March 6, 2014
Even though Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter this year, we’re already starting to feel a thaw in the air and smell the first flowers blooming up here in the Northwest! But, if that spring feeling hasn’t crept up on you yet, and you’re still feeling the chill of winter in both body and mind, consider the tips below to get your mind out of the snow and into the sun!
1. Get out of the hibernation mindset. In the frigid (or the moderate to mild in Seattle) winter months, it can be easy to freeze out your social circle and stay home with a warm blanket instead, perhaps only enduring the cold weather to get to that hot yoga class. Get back in the spring mindset by calling up a group of friends for a hike on a sunny day, or to try out something new and adventurous like aerial yoga!
2. Spring cleaning! There’s nothing like a good old spring cleaning to refresh your home and your mind. Spend a Saturday cleaning out the cobwebs and scrubbing out those neglected nooks and crannies, and you’ll feel great, not to mention ready for whatever new adventures spring throws your way!
3. Freshen up your fridge. Nothing says coziness like a mug of hot chocolate and plate of cookies! While delicious, heavy foods can make winter feel even longer. Try lightening up your food choices and incorporating some of the fresh produce that’s just now coming into season. Making fresher, more vibrant food choices can help you transition into the mindset of new growth and the world coming into bloom again.
4. How about freshening up your wardrobe too? There’s nothing more fun than buying a couple new pairs of capris or cute tanks to make you feel ready for spring! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to layer down, not bundle up. Check out new spring lines of OMgirl and Prana clothing, which have the perfect combination of fashion and function to get you going!
5. Instead of New Year’s resolutions, how about spring resolutions? New season, new resolutions! Or, recommitting to the New Year’s resolutions you’ve made but have fallen to the wayside. What better time than to give yourself a fresh start, and actually take time off to go to that retreat in India, or even take the time to do something as simple as walking to the studio instead of driving.
March 4, 2014
In Buddhist and Hindu prayer, a mala is a string of beads used for keeping count while reciting a mantra. Beaded Mala necklaces can be a wonderful reminder to devote time to your daily meditation. The main bead where the necklace comes together, called the Guru bead, is the starting point for the meditation, and symbolizes your guru, who has given you a mantra to reflect on. The Guru bead often has a tassle hanging from it, which some say symbolizes the eternal lotus.
Malas can be helpful for focusing the mind on the sound of the mantra, rather than keeping count of the number of repetitions. Starting with the bead after the Guru bead, place it between your thumb and index finger, and recite your mantra. Then shift your fingers to the side so that you are holding the next bead in succession, repeat your mantra, and so on. When you have reached the Guru bead again, you may stop, or make your way around the mala again in the opposite direction.
Malas come in a variety of bead styles, and the type of mala used can often depend intention of the mantra. Some common types of beads are gemstones, precious metals, special woods, and necklaces made of Bodhi seeds, called Rudraksha malas.
Visit www.barefootyoga.com to see our selection of malas and other yoga accessories.
March 3, 2014
The Maison Knicker by PrAna: Are you tired of pants out there that are tight and restrictive? These soft knit knickers are fitted but not binding with quick-dry properties and the Blue Sign seal for safe environmental processes. The wide, comfortable waistband features a key pocket, ideal for running. It comes in vivid batik-like patterns that will bring color to your wardrobe and practice.
To see all of our new PrAna yoga clothing
for Spring, visit www.barefootyoga.com
February 28, 2014
If you’re in the Bay Area and feeling the need for a little extra culture this weekend, or better yet, the need for culture and yoga, you’re in luck! Head down to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and check out their new exhibit Yoga: The Art of Transformation. This show covers centuries of yoga practice and philosophy from the 2nd to the 20th centuries. The collection comes from 25 museums and private collectors from U.S., Europe and India. It features artwork, sculptures, print and film among its many highlights.
This could probably go unsaid, but I highly recommend hopping on a train, plane, or automobile (preferably a bike or a bus though) and checking it out. It’s amazing to see how relevant yoga has become in the modern hustle and bustle of our society today, and the revered place it has retained in our culture. It is touted as the “world’s first major art exhibition about yoga”, and I think that says it all.
Yoga: The Art of Transformation opens February 21st and runs until May 25th.
To purchase yoga supplies for your own transformation, visit www.barefootyoga.com!
February 27, 2014
My pick of the week is the men’s Throttle Tank by PrAna. More than just your basic workout tank, this functional top is also fashionable and eco-friendly. The Throttle Tank’s organic cotton and poly blend will keep you centered and cool, while the variable-width horizontal stripes make this a stylish choice for the yoga studio or gym.
Visit www.barefootyoga.com for our full selection of men’s yoga clothing, including new Spring clothing from PrAna!
February 25, 2014
Feeling like you’ve been having “one of those days” since you stepped into the office Monday morning? Can’t seem to catch up with that to-do list? Check out the tips below to get that much needed dose of R&R.
1. Deep breathing. It’s known that taking in a few slow, deep breaths through the nose and out through the mouth delivers a calming message to your body and nervous system, curbing anxiety and slowing down heart rate.
2. Sleep. Ideally, we should all be getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but that isn’t always doable. So instead, my advice is simply to get as much sleep as possible. Stop checking the time, turn the light out and relax. If you’re unable to fall asleep after a half hour or so, make a cup of tea, take a bath, or read a book. Eventually, your body will relax enough to send you off to dreamland. Until then, don’t let not getting enough sleep be what’s keeping you up at night.
3. Pay attention to yourself, not your stress-induced habits. It’s been a tough day, and you just got into a fight with your significant other or tanked that presentation you’ve been working on for weeks. Now what? Stop and take a breath. When under duress, it becomes incredibly easy to fall back onto self-destructive habits and turn to unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. So just take a moment, and stop. Ask yourself questions like, “If I was content and peaceful right now, would I want this?” and “How will I feel after I eat this piece of cake I’m not hungry for?” If the answers to those questions are “no”, and “bad”, then stop. Take that deep breath and know that your true satisfaction is going to lie in understanding why you’re feeling like indulging in that old pattern of behavior and instead finding the real solution to the problem you’re dealing with.
4. Don’t block the stress. Often when we’re stressed it’s so automatic to go to a place of trying to push the stress away, which never works. I was once told that our feelings are like the ocean; they rise to the top so that they can evaporate and be let go of. I believe it, and I think one of the best things you can do for yourself is simply let yourself feel whatever you need to. Let all that stress and upset in, assess whether there’s a reasonable solution to it (or if you just have to make peace with not having a solution for the time being), and then let it all go.
5. Yoga! Last but certainly not least, is yoga! Yoga has proven health benefits, including reduced stress, improved physical fitness, and natural management of high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and heart disease. Even setting aside just 10 or 15 minutes to do a few relaxing poses, such as child’s pose or corpse pose can help bring you back to a space of peace and clarity. So remember yogis, don’t sweat the small stuff! Let it go and come back to your peaceful, loving center.
Visit www.barefootyoga.com for yoga and meditation supplies, including zafu meditation cushions and soothing silk eye pillows.
February 21, 2014
The Katarina Top by PrAna is made of eco-conscious hemp and cotton with a touch of spandex. Its contoured shape makes for a perfect fit. I especially love the longer back hem. This helps with coverage while doing forward bends!
Check out all of our new PrAna yoga clothing at www.barefootyoga.com!