Kelowna’s Beloved Yogini

Kelowna has its share of Yoga instructors, many with an insatiable quest for fame. But few have the depth & knowledge of humble yogini Tina Prichard. Tina’s yogic journey has spanned the course of nearly 2 decades, and her base of knowledge compliments her enlightened sense of being. Tina exemplifies the yogic lifestyle in so many ways, and her she never ceases to amaze us with words.

We had a chance to chat with instructor Tina Prichard while she was in
town. Tina is a local legend with an incredibly advanced practice and
is the Okanagan’s original ‘Yogini’.20130722-083427.jpg

Chris you are too funny. I don’t feel that is accurate! Thank you. You are so sweet with your words.

When were you 1st introduced to yoga and where did you do your training?

I was introduced to yoga in 1995 by Margaret Lunam, founder of The Yoga House. At the time she was in her 70′s. Her teacher was B.K.S. Iyengar. After that I had a yoga awakening at Shambhala Music Festival (haha) and I was like, “This is my path”.Today I’m practicing with a group of Ashtanga practitioners. I always seem to return to the traditional practices even though I have a Kripalu (1997) and an Anusara Inspired YTT (2012). Iyengar and Ashtanga traditions are rooted in Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya sacred teachings. Ashtanga is at the root of all vinyasa practice and I am benefiting greatly from the disciplined 6am silent morning practices.

Tell me about the Ayurveda diet and it’s impact on your life?

FYI: Ayurveda is a system for Satya (truth) for all the “koshas” (bodies), not only the physical body. I am interested in yoga lifestyle, which is Vedic lifestyle. I’m interested in the yoga path not only asana, so naturally Ayurveda appeals to me. I became obsessed with health and wellness about 17 years ago. Ayurvedic teachings resonate with my truth, so I will continue to follow that light.20130722-080246.jpg

I see many pics of you setting up little yoga shalas in the woods and on the beach. Is that your happy place?

Yes, I would say that is my favourite set up. When I am in Nature – especially in a very isolated natural setting, I really get into my yoga practice and feel inspired about life. Of course, you need tons of cushions and blankets, yoga props, tea, Ayurvedic snacks and a temple roof for shelter incase it rains or the sun is high.

What is the next challenging ‘peak posture’ you plan to master?

Well right now I am practicing with serious Ashtanga studio, Babylon Yoga.. I am working on my primary series and Kermasana is my pose. It’s hard but I’m ready for new hips. Today I made some big progress in the pose and I can feel the changes in my body and being as a result.20130722-080344.jpg

What’s next for Tina Prichard?

I’m a very creative person and until now I have felt a responsibility to be more utilitarian in my creative expression. I’m flowing into a new phase in my career as a mother and this year is for exploring my creative self and creative expression, maybe more travel, maybe more school.. Yoga or art? No pressure for results and just see what sticks. Feeling the Lila these days!

I have been putting a workshop together for a year now which keeps deepening. A few studios have invited me to bring it, but in my typical perfectionist fashion, I keep stalling on the dates! At some point I will come forward with a relevant workshop with some profound breath tools and deeper teachings of yoga in the future.

I’ve been slowly developing a yoga lifestyle practice for private clients. I’m offering experienced and non-experienced yogis consulting on ayurvedic food practices, kriyas, pranayama and alignment. It’s fun and I have a FB page for my clients which I have not posted on for a while lol: The Satya Life

Although I am more interested in my practice and creative expression at the moment, I may teach a class or two in Vancouver at some point.

Can you provide us with a ‘go to’ playlist of 10 songs that you like to yoga to?

Not really… Lately I’ve been strictly listening to Carnatic music and practicing to the sound of my breath and other peoples breath. Although I will play music in my classes and totally go to classes with music playing, I believe yoga practice is about going inward to the atman : your center and highest presence of self. The more we clutter our practice with external distracters, the more we miss the point. That said, it is possible to practice yoga in any environment because it doesn’t stop when you get “off the mat”.

I love music. It’s the resonance of sound, which is OM.

Who would you choose to go on a romantic yoga date with?

hmm. My romantic date would be with.. I just picked up the diary of Swami Rhada again, and I love the stories she has about Swami Sivananda, so maybe Swami Sivananda….or maybe Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. He is considered by some to be the father of yoga, also an ayurvedic healer… So that would be cool. I’m not sure about the romantic part though.20130722-080258.jpg

You’re off to Vancouver home of corporate giant Lululemon, how do you feel about Lulu’s impact on the yoga lifestyle?

I think Lulu has brought more people to the door of yoga, which is beautiful. I am uncomfortable with a consumer driven entity having so much influence on the “yoga scene” as yoga is a sacred tradition and it is not a commodity.. That is the antitheses of yoga.

Essentially Yoga is an indigenous tradition that has caught on in the West. I believe Indigenous teachings can save us if we don’t bastardize them with all our fucked up externally obsessed dysfunction.

I wear some lulu an other trendy yoga brands because it makes my sweaty studio asana practice work better.

How can former & future yogis contact you? Do you have a FB page, twitter etc?

They can certainly search me on FB and friend or follow!

What message would you leave to the Kelowna yoga community as you embark on your next journey?

It would be: Namaste. Thank you for being nourishment for my consciousness. See you in class.20130722-080308.jpg

Tina is currently based in Vancouver but is frequently back in Kelowna visiting her lovely daughter Zoe. Tina teaches at The Hot Box Yoga from time to time. Keep up with The Hot Box’s Facebook page – you never know when Tina will pay a surprise visit!20130722-080334.jpg

K ☮ ♡ Y

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