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Friday, July 31, 2015

Get 'em moving in style! Gaiam launches kids yoga product collection

Courtesy Gaiam
Leading yoga, fitness and wellness company, Gaiam introduced its new Yoga for Kids line this week.

The pint-sized product collection includes yoga mats, socks, backpacks and water bottles and is available at Gaiam.com and select retailers.
Driving the launch is the growing trend of yoga for kids. With more schools offering the practice in the classroom, kids focused yoga organizations rising up and more kids’ yoga studios opening up, Gaiam is positioning itself to respond to such developments.
“Research shows us that yoga helps build concentration, coordination and mindfulness – great benefits for adults and kids alike,” said Susan Haney, SVP and GMM at Gaiam, in a news release.  “Yoga is a fun way for children to develop these important skills in a creative, noncompetitive environment.”
Gaiam's Yoga for Kids collection includes Yoga Mats, 2-Pack Yoga Socks/2-Pack Yoga Headbands, Water Bottles, and Stay-N-Play Balls for healthy posture and active sitting.
Gaiam's Yoga for Kids collection is available now at select Target stores, Amazon and Gaiam.com. Product SRP ranges from $9.98 to $19.98.




Thursday, July 30, 2015

Yogipreneur Giselle Shardlow! Teacher-turned-author shares her art of storytelling for kids

Author Giselle Shardlow
Four years ago, stay-at-home mom, Giselle Shardlow turned her preschooler's naptime in to a budding self publishing business. The well-traveled schoolteacher-turned yogipreneur pens yoga stories for kids, which she sells online.

With thousands already sold, her home-based operation is doubling in sales annually. Now at work on two titles for Fall, the 40-something-year-old balances her mothering and business ownership duties by maintaining a weekly yoga practice and by meditating daily. We caught up with Shardlow to get the backstory behind her success...

How did you first connect with yoga?

GS:  Growing up in Canada, my mom watched a female yoga instructor on television and I started practicing along with her, as a child. Today I practice Vinyasa style.

You later became certified to teach yoga, too?

GS:  Yes, I was an international, elementary school teacher for a decade and have traveled globally. While in Sydney, Australia, my husband and I completed a yoga teacher training together and I was flooded with...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Meditate in style. Mala jewelry for the fashion-forward set

Beach Babe bracelet. Courtesy MalaCollective.com
What do Paula Abdul, Julia Roberts, Sting and Seane Corn have in common?

Yes, they’re famous folk, but it’s the Mala Collective jewelry brand they wear that unites them.

According to the company’s website, a host of well-known yogis, musicians, actors and others of celebrity status don their special lines of prayer bead bracelets and necklaces. You need not be religious to adorn yourself either.

“Our mala beads can be worn by anyone seeking a calmer mind, body and spirit,” according to the website.
Trust Bracelet - Let go. Courtesy MalaCollective.com
Handmade in Bali, Indonesia according to fair trade standards by professional mala makers, the beautiful gemstones used in MalaCollective’s creations are thought to have healing qualities. For instance, turquoise is said to increase love, while lava is believed to provide strength.

Surfer Bracelet. Courtesy MalaCollective.com
Besides manufacturing such stylish and meditative accessories, the company is focused on philanthropic endeavors, too. For example, a portion of its profits benefits a non-profit birthing and wellness center in Bali called, Bumi Sehat, according to its website.

Beach Babe bracelet - $35.00
Surfer bracelet - $39.00
Trust bracelet - $44.00

(All available at MalaCollective.com)



Monday, July 27, 2015

Mind over matters of hate. 3 ways yoga can help stop teen bullying

Emily-Anne Rigal. Courtesy of Leah Kraus Photography
As so often occurs with kids who’ve been bullied, Emily-Anne Rigal developed such tendencies herself, after years of torment for being overweight, at the hands of her elementary school peers.

“I felt so bad about myself having been bullied, that I put others down to try to make myself feel better, but it didn’t work,” says Rigal.

Gradually, “I made great friends, who didn’t gossip and their niceness rubbed off on me. I realized that...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Yoga a therapeutic force for teens with eating disorders. 3 need-to-know truths

Dr. Melody Moore in action.
The numbers are hard to swallow. Ten million Americans are suffering from anorexia and bulimia and many more cases go undiagnosed, says Dr. Melody Moore, Ph.D., RYT, a licensed clinical psychologist, yoga instructor, and the founder of Embody Love Movement. The non-profit organization aims to empower girls and women to commit to kindness, celebrate inner beauty, and create meaningful change in the world, says Dr. Moore. 

“For a long time, it was the wealthy, white, privileged skinny girl with anorexia, but now, the profile is much more...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stylish foundations. Pair personality with new kids' yoga mats

Courtesy Gaiam
Spark your little one’s interest in yoga with just-the-right mat.

Courtesy Gaiam
Fitness product and media company, Gaiam, has introduced three appealing designs in bright colors and patterns to help young yogis get their Zen on.
Courtesy Gaiam
Makes a perfect gift for regular practitioners or newbies!

(Kids Blue Rocket, Pink Zebra and Purple Flower Yoga Mat styles are $17.98/each at gaiam.com)


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Just b-r-e-a-t-h-e. 2 yoga breaths to beat the heat

Courtesy Google Images
When it's 90 degrees in the shade, kids need to slow down and cool off, frequently. Pranyama breathing exercises can help little ones to calm their minds and bodies whenever an extra hot summer day strikes.

Here are *2 yogi breathing exercises to try when the temperatures spike...

Easy Breath

Sit in a comfortable spot. Close your eyes. Imagine your belly is the ocean and your breath, the waves. As the waves roll in, you breathe in, as the waves roll out, you breath out.

Allow your breath to be natural and easy, flowing effortlessly. Just watch it happen like the ocean at the beach. Enjoy becoming more and more relaxed and peaceful.

Sounding Breath

Sit up tall. Relax your face. Lengthen the back of your neck. Open your mouth. Breathe in and out making a 'haaah' whispering sound.

Now close your mouth and continue to breathe slowly in and out of your nose making that same 'haaah' sound.

Cover your ears, close your eyes and listen.

Sounding Breath is calming. Yogis use it to help them stay focused.

*Excerpted from Yoga Planet Card Deck: 50 Fun Activities for a Greener World, by Tara Guber and Leah Kalish (Barefoot Books).

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fitness Jam uses yoga to help fight childhood obesity

Courtesy Digital Vibez
Yoga will be center stage at the 4th annual 2015 Kids Fitness Jam-a-thon at the South Florida Fairgrounds in West Palm Beach, Florida this July 31st.

The event’s main sponsor is La Granja Restaurants and is organized by Digital Vibez, a non-profit dedicated to fighting childhood obesity and the illnesses associated with it.

Day-long activities will incorporate dance fitness, Zumba, martial arts and Yoga demonstrations. Complimentary gift bags will be given to participants.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Namaste neighbor! Whole Foods partners with private yoga company to create community

Courtesy Powerflow Yoga New Jersey
Celestial. That’s one way to describe the unique experience of ‘Yoga Under the Stars,' an annual event co-sponsored by Whole Foods and Powerflow yoga company of New Jersey. The hot, power vinyasa-style studios, with 10 state-wide locations will host the anticipated happening, now in its fourth year, this week.

Offered to yogis ages 12 and up, one of the hour-long sessions will take place in Whole Foods’ back parking lot, under the night sky, near grass and trees, says Kristen Kemp, a Powerflow Yoga Teacher and Content Creator.

“It’s nice to practice out in nature. It’s also a huge community-building event. Just doing yoga with your neighbors feels great,” says Kemp. “It’s special. The weather has to be right, we have to find the right space. It’s something we love doing to exercise, get meditative and have fun.”

‘Yoga Under the Stars’

Thursday, July 16 2015

Whole Foods Back Parking Lot

44 Godwin Ave.

Ridgewood, N.J.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, July 17 2015

Powerflow Yoga Clifton

1288 Van Houten Ave.

Clifton, N.J.

6:30 – 7:30 p.m.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Get in the yoga groove! Hot studio sounds for the teen set.

Maggie DiPasquale
Setting the right tone is key to becoming a hit teen yoga teacher – both instructionally and musically. 

“Music is so important. I only want to move to music that moves me,” says Maggie DiPasquale (maggiedipasquale.com), a New York, Tri-State area teen yoga teacher and creator of the Modern Mentor Program, which offers a range of self-help services for tweens and teens.  

In the Vinyasa flow style classes she teaches at different area studios, “I get a lot of questions about my music. I go out of the box. Music can be a catalyst to opening the door to how you’re feeling about things and getting honest with yourself,” says DiPasquale.  

Every playlist DiPasquale creates is labeled by month and season. “It’s a personality thing and such a reflection of who you are. I can go back through them and remember a challenge I was going through or who I’d met or broken up with at the time,” says DiPasquale.

For a crowd-pleasing yoga session, tune in to DiPasquale’s sure-fire teen yoga song selections below. 

Katy Perry’s When Girls are Walking In breaks the ice right away without me having to. Unconditionally, Firework and Roar are fun when teen yogis are first walking in. 

I love to meditate to The xx song by Angels. 

Ed Sheeran performs a nice, acoustic version of Fetty Wap’s Trap Queen by Fetty Wap’s song with The Roots.

Find versions of your favorite pop songs by cool, indie people like Angus and Julia Stone covering Sam Smith’s hit Stay With Me.

Skinny Love Song by Bon Iver.
Justin Bieber’s acoustic rendition of Where Are You Now is nice.

I’ll play any song by Mat Kearney. Billion is about how he’s only in love with on girl out of a billion. Ships in the Night is another good one. 

I do go pop, too, like Pharrell’s Come and Get it Bae. 

I like anything by Vance Joy. Can’t go wrong with his alternative pop track Rip Tide or new single Mess Is Mine.

You and I by Ingrid Michaelson or What A Day by Greg Laswell, her ex-husband are great during a flow.

I use Kundalini music during breathing exercises. Mantra music by artist, Snatam Kaur is great. Sa Ta Na Ma, is a Kirtan Kriya by Annki Har Dval Kaur & Klas Landahl. It sounds like a folk song.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Squeeze the day! Juice up with Jamba Juice's new flavor lineup

Courtesy Jamba Juice
Move over O.J., restaurant retailer Jamba Juice has introduced three new taste options to its wholesome beverage menu.

Renowned for its good-for-you juice concoctions, which contain whole fruits and vegetables, the nutritious additions are now available nationwide at any of the brand's company-owned and operated and franchise-operated stores. The new thirst-quenching additions include:

Veggie Vitality™ -- a veggie fusion of fresh carrot and apple juices with super greens and chia seeds, offering a hint of sweetness, according to a news release.

Cucumber Orange Cooler™ -- which contains fresh-squeezed orange juice, blended with a dose of refreshing cucumber, apple, and lemon juices.

Orange Supreme -- is a delicious blend of fresh orange juice, carrot juice, bananas, apple juice and chia seeds.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Fancy that! First annual British teen yoga conference extends its global reach

Yoga’s popularity among today’s yout
Charlotta Martinus Courtesy of TeenYoga Foundation
h continues to expand abroad.

The TeenYoga Foundation, a charity founded by an educational consultant and yoga teacher, Charlotta Martinus in 2015 hosted its first annual Instill conference this past July 13 at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Targeting yoga teachers, school teachers, social workers, psychologists, doctors, policy makers and young people, the one-day event aims to examine yoga’s impact on youth through the perspectives of such experts.
“The goal is to raise awareness of yoga’s impact on young people in a school setting and eventually to bring it in to the curriculum in its own right,” says Martinus via email.
With yoga’s popularity rising exponentially in the United Kingdom, “I know that six out of ten schools now offer free yoga to their students in my small town of 40,000 inhabitants,” says Martinus.
To demonstrate the benefits of yoga to kids and teens, “We have collated a few video diaries of young people talking about their experience of yoga and also have some presenting in the hall,” says Martinus.
Looking forward, “Maybe next year, we’ll extend this to a three day event with break out groups and workshops too,” says Martinus. “It would be amazing to partner with other organizations with the same goal as us and the same vision.”


Friday, July 10, 2015

A green breath of fresh air. Nature-inspired pranyama connects kids to the great outdoors


Courtesy KidsYogaDaily.com
Raising environmentally-minded children is no small task, especially for those living in urban concrete jungles.

Try this *Green Breath on for size with your kids to inspire a love, connection, and partnership with our earthly blessings.

Sit outside surrounded by nature or inside by a window. Notice the green trees, grass, and flowers.

Close your eyes, slowly breathe in oxygen. Imagine being filled with green energy that makes you feel healthy and alive.
Courtesy KidsYogaDaily.com

Slowly exhale. Imagine the carbon dioxide you breathe out filling the plants with well-being. Repeat several times.

We depend on trees and other plants to stay alive, because we breathe in the carbon dioxide we breathe out.

*Excerpted from Yoga Planet card deck, by Tara Gruber and Leah Kalish, from $34.99 at Amazon.com

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Flipping for yoga-themed footwear

Stay grounded in the yoga mindset wherever your path takes you.
Young yogis will love stepping out in these yoga-inspired flip-flops for summertime.  
(Cute Yoga Flip Flops, Om Aum Namaste Yoga Symbol Flip Flops, Namaste Flip Flops styles. Kids Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large sizes and assorted colors available for $16.99/pair at cafepress.com)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A view from the top. Zen out at higher heights with rooftop yoga

Courtesy Z NYC Hotel
Ready to push past your edge in a picture-postcard setting?

Rooftop yoga is going mainstream as more urban dwellings and hotels are offering up their building tops for yogis to perch and practice atop.

Take the Z NYC Hotel in Long Island City, Queens. This season is the second summer that the boutique,100-room property has offered...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Time to make the smoothies! Dunkin' Donuts adds fruity frozen beverages to menu mix

Courtesy Dunkin' Donuts
Are Dunkin’ Donuts a favorite guilty pleasure?

Well, now you can opt for a healthier drink to wash them down with. The mega baked goods and coffee retailer has just added Fruit Smoothies to its lineup.

Participating Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants are now offering new, freshly prepared Strawberry Banana and Tropical Mango flavored Smoothies to patrons. At 260 calories for a 16 ounce serving, the icy thirst quenchers are made with real fruit and creamy low-fat yogurt.

“Unique, differentiated products that offer consumers greater variety has been key to our steady, strategic growth and success. Our new Smoothies and other frozen beverages provide new choices our on-the-go guests can enjoy anywhere, at any time of day,” said Chris Fuqua, Vice President, Dunkin’ Donuts Brand Marketing & Global Consumer Insights & Product Innovation in a company press release.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Big night out? Loosen up with this 20-minute pre-date yoga sequence

Mandy Burstein. Courtesy Mandy Burstein.
Got butterflies?

Nerves are normal before a big date. The excitement of being wooed and clicking (or not) with a new beau can turn your mind to mush and set your heartbeat thumping.

Fortunately, yoga can help you to relax and put your best self forward for the anticipated match-up, says Mandy Burstein, who teaches teen yoga classes at several San Diego area studios and maintains a highly popular Instagram following (@zengirlmandy) and blog at zengirlchronicles.com.
If you have a home practice, before you primp and prime, follow Burstein's lead through this 20-minute pre-date yoga sequence...
Just breathe. Lion’s breath is my favorite. Take a big inhale through the nose and deep cleansing exhale through the mouth, firing out negative energy. When dating, it’s important not to bring past relationships and bad experiences to the current one. You need to come to it from a new place.

Mind a mantra. Work from a place of self-love. Repeat, “I am love,” “I am supported,” “I am beautiful,” or create your own. Focus on healing and loving yourself first so you can spill that love over in to the world.

Get grounded. Child’s pose is the quintessential, go-to pose for settling down before going in to a nice flow. Starting off with a heated practice can fuel anxiety. Think of the earth element, rather than fire.

Open your heart. From Cat/Cow, I’d move to Down Dog, an inversion, to get fresh blood flow to the brain and to reset your mentality about getting to know someone new. Take lots of Sun Salutes with jumping and hopping to the front and back of your mat –this will energize you in to an upbeat, happy, joyful place. Try a big back bend like Camel, to open the heart space and make room for this new life experience.

Free your true voice. Move to Bridge, which opens your throat space. All the words you’ll speak to this new person should come from a really kind, authentic place. Don’t just say what he wants to hear. Whether you continue dating or just remain friends, let it be an honest new partnership and build from there.

See it, feel it. Seated on your heels, place your palms in a receiving bowl Mudra honoring the notion of giving and receiving. Visualize your ideal partnership, perhaps your folks, or a twosome in your life you respect. Hold on to some of the qualities you can learn from this power couple.

Let it go. Lie in Savasana and surrender negative, judgmental tension stemming from yourself or dating drama gossip from others. Your mind/body is a container. You get to choose what to fill it up with. It’s better to put in good, positive thoughts and energy than bad.

Calm your senses. Frankinsense is the ‘king of oils.’ It helps you deepen breath and smells like Christmas. Dab it on your wrists, shoulders and the tip of your lip, as it’s of the more digestible essential oils. Amazing for anxiety, it can get you in to the right head space before you go out.




Friday, July 3, 2015

The garden variety. Take your yoga practice to greener pastures

Courtesy iStock

Tis the season to be out-of-doors.

Why not take a break from your studio routine and enjoy yoga, garden style? If your living quarters don’t include a side yard, perhaps there are nearby park grounds, a grassy meadow, or a kind friend with greener real estate?
Within your community or region, it may be worth taking a trip to a Botanical Garden or Museum that offers Garden Yoga sessions for families and children.
Around the nation, in Union, New Jersey, for example, Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University is hosting, ‘Yoga in the Gardens,’ on select weekends this season. The two-hour sessions provide a peaceful, beautiful atmosphere to practice among other like-minded yogis.
In Alabama, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens runs a 'Family Yoga Series' some summer weekends. Classes are designed for ages three and older and include poses for strength, balance and breathing exercises.
Surrounded by the sounds, smells and sights of rustic or manicured lawns and flower beds during the warmer months rouse your senses to new heights. Inspiration and creativity are nurtured.  The air is more breathable and you can connect more easily with your higher, more authentic sense of self.






Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tiny kernels, big taste! Healthier, mini popcorn brand bursts on to scene at specialty food show

Courtesy Pipsnacks
Trendspotters sniffed out an exciting new popcorn line at the 61st Annual Summer Fancy Food Show this week at New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center.
The highly anticipated event drew over 22,000 attendees looking to scout out the newest and hottest beverages, sauces, chocolates, cheeses. Cocktail mixers and condiments from 2600 specialty food companies from fifty countries.
Pipsnacks Pipcorn is gluten free, vegan, whole-grain, and Non-GMO certified. Made with olive oil, the crowd-pleasing snack is popped to roughly half the size of ordinary popcorn. Available at manufacturer’s website and select Whole Foods and specialty markets, the nutritious new munch-time edible comes in 4 ounce bags of Rosemary, Kettle and Truffle flavors.
($26.00/4 packs at www.pipsnacks.com)