Calling All Yogi Cyclists


Hi yogis! I hope your week is off to an awesome start.

So, I'm curious: do you ever bike to yoga class? Do you like to take cycling adventures on the weekend, so you can practice yoga in the park or take your mat with you on a hike?

Practicing outdoors is an amazing way to change up your practice, and connect inward without any distractions.


When Sponsored Yogini Kels and I heard about the new incredible invention called MyMogi, I was stoked. 'How has someone not created this yet?!' I thought, reflecting back on my days living in Chicago when I biked everywhere.

A perfect yoga mat carrying bag that connects effortlessly to your bike rack?!

YES. Yes. (Duh!)

I was excited for Kelsie to have the chance to try out the Mogi bag, and she absolutely loves it.


If you're a cyclist who loves yoga, or a yogi who wants to get more into cycling, this Mogi bag is definitely for you. I can think of several friends and fellow teachers who would adore this bag as much as any other yoga prop, so I'm setting my intention to share as many of these as I can!

Mogi is currently on Kickstarter and I encourage you to check out the brand and support a fellow entrepreneur who is out changing the world for the better.

A big heartfelt thanks from Alive in the Fire and the Sponsored Yogis team for sharing Mogi with the world, and cheers to all you cycling yogis out there who are going to love using Mogi!

Namaste.

PS Learn more about Mogi on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

Summer Sun Salutation (Yogi Surprise July Review)


Are you enjoying your summer, yogis?

I can't believe July is already halfway over! Hope you're enjoying slow, sunny days whenever you can. The summer season is one of my favorites, and I've been especially grateful for cooler weather on the coast lately.

I made a trip to visit friends and family in the Sacramento area last week and it was over 100 degrees-- too hot for me! When we returned to the green forests and cool breezes up here in Humboldt County, I felt quite relieved :)


I love that summer encourages us to celebrate. To be outdoors. To invigorate our hearts, be creative, and strengthen our determination!

I believe with all the heat and passion of summer, it's also important to find ease and balance even in this active time of year.


What are some of your favorite ways to wind down on warm summer nights?

I absolutely love my new Yogi Surprise July box, which was filled with summer essentials to help me relax and unwind.


These are my three favorite products from the box:

Shea Radiance whipped shea butter with apricot oil. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is incredible! I've been using it on my feet at bedtime and it feels so luxurious. It's also great for moisturizing my feet, especially the area around my heels which has been dry and a little cracked lately from walking around barefoot and going to the beach. I'll definitely be buying a new stash of this amazing butter after I run out.

Gypsy Soul Organics sun salutation salve. This little guy is my new favorite lip balm. It's now at home in the easiest-to-reach-pouch of my purse -- 'nuff said :)
Manduka Equa yoga hand towel. This super-soft microfiber towel absorbs sweat quickly, and is now an essential in my gym bag or whenever I take a sweaty hot yoga class. It's perfect for someone like me, because as you know, I sweat a lot! :) I'm grateful that Yogi Surprise has partnered with Manduka because I believe they're one of the best brands out there for yoga gear (you can read my review of their lightweight travel mat, or check out how much the Sponsored Yogis team loved their cushy, supportive eKo mats.)


Cheers to keeping cool, calm, and refreshed all weekend, and throughout the rest of summer, too! Namaste.

Creativity


What helps you cultivate creativity?

I believe summer is a wonderful time of year to go on adventures, try new things, and meet new friends.


Here are a few of my favorite creative outlets. I hope they help you discover new, fun, exciting ways to spend your summer!

  • Write. Even if you don't consider yourself a 'writer,' try putting a pen to paper. You never know where the ideas will lead you! Whether you're simply journaling about your experiences, making a list of things you want to accomplish, creating fictional characters and stories, or even doodling, let yourself try something new. Don't censor yourself or edit, just write! See where it leads you.
  • Cook. Look up recipes on Pinterest, buy a cookbook at your local used bookstore, or consider asking a friend or family member for a new recipe. I often find that when I give myself time to be creative in the kitchen, it yields wonderfully delicious results! It's also fun to try making a fancy breakfast or special dessert, and surprising someone you love. Cooking dinner with a glass of wine (or two) is always fun, too! :)
  • Spend time in nature. Being outdoors often feels like a 'reset' for your creativity. Try going for a hike, walking on the beach, watching the sunset, or even just taking a walk around your neighborhood. Being outside can offer the breath of fresh air you need to spark a new idea. I also love taking my yoga practice outside to mix things up!


  • Chant, sing, or play an instrument. Music is a wonderful way to be creative. Personally I love to sing to the radio in my car, pull out my djembe and chant in the living room, or look up new artists and songs on Spotify. Someday it would be fun to take up piano again (I took lessons as a little kid) or try playing the guitar. Do you play any instruments?
  • Clean and declutter your home. Does anyone else out there feel relieved and more open to creativity after catching up on dishes, laundry, and tidying the house? :) I can't tell you how many times I've prioritized cleaning and then given myself time to be creative, and what a difference that makes. If you're short on time, you can also choose to clean just one area of the house or just around your desk, and then go from there.


  • Take a single static yoga pose for 3-5 minutes. Headstand is my favorite, since it brings fresh oxygenated blood to the brain, and is a literal way to shift my perspective. Backbends are also great postures for opening your creative energy channels, or if your body is feeling fatigued, try a yin pose such as pigeon (sleeping swan) or supta baddha konasana.
  • Clear your schedule. This might be my favorite item on this list :) I find that when I create empty space in my schedule-- no plans, no to-do items, nowhere to be-- this is one of the best ways I can bring more creativity. By allowing space, I'm able to let my thoughts settle, and this often leads to new ideas. 

What are your go-to activities for cultivating creativity? I'd love to hear!

Namaste.

Photos by Jobi Otso.

What Are Your Morning Rituals?


Yogis, I'm curious: how do you usually start your day? 

Do you have any morning rituals you use to get grounded, centered and energized before heading out the door?


Here's my usual routine:

Lemon water. First thing in the morning, I like to drink hot water mixed with the juice of one lemon and a little bit of honey. This helps kickstart my digestion and balance my pH. I also take a probiotic supplement.



I make coffee using an awesome French press, feed the dog, help everyone in the house get ready for the day, and eat a light breakfast (two fried eggs, fruit, a smoothie, or oatmeal).

Often I'll fit in a gentle yoga practice for 30-60 minutes, roll on my Dharma Yoga Wheel, and do some pranayama breathing. Some days, instead of yoga, I'll work out at the gym, go for a walk, jog, or bike ride.



On the weekends, I love to make fancier breakfasts, with eggs, pancakes, and fruit. If the weather is nice, it's always lovely to eat outside in the backyard.


Some days, if I have extra time before work, I'll write a few blog posts, respond to emails, schedule social media posts, or read some of my favorite blogs.

I also like to write gratitude lists in the morning, write down my goals, or journal freely about what's going on for me.


I believe morning is a sacred time and I love my morning rituals.

I'd love to hear-- what are yours?

Don't Be Stinky After Yoga Class


Do you sweat a lot in yoga? Do you practice in a heated studio?

Well, this post is for you :) 

(And by the way, I do both of those things, too!)

Here are some ideas about how to refresh before and after a sweaty practice.


Come to class having showered and brushed your teeth. You can also do oil pulling or use a tongue scraper. 

Please refrain from eating pungent foods right before class, smoking a cigarette on the way in, or wearing unwashed clothes from the previous day's practice.

Simple saucha practices go a long way!



Use a yoga mat spray like Mat Mist. This amazing, aromatherapeutic spray comes in scents such as Sandalwood lavender geranium, Thyme Douglas fir, Lemon myrtle peppermint vetiver and Colloidal silver water.

What's especially rad about Mat Mist is that all you have to do is spray down your mat after class, roll it up, and go. The essential oils will disinfect your mat without requiring you to wipe it down, plus, next time you practice, there's a little scent there to awaken your senses and encourage deep pranayama breathing.

Sponsored yogini Kelsie recently tried the product... she took it to class and not only did she love it, but she said all the yogis around her loved it and were asking where they could find some :) She also sprays it around her house because it's that good (!!) and she loves that it is all organic and natural.


Shower right after class, and do a pre-rinse of your yoga clothes, towel, and headband before washing them in the washing machine. You can wring them out by hand and also consider having a laundry detergent with baking soda.

Once every few weeks, let your mat air out. Some mats do well in the sunshine and others don't, so be sure to check whether your mat should be left in the sun (you can usually find this info on the manufacturer's website, and I know for sure that Jade yoga mats do not like sun!).



What other things do you do to stay fresh before and after a yoga class?

Photos in this post by Tom Huynh.

Bringing saucha, one of the niyamas, into your life.

“The body is your temple.  Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” – B.K.S. Iyengar

A Book for Finding Peace and Letting Go of Disappointment


Do you find it challenging to manage your expectations? How do you react when things don't turn out the way you hoped they would?

In her book Expectation Hangover, author and life coach Christine Hassler explores these questions and other ideas related to accepting disappointment, going through life transitions, and finding emotional healing. The book is filled with useful exercises, guided meditations and personal stories.

Today on the blog sponsored yogi Yani shares her review of the book :) Enjoy!


A Review of Expectation Hangover by Yani

I'm a person that fills her time with the many things she obsesses about and is passionate about. I'm also a person that is really bad at slowing down to read, drink warm lemon water, and kind of just slowing the fuck down (though sometimes I do love to relax, be a homebody, and kick it). Another note about me, I have a hard time finishing an entire book through- unless I have absolutely nothing to do, and can get lost in a new world. I read it part by part, slowly. I tend to read when it's calling me; I don't like to force a good read. 


Expectation Hangover: Free Yourself from Your Past, Change your Present & Get What You Really Want had been sitting on my glass table, along with a few other books, waiting to find their way in my to mind. I picked it up one day and carried it around with me so that when the moment called, I would be ready. I drove up to the DMV, without an appointment, grabbed the book in my AmeriCorps bag, and got lost in a new world while I waited in line and sat awaiting my number. 

As always, I read what was destined to find its way in to my mind. I felt moments of epiphanies; I felt my worlds coming full circle. One of the greatest lessons I took away from my short escape was: holding onto expectations is setting the heart and mind up for failure. Goals and ambitions are in place to guide you, but to expect is to put all your eggs in one basket. Create, have faith, and see what finds its way to you as a reality in your world. We have full control of ourselves, but limited control of life.  

In my reading I found a humbling mindset, a mindful way of being. It allowed me to make peace, let go, and ground myself. 


I love that this is an interactive reading, encouraging you to journal and reflect. I look forward to moving onward with this journey, and what this book shall reveal to me. 

One of my favorite quotes from the book:

"We all love control because the unknown is downright scary. In fact, I think control has become the master addiction. But the truth is we really don't have complete control over our lives, and nothing illuminates that truth more brightly than an Expectation Hangover."


Thanks, Yani, for your awesome review and a big thanks to the team at New World Library for offering the opportunity to check out this book. Namaste.

PS Learn more about the author Christine Hassler and check out her interview with Huffington Post about how to overcome falling short of your expectations. Or take her quiz to find out if you have an expectation hangover.