Opulence. Comfort. Calming. It’s what a wellness festival should feel like. Prairie Snowflake hit the mark the second I arrived to check-in at the Fort Garry Hotel. The iconic hotel screams of luxurious nights out and mistakes made. It’s where you can picture ladies in fur coats, a soft cloche and long cigarette holder over at the bar, laughing with one another and squeezing yet another champagne cocktail from one of the distinguished men in suits. It’s also where you can feel comforted and taken care of from your mind and body right to your soul.
This is how I felt…at first. Later on in the night, we ended up having to change rooms (huge party right beneath us – booking snafu), but it turned out to be in our favour. Instead of two snuggly double beds, we slept in adjoining rooms with a king-sized bed of comfort. We woke from under our duvet and faux fur blanket to throw on our yoga clothes and head out for some breakfast. We ended up with free breakfast to go with our snazzier rooms (the only plus side to being awake far later than anticipated), but Prairie Snowflake had coffee, tea, and water set up near every room.
My first workshop wasn’t what I had envisioned (I wished for more information on essential oils themselves instead of a generalization), but was a great way to start out the sleepy morning. The opulent setting was intensified once I stepped into the Provencher Ballroom, laid down my mat, and looked up. Intricate and gilded, the room spoke of grandiose events. This class was one of my favourites and the instructor had us get to know our neighbours. Usually not my cup of tea, I like to stick by myself during any yoga session, I soon found myself laughing along with everyone else as we butted up to one another and leaned our legs against our partners, ending up in a sort of giant cuddle puddle in the end.
Unlike Prairie Love, Prairie Snowflake offered snacks and lunch in the ticket price and, in yet another grand ballroom, we feasted on sandwiches and squash soup. I never ended up with the coveted vegan quinoa salad, but there were no complaints over lunch. The afternoon found me nearing death with a vinyasa flow by an instructor that radiated sexual tension. My last class, carefully prepared in my schedule after the flow (lessons learned from Prairie Love), was a crystal meditation that ended the day with more intensity than I thought would come of it. I like how both festivals, in my case at least, ended with an intense workshop of finding your inner voice. But…Prairie Snowflake doesn’t hold a candle to Prairie Love.
There’s just something about being inside nature that soothes the soul, and although the weekend felt like bathing in luxury, my soul didn’t connect in that Earth-shattering way that it did at Prairie Love. But, then again, when you’re already following through a life-changing moment, do you really need another?