How Do I Know My Mala Beads Are Working?


Top 5 Sacred Stones for a Mermaid

For thousands of years gemstones have been used in physical, emotional and spiritual healing. We chatted with Tamara Lee, owner of Mermaid Sun Yoga + Pilates in beautiful British Columbia about what gemstones are near and dear to her heart and why… 

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.52.52 PMAmazonite: Amazonite’s healing energy is as powerful as the river for which it is named. It is known as the stone of courage and truth. This captivating turquoise green stone soothes the spirit and calms the soul.  Amazonite promotes kindness, alleviates fear and anxiety, and provides balance and harmony. It also soothes the chakras and is particularly rejuvenating to the heart and throat chakras.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.52.18 PMSmokey Quartz: Primarily associated with the root chakra this stone is known for its protective and grounding qualities. Smokey quartz is considered a stone of serenity because of its positivity and ability to overcome negative emotions. It aids in the process of letting go and brings wisdom and luck to everyday life!

Black Onyx: Black Onyx provides a strong stable energy representing self-control, intuition, and protection. This glamorous gemstone absorbs whatever energy you need from the Universe. Black Onyx is associated with the planet Saturn, the element fire, and the Leo zodiac sign. Determination, focus, and direction are traits that can be enhanced with this precious gem.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.56.33 PM White Jade: Reach your highest potential with the purest jade stone. White Jade brings focus and concentration back to what truly matters. This stone assists in decision making by filtering distractions to achieve optimum results. White Jade guides energy to the most advantageous outlet. What a gem!

Moonstone: The moonstone is characterized by its enchanting shimmer of light.Its connection to the power of the moon surrounds it with magic and mystique. This gemstone is an amulet of protection for travelers, a gift of love, a channel for prophecy, and a path to inner wisdom. Being a perfect expression of yin energy, the soothing and mysterious energy of the moon, moonstone is the bringer of calm, peace and balance. This stone enhances intuition, promotes inspiration and benefits meditation. The peace and calm that moonstone generates has an other-worldly quality to it; it is infused with an enchanting, soft glow of optimism and creative energy.

mm2.jpgTamara Lee is a yogi, writer & fan of leggings dedicated to inspiring an active lifestyle. Her studio, Mermaid Sun Yoga and Pilates, is based off the beautiful coast of British Columbia and offers modern fitness and flexibility training with a playful lighthearted charm. 

Facebook: Mermaid Sun Yoga & Pilates 


My Top 6 Ways to Overcome Jetlag on a Yoga Adventure!

10592947394_d879c221ff_bI travel internationally about every other month teaching workshops and teacher trainings on three difference continents.  People ask me how I managed to stay balanced flying around the world the way I do and acclimating to different time zones.  Sleep has become a ritual for me, something I prepare for, meditate on, and pray for!

I need deep sleep to be able to be alert and present for my students. I needed to find a way to get good quality sleep on these trips.  Sleep deprivation can accumulate and cause a variety of problems such as increased anxiety, risk of hypertension, obesity, depression, heart attack, and just being straight up delirious!  Sleep is important and deep sleep heals!

It’s important to understand that deep sleep heals the body, the mind, and our spirit. Our daily dose of shut-eye regulates our weight, strengthens our immunity, protects our health, repairs our tissues and cells, and restores our energy. Sleep also allows us to process situations in our lives balancing our emotions, helping us to better solve our problems, and feeds our creativity.  When our mind becomes quiet in deep sleep, our energy in our heart chakra increases and we wake up feeling more inspired to move through our day.

Here are my top 6 sleep strategies:

1. Create a ritual before you go to bed to calm your energy down.  Excessive worry, activity and traveling, can all disturb the spirit and activate the mind—making it near impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep. Try rubbing an ayurvedic oil (I use sesame oil for us vatas) all over your body in a circular motions paying attention to your joints to reduce any swelling especially from flying.  Wait about twenty minutes allowing the oil to soak in and jump in the shower or a warm bath to rinse it off.  You could also try some of my favorite essential oils such as lavender or peace & calming. These oils are extremely healing for the nervous system and aid in the relaxation response that puts us in a state of healing and grounding.

2. Try warm milk before bed or any kind of valerian tea or herbal tea with relaxing herbs. Avoid alcohol before bed because it will disturb deep sleep and can create anxious dreams usually waking you up in the middle of the night creating some type of hyperactivity.

3. When traveling and adopting to time zones I will take melatonin to keep me asleep. I find it helps me get through the first couple nights of jetlag.

395474_275052729233929_1837254280_n 4. Turn the lights down and do restoratives like legs at the wall (Viparita Karani) using an eye pillow to add some weight to the eye sockets. This helps my brain relax and eyes to stay shut.

5. If you do get stimulated easily, stay off the computer and avoid TV shows that create any kind of fear or worry.  It’s best to shut all electronics off before bed and soak in this quiet time with a warm bath and light reading instead.

6. Avoid eating at least two hours before bedtime and try to make dinner your lightest meal.  Eating late will stimulate your digestive system and also can create disturbing dreams.  When traveling, this may be hard but better to sleep through the night and wake up on an empty stomach.

These suggestions don’t just apply to overcoming jet lag, but are great support for good deep sleep at home. Make sleep a priority!  Do what is necessary to take care of yourself and promote healthy sleep.  Watch how the quality of your life improves when you commit to these rituals before bed.  You will see that you will become more inspired, joyous, and actually excited for each day to begin!

Find out more about Joan below!

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Twitter: @joanhyman
Facebook: @JoanHymanYoga





A Chat with Laura from Martini Yoga

What brought you to your mat for the first time?

At the time I didn’t know it, but I think what initially brought me to my mat during my college years was the need for self-love.  As a teenager I played sports and danced ballet.  Both of these physical activities were highly competitive and certainly contributed to my lack of self-esteem (along with the acne and BAD haircut).  Now when I arrive on my yoga mat, I remind myself that yoga is not a competition and if I’m having an off day, I won’t be judged for it.  In a world where we are constantly being told we are not enough, yoga allows me to find compassion for my authentic self.  I am whole and perfect just as I am.

What inspires you?

Elephants.  I love them and the fact that they are endangered breaks my heart.  A couple years ago I had a vivid dream about elephants being poorly treated at a circus so I started teaching community classes in order to sponsor 10 elephants at a nature park in Thailand.  Every time I get upset or frustrated about something petty in my life, I think of the elephants and what I can do to help support them more.  Putting my energy into bigger issues helps me gain a greater perspective on the world.

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

Practice compassion, let go of guilt, look at the world with child-like wonder, passionately invent your perfect career, pay attention to the way your mind works through the tools of meditation and yoga, eat

lots of dark chocolate, get into nature at least once a day, and remember, the greatest practice of yoga is self-observation without judgement.

What is your favourite mala and why?

My favourite mala is the Swarovski Illumination Mala because it represents healing and self-love.  I think that only when we love ourselves fully and freely can we then begin to radiate love outwards.  The mala reminds me how deeply we are all connected as we are all on the same path of healing and harmony.  When I lead yoga retreats, I do everything in my power to ensure that everyone in the group feels as loved, accepted, and empowered as possible in the time that we are together (even if I’ve never met them before!).  I believe that when people feel loved and appreciated, they shine.

Stay connected to Martiniyoga,

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