Yogi’s Choice: Holiday Gift Guide

Give gifts from the heart this year. Shop local and support local business. It is its own form of activism.

Here, some of our top picks from the boutiques.

  1. Manduka Eko-Lite yoga mat. This mat gets high marks from our staff. It’s sticky and eco-friendly, made from biodegradable natural tree rubber.
  2. Crystal candleholder. Made of natural crystal, it shimmers and shines in its beauty. Need I say more?
  3. Leslie Francesca Druzy studs. We’ve got tons of sizes and styles of these druzy quartz beauties to add sparkle to any outfit, or to fill those tiny boxes that make the best presents.
  4. Sueded Tassel earrings. Not to confuse the issue but there is long and short, necklaces and earrings, in 6 different shimmery colors.
  5. Engraved Palo Santo. Are you a fan of scent? This aromatic wood has been engraved with positive intention and can be burned for ritual or ceremonial purposes. Prepare to be covered in a cloud of heavenly scent. (Perfect stocking stuffer!)
  6. Affirmations Soy Candles. The candles are soy. The scents are crisp and fresh. The message is clear. (Perfect stocking stuffer!)
  7. Caraucci fingerless gloves. Keep warm in California style! Full color pallette to choose from. (Perfect stocking stuffer!)
  8. Gods and Goddesses card deck. Add a little intention and ritual to your life with one of our many card decks. From tarot cards to mudras, there is a deck for you.
  9. Don’t forget — the trusty GIFT CARD. Good for any service (yoga, massage, workshops, trainings) and product (yoga accessories, clothing, lifestyle stuff, and more).
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  10. Aratta hand embroidered scarf. Wrap your loves up warm and cozy this season. So many scarves to choose from around here!
  11. Wood Engraving by Gneiss Wood. Each piece of driftwood treasure is engraved with a special and meaningful saying to imbue your days with grounding wisdom. Stop by to see our selection!
  12. Moon Deck. Straight outta Brooklyn, this sweet sweet deck of cards and guidebook comes with the triple goddess engraved on the lid of its wood box. An uplifting and empowering tool.
  13. Wild Unknown Spirit Cloth. A new addition to our Wild Unknown offerings, this cloth is printed with card layouts for tarot. For the seeker in each of us.
  14. Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck. Our bestselling deck of gorgeously illustrated animals. Purchase with the guide book for extra insight!

There’s more to come!! So be sure to poke around our retail areas to find those holiday gems.

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Style Drishti: Friday Dressing

Friday dressing is an art form. The vibe is casual, but office-friendly. Finding the right balance of this professional, casual stance is critical. But I will share a secret with you, and the secret is called a jumper. What is it about a jumper? I can tell you 3 things that make a jumper magic:

  1. A jumper requires no matching. Put it on and voila, all you need are some shoes and a little sparkle. Top and bottom taken care of in one fell swoop.
  2. A jumpsuit is a statement. Without even trying, you will look polished and put together and like you are ready to take it all on. Again, does this have something to do with the top and bottom already matching?
  3. The playful aspect of a jumpsuit adds just the right touch of casual. It’s not a dress, so you can be active and move easily, but it’s not skinny jeans either, so you will stand out from the crowd.

Featured here on Xandra:

IMG_4256Tina+Jo Cowled Short Romper. Tina+Jo is designed and manufactured in LA and their styles feature hand dyes and urban ease. Head into our September heat waves with an effortlessly fashionable romper and make Friday dressing your own.

Leslie Francesca  Half Moon Necklace. Add a little sparkle to any outfit with one of Leslie Francesca’s raw gem understated pieces. As a gemologist, Leslie starts locally with the perfect druzy quartz or gemstone, sometimes plates them with fascinating iridescent finishes, and has them set in metals to her specs in South America. Add a little sparkle to your Friday, because admit it, you are closer to the weekend than ever.

Tina + Jo available at our Berkeley studio, Leslie Francesca jewelry available at all locations.

 

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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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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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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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Style Stories: Practice On

Style Stories: Practice On

Rain or shine, make the space to get to your practice. Mine has been inspired lately by the rainy weather we have been receiving here in NorCal. I’ve been channeling all sorts of greys and greens and blues, followed closely by the pinks and yellows of the abundant gardens of the world. This rain has spring chomping at the bits.

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Delighting in the moody blues. From left to right: Gossamer Zen double-sided printed yoga mat, Free People Moonshadow legging, Free People High Neck Crop Tank in Jungle Green, SaraLua recycled glass and rudrashka mala, Manduka tie-dye Yogitoes towel mat.

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Blaze ahead. Keep your fingers activated on the keyboard with jewelry from this sacred geometry inspired line, Saraswati. New to our boutiques, this affordable brass jewelry will brighten up any spring look. Yeah, you might need to take this one off and set on the edge of your mat while practicing…but I couldn’t resist sharing!

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Lighten Up. Channel the colors and moods of Spring. From left to right: Manduka grey recycled yoga block, Free People pink turnout Legging, New Harbinger Buddha’s Brain, Magic Carpet printed mat, Onzie waterproof bra (doubles as a bathing suit on retreat!), Wolf Child Venom Vision tank.

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Earthy Grounding. The softness of this faux suede shawl is the best reminder to soften into everything (even your warrior 2!). Plus with our NorCal weather, it’s always smart to have a light layer stowed away in your purse.

Signing off for now!

Helene Cotton, Creative Director of Namaste Yoga

 

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Light Up Your Love’s Life! Sweet Valentine’s Day Gifts

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Valentine’s Day may not be loved by all, but it is a great opportunity to show the people you love how much you care about them. Here’s what the Namaste team is pining for….

Left to right, top to bottom:

Every girl needs a good scarf (or several) Add some pow to any outfit with these gorgeous and colorful, tasseled scarves from Subtle Luxury.

Be Fearless, Be Free, Be Wise and remind yourself of your powers with these sweet bracelets from Bauxo.

For the yogi who adores comfort, support and style, these Coobie bras have been flying out the door and come in the cutest colors and prints.

Free People is every girl’s dream come true (trust us) and we’ve got the coveted active line in our Berkeley and Grand Lake locations finally! Don’t miss the first batch of the movement collection!

Delight the senses with the five-pack of Earthbody’s travel sized body and massage oils. All we can say is, YUM!

Wrap up in softness and fringe with this amazing and versatile piece, a perfect pair with the Gossamer Zen yoga mat, printed on both sides for a fresh perspective every time you get on the mat. 

And most importantly, take time to tell everyone in your life how much love and gratitude you have for them!

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Celebrate Earth Day: Eco-Friendly Fashion

What does ‘taking yoga off your mat’ mean to you?

For me it means bringing presence and awareness outside the realm of ‘poses’ and also giving back in any way possible. Off the mat, I channel some of my energy into buying with awareness and consciousness wherever possible as the retail buyer at Namaste Yoga and Wellness.

Our choice in fashion can describe us, inspire us and make us feel confident, both inside and out. But more than that, our fashion choices also express our values. Sustainable, earth-friendly fashion and socially responsible production methods show a commitment to the planet and to the future.

Hemp and Organic Cotton "Thrive Hoodie" by Nomads Hempwear
Hemp and Organic Cotton “Thrive Hoodie” by Nomads Hempwear Model: Fiana Anderson

Here are some of the qualities that inspire and guide my buying choices for the Namaste studios, and some of the questions I ask when looking  at a line’s overall eco footprint and sustainability practices:

Quality of production and design

Is this item disposable and/or will I want to wear it for many years? Will it last through many washes and wears? I look for quality sewing and seams, and lines that have a history of good wash and wear.

Fabric selection

Is this made of eco-friendly fabric? Are the dyes eco-friendly? Are the fibers of the fabric renewable or fast-growing? What kind of waste is produced in the growing and processing of these fibers?  There’s always more than meets the eye when it comes to fabric. I look for organic cottons, bamboo, hemp, or soy blends. Learn more about Nomads Hemp Wear fabric selections.

Local vs. global production

How often will this product need to be shipped around the planet, using precious resources, before it reaches its final destination? Are the fibers grown in the U.S. or imported from abroad? Is the garment designed, manufactured, and dyed all in one city or state? Read more about Groceries apparel vertical production here.

Manufacturing processes and connection to community

Is care and love a priority with the production of the garment? Are the workers cared for? Does the company give back to the community or environment in any way? Read about Harvest’ dedication to planting a tree for every garment sold.

Take your fashion to the next level, go green this Earth Day! Thru Sunday save 20% on all Nomads Hemp Wear, Groceries and Harvest apparel at all three studios!

"Love Tee" and "Flower Leggings" by Harvest, who plants a tree for every garment sold.
“Love Tee” and “Flower Leggings” by Harvest, who plants a tree for every garment sold. Model: Whitney Walsh

By Helene Cotton- Graphic Designer and Retail Manager

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Style Story: Love Yourself

It’s raining outside (finally!), a sign to cozy up inside, both literally and metaphorically. This story is all about dwelling in kindness and love…This Valentine’s, be decadent and delicious with yourself (AND your loved ones).

These gifts for self (and sweeties), and much much more, available at the boutiques at Namaste.

Hold yourself dear. [Jewelry by Whitley Designs and Marit Rae, available at Namaste Grand Lake and Rockridge studios].
Delight in hot tea and a journalling session. [Rudrashka Mala wrapped on wrist by Saralua, available at all our studios]
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Treat yourself. [Jewelry by Whitley Designs and Marit Rae, available at Grand Lake and Rockridge studios.]
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Snuggle into the pillow pile. Give yourself a little squeeze. [Gorgeous bolsters, zafus, and zabutons by Chattra, available at Namaste Grand Lake.]
 

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Your skin is a sponge. Let it soak up the good love. [Earthbody Massage and Body oils, set of travel size oils, available at Namaste Berkeley and Grand Lake studios]
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How to Use A Mala for Meditation

Malas have recently become more and more popular on the fashion scene, but their historic use and meaning is much more than just a beautiful piece of jewelry. Malas are tools for meditation and mental focus. Meditation, one of the healthiest practices you can have, is not always as simple as it seems. Finding the discipline to sit still, even for five minutes, can at times feel impossibly challenging. Curing fidgetiness and a busy mind are the exact reasons we love Mala beads. They provide as Ram Dass puts it, a “kinesthetic cue device” that allows you to continuously re-awaken and stay on course throughout the practice of meditation.

Mala beads, or Hindu Prayer Beads, are similar to Rosaries or other types of prayer beads and often used in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Traditionally a Mala is strung with 108 beads, a sacred number in many cultures, or 27 beads (1/4 of 108). Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating mantras or deity names, a practice referred to as Japa in Sanskrit.

When simply meditating or chanting it can be easy for the mind to wander off. The act of passing the beads through your fingers while focusing on each breath or each mantra provides the opportunity to reawaken each time a new bead crosses the finger tips. It is a tactile reminder that you are here, participating in this moment, breathing and honoring each second of life as it passes through you.

There are a few ways to hold and move the Mala through your fingers as you meditate. In traditional Hindu use, you place the Mala in your right hand, with the first bead that you will count draped over your middle or ring finger. You then use your thumb to move the Mala as you count. The 108 “counting beads” meet in the center where there is a “guru bead” that hangs perpendicular and does not get counted or skipped but rather used as a point of reflection.

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How to use a mala for meditation:

1) Find a comfortable seat. Take your mala in your right hand and take a few deep breaths. Notice the airflow as it enters in and out through your nostrils. Sweetly set an intention for this meditation or choose a mantra that you feel comfortable repeating. Repeat the mantra once or say your intention quietly to yourself out loud before beginning the count. Make sure that you know how many times you intend on repeating the mantra before so that you do not get lost in the counting process.

2) Begin by sliding the beads between your thumb and middle finger, repeating the mantra or focusing your intention with each bead and breath. When you reach the guru bead, pause and reflect, then reverse the direction of the beads as you begin to count again.

3) When you finish, take a moment of silence before getting up to continue your day. Feel gratitude for allowing yourself to practice and to do something loving and healthy for your body. Carry the peaceful feeling of the meditation with you for the rest of the day.

Interested in getting mala beads? Check out any of our three Namaste studio boutiques! We have hand-made malas from in various styles, lengths, and prices.

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