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Meet Your Kula: Krystal Prout

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 Prajñā Yogi, Krystal […]

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The Low Down on Dharma: 5 Questions to Ask and Answer to Own Your Passion

An inquisitive mind is a busy, active, reaching mind who loves to solve mysteries and develop destinations. Determining our dharma only asks that we continuously seek our deepest understandings of ourselves and what drives and impassions us. While various religions and philosophies embrace and utilize the concept of dharma, there is no definitive definition. The overall idea is that our dharma is our passion and the reason we exist. Heady stuff, but most importantly, it’s the most exciting knowledge we’ll ever gain. Not certain what your dharma is? You are far from alone, and we want to help! Asking questions, owning the ardor and zeal we feel for certain things and people, and trusting our truths are how we land with feet firmly walking along the path we’re meant to follow and love. If you’ve already developed an understanding here, these questions and answers many coax an even more extensive and heartfelt commitment to your passion. It’s crucial for each of us to understand our dharma is not necessarily how we make money, nor is it anything anyone can determine outside of ourselves. No one knows you the way you do. And this is the very best news. However, surrounding […]

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7 Easy Ways to Spend More Time Outside

We all make the same excuses for why we can’t spend as much time outside as we’d probably like to. After all, we have to work, clean, commute, and take care of all our daily tasks — leaving little time in between for us to simply get out and enjoy nature. The truth is that what we’re really doing is prioritizing everything else over our connection to nature. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with prioritizing things like work or family above anything else, but it’s important to be aware that this is what we’re doing when we catch ourselves falling into the “not enough time for it” excuse trap. Those of us who want to make our connection to nature a bigger priority can do so by combining some of the things we already do (or want to do) with outdoor activity. Here are just a few easy ideas to get you started. 1. Practice yoga and meditation in an outdoor environment. There’s perhaps no greater way to enjoy the great outdoors as a yogi than by rolling out your mat in your own backyard or by taking your meditation practice to a bench in a nearby park. Your senses will be […]

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5 Creative Ways to Reuse Food Scraps

No matter how conscious we may be of how long certain foods last, our portion sizes, and our efforts to eat up all those leftovers, the reality is that food often still gets wasted. Unsurprisingly, it’s often in the form of scraps. Food scraps are especially difficult to minimize for plant-based foods. Preparing all sorts of fruits and veggies means that inedible parts such as leaves, stems, stalks, skins, and cores end up in the trash. With a little creativity, however, practically anyone can scale down their food scraps to very little or almost nothing. Here are just five great ways to do exactly that. Make your own compost pile. It’s spring, meaning it’s the perfect time to start composting. The nutrient-dense soil produced by a compost pile is ideal for enriching indoor plants, outdoor plants, lawns, gardens, and whatever else you want to grow. Composting is as easy as gathering enough material for a 3-foot deep pile and then laying down alternate layers of green materials (such as food scraps) and brown materials (such as dead leaves). Nourish your body. Believe it or not, food scraps make great ingredients for DIY beauty regimens. Old coffee grounds, for example, can be used […]

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Finding Peace in Nature

It’s impossible not to notice the burst of energy that Mother Nature rekindles for us in the spring. April is one of those months of the year where the active wildlife and blooming plants draw our attention to the miracle of rebirth as every living thing around us grows stronger and fuller each day. Reconnecting to nature helps keep us grounded. Though it may feel good to get swept up by the lively energies of the spring season, staying present and calm is what we need to maintain balance. Finding peace in nature is as simple as using your senses. Used mindfully, your senses will help ground you and keep you where your feet are when your mind wants to pull you into your thoughts. Look April is a wonderful month to pay close attention to the visual beauty of nature while everything around us begins to grow. Look for those few blades of new grass poking up from the earth, the budding leaves on nearby trees, small animals scurrying around, and even some varieties of flowers starting to show that they’re ready to bloom. Really look at these elements of nature and notice everything from the purity of their regrowth, to […]

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5 Steps to Build Long-Term Eco-Friendly Habits

Whether you’ve signed up to participate in our Eco Challenge or gone off on your own to try developing more eco-friendly habits in your everyday life, chances are you know how tricky it can be to maintain those habits over the long run. This is especially true when life gets in the way, when time is of the essence, and when sticking to a budget is super important. Making eco-friendly choices for a day or two is a cinch. Making them stick over the course of your lifetime, however, is much harder. Despite the difficulty, just think of how much of a personal difference you could make with a lifetime of eco-friendly habits. With this in mind, you can use the following tips to help integrate newer, greener habits into your lifestyle for years and years to come. 1. Start by Committing to One Change Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to make too many eco-friendly changes all at once. While you may be enthusiastic to simultaneously start eating more local/organic foods, turning off all your electronics, commuting less often by car, plus a hundred other new and exciting things, you’re far more likely to throw in the towel too soon once you realize […]

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4 Ways to Have a More Eco-Friendly Yoga Practice

There are countless ways we could all tweak our lifestyle habits so that they’re more environmentally friendly — some of which are more realistic than others. As yogis, we have the opportunity to look toward our practice to see where we might be able to make a few improvements. Here are just four ways to make your yoga practice a whole lot greener! Upgrade to an Eco-Friendly Mat Do you know what your yoga mat is made of? If you picked your mat up at just any old store, chances are it might be made out of certain types of plastics or other unrecyclable materials that don’t break down well in the environment. While it may cost slightly more than any regular yoga mat, an eco-friendly mat that’s made from biodegradable, chemical-free materials (such as all-natural rubber) is worth the extra investment. Most are also very high-quality designed to last for years and years. Treat Yourself to Some New Eco-Friendly Clothing If your current yoga attire is made from synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, or rayon, then you can take that as an opportunity to shop around for more eco-friendly alternatives. Fabrics like polyester aren’t biodegradable and also take a lot of […]

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9 Gratitude Mantras to Help You Appreciate Nature

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” ~ Lord Byron It’s far too easy to take nature for granted. We don’t think twice about all those pieces of plastic trash scattered along the side of the road, we often find ourselves wishing it would just stop raining to avoid getting wet when we go outside, and we gasp in horror at spiders that find their way into our homes. When we’re always lost in our own little worlds, our awareness is very limited. We don’t even realize that all those plastic pieces of trash will still be sitting there along the side of that road centuries from now if nobody picks it up, we forget that the rain will benefit the farmers fields to grow their crops, and we can’t appreciate that little spider for being just one of 40,000 known species worldwide. Use the following gratitude mantras to help you expand your awareness and appreciate nature a little more. Whether you choose to write these mantras down, print them […]

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March’s Theme: Connection

“When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection—love is born. We want to be connected. That is the meaning of love, to be at one… You would do anything for the benefit of the Earth, and the Earth will do anything for your well-being.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh Yoga is about connection. To practice yoga means to embark on a journey of connecting deeper with oneself and one’s environment—including all the people, plants, animals, objects, and events within that environment that are experienced through the five senses. Connection is cultivated by accepting all that is, exactly as it is. To experience real growth, you can’t just accept the good and ignore the bad. So if you want to really harness the power of your practice to connect deeper to your true self, to others, and to all of reality, then you have to be willing to get a little uncomfortable. Here are just a few very helpful tips you can take with you to move deeper into your yoga practice.   Let Go of Expectations There’s nothing wrong with having goals or expectations for yourself and for your […]

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5 Ways to Use the Power of Touch to Improve Your Health and Well-Being

When we think of improving our health, most of us envision ourselves feasting on colorful fruits and veggies, saying no to processed foods, practicing enough yoga to give us lean muscles, and getting a good night’s sleep practically every night. Good health, however, extends far beyond these obvious habits! Our sense of touch is powerful enough to lower blood pressure and heart rate, boost immune function, relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and even improve mood. So if you think you’re doing everything right with your other healthy lifestyle habits, maybe it’s time to pay attention to where you could be lacking in the touch department. Here are five healthy touch habits to experiment with.   1. Give and receive more physical affection. We may not know it, but many of us in the West are actually suffering from touch deprivation. Michelangelo once said, “To touch can be to give life,” and research has confirmed proof of this by observing positive changes in the brain’s reward system and cardiovascular system from touch. Hugging, kissing, holding hands, caressing, cuddling, having someone play with your hair, and having sex are all forms of physical affection that can lead to greater health benefits. […]

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