‘Serenity now’ in Montebello Park yoga expo
By Don Fraser, QMI Agency
Yoga instructors (left) Carol Cowan (Prentice) and Jessica Hawkes at the second annual Niagara Yoga Expo held Saturday at Montebello Park in St. Catharines .
When trauma strikes, the calming practice of yoga can speed up a recovery.
And it’s those techniques that Carol Cowan (Prentice) sought to pass on at the second-annual Niagara Yoga Expo in St. Catharines.
“Today we’re looking at how people can use yoga as a tool for healing,” said Cowan (Prentice) of the St. Davids-based Attachment and Trauma Treatment Centre for Healing.
“For someone who’s experienced trauma, often there’s a disassociation that happens,” said Cowan (Prentice), at the Saturday expo at Montebello Park. “Some can have difficulty in grounding themselves in the present moment.
“We’ll be helping (teach) them to stabilize in the safe and present moment,” explained the yoga instructor, about practices that include meditation and grounding postures.
“They’re often still in a place where the environment doesn’t feel safe for them, because the brain is wired to feel unsafe based on that past trauma.”
The event itself was coordinated Yoga Community Niagara (Yoconi). It brought together 15 vendors — from those focused on the wellness culture of yoga to healthy food offerings and clothing retailers.
Yoga demonstrations and discussions also took place at the event, which took place inside the park pavilion.
“The idea was to bring together the yoga studios and instructors,” said organizer and instructor Jessica Hawkes. “And it’s to showcase how really diverse yoga can be.”
Yoga, she said, is about being able to “centre yourself, relax, and practice focusing and get to know and control yourself better.
“And it can physically build your strength and flexibility.”
Elyse Silverman, a part-time Brock University student, was at the expo to publicize the new Cafe Yoga — a joint project of Fulton Fitness/Downtown Health Club and Mahtay Cafe, and held inside Mahtay’s community room on 241 St. Paul St.
It holds classes — all free in September — in a space inside the room.
“This event gives people an opportunity to see a diversity of styles, and gives them a better understanding of what yoga’s all about,” said Silverman, also a yoga instructor.
“Often, in western society, people don’t understand the true meaning of it.
“They just see it as a physical exercise, but it’s really about getting to the core of your being and understanding your mind.”
For more information
Niagara Yoga Expo- www.niagarayogaexpo.com
Attachment and Trauma Treatment Centre for Healing- www.attch.org
Cafe Yoga- www.fulton.ca