From yoga to bras, women gain new insight at conference

During the first Ponoka Women’s Conference held in several decades, the women of Ponoka and surrounding area were given the opportunity

During the first Ponoka Women’s Conference held in several decades, the women of Ponoka and surrounding area were given the opportunity to expand their knowledge of feminine pursuits as well as the ingredients of a balanced lifestyle through the four breakout sessions offered.


The first session was hosted by beauty and image specialist Joanne Ward and focused on giving women tips for dressing for their body type. However, it remained in the realm of tips — either to be taken or ignored — and Ward stayed away from classifying her words as rules. Her presentation was about building women up and helping them find reasons to love their bodies, rather than restrict their fashion choices with labels.

“Fashion is a personal choice. Also, it’s subjective and it’s all speculation,” said Ward.

Rather than take the traditional route in fashion and body consultation, Ward uses fashion Feng Shui to help empower women through themselves. “Feng Shui is a science of philosophy. It’s all about energy, changing energy and how we feel.”

Fashion Feng Shui is to guide women to dress for their body, essence, intentions and image. “What fashion is, is to get a style going on. It’s an illusion,” said Ward.

Factors that go into dressing for your body type are silhouette, measurements and weight. The five body types discussed were water (pear), hips and thighs are fuller than the upper body; wood (rectangle), balanced shoulders, hips and middle region; fire (inverted triangle), fuller upper body, earth (apple) round bust, middle and hips; metal (hourglass), balanced hips and shoulders, defined waist and usually shapely legs.

Water tips: dress in soft lines and flowing fabrics, semi-structured tops that highlight shoulder region such as boatneck or off the shoulder, draping bottoms that smooth over hips and thighs, bright coloured tops and dark bottoms, straight leg or slightly flared bottoms.

Wood tips: long lean silhouettes, feminine accessories such as belts to define waist, well fitting tops with an emphasis on the bust to enhance curvature such as wrap or corset tops. “But the key word with wood is feminine,” said Ward.

Fire tips: oversized tops, fitted bottoms but nothing too flowy, brighter and patterned bottoms.

Earth tips: non-fitted tops, tunics are good on this body style because earth usually has the legs to support them,

Metal tips: semi-fitted clothes with waist accentuating accessories.

Undergarment fashions

In a session hosted by Ponoka’s Ladies Busted Lingerie, the women in attendance learned how properly fitting undergarments are the foundation of looking and feeling good; plus a proper fit is better health wise, both physically and mentally.

Undergarments are sold in a wide variety of sizes to support and enhance all women. Owner Sherry Gummow says small busted women have as many problems as their large busted peers. “They want to feel feminine.”

Another hot topic of the session was the ins and outs of shaping wear. The women wanted to know how to keep the garment bulging and rolling in uncomfortable places as well as when it can be worn, which is a personal preference.

“I’ve got 15-year-old girls coming in and they want shaping wear,” said Gummow. This trend is partly because children are less active than those of past generations and childhood weight is on the rise. However, the second part of this equation stems from the ideals and pressures placed on young women about what is beautiful and what their bodies should look like.

The session also touched on bra maintenance. Gummow says a garment should not be worn more than two or three days at a time before washing. Washing allows the garments memory to return to the elastic and prolongs the lifespan.

Gummow also informed the women that, in bra-wear, the new go-to color is red. “It picks up the color of the blood and blends in,” with the exception of overly shear or tight tops.

Mental and skin heath

The other two sessions offered were “Mindfulness and De-stressing” and one on optimal skin care hosted by Sherina Jamal, the founder of Ancient Secrets skin care and developer of the Beauty Through Balance line.