Summer Reading List Volume 1

Stay Curious! Summer is a great time to catch up on your active desire to read more and be inspired. Here, we’ve collected some top yoga-relative reading from your fave teachers. So, before it’s too late, pick a book up from our boutiques or load up your kindle with some of these brilliant recs. Keep reading below to find your next favorite page-turner.

[We’ve asked Namaste teacher Jaimie Patterson to model some of our newest summer styles available in the Namaste Boutique. Perfect for lounging around with your favorite book!]

Bottom Left: ELANA MORGULIS, LMFT, E-RYT: Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now was the first big game changer in my life. I felt soothed and transformed just reading it. As I moved more into clinical work with people in my studies of wellness and mindfulness, Jon Kabat Zinn’s Full Catastrophe Living was an informative, experiential read.

Bottom Right: JERRY GIVENS Art of Joyful Living, by Swami Rama. I often recommend this book to beginning yogis who want to know how they can take what they learn in the classroom out into their lives, answering the questions “how do I live like a yogi?” I find it to be inspiring while remaining grounded with layman practical advice for anyone at any stage of their practice.

Top Left: JILL LINDSAY: Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater!

Top Right: AVA ROY: any and all of the poetry by Hafiz.

Bottom Left: ANNA LANDAUER: A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield

Bottom Right: MARGI YOUNGYoga of the Subtle Body by  Tias Little, Light on Yoga!!  by Iyengar, anything by Dohna Farhi, The Inner Traditions of Yoga-Michael Stone (in tribute), Atlas of Human Anatomy by Netter, Yoga Sutras by Chip Hartranft

Top Left: SIMONA BALANTrue Yoga by Jennie Lee, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, Healthy at 100 by John Robbins

Top Right: REBECCA ROGERS:  Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson, Coming Back to Life (2014) by Joanna Macy, Trauma Stewardship by Laura Van Dernoot Lipsky

Heads down people!

Learn more about our amazing teachers here. (Including Jaimi Patterson, featured in pics in this post.)

   

Shop local and visit our boutiques where many of these books (and clothes) are available for sale!

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The Scented Life: Meet Tracy of White Sage Wellness

In the spirit of this month’s theme of community, and OUR Namaste community in particular, I wanted to share one local line of delightful products in our retail boutiques. This line is so local that it is created by one of our very own students.

Meet Tracy, the creatrix behind White Sage Wellness (formerly Apsara) and a long time yogi at Namaste.

White Sage aromatherapeutic products represent Tracy’s artistic expression of the healing powers of plant medicine. Each spray, oil or smudge wand is inspired by the seasons, cycles and elements of nature and intended as a ritual tool for mindfulness and creating sacred space.

    

“I have my products stationed throughout my home and use them frequently to remind myself to take mindful moments, to complement my yoga and meditation practice, for energetic cleansing and home cleaning.”

As a graduate of Namaste’s Yoga & Ayurveda teacher training last year, she weaves these philosophies along with nature & art therapy into her holistic counseling practice. Learn more about Tracy at  www.whitesagewellness.com.

Shop local and support the members of our Namaste community! Learn more about our boutiques here.

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Inspiration for Yoga in the Outdoors

Yoga is a practice that stretches beyond the time spent in classes or on the mat. It is a lifestyle, a way of interacting with the world around us. Yoga can help us connect on a deeper level to our breath, our body, and our ability to stay mindful. The weather is warming up and summer is right around the corner. In celebration, we asked a few of our Namaste community members why they love mixing their yoga with the great outdoors!

“We rock climb and I have found such a big connection with yoga and rock climbing. Obviously, being flexible and limber helps, but the more subtleties of body awareness in space and the mental aspect are huge. The only way I don’t totally loose my shit when on a high wall is by coming back to my breath and single pointed focus on what I am doing in that moment.” – Bekah Andrews, Rockridge Studio Manager

 

 

“To create emotional and mental space, to understand my life in a greater context, I turn toward nature. Spending time in the spaciousness of big sky, big trees, and big seas. The grandness of the natural world reminds us where we fit cosmically in the flow of the universe and helps us to gain perspective.” – Jerry Givens, Namaste Yoga + Meditation Teacher

 

 

 

“I love hiking. Going out on backpacking trips is the best way to clear my mind and let go of all the stress of everyday life. Yoga is the perfect complement to a long day of hiking and helps me to savor the moments in between. Taking off my boots and sinking my hands and feet into the earth after a long day of trekking is the best feeling. Literally grounding into nature and finding that moment of ultimate peace.” – Emily Roth, Marketing Manager

 

 

Get inspired by this beautiful video of Bekah and her husband Nick climbing in Sonoma!

 

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Take a Design Cue from your Yoga Studio

When you walk into the yoga studio and you get that special feeling — a sense of peace, or ease — what is it that creates that feeling? It could be the memory of savasanas past. But I have an idea that there are some design elements at play…Below are some design and decorating tips that we can take out of the studio and into our own homes, to carry the ease into our everyday existence.

  • Keep it simple, keep it spacious. Remember that less is always more, and leaves room for your thoughts and spirit.
  • Create a space for “intention” and place little reminders of beauty or happiness there. Like the altar in a yoga studio, create an intentional space to keep a few inspiring tokens on. Light it with candles sometimes.
  • Keep it low — integrating yoga bolsters and floor pillows into your decor provides for some fun recreation and feels like a more constant reminder of the life you want to live. Also — need a quick restorative? Grab that pretty bolster off your couch and just do it.
  • Choose meaningful art for your walls. A little daily inspiration goes a long way.
  • Scent is a powerful enhancer of experience and can bring you back to a remembered time and place. Keep a nice essential oil spray or palo santo on your altar to bring you back to that place of ease whenever you need it.
  • View it clearly. A little vista always sets the soul at ease. Set your furniture up with views to the outside, so that your soul can see what the future holds.

Check out our sweet boutiques at Namaste for some decor inspiration as you take charge of your spaces this Spring.

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Sacred Spaces with Tule Fog Candles

Candles have always had a soft spot in my heart. From their unique containers to their memory-invoking qualities, candles have been a large piece of creating a welcoming environment in my home and sacred spaces. Tule Fog Candles originated out of the need to have better quality candles for my spaces and rituals.

Tule Fog Candles | Namaste Yoga + Wellness

As industry would have it, the candle/beauty sector can be a bit scary. There are a lot of toxic chemicals used in everyday household items that are not disclosed to consumers. This did not sit well with us. Especially when it comes to burning things in our homes. Our promise at Tule Fog is to always use the best ingredients possible to keep our homes and lungs clean.

Since our inception, this January, Tule Fog has also played a large role in my yoga journey. Light and aroma are powerful tools when practicing yoga or sitting for meditation and can be transformative on and off your mat. Similar to essential oils, I have found that candles can ground, invigorate, relax, etc. Depending on the qualities you are seeking, lighting a candle can help lift your surroundings. Candles can also be impactful for sacred spaces around your home. Whether it’s a coffee table, night stand or alter, candles are a great way to create a conscious awareness of space for intention or prayer.

It’s never too late to take time for yourself and your space. And Spring is the perfect season to detox and refresh. Join us here at Namaste as we celebrate the season of simplifying and creating space. Light a candle, create your sacred space, and take time for you! Happy Spring!

Check out all of the beautiful Tule Fog creations here.

 

Tule Fog Candles is a passion project of our very own Front Desk Goddess Jackie! Be sure to ask her about her favorite scent next time you’re in the studio.

 

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Prana Pies: Love Infused Baking

by Grey Aurore Marcoux-Sydow

Something that I appreciate about my parents was their dedication to always preparing delicious, healthy meals for my sisters and I. Sharing meal time brought us together as a family in
a fun and satisfying way. One night where as an angst filled teenager I revealed to my dad that I didn’t really want to eat a piece of steak ever again. Unlike many of my friend’s parents, who would have told their kid that they were going to eat it anyway- my father had a very thoughtful approach to meeting my palate change. He told me that I didn’t have to eat steak, and that he was going to make something else for me entirely.

That night he served me what is still one of my favorite things to eat: a large, tender portabello mushroom cap. He sauteed the mushroom in garlic, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. When I took my first bite I knew that I’d never want to eat steak again and so began my love for mushrooms.

Although I didn’t realize it at the time, that was the beginning of my transition towards vegetarianism. When ten years later I enrolled in a yoga teacher training, part of our training was
adopting a vegetarian diet for 6 months. I was excited to embrace this dietary change, and I noticed that not only was I feeling great, but some other benefits included saving money, and
feeling good about not contributing to the needless death of animals for food.

My transition to veganism came about 2 years ago, when my husband shared a list of the proven benefits of adopting a plant based diet. At first I was skeptical, being that we both ate eggs
for breakfast almost every morning and cheese pizza was our favorite food. I already ate a healthy diet, so why in the world would I possibly give these things up? Well, it turns out that embracing a plant based diet is remarkably good for your personal health and the planet, as well as the obvious benefit to livestock. After a short time, I didn’t miss eggs at all due to all the other delicious, energy fueling vegan breakfasts I had discovered. And although I do still miss cheese once in a while, the benefits of not eating it far outweigh going back to consuming dairy products. When you start to realize the devastating health effects and the detrimental effects of dairy production-it’s hard to unlearn it. Suddenly, you don’t want cheese so much anymore.

Having friends over for dinner and introducing them to all the delicious flavors and vegan dishes is favorite way of introducing people to veganism. After a bountiful meal made up of
ingredients from our CSA (provided by the Oakland based Phat Beets), I like to serve friends something special that I’ve been perfecting over the past year: homemade raw, vegan pies!

     

Not only have they been called “mouth-wateringly delicious”, but they are mostly whole foods and free of refined sugar. These pies are made from seasonal, organic ingredients which I infuse with loving intention while I make them. They are packed full of nutrients to give you the energy you need to help you thrive. Ingredients like nuts, spices, coconut meat, fruits, and even seaweed all contribute to a dessert that is abundant in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, good fats and proteins.

What I love most is that these sweet, beautiful treats are so tasty and healthy that they are a perfect treat for children as well! Although it feels strange to credit my fish and meat loving father with my path to a plant based diet, I feel incredibly grateful to him for introducing me to the delectable mushroom he put on my plate some 15 years ago. In fact, it was only a couple months ago that he randomly remarked “Hey, by the way- I’m really proud of you and your husband for going vegan. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll tell you what: I’m quite sure it is the diet of the future.”

(You can find out more about Grey’s raw, vegan pie company by visiting her instagram at:Prana_Pies)
(You can learn more about veganism by watching the documentary Cowspiracy, and vistiting www.nutritionfacts.org)

About Grey Aurore Marcoux-Sydow: Grey was born and raised on the tiny island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. After graduating high school she postponed going straight into college choosing instead to travel to India where she immersed herself in yoga, meditation, volunteer work and traversing the Himalayas. Upon arriving back in the United States, she took a train to California and fell in love with the bay area which she has happily called her home for the past 10 years. Grey teaches mindfulness classes to children in schools and she is also a yoga teacher who firmly believes that yoga is something we do with our hearts and minds, not just our bodies. When she’s not teaching or working at Namaste you can find her rock climbing, cooking vegan food, writing short stories, foraging for mushrooms, and planning her next exotic vacation. Grey loves Namaste and feels fortunate to call such an awesome place “work”!

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Spring Staff Picks

We labor here all day, in love. We are the eyes of the studio and see everything that comes to fruition. We are the ears of the studio and hear all that is whispered.  We are the tongue of the studio and speak its truths. We are the heart of the studio and feel its pulse.

Want to see what we see? Here are some of our staff favorites. Visit our boutiques and find YOUR fave!

  

Kristen Swehla, Grand Lake Assistant Manager

I LOVE the deities.  I love all things God/Goddess and I feel good seeing them at work everyday.

#shakti #shiva
#divinefeminine #sacredmasculine
#archetypes
    


Tosha Beverlin, Programming Director

I LOVE our OmCali oils. I use them every day! And I switch up which scent I use each season. I’m using Dream right now 🙂 I also started using the oil face wash and it is a DIVINE experience.

  


Eliza Andrews, Berkeley Studio Manager

High waisted, full length, space-dye Beyond Yoga leggings… Sometimes I do laundry just so that I can wear them sooner!

  


Christine Blackmore, Operations Manager 

My current retail fave is my red Manduka Pro-Lite mat.
It is a beauty. Light, easy to break in, and it gives me a sweet and comfy ride in class. I love my mat because it feels like it will last forever and…i can feel all that juicy life love energy being absorbed with every additional class I take. It is cushiony without losing the feeling of being grounded down to the Earth.
In seated positions it provides just a bit more cush so my sit bones are more comfortable too.
I also think it is a good value, it feels like such a durable mat that I know I will be practicing on it for ages!

   


Grey Marcoux, Berkeley Assistant Manager

The opal star & moon necklace by Leslie Francesca is just dreamy! Plus take a peek at the opal heart and hamsa necklaces, equally as adorable.

  


Sunny Koh, Rockridge Front Desk

Hard to choose but if I had to, it would be the colorful and textured bolsters, zafus and pillows we have by Chattra. They’re fun and such a sweet way to liven up a space.

  


Kelsey Garden, Rockridge Assistant Manager

I would have to go with local artist (and Namaste student) Mary Siegfried’s one of a kind women’s pin.  I love the vintage feel it has & that we are bringing back wearing pins! March is also National Women’s History Month so I think it’s the perfect gift to give a strong, powerful woman in anyone’s life. Available at Rockridge studio only!

  


Ezri Chioma, Bookkeeper

The Melody Furry Scarf – I would have one of each color if i could!

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Thrive: A Personal Self-Care Plan Worksheet

Decision Fatigue and The Unbalanced Life

Life is all about balance. Creating self-care habits that sustain us through life’s up and downs is essential to a healthy lifestyle. If our delicate life balance becomes unruly we may end up sick, burnt out, or depressed. It is when we are unbalanced we reach for stimulants to keep us awake, we crave unhealthy food packed with sugar, and we seek media consumption to numb our mind over healthy hobbies like reading, exercise, or meditation.

Think of it this way, each morning when we wake up we have exactly 100 decision tokens. Each choice we make – what clothes to wear, what to feed the kids, which route to take to work – takes 1 token away. By the end of the day, unless our self-care routine has become habitual, it becomes relatively impossible to think of some way to care for ourselves. When we run out of mental tokens we end up in a state of mindlessness – often beating ourselves up over not doing better.

Yoga teaches us how to create space for self-love and care on and off the mat – but once our mat is rolled up we eventually revert to our default mode of go, go, go.

This is why breaking out of a routine, recommitting to our practice, and networking with others for support is essential when we feel the need to hit the reset button. Sometimes all it takes is structure, guidance, and a renewed sense of inspiration to help us raise our motivation and energy levels. Self-care doesn’t need to be a big thing. As long as we plan ahead, we can create a whole week of self-care!

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What Does Self-Care Look Like?

Self-care is different for everyone but we believe it has 3 main ingredients:

1) is enjoyable and loving.

2) nourishes or benefits your body, mind, or spirit in some way.

3) can be infused with intention for a balanced life.

For us, self-care can include:

  • 10 minute morning routine of dry brushing and oil massage with organic, cold-pressed oils.
  • Drinking a cup of hot water and lemon
  • 10 minute morning meditation
  • Taking an afternoon yoga class
  • Catching up with an old friend
  • Getting to bed before 10 PM
  • Going for a lunch break walk
  • Reading a new book

Self-care does not mean:

  • Beating ourself up for not sticking to a routine
  • Feeling stressed about ‘making time’ for self-care
  • Wishing we were different, not honoring ourself
  • Not being honest about our desires and intentions
  • Not taking time to reflect about our decisions
  • Taking on extra commitments because we feel we should

How can YOU get started?

Getting started it simple. You can begin by printing out the Namaste Weekly Self-Care Planner and filling it out! Find a few minutes throughout your day to commit to loving yourself in a way that feels personal and healthy for your unique self. If you are ready for a bigger reset, consider joining our 30 Days to Thrive tribe which begins Wednesday, January 18 with Naushon Kabat-Zinn and Elika Aird. The 30 Days to Thrive program is the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into your yoga practice, re-evaluate your relationship with food, learn new self-care techniques, and connect with others in your community who are striving to be their wisest, brightest selves.

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Download PDF: Namaste Personal Self-Care Plan Worksheet


About our 30 Day to Thrive teachers:

Naushon_Kabat-ZinnNaushon has been a student of yoga since she was a little girl. Her challenging, yet compassionate Power Vinyasa classes are a wonderful way to cultivate strength, serenity, flexibility and balance.  Inspired by her studies with Baron Baptiste, Shiva Rea, Baba Hari Dass, and the teachings of Vispassana (Insight) Meditation, Naushon’s all levels classes emphasize the linking of movement with breath, cultivating our ability to be more fully present and awake in our lives, and navigate the challenges that arise with more grace and kindness.

ElikaProfileAGrowing up with a love for dance, sports and music, Elika was naturally fascinated by the fluid and liberating practice of Vinyasa Yoga. After a severe back injury led her to the practice in 1999, Elika initially studied Iyengar and Anusara yoga and began to see her body healing and knew she wanted to inspire others to trust the innate ability of the body to regain harmony~full of vitality and bliss. When you take a class with Elika, expect to be inspired and to move your body possibly in ways you’ve never moved, exploring your creative intelligence and connecting with your own Source. Experience a soulful and dynamic weaving of healing music, yoga philosophy, poetry and vinyasa flow informed mostly by her Prana Flow training with Shiva Rea. 

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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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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).
    giftguide2016-c
  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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