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Take a trip back in time (to the 80s, actually) with this Lion Pose instructional video. It’s somehow surfaced and gone totally viral this week, in the way that YouTube videos do.

In addition to a little trip down surreal memory lane, I have a special treat for my beloved it’s all yoga, baby readers. I have 3 Passports to Prana to give away to 3 lucky readers! These magical passports will grant you one yoga class at participating yoga studios (up to 30 of them) in select Canadian cities. Please note: this contest is only open to residents of Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria.

And how do you enter? Simply answer the following question in the comments section: If you had a passport to anywhere, where would you go? That’s it! The contest closes on Friday, May 28, 2010, and I will select the 3 winners through a sophisticated and anonymous name-drawing process.

BTW, my own Passport to Prana Montreal adventure has been on a little hiatus, while I was focused on my home practice and studying for my teacher training exams. But the journey will resume next week (once I get my bike back from the shop, so I can get around town!).

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Eoin Finn opens his hips and his heart on a beautiful beach somewhere.

It’s Earth Week once again, and I’m celebrating by giving away some yoga DVDs! Eoin Finn, a Vancouver-based yoga teacher and ocean worshipper, is one of Canada’s most tireless yogi activists. He’s organized fundraisers for children with HIV/AIDS and given workshops on the relationship between yoga and ecology. He’s currently cooking up a plan with David Suzuki for a big yoga and environmental awareness event in June 2011.

Eoin’s latest DVD offering, The Pursuit of Happy Hips, may feature elite athletes and four hours of hip opening bliss, but the stunning scenery (filmed on location in Vancouver and Whistler, BC) is enough to make anyone feel gratitude for our Earth. I have copies for 3 lucky it’s all yoga, baby readers. Simply answer the question: What makes you happy? in the comments section before Friday, April 23. The 3 winners will be drawn through a sophisticated and anonymous name-drawing process.

This is not me, but someone who loves the Saka Pinda as much as I do (image via nytimes.com)

I’m not really into “stuff,” but I acknowledge that we all need stuff. And there is even some stuff that I can’t live without. And I have to admit that there is even some yoga stuff that actually enhances my practice. The one piece of yoga stuff that I can’t live without is my Saka Pinda Yoga Backpack (which I received from the fine people at Yoga Vermont a couple of years ago). I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about how much I love this piece of stuff, and I’ve even considered writing an ode to it.

However, the NY Times Style section beat me to it, reviewing six yoga mat bags in their latest Gear Test. The Saka Pinda came out on top, as “absolutely the No. 1 bag hands down… built for action.”

So what makes the Saka Pinda so awesome? It’s a full-sized backpack (which fits a change of clothes and books and even a bottle of wine, all at once!) with external straps and an amazing Velcro-fastened flap to hold down the mat. It has countless pockets for keys, loose change, pens, yoga passes and cell phones. There’s a little pouch thing for a water bottle. There’s even a secret pocket below the mat holder which stores a flap to cover your mat from the rain! To top it all off, the straps are super ergonomic and no matter how many yoga goodies you carry around, it never feels heavy.

This is what you get when snowboarding yogis from Vermont design a yoga mat bag. It’s perfect for the urban yogi who has to buzz around town on her bike, and squeeze work plus yoga class plus drinks with the girls into one day. Congrats, Yoga Vermont/Saka for an honour well deserved!

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