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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Art as Meditation

What began as a project to free the mind from its artistic block has come to be like an ongoing meditation. After many years of commercial art, my artistic process had become so gummed up with the idea of what people might BUY that I felt incapable of creating from the heart. I had to find a way to switch gears. A friend had returned some art supplies I once gave to him, many years ago, and I decided I would use what I had and do a little watercolor on this attractive block of paper he had given me.

IMG_5557My premise was that I could do nothing “wrong” and that I would just continue to layer and layer watercolor and ink until something beautiful or meaningful happened.

At some point in the process, I started some canvases that were like little studies, with blobs of watercolor that I could draw on top of. I delved into circular patterns, triangles, moon phases. It turned out to be so fun that I plucked a stack of nice paper from my stash and just let the colors melt together in fascinating circles on small pieces of paper.

Water – color – drying. Lots of papers lying next to each other on my art table. It was very therapeutic.

IMG_5569IMG_5591After some overnight drying, I could draw on top of them and little mandalas came pouring out. I would draw a bit, switch to a new one, let it simmer, walk away, come back later. I often try not to think about the patterns that I am creating, I just let them evolve over time and flow from another place in my Self, not my thinking brain. Some are inspired by specific ideas, like Ayurveda or elements in various systems of belief. The process is very freeing – like taking a hike outside with the wind blowing through the trees and whispering in your ear.

IMG_5562After an inspired framing idea, they felt ready to share with the world. You can see these tiny treasures in person too — they have a home on the walls of Namaste Berkeley. Come in to take a peek or take one home for your own altar. Focus your mind on the center and let it spill outward. They are full of love and a symbol of the freedom we all deserve.

 

 

 

 

10423645_10152253194114051_3455534993665733593_nHelene Cotton is Namaste’s Creative Director, responsible for all of our beautiful graphic design and all three Namaste boutiques. Helene is an integral member on the Namaste team and one of our all time favorite humans.

Interested in learning more about Helene? Check out her amazing website http://helenecotton.com/.

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Namaste’s Podcasts Picks for Yogis

Many of us know it can be hard to find time to cuddle up with a good book or watch a great documentary. If you’re looking to learn new things, reaffirm core beliefs, or receive gentle reminders on mindful living – podcasts may be the perfect medium for you. The reason podcasts are so great is that you can listen to them in the car, while you are cleaning, paying bills, the list is endless. Namaste is all about making health and wellness a lifestyle. Asana is only a small part of what it takes to connect to yourself and others. With love and consideration we have picked out some of our favorite thought leaders to help you take your practice off the mat and into your daily life:

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On Being with Krista Tippet

Why you will love it: On Being is an award winning podcast and website produced by American Public Radio for the intent of exploring the human condition. Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster and New York Times best-selling author. In 2014, she received the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.”

Start Here: David Whyte – The Conversational Nature of Reality 

 

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The Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields

Why you will love it: Jonathan Fields, founder of The Good Life Project, says “ A good life is not a place at which you arrive, it’s a lens through which you see and create your world.” This philosophy is woven throughout the podcast as Jonathan digs into the why and how individuals create a good life. This podcast, with over 350,000 subscribers, provides unscripted, deeply-inspiring conversations and insights from acclaimed artists, entrepreneurs, makers and world-shakers.

Start Here: Elena Brower: On Yoga, Love, Addiction and Grace

 

RICH-ROLL-PODCAST-GRAPHIC-640x640The Rich Roll Podcast 

Why you will love it: Rich has an amazing story of how he transformed from over weight, over worked lawyer to a vegan triathlete and wellness advocate. Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality. Intimate, deep and often intense, these are not interviews. They are conversations. A weekly aural dance designed to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock and unleash your best, most authentic self.

Start Here: Jedidiah Jenkins: The Pursuit of Wonder, The Power of Story & Finding Truth in Adventure

 

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Wanderlust Speakeasy Podcast

Why you will love it: Wanderlust is of course one of the leaders in the yoga and wellness space. Their approach to broadening the yogic community and effort to include all aspects of health from food to music to the practice itself creates a vessel for wisdom. Immerse yourself in the inspiring ideas of thought-leaders at the Wanderlust Speakeasy. The intimate and casual lecture series covers topics ranging from holistic health to progressive politics, from personal empowerment to community betterment.

Start Here: Graham Hill: Less Stuff, Space, and Energy. More Time, Money and Freedom.

 

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10% Happier with Dan Harris

Why you will love it: After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan *knew* he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, he realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head. Now each week he interviews meditation experts on how to bring the practice home in our every day lives.

Start Here: Episode #1: Dalai Lama 


Namaste-app-widgetWould you be interested in hearing short, weekly podcasts episodes featuring your favorite Namaste teachers? Let us know in the comments below!

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Meet Namaste Teacher: Siri Peterson

[Excerpt from SiriYoga]

I am an E-RYT 500 yoga instructor, dancer, wife and momma to my beautiful baby and greatest adventure, Lucia Louise. My mother introduced me to yoga at age 11, and I’ve been a passionate and humble student for the past 25 years. I’m grateful to this practice for supporting and sustaining me through every phase of my life, the highest highs and the lowest lows. Truly, yoga has saved my life… so many times.

I attended my first yoga teacher training in an effort to heal my own chronic injuries. At that point, nothing seemed to be working. Yoga worked. It gave me the tools I needed heal myself physically and emotionally. Since then, I’ve accumulated over 3000 hours in advanced trainings, and I’ve been honored to teach full-time for over ten years. Certified as an Anusara Yoga instructor, E-RYT 500, I now train, mentor, and certify new yoga teachers myself at YogaKula, Shakti Yoga Shala and the Avahana School.

New York Times recognized dancer and choreographer with a BFA in Dance Performance, I am always exploring the unique relationships between yoga, artistic self-expression and mindful movement. I received Reiki I & II certification at the Integrative Medicine Center at Sloan-Kettering and frequently incorporate this work into my practice. I also offer intuitive archetypal readings and spiritual coaching, having been certified by Carolyn Myss through her two year Sacred Contracts training. In 2011 I was a writer for Deepak Chopra’s Leela, a video game that brought the practice of meditation to wider audiences by integrating ancient wisdom with modern technology. In 2016 I was named one of 100 trailblazers in Yoga and Ayurveda by Spirituality and Health Magazine.


0612-IntroSiri-CCWant to practice with Siri? Try our Intro to Yoga workshop this weekend!

Perfect for new students* or beginner students seeking more guidance on alignment and foundational poses.

Intro to Yoga with Siri Peterson Cavanna

Sun Date: Jun 12, 2016 From: 1:00 PM3:00 PM Location: Rockridge
* new students to Namaste receive one week of free yoga!
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Namaste Spring Desktop Wallpaper Calendar

Make your work environment a place of peace.

Set the tone for an easeful and compassionate work day with our second quarter desktop calendar.  Bringing some beauty into your workplace can really make the days at the office just a bit better. So get that airplant you’ve been dreaming of and clean up your desk, and download this desktop calendar so you’ll always know what day of the week it is.

Click on one of the download links below and then right click to save it to your computer.

Download Desktop Wallpaper Full Size [3840×2160]
Download Desktop Wallpaper Full Size [1920×1080]

With love and respect,

Namaste

 

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Namaste Yogi Gift Guide 2015

Need some inspiration for gifting the yogi or wellness warrior in your life? We asked our staff what they’re pining for from our divine boutiques (spouses, take note!).  See below for their top picks.

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Rockridge Assistant Manager, Grey, suggests this gift for those in touch (or looking to be) with the spirit of the universe — The Wild Unknown beautifully illustrated tarot deck and guidebook, paired with a Leslie Francesca druzy quartz moon necklace.  Afterall, to adorn is to bewitch.

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Hannah requests the gift of massage (purchase one on a gift card!). Truly, there is no better gift for those in need of some loving attention and relaxation. Take the massage experience home from our boutique with Earthbody’s Ayurveda inspired bottled massage oils or a RAD self massage tool.

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Mallory pines for the full restorative package, complete with Chattra artisan wood-block printed yoga bolster and neck pillow. Create some sacred space by delighting the senses with Apsara aromatic spray and Gneiss Wood engraved palo santo (seriously the new sage!) set. Get restful in your postures with a handmade lavendar-filled eye pillow, and of course, practice daily ruminations in A Year with Hafiz, a perpetual calendar of inspiration.

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Chattra meditation cushions are a popular choice this year, especially with their limited edition prints in gorgeous seasonal colors. For the meditator, Studio Director, Mae, suggests pairing a zafu with a Silver and Sage mala, each one made with a unique combination of symbolic stones to suit the wearer. She is also pining for some original artwork by Creative Director, Helene Cotton, on display at the Berkeley boutique.

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Christine, our Berkeley Studio Manager, says you can’t go wrong with a seriously durable mat, the Manduka Pro-lite (slightly lighter weight) or Pro (the big poppy of mats). It’s tough as nails, and will support you through all the poses of your life. Pair this gift with a Manduka towel for those with an extra sweaty practice, or a modern striped block for home practice, and your loved ones’ devotion will only grow stronger.

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Brenda knows clothing, and especially that you really can’t go wrong with this one size fits all knit kimono by Subtle Luxury. It’s both elegant and casual, warm and cozy. Don’t forget our boutiques carry a wide selection of activewear and lifestyle clothing to wear on and off the mat.

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Paiges says, “fill a bag full of goodies and you’ve got an instant hit!”. Featured here, a beaded bag packed with Apsara roll on scents, a Marit Rae Egyptian cross necklace, and Skullgarden‘s dark and beautiful Wooden Tarot of the Major Arcana. At right, some of the Whitley sisters stunning long necklaces.

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We’ve got all kinds of stocking stuffers as well, from tiny pocket sized brass deities to wearable roll-on scents by the local apothecary Apsara. But the runaway favorite of the year is our selection of coloring books, certain to calm even the busiest of minds.

Stop by, we are here all month long to help you on your quest for karma-perfect gifts!

 

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Namaste Mamas Wisdom and Gift Guide

We are all sons or daughters and arrived here by a kind of magic.

We asked a few of our fabulous mamas here at Namaste to share their experience around Motherhood and we love what they had to share:

Namaste Teacher Margi writes these sweet haikus for her son, Fin:

My role as a mom?
To guide, allow, and protect.
It is an honor.

Six year old guru
Shines bright light on the darkness.
Fin Young Cecconi.

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From our Studio Director Mae: On Practicing and Protecting:

**Protection. Truth. Practice**

As a parent, your child is your most vulnerable tender heart walking through a sometimes fierce and selfish world. Every fiber of your being aches to protect that little being. Give shelter. And while giving shelter and sanctuary, truth is the vehicle in which to deliver the words and wisdom that facilitate true safety and true protection.

As anyone who has a child knows, a small child’s detection of inauthenticity is unparalleled.

Compassionate, truthful words and actions teach authentic self-confidence and understanding.

How do I find compassionate and truthful words and actions?  Through my own imperfect practice.  By mindfully connecting my mind and body, breath and spirit.  By witnessing my thoughts.  By practicing my yoga and allowing the wisdom of many thousands of teachers to resonate through my spirit and into my heart.

Through practice we offer our truth and provide protection.

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Nubia says it straight from the heart, as always…

It took a lot of concentration from me, to be present in my HEART while my mind and body were telling me that motherhood was too demanding . After a while I was able to befriend my inability to open my HEART to the immense LOVE that my son was reflecting back to me. I had masks, armors and all kind of excuses to not allow my heart to burst open and to surrender to that LOVE…and when I was finally able to…my time with my son became the most OPENING spiritual experience of my life.

Now Ezra is 10 and I still learn everyday from him.

From a Bhakti Yoga perspective, motherhood is the ultimate practice of devotion where the sacred qualities of unconditional love, sacrifice, faith, tolerance, patience, good will, and hard work are all channeled towards one being, your little Guru-Baby.

Treat your mamas right this Mother’s Day. Looking for the perfect gift? See our gift guide below and don’t miss out on our Mother’s Day Sale of 20% off all jewelry for your beloved one May 1-May 10.GiftGuide-2

 

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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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Winter Solstice Journal Exercise

“Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, focus on the fertile darkness and your creative power that allows life to emerge from the soil, which will manifest fulfillment and bliss, from all the seeds you wish to plant for this next year.

Clear all the weeds of the past and let go of any disappointments or negative feelings and allow the new to be birthed from the wisdom that has been gained. Moods are like weather ~ rain, wind, snow and Sun ~ feel free in your expression but be informed by your higher nature, how to channel it appropriately into all you wish to create for 2015 and beyond.

Be content with what you have, rather than be sad or frustrated about what is lacking… Send healing love to all those you worry about, rather than take on the stress or worry about their well-being. Trust the Source Love that surrounds you and be aware that all you have created is something your higher self and unconscious self has wished to create for you ~ so that you can step into your highest potential and divinity without holding back. Every loss and failure, all being part of that creation – phoenix always rises.

Don’t be afraid to shine brightly, release any voices of sabotage or learn to not let them control you, celebrate the blessing you are and let Love be your strength to make it through all adversity. Spirit is the greatest wealth, bask in its golden rays and embrace Freedom!

We are more powerful than anything negative ~ it only shows up to remind us to rise above the forces that limit, so that we can develop our highest abilities and have mind over matter, Spirit over form ~ shaping the World around us into Heaven on Earth…”

– Laura Magdalena (via awelltraveledwoman.tumblr.com)
Winter Sunset

How are you celebrating the Winter Solstice?
As the year comes to an end and days begin to grow longer, we encourage you to take some time to reflect on 2014. Here are few questions to help inspire you:

  • What new things did you learn new things about yourself?
  • What was a favorite trip, local or far away?
  • What inner strengths proved to be most valuable this year?
  • What new people entered your life? Who is no longer here?
  • What, or who, are you most thankful for?

We hope this year was a beautiful one for you in so many ways.

With love and gratitude from all of us at the studio – Happy Winter!
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Why's Getting to Yoga So Difficult

by Sadie Chanlett-Avery

[This post originally appeared on Sadie’s Blog Active Body. Still Mind]

As a yoga teacher I perpetually have these two conversations:

Scene One: Around town I run into a former student. They apologize and confess, “Forgive me o’ yogi for I have sinned. It has been three months since my last class.” Then I hear about life’s onslaught: The kid’s soccer practice, work schedules, the sub teacher, the studio is too far. We declare ourselves victims of “busy.”

Scene Two: Meeting someone who has heard the yoga PR but hasn’t yet tried it. Is it only for flexible, young vegan chicks? Am I too injured, old, or out of shape? Will I look stupid? Will have to chant? I’m too lazy for yoga. It’s weird and scary.

Shaking a disapproving finger or launching into an infomercial, won’t offer anything new. There’s always more reasons not to make class. I’m tired. It’s raining. I’m hungry. I just ate. Visitors are in town.

Perfect yoga will never be at your doorstep, with your favorite teacher, at the perfect time, and free. If you need yoga to change your life than change your life to fit in yoga.

Feeling perpetually deficient, overextended, and indebted, yoga appears to demand a surplus of time, money, and energy. The ante seems too high.

Good news! The hardest part is getting there. Arrive aching, frazzled, and awkward. Find the open door labeled “come as you are.” There will be no family obligations, no decisions, no to-do lists. Silence your phone and enjoy the luxury of being told exactly what to do. It will be safe if not always easy.

In yoga we sort real from perceived obstacles. We find the agency to lean into challenge and stop hitting against old patterns. Organizing our bodies, lives, and time is never complete. Meaningful change is never spoon-fed. By making it to yoga, you make yoga.


SadieProfileBSadie Chanlett-Avery, holistic fitness trainer, yoga instructor, and writer, was named a 2013 Athleta Sponsored Athlete. As the In-house Yogi at Clif Bar & Co. she directs the yoga and perinatal programs, trains with kettlebells, and serves on the Wellness Team. Sadie received her teacher certification from Ana Forrest and has immersed for months in the jungles of Costa Rica with Master Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Glenn Black. Her M.A. in Holistic Health Education and multiple fitness certifications lends antomical depth to her innovative and playful classes.

She appreciates the diverse expression of the human genome with the belief that people of all ages and sizes can benefit from exercise and heal with yoga. Teaching for over ten years, she applies ancient yogic principles to individual needs and modern lifestyles.

Sadie blogs at www.activebodystillmind.com.

Blog posts by Sadie: The Dark Side of Detoxing

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