Self Care Ritual: Home Care

This month, our focus is #SELFCAREACTIVISM. Our Namaste teachers have shared how they choose to love and care for themselves.

Last week we highlighted interesting facts and inspiration from our teachers on why it’s so important to get out in nature. This week, we are sharing some home care tips including morning practices and easy 15 minute breaks from your busy day.

Ready for the low down? Read on to hear from your teachers and get inspired on ways that YOU can create a home care practice.

Kameko Shibata: “We keep a tea warmer (just like the stand under the tea pots at grandlake) with a cup of oil in the bathroom and light the candle each morning when we get up. It heads up quickly & Then massage the oil on dry and sit to mediate for 15-ish minutes. That way the oil absorbs in and meditating w warm oil on your body is the best thing ever. I have a special pair of sweat pants for the occasion ”

Wendy Faith (Rivka): “I just returned from precious time on sacred land in Colombia… no cell phone, no email, no social media! I CONNECTED TO NATURE, felt the sun on my face, listened to the birds, basked under the moonlight… complete care to be in Union with Mother Earth.I was able to SING in the directions every sunrise and sunset, MEDITATE under the stars, PRAY with my community in temescal (sweatlodge) and PRACTICE YOGA OUTDOORS.

I am continuing these practices at home including an ongoing prayer circle tonite and one of my favorite forms of self-care, weekly DANCE, plus early morning CANDLE LIT BATHS WITH ESSENTIAL OILS and enjoying NOURISHING FOODS.How blessed we are to live in the Bay and have so much access to that which feeds our body, mind & spirit… including sharing the gift of yoga.”

Adam Kurzfeld: “Yes! I love [self-care]! Drum roll………… LEGS UP THE WALL!!! 15 min a day, keeps the Trump-slump at bay!” Legs up the wall is an amazing pose for achieving all the benefits of an inversion without the strenuous nature of flipping upside down. According to Yoga Journal, Viparita Karani or legs up the wall, helps to alleviate headaches, boosts energy, soothes menstrual cramps, and relieves lower back pain. Schedule yourself 15 minutes each afternoon for a quick break and a chance to increase circulation after sitting all day.

Jillian Schiavi: “Every single night: washing my face and putting on some yummy vegan skincare products (Arbonne) so I feel connected to my body, and feel incredible and hydrated when I wake up 🙂 I also frequently do complimentary skincare and selfcare workshops for groups of people, either in homes or in studios and businesses!”

Elana Morgulis: “Mmm, selfcare is my favorite!! I have to agree with Adam, Legs Up the Wall pose for 10 minutes any chance I get while at my day job, at the end of my yoga practice, or just to wind down in the evening is one of my favorite ways to settle and decompress. I also love taking 20 minutes or so on my porch with a cup of tea in the afternoon light. It’s so soothing on every level, I become quiet, reflective, still, and it connects me to myself. If I need to move, I’ll go for a walk through my neighborhood or a nearby trail for that quiet, soothing experience.”

We are excited to share in this collective experience. Cheers to a new month full of self-care inspiration.

Join our community Facebook group, Year of Empowerment Club  for weekly tips and journal prompts.

Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips from your favorite Namaste teachers.

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5 Workshop to ACTIVATE Your Self-Care

 This month our studio focus is:

Self Care Activism

This is the Year of Empowerment and this month we are focused putting our self-care first. Taking time for ourselves isn’t selfish, it is necessary for us to show up wholly for the ones we love. We do our best work when we are feeling loved and confident. Self-care is also contagious. When we see someone make the choice to create space for self-care, it gives us permission to do the same. All month we are asking you to stand up for self-care and inspire those around you to do care for themselves too!

Here are our top five picks this month for workshops that will help you fully embrace your self-care vibes:

Blissful Body with Adam Kurzfield and Kameko Shibata

The art of self-care is a radical practice that allows us to slow down, nurture ourselves and enjoy the transition of winter into spring. This three hour workshop has restorative yoga and hands on massage, accompanied by live music – perfect!

Date: Sunday February 12 From: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Location: Grand Lake

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Self Care Sadhana with Kameko Shibata 

Take Valentine’s Day back with a week long sadhana geared towards cultivating radical self-care as an act of self-love. Activate your body with an all levels flow, pranayama, meditation and explore a take home self-care tool.

Sat Date: February 12-17 From: 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM Location: Berkeley

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Big Little Bowl with Sonya Genel and Arasa Maram

A heartfelt yoga practice with LIVE music followed by a nourishing meal. Step into a rhythmic flow of body and sound, heighten your senses, and finish feeling profoundly revitalized.

Date: Sunday, February 12 From: 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM Location: Rockridge

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Warm the Heart Sound Bath with Missy Felsenstein

Experience ultimate relaxation during the live sound savasana led by sound alchemist Missy Felsenstein. In this special sound bath evening, indulge in meaningful rest and a soothing mental calm while being “bathed” by the blended, meditative tones of Paiste gongs and quartz crystal singing bowls.

Date: Tuesday, February 14 From: 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Location: Rockridge

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Love Your Body with Kimber Simpkins

“Love Your Body” is easy to say and harder to feel. Get down-to-earth advice on relating to your body with a little more friendliness every day with Kimber Simpkins, author of 52 Ways to Love Your Body. Find lasting peace within your body, and learn how to be your body’s best friend, starting wherever you are

Sat Date: February 24, 2017 From: 1:30 PM – 6:00 PM Location: Grand Lake

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Self-Care Ritual: Get Outside

This month, our focus is #SELFCAREACTIVISM. Our Namaste teachers have shared how they choose to love and care for themselves.

For the rest of February we’ll be calling out some of the best ways to practice self-love, from hiking to hiding away with a good book, all of our tips will be highlighted here.

First practice? GET OUTSIDE. Read on to hear from them and see some awesome research on why nature therapy is self-care gold!

The Bay Area is known for our immense amount of hiking and natural spaces, more than almost any other city in the US. We are cradled by the ocean and bay to our west, rolling hills full of red wood groves and chaparral meadows to the east. Getting outside can be a big adventure or a stroll to your neighborhood park. Need motivation? Here are some awesome benefits of being in nature:

    1.  Japanese researchers have shown that forest bathing, the practice of sitting in the forest, lowers your blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate variability. It has also been shown to decrease stress hormone levels.
    2. People who live close to nature experience less anxiety and depression. Walking in nature has been shown to improve mood and short-term memory in people with depression, as well as decrease rumination (repetitive, negative thoughts) and brain activity associated with mental illness.
    3. Being outdoors, and away from artificial lights, helps synchronize your biology to natural circadian rhythms. Scientists investigating chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms, have shown that our connection to natural light/dark cycles helps to regulate our sleep, our moods, our stress levels, and our hormones.
    4. One study found that children with ADHD showed significantly better concentration after taking a 20-minute walk in nature, compared to a walk in an urban setting. Another study showed that taking a walk in the park (or even just looking at green space) helped to ease brain fatigue and increase participants’ abilities to concentrate. Spending time outside makes us feel connected to a bigger picture of life.

We are excited to share in this collective experience. Cheers to a new month full of self-care inspiration.

Join our community Facebook group, Year of Empowerment Club  for weekly tips and journal prompts.

Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips from your favorite Namaste teachers.

Research Sources via MindBodyGreen. 

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Self-Care Activism Starts NOW.

Last month we launched our Year of Empowerment campaign. We focused on Honoring Our Epic-ness and supported each other during our 14 Day Mantra Meditation Challenge. Our intention: to start the year off empowered to live a heroic life. Now we’re ready for month two – SELF-CARE ACTIVISM!

What is Self Care Activism?

We’ve all heard it before: Take care of yourself. We tell this to anyone we love. Our sick child, our stressed partner, our hurt friend – we say, “Slow down, be kind to yourself.”

Why then do we struggle to put our own needs first? 

We’re living in tumultuous times. It’s the perfect storm for self-care to take a backseat. Caught up in putting out fires and accomplishing lingering to-dos, self-care often feels like a luxury we can’t afford. We may feel that there are bigger tasks, more important causes, that need our attention. We put off self-care thinking we’ll have more time tomorrow…or maybe this weekend.

The truth is – staying run-down costs us. The more exhausted we become, the less we can critically think. We lose touch with our truth and power. We don’t show up as the people we want to be.

This month our intention is to change that. We’re bringing self-care front and center. We are calling on each person in our community to not only put their self-care first, but to share their self-care practices with others. Heres how:

Community Practice:

One Daily Ritual

Choose one simple practice, a daily ritual, that makes you feel loved and nourished. It can be something you already do or brand new. It can be small, like making tea each morning, or longer, like drawing a warm bath. Practice every day in February to ground in your right to enjoy being alive.

Now for the ACTIVISM:
Share with one friend or loved one each week. Proudly loving ourselves gives others permission to love themselves deeply too. Vocalizing our own practices encourages others to take the time out they need to replenish and reset. 

How can you share? Here are some tips:

  • Send them a text letting encouraging them to try your favorite practice.
  • Gift them an appointment.
  • Recommend your favorite tools (oils, dry brush, foam roller, tea brand) or practitioners.
  • Send them an email with the health benefits of your selfcare practice.
  • Post photos of yourself post-bliss or of your favorite product to use in your ritual.

Use the hashtag #SelfCareActivism to spread the word on why selfcare is SO important.

As we begin this week, I’ll keep providing you with tools to keep the energy alive. If you have any questions along the way – don’t hesitate to ask. This is meant to be collaborative. I look to you as the experts.

We are excited to share in this collective experience. Cheers to a new month full of self-care inspiration.

Join our community Facebook group, Year of Empowerment Club  for weekly tips and journal prompts.

Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips from your favorite Namaste teachers.

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Mantra Meditation: Keep It Going

Today is the last day of our 14 Day Mantra Meditation practice. As the first month of our Year of Empowerment begins to fade into a new chapter – we want to encourage you to keep up your mantra practice throughout the rest of the year. Mantras can help remind us of our power, our inner peace, and our ability to weather change and resistance. They are malleable and can adjust to whatever we are facing in our life. You can have one mantra or many. You can say them aloud, our quietly to yourself.

The process of building a more empowered life starts by integrating practices that boost our self-confidence, support our mindfulness practices, and offer relief from fear and doubt. Over the next 12 months you can pick and choose what practices work best for you!

As a last harah we are sharing with you three more inspiring tips from our Namaste tribe:

Ashley West Roberts

The way I currently practice is by choosing weekly mantras that go on my calendar on the first day of each week.

I memorize and repeat them each morning before I get out of bed and throughout the day as needed. And that is often! My mantra (which I have already shared with my students this week) is from Judith Lasater…

“Relaxation is the process of observing your tension”
When I feel stressed or overwhelmed I pause and repeat this and notice how my body responds. Simple.

 

Annemaria Rajala

Annemaria Rajala

I love using mantras!
 
Here’s a mantra that I use with my Prenatal students as we work through a challenging moment:
Inhale: I am Strong, 
Exhale:I am Capable
I learned this from my good friend Julie Anne while pregnant myself and used it as labor got going. It was massively helpful and empowering.

 

Simona Balan

An empowering one that I really like and could qualify as a mantra is this quote from Pema Chodron:  You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”
Otherwise, my favorite empowering mantra that is not in english is Om mani padme siddhi hum ri
– a reminder that, just like a muddy lake is home to the pure lotus flower, what we perceive as the “ugly” or “challenging” parts of ourselves are in fact our greatest opportunities for growth towards attaining pure joy, compassion, and inner peace. I sing this mantra often at the end of my yoga classes, during savasana.
 
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How to Create Your Mantra:

Think about what you personally need to hear. Often Mantras begin as affirmations, “I am, I choose to be, I believe…” Mantras are statements, not questions, that enforce a value or belief about ourselves and the world.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and here of course for inspiration all month long. 

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Mantra Meditation Inspiration: Part Two

Last week we announced our 14 Day Mantra Meditation practice. This is part two of our three part series featuring Namaste teachers and the mantras they use to keep themselves feeling grounded and empowered. If you are just picking your own mantra or affirmation now – no worries! You can join in the fun at any time. The prize is the same: feeling more present, engaged, and in love with your self.

Elika Aird

Catch Elika this Wednesday for her 30 Days to Thrive mini-immersion co-led with Naushon Kabat-Zinn.

View Elika’s weekly yoga class schedule.

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Margi Young

Margi Young

My favorite mantra that I made up!

“What if this was savasana?”
(like during a hard pose, or a hard conversation, or listening to the news)

 

Another way of saying this would be:
“Can i rest in every moment?”

 

 

Sparkle Thornton

Sparkle Thornton

My personal theme for 2017  is Upgrade to Thrive. My personal mantras/affirmations can be condensed to this:

My 4 agreements for art and career in 2017:
my career is prosperous
my health is abundant
my creativity is endless
my life has direction
 
I say this often as I close my practice or meditations. See Sparkle’s weekly yoga class schedule or book a massage!
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How to Create Your Mantra:

Think about what you personally need to hear. Often Mantras begin as affirmations, “I am, I choose to be, I believe…” Mantras are statements, not questions, that enforce a value or belief about ourselves and the world.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and here of course for inspiration all month long. 

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Mantra Meditation Inspiration: Part One

Today is the day! Our community is ready to put our 14 Day Mantra Meditation practice into action. If you’re still seeking some inspiration, no stress – we’ve got you covered. We asked our Namaste teachers to share with us mantras they are currently using to live a stronger, fuller life. We’ll be sharing these as the challenge progresses over the next two weeks. To get started, here is part one of three inspiring posts full of wisdom straight from the mouths of our Namaste teachers:

Jill Lindsay White

My favorite mantra is Ong Namo Guru Dav Namo.  Translated as: I bow to the creative energy of the infinite, I bow to the divine channel of wisdom.
I sing this to myself whenever I need a little boost.

 

Catch Jill teaching Therapeutic Yoga Thursdays 4:30-5:45 PM and Saturdays 8:30-9:45 AM at Namaste Rockridge. And for our Grand Lake students, don’t miss her Fridays 10:00-11:30 AM! squiggle-line

Kameko 11Kameko Shibata

atha yoga-anushasanam ||1||

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥

atha yoga-anuśāsanam ॥1॥

“now, begins the exploration of yoga. ”

This is the first sutra of the yoga sutras. I have been chanting it in class with my students as the year begins. Discussing the symbolism of “atha” that auspicious “now”. “Now is the beginning, the “atha” is the bija or seed mantra to that whole sutra. Each time we get distracted and we forget our place, our breath, our way, on and off the mat, we can use “atha”, “now” I realize and begin again.

Yoga is non-judgmental.

She is always ready to take us back, to let us begin again and again.

In India my teachers always say,”Asana is for the body, pranayama for the breath and mantra for the mind”

That’s all to say, I’m all about the power of mantra. and often have students use “om” chanting and moving!

Catch Kameko Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at Namaste Grand Lake for 7:00-8:00 AM Morning Vinyasa!squiggle-line

Domonick WegesinDomonick Wegesin

I like the mantra “So Ham”.  Sanskrit phrase meaning “I Am That”. “I Am” signifies individual consciousness and “That” signifies Universal Consciousness.  Anything you see in the world is a reflection of universal consciousness.  The mantra helps the individual, small self, identify with all that is.

It also serves as a reminder that everything we witness in the world, whether pleasant or unpleasant, judged positively or negatively, is within us.   

It’s easy to judge others for their shortcomings, greed, hate, etc., but So Ham reminds us that we have those traits in us too, that we sometimes act from greed and hate.  It cultivates connection rather than separation.

Don’t miss a chance to practice with Domonick!  Mondays/Wednesdays 4:30-5:50 PM Hatha at Namaste Rockridge, 8:15-9:15 AM Pranayama and 9:30-11:00 AM Hatha at Namaste Grand Lake, and 9:30-10:50 AM Saturdays at Namaste Rockridge.

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How to Create Your Mantra:

Think about what you personally need to hear. Often Mantras begin as affirmations, “I am, I choose to be, I believe…” Mantras are statements, not questions, that enforce a value or belief about ourselves and the world.

 

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and here of course for inspiration all month long. 

Please follow and like us:
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Honor Your Epic-ness: 14 Day Mantra Meditation

Last week we launched our Year of Empowerment campaign catalyzing a new 12 month journey of community exploration into living an empowered life.

As promised, we’re ready for our first community practice of the year!

JANUARY’S FOCUS:

14 Day Mantra Meditation Challenge aimed at Honoring YOUR Epic-ness.

We’re sure you’ve noticed the flood of New Year, New You messages coming in hot from every corner of the web. Instead of worrying about what we want to change, we felt it was more important to notice the things we already LOVE about ourselves.

If we can’t honor the amazing parts of ourself – how will we be able to see with clear eyes what really needs to shift?

Let the anxiety of resolutions melt away into a month focused on simply honoring the beautiful, capable person you already are.

A practice that is helpful in boosting self-confidence and solidifying our feelings of inner epic-ness is the use of daily mantras. Mantras are powerful tools leveraging language to shape our consciousness. A mantra can be used in morning meditation, at the beginning or end of a practice, or even throughout the day during difficult or uninspired moments.

my-mantra-example

 

How to Create Your Mantra:

Think about what you personally need to hear. Often Mantras begin as affirmations, “I am, I choose to be, I believe…” Mantras are statements, not questions, that enforce a value or belief about ourselves and the world.

 

 

Think about the fact that YOUR narrative is what plays as the soundtrack to your life, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We’re pretty sure no one actively chooses mantras like “I am so behind” or “I messed up again” – but these are the thoughts we get stuck with more often than not.

Together, let’s begin changing our narrative to help manifest a story of heroic proportions.

Beginning THIS Wednesday, January 11th until Wednesday, January 25th 

we’re asking you to pick a sentence, a word, or a phrase that makes you feel strong, loved, and in control of your own story.

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Here is how we want to support you:

  1. Pick up your personal Mantra Meditation card at the front desk on your next visit. Write your personal mantra on the card and keep close for reflection.
  2. Join our community Facebook group, Year of Empowerment Club  for weekly tips and journal prompts.
  3. Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips and mantras from your favorite Namaste teachers.

We are excited to share in this collective experience. Cheers to a strong, loving, and EPIC beginning to 2017.

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Namaste’s Year of Empowerment

The new year may feel like a new start, but the truth is, we don’t begin again from scratch. We evolve from our past experiences into new ways of living in and engaging with our world. Aligned with the classical story of the hero’s journey, we believe 2017 is the perfect year for exploring how we’ve arrived in this moment and what steps can be taken towards living a truly empowered life. We’re focusing our 2017 practice on inspiring a lifestyle that carries our yoga from the mat to daily life with confidence and grace.

Most heroes begin their journey from humble beginnings – aware that they’re ready for a change but waiting for the right call to action. Consider this your call. We wish for all of our students to rise up and embrace the power we all hold to live our best life.

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Toss out the idea of flimsy new year’s resolutions and instead join us in committing to 12 months of exploring a heroic life . We plan to dig into the nitty gritty – from facing down our shadows to defining what success really means to each of us as individuals.

Namaste is excited to help you create your unique heroic journey towards a more empowered life. We plan to facilitate this creation of your individual story through prompts provided on our blog, guided meditations from our Namaste teachers, focused workshops, thematic classes, and fun promotions throughout the year. Think of it as a sweet thread through all of the amazing things already happening within our studio walls.

This 2017 let your practice become your power. Next week we will be releasing our first challenge – a 14 Day Mantra and Meditation Practice – our first goal: Honoring Our Epic-ness.

Stay tuned and follow along by doing the following:

Happy New Year!

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