June 13, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yogis practicing on the beach
Looking to expand your practice?
Come visit us at BarefootYoga.com today!
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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
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.
- New York City – Bryant Park
Tuesdays at 10:00am, Thursdays at 6:00pm
Vinyasa Flow under the trees with YogaWorks instructor Lindsay Ashmun. These athletic classes focus on alignment and graceful flow.
- Seattle – Seattle Center
Wednesdays at 11:30am
Have fun learning the basics of Hatha Yoga as you gently stretch and breathe your stress away.
- Boston – Boston Common
Thursdays at 6:00pm
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.
- Chicago – Millennium Park
Saturdays at 8:00am
A variety of area instructors offer classes throughout the summer on Millennium Park’s Great Lawn.
- Miami – Bayfront Park
Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:00pm, Saturdays at 9:00am
These classes offer a unique atmosphere to relax and invigorate, with a stunning view of the bay!
- 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.
- 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!
June 6, 2014
OMgirl’s Summer clothing collection has arrived. Browse and buy at www.barefootyoga.com for the latest in warm weather yoga chic!
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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!
June 3, 2014
My pick of the week is the Quinn Bra Top by prAna. If you’re looking a bra that gives you ease of movement, then this is the top for you. Designed with quick-drying properties of the chakara fabric, it comes with double racer back for great support. Lined in front with elastic at the bottom, it is Bluesign Certified for environmentally safe production methods. Also comes in Jacquard knit. Great for hot yoga or the beach!
For more yoga clothing essentials and customer favorites, visit www.barefootyoga.com!
May 28, 2014
Here are some arm stretches you can do at your desk without leaving it! In all the following exercises, make sure your feet are flat on the ground, thighs perpendicular to your shins, and your body anchored over your sit-bones, spine tall.
Lateral Deltoid Stretch
- Place the arm you want to stretch across your body, straightening your elbow.
- Use your other arm, pull the arm that is being stretched toward your body. Repeat with other arm.
Bicep Hand-Down-the-Spine Stretch
- Extend the arm you want to stretch down the center of your spine with finger facing down.
- Using opposing arm and gently grasp the elbow.
- Gently pull your elbow toward your head, taking your fingers down the spine. Repeat with other arm.
- Straighten your arm in front of you at a 90º angle.
- Cross your right below your left.
- Interlock your palms with fingers pointing up. If an interlock is not possible, an alternative would be to place the backs of the hands together.
- Remember to keep your elbows forward and up. Repeat with left arm under right.
Visit www.barefootyoga.com for yoga props to extend your practice both in and out of the office!