Prairie Love Festival!

Hi everybody!  Prairie Yogi is hosting their second Prairie Love Festival at Fort Whyte Alive (Winnipeg, MB), September 12-13th, 2015!  I am very excited to be a part of it, as I will be leading a Kirtan on the Sunday evening, 6-7:30 pm.  Earlybird passes are sold out, but you can still get tickets here.

To get our hearts and minds ready for a wonderful weekend in the fall, here is an article I wrote for Prairie Yogi Magazine that talks about the sacred symbol, Aum, and its significance in the practice of yoga and Kirtan.

Hope to see you at the festival!

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What’s it Aum about?
by Adrienne Shum
originally in Prairie Yogi Magazine

If you go to enough yoga classes, sooner or later you will probably be asked by the teacher to chant, “Aum” (also known as Om).  If my own experience is relatable to others, you will be obedient enough to go along with it, but quietly wonder what it means and what the point of it all is.

The practice of yoga is a study of dichotomy: the word, “yoga” is often translated from Sanskrit to “union,” or the bringing together of two parts.  We tend to begin our yoga journey with a physical practice of asanas (postures) and breath work, and with those tangible aspects we uncover and connect to deeper layers of ourselves: the fluctuations of our minds, and the rollercoaster of our thoughts and emotions.  We may discover that those thoughts and emotions cause us grief.  Thoughts like, “I’m not good enough” or emotions like jealousy and fear limit us and cloud our internal vision.  Expectations we have on ourselves or situations may be unfulfilled, leaving us feeling empty and disappointed.  Through the practice of yoga, we recognize our patterns and learn to accept ourselves as we are, and to accept others as they are as well.  As we unite body, breath and mind, we learn to make peace with ourselves and others.

Amidst all the downward dogs and forward folds, there might be some chanting of “Aum.”  This is a glimpse into one of many possible paths that ultimately lead us to a place of deeper surrender and compassion.  When we chant Aum, we are able to clean the body, mind and spirit, thereby reawakening our connection to the most truthful, innermost part of ourselves.  The vibration of the sacred syllable Aum shakes off the dust covering our hearts and minds so that we can love with more clarity, honesty and fearlessness.  Aum is made up three syllables: “A” symbolizes speech, “U” symbolizes mind, and “M” symbolizes breath of life.  All together, Aum is the symbol of serenity, divinity and universality.

The practice of Kirtan is an aspect of the yoga practice that is focused on spiritual and emotional healing.  Through the call-and-response chanting of Aum and other mantras, we devote ourselves to uncovering Isvara, or pure awareness – that place inside that is unconditioned, unbound, and unlimited.

As wonderful as it is to feel strong and flexible in our bodies, let us also feel strong and flexible in our hearts and minds.  Let us have the dedication to move towards greater compassion and deeper connection to others.  Let us take care of ourselves in body, mind and spirit, and may we inspire others to do the same.

A chanting workshop/training in Morden, MB!

Hi everyone!  I hope you all have been enjoying a great summer so far.  I’m excited to be guest-teaching the chanting module at a yoga teacher training hosted by Harmony Tree Yoga Studio in Morden, Manitoba!  They are a lovely little yoga studio in southern Manitoba, an hour or so outside of Winnipeg.  Please join me for an evening of Mantra yoga philosophy and chanting on Friday, July 17th, 2015.  Check out www.harmonytreestudio.com for more details!  Om Shanti Om!

Yoga Retreat at Hecla, Oct 16-18, 2015

The lovely Natasha Lenon and I are leading a weekend yoga retreat at Hecla Island Resort on October 16-18, 2015!  Located in the beautiful Hecla Grindstone Provincial Park, we will enjoy a nourishing weekend of yoga, kirtan, and meditation.  There will be time to relax and soak in the Salka mineral pools, and spa services will also be available (click here for more information).  The resort is a short 2 hour drive from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and sits on the edge of beautiful Lake Winnipeg.

To secure your spot, payment in full can be given to Natasha or I.  Please make cheques payable to Adrienne Shum.  Limited space is available!  If you have any questions, please email Natasha (njlenon@gmail.com) or me (hello@adrienneshum.com).  We hope you can join us for a calming and restful weekend of practice and self-care.

Live Kirtan album now available!

live Kirtan album available

Here it is! Thanks to the technical prowess of my intrepid partner, David Quiring, we have for you a live recording of a Kirtan we did this past winter!

Whether you chant along or simply listen, I hope this recording allows you to soak up the wonderful energy of that night and enjoy the beauty of chanting.  A huge amount of gratitude to those of you who lent your voices to that evening’s practice!

As the record is live, it has its unpolished moments – which I think is a fitting reminder that life is never perfect, but a continual process.

Get it here: www.adrienneshum.bandcamp.com
We hope you enjoy it!