Taking Fitness to the Barn


1 Taking Fitness To The Barn Pic
Yoga instructor Janice Burnett in the great room at Whitetail Meadow Brenda Sawatzky

It may not be the first place you’d expect to get toned up and de-stressed, but the barn at Whitetail Meadow is, in fact, quite the idyllic spot. Since early January, participants have been rolling out their yoga mats for instruction in Yoga Fusion, led by certified fitness instructor Janice Burnett.

Burnett describes Yoga Fusion as yoga-inspired fitness, combining yoga techniques with Pilates and traditional strength training to create a unique class that provides constant variety, limited only by the imagination. 

“I’ve always kind of created my own classes,” says Burnett. “We’ll do a whole set of squats, for instance, and then I introduce a yoga stretch to recover from that, so it’s almost like intervals. Body weight training can be very difficult because [you’re using] your whole body, so we might have four minutes of planks, then you’ll stretch it out for three minutes.”

Every class, she says, starts with stretching, breathing, and range-of-motion warm-ups. Without the use of weights or props, Burnett then guides the class into strength training, using the body’s weight to build muscle and stamina. She closes each class with some deep stretching or guided relaxation. Each class lasts one hour.

Burnett loves Whitetail Meadow not only because of its centralized location between Niverville, Ste. Agathe, and St. Adolphe, but because of its perfect ambience. Participants gather on their mats in front of a roaring fire in the great room’s stone fireplace. Lights are dimmed and music is pre-selected to create the desired mood, whether its relaxation or pumping it up a notch.

Evidently, yoga enthusiasts love the venue, too. On January 9, Burnett held her first class. As a special introductory class, it was free of charge—and more than a hundred people showed up. About 60 people enrolled for the eight-week session following, along with a number of drop-ins each night that came to check it out. 

Burnett takes little credit for the class’s success, but her years of experience speak for themselves. Certified by the Manitoba Fitness Council since 1991, Burnett has taught a variety of fitness styles, including aerobics, resistance training, kickboxing, belly-dancing, and boot camps. She’s been teaching yoga for the past 13 years. 

Her history is as varied as her styles. While much of her career was spent teaching out of fitness centres like Shapes, she’s also taught in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and hosted her own Shaw Cable show for ten years called Take Shape with Janice. 

Since 2015, Burnett has served as the resource coordinator for Ritchot Senior Services and has been leading a variety of seniors fitness classes out of her Main Street location in St. Adolphe. 

“I love my seniors and I work with them four days a week,” Burnett says. “I teach 50-plus classes all the time. [The idea of teaching at Whitetail] was exciting because I get to come out and change up my music to a little more top 40 and add a little more of an aggressive workout. It’s fun to get out and just let loose a little.”

Yoga Fusion takes place every Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Drop-ins are welcome. The next eight-week session will begin in late March.

For more information

To register, email yogabarn@outlook.com

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