“I choose to say yes”- Gypset Goddess

We connected with the buddhaful Gypset Goddess to show our community why this yogi is so amazing + inspiring!

What brought you to your mat for the first time?

Simple, I said YES. A friend invited me to a yoga class, and I said yes. Life is all about choices. I choose to say yes to new experiences as often as I can. A chance to try something new? Yes. An opportunity to make a new friend? Yes. A chance to go to someplace that I’ve never been before? Yes. It’s so easy to say “no”, but it’s so rewarding to say “yes”.

What is your favorite mala, and why?

My favorite mala is the Babe Mala. I connected with the intention behind it, and the combination of colors and materials, immediately. One of my mantras is: “Believing in possibility makes everything possible. I believe that everything is possible.” Sometimes my insecurities speak louder than my heart, and I am susceptible to fear and self-doubt. The Babe Mala reminds me to listen to my heart, and have the confidence and knowledge that I can manifest my goals and dreams to become my reality.

Who and what inspires you?

I am inspired by courage. This can manifest in many different forms. Trying new things, going new places, meeting new people, conquering fears, rising above adversity. It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone, but a full life waits on the other side. People who have the courage to try, to risk failure, to fail, and to try again, are the people who change the world. Changing the world can happen on a very small or very grand scale, but if no one ever had the courage to try, nothing would ever happen.

How do you set intentions in your life?

This makes me think of a sang that always makes me smile: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I don’t eat elephants, but I always think of this sang when I think of intentions. I set them one hour at a time, day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, etc.

What advice do you have for all the boho yogis out there?

My advice is this: If you believe that anything is possible, then it is.  Follow your heart, and you’ll see some amazing places.

Links to my social media sites:

www.instagram.com/GypsetGoddess
www.facebook.com/GypsetGoddess
www.GypsetGoddess.com
www.GypsetGoddess.wordpress.com
www.twitter.com/GypsetGoddess

David Good’s Wanderlust Assignment

My assignment was simple, give away two Dharma Malas to a couple of awesome yogis who stuck out from the pack while I was at Wanderlust Festival Tremblant in Quebec. This was Wanderlust’s first festival in eastern Canada and it was super special because it was bilingual.

Saturday morning came and I attended YasminYoga’s 8am class. As I twisted in a pose I caught the eye of a smiling yogi, I had this feeling I had met before. At the end of class she walked up to me and filled me in. A year and a half ago I was visiting Old Montreal and took a community yoga class taught by new teachers at Centre Luna. I was shocked how this so called new teacher was so polished and created a super fun class. Tara Lazanis comes from an Ashtanga and Restorative YTT but specializes in Yoga for Round Bodies.
Her inclusive nature makes everyone want to unroll a mat and see what happens. I knew this meeting was not chance but fate. She was the first recipient. She is the real deal when I think of a yoga teacher. During my Saturday 4pm class I caught the eye of another yogi in the front row. She stuck out because she was taking notes throughout the class and devouring the practice. I got the feeling she knew how much this practice meant to her…there was a story there. After class I chatted with her and I was introduced to Kate Durie. She was recovering from an accident that left her with brain damage, headaches, depression, chronic pain and memory loss.

She told me, Yoga is a way of transforming how we think, move, and react. Yoga taught her new insights, lessons and skills that began to show up in her life too. Shifts began-physically, emotionally, cognitively. Yoga was healing her.

So I had my two Dharma Mala recipients and decided to give them the malas after my Sunday 8am class (coincidently they were both registered for).

The Dharma Mala celebrate life’s journey; finding foundation, getting centered and expanding forward. I knew these two inspirational yogis were the real deal.

Thanks Tiny Devotions for letting me represent as your BOHO brother at Wanderlust Festival. Sharing the mala love.

xoDavid Good

 

Katie Durie’s Story. http://www.herdmag.ca/issue-04/

Tara’s Bio. http://www.lotuspalm.com/news/eve_teacher_May_eng

Let’s Get Downward & Talk Yoga!

What Brought Me to the Yoga Mat?

As I sat down to write this post, I has so many thoughts going through my head as to “What Brought Me To The Yoga Mat?” It is a pretty broad question that is almost as hard to answer as the other yoga questions: “Why Do You Practice Yoga?” Yoga is one of those things that came into my life at a time when I desperately needed some guidance, strength, and help. I started practicing for the obvious reasons: health, strength, flexibility, and to help me perform better as an athlete. But, the “real” and deeper reason I came to the mat was for some serious “soul searching”.

The first time I stepped onto a yoga mat was 7 years ago, when I used to live in Denver, CO. A friend recommended that I visit Om Time Yoga, which is run by the fabulous and beautiful Shannon Paige. At this point in my life, I was in a very unhealthy relationship and was too afraid to share these feelings with friends and family. I felt alone, confused, and needed a place that would offer comfort, support, and guidance. I remember walking into the studio not knowing a single soul and having no idea what I was doing or getting into. But as soon as I stepped onto the mat, I knew that I had arrived and this is where I needed to be. It was the perfect match. I felt strong, safe, and grounded. 

I started practicing 3 times a week. I signed up for the intense teacher training. I was becoming stronger physically and emotionally. I was facing my fears. I was learning about ME. I was being challenged on the mat, but also by the words of the teacher. I was growing in ways I never thought possible. There were good days on the mat and there were also a lot of bad days.  Yes there were multiple times and still times when I will cry during savasanah. The mat had become a safe place for me. A place for me to discover ME!

Before the finish of my teacher training, I walked away from that horrible relationship and started a FRESH start. I was able to step off the mat and show my strength outside of yoga. I started my own personal training business, a blog, and I am continually working on building my brand not only now in Houston, TX, but also around the world.

As I look back, it is pretty amazing to see how far I have come as a person since stepping onto that yoga mat. It makes me smile, because I made that choice. It was hard, scary, and frustrating, but it was worth every single tear, doubt, and mental chatter that told me to give up. So now that I have answered this question, “What Brought YOU To The Yoga Mat?” 

Thank you Tiny Devotions for allowing me to share my story! If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at: sherocksfitness@gmail.com. You can also follow me on:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

Finding My Highest Potential in the City that Knows How

Gillian Mandich just got back from a rad yoga training adventure in San Fran. She is someone who lights up every room she goes into and we just had to have her share her experience with us!

Who am I?

I am a yogini that lives a bit (or perhaps a lot) out of the boxana. I fearlessly follow my heart and my passion – I’m a PhD student in Health & Rehabilitation Science (I research childhood obesity and physical activity), a holistic nutritionista, writer, co-host of the Holistic Health Diary Podcast, and a yoga and Yoga Tune Up® instructor.

 

How did you find Yoga Tune Up?

As someone who has a very scientific and anatomical mind, I have naturally gravitated to Yoga Tune Up because it brings practical yoga philosophy into the nuts and bolts of healthy movement. I am a very creative person, and the unique combination of yoga, corrective exercise and self-massage that Jill Miller, the creator of Yoga Tune Up has developed really resonated with me. Musculoskeletal diseases are the fastest growing diseases on the planet, and I believe that as a Yoga Tune Up teacher, I can do my part to empower, to teach, and to help my students live better in their bodies.

 

What did you learn on this trip?

I dug deep to find the courage to fly across the continent to take Yoga Tune Up training by myself (I live in Ontario, Canada). The training was hard and intense, but to me it was all about learning and possibilities. My goal was to embrace and engage in my training  – to study Yoga Tune Up so I could bring my new knowledge and skills back to my community.

 

What is your fave Mala?

White Jade!!! This mala has had such a profound impact on my life. I vividly remember the day I bought it – I was naturally drawn to its energy. I remember seeing and immediately purchasing it – at the crux of a time in my life that I was seriously re-evaluating my goals, my passion, and my true dharma. I used to be very detached from my body and my heart, and as such did not listen to my inner ing. White Jade came to me at the very time I made a conscious decision and shift in my life. Jill Miller taught me that awareness is a superskill, and I wear my white jade to help me focus my awareness and concentration on what really matters in my heart. Meditating with my highest potential mala serves as a daily reminder to be fully present and listen – to come back to my body, be a student of my body, be a student of what I teach, and to study my students.

 

Any encouraging words for the community?

During my training I was taught that every pose in Yoga Tune Up is an assessment pose, and I think the same is true of life. Every day, every moment, every opportunity is a chance to assess – to reflect, to pause, and to find gratitude. Be a student of your body – tune in (and tune it up), listen, and honour it because it truly is your best teacher.

 

Website: http://theholistichealthdiary.blogspot.ca

Twitter: @gillianmandich

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gillian.mandich

Instagram: gillianmandich

Brittany Rae Yoga

Who is Brittany Rae? She is a Yoga + Wellness Teacher dedicated to service and helping people live a SOULful lifestyle. We love her outlook on life and all of the tools she brings to our community. 

 

What do you do to inspire your community?

My purpose and passion is being able to bring different communities together to empower and inspire each other for a greater cause.  I jump at every opportunity I have to bring communities together.  It is so important to bridge the gap, work together and inspire each other.

 

I have virtual be SOULful Community filled with inspiring women who have either participated in one of my 5 Day be SOULful Community Detox’s or 21 Day be SOULful Wellness Program (both virtual programs).  I love seeing these women go through this life changing experience of finding themselves through eating well, yoga and goal setting.

 

In the past I have worked with lululemon Sagemore and Off The Mat Philly, as well as many local yoga studios in South Jersey to do a month long food drive.  Together we collected over 800 pounds of food to support the Food Bank of South Jersey.  I was blown away by the community’s willingness to work together and help this growing cause.

 

I was als

o invited to raise $5,000 to travel and help build a school in a small village in Nicaragua with Beyond Asana and buildOn.  I will be able to travel with them this February, when I meet my fundraising goal!

 

What brought you to the mat for the first time?

My mom started practicing yoga for her lower back pain and encouraged me to start practicing after having had shoulder surgery and nonstop neck pain.  I feel in love at first-down-dog ‘so to speak’!  Not only does yoga help my neck and shoulder pain, it has brought me confidence and inspiration.  I am so thankful.

Who and what inspires you?

Community! Everyday I am amazed at how awesome my community is.  From the people who come to my yoga classes, to my peers and mentors, to the strangers I see running on the street every day.  They inspire me with their willingness, kindness and dedication.

 

How do you set intentions in your life?

I’m a dreamer at heart.  If I don’t set an action plan, my dreams would just stay dreams.  Making lists really helps me to get clear about what I need to do in order to achieve my goals.  I also love making vision boards and being able to see my intentions every day.

 

What advice do you have for all the boho yogis out there?

To always follow your passions and dreams.  It’s so worth it!  Find a supportive and encouraging community and dive right in.

 

What is your favorite mala and why?

The Wave Mala connects with me because I grew up spending every weekend on the ocean.  To this day I try to make it there every weekend in the summer.  There is something so pure and honest about the ocean.  It never holds back.

 

Stay connect to Brittany through her Social Media outlets:
Twitter and Instagram: @YogiBrittany

Our Favourites | Sseko Designs

We love sharing other products, people and companies we love – especially ones that are moving mountains in Uganda.

Sseko Designs uses fashion to provide employment and scholarship opportunities to women pursuing their dreams and overcoming poverty.

Female students in Uganda, due to a lack of economic opportunity, are not able to continue on to university and pursue leadership positions in society.

Sseko Designs provides employment during the 9 month gap between high school and university where high potential young women are able to earn and save enough money to pay for college tuition. 50% of their salary each month goes into a savings account that is not accessible until tuition is due. This ensures that their income goes towards education. This also protects the women in our program from the social pressure they often feel from their families to give away the money the are earning which can perpetuate the cycle of poverty. At the end of each term, Sseko Designs grants university scholarships that match up to 100% of the savings each woman has made during her 9 month session with Sseko.”

Need we say much else.

Richelle got a chance to hear the founder speak at the What If Conference in Portland, OR. Totally moved by the intention behind this company, Richelle came back with a fire to tell everyone about the fearless efforts behind Sseko.

(It also helps that the sandals are super duper cute.)

Bohemian Thoughts.

I’m a girl from a good home who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a Bohemian. ~ Brigitte Bardot

We shared this epic quote a few days ago on our blog.

It completely embodies what bohemian a.k.a. boho means to me and the BD team. I very much relate to Brigitte because I too grew up in a very successful family –  Although there is a lot of positive that comes from this sort of upbringing such as amazing opportunities, great education and endless possibilities – it also often limits our inner voice and intuition often there are extreme pressures to “accomplish” and “keep up”. Average is simply not okay.

The beautiful circumstances of life however found me living the dream in Australia in a hipster and bohemian community of musicians, artists and Hare Krishnas. It was absolute heaven for me. {a pinch me I’m dreaming phase of my life – a.k.a. heaven on earth}

For the first time in my life I was free to become whoever I wanted to be – no one from my past making judgments or conclusions of how I should live and what I should do with my time.

My friends and I would walk around barefoot, go to live music shows several times a week, have seemingly never ending barbacues on the beach and have long deep and meaningful conversations about life under the stars. We would wear bandana’s around our heads, would shop only at eclectic vintage shops and would carry around crystals in our pockets. {we were total hippies}.

My bohemian years continued not only when I lived in Australia but when I spent quite a bit of time travelling this amazing world and experience different cultures and connecting with other “boho travellers” around the globe.

But we have to grow up right?

_______________________

A friend of mine wrote this a while ago:

growing up–having to reconcile the utopian fantasies and bohemian ideals of your youth with the banalities of middle class life

I completely disagree! I now split my time between the ocean as well as…. (gasp) the suburbs. What I’ve learnt is that you can bring that bohemian energy and freedom anywhere with you – even the burbs!

I urge you to walk barefoot in the grass (even if you’re in a backyard in the burbs), plant your own veggie garden, bottle up salt water from the ocean and spray it in your hair, travel often, wear long flowy dresses and braids in your hair.

Take spontaneous road trips, wear (and use your mala beads) and always tap into the feeling of freedom wherever life has taken you.

Have a buddhaful weekend – go be boho wherever you are!

Diana

(And the BD team) xx

 

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