Snowflake Winter Wellness Festival

Keep your eyes closed and focus inwards. Feel the rise and fall of your chest with each inhale and exhale. You’re safe and feel at home in your body. When you inhale, feel your body expand with potential. When you exhale, send positive thought out into the world.

I really did try to keep my eyes closed but it was challenging when I knew that the charm of the Fort Garry Hotel that was built in 1913 surrounded me. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a number of events here over the years and the decor of the grand old railway hotel always leaves me in awe.

I attended Snowflake, a winter wellness event put on by Prairie Love on January 20th and it was the third time I have attended an event by Prairie Love. In 2017 and 2018, I took part in Prairie Love Yoga Festival at Bird’s Hill Park and both times I came away with a limber, well-stretched body and a renewed state of positive mental health.

I intentionally chose workshops at Snowflake that were primarily slow flow, meditation, and restorative yoga with a journaling component. I did less physical yoga and instead focused on looking inward on the way down to touching my toes. Here is a little snapshot of each of the sessions I attended and what I took away from each connection.

Trading Balance for Harmony: The idea of balance has many definitions depending on the person you talk to. What would it look like to trade in the idea of balance for harmony, a state of all aspects of life ebbing and flowing with the seasons we find ourselves in.

If we literally put every part of our life on a scale to try and balance it, the scale would tip one way or another. The scale would read different everyday. Trying to balance individual, non-static forces is rarely possible. I feel like the word “balance” in the essence of our lives is a mask that covers what we actually need. 

Harmony is an upgrade to balance and is a lot more attainable, at least in my mind. Harmony is honouring what we need in the different seasons of our lives. Harmony is flexible and allows us to move more gently with the flow.

My to-do list has been replaced with a to-be list. I obviously still have to-do lists in some areas of my life like my job because at the end of the day, I still want “to-be” employed.

To-be: confident, strong, fearless, loving, free, punctual, inspiring, comical, sexy, bold, organized, and aware.

With striving for harmony over for balance, I see myself having freedom, being calmer, and having space to create opportunities as they become available.

The Inner Self: A series of short guided meditations incorporating aromatherapy and coming out of each set with time to journal and reflect on the experience.

My third year of sobriety is on February 14th and the gift that I have decided to give myself is space in my life to do what is meaningful to me. My first year reward was a ring and my second year reward were plane tickets to hike the Appalachian Trail.

This year will not be a single momento or a single experience, but rather the space to create opportunities. I have already begun making space for myself by joining crossfit and signing up for power lifting. Taking care of my physical health and giving my mental health a boost through exercise is important to me.

Backpacking and day hiking opportunities will be a part of my space when the weather warms up. Being active and outdoors is where I plan to focus my “free time” space.

Feelosophy Yoga: Humans need touch. In this restorative yoga class, touch and a connection with yourself and others will bring comfort and belonging.

I turned to the woman next to me as we were instructed to find a partner to connect with. We sat cross-legged and our knees touched. We looked at each other in the eyes and shared a negative feeling that we wanted to release from our inner psyche.

She told me about the chattering parrot inside her head. The parrot that constantly tells her that she is not good enough. It was decided at that time, that the parrot should be taught some new words.

I really like the analogy of having a chattering parrot and I have adapted the idea. It’s a way to make sense of the struggle within. I need to tell my parrot to shut-up sometimes and I need to teach it some new words too.

You’re H”OM”: Nothing within us is static. Luckily we can give ourselves permission to make the conscious decision to come back to our truest nature.

I need to celebrate my victories by being mindful of when I am victorious and holding onto that thought. I need to thank myself for a job well done and of course thank anyone who supported me.

When I leave my bed, celebrate with the sun by raising the blinds. When I finish a workout, celebrate with wholesome food to nourish my body. Get excited about my victory and share with a loved one, my dog, or in my journal. Victories, whether small or large need to be celebrated. It’s how I will remember how awesome it is to be victorious.

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