Springtime Ayurvedic Wellness

As we slowly emerge from the chills of Wintertime and into the blossoming of Spring, we are welcomed not only by the warmer days, blooming flowers, and abundant sunshine but also by the mind and body’s need for rejuvenation and replenishing. With Spring comes the urge for a fresh start – a cleansing of the cozy, hibernating lifestyle held in Winter. While we move through this transition, the longer days and warmer temps are not the only things that are changing – our bodies are biologically set to make a shift as well requiring some focus and attention, self-care, detox, and reflection. Common habits of Winter include eating more and moving less. The chilly weather and decreased sunlight prompt us to seek out more food and eat it quicker – it is a primitive response in preparation for the colder months (although some may argue that the increase comes from more opportunities to eat due to the festivities of the holidays).

Whatever the reason may be, once these habits are adopted, it has a direct effect on overall health and well-being. In the western society, we most commonly refer to the seasons as four cycles in a year; Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. However, in Ayurvedic practice, these cycles break down into three seasons that also coincide with the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Leaving Winter means leaving Vata season, which is comprised of air and ether. This period is generally from late Fall into early Winter and is characterized by cold, dry, windy, and light (think airy) qualities. As Spring approaches, we head into the Kapha period which is from late Winter into Summertime and is made up of water and earth. It is characterized by heavy, slow, solid, and oily qualities. To prepare our minds and bodies for this shift and optimize health, we can use the wisdom of Ayurveda to guide us through this transition and on our way to joining the flowers in blooming.

Ayurvedic Spring Wellness Tips

First things first – let’s talk food! As mentioned, diet makes a huge shift with the season and so we must actively pay attention to not only what we’re eating, but how we are eating. This means adopting balanced eating habits that will be beneficial in providing nutrients that give us energy, help keep us full, and practice mindful eating. Eating mindfully is important because it affects digestion and how the body converts food into energy. For example, if you are feeling anxious or stressed while eating (i.e. sitting in traffic on your morning commute), your body will process your food differently than it would if you were sitting at the table eating slowly and paying close attention to your senses – how the food tastes, smells and feels. I invite you to give it a try and reflect on how it makes you feel.

Another nutrition-related tip is to eat foods that are in season and that will be pacifying to the Kapha Dosha. Decrease heavy or stimulating foods like caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and meat, and integrating pungent, drier, and warming foods and spices like turmeric, ginger, lemon, berries, sprouts, and greens, which are naturally cleansing for the body. These foods tend to be lighter than the comfort foods of Winter. Trying out new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients is always a fun way to discover your new favorite, healthy dish! And as always, stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water (might I suggest adding lemon?), and swap out coffee for refreshing herbal iced tea like hibiscus or blood orange.

Ayurvedic Spring Wellness Tips

Now that we’ve dabbled in food-related changes, we can move on to that mental, self-care part that I mentioned earlier (WOO!). Springtime is a time for cleansing, reflecting, and deciding to let go of what is no longer serving us in a bountiful and loving way. This can mean a number of different things ranging from simply cleaning out your closet to cutting off toxic relationships. Let this time be a period of reflection and self-inquiry – find yourself journaling and revisiting those goals you may have set at the beginning of the year, and if you never got around to it, set them now! Now is always a good time to start and remember not to beat yourself up if you’ve fallen off track, just keep on going with self-love and compassion.

Life can feel hectic with all this change and transition, so channeling your energy towards creating a routine for yourself is always a helpful practice. Create a morning and evening routine and stick to it! This could be taking time to really dive into your yoga practice (see class schedule here), meditation, reading a book, journaling, and speaking words of affirmation. Another practice to incorporate is pranayama like Bhastrika – or bellows breath which helps to increase the flow of prana throughout the body’s energy channels, removes excess congestion, and helps to lighten the mood. Strive to keep consistency within your daily routine and notice the benefits of your practice. Lastly, one of the best habits you can get into with the changing seasons is to get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Aerobic activities as simple as going for a long walk or riding your bike can benefit the mind-body drastically – stimulating the brain and invigorating the body! Bask in the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air!

Taking the time your body needs to feel refreshed will have you feeling so grateful you did, as well as provide an incentive for you to continue on this path. Let this time be a transition into a greater, brighter, more self-loving you! Happy Spring!

Bay Area's Best Yoga Studio Now Hiring Front Desk Staff

Rhiannon is a true, wild adventurer pursuing wellness at heart, and a total lover of life. Originally from the Rocky Mountains of Denver, she came to the Bay Area in 2013 to finish her degree in Psychology and feed her hunger for exploration. She is on a journey pursuing Yoga Therapy and has recently completed trainings with the Art of Yoga Project based in the greater Bay Area, and her RYT-200 hour certification in Yoga Therapy and Alignment in Koh Phangan, Thailand. Her passion for the world of wellness is something that is deeply rooted in her everyday endeavors and something she wishes to share with her community and the world! Time well spent to her means practicing and teaching yoga, meditating, writing, snuggling her kitties, cooking yummy, healthy food, dancing, backpacking, rock climbing, and traveling. To learn more about her journey, and for some fun inspiration, follow her on instagram @truewildwell!

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GOOD VIBES: Spring Challenge is HERE!

Good Vibes Spring Challenge

Kick-off spring with our Good Vibes community challenge!

Score points over the next six weeks by engaging with your Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. When you’ve accomplished nine activities turn your card into the front desk for a chance to win ONE MONTH OF UNLIMITED YOGA!

Step 1: Pick up a card on your next visit.

Step 2: Take ACTION to GET STAMPED by the front desk for things like coming to class. ENGAGE with a new friend to FILL IN THE BLANK and learn something new about someone. Practice self-care by savoring a cup of tea to CHECK IT OFF under SCOUT’S HONOR.

Step 3: Turn in your card at the front desk to receive a beautiful Namaste Reusable Shopping Bag and enter for a chance to win!

We will be choosing three winners on Friday, May 18th!

All participating students will receive a Namaste Reusable Shopping Bag.

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Community Classes: 5 Facts to Inspire YOU

Namaste offers community sliding-scale donation classes at all three studios on a weekly basis. I was inspired when asked to teach the Thursday night donation class because of the power of community. Comunity is a great refuge in these uncertain times.

At Namaste, let’s inspire and uplift each other and the broader community. Let your friends and family know about the healthy chance to practice yoga and meditation together! Our Thursday night Yoga + Meditation class at Namaste Rockridge is donation-based and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring your friend or loved one with you.

When I feel the need to be reminded of how important community is I seek out inspiration like the piece below transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network, based on the work of Milton Olson:

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help, and we give our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangement of gifts, talents, or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help or protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.Bay Area's Best Yoga Teacher

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Meet Your Staff: Rose Barkley

Rose is modeling some of our newest apparel from the Namaste Boutiques.

Featured here: Joah Brown black tank and Beyond Yoga high waisted leggings. Perfect to go from the studio to the street.

Each week for the next few weeks we will be highlighting one of our incredible Namaste tribe members! With so many inspiring, passionate folks working at Namaste we felt it was a crime to keep their shining personalities from the rest of the world.

Meet Your Staff: Rose Barkley

How long have you been at Namaste and what do you do here?
I started in August 2017 and I am the Assistant Manager at GL

Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in the Bay Area?
Originally from Kansas City, I gravitated to the Bay Area in 2013.

Favorite part of Namaste?
The community, daily practice of kindness, and seeing people’s bliss radiate after a yoga class or massage session.

Best Bay Area Yoga Jobs

Best advice you have ever gotten?
Be true to who you are, everything else will fall in place.

How often do you practice?
Daily practice!

What is your favorite thing about yoga?
The experience of reconnecting with my own body and mind, finding connection through community and experiencing a happier more fulfilled self.

Best Bay Area Yoga Jobs

What are your favorite self care practices?
Aromatherapy and a long steamy shower

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I teach yoga, run my on small business where I make soft goods and hang out with my fur children

We know you love our teachers equally – BUT whose classes do you take the most?
this is so tough…I honestly have been trying out anyone and everyone but totally dig Jaimi Patterson

Best Bay Area Yoga Jobs

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Winter Recipes: Rhea’s Elderberry Syrup

Looking for delicious, nourishing, and supportive recipes for Winter? We have it covered. We went straight to the experts, our Namaste Healers and Teachers, and have curated some of their favorite tonics, treats, and tinctures to take while we wait for the season to warm back up!

Rhea’s Elderberry Syrup

A simple Elderberry syrup is perfect for the fall and winter seasons with changes in temperatures and shifting energy patterns can make us vulnerable to colds and the flu. Elderberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, Iron, and flavonoids.

To make the syrup, combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Allow to cool then strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil! Bottle in sterilized glass.

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Steph Wood’s Adaptogenic Morning Tea

Earlier this month we interviewed Namaste Teacher Steph Woods and asked her about her favorite morning routine. When we found out her rise and shine ritual includes a delicious cup of adaptogenic tea we knew we had to share the recipe. What are adaptogens all about? According to the wellness site Well+Good, Adaptogens’ biggest superpowers are that:

They protect the body from the toxic effects of stress, which is arguably the gnarliest health issue of our time.

They might seem totally of-the-moment, but the term was actually coined by the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Health way back in 1947—referring to a class of herbs and mushrooms that offer heavy-duty support for the body’s natural resistance to “adverse influences,” explains Ric Scalzo, the CEO and founder of Gaia Herbs (you might just call him adaptogens’ head cheerleader).

Those influences include anything that taxes the body, from illness to working out (like when you don’t take your rest days) to straight-up stress.

Pretty awesome right? So let’s get into it. Below is the recipe for Steph’s morning tea. If you are worried about using the exact brand, don’t stress. You can find a variety of options out in the world or at your nearest health food store. Mix it up by adding fresh turmeric, ginger, or cinnamon too!

Steph Wood’s Adaptogenic Morning Tea:

  • Coconut creme or coconut milk
  • Boiling Water
  • Nutmeg
  • And a little (about a half or full teaspoon each)
    of the teas below. The teas are from a company in Australia called Superfeast and I absolutely love them.

So simple and quick. Imagine sitting down in the morning with a fresh cup of tea to start off your day with gratitude, mindfulness, and nourishment!

Steph Wood's Adaptogenic Tea with SuperFeastSteph Wood's Adaptogenic Tea with SuperFeast

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Don’t Leave Good Vibes on a Loaner Mat

Yoga mats are like magic carpets. The first few moments of being on your mat may inspire a sense of being home. But like a magic carpet, your mat has the ability to transport you to an entirely new internal landscape. This 6ft by 2ft piece of seemingly benign material can become a sacred space, a portal that unlocks the deepest feelings of serenity, insight, and growth.  Whether you finish your practice sweaty and tired or calm and rejuvenated – it is rare you leave your mat feeling the same as when you first stepped on.

This month we are celebrating the MAGIC OF THE MAT by offering 20% off all yoga mats at all three studios! Your mat is like a friend you can carry with you throughout your health and wellness journey. It absorbs everything from good vibes to happy tears… and all the other less palatable buggers like bacteria, viruses, and dirt. This is why we can’t stress enough how important it is to GET YOUR OWN MAT!

So where do you start in finding the perfect practice companion? Follow our handy flow-chart and find your perfect match!

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Find Your Perfect Yoga Mat

Try a B Yoga Mat

• The stickiest mat we’ve found!
• A combo of natural and synthetic rubber, this increases durability and longevity of the mat.
• Synthetic rubber is a by-product of the plastics industry, reducing landfill waste.
• Mat finishing process is more environmentally-friendly than other methods of curing.

Try a Manduka X

• Designed with some thickness and texture to work for all kinds of mat activities, including yoga, pilates, and TRX
• High-density cushion
• Very grippy
• Made with recyclable materials
• Crafted without toxic glues or solvents

Try a Jade Mat.

• Made of rapidly renewable natural rubber • Made in the US
• Comes in 3 different weights
• Open cell technology for a sticky mat experience.
• Avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Try a Manduka EkoLite Mat.

• Made of biodegradable natural tree rubber
• Free of toxic chemicals or dyes.
• Finished with a unique texture and gorgeous colors.
• For the longest life span, keep stored in a cool dry place.

Try a Manduka EkoLite Mat.

• Made of biodegradable natural tree rubber
• Free of toxic chemicals or dyes.
• Finished with a unique texture and gorgeous colors.
• For the longest life span, keep stored in a cool dry place.

Try a Manduka ProLite Mat

• Sticky mat takes a little time to break in, but it’s worth it!
• Closed cell technology makes for easy cleaning
• Excellent cushion
• Lifetime guarantee
• Gorgeous colors

In a high traffic yoga studio (we see over 2000 of you each week!) it’s nearly impossible to keep loaner mats 100% fresh and clean before each and every use. While we do our best to keep up – loaner mats are truly meant to be in emergency situations only.

Visit one of our three beautiful boutiques during the entire month of February to take advantage of our Annual Mat Sale! Ask one of our friendly front desk coordinators for help navigating our mat choices.

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Jade Yoga Mats 1

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Meet Your Teacher: Domonick Wegesin

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Domonick Wegesin:

How long have you been at Namaste?
10 years

What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
Yoga helped me face my fears of not being enough. I have always loved to teach, and realized I would love to teach something that had been so impactful in my own life.

Your favorite literature on yoga or meditation?
The writings of Pema Chodron and Mary Oliver.

Which teachers have influenced your practice?
David Goulet, Annie Carpenter, Janet Stone, Richard Rosen, Dylan Werner

How often do you practice?

What is your morning or evening routine?
Morning pranayama and chanting with my husband. We start each day in sync, every breath for the first 30 minutes of the day in tandem.

Your favorite self-care practices?
Hiking in Nature, soaking in our hot tub under the trees and sky, dancing, yoga.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
Crazy about our Schnoodle, love to dance.

Absolute favorite asana?
Wild Thing – love it’s beauty, curvilinear form and heart-offering expression.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
The people who are the most accepting of any place I’ve ever lived.

Anything else you want to share?
So grateful to be in the Namaste Community to have a place to share the teachings of yoga and meditation. Thankful for Kimberly and her vision.

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Meet Your Teacher: Danielle Woermann

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Danielle Woermann:

When and where do you teach?
I teach Nia Dance at Namaste Berkeley!

How long have you been at Namaste?
5 years

What inspired you to become an instructor?
I was inspired to become a Nia teacher when I began taking classes 17 years ago in Oakland from Shelly Ross.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
I enjoy Gabrielle Roth’s Maps to Ecstasy.

Which teachers influence your practice?
My teachers are Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas who inspire me every day through their routines and teachings.

What does your Nia practice look like and how has it changed your life?
When I began my Nia practice, I wasn’t fully aware of my body’s sensations. Nia has taught me to be in sensation and to be able to heal myself emotionally, physically and spiritually.

What is something you wish your students knew?
I wish they knew that access to their self-healing potential is completely available.

What is your morning or evening routine? (whichever is your favorite..or both!)
I practice the Nia 5 Stages in the morning which is a short physical routine which increases mobility, strength and stability.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Being able to share music, magic, and joy.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
Home life, beekeeping, volunteer work.

What is your go-to movement (asana, dance, hiking, etc.) that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself? *
I dance, hike and practice hula hooping. I attend weekly yoga classes and also enjoy the subtle healing of Breema technique.

I can never get over the diversity of the Bay Area and Oakland in particular. Best weather anywhere!

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Your Year in Review: 2017 Personal Inventory Worksheet


Memory is a funny thing. The more time passes, the more our recollection of the past shifts and evolves, taking on the hue of the present moment’s wisdom. Take some time this month before we welcome 2018 to document the highs and lows of 2017. What path did you take? There is no sweeter gift for yourself than creating space to touch in with your mind, body, and spirit. Try this ritual below to honor the closing of one year and the birth of another:

  1. Find a quiet space (or somewhat quiet space if you have roommates, children, excited pets).
  2. Light a candle or burn some palo santo.
  3. Pull out a special journal or some fresh white pieces of paper.
  4. Close your eyes, take 10 deep breaths in and out, watching your out breath. You can place your hand over your heart or rest gently on your thighs.
  5. Set an intention for this practice. A suggestion would be “I am grateful for all this year brought and open to honest reflection”
  6. Get writing! Save this worksheet nearby and check-in on it throughout next year to see how far you have come!

Download your very own Year of Empowerment Personal Inventory worksheet!

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

Join us for a New Year’s Day Benefit Class to support Habits for Humanity! The best way to kickstart your new year.

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