To some, visiting another country is a reprieve from everyday life and an opportunity to learn about another culture. To others, it is a life-changing experience. Jennifer Pritchard’s sojourn in Mysore, India cemented the foundation for what eventually would become The Yoga Shala. During her travels, Jennifer was inspired to return home to create a warm and inviting space for practicing yoga, and is one of a select number of Canadians to receive teaching authorization from the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. At her studio today, which was voted Best of the City in 2010 by readers of Victoria News, she and her team of instructors uphold authentic yoga principles to help students improve their physical and mental well-being.
The Yoga Shala’s curriculum is rooted in the Ashtanga style of yoga, in which practitioners synchronize their breath with postures to build up internal heat, flushing out toxins and convincing the spleen that it’s vacationing in Mexico. The instructors cater classes to beginning and advanced students alike, encouraging them to work at their own pace, detailing easier or more challenging modifications to poses. Advanced-level courses focus on arm balances, deep hip work, back bends, and solidifying core muscles. The Yoga Shala regularly hosts community-building social events, and Acro Yoga and Kirtan Chanting nights are offered twice a month. The studio also offers teacher apprenticeships each season and hosts a yoga tour group retreat with a 200-hour immersion to India each winter.
Cedar View Winery has spent the last decade perfecting their craft to produce distinctive wines with an emphasis on rare and eclectic varietals. The tour peels back the curtain to offer curious quaffers an inside look at the art and science of viniculture, narrating the epic journey of their flagship Alicante Bouschet grape from its infancy on the vine through the high hopes of graduation day, and onto the physical and spiritual crush of the fermentation process. At the end of the tour, older and wiser connoisseurs file into Cedar View’s elegantly appointed tasting room to test their freshly honed sommelier skills on six separate wines, as well as nibble on smoked-salmon finger sandwiches, balsamic-dressed grilled sausage, and other gourmet appetizers.
With the Pacific Ocean on one side and scenic Strathcona Park on the other, Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a sought-after destination for all forms of winter sports. But the natural beauty and winter bounty of the area—which includes an impressive average of 11 metres of annual snowfall—has been made even more accessible and skier-friendly since the privately owned resort opened in 1979. What began as two double chairlifts and a single rough road has evolved into more than 1,700 acres of skiable terrain with five lifts, four magic-carpet conveyors, and tube park, all reached by the paved Strathcona Parkway. The park’s crystalline snow glitters under the stars during night skiing, acts as fodder for nordic skis, snow tubes, snowshoeing, and covers rails, decks, and boxes at The Stomping Ground terrain park.
To further familiarize guests with the mountain slopes, trained snow-school instructors lead programs designed for beginners, as well as group and private lessons. Adults can drop off little ones at The Bear's Den daycare center before sitting down for burgers and craft beers at Ted's Bar and Grill or quick bites at a number of grab-and-go eateries. The resort also offers accommodations ranging from private chalets to vacation condos and breathtaking chairlift rides in the summer.