Wellness Sessions

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The Friends’ Wellness Program is designed to engage community members and foster overall wellness.

Winter Wellness 2017: Introducing Yo-Qi – A Wellness Experience

The Friends’ staff take every opportunity to improve our programs based on the ideas and feedback we receive from the public and our volunteers. When we were approached by our Wellness Program instructors about the possibility of extending their yoga and Qi Gong sessions into the winter, we jumped at the chance!

We are excited to announce that 2017 will bring people an opportunity to participate in our Yo-Qi Wellness Experience pilot project as we assess the level of interest there is for our Wellness Program continuing throughout the year.

“Yo-Qi” is a combination of Yoga and Qi Gong – and each session will have a different wellness-focused theme. Sessions will be lead by Dianne Smith, Spring Forest Qi Gong Certified Instructor, and Yoga and Guided Meditation Instructors Gwen Draude of Birds of a Feather and Naomi Parker of Elemental Wellness.

Sessions will be held indoors at the Environmental Learning Centre at Shannon Terrace from 7:00 – 8:00 pm on Thursday evenings.  Due to the limited capacity of this venue, registration is required (drop-in’s will not be accepted).

Sessions are $10.   Register through Eventbrite:

January 26 – Boost Your Immunity

February 23 – Heart Opening

March 23 – Spring Cleaning and Detox

April 20 – Connecting to Earth

May 18 – Gratitude for Mother (your own or Mother Earth!)


 CBWGood Grief! Nature Walking Through Grief and Loss

Research conducted with Alberta Parks and Mount Royal University has revealed how nature teaches us to grieve. Death and loss so often bring us to parks and natural places; favorite places to remember and sites simply to let grief be, just as it is – natural.  Parks and nature also connect us to the cycles of life and death, reminding us of endurance, beauty, and the only constant – change.

In the changes and challenges of grief and loss, walking in parks and nature can provide different things, good things, to different people. For some people, the goodness will be in just moving and getting some exercise; for others it will be in the fresh air and light or in the quiet companionship of trees, animals and people who have no expectations except that you are there, walking.

Our 8-week program offers those experiencing grief and loss, just that; a gentle, accessible, guided walk through nature, to observe, to chat, to enjoy fresh air and the natural world. The program is not intended to be a counseling experience, but simply a time to walk in nature, guided, and with others who are walking a shared path. If participants wish to gather together at a local coffee shop for further conversation and socializing, we will plan to stay for a bit longer!

Good Grief will run on Mondays from 7-8pm, from May 8 to June 26.  Please meet at the Friends of Fish Creek office (the Cookhouse)  in the Bow Valley Ranch area of Fish Creek Provincial Park.

Cost is $25 and includes a complimentary copy of the book “Calgary’s Best Walks” by Lori Beattie.  Register through Eventbrite

For more information, please contact Shana at shana@friendsoffishcreek.org or 403-238-3841


 A look at our Wellness Program Instructors

Diane Smith is one of 90 people in the world who has completed level 5 in Spring Forest Qi-Gong (SFQ). She is one of four Certified Instructors and Master Healers in Canada. Diane is a passionate student of SFQ. While practicing SFQ, she experienced a profound shift in her life and is now passionate about sharing how SFQ as a lifestyle can positively influence health and well-being. Diane’s practice has given her balance, joy, peace, creativity and a stronger sense of self, family and community.

Gwen Draude received her 200 hour yoga teacher training certification in 2012 from Sunshine Yoga Academy in Calgary.  Yoga continues to teach her the fundamentals of slowing down, being present, breathing deeply, and learning to let go of meaningless worries or thoughts.

Naomi Parker, of Elemental Wellness, is a Certified Fairy Intuitive Healing Practitioner, Reiki Master, Registered Yoga Teacher, Mudra Therapist, and Spiritual Response Therapist (SRT). She grew up in Northern Alberta where, surrounded by wilderness, grew a fondness for the Earth and its elements. She has been practicing yoga for over 10 years.  You can find out more about Naomi’s practice and services offered through Elemental Wellness at www.elementalwellnessandyoga.com


Here’s what people are saying about these programs:

“I loved learning a variety of techniques, the license to experiment and play, and enjoyed the surroundings.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, please repeat this class!”

“Excellent class, I hope you do more!”

“Wonderful instruction, relaxing, excellent, FUN!”


 Past programs this year…..

Yoga in the Snow?  Winter Qi Gong?

For a little extra winter fun, Gwen, Diane and Naomi offered our first ever “Snow-Qi” class to a sold out crowd!  the group took part in a snowshoe trek to peaceful spot followed by some yoga poses and meditation (and hot tea!).  We’ll make sure to offer this class again next winter!


We are hoping to expand our Wellness Program offerings in 2017 and are looking for people with a deep connection to Fish Creek Provincial Park who might be interested in teaching a plein-air painting workshop, drumming circle or other activity that can promote personal wellness by engaging people in the outdoors. 

If you have an idea, please contact Shana Barbour, Program Coordinator, at shana@friendsoffishcreek.org