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Meet Your Kula: Mikaila Cruz

Meet Your Kula: Mikaila Cruz Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little more. […]

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Meet Your Kula: Mikaila Cruz

Meet Your Kula: Mikaila Cruz Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little more. Meet our Drishti Yogi, Mikaila Cruz. Tell us about yourself! I was born and raised in New York City. Both of my parents had backgrounds in finance, and belonged to a military family. I learned to be an independent thinker early on, yet followed the straight line of attending school, then attaining a good paying job. What started your yoga journey? When my Dad arrived in Manhattan he learned Ashtanga Yoga, and when I was five years old he taught me how to come into a headstand. I knew nothing about the yoga philosophy, but thought it was fun to come into an inversion. When I was 16 I started running, and when I hit my goal of 12 miles a day I began feeling pain in medial part of my right knee. I went to see an orthopedic surgeon who gave me the option of surgery […]

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Meet Your Kula: Nina Monobe

Meet Your Kula: Nina Monobe Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little more. Meet our Maitrī Yogi, Nina Monobe. Hi Nina! Tell us about yourself! Hi! I’m Nina (Marina) Monobe and I love to help others through my veterinary and yoga practice. I’m a Veterinary Doctor who moved to USA to work as a PhD researcher and teacher assistant. During my cultural transition time, I found myself practicing yoga as a therapeutic exercise to fight anxiety and depression. Nowadays, I’m an Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor and AFAA Fitness Instructor. I consider myself living between two different worlds, veterinary & fitness, which I love equally. How did you begin your yoga journey? As an immigrant in USA, who left family & friends back in Brazil, I had a difficult time trying to adapt to the new American culture. I always felt overwhelmed trying to prove my skills as good as or better than my co-workers. Subsequently diagnosed with anxiety […]

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Meet Your Kula: Mel Douglas

  Meet Your Kula: Mel Douglas Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little more. This month, meet Mel Douglas, our Karuna Yogi. Tell us about yourself! My name is Mel Douglas and I’m a Brooklyn, NY native currently living in Los Angeles with my pup Kenji. I’m a plant mom, black coffee lover, and outdoor adventurer. I spend much of my time advocating for wellness in my community by sharing my journey with mental health, wellness, and yoga. In 2018 I founded the Black Women’s Yoga Collective (BWYC), a community organization focused on increasing accessibility to wellness and generating true safe spaces that offer intersectional wellness practices. What started your yoga journey? I like to say that yoga found me because it turned out to be such a huge part of my life pretty unexpectedly. I was bored of going to the gym, so I started trying out the different classes offered there instead. I ended up in […]

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Meet Your Kula: Whitney Davis

Meet Your Kula: Whitney Davis   Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little more. This month, meet Whitney Davis, our Ahimsa Yogi. Tell us about yourself! I’m Whitney! I’m a yogi living in Florida with my husband and one-year-old son named Bodhi! What started your yoga journey? I started my yoga journey in my freshmen dorm room. I started yoga to find relief from anxiety and to increase my flexibility and strength. When did you decide to become a yoga instructor? I decided to become a yoga teacher after leaving a career in social work. I loved the idea of helping individuals tune into themselves and find peace and healing through the yoga practice. What type of yoga do you teach? What drew you to this particular form of yoga? I am currently a stay at home mom, but when I was teaching I preferred to teach vinyasa and yin. I love those two styles of practice because they help […]

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The Very Best Yoga Gifts: Thoughtful, Simple, and Loving

No one needs another mug. I promise you. Did you catch that, Andrea? We are yoga lovers. It’s never boring for us. There’s no cajoling or coaxing us into rolling out our mats to practice. We’re psyched to spend a Saturday night going to a sound bath class or doing yoga with a DJ in black light. If yoga is involved, we are in. The best yoga gifts are those that enhance our practice I’m stoked if someone gives me a tiny bottle of essential oil because they said it reminded them of me. That’s all it takes. Yoga lovers don’t want or need you to spend a lot of money. Hell, if you just come to a class with us, we’re tickled. Keep it simple. How many times in our lives have we heard that? I have Raynaud’s Syndrome. So my hands get easily cold and even numb. My partner has bought me 3, count em, THREE pairs of very expensive battery-operated gloves to remedy the sitch. And none of them worked well or even kept working poorly. He finally gave up and bought me a box of HotHands warmers that I could slip in my gloves. Perfection. The […]

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Relish the Festivities This Year by Adding a Little Yoga to Your Holiday Rituals

Can you smell it? Scent shapes our experiences in countless ways. Well, okay. maybe you can count them. But the impact is obvious. And old holiday traditions no one looks forward to have a smell. It’s stale and faint, in case you were wondering. It rebukes. We want to be enticed and seduced into the holidays, don’t we? Let the excitement begin this year with brand spanking new yoga holiday rituals So what the hell are yoga holiday rituals anyway? I’m gonna go ahead and make up a definition here. We are yoga folk. Our practice is how we go about our lives. So, how does it make any sense that our holidays don’t contain rituals and traditions that include yoga? I’ll answer that. It really doesn’t. So as we gather with our friends, families, and communities, let’s involve and revolve the festivities around our beloved practices and share them as the gifts they are with those around us. If you’ve got a few naysayers or resistant people in your inner circle, this is the ideal opportunity to show them the various and vast sides of the yoga spectrum. Surely some components of yoga will speak to them. Maybe even […]

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If You’re Totally Over the Stiff Joints Thing and Want to Feel Better

Practicing yoga poses for stiff joints is one of the wisest choices we can make. It’s right up there with wearing a hat in cold weather and washing our hands before touching food. Pain most definitely decreases anyone’s desire to move, but it’s actually likely the best thing you can do. Even though it’s tempting to take a more sedentary approach when you’re feeling joint stiffness, resist the urge. A gentle approach is the key. And, not expecting your body to perform as it once did will greatly enhance the benefits of moving your body with the goal of kindness and increased comfort. Yoga poses for stiff joints will minimize discomfort I know, we yoga lovers claim it cures everything. While yoga won’t magically give you the ability to read minds or understand calculus, it does have a touch of magic in healing lots of causes of pain and limited mobility. When we strengthen our muscles, they have an improved ability to work as shock absorbers. This enhanced strength and flexibility assist our joints in working more comfortably. It takes time and you may have to change your practice to a more restorative one. But if you’re game and willing, […]

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Thanksgiving Yoga Sequence to Help You Digest and Detox

There may be some overeating. Scratch that, it’s a certainty. Use this Thanksgiving yoga sequence to prepare and repair There’s always the possibility you won’t eat too much. You may decide to fill up on water before embarking on the tradition of expandable pants and indigestion. But in case you decide to indulge, both preparing your body beforehand and fixing what’s just a little bit broken after your meal will have you feeling totally normal (almost) by Friday. Critical information about why we practice a specific Thanksgiving yoga sequence both before and after a feast: Twists are amazing for purging and aiding in digestion. When we twist, we massage our abdominal organs and deliver a fresh supply of blood to that area of our bodies. Twists also create internal fire, Agni. This also contributes to our ability to move food throughout bodies and eliminate effectively. Forward folds are downright fabulous in our pursuit of digestion and for decreasing bloating. Bloating sucks, right? Let’s eliminate that with some gentle compression to the organs that live in our abdominal cavities. Backbends stretch our abdominal organs really well. Space is good. The action of expanding and contracting gets things moving. We’re gonna do a […]

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The Unacknowledged Presence in a Yoga Gift Box

Have you heard the joke about the only thing the yoga teacher wanted for their birthday? “Just your presence.” Both presents and presence exist in each adoringly cultivated yoga gift box. There’s a whole lot more than the contents inside. A yoga gift box means all of your shopping is done I mean, if you dig shopping more than breathing, that might not be great news. But if you’re a pretty typical holiday shopper who feels a bit overwhelmed by the whole process, then we’ve got you. The lucky yoga lover in your life knows when they open your gift that you know them well and you want to remind them every month that they are loved. Sharing a yoga gift box with others is a delightful part of the joy Last month, when I opened my gift box and saw the cute purple yoga sox with tread on the bottoms, I knew exactly who would be getting them. Amy, I know you’ll be wearing them every practice and it makes me smile to think about how much you appreciate them. There’s something for everyone in each yoga gift box. We all know a crystals lover. And each of us has that […]

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