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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Slowing Down to the “Slowest Part of Me”

Q+A with Ken Breniman

Ken Breniman teaches weekly Gentle Yoga classes at our Grand Lake and Berkeley studios.

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

A: My intention is equanimity and it is a ‘carry over’ from last year as it was profoundly powerful in guiding me through the twists and turns of life.

 

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

A: I practice a tonglen meditation. It is a Buddhist tradition in which one breathes into the suffering or discomfort (i.e. impatience, callousness, anger, jealousy) and transmute the energy with the out breath which honors the complimentary force (i.e. patience, compassion, forgiveness, comparison). It is quite the powerful meditation and helps me find equanimity.

Q: Do you have any inspiring advice for the new year?

A: I have been singing the chorus from the Karen Drucker song “Gentle with Myself” which goes “I will only go as fast as the slowest part of me.” I find this quote to be chuck full of wisdom in honoring the youngest or most tender parts of self that might otherwise get overlooked in the fast paced society we live in. The song reminds me how important self-compassion is in my on-the-mat and off-the-mat practices.

 

Swan Dive with Intention

A short practice with Ken Breniman for when you are confronted with grief.

Posted by Namaste Yoga + Wellness on Monday, December 3, 2018

Q: Can you recommend one inspiring book or podcast?

A: “Die Wise” by Stephen Jenkinson

 

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

A: 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!

 


Catch Ken on Monday, 10-11:30am, Gentle Yoga at Grand Lake or Thursday, 5:30-6:45pm, Sliding Scale Gentle Flow at Berkeley

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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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Be fearless: Fall Cleanse Q+A

Q+A with Ayurvedic Practitioner Kameko Shibata

Why cleanse in the fall? 

The theme of this cleanse is nourishment! Summer is fun, hot, dry and full of play. All the can leave up feeling pretty depleted in the fall. The dry and windy nature of Fall is deeply taxing for the skin, joints, nerves and adrenals. In Ayurveda, Indian classical medicine, we practice gentle detoxifying practices and then nourish and rebuild our tissues. It’s also a great time re-set from summer. Fall can be irregular- weather is hot then cold, schedules shift, so it is the perfect time to create more regular and balanced routines.

Will I be eating only cabbage for a week?

No, that would be boring and likely to give you gas.

What will I be eating?

Red lentils, or moong beans, quinoa, non-soy miso soup, cooked greens, cilantro, medicinal pesto, AVOCADO, fruit on its own.

What won’t I be having?

Alcohol, refined sugars, caffeine, meat, excess social media.

Is it all about food?

No, thank you for asking. Food is part of it, but cleansing is an ancient Ayurvedic art, that includes the mental and emotions systems as well as the physical body. You will be asked to do a guided daily meditation and pranayama practice to sooth the nervous system. You will be asked to practice self care- oilinate your skin and use a neti pot. You will be asked to journal/reflect on your patterns and emotions related to food, stimulants and self-care. This cleanse is a holistic experience!

Is this a fad diet?

No, Ayurveda is a lifestyle. Most yogis/ayurvedic practitioners/ spiritual followers, abstain from sugars, caffeine, alcohol, gluten most if not all of the time. I hope you find the food to be delicious and cleansing, and the self-care practices to be something you will continue to use over time. It can just be nice to have some quick-start support, which is what the cleanse does.

Will I be fasting?

Nope, its healthier to keep the digestive system working at a slower reduced rate than to suddenly shut it off altogether. There is an option to only take liquids (miso, broth, soups, juice) for one day, but I only recommend that to more kapha/pitta clients, or if you have the day off. No major work deadlines on juice!

Will I lose weight?

Depends on how different this diet is to your normal diet. The goal is not to lose weight, this is an opportunity to cleanse and relax the system not lose weight. if you struggle with weight what this cleanse offers is an opportunity to cut back on unhealthy habits to notice where you have patterns and attachments to food. Going forward you might not choose to use so many foods/substances that trigger you.

Will it be hard?

The first 3 days are usually the hardest especially if you are cutting out caffeine and sugar for the first time in awhile. those affect our endorphin levels and we feel bummed without them. After about 3 days your body normalizes and you no longer feel so cravey and dependent of substances. This is why its nice to do it with the support of a group. We can email each other-like “damn I was crabby, but now I’m feeling better”

Will I levitate?

Not likely, although if you fast you might fall over . But it could happen. I do believe in possibilities!

What if I miss a meeting?

The final meeting is not a big deal, its just a post fun celebration. If you need to miss the main first meeting email me, I maybe able to phone/email chat with you to get you up to speed.

What if I need to cheat on Wednesday?

Do it with grace! Choose your poison.

What if I’m raw..gluten free…vegan etc?

Email me before it starts we can work around it. The cleanse is already gluten free and vegan (although you have the option of ghee) Raw is a little harder, as ayurveda is all about cooked , simple,warm and easy to digest foods, but it would be a fun challenge.

What will I tell my friends?

That you are taking a week to reset your digestive system, and balance your mental and emotional health to come out of summer feeling grounded and nourished. Ask them to join you. Tell them you are taking responsibility for your own health.

What will I feed my kids?

This maybe the hardest one. Try to have some things pre-made for them. Kids may not like lentils, but the veggie pesto, fresh fruits, miso soup you can often get them to go for. Explain what you are doing so they feel included and interested. Try not to yell at them in the first 3 days!

basil-829776_640 *Go to Hydration Pesto Recipe:  blend like regular pesto in a food processor adding oil as you go. You can add water to thin it out but you must eat it within 3 days if you use water. Use this pesto as a dip w/ veggies or a smear for wraps or thin it out w/ extra olive oil or water for a dressing.

  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 bunch basil (if in season)
  • ¼ bunch dandelion greens or arugula
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • ½ RAW seeds or nuts (tahini also makes it super creamy)
  • 1-2 juiced lemons
  • olive oil , spices, salt and water to taste

 

 

After reading this you will probably feel ready to join up for Kameko’s Fall Cleanse that begins Saturday, September 29. Don’t be scared, join us in changing your habit and in turn positively influencing your life! Sign up for Kameko’s Fall Cleanse here. 

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How to Recharge Your Battery on Your Day Off

How to Recharge Your Battery on Your Day Off

It’s super exciting to have a day off in the middle of the week, it’s like a nugget of chocolate in the trail mix. It’s very easy to fall in to our habits, that’s why they are habits. But here, we propose something different. Think about your day off as the opportunity to truly recharge your battery, so that when you return to your daily grind you are inspired and hopeful.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

Work life is full of distractions and multitasking – take some time off from this type of engagement with the world. Whatever you are doing, do it with a single-mindedness. Feel the space that surrounds single-tasking: there is less mind clutter, less interruption, less thoughts clamoring for attention.

One entry point into this clarity of mind: meditation. Click here to try a short yoga nidra practice (meditation done while lying down).

 

Eat Well

Start things off right by making yourself a satiating, satisfying, hearty, nutritious meal. Energize yourself for the day. Our ideal: a rice bowl with greens and a poached egg on top. Power on.

For your eating pleasure, try this Quinoa and Rice Bowl With Kale, Kimchi and Egg recipe.

 

 

Move Your Body

 

It’s widely proven that exercise is medicine. The heart, the brain, and your mental state are all affected by exercise and movement. Parcel out some of your day off to take a walk in nature, put on some music and dance around your living room, go for a bike ride or find a yoga class.

(Above, Karly Railsback doing some core training.)

Make it Meaningful

Do you have that thing that you “want” to do even though it’s not a paying gig? Do you have a passion project (i.e. side hustle)?  Your passion project is something that brings you satisfaction and can put you into a state of flow. Devote time to it and connect to your Bigger Picture. It will give you a new frame to see your self in the wider world — it can add meaning and purpose to life. And, well, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Be Kind to Yourself

Does that mean taking time to take a bath, go to the beach, or schedule a massage? Or does it mean making a date with a friend and finding some time to really connect?

Yes. Do it. You will thank yourself later.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” -Scott Adams

 

Take a Break from Social Media

Don’t worry about what you are missing — batteries get truly recharged when you find what you authentically want to do, and just do it. Who cares about what everyone else did today on their day off — you had the best and most resourceful day for your soul. Just revel in that.

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Meet Your Namaste Healer: Patrick Stockstill

Keeping a consistent wellness routine is more important than just feeling great, it truly keeps your body in working condition. Regular bodywork reduces stress, inflammation, stiffness, and blood pressure. Everything from your immune system to your energy levels improves when you allow for serious self-care time.

Our experienced and deeply knowledgeable healers work with each client to hear their specific needs and create treatment sessions customized for their body. Plus, with the help of cold-press, locally grown, adaptogenic oils from OmCali our therapists are well equipped to offer an experience of complete bliss and rejuvenation.

Since we are in love with each and every Namaste Healer we thought you may want to get to know them a little better too. We hope you enjoy this fun blog post series of Meet Your Healers!

MEET YOUR NAMASTE HEALER: Patrick Stockstill

Hi Patrick! Where do you offer your healing services? 
I offer my healing services at Namaste Yoga + Wellness Berkeley Thursday and Friday 10am-3pm.

How long have you been at Namaste?
Offering bodywork since September 2017, practicing since 2008 (with a long hiatus).

What type of healing modalities do you offer?
I am certified in Esalen massage, a deeply relaxing, full body integrative offering, and in Deep Bodywork, a slow, structural approach to deep tissue massage.

What inspired you to become a wellness practitioner?
I took my first massage class out of curiosity, but I immediately realized how powerful and necessary healing touch is in my life. I’ve discovered an endless journey of self-discovery and possibility as I connect with other people and learn new approaches to touch-based healing.

What are a few of your favorite self-care tips for the winter season?
I try to spend a good amount of time outside every day, even if it’s cold and wet. Natural light and air help me immensely. I also try to devote some time to pure self care, whether a massage, a yoga class, or time with a good book.

What does a typical day look like for you in regards to your personal self-care/movement practices?
I try to run most days, and I have had a steady vinyasa yoga practice for about 10 years. After acquiring some injuries in the last few years, I’ve been using weight training and rock climbing to strengthen and stabilize.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I have a young daughter, so parenting takes up most of my free time. I also love to cook and am always tinkering with my garden.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area?
The amazing breadth of food available (which is, of course, dependent on the diversity of peoples living together here!)

Patrick Stockstill Bay Area Massage Therapy

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20

Natural Flu Season Remedies: Protect Yourself!

Sitting on BART hearing your fellow riders cough and sneeze can be nerve-racking – especially during the colder months of the year as this indicates the looming and ominous illness we all know as the common flu. There is a longstanding question of why the flu typically appears strongest during winter months and many studies have taken place to test this correlation. The term “influenza” is an Italian word that historians believe to have originated in the mid-18th century as “influenza di freddo” which translates to “influence of the cold.”

There are many theories as to why this virus is so common in the winter time versus other seasons of the year. These include things like lack of abundant sunlight, meaning a deficiency of vitamin D and melatonin which compromises the immune system’s ability to fight off illness, as well as various research explaining that the nature of the virus thrives in colder, drier climates than in warmer, humid ones. Flu season begins roughly around late October, peaks in January and February and can last as long as May in the Northern Hemisphere.

In order to understand this virus and how to prevent it, we must first understand what it is and how it spreads. Influenza is a viral, highly contagious respiratory illness that is easily spread through airborne transmission such as sneezing and coughing, close contact with an infected
person, or by touching a surface where the virus lie present.

So what are some natural, preventative measures we could take to help protect ourselves and others from this chilly and vicious illness? The good news: there are SO many!

Yoga being the amazing life elixir that it is, is one way to ward off this nasty illness. Various poses have physiological effects that strengthen the bodies ability to improve immune, adrenal, and nervous system function and keep us at optimal health.

These include poses like:
● Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall) – this inversion pose helps to increase circulation of lymph fluid throughout the body boosting the immune system;
● Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) – a go-to pose that allows for circulation and energy boost;
● Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge), Matsyasana (Fish), and Bhujangasana (Cobra) – all of which are heart openers that allow for the decongestion of the lungs and sinuses.

Other tips include:
● Washing your hands with soap and warm water, often and for at least 20 seconds!

● Using a humidifier in your bedroom or house to create a warmer, more humid environment where flu cannot easily spread

● Choosing natural Green Tea as your morning kick instead of coffee so as to keep stress off your adrenal glands

● Get sufficient rest each night (8 hours)

● Stay hydrated! People tend to drink less water during colder times of the year but it is even more crucial to drink plenty of water especially during this time as it helps to keep the bodies organs lubricated and working at their full potential

● Warm lemon water in the morning is a great way to start your day and also helps get your digestion started (plus it tastes yummy!)

GET A MASSAGE! Research shows that getting a massage regularly can help to fend off sickness (HUZZAH)! As an immune booster, massage helps to lower the production of stress hormones like cortisol and maximize functionality by increasing production of good hormones like serotonin and dopamine leaving you feeling at your best!

Massage is a natural approach to stimulating your lymph system to help maximize functionality and thus decreases your chances of coming down with something nasty! It also boosts oxygen-rich blood flow and lymph circulation throughout your body allowing it to work more effectively and remove toxin build up.

Looking to stay healthy and feel your best? Try out our Intro to Wellness package that includes three 60 minute massages for $249 – $51 of savings and a great way to show yourself some love and care in the winter months!

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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20

Meet Your Healer: Rhea Borromeo

Keeping a consistent wellness routine is more important than just feeling great, it truly keeps your body in working condition. Regular bodywork reduces stress, inflammation, stiffness, and blood pressure. Everything from your immune system to your energy levels improves when you allow for serious self-care time.

Our experienced and deeply knowledgeable healers work with each client to hear their specific needs and create treatment sessions customized for their body. Plus, with the help of cold-press, locally grown, adaptogenic oils from OmCali our therapists are well equipped to offer an experience of complete bliss and rejuvenation.

Since we are in love with each and every Namaste Healer we thought you may want to get to know them a little better too. We hope you enjoy this fun blog post series of Meet Your Healers!

Meet Your Namaste Healer: Rhea Borromeo

Hi Rhea! Where and when do you offer massage? 
Rhea Borromeo, I work at the Grand lake location on Tuesday 10-3, Thursday 3:30-8:30p.m and Sunday 2:30-7:30p.m

How long have you been at Namaste? 
Joining the team recently, but been practicing massage since 2004.

What type of healing modalities do you offer? 
My style is a combination of Deep Tissue, Thai stretches, Acupressure, and Swedish. Hot stone, Lomi Lomi, thai herbal, and prenatal massages.

What inspired you to become a wellness practitioner? 
I had health concerns and I wanted a life filled with purpose. Massage Therapy was a beautiful way for me to become more connected to my body and how it can heal itself.

What are a few of your favorite self-care tips for the winter season?
Taking bath soaks filled with healing herbs and essential oils.

Can you share a favorite nourishing recipe for winter? 
My homemade Elderberry Syrup!

What are you involved with outside the studio? 
Making my own herbal infused oils, plant-based concoctions, herbal classes. kids school activities.

What is your favorite thing about the Bay Area? 
Nature

Anything else you want to share?
I am the mother of two beautiful wild kids.

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20

The Scented Life: Meet Tracy of White Sage Wellness

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

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

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

    

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

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

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

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20

Summer Solstice Sun Tea

[large photos and inspiration courtesy The Lovely Wild .]

Today marks the longest day of the year and our official entrance into Summer. Traditionally, in Ayurveda, Summer is te catalyst for Pitta season, the season of fire. This means that our bodies are more likely to overheat with emotions and physiological issues like inflammation. According to Bayan Botanicals, excess pitta can manifest in the body as:

  • Acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn
  • Acute inflammation in body or joints
  • Discomfort or nausea upon missing meals
  • Anger, irritability, frustration
  • Bad breath and body odor
  • Excessive sweating
  • Impatience, criticism, judgment, intolerance

A great way to combat the heat is to nourish our bodies with cooling, calming foods and practices. In celebration of the Summer solstice, we are making a cooling, herbal sun tea!

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Best Yoga Studio Berkeley Sun Tea Recipe

Sun tea is very simple and requires only a few supplies. The recipe capitalizes on the longer day by steeping herbs using nothing but rays from our dear sun. Read below for instructions and ingredient suggestions to make your very own Pitta pacifying, Summer Sun Tea!

Best Yoga Studio Berkeley Summer Solstice Sun Tea
[Photo: VPK by Maharishi Ayurveda]

Ingredients:

  • Cooling loose leaf, dried or fresh herbs. Great choices include: mint, lemon verbena, cinnamon, rose petals, ginger, cardamom, fennel, coriander, basil, tumeric, or neem leaves!
  • The largest jar or jug you have with lid.
  • Tea strainer.

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a large tea strainer. Fill your large jar with clean water. Place tea strainer inside, close up lid, and let steep in direct sun until desired color is reached. Add ice and enjoy!

Namaste Yoga + Wellness Best Yoga Studio Berkeley Sun Tea Recipe

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