Yoga Revival – Week 13: Yoga Elation and the Mysore Practice Rug


I’ve discovered yoga practice can lead to feelings of elation. Endorphins are released, circulation palpably increases, and a peaceful synchronization occurs between mind and body. The cylinders are primed to fire at peak capacity.

I experienced some of this yoga elation the other day after finally dragging myself up and out for a morning hot Hatha Yoga class at YogaBliss on Mercer Island, lead by a seasoned instructor named Jonathan Bowra. His strength, lightheartedness, and insights helped push me through 90 minutes of mostly core movements, giving way to slippery sun salutations.

On the way out of my house, I grabbed my Manduka Pro yoga mat – considered by many the best of all mats. Its density provides a bouncing sensation that makes me feel like I have the strength of 10 Grinches when I practice on it. But in my hurry to get to class on time (nothing like a hurried yogi) I forgot to grab my rug – which is what I needed most – to lay on my mat and absorb all that sweat. And so I worked my core muscles hard to hold those sweat drenched downward dogs and triangles, but my feet did slip a few times, once in a way that felt dangerously close to causing a significant leg injury.

I’ve found the best surface for sweaty yoga is a thin or dense mat with a practice rug over it. So next time I won’t forget because the exhilaration of a hot yoga class is well worth it, and should be done in the safest way – on a non-slip surface.

For the rest of the day I felt heavily anchored to the ground, yet with energy surging upwards in kind of a perfect balance. Calmly elated simply to be!


Posted under Barefoot Yoga News, Eco-Friendly Yoga Products, Health and Fitness, Mysore Practice Rugs, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Mats, Yoga Studios, Yoga Supplies, Yoga Teachers

This post was written by David on October 2, 2015

September is National Yoga Month

Now in its 8th year, National Yoga Month promotes healthy living through the practice of yoga. Among its many benefits, yoga has been shown to reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, and ease back pain. The Department of Health and Human Services recognized yoga’s positive influence on health and created National Yoga Month in 2008 to raise awareness.

This month-long celebration of yoga includes a number of events nationwide, as well as free classes for new students offered by hundreds of yoga studios. If you’re new to yoga or just looking to update and upgrade your yoga equipment, we have a number of suggestions for yoga essentials for your practice!


Barefoot Yoga Hybrid Eco Mats


Our signature Hybrid mats offer great performance and eco-friendly material at a low price that makes this mat perfect for beginners and experienced yogis alike. With our wide range of colors, you’re sure to find a mat that you’ll love!


Mysore Yoga Rugs


These traditional rugs are hand-woven in India, in the authentic style of the first mats ever used for yoga practice. They rest nicely over any mat and add cushion and traction while absorbing moisture.


Indian Rosewood Yoga Blocks


Made from the Shisham tree, sometimes called Indian Rosewood, these sustainable hardwood blocks will add support and length to your poses. They’re hollow for easy transport to the yoga studio without sacrificing stability and strength.


Silk Eye Pillows


Sivasana can be one of the best – and sometimes most challenging – parts of your practice. Our silk eye pillows make relaxation and reflection easier by quieting your mind with the soothing scent of real dried lavender flowers. The gentle weight of the pillow on your eyes will help you to get the most out of those final minutes of your practice.

Visit to shop for everything you’ll need to boost your practice during National Yoga Month!


Posted under Barefoot Yoga News, Eco-Friendly Yoga Products, Health and Fitness, Mysore Practice Rugs, Styles of Yoga, Yoga Events, Yoga Mats, Yoga News, Yoga Supplies

This post was written by Lauren on September 10, 2015

Yoga Revival – Week 11: Yoga Summer


Smoking Sicilian Drishti – Drishti is a point of focus where the gaze rests during a posture and meditation practice – gazing outward while bringing awareness inward.

This week I returned from a long end of summer vacation to Sicily, which we didn’t really have time for, but did anyway. We met wonderful family members who rented a villa in Sicily overlooking Mt. Etna – one of the world’s most active volcanoes. It was an offer we couldn’t refuse.

The trip was a great cap to a great summer. Now back in Seattle it feels like fall. And so I want to reflect on how yoga has played a role in this wonderful, amazing summer.

I went to a free outdoor yoga class nearby Barefoot Yoga HQ on the summer Solstice – and after it, dedicated myself to regular yoga (6 days per week for at least a half hour). I stuck to this, with the exemption of 2 weeks I practiced 5 days, though I did uphold the hours those weeks (3 hours per week – wow – that sounds like so little when I put it this way!). And this lasted up until the 2nd day of week 9, when this long – airport, gelato, pizza, and pasta filled Sicilian odyssey began.

And so, I missed a few days in week 9, and a few more in week 10. But I will say, I did yoga half of my days there – usually for closer to 1 hour than a half, and it had a powerful influence on my experience in Sicily. It definitely helped drive me to – elation! (More on this next blog).

I’m back on track here in week 11, and yoga is definitely a regular part of my life in a way that surpasses anytime since I practiced Astanga Yoga in Mysore India under the tutelage of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharat for 2 and a half months in 1996.

I recognize that I am essentially chipping away at inflexibility that has set in over a lifetime of intense athletic endeavor – be it running marathons, bicycling (across country and around towns), skating, playing tennis, skiing, and more – with fairly minimal stretching. And I’m chipping away at mental inflexibility (and over-flexibility) that set in over all these years. I definitely feel positive results from these months of consistent yoga. But, in some ways “results” seems like a misnomer – because I clearly have such a long way to go.

I am stronger, more flexible, and slightly calmer. I have managed to stay very active, while keeping pain at bay – which is an accomplishment in itself considering the stenosis in my spine, along with some other old injuries from all those sports over the years.

At other times in my life, if I’d said – I have a long way to go – it may have felt discouraging or overwhelming. Yet now it sounds very much the opposite. In a profound way I realize my personal need for further, deeper immersion in this practice. It is vital to my aging, well-worn body. It eases the reactions from my often bombarded adult mind. This drives me to practice.

I’m grateful to all the yoga teachers I’ve had, who have helped me reach this point where yoga practice is available to me anytime and anywhere. And I look forward to getting myself back into classes, because there are amazing yoga teachers everywhere I turn in this town who will literally keep me in line. After almost 3 months of regular yoga, I feel like finally, I’m hooked – that my personal yoga practice is like a beacon that will brighten my future in ways I know now, and others that will be revealed. This light can no longer be ignored.


Posted under Barefoot Yoga News, Health and Fitness, Meditation, Styles of Yoga

This post was written by David on September 9, 2015