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.