Some in Saskatchewan are merging elements of culture with yoga philosophy in pursuit of physical and spiritual wellness.
The Saskatchewan Indigenous Yoga Association incorporates yoga philosophy and Indigenous culture into its instructor training as part of a unique program that helps participants learn, feel connected to their spirituality and culture through mediation, teaching and ceremony.
Jenny Gardipy, who is working toward her yoga instructor’s certification, says yoga and her Cree culture blend well together.
“When you’re in a ceremony, you’re in a meditative stage — in a sweat lodge, or Sundance, or even at a powwow. You do it for other people. It’s your connection with the Creator and you’re helping that person,” says Gardipy. “When you’re in a sweat you’re sacrificing your body as a way of praying for other people. And it’s the same with yoga.”