girls trying not to show my distain about my camera, and as I hopped on the board and paddled out on the water, I left my worries at the shore. After a short paddle on smooth turquoise waters, we anchored facing the sunset and the horizon. Seated straddling the board, legs dangling in the warm water, we began by connecting with the breath and settling into our floating yoga mats. The teacher, Rachel, offered the intention of tuning in to the flow of the water, as to go with the flow is easier than to fight it (isn't that the truth). She lead us through a sequence of poses on the board that were both challenging and grounding, and offered the cue to look out to the horizon for stability - which was a treat in itself, as the horizon was filled with sail boards, birds, and beautiful colours of sea and sky. Colours that lit up magnificently as the sun began to set.

The epic sunset that I had fantasized about for weeks was a hundred times better in real life, and without being fixated on a photo I had to get, I was able to fully enjoy and soak it in. To be in my breath - big inhale, sweet exhale - to gaze out at the fiery sky without any agenda or need to accomplish. I took a mental picture. You'll never see this photo, but it was beautiful. And it will forever be imprinted in my heart.

**

Yogi, Prairie Yogi, Rachelle Taylor, rachelle taylor yoga, Cayman Islands, Bliss Yoga Cayman, Yoga + Sup, IN the moment, Intention, Bliss
Rachelle Taylor is a love warrior born and raised in the heart of Canada. This gypsy spirit searched far and wide for inspiration, beauty and bliss around the globe only to return home to Winnipeg where she created Prairie Yogi Inc. +  Prairie Love Festival as expressions of her love for yoga, epic experiences, and community. A vinyasa yoga instructor (200 RYT), eternal student, rookie meditator, and inspirational speaker on the topic of living your passion, Rachelle brings her enthusiasm, light and authenticity to her vinyasa yoga teachings.