January Manduka Yogi of the Month: Alan Perlberg

We’re so excited to be partnering with Manduka to recognize a Namaste yogi each month that is a staple of our community and who inspires us daily! For our second month we’d like to recognize Alan Perlberg, someone who lifts our spirits when we see him and is extremely dedicated to taking his practice off the mat! We asked Alan to share a little bit more about himself below:

Occupation?

Learning specialist

Fun Fact About You?

I find joy in making music 

What inspires you?

Falling down and getting back up

When you aren’t on the mat, where can we find you?

Out walking and hiking and spending time with lisa, my wife

Favorite East Bay business (other than Namaste :)?

Sushi Park or the Aurora Theater

How has your yoga practice shaped who you are?

Having the mat as a sacred place to do my own practice and to be part of something bigger …and bringing my practice out into the world

 Favorite Asana?

Mountain pose

Why do you love Namaste? 

Feeling part of a community … lots of classes with wonderful teachers having varied styles … helpful and friendly staff … convenience of Grand Lake location … and great massage too!

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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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Sadhana: What 21, 30, and 40 Days of Yoga Will Reveal to You

photo 4By Judy Rukat

[Originally posted on www.DoYouYoga.com]
January marks the season for fresh starts and you may see Yoga Challenges sprouting up all around you: at gyms and yoga studios, in your workplace with additions of yoga (office yoga, chair yoga, meditation breaks), and a sea of yoga selfies flooding your social media.‘Tis the season to get back to the mat! Let’s face it, some days (or weeks, or eeek…MONTHS) yoga ranks low on the to-do list. Have you deemed 2015 the year to go for it and deepen your practice by making it to your mat more consistently over the course of the next few weeks?If so, read on to learn more about what you can expect (as well as making room for the unexpected) during this transformative process.

The Meaning of SADHANA

Put simply, sadhana means dedicated practice. Typically, a modern day sadhana lasts 21, 30, or 40 days and will inevitably shake you free from your usual routine by creating new healthier habits.

The radical shift in your schedule will pull you up and out of your yoga slump as you observe your practice climb to the top of your mountain heap of priorities.

Without a doubt, for the willing practitioner, participating in sadhana will, at a minimum, encourage accountability and ensure that by SIGNING UP, you will actually SHOW UP and have a greater likelihood of sticking with it in the days (and hopefully years) to follow.

21 Days Later: From Resistance to Receptivity

Resistance or the “negative” fear of change differs from the “positive” fear that protects and warns of pending danger. Like all creatures of habit, we get used to moving in one direction and eventually become complacent.

When a desire arises and inspires us to change course, resistance slams on the breaks and stops us in our tracks. Critical self-talk, doubt, and rationalizations attempt to persuade us into continuing on our usual travels even when the path no longer supports our spiritual growth.

Receptivity, on the other hand, allows us to navigate life’s windy roads full of scary twists and uncertain turns. You will certainly confront the stubborn roadblocks of resistance that tend to get in your way during the first 21 days of your sadhana. You may even consider quitting.

If you can stick through it, you will discover that you have developed a calminner “knowing” that allows you to receive life as it comes your way and handle those difficult transitions with grace.

30 Days Later: From Grief to Gratitude

There is necessary grief which is part of the healing process when recovering from a loss, and then, there is the lingering grief wrought with shame and regret for the things we cannot go back in time to change.

This second type of grief can paralyze and blind us from seeing anything beyond our identities, stories, and personal histories. Gratitude, however, grants you permission to bow to the past, honor the lessons learned, and release it once and for all.

Practice is repetition, and showing up for 30 days requires enormous patience to overcome monotony and wake up to the universe of subtleties going on during a meditation, asana, and pranayama practice.

From the outside view the practice “appears” the same, but indeed, your internal gaze or “perspective” has shifted and in that way no two practices are ever the same. Wallowing in past failures creates expectations, and so does reveling in the nostalgia of past successes.

Gratitude reveals the new beginning in each moment and makes the tiny details as well as those lightbulb “AHA” moments of revelation visible. These moments keep a yogi coming back to the mat everyday!

40 Days Later: From Strength to Surrender

We all strive to increase strength and flexibility through yoga, and those noble goals certainly benefit the muscular, cardiovascular, and skeletal systems of the body, not to mention decrease stress hormones while increasing energy levels.

However, as you progress towards the 40-day mark of regular practice, you will learn understand what “muscling” through a pose or asana sequence means, and notice that even during a challenging moment, you will use less and less mental and physical exertion.

The term “samadhi” means meditating through movement, and it occurs when you can let go and trust the body to function and perform at optimal levels of efficiency with the least amount of energy expenditure.

Nevertheless, surrendering does not mean giving up,avoiding challenges, or taking the easy route. In order to truly surrender, you must move with and not against your nature.

Sharon Gannon says it best, “You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.”

The Divine in Me Honors the Divine in EVERYTHING

Ultimately, after you commit to yoga for ANY period of time, you will feel a boost of energy, ease of movement where you used to feel pain, and a pristine mental clarity that will help you seek serenity amidst all life in its terrible gore and tremendous glory.

You will simply know peace in your mind and peace in your heart.

 Whether you start a 21, 30, or 40-day sadhana, the REAL challenge begins by simply getting up and making it to DAY 1, and soon you will discover that EVERYDAY is somehow, for better or for worse, another version of DAY 1. You eventually just do your practice and stop counting the days. Namaste.
Interested in studying with Judy? Her 40-Day Challenge with Whitney Walsh begins this weekend at Namaste. Learn more here.
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Outdoor Adventures with Anna Landauer

Anna Landauer is hands-down the Namaste guru on outdoor adventures. We all turn to Anna when we are looking for a little outdoor inspiration, good recommendations or a buddy to hit the trails with. Below, Anna shares a few of her favorite photos and tells us a little bit about what inspires her, where she’s been and what she has in store next.

Anna will be leading two group hikes this summer. They will include a refreshing all levels vinyasa practice, a peaceful walk through the trees, and an opportunity to sit quietly and reflect on your experiences.
Saturday May 17 and Sunday June 22
Learn More

Namaste: When did your adventurous spirit of exploration begin?

Anna: I distinctly remember falling in love with the outdoors on my 7th grade camping trip to Yosemite Valley. I grew up locally and at the time was in Ms. Davis’ class at Albany Middle School. I was also fortunate to grow up with a mom who was an Environmental Studies major at UC Berkeley. I remember playing in the creeks at Tilden Park and especially being fascinated by the water bugs scooting across the surface.

Namaste: Do you have a favorite place to hike, somewhere that feels like ‘your’ spot?

Anna: The first place that comes to mind is Lyell Canyon in Yosemite National Park, and it expands from there into the high country of the Sierras, Tuolumne Meadows and south to Mt. Whitney, the high mountain passes. I feel most at home, alive and vibrant above 10,000 ft. in the Sierras. I love the wide open spaces, the endless sea of granite and powerful contrast of water flowing over smooth glacial polished stone.

Namaste: What is the most inspiring place you’ve ever visited?

Anna: Would it be boring to say Yosemite? Now you can tell pretty clearly where my favorite place on earth is. I am also in awe of and inspired by the Grand Canyon. Rafting down the Colorado for three weeks through the Grand Canyon tops my list of amazing adventures. I love the feeling of utter insignificance I experience being a small human creature in such a vast space.

Namaste: What’s left on your bucket list?

Anna: Hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. Climb El Capitan. Run an ultra, maybe the Leadville 100 or Western States. Hike in the Alps. Trek in Nepal and Tibet. Take my niece backpacking…

Namaste: How do your big adventures impact your everyday life?

Anna: Every part of my life is a big adventure. My time in the wilderness feeds my spirit, keeps me nourished and vibrant. It is my time to recharge and connect with myself, with nature, with that which is grander and bigger than all things. Creation. Universe. Love. It reminds me that I am a living breathing, experiencing, being residing on this beautiful planet. This feeling of passion and enthusiasm for life is what I hope to carry back to my everyday life, my work and my community.

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