Top 5 New Activities to Try this Summer!

It’s that wonderful time of year filled with new growth and new adventures, not to mention the beautiful summer weather fast approaching! What better time to try out some new activities? Below are 5 we love!

1. Skydiving

Skydiving

Many people have heard of it, but few have done it! If you’re an adrenaline junkie, this is the sport for you. Check out your local certified skydiving companies to find one that will show you the ropes so you can have a fun and safe time exploring the sky!

2. Belly Dancing

Belly Dancing

An American version of the classic Egyptian style of bellydance often referred to as Raqs sharqi, belly dancing is a great workout and a lot of fun! Its non-impact movement works to strengthen the spine and abdomen, and can even help prevent osteoporosis! There are belly dance studios all over the country that offer classes ranging from beginner to pro level to get you started!

3. Hula Hooping

Hula Hooping

Hula hooping – it’s not just for the playground anymore! Hula hooping has become even more popular with the over ten crowd because of its amazing ab-toning qualities, as well as its invigorating yet relaxing effect. Try using a weighted hoop to get that extra workout, and don’t forget to check out all the fun colors and designs available!

4. Paddle Boarding

Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding – a great way to improve your balance, get a workout, and enjoy some beautiful summer weather! Grab a group of friends and buy (or rent) some paddleboards and hit the lake! Balancing on top of a paddleboard can be trickier than it looks, so start out slow by sitting down or standing on your knees and work up to standing – you’ll get there!

5. Yoga

Yoga

And last but certainly never least, yoga! If you want to experience a great activity that strengthens, tones, relaxes, and improves balance, yoga is for you! Whether it’s a sweaty hot yoga class or a relaxing restorative one, yoga can be adapted to fit exactly what your body needs (and your body will definitely thank you).

To get started on your own yoga adventure, take a look at Barefoot Yoga for all that your practice calls for.

Posted under Health and Fitness

This post was written by Carolina on April 18, 2014

Yoga at your Desk

With most of us working on computers, it’s no wonder our eyes can feel tired and strained. Here is a simple exercise to relieve that. Close your eyes and  cup up your hands over the eyes, leaving space between your palms and your eyes. Make sure there is not light seeping through. Open your eyes for a few seconds and then close them again. Do this a couple of times and as often as you need to.

Computer Eye Strain

For another wonderful way to soothe tired eyes, check out our lavender-scented Silk Eye Pillows at www.barefootyoga.com!

Posted under Health and Fitness

This post was written by Grace on April 11, 2014

Spring Growth

Spring Crocuses

The first blooms of spring are already in sight. Everything dormant is now growing and so for the month of March, let’s set our intention for growth. What does it mean to grow? Yes, there are yoga poses to strengthen, lengthen and possibly ‘grow’ your spine. But growth also means stepping out of our comfort zone, challenging ourselves, testing and knowing our limits, and learning from our experiences, good or bad.

We all have our favorite poses that we tend to incorporate into our practice again and again. We have our favorite teachers who we think are more suited to our needs. We have our favorite style of yoga that we practice daily. If we kept to our favorites, we deprive ourselves from potential growth and learning. Can we attempt that challenging pose and be alright with the outcome, physically, mentally and emotionally? Can we push ourselves not to give up on it and attempt it again next time?

Can we be open to another teacher’s style  and take whatever he or she has to offer and incorporate into our own practice? If you like Vinyasa, why not try Restorative or Yin Yoga for a change? If you usually take a 5 count breath, try stretching it to 8 and vice versa. Expand yourself and attend that Kirtan concert or meditation workshop you’ve been curious about. Use positive re-enforcement and imagery to help you in your quest. Start your exercise with no expectations of success or failure and let the end result guide you to your next step.

Find yoga supplies for your own spring growth at www.barefootyoga.com!

Posted under Health and Fitness, Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Grace on March 24, 2014

The Fatigued Yogini: 7 Poses to Help You Get that Energy Back

Everyone experiences low energy at some point or another; and most of the time the antidote is as simple as a good night’s sleep or strong cup of coffee. But what about when that doesn’t do the trick?
Yoga has been shown to have a wide variety of health benefits in relation to chronic pain conditions, anxiety, stress, depression, and insomnia. Why not benefit from the incredible healing yoga offers even when the issue may be as simple as having stayed up too late watching the newest episode of that must-see show?
To get your body and mind back on the path to your most energized and revitalized self, check out the invigorating poses below!

Camel Pose

Camel Pose (Source: YogaOutlet.com)

A full body stretch that will rejuvenate the body and spirit.

 

Warrior I Pose

Warrior I (Source: YogaOutlet.com)

An uplifting pose that releases stress by stretching and opening up the torso, arms, and pelvis.

 

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose (Source: YogaOutlet.com)

A blissful side stretch that calms while reenergizing.

 

Chair Pose

Chair Pose (Source: YogaOutlet.com)

A pose that can be done almost anywhere at anytime, the chair pose stretches and strengthens the back, legs, and hip flexors.

 

Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose (Source: YogaOutlet.com)

A simple but powerful pose that calms and enlivens, mountain pose does your body and mind a world of good, whether you’re in the middle of your practice or just taking a moment to center yourself on a busy day.

 

Eagle Pose

Eagle Pose (Source: YogaOutlet.com)

A rejuvenating pose that relieves stress while improving balance, this pose is great for that extra dose of energy and poise.

 

I don’t know about you, but I feel better already! To find out more about yoga and the props and accessories that help you practice with the utmost comfort and ease, visit us at BarefootYoga.com.

Posted under Health and Fitness, Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Carolina on March 21, 2014

5 Ways to Refresh Your Life for Spring

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!

Adventure with Friends

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!

Spring Cleaning

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.

Freshen Up Your Fridge

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!

Freshen Up Your Wardrobe

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.

Spring Resolutions

Posted under Food and Cooking, Health and Fitness, Yoga Clothing

This post was written by Carolina on March 6, 2014

5 Ways to Cut Your Stress Down to Size

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. 

Breathe

 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.

Sleep

 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.

Stress

 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.

Meditate

 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.

Peace

 

Visit www.barefootyoga.com for yoga and meditation supplies, including zafu meditation cushions and soothing silk eye pillows.

Posted under Health and Fitness

This post was written by Carolina on February 25, 2014

Lavender in Ayurveda

LavenderThe healing properties of lavender have been know to practitioners of Ayurveda for centuries. Especially as an essential oil, it is extremely versatile and has many uses. Here are just a few of lavender’s benefits to both mind and body:

Strengthens the Immune System: Lavender offers a gentle boost to the immune system if you’re starting to feel run-down. The essential oil can be added to a humidifier or applied to the chest to help with respiratory ailments. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can also be infused it into a massage oil for sore muscles.

Aids Sleep and Relaxation: One of the earliest-known beneficial qualities of Lavender is its natural anti-depressant effect. Simply smelling the fragrance of lavender — whether as an essential oil applied to the body, as a bath additive, or diffused into the air — can help to calm the mind and lift the spirits.

Helps Digestion: A few drops of lavender essential oil applied to the abdomen can offer relief from bloating and indigestion.

Soothes Headaches: Lavender has also been widely used in the treatment of headaches. Just open a bottle of lavender oil and inhale its scent for a few moments to relieve a headache. You can also apply it to the temples. Or, for the easiest treatment of all, try relaxing with a lavender scented eye pillow.

 

Posted under Health and Fitness

This post was written by Lauren on February 20, 2014