Thank you for visiting PranaVidaStyle!
My name is Amelia Kathryn Barnes, and I am the creator of PranaVidaStyle, as well as a yoga teacher (on oneOeight.tv and in Winnipeg), Instagrammer (@ameliakyoga), wife and mother of two in Winnipeg, Canada.
I started PranaVidaStyle in the spring of 2013, shortly after returning from three months of practicing and teaching yoga in Costa Rica. At first I just started making clothing for myself, because as a yoga teacher I basically live in yoga apparel and I wanted to wear clothing that I absolutely love and is ethically made. Pretty soon, many of my students and friends were wanting the clothes I was wearing, so I started selling to them. The name "Prana Vida" came to me in savasana one day—a combination of the popular Costa Rican saying "Pura Vida" (literally translates as "pure life" but is used in greetings and to express "life is wonderful, enjoy it!"), and the Sanskrit word "Prana" (life force, Spirit or vital energy).
It wasn't long before I knew I had found my dream career.
It was a perfect fit—I’d always been passionate about art and design. I started sewing classes when I was five years old and learned to use a machine and sew my own clothes before I could ride a bike. At university, I studied two years of fine art, design and art history. And as a yoga practitioner and teacher I knew exactly what would work the best for fit and comfort. I also wanted to have a job that would allow me to be a stay-at-home mom while earning some income (it was at this time that my husband Justin and I decided to start trying to get pregnant.)
I didn't have time to manufacture the clothing on top of the promotional and design side of the business, but was lucky enough to find a really wonderful seamstress, named Alicia. It really seemed like it was meant to be—she was the first person to respond to my advertisement, and just so happened to live in my neighbourhood about a five minute walk away. In April 2013 I launched PranaVidaStyle.com, and before long I was getting some sales, mostly my students and friends at first, but slowly it began to grow and I started shipping all over Canada, the United States and Europe.
In July 2014, my life took an unexpected turn.
After 9 months of carrying my firstborn son Landon, he was born via emergency C-section when his heart suddenly stopped beating during labour. He lived only 4 days, mostly on life support, before passing away in our arms. His death threw me into an intensity of pain beyond my imagining. I found comfort in writing and sharing our journey through loss and healing online (#LandonsLegacy on Instagram).
Although I’d been so passionate about my business before Landon was born, I was hesitant at first to relaunch. I was feeling uninspired and wasn’t sure I could take on the extra responsibility, especially since I still had days when I felt like I could barely function.
But then I had an idea—what if I created leggings that are inspired by the things that remind me of Landon, or give me hope and inspiration?
There are so many things that I associate with Landon because of their symbolic significance, or because of the way they’ve appeared in my life at times I most need comfort. Butterflies, lilies, peacock feathers and rainbows, for instance. I researched these symbols and discovered they are associated with personal and spiritual growth, transformation and qualities of love, compassion, wisdom and strength, and I incorporated these symbols into bold, colourful prints (read about the symbolism behind the leggings here). All of a sudden my creative mind was in action and I was excited again about my business.
Ever since the relaunch, I've been amazed by the way my clothing has opened up meaningful conversations about loss and life, and has brought more awareness to the taboo topic of stillbirth and neonatal death. Also, a portion of our sales help fund scholarships to Landon's Legacy Retreat, a healing retreat I created where bereaved moms come together for a week of yoga, nature and community. All of the models on this website are actually mothers who have attended this retreat.
PranaVidaStyle has since expanded to a larger production team and has added a collection of amazing tops made from luxuriously soft bamboo fabric, and mini sized leggings for ages 6 months to 10 years old. Our leggings and tops are the perfect maternity and postpartum wear. Having carried two babies since starting PranaVidaStyle (Landon's sister Lily was born in November 2015), I can truly say that nothing compares to our clothing's fit, comfort and style!
With much love and gratitude,