Category Archives: inspiration

sunday inspiration

calm, cozy sunday afternoons are the absolute best time to enjoy family, friends, or the peace of an empty house, and a good, warm meal… and maybe playing catch up with some of your favorite blogs? Sounds like a dream to me. Here are a few beautiful things, to give your spirits an extra lift on this day of rest and reflection.

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7.15/link love

happy tuesday, beautiful friends! here are some of my favorite finds from the internet to bring some brightness and beauty to your morning.

this is a wonderful article, re-defining sustenance and what we look to as our life source. “In the end, the best sustenance doesn’t numb us, but rather equips us to move through difficult seasons with clear eyes.”

ten homemade beauty remedies… and yes, coconut oil is absolutely included!

toxin-free ways to get rid of all the pesky summer bugs!

must bake. must bake now.

– one of the most unique and delicious cocktail recipes I’ve seen.

adorable indoor herb planters.

interesting thoughts on what may be behind our business.

this video is incredible. absolutely incredible. let’s all be happier and more grateful.

– and finally, to tie in, how to impact and work with your subconscious.

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#ambassadorlove

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what could possibly be better than taking a kick-ass Power Vinyasa class with our Ambassador Elliott? Oh, that’s right – taking a kick-ass Power Vinyasa class with our Ambassador Elliott AT WANDERLUST!!! That’s right, Elliott’s off to teach at Wanderlust, aka the dream festival of yoga, music, food, and seriously incredible human beings. We can’t say that we’re at all surprised that Elliott was asked to come teach alongside MC Yogi and hang out with Gabrielle Bernstein, but we sure as hell are super proud of him!  Check out his official Wanderlust bio, and if for some reason you haven’t yet made it to Winston-Salem to take his phenomenal class, come join us there next week to welcome him back!

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gift guide: father’s day, 2014

just in case you were fretting about getting your husband/father/grandfather, etc, another set of whiskey stones or a different pattern of striped ties this year for Dad’s Day, we thought it might be a good idea to have a few unique other options ready for you. We have scoured the internet, poured through the “best of” lists, and come up with a few seriously awesome gifts for your main man this Father’s Day!

1. lululemon Boxers – definitely number one on our list… but seriously. You don’t understand. He’ll thank you for the rest of his days, and possibly start loving lululemon even more than you do…

2. Krankies Coffee – for those token early morning “dad moments” of coffee, orange juice, and a newspaper, some local and delicious Krankies Coffee would work perfectly. Pair it with a unique and funky mug, OR paint one yourself!

3. Mast Brother’s Chocolate – it might not be the most original gift ever, but I know personally that whenever I give my dad Father’s Day gifts, the only things that I see get immediate and significant use is the chocolate.

4. Working Man’s Hygiene Kit – a well-packaged one-and-done for manly personal hygiene, these things smell lovely and are created with natural oils.

5. Plantable Comic Books – okay, I’m a little bit obsessed with these. Comic books that have herb seeds in them. So, you read them and then plant them in the garden – “be a hero, plant herbs.”

6. Age Your Own Whiskey Kit – I mean, come on.

7. Biolite Camp Stove – the coolest little wood-burning stove in the world, and it also charges electronic devices from the heat created by the fire. Absolutely ideal for your camping man.

8. Tudor Watch – a simple, handsome leather and steel watch, for a man who loves simple, beautiful, and well-made things.

9. Fly Fishing Kit – this is ridiculously cool –  Patagonia makes a “Simple Fly Fishing Kit” with their Tenkara rod as well as everything you’ll need to use it, and everything you’ll need to know about it.

10. Personalized Photo Book – it’s not lame, and it never gets old. No matter what, the most important thing in a dad’s life will always, always be his family, and what better gift for Father’s Day than a collection of images of the people who make him a dad.

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meditations from the board – trusting the process

I love the idea of Meditations from the Mat – and how everything, every small little lesson or adjustment that we find on our yoga mats can have the power to transform not only our entire practice, but also our lives. I think, though, that too often we rely on yoga alone as our source of wisdom and inspiration, and while there is an endless fount of wisdom to be found by pursuing the path of yoga, really, the majority of this wisdom is something that is already living inside each of us, and yoga usually just has a more clear and concise way of bringing it out. The importance in realizing this is that, instead of learning and growing leaps and bounds for one hour ever day, or every other day, you can bring this meditative state, this eagerness for and openness to learning with you wherever you go, whenever you want. It’s always there, and as soon as you’re ready to get present in your body and tune into your clear, focused, and brilliant mind, you will be ready and able to be your own answer. A lot of the biggest breakthroughs I’ve had in my life have come on a particularly long run, or really whenever I step foot onto my paddleboard – anytime I allow myself the time and space to get clear, and get grounded in my physical body, my mind often follows.

 It’s like that – any time you take away from the madness of daily life and really get off of your autopilot, out of your head, and into your body… that’s when the serious change starts to set in. We need something to bring us back into the now, so that the growth we’re slowly doing can start to solidify within us. This past weekend, I found the same beautiful experience on a surfboard. The second I finally became truly present out there in the waves, all of the abstract challenges I had been working through over the past few weeks were finally presented in a way that I could understand, approach, and overcome. Instead of a vague tangle of things I knew I needed to fix, I realized quickly that the challenges I had been facing in my personal life were also showing up so clearly in my time on my board. I was frustrated and annoyed, because I have been surfing for years and years, and yet, on this morning, still could not manage to really catch that perfect wave. I was riding some in, and getting a few good ones, but when it came to really getting on top of a wave, throwing myself into it, and riding it all the way… I was coming up way short. I was getting a lot of good, and no great. And I was very, very ready to blame it on a bad surf day, waves that weren’t ideal, anything but myself. However, when I took a moment to pause my blame game and really figure out the root of what was going on, it quickly became clear – I was getting into the tops of these waves, and instead of paddling hard to truly “catch” the wave, I would give the water a few quick swipes with my hand, and then immediately try to stand up, before I was even in the wave. For those of you who know nothing about surfing, bear with me for just a moment. I was trying to get to the next step of the process, without fully giving my effort to the step I was currently in. And, as a result, I almost always lost the wave, and ended up in a half-standing board limbo, and subsequently very wet and salty. Where all of the concept and information had been failing to process in my brain, this physical reality landed, and landed hard – all I had to do was really put myself fully into the process of catching the wave, before moving on to what I knew came afterwards. I needed to turn off my overanalyzing brain for just a second, and instead, be in the moment, and trust the process, focusing entirely on what is right here and right now. There’s so much truth and beauty in that realization – because we have a clear goal, a purpose, an idea of what our future should and will look like, we spend so much time and energy focusing on that future, instead of living in the present that will bring us to that future. We’re trying to stand up on boards that aren’t even in a wave, and that leaves us with no force or momentum, and if we keep it up, we’ll keep falling flat on our face. Instead, let’s focus on getting present, getting in our bodies, and learning to paddle before we try to stand.

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faire un pique-nique

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One of my favorite quotes ever comes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s biography “The Last American Man,” in which she tells the life story of Eustace Conway. I could wax some serious poetic on this book, or this man, but instead I’ll give you a wonderful block quote and a heavy encouragement to go read the book.

 

“I live in nature where everything is connected, circular. The seasons are circular. The planet is circular, and so is the planet around the sun. The course of water over the earth is circular coming down from the sky and circulating through the world to spread life and then evaporating up again. I live in a circular teepee and build my fire in a circle. The life cycles of plants and animals are circular. I live outside where I can see this. The ancient people understood that our world is a circle, but we modern people have lost site of that. I don’t live inside buildings because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn’t flow, and where life stops. I don’t want to live in a dead place. People say that I don’t live in a real world, but it’s modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they have stepped outside the natural circle of life. 

Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes. They wake up every morning in a box of their bedrooms because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them it was time to get up. They eat their breakfast out of a box and then they throw that box away into another box. Then they leave the box where they live and get into another box with wheels and drive to work, which is just another big box broken into little cubicle boxes where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front of them. When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to the house boxes and spends the evening staring at the television boxes for entertainment. They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, they keep their clothing in a box, they live their lives in a box. 

Break out of the box! This not the way humanity lived for thousands of years.”

 

Maybe don’t go move to a teepee, and yes, we do need some of our boxes… but now that the weather is warm and wonderful, think about some fun and creative ways to get out of your box! We love taking our sweat into the sunshine – hiking, biking, and running; taking our pilates and yoga mats to the grass – so what are some other ways you can take the rest of your life out of the boxes and into the great outdoors? Walk a trail with a friend instead of meeting for coffee. Drink your wine while planting a garden, instead of in your living room. Pack a basket and take a picnic, instead of going out for dinner. It may be slightly less convenient, or just a tiny bit less comfortable, but I promise, the little extra effort will always be worth it.

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loving the MOMent

let’s face it – moms are the greatest. Really and truly – your mom is your absolute best friend. She is the person who will understand you the mostly deeply, throughout your entire life. She is your comfort, your support, your inspiration, and your biggest cheerleader. She’s one of the six people in the auditorium at your middle school play. She’s holding the video camera as you leave the door on your first day of high school, no matter how much you roll your eyes. She’s clapping the hardest as you walk the stage at your college graduation. She’s crying her eyes out at your wedding. She’s the one who watches you run your first race, who takes you out for doughnuts after your first broken heart, and who moves your couch into your first apartment. She’s the one who always tends to know best… even though you never want to admit it. And she’s the one who probably STILL doesn’t quite understand the clothes you want to wear, or the tattoo you got in your twenties. Even when you’re a mom yourself, she’s the one you call to celebrate with, to  grieve with, or simply just to connect with. She is the one who, through everything, sees you, knows you, and loves you. Even if, for some reason, you mom isn’t all of these things, she is, at the very least, the strong and incredible human being who gave birth to you, and who loves you deeply and wholeheartedly. There is truly nothing like a mother… so, let’s all take this upcoming Sunday to deeply appreciate the MOMent. Pause your busy lives for a day, and take some time to really give thanks for the amazing woman who brought you into this world.

So, in an attempt to reminisce on years and years of handmade cards and gifts, here’s a slightly more practical, and possibly more aesthetically pleasing, Mother’s Day gift idea, to show your sweet mommy just how much you love her… but feel free to throw a giant Magic Marker piece of artwork in with it too!

 

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Calming Lavender Scrub

2 cups of plain Epsom Salt (Earth Fare has some great tiny cartons of it)

2 tbsp lavender essential oils

1/2 tsp coconut oil

2 tsp dried lavendar flowers (Deep Roots, bulk herbs section.)

Directions: Pour the epsom salt into a mason jar, and stir in the oil, flowers, and coconut oil, until everything is completely mixed. Tie on a sweet note with some twine, deliver with a flower, and appreciate the MOMent. 🙂

 

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And finally, check this video out, if you need any more inspiration for that major mom love! Happy Mother’s Day, all of you incredible women out there.

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some wednesday link lovin’

happy hump day! here are some jewels from the world wide web, to pick up your spirits on this rainy Wednesday.

 

– have you been needing the extra push to go the distance with your run? Mindbodygreen reminds you that yes, you CAN do a marathon!

– even if there is no marathon in your future, here’s an interesting little interactive page about the larger impact of running. Very cool.

– but, if you’re running, you should be doing this – a fantastic de-mystification of the foam roller.

stop making these, and get out and sweat…

– mostly so that you can make these. but seriously.

– and also, because apparently you are just a few short workouts away from better skin? Read more about that here.

– um, so this is inspiring.

– maybe some flower-based DIYs will make the rain go away?

– i love greens. i love infographics. this combination is awesome.

– “but I live with an eternal green-grass mindset” – this is beautiful. 

– and finally, strawberry margaritas! Garnish with some basil, and who’s ready for the weekend?

 

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“we should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.” – Marilyn Monroe

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behind the scenes: Sean the “Run Bum”

this past weekend, I had the insanely awesome, and very spontaneous pleasure of photographing Sean, “Run Bum,” up on the trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This dude is seriously intense… and seriously awesome! If you’re looking for some new outdoor/athletic inspiration, we’ve found you a great one. Sean is based out of Atlanta, but travels literally all around the world “in search of the perfect run,” with the mission of having fun, connecting runners, and inspiring people to get active and outdoors… so basically, he spends his life living to the fullest, and elevating everyone he meets to do the same. In addition to seeking out (and crushing) really awesome runs for himself, Sean organizes races and events, and also leads his Run Bum community in clearing and maintaining trails. On top of all this goodness, he’s also a super nice and down-to-earth guy… and he can rock some lululemon!

Check out these pictures from our awesome time hopping around on a mountaintop, please please go read more about this ridiculously inspiring guy, then go join his amazing community, AND FINALLY,  come hang out with him in the showroom TOMORROW (April 24)  for Run Club, and again May 8th for a Run Bum clinic, some crazy awesome stories, and an ice-cold beer. What better way to kick off run season?!

 

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on creating newness

One of the biggest challenges with anything constant in life is that, as much as we are always growing and building, we tend to forget the beauty and excitement of newness. This applies to anything – belongings, relationships, and yes, even yoga. I’ve found myself so very guilty of this – I’ll go to a class, and roll my eyes in the back of my head, because it’s the exact same sequence we did last time, or because, hot dang, I am just not in the mood for seventeen rounds of Sun Salutations. Instead of viewing my time on the mat as something new, a space within which to create and develop, I’m frustrated by what is similar and routine. I’m forgetting the very first yoga class I ever attended, where I had to look around every time the teacher spoke to see where the heck I was supposed to be bending and twisting, or the first down-dog I took, which probably would have been more appropriately named “uncomfortable camel.” I’m forgetting the sheer joy I found the first time that I correctly remembered the order of the poses in a Sun Salutation, and how secretly proud I was when I stuck my first side crow. Just because I have a slightly better handle on the poses now, it doesn’t mean that yoga isn’t still new, full of joy, exciting. Yoga, just like life, is exactly what you make of it, and is just as full of that blank, empty space for you to create, build, play, experiment, learn, and grow – constantly. Until the day you die, you are creating, and what you are creating is entirely your choice.

That being said, it’s truly a joy to hear the thoughts of someone who has just started a yoga practice, and to really get excited watching someone you care about experience the fresh new possibilities that come with really learning to live and understand yoga. I have been blessed enough to do that recently, as my dear friend Megan has just started coming to yoga in the past few weeks. It’s been so incredible to see her develop a love for her practice, to watch her in her fresh new wunderunders (!) as she embraces the joys of a Sun A… I’m convinced that there is nothing more wonderful than watching someone step into something that they truly love.

Fortunately for me, and the rest of you, in addition to being a yogi, Megan is also a blogger, and she wrote a really awesome post yesterday on her thoughts about beginning yoga – what led her to that point, and what she’s gleaned from it so far. Immediately after reading it, I asked her if it was something I could share on here – the post is thought-provoking, insightful, and the coolest collection of thoughts and lessons that she’s learned in developing a yoga practice. So, read her incredible post here, soak in the wisdom of trying something new, or as our company’s manifesto so beautifully puts it, “trying one thing a day that scares you,” and take the time, space, and intention to really start creating the life you crave.

Namaste, lovelies.

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