Heart Talks

Valentine’s Day can spark a lot of emotion and feeling for people. 

If you are single, it can bring about feelings of loneliness or longing or celebration as one may be choosing to not be in a partnership at the moment. If you are in a partnership, each may be wondering, “what can I do to make this day special for my partner?”

Which ever is the case, the celebratory day of love and romance is upon us! As a Love Coach, I wanted to share a little something about how to build intimacy.

Intimacy is all about deep connection, vulnerability, mutual trust, caring and acceptance. It involves feelings of emotional closeness and connectedness with another person and the desire to share each others innermost thoughts and feelings. Intimacy, connection and love are so important in our lives. It is why we are all here. How to build intimacy? Being vulnerable, deep listening and having Heart Talks. 

Heart Talks involve deep listening.  If you have something in the shape of a heart, use it as a talking stick. The person doing the talking, holds the heart. A timer is set for 1-2 minute and the person shares from the heart using “I” statements. Anything that is said during this share is sacred and cannot be brought up during an argument. Any complaint about the partner should be turned into a need and not an accusation. The person not talking listens. When the person talking finishes, the listener, shares what they heard.

Viola! I use this in my relationship and give this as a tool to others to use in theirs and it works wonders to help build intimacy. If you do not speak your truth, a distance will grow between the two of you and love will disappear from your relationship.

I hope you get a chance to build Heart Talks into your relationships. May we all have the life, love and intimacy we desire. We are the creators of our world and not the other way around.

Jennevieve Ybarra is a Love Coach, as well as one your beloved teachers here at Namaste.

Find her for weekly classes at Grand Lake on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7:30-8:45pm.

Join her in March for her program “LOVE YOURSELF TO THE BONE-A PATHWAY TO EXTRAORDINARY PARTNERSHIP AND INTIMACY or visit her website for more info.

 

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Feel Your Unique Moving Body

Q+A with Ada Lusardi

Ada teaches weekly public Hatha Level 2-3 class on Saturdays at Namaste Berkeley from 8:00-10:00am. Every first Saturday of the month includes myofascial rolling, so don’t miss out on that. We caught up with Ada on her intentions and inspirations for the year ahead.

 

Q: Did you make any New Year resolutions or intentions? If so, can you share with us?

A: Each year I set an intention for what I hope to impart to my students for that year. This year I want them to feel the uniqueness of their bodies move, specifically how their joints are shaped and are meant to move. This is different for every individual. Once this way of feeling is honed in the asanas we can make the best choices for ourselves and reduce the risk of overuse and injury by moving in concert with the shape of our bones. The science of human anatomy, once learned, never goes away as we’re living every moment in its’ glorious expression.

 

Q: Will your practice be useful in these intentions / resolutions? If so, how will you use it?

A: My practice on the mat is where my teaching is born. Moving from my natural architecture is the foundation of my personal practice and teaching.

 

 

 

Q: Do you have any inspiring advice or quotes for our students in the new year?

A: “The greatest thing we can do is to help someone know they are loved and that they are capable of loving.” ~ Fred Rogers

 

Q: Can you recommend one inspiring book or podcast?

Q: Can you recommend any nice winter self care rituals?

A: I use my neti pot daily, especially when traveling, and use a homemade sea salt and sesame oil scrub in the shower a couple times a week to keep my skin glowing.

Everything starts with the feet and how we connect to the ground. Watch and try this mini foot exercise with Ada  to connect with the feet before practice.

Check out some of Ada’s other advanced offerings at Namaste:

  

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15 Years of Service in Action

It’s crazy to say it, but Namaste has been serving the East Bay community for 15 years now!

Do you remember us way back when?

Our schedule looked a little something like this. We opened the first one room studio at our Rockridge location with about 15 classes on the schedule. We’ve now grown into a full schedule of over 165 classes a week at 3 locations.

Send us a message with your memories of our beginnings, or use hashtag #makeeverydaysacred on Instagram to post a new or old photo of a Namaste moment!

Some Things Stay The Same:

  • Some of the teachers from those first schedules are still here with us, like Ashley Sharp, Naushon Kabat-Zinn, David Schlussel, and Vickie Russell Bell!
  • Some of our students have been with us from Day 1 and continue to be passionate supporters of Namaste. We are so grateful to our whole community, but especially to these folks who believed in us from the very beginning, trusted us to find them amazing teachers, and stuck by us as we evolved into ourselves.
  • Our passion for and commitment to bringing yoga to all people will never change.
  • The heart and soul of Namaste as an urban refuge and sanctuary remains true.
  • We continue to be locally-owned and family-run. From the beginning, owner Kimberly Leo’s dad worked at the front desk. Even while we’ve grown, we still rely on Vera Leo, Kimberly’s mom, to keep our studios connected and humming.

 

Our Milestones:

Our values:

Namaste has been blessed with an incredible tribe of teachers, staff, and students. Our tribe recognizes our commitment to consistency, integrity and community, and we have therefore been able to attract the best teachers in the East Bay. Our front desk staff is phenomenal. They are passionate about bringing yoga to every human.  The industry has changed dramatically over the last fifteen years in that yoga is everywhere and all kinds of people are doing it,  and people resonate with us because we truly put our heart and soul into the studio.

Our Future:

  • Our yoga and wellness offerings will continue to expand.
  • We will become a stronger resource for yoga teachers and provide education and offerings to help them to refine their craft.
  • We will continue to support our diverse community with more specialty classes that resonate and inspire.

We can’t wait to see what’s next. Follow along on social media and stay in touch!

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Teachers Talk: Inspired Winter Rituals for Self-Care

Our goal this year is to inspire you in your yoga evolution.

Each of us will take our own journey, follow our own twisted path to becoming better or kinder people, feeling more presence in our bodies, tapping into a more sustainable practice, or simply finding inviting self-care rituals.  Since winter is the season of compromised immune systems, and the new year provides us the opportunity to dive back into our daily routines with gusto, we thought it was time for some self-care.

We asked our teachers to share their favorite winter rituals.

Ada Lusardi

I use my neti pot daily, especially when traveling, and use a homemade sea salt and sesame oil scrub in the shower a couple times a week to keep my skin glowing.

Inspired? Find Ada’s classes here.

Skeeter Barker

Wrapping up warm and going to the ocean with a hot flask of tea.

Inspired? Find Skeeter’s classes here.

Ken Breniman

Sensory Deprivation or Float Tanks are a great way to warm and relax the body. It is like a 60-90 minute long savasana (corpse pose) and some people describe it like floating in the ‘void’ or returning to the womb. Please note: some folks newer to floating need to confront their discomfort with smaller and/or quiet spaces. It is the ultimate mini-hibernation for cold weather!

Inspired? Find Ken’s classes here.

Rachel Heron

  1. REST.
  2. Eliminate sugar after the holiday abundance of treats.
  3. De-clutter spaces, get rid of extra stuff and enjoy the spacious beginning of a new cycle.

Inspired? Find Rachel’s classes here.

Naushon Kabat-Zinn

I take baths a lot. I put epsom or other salts and essential oils and float, rest, soak, and zone out. Its very very nourishing.

Inspired? Find Naushon’s classes here.

Elana Morgulis

A weekly sea salt or epsom salt bath. Particularly at the end of the week as a way to cleanse your physical and energetic body of stress and tension taken on during the week and start the weekend fresh and clear. Baths have a way of relaxing the muscles, yet create a feeling of lightness. A ritual I love to do at the end of the bath is to let the all the water drain while still lying in the tub and feeling that all stress and energy that no longer serves me is draining from my body with the bathwater. Then rinse off with a cool shower.

Inspired? Find Elana’s classes here.

Rosy Moon + Jill White Lindsay

Ahbyanga — the practice of  self massage, is fantastic for not only healthy, soft skin in the winter months, but helps with circulation and hydration.  If you run cold like I (Jill) do, use refined sesame oil and massage the entire body before you shower, then rinse off excess oil. After, you’ll feel like you’re wrapped up in a warm cocoon of healing!

Inspired? Find Rosy’s classes here and Jill’s classes here.

Margi Young

Be kind. Always. If that leaves your realm of possibility, get onto your mat or meditation cushion or go outside and do lions breath, or eat chocolate, or call a friend, or do whatever you can do to re-boot. Try again. Kindness.

Inspired? Find Margi’s classes here.

Thank you to our teachers for the wisdom they so willingly impart.  

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Coming Late, Leaving Early

Considerations for Group Yoga Class

Reposted with permission by Domonick Wegesin, The Opener

Last week, the New York Times posted an article about parenting entitled, “Which Is Better, Rewards or Punishments? Neither”  In the article, the author described the downside of using punishment in an attempt to shape children’s behavior since “punishments tend to escalate conflict and shut down learning. They elicit a fight or flight response, which means that sophisticated thinking in the frontal cortex goes dark and basic defense mechanisms kick in”.

However, she also points out that reward-use has its pitfalls. Children tend to acclimate to rewards over time and end up wanting more reward for the same work, or want rewards for doing anything, even basics like making their beds or doing their homework. Further, “psychologists have suggested that rewards can decrease our natural motivation and enjoyment…and are associated with lowering creativity”.

Instead, the author highlights the use of corrections that assume that kids naturally have good intentions, are empathetic and want to be team players. Helping them understand the rationale behind why some tasks need to be completed can be motivating enough.

This article was on my mind as I addressed a recurring issue in my yoga classes last week.

During sivasana, the intention is to create an environment of non-doing, a place of quiet and calm. It may be the only moments of non-doing that students experience all day. Despite me repeating this intention over the years, some students choose to leave class during the sivasana period.

When this happened again last week, I got up and followed four students out of the studio and relayed that their disruption was unwelcome. I was frustrated by the disruption, and though I didn’t raise my voice, my tone clearly carried a message of dissatisfaction. This change of vocal tone was enough to be considered punishment, at least by one of the students who later relayed feeling chastised by my remarks. Though my words included the rationale about why it is important to safeguard the quiet, non-doing environment, that message may have been lost if my tone evoked a fight-or-flight reaction. Again, our frontal, logical brain can be highjacked by the more primal fear brain.

In this month’s newsletter I wanted to highlight the rationales for why it is helpful to arrive on time and not leave early to group yoga classes. I do assume that my yoga students have good intentions, are empathetic and have interest in the well-being of the group. However, sometimes ego-driven thought might interfere with those assumptions being manifest.

To follow through with the sivasana example, the ego need to adhere to your schedule may interfere with your ability to perceive that your moving around during sivasana is interfering with the calm of the entire class. In effect, you’ve decided that shaving off a few minutes for your personal schedule is more important than the well-being of a room full of other people. You may rationalize that you are moving quietly, but any movement in a still space is heard and is disruptive. It pulls attention and brings people back into a doing mind. Psychologically, yoga is about ego diminishment, and your decision to prioritize a few minutes for your schedule over the well-being of the entire class is ego aggrandizement.

So what do you do if you need to leave early?

It may be that you have to get home to your kids, or get to an appointment at a time where those last few minutes of class really make all the difference. In this case, let the teacher know before class that you need to leave early and exit the studio before sivasana. Ideally, you will carve out time for your own sivasana before you leave early, even though this means missing some of the closing poses. In this way, you can leave early and not disturb the other students during their sivasana.

On the other side of the class, some students are chronically late. Just as the group has settled in to an introductory meditation or breathing practice, the door opens, foot steps are heard, mats are slapped open, props are fetched, etc. It is hard to not notice these auditory and visual distractions, especially when your own mind is still buzzing from your day.

What to do if you arrive late?

Enter quietly into the studio. If the class is in the middle of a still meditation, then sit or stand by the door until the meditation is complete. Once the class begins moving again, then proceed to set up your mat and join the group.

The other consideration in arriving late is one of safety. Instructors sequence the poses so that early poses warm up and prepare the body for more complicated poses that come later. If you arrive 10-15 minutes late, you may have missed important preparatory poses that make jumping into the advanced poses midstream potentially unsafe. This is rare; over my 12 years of teaching I have asked students on a few occasions not to join the class for this reason.

As teachers, we attend to individuals, but we also have to safeguard the well-being of an entire group. I think of the Utilitarian philosophy of John Stuart Mill in which our actions are intended to create the greatest good for the greatest number of people. This is integral in yogic thinking where we are going beyond I, me and mine and yoking to a greater US. When you have the well-being of the group in mind, it is easier to navigate your individual needs in a way that accommodates the group, even if it may mean a slight inconvenience to you personally.

I appreciate my students’ efforts in making the classes harmonious for everyone. And, if any of my comments as a teacher come across as punishment, I apologize for any unintended harm-doing. It is natural for the ego to be defensive when it is called out for a perceived yoga foul. My intention is to foster the education of the group, not to belittle the individual.

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Meet Your Staff: Anisa Esmail

When you come into our studios, you are greeted by friendly faces. Have you ever wanted to know more about the beautiful humans behind our front desk that you interact with on a daily basis? We caught up with our Rockridge Front Desk Advisor Anisa Esmail recently and learned many a thing we did not know about her.

What is your favorite emoji at the moment?

Ooooh my favorite emoji would definitely be the “hang loose” emoji.

One thing someone may be surprised to know about you is:

I don’t know how to ride a bike!!

Best advice you’ve heard recently?

“You define your limitations from your self-report” — which I guess isn’t advice but an interesting way to view yourself.

How do you personally define wellness?

I view wellness as physical, mental and spirtual good health.

What are your favorite habits or rituals that help to make every day sacred?

Daily yoga practice

Best interaction you’ve had with a student in the last 6 month?

I commented on a client’s New Yorker canvas bag. We shared the same excitement about Conde Nast and the New Yorker. She started to discuss a story from the current issue. And I confessed that I no longer have a subscription! So she brought in some of her old issues!! I’m so thankful for that experience and to be apart of such a warm community.

Favorite classes or teachers at the moment?

I love Annie Carpenter‘s class even though I have only had a chance to take it once. In addition, I really enjoy Sean Oake‘s Insight Meditation Satsang Donation class. Oake’s class reminds me not to focus so much on materialism and to find a balance within my anxieties of living in the bay area.

What are you up to when you aren’t in the studios?

It’s a mixed bag!! I’m really excited I will be a part of my first fashion show wardrobe styling for Vogue! Knitting LIVE in September. I’m also a full-time student. I’m currently finishing my Bachelor’s in Fashion Technical Design (Patternmaking) and Journalism. Then I try to draw and paint whenever I have free time. (Which is rare)

Any book referrals or people we should know…. ?

Joan Didion. She is a pretty popular author but if you haven’t read anything by her, definitely check her out. My favorite short story from her is “On Self-Respect” — one of her older stories she wrote when she was writing for Vogue in the Sixties.

Find Anisa

You can add me @anisaesmaill on instagram.
Or just say “Hi!” when you see her at the front desk!
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Student Stories: Author Suzannah Neufeld

Recently, recommendations for the book Awake at 3am started rolling in from a few of our perinatal teachers. Turns out, not only is this book solidly relevant to our population of mamas and mamas-to-be, but the author is one of our very own Namaste students. We love supporting our student’s passions and projects, so you can find this small volume of wisdom in all of our boutiques.

What led to your book idea? Did you have a personal experience that led to its’ development? Or did it come more from your work with clients in the field of Psychotherapy? 

When my daughter was about six months old, a friend of mine who worked in publishing came to me and floated the idea of writing a book on mindfulness for pregnant and new moms. I was so excited that my fantasy of writing a book was now a possibility, but it felt hard to think about writing an inspiring book about mindfulness when I was in the thick of coping with my own mood and anxiety struggles in new motherhood (not to mention having no time to write!). It took me about a year to get going on the writing after that because I was so exhausted all the time. Then when I finally had the energy to start writing, I noticed that everything kept being so informed by how hard I had found that time period, as well as by the stories of the moms I was working with in my therapy practice.

As I got through about half of the writing, I had to go back to the publisher and ask if we could change the book to speak directly to the moms like me and my clients that struggled with mood and anxiety concerns.

I know you are a part of the Namaste community. How long have you been with us, who do you practice with? What attracts you to these instructors?

I first tried a class at Namaste 2.5 years ago after I opened the Rockridge Wellness Center, a counseling and health collective a block away. I knew about it from the wonderful Antonia Fokken, who had mentored me when I first studied yoga therapy. I would drop in here and there, but I started coming more regularly because my favorite teacher from when I lived in San Francisco, Sean Haleen, started teaching right at my lunch break. I love his alignment-based approach. He stopped teaching there earlier this year, and so I’ve had the pleasure of trying a few other teachers. I try to take Naushon‘s class every week. Her class is challenging yet something about how she teaches makes the practice feel simple and direct. No words or poses feel wasted or show off-y. And I always feel amazing afterwards. It’s also fun to take her class because so many of my therapist colleagues are in the room! I think it may be half therapists in that class–it’s like a therapist reunion.

What style of yoga do you like doing and why?

It’s hard to say what style of yoga I like doing because it seems to always be changing. In my 20s, I loved super challenging vinyasa classes–the thrill of learning new things, pushing my limits, and moving to music is what hooked me in to yoga. In my 30s, I had sustained a few injuries, and realized that I had turned the vinyasa classes into a form of striving. Those years, I focused on restorative, yin, and alignment-based practices, with a significant focus on meditation instead of asana as well. I loved prenatal yoga during my two pregnancies, and I studied yoga therapy. Yoga therapy teaches to the individual, and this shifted my yoga to a short home practice responsive to my needs each day.

In the past year, as I have moved into my 40s, I find it very full circle that I am drawn to vinyasa again. I crave that movement because I sit so much in my work as a therapist. I think I was afraid to try vinyasa again since I associated it with injuries and pushing myself. But ten years off from it steeped me in tools to move more mindfully, and I have been delighted to be able to approach vinyasa with less ego and more curiosity. I love that each decade of yoga seems to teach me new things.

Has your practice in general or your practice at Namaste specifically influenced you or this project?

About six years ago, I did a few yin intensives with Sarah Powers. She taught a vow at the beginning of her classes: “I commit now to developing awareness of this body, mind, and heart for my own or others’ well being. I affirm the immeasurable value of this practice, and I acknowledge that it is possible to practice inclusive of all feelings and circumstances.” I now say this commitment at the beginning of my own practice and every time I teach–because it sums up exactly how my practice has influenced my life, and by extension this project.

I view yoga as an awareness practice that benefits both me and those I go out in the world to care for–my kids, husband, friends, and clients. And I remind myself that if I think that I can’t “do” yoga because I am too sad or too out of shape or too whatever, then I have left yoga behind and am in the realm of judging mind. Yoga is not what we see on Instagram. It’s an awareness practice that can be practiced inclusive of all feelings and circumstances–including feelings of depression or panic and circumstances like when you have a crying baby in your arms in the middle of the night.

How do you personally define wellness for mamas?

So many moms struggle with “wellness” and blame themselves for not eating healthfully enough or doing “enough” yoga or working out some special way, when really the struggle has nothing to do with them and has everything to do with a society that offers so little support for new families. We drop off a casserole for a new mom, but then that’s it. We need to fight for things like better paid parental leave for both parents, subsidized childcare, and more places for moms and families to come together, talk in a real, unfiltered way, and support one another in hard times and in celebrations for all moms to have true access to wellness.

What is your favorite self-care tip for mamas?

Take a moment to stop, tune in to your own body, notice what you feel without judgement, and then let that guide you to what your body might need. One day, you might feel stiff from sitting all day and some simple movement could make all the difference. Another day, you might be exhausted and a nice restorative pose may be what your body is calling for. And let people in your life know when you need support, and then take it without guilt! People feel special and included if you let them be there for you.

How do you maintain a positive outlook when the world around you is changing or becomes difficult? As a psychotherapist, what advice can you give us for living in these difficult times?

I don’t always maintain a positive outlook. So much of what happens in the world and our community merits feeling upset! My advice as a psychotherapist is to make room for all feelings and thoughts that pop up–from sadness, to outrage, to fatigue. Let those feelings inform you in the community you build, the actions you take, and in choosing how to nourish and care for yourself as you take those actions.

Does your book have any relevance for men with babies or other populations of people?

The book is absolutely relevant for men–they just have to get past the word “mom” being used throughout the book. I’ve had a number of male friends who read the book and said that it spoke to them about their time with a new baby. And my husband, who is for sure not a yoga person, read it and said it has been helping him with his non-baby-related insomnia! Truthfully, I included in this book everything that I have to say about yoga, mood, and anxiety in general–even if these things have nothing to do with babies. I’ve had folks with no kids, adult kids, and everyone in between tell me that they read it and found it healing to read. And for sure, I think this book is wonderful for partners, family members, or health professionals who work with new moms.

Do you have a recommendation for a current podcast, website, or inspiring social media outlet?

I just started listening to Mom & Mind, which is a great podcast for moms about mood and anxiety issues in pregnancy and early motherhood. I also love The Longest Shortest Time–which not only has the best title for a podcast about parenting, but also has wonderful interviews.

Learn more about Suzannah at  www.suzannahneufeld.com, on instagram at @suzannahneufeld and Facebook as Suzannah Neufeld, Yoga + Therapy

Plus, as an occasional sub, you might find Suzannah teaching pre or post natal classes at our studios. Look out for her book, Awake at 3am, in all of our Namaste boutiques!

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We Love Our Students: Teresa Marylander

Our Namaste students are the heartbeat of the studios. We love watching each and every individual learn and grow in their unique way. If you’ve ever wondered who is practicing on the mat next to you… here is your chance to find out!

Introduce yourself! What is your name and how long have you practiced at Namaste?
Hi, I am Teresa Marylander. I have been practicing at Namaste for exactly one year.

What inspired you to begin a yoga practice?
I looked for an exercise that benefits me physically and spiritually. Yoga can be very vigorous yet very calming at the same time.

Favorite parts about taking classes at Namaste?
I feel like part of a welcoming community when I come to yoga classes.

What is your definition of wellness?
Living with two teenagers, and being able to be calm:-)

One thing people might be surprised to learn about you is?
I have done many things in my life varies from being a writer, a certified public accountant, an instructor of a software company, a computer manager at a university, a dog trainer, and now a preschool teacher.

Favorite things you do to help make every day sacred?
Practice yoga, chanting Buddha’s name, and tender my garden.

Best advice you could give to someone who is struggling to start their health and wellness journey?
It’s always hard to make the habit of exercising or eating healthy in the beginning. Just keep at it, and it becomes a passion or lifestyle.

Anything you’d like us to share with our Namaste community?
Both my children go to Oakland School for the Arts. The children’s performances are amazing, very professional. Check out their website to follow their events. It’s an amazing school with talented students of 10 different emphases, everything from vocal to fashion!

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Meet Your Staff: Tim Rubel

Introduce Yourself! What is your name, how long have you been at Namaste?
Tim Rubel. I’ve been at Namaste since January.

What is your favorite emoji at the moment? 
Tim Rubel. I’ve been at Namaste since January. My favorite emoji is a champaign bottle.

One thing someone may be surprised to know about you is: 
I can drive a fork lift. 😉

Best advice you’ve heard recently? 
Whatever happens on the mat is a paradigm for our lives.

How do you personally define wellness? 
Wellness is the state of being holistically healthy.

What are your favorite habits or rituals that help to make every day sacred? 
Coffee, 12 breaths, Looking up at the sky and smiling, a glass of wine with dinner, my home asana practice. Cooking dinner with my man.

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

The best interaction you’ve had with a student in the last 6 month? 
At Namaste, I have a growing friendship with a woman named Melissa Cadwalender. She is sassy, sweet and unapologetic and always makes me laugh. When I teach my own classes, I’d say that my best interaction has been when I see a student consistently attend class and drastically improve.

Favorite classes or teachers at the moment? 
My busy schedule has unfortunately kept me from taking any Namaste classes accept one. I look forward to this changing! I have amazing teachers elsewhere, however.

What are you up to when you aren’t in the studios?
I am a professional dance artist. I teach dance and direct my own contemporary dance company in San Francisco called Tim Rubel Human Shakes.

Anything you’d like us to share with our Namaste community? 
I am currently creating a new contemporary dance work with my company called “Alien.” I am co-choreographing this piece with a colleague of mine in Berlin named Elisabeth Kinder-Abali. We will premiere this piece June 14-16 2018 at CounterPulse and then tour to Berlin in September. You all can help if want! We have a gofundme campaign happening right now with some nice perks to support our efforts this season!  Check it out here: https://gofundme.com/alien18

Do you have a social media account we should check out? Give us your username! 
Tim Rubel Human Shakes on Facebook

 

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Fashion Transparency

Fashion Transparency — No, I don’t mean mesh!

We live in a fast paced society where “new” is highly valued and the pace of production, in so many arenas,  is even higher. When it comes to fashion, we don’t often think of how the fast cycles of fashion and the drive for cheaper and cheaper products impacts and shapes the goods we consume.

The fashion world is taking this moment to honor the way that clothes are made by celebrating Fashion Revolution Week, a moment to pause and consider how companies can be more obvious about their manufacturing processes.

Here at Namaste we are thrilled to celebrate two lines that are quite thoughtful in their transparency.

Groceries Apparel

Built as a vertically integrated company, Groceries is doing everything in its power to forward its values based agenda. They make sustainable clothing while providing sustainable lifestyles for their employees. They cut, sew, and dye under one roof, operating their own factory in the US, thereby providing fair conditions to their workers and limiting the carbon footprint of their garments.  They use only organic and sustainable fabrics, like eucalyptus and hemp, recycled plastic, and organic cotton.Groceries shares the stories of its’ workers, their backgrounds and experiences, pairing lives and  faces to the products they create. They walk their talk, and we are proud to share their product line in our boutique.

“Doesn’t it just feel better to wear clothes that you know are made sustainably and in a safe environment for workers? For me it certainly does! When I heard about Groceries Apparel mission to value sustainability and honor their employees, I instantly wanted to try their products – and when I did it was a game changer. From locally sourced materials, to using vegetable dye, to 100% organic cotton, these products feel like something different, something that holds meaning and encourages one to ask the question of how products are made in an ever-growing, fast-paced fashion industry. To learn the stories of their workers was moving and inspiring – to know the background of their experience made the product feel all that more personal. To have been wearing an item knowing that it was in the hands of caring, honest, and hard-working people who are being treated well and valued, made all the difference. ” — Rhiannon Valdez-Bevan, Front Desk Coordinator (shown here wearing Groceries dress in black, and Groceries crop top in white with Project Social T wide leg crop pants)

   

Beyond Yoga

Dedicated to fashion transparency and ethics, Beyond Yoga is another brand we are proud to support. They believe in sustainability and strive to produce many of their garments locally in LA. “From the growing and harvesting of Pima Cotton to the final sewing and all the processes in between, our approach is always clean and responsible. All of our global partners are WRAP certified, an independent team of global social compliance experts who are dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane, and ethical manufacturing. We value the rights of workers and believe in fair and safe workplace conditions.”

Plus this brand is body-positive, makes super rad apparel for movement, and is much loved by our staff!

“I love Beyond Yoga!! When I finally bought my first pair, I quickly bought a few more because they felt soooo good! It has become my favorite yoga apparel company. Not only is the clothing well made, super comfortable and flattering, they are also a company I can trust. They ensure that what they are producing is sustainable, humane and environmentally conscious. I feel good on the outside and on the inside. Win-win!” — Bekah Andrews, Yoga Advisor (shown below in Beyond Yoga tricolor leggings and bralette)

 

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