in a world where technology is constantly advancing, our most innovative form remains the invention of writing

Perfect Gift #2: ZenSense

I am obsessed with ZenSense! I fell in love with their diffusers earlier this year and when I got my own it became the talk of the house.

I have a diffuser in every room amd each of them are a different brand. I’m so lucky to be able to use so many diffusers in my home but ZenSense is my absolute favorite!

It comes with a remote. Yes, you heard me. It comes with a remote so when I’m resting in bed at night I just point and click to turn the mist, light or timer on.

20171211_105137

I love that I can let it diffuse like a cloud or through the vent. My family becomes mesmerized every time our eyes catch a glance of the smoke cascading over edges and around everything on my altar.

This is definitely one of my top items for gift ideas this year. It’s such a pretty diffuser,  unlike the white plastic style of my other ones and I don’t mind it begging part of my decor!

You can check their website for all their awesome diffusers and so much more at www.Myzensense.com!

 

My favorite gifts for yogis and mindful – Day 1

About two years ago when I started a daily yoga practice my fiance started getting my YogiSurprise monthly subscription and has gotten me a yearly subscription for 2 Valentine’s Days in row (hopefully three coming up 😘😂😂). I have gotten so many boxes and somehow adore each and every single one. I actually started taking one item from each month’s box and make a box for my mother to give her at times when it seems like she needs a pick-me-up.

I have gotten a lot snacks that are usually Gluten Free and vegan so my kids and I get to try new snacks every month!

Screenshot_20171207-122500

I still use my Smudge Spray from a few months ago nightly with my kids to keep the bad away and only have good dreams. And the oils for my skin have been a huge blessing for me. I love all the love within these boxes!

Screenshot_20171207-122834

So for the perfect gift for the yogi in your life look into the gift that keeps giving check out YogiSurprise! You even get discounts for longer subscriptions!

Want 25% off? Grab it here by clicking this link!

Get 25% Off Your First Box When You Use Code: YOGI25

The Yogi Assignment

The Yogi Assignment: A 30-Day Program for Bringing Yoga Practice and Wisdom to Your Everyday Life Paperback – September 26, 2017

51-XPfdMF-L__SX387_BO1,204,203,200_

To the point: Perfect to guide you into a yoga lifestyle.
Review: I am so impressed with how much a book can help change your life. The Yogi Assignment is the perfect tool to keep you on track everyday. It is often hard to know how to create a good habit and most people don’t know where to start. There is no guessing with this workbook. It will give you a meditation and objective for the day so you have a focus point and an end goal. This makes the transition effortless!
I love the practice section for each day as well. The pose list gives a detailed description of how to gret into each posture and they are all poses following a theme for the day. The photos are stunning of course!
The homework is probably the best part. It really gets to the core of our being and creating happiness from the inside out. Tasks include, stop people pleasing or release control with a guide on how to practice that.
If you ever thought out yoga teacher training or making your yoga practice more fulfilling, this is the book for you. Change your practice from exercise to lifestyle with Kino MacGregor! It’s like a retreat with her without quitting your job or leaving your family behind! Retreats are great but not realistic for most of us and Kino has made some of that experience more accessible to all of us.
Get it here>> The Yogi Assignment

from Amazon: “An inspirational 30-day yoga and lifestyle program that will challenge your mind, body, and spirit–by one of the most dynamic and high-profile contemporary Ashtanga yoga teachers, Kino MacGregor.

“The brave heart of a yogi is defined by actions that make the world a better place.”

Live with authenticity, practice patience, let go of negativity—these are some of the core tenets of a yoga lifestyle, on and off the mat. Yoga is about much more than twisting yourself into shapes—the heart of this ancient practice is an inner journey, one of reflection, spiritual awakening, and ultimately a calm, clear mind. The Yogi Assignment is a 30-day introduction to these life-affirming and simple, yet revolutionary, principles. Led by master teacher Kino MacGregor, this journey will challenge and uplift your body, mind, and spirit. Each day offers a practice and meditation that will help you confront your emotional, physical, and mental limitations and inspire real change in your life. MacGregor is a fierce, loving guide who encourages you to look deeply within to find your wellspring of inner strength and courage.”

Working on your Anxiety? This will help.

The Yoga-CBT Workbook for Anxiety: Total Relief for Mind and Body (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) Paperback – September 1, 2017

To the point: This workbook can retrain your brain to be less anxious!
Review: I have struggled with anxiety my entire life. Studies have shown that people born with digestive disorders often have some form of anxiety disorder as well. I have IBS, Celiac Disease and am Lactose intolerant, soy intolerant and sensitive to refined sugars. So you can imagine my struggles growing up as it wasn’t until I was an adult that any doctor had even suggested a digestive problem.
Yoga and mindfulness is not new to me. This book contains a lot of the tools and information I struggled to find in order to cope and evolve. It is amazing that this book is such an awesome tool all contained in one binding. The fact that this workbook is so informative makes it perfect for anyone, it doesn’t matter if you practice yoga daily or have never even heard of it.
It is divided into week practices, using meditation, mindfulness, yoga poses and breathing to guide you to a more relaxed state of mind. Through simple practices you can create an enormous change within yourself. It all starts with training your brain! The results will change your physical, mental and emotional state when anxiety approaches. If you or someone you know struggles with anxiety, this book is absolutely perfect for becoming a happier, healthier person.
Get it here>> The Yoga CBT Workbook

From Amazon: “The Yoga-CBT Workbook for Anxiety blends two highly effective anti-anxiety strategies—cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Kundalini yoga—for an entirely new and powerful treatment. Written by the creators of yoga-cognitive behavioral therapy (Y-CBT), this book will help you address the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety to find lasting relief for both body and mind.

Millions of people suffer from anxiety—it can keep you trapped in the “worry cycle.” When you’re under stress, your thoughts are racing, and you find yourself repeating the same anxious patterns over and over again, it has a negative impact on your relationships, health, and overall well-being. So, how do you get past your anxiety to increase peace and relaxation in your life? Yoga-cognitive behavioral therapy (Y-CBT) can help.

This book offers the first research-based model to combine the benefits of traditional psychological practice with the therapeutic benefits of Kundalini yoga—often referred to as the yoga of awareness. This combination will enable you to effectively address both problematic thought patterns and the physiologic outcomes of emotional distress simultaneously.

With the proven-effective techniques provided in The Yoga-CBT Workbook for Anxiety, you’ll find peace for your anxious mind and a state of relaxation for your body. More than just being able to manage your anxiety and stress, you’ll be ready to transform your whole life for the better.”

 

Mindfulness on the GO!

Mindfulness on the Go Cards: 52 Simple Meditation Practices You Can Do Anywhere Cards – August 29, 2017

 

To the point: I LOVE THESE! I have been using one each week and I feel more present in each day.

Review: These cards are so smart! The deck includes a little booklet on mindfulness and directions on how to best utilize the cards. The 52 cards are clear and concise with the easy to read lettering and simple designs. The tasks include things such as using your non-dominant hand for one week during ordinary tasks or being aware of your facial expression throughout the day and trying to keep it positive.

I started with the non-dominant hand task and found it difficult and hilarious. Not only did it force me to think about what I was doing but it kept a little fun throughout each day. I challenged friends and family to join me in the weeks task and everyone had a great time. It definitely trains your brain to get out of autopilot and back into the moment.

The next weeks task was Leave No Trace and meant that I was supposed to make each room or area I had been in look exactly the way it did before I entered it when I leave. This was not a difficult task for me as this is something I practice on a daily basis but it is something I want my family to be more conscious of since we all coexist in one space.

The next week continued, each task making me feel less anxious, more focused and present and enjoying life more. It is unbelievable how retraining your brain can help you live a happier life. It is possible and if you want to live a better quality of life, try the cards. They are perfect for beginners and completely foolproof!

Get it here >> Mindfulness on the Go Deck

from Amazon: “A card set of 52 mindfulness practices that don’t involve silent sitting–simple techniques anyone can do, based on the best-selling book Mindfulness on the Go.

Mindfulness is a simple practice with seemingly limitless benefits. And, contrary to popular belief, learning it does not require sitting motionless for hours in the lotus position.  You can in fact access it right now—and this little deck of cards is a convenient way to get started.

Each of the 52 cards presents one of the exercises Zen teacher Jan Chozen Bays has developed for fostering mindful awareness among her students.

It’s as easy as:

Observing the sensations of eating ● “checking in” while driving your car  ●  taking three breaths whenever a phone rings  ● aiming to be on time to everything for a week  ● conscious smiling ● relaxing your hands several times a day ● resolving to pay a compliment daily  ● listening like a sponge ● and so forth

Pick a card a week and try it. Before long these small moments of awareness will accumulate to infuse your days with the wisdom and kindness that are the natural result of mindful living.”

PirateFlo: The Bodysuit you Dream of

I feel most effortless when I can wear a bodysuit. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and versatile in my needs. The only problem is that it’s impossible to find a comfortable, functional and stylish. I have way too many that are see-through, which completely defeat the purpose of wearing them out or to do yoga in. The ones with snaps in the crotch are uncomfortable. I’ve even had one that was Velcro… and it was awful. The ones that are just one piece are okay, difficult to get on and off and a little annoying for pee breaks.

PIRATE FLO

What if I told you I found a brand that is soft, comfortable, not see-through, no snaps or Velcro, and still functional for your everyday needs? Well, more like they found me and I fell in love.

Screenshot_20170815-072757

PirateFlow is soft and super comfortable and anything of theirs will become your favorite thing to own and wear. Their suits are made with a slit in the lower back and fold down easily for those bathroom breaks, avoiding uncomfortables snaps. Even though the suits are form-fitting they are also super stretchy so I didn’t have to fight it to get it on.

Screenshot_20170815-072807

I practiced in it and never had to readjust and even better I just slipped on a pair of shorts and a mala and was ready to go out. It wicks sweat away and is awesome even on the hottest days! I really look forward to trying out PirateFlo another bodysuit I’m keeping on my wish list! They are definitely stape pieces for any wardrobe and can be used in so many different ways. I love that I can slip a skirt on and be ready for a date night or come home and practice some Yin before I head to bed.

Check them out here> Pirateflo

My dream to be a Yoga teacher

I met an amazing community when I joined the yoga world. So amazing that you connect with people who actually want your life to be everything you ever dreamed. A dear friend of mine felt so passionate about my passion for yoga that she created a gofundme in order to help make my dream come true!

Screenshot_20170811-114158

Please take a moment to read the amazing words she so eloquently wrote about me and spread the word!

https://www.gofundme.com/amandas-ytt-dream

Here is a little about my story for those who don’t know:

I would love the opportunity to take classes and eventually Teacher Training but live with financial restraints because of a difficult history. A few years ago I battled several uncontrolled autoimmune diseases and was declared disabled by my doctors. I graduated college with degrees in Psychology and Sociology but was unable to pursue a career because of debilitating seizures, lupus and severe fatigue. I have practiced a yoga lifestyle my entire life to cope with chronic illnesses but decided 2 years ago to really devote myself to healthy living. I started a daily home practice and became a vegan (also cutting out soy, gluten and refined sugars). As of today, my health issues have been in remission for over a year! I live a normal healthy life and want to share that with others. I have learned that a dedicated lifestyle of mindfulness, yoga and nutrition can improve your quality of life more than any other medical intervention. I think it’s really important that others know the possibility of feeling amazing despite what limits doctors or health issues may label them with. I feel that my struggles led me to my true passion and helped me be a compassionate and caring individual. I started a blog about healthy living and eco friendly products. It has been running for 2 years and now has a great following. I started an Instagram to spread my love for passionate living that has evolved with over 2500 followers. Because of this community, all of my yoga clothes and props have been sponsored to me in exchange for reviews and featured photos so a working program is not new to me.

If you cannot afford to donate, please share the link so we can reach as many beautiful souls as possible! I can’t do this without YOU!

Screenshot_20170804-093826

Thank you so much for your time and consideration, 💜 sending love.

Screenshot_20170815-072807Screenshot_20170813-221959Screenshot_20170805-165417Screenshot_20170804-130332Screenshot_20170811-104707

Gourmet Soap is a thing we all deserve 👉 Natural Violet

Have you ever seen a bar of soap that looked so pretty you had to pick it up? And when you smelled it you almost wanted to eat it?

isla_280x280.16391020_k91qgi8w

Natural Violet is the place to find bath soaps and salts that smell so amazing that they are completely invigorating to your senses.

isbl_1200x300.25511982_pd0v53gi

I have a stack of soap that is so stunning that I feel selfish not sharing with my loved ones. But seriously, it’s mine.

20170726_110521

And these bath salts fill the whole room with essential oils. If you close your eyes it’s like a complete spa experience.

Natural Violet has almost 200 five-star reviews and has soaps like Lemon Rosemary Sage and Violet Mulberry Vodka.

il_fullxfull.1212277272_h01d.jpg

She doesn’t just sell soaps either. Natural Violet has bath salts, baby quilts, shampoo bars and gift sets!

The quality is stunning and the prices are a steal. I like handmade soaps for gifts for loved ones; everyone adores them and they are so beautifully presented.

il_570xN.1259503369_o8vd

The ingredients are all natural and ethically made which is a huge plus. We want to love ourselves without causing harm to other living beings or the environment we all share.

Check out Natural Violet here on Etsy 👉  https://www.etsy.com/shop/naturalviolet

il_570xN.1212274342_5s5g

Here’s a little more about Natural Violet right from the shop itself:

“Handmade vegan, palm free and organic bath and body products.

Natural Violet offers handmade vegan and palm free bath and body care products with simple ingredients to naturally nourish your hair and body. All of the products are all natural, vegan, scented with essential oils, and palm free. They are free of synthetic dyes. fragrances, sodium laurel sulfates, and parabens. They are also palm product free and do not contain palm oil or palm butter. Each product is lovingly handmade in small batches in my home in Virginia. I use organic herbs and mostly organic oils for my products. Mostly organic means they contain at least 70% organic ingredients. For soap making I use a traditional cold process method with lye or sodium hydroxide. Lye is mixed with water and oils to produce soap. During the saponification process the lye and oil molecules combine to produce soap and glycerin. The reaction is complete after about 48 hours and no lye is present in the finished bars of soap or shampoo leaving a mild and natural product. The soaps are superfatted and cured to make mild and nourishing bars.”

All You Can Yoga is making YTT accessible to everyone

It is a dream of mine to go to Yoga Teacher Training so I can earn a living that benefits my health and helps others. I even started a mala shop and pour all my love and energy into it to raise money to start training.

So when I picked up my first YTT manual, it made me even more passionate about spreading yoga to anyone I can reach. The Essential Teacher’s Manual by All You Can Yoga made the fear of becoming a yoga teacher seem ridiculous. It is such a well written, clear, concise educational tool.

I have learned more in these 42 pages than I have in the dozens of yoga books I’ve read in the past.

Image result for all you can yoga essential teachers manual

All You Can Yoga already has the perfect description of this manual: “The content is easy to read and understand, with photos for 36 asanas and important fundamentals that fall under four principles: [1] Foundation of the Base, [2] Press & Rebound, [3] Law of Compensation and [4] Dual Action.”

Asana_grande

The biggest impact? Besides all the knowledge of course, is how this manual teaches you to focus on the health of others. Up until now yoga has been about me and I desperately wanted to share the benefits with others. This manual has helped my brain learn for others, think of others, guide others.

unnamed-1_grande

I consider this an invaluable learning tool and would recommend it to any yoga practitioner and teacher alike.

 

 

Briya Bags

I have never owned a purse that I felt good about. Every bag I grew up having was for the status of the bag. As I got older I realized how much bull that was and started buying bags that were practical for my momness. I’ve never had a bag that was for me and made me happy but yet always need one to do everything I do in a day and carry everything I need to have with me (this roll-on oil, that lip balm, every gift card I ever owned because I have no idea which still have a value on them, all natural chewing gum, spare change, and my children’s toys).

Image result for briya bags

I was lucky to be connected with a beautiful company called Briya Bags and after reading every inch of information out there about the bags, I fell in love. Briya Bags is a brand that helps people, that gives women a way to make a living, offers children a chance at an education… these bags change lives.

When my bag came in the mail, I fell in love. Not only is it the perfect boho style for me to use daily but every time I look at it or grab it to get something out of it I think of the women who made it. I think of the cloth that they sewed together. I follow the stitching and think to myself “This is absolutely stunning, how do they sew like this?”

20170728_193753

This bag is full of pockets and holds everything I need! It keeps everything organized for me and offers a lot of space. I use a small purse as a wallet right now (should probably look into getting a wallet right?) and I actually put it inside my Briya Bag with everything else.

20170728_193730

My bag is from the Wanderlust line and is handmade by women from the slums of Kolkata, India. The bag is made out of recycled Saris and holds as many stories as your mind can dream up. Each item is so reasonably priced that it’s hard not to buy everything. It’s a handmade purse or wallet, made by women across the world, to better their lives and the future of the children.

20170728_193328.png

A message from the owner:

“An avid traveler, I have been forever changed by the children I have met. They are so excited to learn, despite the fact that they do not have even the most basic school supplies. In some of the most impoverished regions I have been to, children will often ask for a pen over something to eat, even when their bellies are empty.

But these children can only get an education if their families have the means to pay for it. I have seen the passion mothers have, not only to send their children to school, but to find a way to provide for their families and become leaders in their communities.

Briya partners with organizations like Marshall Direct Fund and Women’s Partnership Market to support programs that are dramatically improving the lives of women and children, both economically and scholastically. We hope you will join us on our journey to ensure a future for them in which they will thrive.”

 

Support women and children! Visit them here 👉 http://www.briyabags.com/

 

%d bloggers like this: