Yogis Choice: The best unique gift ideas this year

Finding great gifts for yoga lovers can be tough if you don’t practice yoga, so I’ve made it super simple for you!

1. Manduka Yoga Mat:

Best of the best.

2. Manduka Unblocks:

I just discovered these gems recently.  They are amazing. Check out that curve. These blocks make so many asana more accessible and comfortable.

3. Mat Carrier:

A simple method to take a mat to class or outside is always appreciated.

4. Mat Carrier:

This is a good one for people who are also out doing other errands or off to work in between yoga sessions.

5. Mat Cleaner:

I use this and it smells amazing. This is an awesome stocking stuffer for the win.

6. Mat Bag:

If anyone is on here shopping for me…hint…

7. No Slip Towel:

A pretty no slip towel is always a good choice.

Ethical Gift Ideas That are Sure to Delight Your Partner

Hello Lovelies,  Have I shared about my incredible friends recently?  These amazing women have taken ethical purchasing to the next level.  They use their dollars to support what they believe in.  That is our power ladies!  One of these beauties does not succumb to fast marketing or fast fashion.  She always looks incredible and she can walk through Target and not buy any clothing.  She is my hero.
My friend Amy is gorgeous, pregnant with her second baby, and is helping all of us shop more ethically all the time not just during the holidays in her Noonday Shop.  Amy and I have known each other for over a decade.  We both found our passion for yoga together.
For several years, we had an intimate little studio in my living room that met every Monday night.  Some of my fondest memories of those years is our practice together.  We would follow our ritual each week lighting candles and brewing steamy cups of tea to make the space perfectly hygge.  We were into self-care before it was a trend.  Amy is an incredible woman inside and out.
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Here is a quick interview I did with her about Noonday, an online shop filled with unique jewelery and accessories handmade by Artisans across the globe.  Yay for unique items, but the best part for me is that they are committed to fair trade.
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Bex: How did you find out about Noonday?
AFB: I work in international development. I was at a conference giving a presentation and was distracted by my colleague’s earrings. After the meeting, I confessed that I had been coveting them during the presentation. It turned out that she is a Noonday Ambassador and got me hooked on the organization’s mission to build a better world.

Bex: What made you decide to join the Noonday team?

AFB: Jewelry is such a great entry point for people in the U.S. to learn about other countries and to help on a micro-level. After working in international development for over a decade, I’ve come to believe that helping individuals on a small scale is the most effective way to lift communities. The fact that it also helps families in the U.S. who are in the adoption process is an additional bonus!

Bex: What is your favorite thing about Noonday products?
AFB: I love that everything is a little different and has a story. You can feel connected to the people who made it. Also, I love unique earrings, of which Noonday has a wide selection!
Bex: How can people shop the collection?
AFB: Lots of ways! Shop my website anytime or contact me through the website to host a trunk show. There are so many of benefits to hosting, but mostly its an excuse for a great afternoon with friends playing adult dress up 🙂
Ok friends.  It’s that simple.  Fun, friends, ethical gifts, using your money to support positive business.  This is an awesome chance to source some incredible, unique gifts.  I highly recommend checking Noonday out during your holiday shopping.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these ideas.  Stay tuned for a few more leading up to the New Year.
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Is the pressure rising for a perfect holiday season?

Hello beautiful humans. How is this week treating you?

Have you been feeling increasingly overloaded, overwhelmed, and an intense pressure to make sure the holiday season is wonderful for your people?  Truth? I have felt it.  Hard.

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It’s almost a cliché to say that the holidays can be stressful. Not everyone gets along, planes are delayed, and dinner gets burned. Any picture-perfect image of the holidays we build up in our minds, filled with expectations of how life should be, rarely gets met. And it can feel extremely disappointing.

I encourage you to take the time to keep yourself grounded. Try to plan what needs planning and then focus on whatever you value most this time of year.

Here a few practices that have helped me relieve stress and tension in busy seasons.

Spending time in nature. Studies show that spending time in green spaces can reduce stress. “Blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the level of ‘stress hormones’ all decrease faster in natural settings,” reports a summary published on Science Daily. Spending time in nature is a balm for our nervous system.

Yoga.  Pressed for time?  Legs Up the Wall pose, for 10 minutes after work or at bedtime. This pose is the perfect antidote to stress.

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Meditation. Even if it’s in short stints.

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Alternate-Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana) This is a deeply calming breathing technique that works to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Eating in a loving, relaxed environment. The kind of company we keep—and the conversations we have—during meals can positively or negatively affect our ability to digest and assimilate our meal. Your stomach, and your spirit, will thank you.

Drinking tea. Try adding another hot beverage to your morning routine.  This ritual has added so much joy to my days. If you are a coffee drinker, no need to quit. Just add another drink to your day.

Get connected with like-minded people.  Connection with authentic humans who care has been so important for me in busy and stressful seasons.  Join me in the Empower You this winter to make deeper connections, increase fitness, and destress.

Stop the hurry with this simple, heart-centered yoga

Hello wonderful people.  I hope this finds you well.  As we head into the especially busy season of the year, I wanted to put together a practice for myself that would feel accessible even on crazy days.  I thought maybe you all would enjoy it as well.

Remember, even little bits of yoga add up and have benefits of lowered stress, feeling calmer, and allow space for authentic joy and appreciation in our lives.  Let me know how you are doing with your practice and how I can support you.

You can practice these asanas individually or in a sequence.  Let’s get started.

1. Breathe.

I always start with my breathe when I feel busy or overwhelmed.  It is always with me and I find myself unconsciously taking a deep breath all day long.  My boys have started doing it as well.  So cute!

The easiest method to use in any situation is simply learning to slow down your breath.  Inhale to the count of 4, hold for a count of 4, exhale to the count of 4, hold for a count of 4, repeat. Over time, you can play around with increasing the count. Practicing controlling your breath will help calm your nervous system, relax your body, and quiet your mind.

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Before you get out of bed, take a few moments to find a happy baby or a reclined cobblers pose.  I especially love Happy Baby to start the day. It’s a good reminder to go out into the world feeling playful, happy, and in touch with your inner child.

Reclining Cobblers Pose

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3. Forward Fold.

Whether we spend most of our day seated or on our feet, we can all use a little stretch, a little release of the lower back, and a lengthening of our hamstrings. Take a few short breaks each day to stretch and release physical tension. Standing up with your feet flat on the ground, just fold forward as far as you can, bringing your hands down to the ground, to your shins, or to a block. Allow some bend in your knees if you prefer.  You can even rest your forehead on your knees, giving yourself a little nervous system reset.

4. Savasana.

On the days when I skip my mat, I always say, “Well, at least I practiced Savasana in bed.”  When I go to bed, instead of just getting into my usual position for sleeping, I get into Savasana.

To try this, lie flat on your back, allow your arms and legs to extend and relax. Breathe deeply at first, and then forget about your breathingSurrender. Feel as if you are melting into your bed. Dissolving. You might fall asleep. Give yourself a few minutes here before switching your brain to sleep mode.

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5. Live your practice.

Yoga isn’t just about the movements or breath. It’s what we learn on the mat. The lessons of strength, focus, perseverance, awareness, self-acceptance ultimately take us into our lives.  When you feel too busy to hit the mat, consider one lesson you’ve learned on the mat and challenge yourself to carry what you learned off the mat and into your day.

Regardless of how busy you are, you can always choose to live your life in a way that reflects the principles and purpose of yoga. In that way, you are weaving yoga into your daily life.

As we barrel towards 2019, what are your yoga goals? What feelings do you want to grab a hold of with both hands next year? And how about today? Let me know in the comments below or send me an email.

Namaste my friends.  Take care of yourself in this season.

Yoga poses that will make Thanksgiving remarkably blissful

Blissfully Calming Yoga Poses to Kick Holiday Stress to the Curb

Hello beautiful people.  I wanted to share with you a practice to keep you present and grounded throughout this week.  Here are 7 yoga poses to practice if you would like to take control of your joy over Thanksgiving.  They can be done as a short sequence or selected one by one, holding for anywhere between 10 breaths and several minutes.


1. Mountain Pose

Place your feet hips width apart or wider on the ground. Connect the feet to the ground and ensure that the toes are not gripping.   Spend a moment to note whether you can feel each foot connection point on the ground beneath you. Grow taller with your breath, as you feel the chest rising and falling with the breath. Keep the palms facing forward to open yourself up to receiving positive energy and calmness.

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2. Standing Forward Fold

This is an instantly calming pose known to relieve stress and fatigue while energizing the body as the blood flows to the head. Hold this pose with a gentle or generous bend in the knees and shoulders free of tension.

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3. Seated Forward Fold

Stretch your legs long in front of you and fold forward.  Take note of how the hamstrings feel nothing that the stretch should come from the middle of the muscle.  Find length along the spine.  Feel free to generously bend the knees. Even resting the forehead on the knees.  Remember this is a restorative practice.  We aren’t giving out medals for the bendiest person.

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4. Warrior II

Warrior II is an extremely powerful pose.  Stand tall, stand strong, and settle into your pose. Try closing your eyes. Feel the muscles in the body working to hold you steady as you connect to the absolute power that resides within.  Reach both in front and behind with the arms, stretching the body wide.  Remind yourself in this practice that you control you and your responses.  This is your power friends.

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5. Child’s Pose

A restorative pose for instant calm! Keep toes towards each other and knees as wide as your mat.  Gently reach your arms long on the mat resting the forehead.  Try rocking the forehead left to right on the mat for added massage and relaxation.

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6.  Legs-Up-the-Wall

If you only have time for one asana, please work this into your day.  I love to do legs up the wall just before bed.

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 7. Savasana

Savasana is THE relaxation pose. It truly encourages the body to come to a still position and just breathe, bringing us naturally to a more peaceful state.  Lay down on your mat, the floor or your bed.  Splay the feet out to the sides.  Check in that the lower back is connected to the floor.  Adjust the pelvis as needed.  Drop the shoulders away from the ears.  Tuck the chin slightly so that the muscles along the back of the neck length along the mat or floor.  Breath naturally.  Soak up the bliss.

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Bonus: Meditation

Find a comfortable seat.  Take a few long slow breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.  You can count the breaths as an anchor to keep you focused.  One on the inhale, two on the exhale, three on the inhale, and so on until you get to ten.  Then you can start again.  Start with one minute.  You can build from there, a little more each day.  Remember, this is about your intention.  If you are taking the time to slow down and be intentional, then you are meditating!  Keep up the good work friends.

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Just a few minutes can bring you to a place of absolute calm, preparing you to enjoy this holiday season with an energized body, calm mind, and full heart.  Please send me a message if you have questions about this practice.

Happy Thanksgiving lovelies.

Here are a few items I love to keep my practice comfortable.