Friday, August 29, 2014

Yogi Surprise Launched (and You Can Win a Retreat to Costa Rica!)

Photos via Yogi Surprise.

A little while ago I posted about Yogi Surprise, my favorite new resource for yoga goodies. The company has now officially launched! I can’t wait to try out their monthly care package designed for yogis - like a retreat in box. 

Yogi Surprise is offering 20% off for the first 500 members. Go here:
http://www.yogisurprise.com and use the code “VIBRANT.” 


It’s rare you find a company whose values are based around health, connection, and joy… and it’s even more rare you find one that is giving away YOGA RETREAT GIVEAWAYS! The first one is for Costa Rica… and I hope you all go sign up :)


 

PS Yogi Surprise also has an awesome blog with inspiration for living life to the fullest.

Sacramento Free Day of Yoga


Calling all Sactown yogis!

If you are around for Labor Day, I invite you to check out the day of free yoga going on in Sacramento on Monday, September 1st.

A lot of studios are offering free classes -- you can find them here. There's a little bit of something for everyone: vinyasa, yin, kundalini, even a workshop on Ayurveda and yogic eating!

Wherever you practice, I hope you enjoy trying something new :)

PS If you are a local who attends and you feel inspired to share about your experience, please email me at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com. I'd love to feature you on the blog!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Keep Showing Up


Sometimes the best thing you can do is just show up.

If you are tired, show up. If you feel lonely or lost, show up. Even when your mind is telling you 'I can't' ...this is when you keep going, keep showing up.

You may surprise yourself.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

All-Natural Shea Body Oil


What kind moisturizer do you use? Personally, I’m a fan of all-natural oils, and have started using them more often than lotion. They’re great after a hot shower, especially after shaving, and they are great for keeping fully-healed tattoos looking beautiful!

Recently Deborah, one of my lovely sponsored yogis, was able to try Out of Africa’s Shea Butter BodyOil. She was impressed! Here were her reflections on trying it…

Pretty much the only item in my medicine cabinet is coconut oil.  I don’t even use shampoo.  But I am game to try anything scented with grapefruit: it’s a natural anti-depressant—gotta love those citrus oils!)  The ingredients of Out of Africa’s Shea Body Oil are simple and pure - shea butter, vitamin E, and oils of avocado, almond and calendula.

 

 Now I have 2 beauty products!  I use the shea butter oil on my body—perfect after a day in the sun.  It feels cooling in the summer heat.  It works as a face oil too.  

It comes in a variety of scents: lavender, vanilla, pomegranate, lemon verbena and unscented.  I suggest going with your intuition when choosing a flavor.  That was my approach which worked beautifully.

Yum!  Enjoy!

Do you have any go-to beauty products you use? I’d love to hear!


PS Speaking of good smells…here are some of my favorite yoga mat cleaner sprays.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Book Review of "From the Gita to the Grail" by Sponsored Yogi Sam


Today I bring you a lovely book review from sponsored yogi Sam… this one’s a great read for anyone looking to dive deep into the spiritual history of yoga, and the limbs that exist beyond asana.

Hope your weekend is relaxing, and maybe even filled with some new learning about yoga! Much love, friends.
 
A Book Review of From the Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories and Western Myths
by Samantha

Bernie Clark’s Fromthe Gita to the Grail: Exploring Yoga Stories and Western Myths serves as a great comparison of mythologies of the East and West.

Don’t be deterred by the length of the book! Bernie’s writing is educational, yet accessible, taking the reader on a journey to consider and question different worldviews.

On his approach, Bernie explains:  

“It is not my intent to take away anyone’s cherished beliefs but rather to open a door that may help them go deeper in whatever direction their beliefs point them.  The start is knowing that there is more to mythic or spiritual stories, and that we can shine a light on what is hidden.”


I found it both interesting and insightful to have such varied stories throughout the book.

In particular, I found the “Psychological Function” section of the book to be timely on a personal level, as I am constantly seeking to find balance within my own life. Many of you may also relate to this idea:

“We are directed to achieve great things and seek personal success, while simultaneously told to pare down our individual desires so we can play a proper part within society. This is not an easy adjustment, for society demands part people, people who are carved up to fit special niches, but our psyche strives to make us whole. Every person, either consciously or unconsciously, must work out the balance between these two imperatives: dharma and duty versus kama and pleasure. If we cannot accommodate these energies, the imbalance manifests as sickness at some level, be it physical, mental or emotional.”


I would definitely recommend others read this book, learn about East and West mythologies, and consider our own direction and beliefs. On that note, I leave you with a passage on the seventh chakra – Sahasrara, or the thousand-petal lotus – to excite and invigorate my fellow yogis:

“We have gone beyond: gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi svaha—beyond, beyond, far beyond. We are at the peak of the holy mountain, beyond the top of the physical body, at the summit of ths sushumna, located a couple of inches above the crown of the head. Here Shakti is now united with her beloved Shiva; all becomes one, and both subjects and objects are transcended. “Shivoham!” shouts the yogi. “I am Shiva!” The body can drop off now, or you can choose to remain in the body and descend back to let your consciousness reside in the heart chakra; that is the choice made by the bodhisattvas.

“Here the first chakra is complemented and completed; the physical and the spiritual merge, and all of life is an expression, all of existence is an expression, all of the one true reality. The journey is complete, and the practices proven productive.”

What is Yoga?

Photo by Cait Loper Photography.

Yoga is a practice of presence – of tuning in to the divine wisdom of your body.

When you stop to listen, you realize there is so much going on in every pose, even the easy ones.


Yoga is a practice of self-awareness, like a poem or a prayer moving through your body. Each breath allows you to ride this wave of consciousness, drawing you ever inward.

It is as the beautiful soul B.K.S. Iyengar said: 

“It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.” 
Photo by Cait Loper Photography.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Could Use a Hug


This last week or so I’ve been feeling frazzled.

It all adds up: busy days at work… low energy… a general feeling of frustration, and a lack of patience…

I’m having trouble letting go of what I perceive as negative. And a little bit of a struggle staying present to the moment, instead of worrying about the past or the future.

Any advice? What helps bring you out of a funk?

PS I have a feeling that journaling, gettingto my mat, and getting a hug will help. 

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