Check out what I’ve been checkin’ out this week…
3. Shoes that grow. It’s such a simple concept, yet has such a huge impact.
A little over a year ago I started doing yoga. Since starting my journey with yoga I have noticed many of the physical benefits, but also some of the mental ones. Yoga was my first introduction to mindfulness and meditation. I began to find there were times when I craved that peaceful, clear mind, everything is good in the world feeling you get after yoga. So I made it my new year’s resolution this year to meditate more often hoping to bring that post shavasana feeling to my daily life. I read numerous articles about the health benefits of meditation, but I quickly realized that sitting and doing nothing was a little harder than I originally thought…
I began trying different variations. Guided meditations have been a great introduction to the practice. The guides give you a focus and help me concentrate on the present moment rather than what I want to eat for lunch tomorrow, why didn’t my boss respond to my email, will I have time to work out later, what was the name of that book I wanted to read, or is that new crossbody bag I’ve been ogling is worth the $$$… You know, the “important” stuff. While my meditation practice has improved from constant fidgeting to being able to sit still for five minutes, I’ve looked for other techniques to broaden my experience. I read about using mala beads for meditation and was immediately intrigued by the idea. It felt like the right step between a guided meditation and sitting in silence. Mala beads, which are very similar to prayer beads, help you keep count of mantra repetitions. There are 108 beads on every mala and you repeat your mantra once for every bead. There are many different beliefs that explain the importance of the number 108. Here are a few:
If you’d like to learn more about 108, click here. The biggest challenge I’ve come across while using mala beads instead of guided meditations is that in a guided meditation you are given a point of focus or mantra and while using mala beads you have to come up with your own. A mantra is a word or sentence that is repeated during meditation. Often times a mantra focuses on an intention. Picking a mantra is a very personal choice. I’m still playing around and finding what works for me. I’ve even gone as far as using hakuna matata – it does mean no worries. But finding the perfect mantra isn’t something you should worry about. That pretty much defeats the purpose. For starters you can check out this list, Google mantra inspiration, or simply use “Om”. Once I decided I wanted to incorporate mala beads into my practice, the first step was to find the perfect mala. I knew I wanted to find one that was meaningful and could serve as a reminder of my intentions. I ended up buying one from Blooming Lotus Jewelry for a variety of reason. I will admit that these pieces are on the pricey side, but I justified the price knowing that I would have and use it for many years to come. There was also an inner force in me saying, “Annie you paid this much money, now you better use it!”.
I liked that the products are hand made out of high quality materials. I also love that each set has a special meaning and the sales give back to charity. 5% of every sale goes to support the Kid for Cancer to help children who are battling cancer. Also, keep an eye out in October for limited edition breast cancer awareness bracelets that donate a portion of the sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
I decided to buy the free spirit necklace from the wanderlust and adventure collection, which is made up of the following:
I feel in love with the meaning of each stone in this set. Wearing my mala as a necklace also serves as a reminder of my intentions. Everyone will be drawn to different types of stones depending on your desired intention. Meditating with mantras and mala beads is only one of many ways to practice. Besides using mantras you could focus on breath, music, an object, or mental visualization. And there really is no right or wrong way to meditate. What technique works the best for you?
I started doing yoga about 6 months ago and as corny as it may be, yoga has changed my life. I can touch my toes now! But aside from that, I also love yoga for its peacefulness. I love that during each practice I am encouraged to only do what serves me, be conscious of my body, and declutter my mind. And I still get a good workout in!
So for all you yogis out there, I have put together a couple of conscious products that embody the thoughtfulness of yoga by giving back in different ways.
Get it? Affirmat… affirmation? Clever. Life gets crazy sometimes and Affrimats are here to remind you to relax and stay positive. Each mat has a different saying on it that can serve as a reminder or mantra throughout your day. These mats are made out of a non-toxic, high quality, biodegradable blend that creates an ergonomically friendly and no-slip mat great for any yoga practice. They’re good for you and the environment.
How funky, cool, and amazing is this mat? Each of these eccentric mats are named after and inspired by national parks. This one is inspired by New Mexican traditional folk art.
Wildlings Yoga believes in making the world a better place and being an example for others companies to give back. They truly embody the whole “be the change you wish to see in the world” thang. $3 from every mat sold is donated to Free Arts for Abused Children, which is a non-profit in LA.
I mean let’s be honest, savasana is half the reason we drag our tired bodies through the cold to go to yoga class. Or is that just me? Anyway, Spiritual Gangsters believe in giving back every chance they get. All of the quirky apparel from Spiritual Gangster give back to national and international charities such as the Cambodian Children’s Fund, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Children’s First Academy, and Make a Wish Foundation.
Believe it or not, the craziest thing about these pants isn’t the colorful print. These pants are actually made out of recycled water bottles. Crazy, right? Zuvi hopes to help the Earth become more sustainable by reducing waste in landfills… and making awesome leggings.
I love jewelry that has meaning, whether someone special gave it to you or it symbolizes something meaningful. The hamsa hand on this bracelet represents blessings, power, protection and strength. You can wear it on or off your mat to serve as a positive reminder. Also, 10% of each bracelet purchase goes towards an orphanage in Kaliro, Uganda.
This necklace design is a merge between the ‘Om’ symbol and Ganesh the elephant. It represents Zen. Even when you’re off your mat, this necklace can serve as a constant reminder to remain calm. I wrote about Relevee in one of my first posts, but as a refresher, the company works with women who have been rescued from human trafficking and 100% of the proceeds go to supporting human rights.
What if I told you there was a lollipop that tastes good and is good for you? I know, I know. I’d be skeptical too, but hear me out.
I had no idea such a thing existed until my boyfriend’s mom (hi Theresa!) introduced me to Dosha Pops and the Ayurvedic lifestyle.
Now, I’m not a doctor and I’m still fairly new at this, but I would love to share with you what I have learned so far. I think it is exciting stuff.
The Ayurvedic lifestyle is all about being conscious of your individual body and needs. It is a 5,000-year-old science of natural healing with the theory that health exists when there is a balance between the three doshas, which are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
The doshas are dynamic biological energies found in the human body and mind that govern physical and mental processes. They constantly change in response to our actions, thoughts, emotions, foods, the seasons, and any other sensory input that feeds our mind and body. To figure out your doshas you can take a quick quiz here or an extended one here.
Now how does all of this relate to lollipops? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Whether or not you follow or believe in the Ayurvedic lifestyle, Dosha Pops are still a great candy alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth. Dosha Pops was founded with the vision that candy doesn’t have to simply be a guilty pleasure. Instead it can be a way to lead a balanced lifestyle by having healthier indulgences. All of the lollipops are handmade with ingredients that support a healthier lifestyle and balance your doshas.
The lollipops are made with Non-GMO pure cane sugar, which may get you thinking, “Uh sugar? How can this be healthy?”. While cane sugar is still sugar, it offers essential nutrients and minerals that refined and white sugars do not, such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron and B12.Cane sugar is also easier to digest and lacks the harmful chemicals often used in the refining process. On top of that each flavor hosts its own benefits from a variety of wholesome ingredients such as hibiscus, pomegranate, turmeric, and chai to name a few.
I tried the Chai Me Up pop and thought it tasted great! It was unlike any lollipop I’ve ever had. It definitely gets my stamp of approval. And while I may not be a health expert, I am a candy expert.
Dosha Pops also believes in giving back. In the past it has been a sponsor for the Women In Entertainment Luncheon, Mount Holyoke Club of NY, the New York Methodist Hospital Red Stocking Soiree, and Women Organized Against Rape. Last fall the people at Dosha Pops decided to run a non-profit nomination campaign to find an organization that best aligned with their company. They discovered Bent On Learning, which teaches yoga to public schools in New York City, and decided to give their end of the year donation to this organization.
So if you’re trying to get healthy this year, try incorporating Dosha Pops into your diet to satisfy sugar cravings. It’s much better than having a Snickers! And if you’re interested in learning more about the Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet, the book Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra is a great place to start.
I will start off by saying I am a Christmas fiend. I love everything about it. I’ll even tolerate snow for a day. And although I usually wait until I pay my Thanksgiving respects before indulging in Christmas thoughts, I just couldn’t help myself this year. It also doesn’t help that I discovered Orange Harp, which is a great place for some conscious holiday shopping.
Orange Harp is a mobile app that sells high-quality, socially conscious products. The app is all about using your purchasing power for good, whether that’s buying products that are made of organic cotton or donate to charity or are made out of recycled materials.
The thing I love most about Orange Harp is that they believe you don’t have to sacrifice quality or style to lead a conscious lifestyle. I totally agree!
So after downloading the Orange Harp app (available in the App Store) and going though every single product, I have a put together a gift guide for the lucky ladies in your life. Enjoy!
Like whatcha see??? All of these items and sooooo much more can be purchased easily through the Orange Harp app.