enRoute What are some tips for taking one’s yoga practice on the road?
Ryan Leier I used to go to different studios everywhere I travelled, but found the classes were inconsistent, so now I create my own yoga studio just by carrying my mat with me. You don’t need to have incense, candles or yoga music. Try taking a few breaths and doing three or four poses a day — anybody can commit to that. Because travelling can be hard on the body, I consider my yoga practice and drinking a lot of water the most valuable things while I’m away.
ER What motivated you to co-found your non-profit, Vinyasa Yoga for Youth?
RL The youth suicide rates in northern Saskatchewan are incredibly high — it’s a struggle just being on the planet for some people. Yoga has saved me from really dark depression, so I know it has the power to heal. We’re trying to empower youth to be the best version of themselves. I’m most proud of a few students who have now become the teachers — it’s kind of like the “each one, teach one” philosophy. I really believe that we’re just getting started.
ER You’re known for your in-class playlists. What artists are currently in the mix?
RL Right now, A Tribe Called Red makes me feel good, and I’ve been inspired by Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Kanye West. They’ve all been known to make appearances in my playlists. I used to think that hippie music was yoga music, but any music that’s authentic to me can be used in a class.
See the yoga essentials stashed in Ryan’s carry-on here.