Style Drishti: August Action

Feels like we are all dying to work out in the summer sunshine, so action is our muse this week. Fire yourself up in clothes that move and breathe, then take action and get sweaty. This week’s style focus will take you there.

Good hYOUman Purpose Crop Sweatshirt. Motivate yourself to live your life with purpose and positivity with Good hYOUman’s inspirational apparel. Good hYOUman is a US designed and manufactured lifestyle brand infused with intention.  This simple crop sweatshirt with the text Do all things w/ purpose will make you feel comfortable yet confident to take on anything that comes your way.

Omgirl Nomad Legging. Take on the remaining days of summer with ease while wearing the most versatile legging in the universe. We do not say this lightly! The Omgirl Nomad Legging with its attached skirt has got you covered (literally!). This pant can take you from yoga into the beyond – dress it up with a cute flowy tunic for nighttime. Since Omgirl recently went out of business, this is your last chance to get this amazing pant. We stocked up before they were all gone, and it would be wise for you to do the same.

Beyond Yoga Cut Out Cami. Accomplish your goals for the rest of summer with athletic clothing that makes you feel good about who you are. Beyond Yoga is an eco-friendly activewear brand based in Los Angeles. The Cut Out Cami is a staple workout piece with a cute back that can spice up or splash a pop of color into any outfit.

Good Hyouman styles available at Berkeley and Grand Lake boutiques. Omgirl and Beyond Yoga can be found in all of our shops!

alexandra-300static1.squarespaceBrought to you by Alexandra, Namaste’s finest intern, and Helene Cotton, Namaste Creative Director. We love a good photo shoot.

 

 

 

 

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Manduka Yogi of the Month: Kathleen Rice

Each month we partner with Manduka to honor one member of our Namaste community. Our July student, Kathleen Rice, has been a staple at Namaste Rockridge. We have admired her dedication to her body and bright personality. It is always a joy to see her in the morning. We asked her a couple of questions to get to know her and share her loveliness with the Namaste Tribe! Our photo features her complimentary Manduka Ekolite mat (Thanks, Manduka!).

WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION?
I have a consulting company, K L Rice Consulting and am an Educator, Trainer, & Facilitator supporting social change agents, particularly around issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion on the individual, group and organizational levels.

I am also a Junior Associate with Luna Jiménez Seminars: Transformational Leadership for a Just World, and a teacher with the Bay Area UNtraining: Healing Personal and Social Oppressions.

MandukaYogiFUN FACT ABOUT YOU?
I love being an aunt to 12 incredible nieces and nephews.

WHEN YOU AREN’T ON THE MAT, WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?
Taking long walks and eating along the way with my partner or un-training my white liberal racism.

FAVORITE EAST BAY BUSINESS?
Sliver, Mariscos la Costa, Townhouse Bar and Grill, Caffe Trieste, Caffe Strada.

HOW DID YOU FIND YOGA? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START A PRACTICE?
I have had on off-and-on practice (mostly off) for about 15 years and finally made a regular commitment to yoga in the past year or so. First I fell in love with NIA at Namaste and gradually made a commitment to go three days a week in Rockridge. Then I decided to go to the yoga class at the same time on the other two weekdays and am so glad I did!

HOW HAS YOUR YOGA PRACTICE SHAPED WHO YOU ARE?
My practice that combines NIA and yoga has had a BIG impact on me. I have more joy in my life. I am physically stronger and more flexible, emotionally more present and expressive, and more aware when I am not. I meet more of life’s challenges with an expanded capacity to be with what is. I have never been very athletic until now in my mid-50s!

FAVORITE ASANA?
Honestly? Shavasana! At least when I truly let myself be in the pose and let go of thinking about what I need to do next.

WHY DO YOU LOVE NAMASTE?
The one hour classes and the people: Grey and Kristin at the Rockridge desk, and my teachers, Reba, Karly, Annemaria, Shelly and Alexis – all amazing and so full of life and full of love of life.

Shelly and Alexis express such untethered joy when they dance. It is contagious. The encouragement of my yoga teachers and hearing them reflect back changes they can see in my practice has been incredibly motivating. I have built connections with several other inspiring dancers and yogis as well.

BIG LOVE TO YOU KATHLEEN.

Who’s going to be next? Only the magical manduka wizard may know…

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The Collective Tarot: Six of Wands

“The more pressing question is, Where will you go with your new set of wings?”

From the Wild Unknown Tarot

Rise up and take flight, people! Now is the time to step into your truest self and leave behind the tough bits that got you here. Let this be our mantra for the week: May I be winged and soar.

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Style Drishti: The Waning and Waxing

Unbeknownst to me at the time of my choosing, the moon has guided me this week, rising slowly and shining brilliantly over our style feature. This outfit makes me want to meditate with the morning sun, and then dance under the moon.

Joah Brown Half Moon Tank. The clothing from this line might be the softest fabric I’ve ever experienced, and once you try one piece, it will be the staple of your closet. The clever structure of this Half Moon tank is breathable and flattering (see the cool back above left). I’m going to throw a good yoga bra on underneath and be ready for practice, then take this little tank out on the town.

Teeki Seven Crowns Bellbottoms. Take me out to dance under the moon, careen through the woods with a willow wand, or get deep in my practice with these dramatic and gorgeous pants. Teeki apparel is made from recycled plastic bottles, so this choice is greener than green.

Takara Halfmoon Necklace. This jeweler straight off the coast of Marin takes handmade silk peace thread from India, dips it in natural dyes, and hammers brass around it into the most beautiful shapes. Think of her halfmoon necklace as a symbol of of waxing moons for attracting positivity, and waning moons for forgiveness and letting go. That’s a mantra to get behind: Attract + Forgive.

Joah Brown styles are available at all locations. Other styles available at Namaste Berkeley, 2820 7th Street, Berkeley CA.

Helene Cotton is Namaste’s creative director and retail buyer. Swing by her office at the Berkeley studio and she will happily style you for your next big thang.

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Pair Your Practice with the Perfect Tea

Most yogis know yoga and tea are two peas in a pod. The practice of preparing tea dates back for thousands of years and has been used to cure ailments, cultivate community and provide deep moments of mindfulness.  Once you warm up your knowledge around teas you will quickly realize how each variety can provide unique healing properties. If you’re looking for a way to anchor your practice with a tea ritual then read on to find out which teas are the best fit for your practice.


Vinyasa Flow and Black Tea

Black Tea and Vinyasa Flow

Fine black tea is the perfect match for a sweaty, powerful vinyasa flow class. Vinyasa is a term used to describe moving continuously through a sequence of poses. Often Vinyasa classes tend to reflect this in the way students move quickly from one pose, or asana, to the next with very few breaks.

Caffeinated tea is perfect for keeping energy up. It has a compliment component, Theanine, which has been attributed to increasing GABA, lowering stress and taking the jagged edge off caffeine that you normally get with coffee or energy supplements.

Research also shows black tea is responsible for improved circulation and respiratory function without putting stress on the heart.  A great black tea to try is this Apricot Tea by Far Leaves Tea. The lightweight, sweet taste of apricots and Ceylon tea make for a perfect iced beverage this summer.

Mint Tea and Summer Practice 

We know it can be hard to practice in the blazing summer heat. Try a sequence that uses cooling breath work and less challenging poses matched with a mildly stimulating, cooling mint green tea.

Green tea is famous for its endless health benefits, one of which is helping tap into fatty acids for energy use, prolonging your endurance and resiliency in hot weather. Mentholated peppermint works to alert your body’s cold-sensitivity leaving you refreshed and grounded.

An awesome tea blend to stimulate and cool your practice down with is Moroccan Mint Tea served with a slight amount of organic cane sugar.

Brain Boosting Blend and Meditation

What goes better with tea than a healthy meditation practice? The process of making tea alone can be a mindfulness exercise but if you’re looking for a longer journey then consider a very slightly caffeinated, herbal blend. The caffeine will help to keep you alert while the blends of special herbs ground, open and support you as you tap into your inner being.

Simply brew, sit comfortably, set a timer and close your eyes for 10 to 20 minutes.Our favorite is this Mind Focus Tea filled with gently stimulating herbs, roots, legumes, and tea from around the world. Interested in a non-caffeinated option? Try this Herbal Chai Tea with flavors of ginger, pepper and cinnamon.

Relaxing Herbal Tea and Restorative Yoga

If you’ve ever felt challenged to chill during restorative yoga consider drinking some mellow herbal blends before class. Restorative yoga is class entirely dedicated to relaxation and gentle movements

Tea blends that include plants like chamomile, lavender, ginger and valerian root work magic on the mind and help relax the body without drowsiness. Research has shown one flavonoid in chamomile, apigenin, binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, causing a relaxant effect similar to prescriptions like Xanax – but without any nasty side effects.

Our go-to restorative tea is this beautiful Rest Well Organic Blend which is a sure fire way to mellow your mood.


Interested in learning more about our favorite tea house, Far Leaves Tea? Check them out!

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This post is in partnership witlogo-inverted

 

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7 Perks of Working at a Yoga Studio

Not everyone is satisfied working in a restaurant or boutique. If you’re someone who values health and fitness, the clean scent of tea tree oil and a warm cup of tea – working at a yoga studio may be a great fit for you. At a yoga studio you have the honor of holding space for students as they practice. If you’re worried you don’t know enough about yoga, don’t sweat. One of the perks of joining a team of yogis is that acceptance is part of the job!

Free Yoga and Wellness Perks

What’s better than taking a yoga lunch break? The best perk of working at a yoga studio is the free yoga. Stay in shape and learn how to put self-care first with a job that emphasizes health and wellness. Most studios even offer employee discounts for bodywork, workshops and teacher trainings. Namaste Yoga + Wellness, for example, hosts monthly massage externs from NHI who offer complimentary massage to staff!

Friendly Faces

Unlike boutique or restaurant jobs where staff may only interact with patrons a few times a month, yoga studio employees build rich relationships with students. You will see the same smiling faces weekly (even daily!). Students will often learn staff’s names and rely on them as they would a friend to help choose classes, workshops and events that make sense for them.

Comfortable Work Attire

It’s no joke that wearing yoga clothes daily helps lower stress. Imagine the bliss of being able to throw on some yoga pants or comfy clothes and cruise to work. While keeping up an appearance is still part of the job – you can definitely say buh-bye to stiff pant suits or stuffy server’s outfits. Another perk? Many studios offer employee discounts ranging from 20%-40% off apparel and gear sold in studio boutiques.

Girls At Rockridge

Being a Part of a Community

A job is just a job until you find an emotional connection. Yoga communities are known for their openness and warmth. Helping guide new students on their health journey makes you an integral part of their experience. Developing relationships with people in the studio makes you a part of the bigger yoga community as a whole – something that stays with you even when you’re clocked out.

Launching Your Teaching Career

If you’re interested in becoming a yoga instructor then working at a yoga studio is the perfect fit. Many yoga studio employees take on a position in order to get to know the in’s-and-out’s of the business. Being on the team can help you to understand how subbing works, what type of students you want to teach and give you access to discounted trainings.

Networking and Learning About Health and Wellness Industry

You may not be interested in becoming a yoga teacher but that doesn’t mean you’re ruling out all possibilities. The increase of interest in the health and fitness industry has created a boom in new job opportunities. Starting your career off at a yoga studio can expose you to all available avenues in the industry – from operations and management to marketing and sales.

Being Part of a Small Business

Jobs that pigeon hole you can be a drag. Working for a small business creates endless opportunities to break out of the box with creative solutions and ideas. Often you will be asked to wear many hats in a small business which will help you build your skill set and know what it takes to run your own company one day! Bonus, you often get to see the tangible results of the hard work you put in.

 

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Interested in working for Namaste? We are currently hiring! Send us your resume and cover letter to begin the journey of joining our Namaste community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Style Drishti: Unfold to the Positive

Style Drishti

A weekly feature from our boutiques

This week in the Bay we’re feeling the weight of the world. We’re hungry for positive fortunes to unfold, and looking for cozy layers in moments of transition to the world outside. If you’re looking for comfort here are my faves from the shop to infuse your everyday with some protection.

Wolf Child‘s Fortunes Told Tee. This dark and dreamy illustrated line of tees out of Portland fills me with hope. It’s a little art, a little devotion, a little darkness, and a little love all mixed up together. Throw it on and feel it all.

Nomad’s Hempwear Thrive Hoodie. There’s only one hoodie left in this fabulous color, so hurry if you are falling in love with it! But there’s plenty more to delight in from this line of sustainable wear out of Canada. They will take you from on the mat to off with no fuss at all. And you can feel good about your choice to practice in any of their hemp, bamboo, or organic cotton blends.

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Silver & Sage Labradorite and Apatite Mala. These strands of 108 beads are traditionally used in meditation as an aid for focus. Each bead represents a prayer or intention. Silver & Sage malas are made with stones and minerals that all carry meanings and qualities of protection or inspiration. Bring yourself a sense of peace and grounding with one of their special pieces of spiritual jewelry.

 

 

Good Hyouman Beanie. Go on, it’s summer but you know you just want to snuggle into that hat (when you go to the grey coast). Plus, it’s a good reminder to be “grateful” and “thankful.” We all need that right now.

Apparel styles available at Namaste Berkeley, 2820 7th Street, Berkeley CA. Silver & Sage available at Namaste Rockridge, 5416 College Ave, Oakland CA.

 

 

 

HeleneHelene Cotton is Namaste’s creative director and retail buyer. Swing by her office at the Berkeley studio and she will happily take you on a tour of our boutiques and show you what you should buy.

 

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Art as Meditation

What began as a project to free the mind from its artistic block has come to be like an ongoing meditation. After many years of commercial art, my artistic process had become so gummed up with the idea of what people might BUY that I felt incapable of creating from the heart. I had to find a way to switch gears. A friend had returned some art supplies I once gave to him, many years ago, and I decided I would use what I had and do a little watercolor on this attractive block of paper he had given me.

IMG_5557My premise was that I could do nothing “wrong” and that I would just continue to layer and layer watercolor and ink until something beautiful or meaningful happened.

At some point in the process, I started some canvases that were like little studies, with blobs of watercolor that I could draw on top of. I delved into circular patterns, triangles, moon phases. It turned out to be so fun that I plucked a stack of nice paper from my stash and just let the colors melt together in fascinating circles on small pieces of paper.

Water – color – drying. Lots of papers lying next to each other on my art table. It was very therapeutic.

IMG_5569IMG_5591After some overnight drying, I could draw on top of them and little mandalas came pouring out. I would draw a bit, switch to a new one, let it simmer, walk away, come back later. I often try not to think about the patterns that I am creating, I just let them evolve over time and flow from another place in my Self, not my thinking brain. Some are inspired by specific ideas, like Ayurveda or elements in various systems of belief. The process is very freeing – like taking a hike outside with the wind blowing through the trees and whispering in your ear.

IMG_5562After an inspired framing idea, they felt ready to share with the world. You can see these tiny treasures in person too — they have a home on the walls of Namaste Berkeley. Come in to take a peek or take one home for your own altar. Focus your mind on the center and let it spill outward. They are full of love and a symbol of the freedom we all deserve.

 

 

 

 

10423645_10152253194114051_3455534993665733593_nHelene Cotton is Namaste’s Creative Director, responsible for all of our beautiful graphic design and all three Namaste boutiques. Helene is an integral member on the Namaste team and one of our all time favorite humans.

Interested in learning more about Helene? Check out her amazing website http://helenecotton.com/.

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Namaste’s Podcasts Picks for Yogis

Many of us know it can be hard to find time to cuddle up with a good book or watch a great documentary. If you’re looking to learn new things, reaffirm core beliefs, or receive gentle reminders on mindful living – podcasts may be the perfect medium for you. The reason podcasts are so great is that you can listen to them in the car, while you are cleaning, paying bills, the list is endless. Namaste is all about making health and wellness a lifestyle. Asana is only a small part of what it takes to connect to yourself and others. With love and consideration we have picked out some of our favorite thought leaders to help you take your practice off the mat and into your daily life:

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On Being with Krista Tippet

Why you will love it: On Being is an award winning podcast and website produced by American Public Radio for the intent of exploring the human condition. Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times best-selling author. In 2014, she received the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.”

Start Here: David Whyte – The Conversational Nature of Reality 

 

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The Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields

Why you will love it: Jonathan Fields, founder of The Good Life Project, says “ A good life is not a place at which you arrive, it’s a lens through which you see and create your world.” This philosophy is woven throughout the podcast as Jonathan digs into the why and how individuals create a good life. This podcast, with over 350,000 subscribers, provides unscripted, deeply-inspiring conversations and insights from acclaimed artists, entrepreneurs, makers and world-shakers.

Start Here: Elena Brower: On Yoga, Love, Addiction and Grace

 

RICH-ROLL-PODCAST-GRAPHIC-640x640The Rich Roll Podcast 

Why you will love it: Rich has an amazing story of how he transformed from over weight, over worked lawyer to a vegan triathlete and wellness advocate. Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality. Intimate, deep and often intense, these are not interviews. They are conversations. A weekly aural dance designed to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock and unleash your best, most authentic self.

Start Here: Jedidiah Jenkins: The Pursuit of Wonder, The Power of Story & Finding Truth in Adventure

 

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Wanderlust Speakeasy Podcast

Why you will love it: Wanderlust is of course one of the leaders in the yoga and wellness space. Their approach to broadening the yogic community and effort to include all aspects of health from food to music to the practice itself creates a vessel for wisdom. Immerse yourself in the inspiring ideas of thought-leaders at the Wanderlust Speakeasy. The intimate and casual lecture series covers topics ranging from holistic health to progressive politics, from personal empowerment to community betterment.

Start Here: Graham Hill: Less Stuff, Space, and Energy. More Time, Money and Freedom.

 

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10% Happier with Dan Harris

Why you will love it: After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan *knew* he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, he realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head. Now each week he interviews meditation experts on how to bring the practice home in our every day lives.

Start Here: Episode #1: Dalai Lama 


Namaste-app-widgetWould you be interested in hearing short, weekly podcasts episodes featuring your favorite Namaste teachers? Let us know in the comments below!

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Meet Namaste Teacher: Siri Peterson

[Excerpt from SiriYoga]

I am an E-RYT 500 yoga instructor, dancer, wife and momma to my beautiful baby and greatest adventure, Lucia Louise. My mother introduced me to yoga at age 11, and I’ve been a passionate and humble student for the past 25 years. I’m grateful to this practice for supporting and sustaining me through every phase of my life, the highest highs and the lowest lows. Truly, yoga has saved my life… so many times.

I attended my first yoga teacher training in an effort to heal my own chronic injuries. At that point, nothing seemed to be working. Yoga worked. It gave me the tools I needed heal myself physically and emotionally. Since then, I’ve accumulated over 3000 hours in advanced trainings, and I’ve been honored to teach full-time for over ten years. Certified as an Anusara Yoga instructor, E-RYT 500, I now train, mentor, and certify new yoga teachers myself at YogaKula, Shakti Yoga Shala and the Avahana School.

New York Times recognized dancer and choreographer with a BFA in Dance Performance, I am always exploring the unique relationships between yoga, artistic self-expression and mindful movement. I received Reiki I & II certification at the Integrative Medicine Center at Sloan-Kettering and frequently incorporate this work into my practice. I also offer intuitive archetypal readings and spiritual coaching, having been certified by Carolyn Myss through her two year Sacred Contracts training. In 2011 I was a writer for Deepak Chopra’s Leela, a video game that brought the practice of meditation to wider audiences by integrating ancient wisdom with modern technology. In 2016 I was named one of 100 trailblazers in Yoga and Ayurveda by Spirituality and Health Magazine.


0612-IntroSiri-CCWant to practice with Siri? Try our Intro to Yoga workshop this weekend!

Perfect for new students* or beginner students seeking more guidance on alignment and foundational poses.

Intro to Yoga with Siri Peterson Cavanna

Sun Date: Jun 12, 2016 From: 1:00 PM3:00 PM Location: Rockridge
* new students to Namaste receive one week of free yoga!
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