22 Sep 2015

Autumn: A time to take stock, get cozy, and make changes.

#fallintopractice, autumn on the prairies, yoga in the fall, Yoga new year, Tiffany Barrett, Be Yoga, Ayurvedic tips for fall
By Tiffany Barrett Eyamie, Owner/Instructor, Be Yoga

What's happening right now on our prairie fields, in our parks and our gardens, is mirrored in our bodies and minds. The months of September and October see more significant change, signifying a physical reset for body and mind, more so than it does in the calendar new year in January. So, even though it’s autumn, let me wish you a happy New Year! 

As the air cools and the days become shorter, we begin to draw our attention and energy inward.  We move into cozy mode and seek out experiences that provide comfort and security. We become more attuned to our 'roots' - our routine: what we eat, how much sleep we are getting, how much we pack into a day, how much and what kind of attention we are giving to our families and friends, and where we've landed in our our journey toward self-fulfillment. We take stock! 

I'm not a botanist, but I believe our natural inclination to draw inward, to notice our routine and the changes taking place in our bodies and lives is reflected in nature as well. If you spend some time on the prairies you will feel it. The energetic shift is more subtle than just the leaves changing. It is a time for restoring, balancing, and preparing for the next big expression and transformation of life.

In our yoga practice, autumn is the time to slow down. To steady the body and mind. By aligning with the rhythm of nature – by slowing down and attending to our stocks and roots – we gracefully open ourselves to the magical energy of transformation, and the deep calling of our soul to express itself. 

According to yogic science (Ayurveda), autumn is the most potent time of the year to make deep and lasting changes in your body, mind, and spirit. A perfect time for a New Year resolution!

The offering of this fall practice is an opportunity to set the course for meaningful change. By deeply grounding the feet, legs, and pelvis, we connect to both the awakening and manifesting energy of the root chakra. We take stock and cultivate balance, steadiness and the space we need to hear the calling of our soul. 

Here are some questions we may ask our soul-self (aka. our wise-self) this fall:
-What would I like to create?

-How do I want to feel?

-What do I want to invite into my life?

-What do I want to strengthen or recommit to? 

As we become clear on what we want to invite into our life, our actions become charged with intention, otherwise known as the energy of transformation. Intention is living with a sense of purpose and choice. This allows us to harvest our resolutions. 

#fallintopractice, autumn on the prairies, yoga in the fall, Yoga new year, Tiffany Barrett, Be Yoga, Ayurvedic tips for fallOne caveat: you cannot harvest what you do not care for; be mindful of resolutions that lead to  repression and restriction. Intention is fluid and expansive, not obsessing or contracting. As you align with the purity of intention what you want to change or create will become more deeply true, meaningful and possible. 

I hope you will join me. Let's take stock, get balanced and closer to our soul-selves. Let's set intentions that will grow something wild and deeply true!

21 Sep 2015

3 Ways to Deepen your Yoga Practice with Float Therapy

brought to you by our friends at Float.Calm
Float Therapy, or floating, has become a hot topic in the world of health and wellness, with floatation tanks increasing in popularity across the continent. This avant-garde therapy and its benefits are making waves with athletes to heal and prevent injury, busy executives as a form of stress relief, and those seeking to tune into higher levels of consciousness. Floating can also have specific benefits for us yogis.

I met with Leah and Brad, owners of Winnipeg's most serene floatation therapy centre, Float.Calm. They are the cutest vegan love-birds, yogis and they believe in the benefits of  R.E.S.T. (restricted environmental stimulation technique) whole-heartedly, having witnessed spectacular transformation in their guests since opening their doors a year ago. They explain how floating and yoga can work hand in hand to compliment each other to create a holistic, happy, and healthy life.

Here are three ways that tuning out the world for 90 minutes can deepen your practice, on and off the mat:



Meditation on Training Wheels

If you've tried to meditate for even ten minutes, you'll know that sitting with yourself, in stillness, is not an easy feat. This tends to be the feeling for most of us westerners, who live in the age of the glorified go-go-go lifestyle.

Mediation is scientifically proven to have incredible benefits for both body and mind. Part of these benefits stem from the healing aspect of tuning into theta brain waves, the frequency of deep relaxation that occurs during prolonged meditation and REM sleep. In this state, the brain can heal the body, process information efficiently, and relax deeply. It can take four to seven hours of meditation to achieve this state of consciousness, that lies on the spectrum somewhere between asleep and awake. And while we can all benefit and heal from a theta brain state of mind, committing to a prolonged meditation practice isn't feasible for everyone.

"Floating is like meditation on training wheels. It allows people who aren't meditators to get into that meditative state without trying or sometimes even understanding what it means to meditate," explains Brad, noting the accessible and quick way that floating attunes the mind to the theta brainwaves rhythm, which can happen after as little as 45 minutes in the floatation tank.


Yin to Your Yang

Yin is the calming feminine energy that is reflected in the moon, darkness, and water, while our society tends to value the more masculine yang qualities of characterized by the sun, strength, and activity. The truth is, we all could use a little more yin.

"I think people have lost the balance between yin and yang in their lives. The balance of rest and activity, darkness and light. Floating is one of the holistic ways that they can begin to get that balance back," notes Brad, offering that floating is especially a wonderful compliment to the more active styles of yoga such as vinyasa (flow) or hot yoga.

Along with stillness, darkness, and connection, the yin qualities that we can manifest in the float tank are those of self love and compassion. "Through the practice of floating, as in meditation, you will develop self awareness and self acceptance," notes Leah.


An extension of Savasana

Love savasana? Who doesn't?! Floating is like a 90 minute naked savasana in a dark, warm pool full of healing, pharmaceutical grade espon salts. This creates the sensation of weightlessness and promotes complete and total relaxation of the body and mind.

"A lot of guests will come to float right after a yoga class," says Leah, "As they are already in a state that is conducive to relaxation,  having melted away some of that nervous, anxious pent up energy that you have stored up in your body through the practice of asana."

If you practice at a studio, you've probably heard your instructor invite you to stay in stillness after class for as long as you can. This is because the benefits of your practice soak into your body in while it is in stillness. Being in a weightless environment, without any distraction, soaking in the mineral benefits of 850 lbs of epson salts and the metal benefits of stillness is the ultimate savasana.




I personally got to experience a float in their tanks, which are clean, warm, and welcoming. The staff is super helpful and informed. The primp area with decadent lotions, fluffy white robes, and a post-float tea lounge add a spa element to this self-care ritual. If you're curious about floating, I'd recommend giving it a try, and see what comes up for you. Just like your yoga practice, it's a personal experience, with benefits that deepen overtime.

Disconnect to reconnect.

LOTS OF LOVE TO FLOAT.CALM FOR BEING A SILVER SPONSOR AT THIS YEARS' PRAIRIE LOVE FESTIVAL! THE FLOAT LOUNGE WAS A HUGE SUCCESS. ATTENDEES - CHECK YOUR GOODIE BAG FOR A SPECIAL OFFER ON YOUR FIRST FLOAT.

16 Sep 2015

#PRAIRIELOVE2015



The prairie's own celebration of yoga, music, and community took place this past weekend at Fort WhyteAlive, and it was EPIC. Teachers from across the continent shared movement, meditation, and inspiration with festival attendees. And mama nature served up a beautiful weekend to frolic in her beauty. So much love to all the teachers, attendees, sponsors, volunteers, and vendors who helped bring this to life. This community is OMazing!

Some of my personal highlights from the weekend:

#1 - Alex Mazerolle's Dancing In The Dark workshop. Dang, this girl is good. The combination of real talk, fluid movement, killer music, and a dramatic wind shook me up in a way I needed in my practice.

#2 - The Zen Den by lululemon - Maybe it was the lack of sleep I had over the weekend (apparently putting together a festival is a ton of work) but when I walked into the Zen Den, it felt like walking into a little oasis. I was greeted with soothing lavender on my wrists and temples (thanks Saje!) and then nestled up beneath a tree to listen to live music. I even got my hair braided. Ahhhhhhh! Thanks again lululemon athletica Winnipeg for being such an amazing support of this community celebration.

#3 - Eoin Finn. This international yogi is no stranger to the yoga festival scene. And to hear him say that Prairie Love as a festival was "pure" and "authentic" was such a compliment to our community and this celebration. He also called me a "sun goddess" in his big chill workshop... So, yeah. That was pretty cool too.

#4 - My DRAGONFLY workshop - I had the opportunity to share a workshop of my own at Prairie Love Festival this year! I was so stoked to lead a full class through a workshop of storytelling, movement, music, and community building with Serena Postel.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the weekend. Thanks Pepper Apple + Pantel Photography for capturing these moments.

See you all next year!
(If you can't wait until next September - Prairie Yogi's Snowflake is only a few months away!)

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NAMASTE, PRAIRIE YOGIS !

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