A Yoga Bolster opened my eyes to restorative yoga

After a year of practicing yoga I decided to try something new. I’ve always done yoga with pushing myself, pushing my limits and rarely going near savasana. Daily yoga for me is to work hard, shake, push, breathe and struggle your body into change. And I have changed.. a lot! I may weigh more but I have more muscle and I am physically stronger than ever. But I never reach bliss, calm, content or that “yogi face lift”.

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I decided it’s time to expand my practice to include relaxation and rest. But with all the props that I have (and have multiples of) the one thing I never collected was bolsters!

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So I went on the search, bolsters are a little harder to find than the common meditation pillow. I checked Etsy and fell in love with a shop called The Yogi Dogi. Tracey makes dog collars, yoga mat bags, dog bandanas, yoga mat straps and more! Of course you can always message her about her items or any item you’re looking for.

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The Bolster I received is gorgeous. We use it as a decorative pillow for our couch because it’s so beautiful! I just grab it off the couch for practice and sometimes bring it to bed at night to snuggle! It’s absolutely perfect for everything.

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I adore all the details, including the handle!

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If you’re looking for a bolster, you know they’re pretty pricey. I received a 50% code off another brand and even with my discount it was still over $80. They’re costly because it’s a pillow with a million uses and they’re huge and beautiful and the one by the Yogi Dogi is just perfect.

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Take a break and relax your body a little. Stop working so hard and be happy with right now.  Go check out The Yogi Dogi and grab a bolster, maybe something for your pup as well!

A tie dyed hammock to die for

Etsy is the most amazing place to find things. Not only are the prices usually pretty great, but the products are unique, personalized and customizable.

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Definitely can say the same for Yoga Hammocks. I won’t lie to you, I own four. 2 are greens, one is lavender and child size, and the last one is…

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This. From Cirque a La Mode on Etsy.

I’m serious, it’s a hand dyed hammock with colors I picked out.

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I find it so inspiring to see the beauty of this hammock that it gets me practicing more often. It LOOKS fun. How can someone stay away?

Cirque a La Mode has an unbelievable Instagram filled with all the hand dyed silks of your dreams. She makes hammocks and full silks, and if you have any other circus needs, reach out to her and see what kind of props she makes.

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Before you ask, here’s a little info from her store about the safety of her hammocks:

” Custom circus supplies by Erin Jeannier. Based out of Baltimore, MD. Specializing in Hand Dyed Aerial Fabrics, Specialty Props, Magnetic Hoops, and more.

OUR FABRICS HAVE BEEN STRENGTH TESTED POST-DYE PROCESS.

FABRIC BREAK TEST- Tie Dyed Aerial Fabric, 5′ length, 1 leg pulled to damage (w/2:1 system, device reads 1/2 the load). Pulled to 1500+lbs, elongates +3′, Damage/tear starts at the top knot at the Figure 8.

This test was conducted by Fight or Flight Entertainment and the results show that the dye process does not affect the strength of the fabric.”

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This hammock is more of a piece of art than any yoga prop I own. And that’s sort of something I hate about yoga props, how I can’t just leave them out as decor and lug that back and forth from storage to use. That’s probably why I don’t use my props enough. But with this hammock I can leave it up, not be concerned with the eye sore or making my home look like a gym.

You’re going to get addicted to aerial yoga, it’s amazing. So if you’re going to get a hammock or silks, go for the pretty ones. Go for hand dyed silks that you can customize with your favorite colors. Don’t be the person who looks at their hammock like it’s an eyesore and then never uses it.

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If you want to be inspired daily, go for Cirque a La Mode!

The Small Meditation cushion you’ll bring everywhere

I adore my mediation cushions but have two problems, they’re often not wide enough to be perfectly comfortable and they’re inevitably heavy.

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I haven’t even bothered bringing one in the yard to enjoy the nature sounds during a mini meditation. Imagine grabbing my six pound meditation pillow, waters for me and the kids, their snacks, toys they just have to bring out there and the dog on her leash. No thanks.

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Then I found something DIFFERENT. It’s unlike anything I have seen. It’s Zafuko and it translates to little meditation cushion. The shape is comfortable, it’s ridiculously lightweight and somehow sturdy enough to hold my body up. The patterns are beautiful and it easily fits in a bag without adding extra weight.

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Zafuko is super comfortable, it promotes a neutral spine and the best part is that it’s eco friendly. The filling is Kapok which comes from trees in Thailand! It’s 100% natural and biodegradable and super sturdy.

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I used it as a meditation pillow, a bolster and a yoga block. It works amazingly in all aspects!

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As you can see, the size is perfect for everything! And my Zafuko is lighter than any pillow I own. You can easily travel with it and use it in a million ways.

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You can check it out on their website at http://www.zafuko.com (or click any photo above). It’s probably a great idea for the studio since it’s easy to bring everywhere!

The new Guru Grid mat is taking over!

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On my never-ending quest to find a good yoga mat, I’ve stumbled across them all. The chemically processed, the deterioration, the impossible to the clean, the eco-friendly but ridiculously hard.

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Well all of them except Guru Grid. I’ve never owned a mat with alignment properties, or that served any fact but lying there on the floor.

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Each time I practice on it, my poses feel new. They feel intense in places they were lacking and my focus is so strong with points to pay attention to too.

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Of the 10+ mats I’ve owned, I’ll be honest, I use three. They all serve different purposes; I use my Youphoria Yoga mat for comfort since it is so cushy (and for PiYo because it’s easy to clean sweat off). I use my Gurus Cork mat because it is healthy, which relaxes me. Plus the natural cork and rubber make me feel closer to nature.

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And I use my Gurus Grid for everyday practice, learning, comfort (it is cushy enough for my achy joints!). I notice I pull out my Guru Grid whenever I need inspiration, or my practice feels dull. If I’m not in the mood to practice I grab my Guru Grid and do a pose I haven’t done in ages, but focus on my alignment and perfecting the posture.

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The grip is pretty amazing, I expected to slide but this mat has the best grip of any mat I’ve EVER tried.

The Eco Friendly mats come in three different types, Standard, Delux and Premium.

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But why this mat? What makes it so amazing? Straight from their site you can read below:

“WHY DO WE DO YOGA?

To BALANCE and STRENGTHEN the body

To STRETCH and stay FLEXIBLE

To CALM the mind and FREE the soul

Do you ever wonder if your hands, feet, knees, and elbows are in the right place while you should be focussing on your alignment? Does it make you feel un-Zen?

The lines, circles, and numbers on a Gurugrid mat are designed to help you find your correct placement during and between poses. The pattern is made so yogis of any age, experience level, and height can get the maximum benefit from yoga.

With the help of your teacher, soon, it will be automatic to quickly and smoothly plant yourself on the mat and immediately focus your energy on your alignment, breathing, and meditation. Now you can calm your mind and free your soul.”

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So here’s a breakdown of what I think about Guru Grid:

Pros: Super grippy, easy to clean, rubber bottom, grid perfect for alignment, durable mat, eco-friendly, attractive mat styles

 

So knowing that, I recommend this mat and consider it safe. I use it daily and it’s my go to mat! I adore the grid that is unlike any mat I have ever used before.

Yoga Twists and Turns Book Review

Yoga Twists and Turns

50 Sequences to Take Your Practice to the Next Level

by Emma Silverman

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From Amazon: “In yoga instructor Emma Silverman’s first book, beginning yogis learned how to bend, stretch, and relax while waiting for water to boil, standing at a bus stop, and even sitting in the stuffy middle seat in an airplane.

In Yoga Twists & Turns, Silverman now lays out a series of warm-ups, yoga postures, and stretches to lead to specific intermediate and advanced yoga postures. This follow-up will bring readers more poses in the style format they loved so much in the first, but will be organized by the part of the body that receives the most benefit from each sequence.

Also included are brief discussions about how each body part is related to different emotions. While working with Yoga Twists & Turns, students will not only advance to more difficult yoga postures, but also advance to the next level of connecting their body and emotions to their yoga practice.”

To the point: Amazing book perfect for yoga studying!

Review: I really adore this book! Although it is obviously written by a yoga teacher, it also seems to be written for those wanting to become yoga teachers! Of course this book is great for anyone from beginner to experienced but it’s how it’s written that teaches how to teach!

This book doesn’t simply show a posture and explain how to get into it. There is a focus pose and then a series of postures to allow you to get into that pose. For example, to work on Camel pose there is a series of 15 postures that work into a flow to warm up for camel.

Yoga Twists and Turns covers everything from Sun Salutations to Restoration, with Standing poses, Arm Balance, Backbends, Inversions and Floor poses all in between. I love the photos that correlate with the descriptions so you can see what the pose looks like as well as read about it.

I plan to work my way through this book, gaining beautiful insight in my practice along the way and bettering myself. I hope that some of the teaching methods in this book will rub off on me and hopefully help me learn how to teach others! this book is such a valuable tool for so many people, anyone interested in yoga at all and those of us hoping to make a career out of sharing our passion and love for the practice.

Get it here!>> Yoga Twists and Turns

  • Yoga Twists and Turns, 50 Sequences to Take Your Practice to the Next Level by Emma Silverman

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (January 17, 2017). I received this copy for free.

 

Electric Yoga makes me feel like a Rock Star

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I love yoga clothes, it’s no secret. I’ll try them all in search of the perfect outfit.

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This time I had the AWESOME opportunity to wear Electric Yoga.

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My initial thought was about how amazing the outfits looked. The two outfits sent could be mixed and each are perfect staples for a yoga wardrobe.

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After I put each item on, I quickly fell in love with their bras. I adore them so much I could wear them all day and everyday.

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The white leggings are their “loose leggings” and they’re form fitting but not that crushing compression style.

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The black leggings have a zigzag stitching across the front half which I love!

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Electric Yoga clothing is super comfortable and perfectly functional. I love that I can freely move in their clothing without anything coming out.

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The bras almost look like crop tops to me, I adore them so much!

I recommend yoy checking out Electric Yoga, grabbing some of their awesome clothing and of course.. be a rockstar yogi 😁🕉

Essential Kundalini Book Review

Essential Kundalini Yoga: An Invitation to Radiant Health, Unconditional Love, and the Awakening of Your Energetic Potential Paperback – February 1, 2017

by Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa

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From Amazon: “For new and experienced students, practical guidance in kundalini yoga for happiness, health, and fulfillment

Kundalini is a universal life force within each of us that, once awakened, holds the power to transform every facet of our lives. Kundalini yoga is the art and practice of activating this radiant energy. With Essential Kundalini Yoga, Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa present the core principles and practices of this revered tradition in an inviting and accessible guide.

Kundalini yoga opens joyous space for connecting deeply with the energy states of our being,” write Karena and Dharm, “It brings vital health to the body and opens our consciousness to new potentials of awareness.”

Created for the modern practitioner, this book offers clear, comprehensive instruction in the key insights and practices of kundalini yoga. From philosophy and lifestyle, to working with anatomy and physical asana, to activating our energy bodies, Essential Kundalini Yoga is a uniquely practical and in-depth manual. Highlights include:

Gorgeous photos illuminating step-by-step instructions

Detailed instructions, explanations, and illustrations for core kundalini practices—mantra, pranayama, bhanda, asana, kriya, meditation, and more

Seven traditional kundalini yoga routines, including a pituitary gland series for intuition, yoga for the immune system, and detoxing for radiance

Understand the science of the practice, including its effects on the glandular system, spine, nervous system, and skeleton

Meditations, mantras, and yoga poses to activate each of the chakras and bring health to your energetic body

Remedies for common emotional challenges—dealing with fear, shame, and depression, among others

Kundalini secrets for getting better sleep, aging gracefully, enhancing fertility, cultivating vitality, and more

Rooted in tradition and infused with a sense of infinite possibility, Essential Kundalini Yoga is a joyful invitation for practitioners of all levels to awaken the vital energy within and receive the gifts that emerge from connecting more deeply with your own potential for creativity, abundance, and joy.”

To the point: Calming, gentle and genius

Review: I’ve been practicing yoga to manage my health for about a year now. I battle several autoimmune diseases and an endless number of symptoms. I’ve enjoyed Strala and Restorative yoga with great positive health effects.

Essential Kundalini Yoga has opened my life to an awakening yoga. Filled with a calm energy, a euphoric enlightenment, this book is completely different from anything I’ve learned about yoga.

It’s not all about learning what Kundalini, there are actual practices within this book. I love the pose descriptions, they are written spectacularly. The explanations are concise and fool-proof. They also have photos to demonstrate a position. Every time I read pose instructions I hear a soft calm voice teaching me yoga, this is how I imagine the authors teach in person and it reads perfectly.

The amount of positivity in this book is outstanding! A book like this could create world peace.#VirginiaandKhalsaforPresidents 😉

I recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn about yoga, anyone already doing yoga and everything in between. A full  🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 for this one.

Get it here > Kundalini

Essential Kundalini Yoga: An Invitation to Radiant Health, Unconditional Love, and the Awakening of Your Energetic Potential Paperback – February 1, 2017, by Karena Virginia and Dharm Khalsa. Paperback: 352 pages. Publisher: Sounds True. I received this copy for free and offered my own personal review.

I didn’t have a first aid kit..

I recently had my first yoga injury. Yoga is such a calm slow practice for me that besides the occasional overstretched hammie or knotted shoulders I’ve never actually injured myself.

One of my sponsors asked the ambassadors to send in short clips of yogis having fun on their mats, so I set out to do just this. Easy enough.

My son has recently learned cartwheels. You know how toddlers put their hands on the ground and hop and then yell “I DID IT!”.. well I planned to do a cartwheel behind him. I was way to close to the wall and my living room walls have decorative moulding all around the bottom half.

Somehow I hit this moulding so perfectly because even though its rounded, it split my achilles are open with a deep gash and left a bruise from my bottom calf to the top of my foot.

But I didn’t even have bandage. Forget guaze, tape, a proper ice pack or anything else that could have been useful.

Luckily my son wasn’t bothered throughout this but if he had gotten hurt how could I have really cared for it?

I decided to get a kit. One I can bring on trips and just keep for general emergencies. And I got lucky because the one I found has over 100 items in it. It has everything from needle and thread to a compass, guaze and sterile pads, ice packs and so much more.

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Having an Emergency first aid kit in the home is not an option but something that every home should strive to have. They are important because they help treat injuries and even ailments that do occur at home. From less severe problems to more serious ailments, first aid kits will help in reducing infection risks and even the severity of an injury. There are many supplies that are found inside a first aid kit, and in order to know how to use each of them correctly, you may need to attend first aid class.

Benefits of having a first aid kit in the home

1). Central location of medical supplies

A first aid kit contains all the necessary supplies in one location. This avoids a situation where a person spends a lot of time looking for particular supplies. But if you know that whatever you are looking for is in a first aid box, you will go straight to the box and fetch it without wasting much time. In fact, as a rule, the first aid kit is normally placed in a location that all family members know so that they can get it as fast as possible.

 

2). First aid kit can be used while you and your family are travelling

If you have a trip with your family, it is a good idea to take a long your first aid kit. Just put it in your vehicle. Whether it is an accident on the road or by a camping fire, you can always treat it before getting medical help.

 

3). Emergency Medical Supply within your home

First aid kit is an important source of emergency medical supplies. Despite the kind of medical emergency that may arise in the home, you will always be able to counter it. Even if it is a snake bite or choking, you will always have the right medical supplies to deal with them.

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Moral of the story, really be prepared for emergencies. Even if you’re careful, something can always happen.

Oh, and toddler cuteness is like a magical curse. It can take down even the best of us.

 

 

 

Gaia Guy makes Cork yoga props!

 

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Gaia Guy is one of my favorite health conscious brands. I still use my glass straws daily (and am glad to be rid of plastic straws)! So imagine how excited I was to find out Gaia Guy is now making cork yoga mats and cork yoga blocks!

Cork blocks have completely changed my practice. They have helped my alignment tremendously. They have helped my reach positions and change how those poses feel.

The most amazing thing about blocks are that they can make poses easier to each and they can also make poses more advanced to get a deeper stretch.

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I picked cork specifically because it’s eco friendly and antimicrobial. I’ve tried bamboo blocks and while they are supportive for making some poses more challenging, they’re pretty uncomfortable in every other aspect. Cork blocks are a little easier to rest against and use.

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Obviously foam blocks are the softest but they typically aren’t the most supportive. Bamboo and wood blocks are the most supportive but the least comfortable. Cork blocks are perfectly in between the two.

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If you’re in the market for some blocks, I definitely suggest these. Gaia Guy cork blocks are thicker than some other cork blocks. I like the all around chunky block. Ok, now go play!

 

Wtf is Lyra?

I started aerial yoga shortly after I started yoga last year. So it’s not surprising that I found Lyra (aerial hoop). While I adapted quickly to the yoga hammock, lyra was harder (quite literally) to get used to. Lyra hoops are enormous, strong, heavy hoops that hang from either one or two points.

 

My hoop from Runaway Circus Equipment is a two point hoop. I know everyone adores the spinning of the one point hoop but I figured the two point might be a little easier to learn on.

I got my hoop and it’s huge and beautiful and heavy. I still have to wrap it but I enjoy playing.  Runaway Circus Equipment has amazing prices! Do a quick google search and you’ll find out a lot of hoops are $100 more than Runaway Circus.

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The first thing I learned is that your hands are going to hurt. And every area you rest on the hoop. I have the tape for it so it’s just getting down to doing it. Learning to balance was less tricky than I imagined, perhaps because of my aerial yoga practice. I love the shapes to make and the strength it takes to create poses. I adore that the practice involves flexibility, self-confidence, strength and endurance. I love even more that it’s addictive enough that you don’t need to have any of those qualities to start but you will definitely gain them along the way!

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If you’re going to start Lyra, I highly suggest you take a few classes to start. Or just be like me and jump right in without knowing anything.

You get some awesome photos like these.

 

Of course I’m kidding, yours will be better 😁😉

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Lyra is a blast. Seriously. Anyone can do it and I’m telling you it will bring back the magic of being young and free. Maybe a little wild too.