Erin O’Neil demonstrates how to use a block to support herself in an asana, in her studio.
A yoga studio in Winnipeg Beach is doing something special during the Wonderful Winter Weekend Feb. 17.
Erin O’Neil, single mother, local community member and Founder of Flow Studio, said she wants to give back to the community and support women and families by offering a full day of yoga and art for kids and parents. The cost will be $12 per child and parent duo for yoga classes. The the Kids Art Table will ask for donations. All proceeds from the day will go to Nova House, a women’s shelter in Selkirk.
“I do want to give back to women in the community,” O’Neil said. “This is kind of a ‘family day’ weekend, so (this is) in support of families that need help. I know it’s hard to begin with and I can’t imagine some of the issues they are dealing with.”
O’Neil will be on site to help where she can while Melissa Beer, a specialized children’s yoga instructor with Growing Roots Yoga, brings song, movement and mindfulness to yoga poses for toddlers, kids and teens from 9:15 to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday.
After lunch-time, Whitney Zelenitsky, a local artist who is involved with the Interlake Artists’ Studio Wave Tour will guide children through a series of fun and creative art projects at the Kids Art Table from 1 until 3 p.m.
After receiving a basketball scholarship to play for the Gators at the University of Florida, O’Neil moved to the US from where she grew up in Winnipeg to attain her bachelor of science degree in Wild Life Ecology. Then she fell into what she feels was a natural flow that led her to become a yoga instructor.
“Yoga was a whole new venture for me.”
The Founder of Flow Studio said that when she first entered her practice, she had approached it like she had athletics, but soon realized that yoga was not the same at all. “Being able to quiet my mind and slow down was more important (to me) than pride.”
After five years in the US, she moved home, became a registered massage therapist in Selkirk, opened a yoga studio in Winnipeg, then realized that she wanted to be closer to the lake. Now she occupies a studio overlooking Lake Winnipeg that opened on April 1, 2016.
“I really had to give thought to the future,” she said. “And you just can’t beat the view here.”
O’Neil teaches Iyengar Yoga, a form of Hatha Yoga focused on alignment, posture and controlled breathing for strength, mobility and stability gained through poses, called asanas.
She also offers a program called “Chair Yoga” for the less limber. It began with a few elders during her time working in Churchill. The results were so positive that doctors began recommending the class to their patients, attendance grew to over a dozen people per class. Today she said the concept has become a part of the regular program for the seniors in the community.
If you are curious about yoga and live in the Interlake, Flow Studio offers regular classes and already welcomes members of other local communities such as Sandy Hook, Gimli, Dunnottar and Selkirk.
For a more in depth experience of the practise, O’Neil will be hosting a weekend of yoga, meditation, crystal bowl sound healing, intention setting and ceremony for beginner to advanced yogis March 23 to 25. The retreat includes accommodations at Lakeview Hecla Resort & Spa, healthy prepared meals and snacks, access to mineral pools, a water park and community.
“We do want to have a kids class with Missy,” said O’Neil of her Winter Wonder Weekend yoga teacher co-host, Beer. “We really hope to have more kids classes in the future, so come on out and get involved in this awesome local endeavour.”
Studio space is limited, so please RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for any of their events.