March 24, 2014
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!
March 21, 2014
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!
A full body stretch that will rejuvenate the body and spirit.
Warrior I Pose
An uplifting pose that releases stress by stretching and opening up the torso, arms, and pelvis.
A blissful side stretch that calms while reenergizing.
A pose that can be done almost anywhere at anytime, the chair pose stretches and strengthens the back, legs, and hip flexors.
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.
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.
March 18, 2014
Our Yoga Studio of the Month is Joyful Yoga and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida. They offer yoga classes and spa treatments like massage, skin care services, Reiki, Sound Therapy and Ayurvedic consultations. They are touted to have the largest studio in southwest Florida with a floor space of 750 square feet. Their 50 yoga classes per week are geared toward all levels and styles including a comprehensive 200 and 500 hour teacher training. They also offer monthly Primordial Sound Mantra Meditation classes endorsed by the Chopra Center as well as kirtan concerts, crystal sound baths and other energetic healings.
If you’re in the area, check out their boutique for a wide range of yoga products and props, including mats and rugs as well as Barefoot Yoga brand eye pillows and meditation zafus.
March 10, 2014
My pick of the week is our Retro Pattern Tall Zafu: not only does this cushion come in a fun and colorful retro-inspired pattern, but it also offers an extra two inches of height for your meditation practice. If you are a longer-legged yogi, or have less flexibility in your hips and knees, a tall zafu can offer extra comfort, allowing you to clear your mind of physical distractions.
For our complete selection of zafus and other meditation supplies, visit www.barefootyoga.com!
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!