B A L A N C E

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Balance. We are all striving for it and trying to “figure it out”. Relationship balance, life balance, work balance….ugghhh we are confusing balancing with trying to live PERFECTLY (Hint: That doesn’t exist).

In the obsession to find the “balance” we often dabble in extremes. “I won’t do this” and “I won’t do that” or “I will only do this” or “I will only do that”.

We often try to limit and restrict ourselves (insert your restrictive policy here… yup we know you likely have one)

Balance is different for all of us.

But here is our idea for balance this week. Make it this week’s theme to live in balance. (And change the game of balance to fit what you want it to be).

Here’s our balance for the week:

1. Start your day with a coffee (don’t drink 3-5 during the day but savour one great coffee.
2. Don’t reach for technology until you have moved your body – whether its a walk or a few yoga stretches in bed.
3. Put your phone and computer away at the end of the work day and go outside and live life. (We have lots of ideas: yoga class, beach, hiking, bowling, game night, do crafts … shall we go on?)
4. Eat salad and greens and green juice but also include some chocolate and some richer foods. It’s okay to enjoy a delicious slice of Pizza. Actually, it’s balance.
5. Sometimes do hot yoga, other times take a yin class – sometimes skip yoga and stay in pyjamas watching Bachelor in Paradise (or whatever its called). p.s. I think its on tonight. wink emoticon
6. Somedays wear your Lululemon’s, Teekis or other yoga pants and other days just get decked to the nines.
7. Some days meditate with your Mala Beads and other days just erase the word meditation from your vocabulary. It’s ok. You have permission.

Life is messy, beautiful, inconsistent, chaotic, peaceful, busy, slow, crazy, quiet and it’s all ok. It’s all good. It’s just a lot more fun when there is an element of balance.

Join us for a week of balance? 

Balancing Act: 5 Ways to Balance Mind + Body + Spirit

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 1.51.40 PMLife is all about finding balance. Striving to create harmony within ourselves and within our lives. If we do too much in one aspect of our life than the others suffer and the same goes if we don’t do enough, then we become stagnant and stop growing. Listening to our instincts and our bodies when it signals overflow can be difficult when we all have so much to do but it is crucial for proper balance and ideal health. The yin and yang. The male and female. The giving and receiving. Finding the courage to expand and move forward but the wisdom to know when to rest and have reverence.

Here are 5 yoga and spiritual practices that can help you find “The Balance” in your life.

1. Yoga. Yoga is amazing at balancing the body and mind. There are certain poses that you can do that specifically focus on the physical aspect of finding balance. Vrksasana or Tree Pose. Mastering how to balance physically translates spiritually. The attention it takes to find balance in difficult poses, helps you to clear your mind. If you find tree pose easy then try Natarajasana (Dancer’s Pose). Remember that balance doesn’t always mean stillness, it is more about being adaptable and giving more or less depending on the situation, it is constantly changing.

* Vrksanana – Plant your left foot into the ground, foot pointing straight ahead and pressing all four corners of the foot into the mat. Bring your right foot high into your inner left thigh and resist your foot with your inner thigh by firming your standing leg. Rotate your knee to the side by drawing your tailbone down. Bring your hands to prayer at your heart or reach your arms up to the sky. Find something to focus on that is straight ahead. This is called yoyr drishti. For more advanced, try looking up towards the sky. Repeat other leg.

* Natarajasana – Start with your left leg strong and firm just as you did in tree pose then with your right hand, grab the inside of your right ankle. Avoid dropping the chest and instead resist your leg with your arm and reach your leg and chest high up towards the sky. Try to keep your shoulders and hips squared to the front of the room and bring your left arm forward into whatever mudra is comfortable for you. Find your drishti and balance as long as you can. Try the other leg.

2. Pranayama or Breathing techniques. Prana meaning life force or vital energy. Nadi Shodhan or alternate nostril breathing is a perfect technique, as it is known to clear out blocked energy channels in the body, creating calm and balance.

* Nadi Shodhan– Sit on the floor, cross-legged. Leave your left hand on your leg palm up or down and bring your right hand up to your face. Closing your first two fingers, this is called Mrigi Mudra. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring and pinky fingers. Open and exhale slowly through the right nostril and repeat. Continue to do this a couple of times then go back to your natural breathing.

3. Figure eights. Close your eyes and make slow figure eights with your eye balls. The great thing about this is that it doesn’t take much to do and you can do it almost anywhere, although you might look a little crazy. Drawing the infinite figure eight with your eyes is a way to balance the male and female within yourself.

4. Balance your bodies ph levels with diet. What you eat effects your bodies chemistry. If you are too acidic you will feel off and vice versa, but most Americans diet make them more acidic then too alkaline. Eat whole organic foods, free of processing, microwaves, additives, and excess sugar and alcohol. You can buy a saliva test kit online to check your ph levels at home. Notice how you feel after you eat certain foods. If you swing too far into a diet regimen then you could be missing out on some fun but too much fun becomes a breeding ground for disease.

5. Sleep & Exercise. Try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Irregular routines can cause stress hormones in the body that can cause serious health issues. This complex reaction or “fight or flight reaction” is a natural alarm system that should not be constantly under attack. Proper sleep can prevent you from feeling “off” and creating a spiral of eating bad and feeling unbalanced. Exercise is just as important. Breaking a sweat and getting your heart rate going everyday is ideal. It is important to know the difference between being exhausted and being lazy. Some people need to learn to rest and not over do it, while others need a little more motivation.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 1.52.28 PMJesse Golden is a model, yoga teacher, mother and woman living with an auto-immune disease.  Every challenge she’s  had throughout life she’s chosen to take an optimistic approach and accept the Universe’s opportunity for her to create more light.  She wants to help others by sharing all the different tools that she’s learned that have kept her going through life’s challenges. 

Website: www.thegoldensecrets.org 

Instagram: @jessegolden

How to Add a Little More Magic to Your Yoga Wardrobe

RNl66iZ5DDEI_Nt6t_DEEFYtNzQZpo81nmQEzNkdWEEIf you’re anything like me, you need to shake it up every once in a while. This is true for nearly everything in my life, from what I eat, to what I do for my exercise routine. The desire for a little something special infiltrates every aspect of my being. Naturally, you can be sure that this impacts my my life as a Boho Maiden! I spend a good bit of time making sure that I add a little bit of magic to everything I do. After all, isn’t that we are all put on this planet to do?

I believe that the boho magic should transcend all areas of our lives, including our wardrobe. It can be difficult to add a little glamor to the way we dress, especially when we’re on our way to get our sweat on. When I go to yoga, I love to add a little touch of something special to my wardrobe because, to be honest, it gives me a little boost in my practice. When you feel good about how you look, that feeling has a beautiful influence on your life. It’s only fitting that it should work your way into your yoga flow.

As with all things bohemian, you don’t need to break your budget to add that little “something-something” to your yoga wardrobe repertoire. Here are a few hints on how to add that touch of magic to your yoga class style:

1. Grab some pieces that you can mix and match. There are a lot of great companies who create wonders, including reversible shorts and tops (you basically get two looks in one). Do a little bit of research and pick up about five or six items that you can shake up. That way, you’ll never be wearing the same thing twice!

tiny-devotions-mala-beads-balance-stack-aventurine-rosewood-sandalwood_large-12. Add a little sparkle! Luckily, Tiny Devotions has everything you need to make your boho beauty shine. A piece of jewelry that inspires your practice is the perfect addition to your yogic journey. A beautiful mala can also be useful during meditations, working to keep you grounded on and off of the mat. Wear a stack to help you keep balanced in focus during your yoga flow. Take a look at the gorgeous pieces on our web site and have fun letting your heart decide!

3. Remember; comfort is key. When you’re heading off to a yoga class, it’s not as important to look your best as much as it is important for you to be comfortable in what you’re wearing. Whether you prefer something more loose fitting or something that is tight, choose pieces that are going to be comfortable, that inspire you get moving, and make you feel confident in your practice.

4. Make it colourful. Black is classic, but nothing adds a spark to your yoga gear like a thousand different flavors! Check out some of the colors for each season and decide on which ones would make you look most ravishing. Nothing makes you have more fun with your work out than a brightly colored add on!

5. Magic doesn’t need to cost a fortune; a little research will tell you all that you need to create the perfect yoga wardrobe without spending too much money. And of course, never forget about sale season! A lot of great shops drop their prices in the middle of the summer, so bide your time, and you may come across a fortune in cropped pants and OM-tastic tank tops.

When heading into your practice, you never need to leave your confidence out of the studio. You’d be surprised what a little boost in your wardrobe can do to enhance your practice. Enjoy the flow and let your true colors shine. Be bold, be beautiful, be you!

Namaste!

Lauren is a guest writer for the Huffington Post and Social Media Coordinator in Toronto.

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Twitter:@LaurenMesservey
Web: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/lauren-messervey/

It’s your true nature. You are love.

The Kris Carr I am Love Mala.

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Daily Intentions with Lacey Calvert

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We caught up with inspiring world yoga teacher and Oakley brand ambassador, Lacey Calvert, to chat intention setting. Here’s what this California girl had to say about her favourite ways to set intentions.

The Morning is the Best Time to Set Your Intention

Waking up each morning, our minds are clear, natural and organic. We haven’t yet been bombarded with news or to-do lists, and this is the most influential time to set our daily intention. About 8 months ago, I noticed myself waking up and immediately checking my email, instagram and anything else I could find on my phone. I realized my brain was getting inadequately stimulated early in the morning, and I wasn’t giving myself time to reflect, set goals, and ultimately setting my intention for each beautiful day I was given.

Each morning that I get the chance to open my eyes and breathe in the sweet air, I know that this is the day that will completely change the rest of my life. I ask myself, what is one thing today that I want to accomplish? How I can influence others to live their most extraordinary life? And, how can show my community how much I care and appreciate them? Finding the answers to these questions everyday allows us to have a clear and intentional outlook on our thoughts and processes throughout our days. We are setting goals and giving ourselves a purpose during our days. We are allowing clarity to start our day, and giving each moment the ability to shine.

I challenge you to set daily intentions. Do your mind a favor and take a few moments each morning. Open your eyes with a purpose, and set your daily intention as your body starts a new day. Dream up the adventures, the freedom, the friendships and the new beginnings that each day can bring us. You have complete control of the days that you live, and you can live a life that you love.

laceycalvertLacey Calvert

www.laceycalvert.com

Lacey Calvert travels the world teaching yoga to athletes, while enjoying each day she is given. Having being diagnosed with a heart condition at age 17, Lacey found yoga as a beautiful balance between energy and ease. Her passion and enthusiasm shows in her classes, as she challenges your flow with lightheartedness and a smile. Join her yoga journey on instagram @laceycalvert.

Bringing the Community Together with Yoga

Meet Ayami Hiroshige,

A little background about me… I was a competitive gymnast until the age of 15. I took dance in college, and I have always been fairly physically active . However, slightly overweight in 2012, I finally decided to change my life around with fitness and diet. I started being more active with the fitness community on Instagram and found some yoga accounts early 2013 – @laurasykora and @masumi_g – Masumi helped me with my first yoga pose… grasshopper – I was hooked

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I participated in the #balanceARMy challenge on Instagram in February, took my first yoga class in March 2013 at my local Lululemon store and started my home practice. I fell in love.

@yogabeyond hosted “Fam Jam” out in NYC in the summer of 2013… and we joked about trying to get LA/west coast yogis together – LA Yoga Addicts (LAYA) was born. Since August 2013 we have hosted multiple events and workshops and are always trying to grow the yoga community in southern California and connecting people around the world.

Our vision with LAYA is to make yoga accessible to EVERYONE – bringing arco, aerial, lyra, hooping, slackline, etc to the community. We host and co-host workshops and events in and around the LA area. I would love to introduce people to what I have completely fallen in love with.

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My initial thoughts about yoga were that it was more yin – holding stagnant poses for endless amounts of time, and that didn’t attract me at all. When I discovered yoga involved arm balances, inversions and actually required some athletic grace and some flexibility, a whole new world opened up for me. Most people are curious about arm balances – it’s like we’ve all been so busy being “adults” we have forgotten to play… and yoga helps remind us not to take things so seriously. Being on my mat, getting inverted and pushing my limits brings me back to the present, helps me connect me to what is important and allows me to finally feel free. It is a dream to be able to help others discover this too.