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!


5 Signs You Need a Yoga Retreat

June 16, 2014

…or to at least pull your mat out for a quick 10 or 15 minutes!

It’s that time of year again: the sun starts to shine, the weather warms up, and if you’re one of the few who get the summer off (I’m looking at you, grade schoolers!) then it’s the time of year to relax.

If you’re like most of us and either go to school or work in between school years, than along with the gorgeous weather and feeling of adventure in the air, there are still responsibilities and tasks to perform and prioritize throughout the day. As I’m sure most of us have encountered, daily life can sometimes be intense or stressful whether it’s the dead of winter or 75 and sunny.

Below are five signs you may be in need of a yoga retreat, or at least in need of setting aside whatever amount of time you’re able each day to center yourself, get grounded, and relax. Anytime you take that time just for yourself (no matter how big or small) it makes a difference for your practice, for you, and for how we interact with the world around us.

1. Sweating the Small Stuff

Sweating the Small Stuff

It’s a good sign to take a breath and book that retreat if you find yourself getting overwhelmed or stressed about the little things. Just relax! Do your best and check out retreats somewhere tropical. We’re thinking the Caribbean.

2. Negativity Towards Those Around You

Negativity Towards Those Around You

If you find yourself getting irate at the smallest comment or mannerism, that’s a good cue to reconnect with your Zen. When we’re negative to the people around us (and I don’t mean in a constructive criticism kind of way) it’s generally a sign there’s something going on with us or our lives that isn’t working or doesn’t measure up to expectation. Let those expectations of yourself and others go and take a look at what’s truly going on. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including but not limited to: a yoga retreat (you knew that was coming!), a yoga class or solo practice (you probably knew that was too), meditation, or even simply listening to your mind and body’s needs and paying attention to them. Especially if you only drank coffee for breakfast or skipped that Ashtanga class to watch Netflix.

3. A Nature Disconnect

A Nature Disconnect

In our busy lives (especially us city slickers!) it can be easy to fall out of touch with nature, and in turn, the natural way of being. If you feel like it’s been a while since you felt sand between your toes or smelled fresh mountain air, check out a retreat somewhere beautiful and soothing like the Berkshires (Kripalu Center, anyone?) or in the Santa Barbara mountains.

4. A Practice Disconnect

A Practice Disconnect

If you’re feeling out of touch with your practice and can’t quite put your finger on it, that can be another pointer it’s time to get away for at least a long weekend, if not the whole week. That feeling of disconnect can point to internal (emotional, spiritual and physical) factors that should be addressed, but a change of scenery can also instigate change and renew perspective, helping to reconnect you to yourself and your practice.

5. You Just Want To

You Just Want To

Last but not least, go on a yoga retreat if you want to!! There doesn’t need to be negative signs or reasons to go on a retreat. If it sounds like fun and you’re able to, go for it! There ain’t no party like a yoga retreat party because a yoga retreat party creates positive change in your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being!

Need to stock up on some props to take with you? Visit us at BarefootYoga.com and take a breather. We’ve got you covered.


Barefoot Yoga’s Inspiring Teacher of the Month:
Stan Woodman

June 13, 2014

Stan Woodman

Our teacher of the month for June is Stan Woodman, co-owner of Kaia Yoga in Connecticut. Stan took his first yoga class in 1991, and eventually completed his 1,000 hour certification with Beryl Bender Birch. Stan’s practice is rooted strongly in traditional Ashtanga Yoga, but he sings the praises of various styles of meditation and yoga, including Restorative Yoga: “Targeted breath work—particularly that connection between the inhale and exhale—creates a rhythm in our nervous system, in our wiring, that settles the organs, increases blood flow, and re-energizes us.” (source)

Stan and his wife, Gina Norman, founded Kaia Yoga with an eye towards a holistic way of living, incorporating meditation, spa treatments, a café offering whole foods and juices, and yoga for people of every age, including prenatal and kids’ yoga.

In a mission to relieve suffering, they are also deeply involved with charitable work through the Kaia Foundation, which currently supports four charities directed mainly towards benefiting women and children.

Kaia Yoga has been a long-time customer of Barefoot Yoga, and offers a number of our yoga props, mat bags and eye pillows for customers in their boutique. Stop by one of Kaia Yoga’s three locations in Westport and Greenwich to enjoy the beautiful space that they have created, and flow through one of Stan’s amazing classes to develop your strength, flexibility and mindfulness.


5 Fascinating Facts about Yoga You Didn’t Know

June 12, 2014

Thought you knew everything there was to know about yoga? Think again! Check out the five fascinating facts even we didn’t know below!

1. According to a 2008 study, around 16 million Americans regularly practice yoga.

Yoga in Times Square

Yogis on June 21, 2013, practicing in New York City’s Times Square

2. One of the first Westerners to practice yoga was Carl Jung, a renowned Swiss psychiatrist known for founding analytical psychology and his friendship with well-known neurologist Sigmund Freud.

Carl Jung

Carl Jung

3. The Rig Veda is one of the oldest Hindu scriptures, as well as one of the oldest texts in the world. It documents the first mention of yoga, specifically Veda yoga, which is the oldest known form of yoga.

Rig Veda

The Rig Veda

4. Om is part of both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, and in Hinduism the three major sounds of OM (A-U-M) are representative of the three major Hindu deities (called Trimurti). They are: Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver, and Shiva the destroyer or transformer.

OM

5. The Sanskrit definition of the word yoga is simple but powerful. It means unity. This reflects yoga’s power to positively influence the body, mind and spirit, integrating them into the whole and harmonious person that is uniquely You! Once we have achieved unity in ourselves, we can create more unity in the world around us.

Yoga on the Beach

Yogis practicing on the beach

Looking to expand your practice?
Come visit us at BarefootYoga.com today!


Grace’s Pick of the Week:
New OMgirl Clothing for Summer

June 11, 2014

Do you need help putting together an outfit for your next trip to the studio? Here are some pairings to consider from OMgirl’s new Summer collection:

OMgirl Summer Clothing

  • Under: Asana Bra - Made of soft cotton/lycra mix, this is made to go under your tops that offers a comfortable and secure fit.
  • Top: Mindful Tank Pixel Art in Tropical Teal – This soft and long tank is perfect for layering over or under.
  • Bottom: Nomad Legging with Labyrinth Mesh in Tropical Teal – The popular legging that comes with an intricate mesh skirt.
  • Outerwear: Spring Cardi in Beach Glass – This drapes beautifully for an elegant look that compliments any outfit.

Practice Cami, Practice Pant Seaweed

  • Top: Practice Cami in White – Built with a shelf bra and cross back straps, this cami gives you a flattering and comfortable fit. Pick from a wide range of colors to mix-and-match.
  • Bottom: Practice Pants Seaweed in Hibiscus – This fitted but comfortable pants are made to LIVE in!

Gym Jumpsuit

  • And if you do not want to bother trying to match your outfits, you can’t go wrong with the Gym Jumpsuit! A perfect breezy romper for that hot summer day. Lots of room for ease of movement with its knee-length harem pants and blouson top.

Visit www.barefootyoga.com to see all of the new Summer clothing from OMgirl!


Top City Parks for Yoga This Summer

June 10, 2014

As summer approaches, there are lots of outdoor yoga classes throughout the country that offer instruction for a variety of skill levels – many of them for free! Consider stopping by your local park for some yoga fun in the sun.

Bryant Park Yoga

  1. New York City – Bryant Park
    Tuesdays at 10:00am, Thursdays at 6:00pm
    Admission: FREE!
    Vinyasa Flow under the trees with YogaWorks instructor Lindsay Ashmun. These athletic classes focus on alignment and graceful flow.
  2. Seattle – Seattle Center
    Wednesdays at 11:30am
    Admission: FREE!
    Have fun learning the basics of Hatha Yoga as you gently stretch and breathe your stress away.
  3. Boston – Boston Common
    Thursdays at 6:00pm
    Admission: FREE!
    Enjoy the beauty of trees, grass, and water found at historic Boston Common while practicing power Vinyasa flow. Classes are geared towards students of all levels.
  4. Chicago – Millennium Park
    Saturdays at 8:00am
    Admission: FREE!
    A variety of area instructors offer classes throughout the summer on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn.
  5. Miami – Bayfront Park
    Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:00pm, Saturdays at 9:00am
    Admission: FREE!
    These classes offer a unique atmosphere to relax and invigorate, with a stunning view of the bay!
  6. San Francisco – Golden Gate Park
    Saturdays at 11:00am
    Admission: By donation.
    Enjoy rejuvinating flows and meditation for your mind, body, and spirit in one of San Francisco’s most beautiful parks.
  7. Los Angeles – Runyon Canyon
    Daily at various times
    Admission: By donation.
    These classes have been held at Runyon Canyon for over a decade, with a casual vibe that is welcoming to yogis of all ages and fitness levels.

For yoga supplies to maximize your practice indoors and out, visit www.barefootyoga.com!


OMgirl Summer Collection Has Arrived!

June 6, 2014

 

OMgirl Summer 2014

OMgirl’s Summer clothing collection has arrived. Browse and buy at www.barefootyoga.com for the latest in warm weather yoga chic!


Yoga at your Desk

June 5, 2014

Sitting for hours every day can take its toll on back muscles and vertebrae, affecting the rest of the body as well. Let’s do some stretches at our desks focusing on the mid-torso.

Cat-cow stretches

Cat Cow

  • Seat with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands on your knees and keep them there while you do the stretches.
  • On an inhale, and sitting tall, arch your back and look up at the ceiling.
  • On the exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest. Repeat for a few breaths.

Seated Spinal Twist

Seated Spinal Twist

  • Seat sideways on the chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Twist from the waist toward the back of the chair, holding the back with both hands if you need to. Keep your seat bones planted on the chair and your head aligned to your sternum. Keeping your body where it is, then gently turn your head to the direction of your turn. If your chair has armrests, use them as you would the back of the chair.
  • After a few breaths, gently turn your head to the opposite shoulder for a neck stretch. Repeat on other side.

Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend

  • Push your chair away from your desk.
  • Plant your feet flat on the floor.
  • Interlace your hands behind your back, straighten your arm, keeping shoulders back.
  • Fold at the waist, reaching forward as you fold.
  • Keep your interlaced hands over your back.
  • Set your tummy on your thighs and release your head.

For yoga essentials to continue your practice at home and in the yoga studio, visit www.barefootyoga.com!