5 Mats for 5 Practices: Finding What Works for You

July 1, 2014

Need help figuring out what the ideal mat is for your ideal practice? Look no further than our list below!

1. Travel Yoga

Travel Yoga

Now that’s what we call dedication – and also what we would call a situation ideal for a travel mat!

Need a mat you can bring with you no matter where life takes you? Then a Travel Mat may be exactly what you’re looking for! Its thin, lightweight design makes it the perfect mat to fold up into the front pocket of your suitcase or backpack.

However, many yogis find a travel mat too thin to provide substantial support on its own, which explains its popularity on top of more padded surfaces (such as a hotel room floor or on a grassy lawn). If you’re looking for a mat that’s still extremely easy to transport but has a little more heft, check out our new Hybrid Eco-Lite Mat! It’s likely to become your new favorite mat whether you’re Bali bound or relaxing at home.

2. Restorative or Prenatal Yoga

Restorative Yoga

In need of a bolster, soothing eye pillow, or blanket to complete your comfort? We’ve got you covered!

If you’re practicing a more gentle form of yoga, such as restorative, gentle, or prenatal yoga, some extra support and cushion is going to come in handy. We recommend a ¼” Hybrid Eco Mat to facilitate in comfort, style, and function!

3. Bikram/Hot/Power Yoga

Hot Yoga

When practicing Bikram, hot, or power yoga, we find that the best mat is going to be one on the thinner side with superior traction to keep from slipping (especially with Bikram or hot yoga!). Check out our new Hybrid Eco-Lite Mat or Performance Grip Mat to get the grounding and traction you need.

4. Hatha Yoga

Pattabhi Jois

World renowned teacher and Ashtanga yoga pioneer Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Hatha yoga covers a broad aspect of yoga, and is basically the incorporation of postures and breathwork into your practice and includes popular styles such as Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga.

If you’re just starting out and aren’t quite sure if or what specific yoga style speaks to you, we recommend starting with a good quality mat. Especially one that will provide great traction and cushion while giving a beginner yogi the chance to explore what their personal practice and prop style is. We recommend going with a 1/8” mat like our 1/8” Hybrid Eco Mat or a Natural Jute & PER Mat.

5. Aerial Yoga

Aerial Yoga

Even aerial yogis need to come down for a landing! When they do, a mat that provides a sturdy, grounded surface is ideal. Try out a 1/8” or thinner mat, like our 1/8” Hybrid Eco Mat, Hybrid Eco-Lite Mat, or, for a more textured traction check out our Natural Jute & PER Mat.

Want to keep exploring what props work for you? Come visit us at BarefootYoga.com to expand your practice today!


Grace’s Pick of the Week:
Meadow Top by prAna

June 27, 2014

Get into sivasana with the Meadow Top. It has a banded hemline that keeps your top in place while you do your inversions. The relaxed fit and draped bodice allow for freedom of movement. It comes with a shelf bra for support and fabulous prints and colors for inspiration.

Meadow TopMeadow Top

For more great new prAna yoga clothing, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


Yoga Studio of the Month:
Yoga Yoga

June 26, 2014

The name ‘Yoga Yoga’ came about from teaching two forms of yoga at the same time in a newly leased studio for owners Mehtab and his wife. This was in the year 1997, after sporadic practice before that of almost 20 years. A life crisis motivated them to delve into their beloved Kundalini practice and discover their passion for Ashtanga and Hatha yoga.

Yoga YogaToday, they welcome their students to 4 studios in Texas to continue on their journey of self-discovery. They aspire to ‘make it for more people, for all people, to do yoga’. Their experiences with different forms of yoga gave them an appreciation of the benefits and beauty of each type of practice, and the people they attract. They embrace and strive for diversity in their teaching forms, focusing on their students. Teachers are encouraged to teach from their hearts and connect with their students in the spirit of yoga.

Yoga Yoga believes in yoga of action, elevating oneself so one may elevate others. They are active in the Austin community with free yoga classes for non-profit organizations, helping families in need and fund-raising for cancer, AIDS and other research. Their teachers volunteer their time to train and pass on the tradition of teaching to aspiring candidates.

Yoga Yoga offers Kundalini, Hatha, Flow-Based Hatha, Family, Relaxation, post and pre-natal, private and business classes. You can also enjoy their spa services at their Westlake branch.

Yoga Yoga has been Barefoot Yoga’s loyal client since 2003. We applaud and encourage them for spreading yoga. See our mats, rugs, blankets, bags, eye pillows and zafus in use at their studios.


Soulshine Music & Yoga Tour Comes to Seattle

June 25, 2014

The Soulshine Tour with Michael Franti and Spearhead is coming to Seattle’s Marymoor Park this Friday, June 27! This yoga-inspired tour includes a 90 minute yoga practice accompanied by acoustic music from Michael Franti. The yoga will be geared towards yogis of all skill levels, and led by renowned yogi Sean Corne. After yoga, you’re in for a treat with a concert featuring bands and DJs, including Brett Dennen, Trevor Hall, and many more!

Soulshine Tour

Tickets are on sale now! For yoga mats and supplies to amp up your practice at Soulshine and beyond, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


5 Amazing Health Benefits of Yoga

June 23, 2014

We all know that yoga is good for your body and mind, but new research is showing that yoga offers many specific health benefits that you might not have expected!

Yoga Split

  1. Prevent arthritis – Building muscle tone has been linked to reduction in arthritis and back pain. Developing flexibility and balance also helped elderly yoga practitioners to avoid falls.
  2. Keep migraines at bay – Studies have shown that three months of yoga practice for migraine sufferers led to fewer and less painful migraines. This improvement seems to be caused by a combination of stress reduction and proper body alignment.
  3. Improve sleep – Eight weeks of daily yoga improved the sleep quality for sufferers of insomnia, but even twice-weekly practice can offer some improvements. Researchers theorized that yoga helped with the anxiety that can often prevent restful sleep.
  4. Fight osteoporosis – Certain poses which require you to lift your own weight, such as Downward Dog, help strengthen bones to prevent osteoporosis. Yoga also lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which is thought to help keep calcium in the bones.
  5. Lower blood pressure – Even the restful Savasana pose is good for you! Researchers found that subjects who tried Savasana instead of lying on the sofa had a measurable drop in blood pressure after 3 months of practice.

From all of these findings, it seems that the key is sticking with your practice! For yoga mats and clothing to get you started, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


Yoga for the Solstice in Seattle

June 20, 2014

As part of the Fremont Fair solstice celebrations this weekend, there will be a Yoga for the Solstice event on Sunday, June 22 at 10:30 am!  Local instructor Laura Yon will lead a solstice-inspired, yoga practice geared towards yogis of all levels, complete with summer sun salutations.

Yoga at the Fremont Solstice Fair

There will be yoga prizes up for raffle at the event, including one of our very own Barefoot Hybrid Eco Mats.

Pre-register for the class to reserve a space for you and your mat on Sunday!


Yoga at your Desk

June 20, 2014

Here are more exercises at your desk for stretching those tight hips:

Seated Hip Stretch

  • Plant one foot flat on the ground.
  • Cross the other foot over the thigh, with the ankle just past the thigh.
  • Flex your foot to safeguard your knee.
  • Sit tall, then gently fold forward, as far as you can go. If you experience knee pain, ease back.
  • You can gently press down on your bent knee for a better stretch of the hips.
  • Hold for a few breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Seated Hip StretchQuad Stretch

  • Hold a chair or table for support.
  • Bend your standing leg and reach for the other leg.
  • Reach down and grasp your ankle.
  • Knock your knees together, then straighten your standing leg.
  • Repeat on other side.

Quad StretchKnee-to-Chest stretch

  • Sit with a supported back and one foot flat on the ground.
  • Raise your leg with your hand on the shin.
  • Gently hug your knee to your chest and hold.
  • Repeat on other side.

Knee to Chest Stretch

For yoga supplies to begin your practice or take it to the next level, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


Lauren’s Pick of the Week:
E.C.O. Mat by prAna

June 19, 2014

My product pick for this week is prAna’s E.C.O. Mat. These eco-conscious yoga mats are made of 100% Thermoplastic Elastomer, a toxin-free alternative to the usual PVC yoga mat. They’re lightweight, offer great cushion and traction, and are available in 4 bold two-tone colors that are sure to appeal to everyone!

E.C.O. Mat by PrAna

 

To browse our huge variety of eco yoga mats, as well as other earth-friendly yoga supplies and clothing, visit us at www.barefootyoga.com!