Archive for the ‘yoga clothes’ Category

OM, OM, OM (sutra 1.27 & 1.28)

Yesterday morning after my 20 minute pranayama & meditation practice I picked up The Yoga Sutras and thought “I will open them and whatever sutra my finger lands on I will write about that sutra this week.”  My first attempt I landed on sutra 2.7 (attachment) which I recently wrote about.  My second attempt I landed on sutra 1.27The expression of Ishwara is the mystic sound of OM.  (Note OM is God’s name as well as form).

Two thoughts crossed my mind 1) Oh no, I’m not going to get into the God discussion.  2)  Didn’t I already write a post about OM (see Why OM? crafted Sept 2008).  Though as the day wore on a few things confirmed that this is the sutra for the week.   My private yoga client asked at the end of her session “why do we OM?”  Then I was sad to read last night that OM Yoga Center in NYC is closing the end of June.  And after wearing my Juil sandals (known for their energy grounding benefits) all day yesterday I realized OM was definitely the sutra for me.

I’m adding sutra 1.28 to this posting since I believe for each of us OM represents something different (sutra 1.28 To repeat it in a meditative way reveals its meaning.) especially once we begin to chant it on a regular basis.  During my Dharma Mittra yoga teacher training last Fall, I chanted OM for 10 minutes every morning for 30 days.  For me, it had a very internal cleansing effect.  It’s really hard to describe but I felt as if some negative vibes were being scrubbed out of me.

At the beginning and end of every class I teach, we OM as a group.  I tell my students we do it as a way to connect with one another.  For some it has a calming effect.  For others it gets them comfortable with their voices.  Chanting OM is also a way to feel the aliveness throughout every cell in the body.

Sutra 1.27 states OM is God’s name as well as form.  Again, not that I want to get into the God discussion here but God to me represents your highest, best Self.  This is the meaning that has been revealed to me.  Some also say divine Self.  I like to think of OM as a way of connecting to our highest thoughts, words and actions as well as a way of grounding us in the moment.

Speaking of grounding, this is where the mention of Juil sandals comes into play.  I received a pair of Juil’s “hera” sandals and they’re amazing.  With the early summer weather we’ve had recently here in DC (yes, it was 90 degrees last week) I’ve been able to really take them for a few good test walks.  They are extremely well made, stylish and oh so comfy.  Our feet are our connection to the earth and the foundation of our bodies.  For many of us (and there is plenty of research to support this), we are wearing shoes that cramp our feet and prohibit our connection to the ground below.  When our feet are out of sorts, our body eventually become out of sorts (i.e. knee issues, hip concerns, lower back pain).  If you’re in need of a good-looking shoe that also has the added benefit of making you feel healthy and happy (please see this link for those details), I definitely suggest checking out Juil.

Writing from the Heart

Even though I never enjoyed writing, I started this yoga blog as a fun way to communicate with my students.  Of course I wondered, would people read it?  What would I write on a regular basis?

Shockingly, a lot of people actually like what I write.  Who knew my yoga off the mat would be interesting or even the least bit inspirational.  Who knew so many people, including my grandparents (Grandmom and Pop-Pop) and yogis from around the world, would be avid readers and comment on things I write.  Lastly, who knew I would be asked to review yoga products and promote them on my little yoga blog.  In fact, I’ve even been offered money to do so multiple times.

I have kept it my policy not to advertise on my blog.  I’ve turned down a few paid offers to post/promote other companies/websites, as I believe it would change the dynamic of this blog.  I like being “homegrown”, small and personal.  Frankly, this is probably a result of working too long in corporate America and being rubbed the wrong way.  Not everything in life is about money.

With that said, two small companies have recently caught my attention.  How?  One was the personal approach taken, and two; I like what they’re offering and the stories behind them.  Lastly, I find them both very creative.  See for yourself.  Visit Tickle My Chi and YogaMatic.

This blog is about whatever comes to mind and speaks to my heart.  I will continue to write from my heart and not get sidetracked or bribed to do something other than what speaks to me.  If you have started a yoga related business –yoga clothes, mats, jewelry, events – or opened a yoga studio, I’d love to hear from you.  If you’ve written a yoga book or yoga blog from your heart, I want to hear from you.  Let me know what inspired you.  Entrepreneurs all have a story.  I’d love to hear your story!

My Mala Beads Broke

I’m sad to report a thread on my crystal mala beads came loose over the weekend.  The beads are no longer wearable.  I wonder…did I jinx myself by writing my previous posting?

On the flip side, I emailed The Y Catalog (www.theYcatalog.com) to find out what type of return policy they have or if there is a way to repair them.  I received a reply within 24 hours. Like most retailers, they offer a 30-day return/exchange/refund.  I have had my beads slightly more than 30 days so I was pleasantly surprised that they have offered to exchange them.  I am more than happy with the way they handled my request.

If you haven’t ordered from The Y Catalog, check out their site.  They have a great selection of quality yoga items.  Best of all, 10% of everything you spend goes to supporting charitable causes.

Yoga Jewelry vs. Mala Beads

I practice yoga a lot.  I have a lot of “yoga” type clothes.  I have a ton of yoga books, mats, related music, etc.  One thing I’m “anti” is yoga jewelry.  Don’t get me wrong; there are some nice/cute/sexy pieces out there.  For instance, check out www.SatyaJewelry.com or www.theYcatalog.com.  And I love jewelry, but yoga jewelry?

My personal opinion is the yoga accessory category has gone overboard.  I don’t need to wear yoga jewelry to verify my commitment to yoga.  I don’t need to tattoo an OM symbol on my neck to prove to others I’m a yogi.

I know accessories are an expression of who we are but at some point, enough is enough.  True expression comes from the heart –thoughts, words and actions.  Yoga is a way of life.  People can see it from my face, posture and shine.  I don’t need material items to express yoga; it naturally expresses itself through me, out of me.

On the flip side, to keep me focused in my meditation practice I did purchase some jade mala beads last year from The Y Catalog.  I originally just used them for my meditation practice but then I started to wear them.  They felt good to wear.  Next thing I knew, I was receiving compliments on them…multiple compliments.

What happened next?  I ordered the faceted crystal mala beads, and I love them.  I rotate between the crystal and jade beads for meditation and wear them regularly as well.  Funny thing, I continue to receive compliments.  Needless to say, I have mixed feelings now on what I term yoga jewelry.

P.S.  If you’re not sure what mala beads are, check out this link: www.yogajournal.com/practice/2579

yogitoes mat towel v. Prana chamois

My previous blog post generated a few questions regarding which yoga mat towel to use.  Below I’ve listed my personal pros & cons of the Prana yoga chamois vs. the yogitoes towel.  As with everything in life, “to each his own”. 

Prana – skidless cloth  Pros:  o       Extends slightly beyond the mat.o       Simple —only one color so no decisions to be made.o       Long life – I’ve had mine for over two years and wash it after each practice.  It’s still holding strong.o       Absorbs the sweat and dries quickly. o       Very compact – great for traveling.        Cons:  o       Only one color

Yogitoes –skidless mat towel  Pros:  o       Cool colors —most colors are trimmed with orange.  o       A portion of the retail price goes to YOGITOES FUND to provide programs to bring love & awareness to children.o       Absorbs sweat.        Cons: o       Shrinks after several washes.

Why Do People Cover Their Yoga Mats with Fancy Towels?

When you start to generate body heat through movement and breathing (then add a heated yoga studio into the mix), the hands & feet become sweaty.  For some, the hands and feet can become extremely slippery.  Instead of feeling in control of your yoga poses, you’ll start to feel like you’re on a “slip-n-slide”.  Yoga mat towels prevent you from slipping once you start sweating as they absorb the sweat.

Another great reason to use them, regardless of whether you sweat or not during your yoga practice, is a mat towel puts a hygienic layer between you and your mat.  Of course, it’s recommended that you wipe down your yoga mat after each use even if you cover it.

Finally, a mat towel extends the life of your yoga mat and keeps it looking new longer.

My favorite yoga mat towel is made by Prana; though the yogitoes towel is extremely popular.  Both fit a standard yoga mat 24’x 68’.  Both can be found online via an easy Google search. 

lululemon opens in Arlington, VA

It’s official!  The lululemon athletica Grand Opening Party in Market Common Clarendon is on Saturday, June 9th

Hope to see you there!