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9/03/2011

Produce anyone? Interesting Video ...

After watching "Food Inc." a couple years back, I've been doing some research into the America's food industry. I always knew this was going on and it was best to buy organic etc. The more research I have done the more I have found out how shocking our food industry is.  This is a great video.. check it out!


Farmer to Farmer: The Truth About GM Crops from Pete Speller on Vimeo.

7/07/2011

New Video by Spiritual Gangster

Ok, it is apparent all over our FACEBOOK page that we are stoked on the new gear by Spiritual Gangster. As a quirky up-and-coming company out of Phoenix, AZ the brand offers yoga clothing and mats with spiritual mantras and graphics.  Here's a little video that sums up what the company is all about.
To shop the line click HERE  

6/28/2011

EcoVillages, your alternative work and play vacation

I live to travel and become incredibly antsy when I am confined in one city or town for too long. I try to spread my wings at least once every two months to parts of the country I have not yet discovered. Depending on my financial limitations, I will plan a short trip by car or book a last minute plane ride to an exotic patch of land in a foreign country.

TripAdvisor use to be my go-to vacation directory when planning my quick getaways to various parts of the world.  I realized over time that thoroughly researching plush hotels and the best 'tourists' traps was not my style and that this type of directory was not conducive to the types of vacations I was seeking to to feed my soul.

My first experience at an intentional commune was in Winkleman, Arizona. A self sustainable, down to earth and communal living space,  I realized that this was the vacation I had been craving all along. Intentional communes are an inclusive term for ecovillages, cohousing communities, residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban housing cooperatives, intentional living, alternative communities, cooperative living, and other projects where people strive together with a common vision. At many communes people live off the grid in a self supporting community that welcomes visitors and people who may want to contribute to the philopshopy by providing a work/trade agreement.

Depending on the commune, the accommodations are modest, the food is hearty and the people are full of life and spirit (perhaps because they are so in tune with the earth).

If you are interested in researching or staying with a commune, a directory called http://www.ic.org/ can help you narrow down by state and country to find a commune that appeals to the geographic location you are seeking. Most of the intentional communes have their own website that lists the type of land they reside on.Many communes are open to establishing a work/trade agreement where you can visit the land for a few days, eat and sleep for free in exchange for designated chores around the commune. The work can consist of building, cleaning, harvesting, gardening or if there are any animals on site, helping to feed and clean their cages.

It can be a wonderfully rewarding and relaxing experience. If you are looking solely to relax, that's okay too. Most communes only charge a small donation to stay on the land and soak up the environment without having to lift a hand. It depends on what you are looking for.

I plan to travel to a commune in Vancouver, Canada for my next mini vacation. The commune is called 'Lightwork Ecovillage' and is located on Hope Point, Gambier Island.  The property is about a 20 minute water taxi ride from Horseshoe Bay which is 40 minutes north of Vancouver, BC. The commune supports environment that cultivates spiritual wholeness, a sustainable lifestyle and a rich, loving community.

If you are seeking an enlightening and affordable next vacation, I encourage you to browse through some of the opportunities available on communes around the world! It's easy to become involved and you may find it to be a great alternative way to spend your next vacation. 

6/24/2011

Three food habits that are keeping you from losing those five extra pounds


Large Lattes that keep you Large

Okay, we get it; your morning latte is the glimmer of hope that helps you make it through your 9-5. What else would motivate you to stop hitting the snooze button a hundred more times before facing your day? The sweet aroma and taste of a coffee, steamed with milk and swirled with caramel sauce, is hard to imagine going without.  But, the average latte has over 300 calories per serving and that’s just in a small cup of Joe! If you are looking to cut the fat, order your next latte with nonfat milk and hold the whip cream and sugary syrups, you will be deblotified in no time.

Not so diet soda

Hello?! We all know that cutting out soda is one of the fastest ways to reduce caloric intake on a daily basis. But did you know that diet soda also contributes to weight gain? More and more studies have been showing that artificial sweeteners cause bloating, fatigue and sugar cravings. Cut diet soda out and opt for naturally flavored spritzers – or try squeezing a few orange slices into some bubbly water. Start using these substitutions on Monday and plan on feeling great in your skinny jeans by Friday night!

Souper size me Soup

Soup in a can is always going to contain more sodium then your body is really able to handle. Certain brands can contain as much as 850mg of sodium! If you have been wondering why your belly feels so bloated after a small can of soup, there is your answer. Looking for a healthy alternative? If you don’t know how to conjure up a soup by scratch, opt for ‘Amy’s organic soup’ they are much lower in sodium and offer a ton of tasty flavors like cream of tomato and hearty Spanish rice and bean soup!

6/09/2011

My Soulful Yoga Retreat


I moved to Tucson, Arizona from Los Angeles California a year ago to retreat on a journey of self discovery. Allowing myself more time to submerse into the natural adventures of exercise and healthy living, I have been blessed to be able to blog for Evolve fit wear along the way. 

This past weekend I was able to attend a yoga retreat for the second time in the high desert of Winkelman, Arizona.  Set 15 minutes off the beaten path, a long and winding sandy road takes you from route 77 into a small desert oasis named ‘Wind Spirit’.  Here a small group of year round residents take pride in their land, living modestly and graciously in small houses and utilizing natural resources like solar power and compost practices.

The community welcomes visitors and hosts ongoing yoga retreats about three times a year. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a blurb in a local magazine that read ‘‘A Journey with Your Heart’ Yoga Retreat, Come build community on a weekend immersion in a yogic paradise!  After looking up the retreat and finding out it was pleasantly affordable, I signed up with no expectation or idea of what I was getting myself into.

The first time I arrived at Wind Spirit, I was greeted immediately by a man named Ben, who with great pleasure and optimism showed me around the community. Sandy paths shaded with drooping trees led me to a my slumber den for the next two days : an abandoned school bus furnished with a futon and fresh blankets! Glorious!

The retreat began with an opening ceremony on a yoga deck - tucked underneath smiling trees and the slight sounds of chirps and whistles from the branches above. Joanna Carichner, a reputable and beloved Tucson yoga teacher, facilitated the weekend and asked us from the beginning to come with open hearts and open minds. 

During opening ceremony she asked us to gaze into eachother’s eyes without movement or verbal communication. Enough to make anyone quiver to succumb to such vulnerability among strangers, surprisingly we all made it through alive and formed instant bonds overnight. The rest of the evening was followed by a wholesome vegetarian meal served outside amidst the setting moon and the laughter of night birds and crickets. If anyone was up to it, the remainder of the night was concluded with a cleansing sauna or gather around a bonfire, maybe both.

The weekend was a mix of a strong yoga practice coupled with community building and self nurturing activities. The combination of the wind spirit energy and Joanna's passionate spirit, provided a catalyst for extraordinary healing. She challenged everyone to break down barriers within themselves, making space for self love and appreciation. It was the kind of experience that stays with you a few days after you have returned home from the retreat.

I am planning to go back to Wind Spirit when Joanna hosts another retreat in the fall. If you are interested in learning more about Wind Spirit community and Joanna's Yoga retreats please visit: 


 OR



May you find a retreat that gives you as much joy and healing as I did!

6/07/2011

Jennifer owes her hot body to YOGA


Yes you heard it- super hottie Jennifer Aniston said over the weekend that she will keep "downward-dogging until the fat lady sings".   As she was accepting the "Decade of Hotness" award at Spike TV's 5th annual Guys Choice Awards in Culver city on June 4th. She also thanked her yoga instructor Mandy Ingber- (whom her student base will have exploded by the end of the week)!
Its to no surprise that she received this award- her amazing bod that keeps getting better with age and is on the cover of at least one magazine a week.
Aniston, who looked sleek and toned in a strapless black mini-dress, noted to no surprise: 'I Eat Really Well and Work Out'.
Jennifer has been known to maintain her superfit, toned physique by doing Pilates, running and doing two-hour yoga workouts every other day. 



Aniston has gotten fitter and more toned over the years, thanks to a healthy, portion-controlled diet and daily exercise.


 
She also noted, "I don’t starve myself in an extremist way. My advice: just stop eating sh*t every day."
In her early twenties, Aniston was about 30 pounds heavier than she is now, but slimmed down on the advice of her agent, and her career has taken off ever since.
The svelte Aniston credits yoga for toning her muscles, lengthened her limbs and improved her posture.
"My legs got leaner," she has said. "My arms got strong.
Bam- Yoga won again!! No fitness craze or the latest diet. Jus keep it up all you yogis out there!

5/26/2011

Feed your ACTIVE soul, spend your next vacation reviving your physical body.


Most of choose to spend our vacations relaxing in the sun, indulging in rich food and wine while fully embracing the stillness of no responsibility. After all that’s why they call it a break right?
While many of us crave some down time, there are a plenty of people who are committed to staying active while planning their next vacation.

If choosing to stay attuned with your physical body is your goal, look into getting hooked up with a vacation that’s itinerary that accommodates and active lifestyle. Whether you love hiking, cycling or recently mainstreamed sports such as kite surfing and paddle boarding, we have some great suggestions for planning your next 'active' getaway.

Paddle Boarding 

“Feed Your Soul; Take a Paddle Board with Us” is the tag line of southwest Florida’s premier paddle boarding adventures and instruction. Try the ‘Eco Tour’ which involves a leisurely paddle through the Back Bays of Fort Myers Beach.  Discover Mangrove Islands, Dolphin, Birds and Manatee. Experience the Beauty of The Islands and the Wildlife that live here.

Hiking

Hawaii was rated one of the top destinations to travel for active vacations. If you are an avid hiker and want to coincide learning more about Hawaiian culture try attending a ‘Hawaiian walkways’ immersion vacation. Check out the Kilauea Volcano Discovery Hike, and Hike into Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park with a Certified Volcano Guide, where we are immersed in fantastic terrain, the microclimates, dynamic geology and flora of Kilauea volcano, unique in all the world.

Cycling

Can’t go anywhere without your bike? We hear you and so does Tuscany Cycling tours. These trips offer ‘quintessential Tuscan journey - great for cyclists of all levels’ and provide tours through wine country, serving you the best of both worlds. The itinerary offers a more luxurious feel by providing cyclists with accommodations at the best Tuscany Hotels coordinated with gourmet food and wine.If you are looking for an active yet pampering experience visit http://www.backroads.com/trips/BTTI/tuscany-italy-biking-tour to learn more.

Kite Surfing

Looking for a challenging and guaranteed adrenaline filled vacation? Try jumping on board the Meercat, a fully equipped kite surfing catamaran sailboat that is run by Zenith Ocean Voyages. Sailing the entire Caribbean chain and beyond, from the BVIs to the ABC through the canal to the Marquesas in the Pacific, this voyage  follows the wind in search of deserted spots and perfect conditions for truly memorable kite-ventures. The Facebook page adds perks off possibly witnessing the green flash,  20-knot trade winds, butterflat lagoons, the perfect tan, cool tunes, and just-caught-fish cooked or raw, etc. For more information on upcoming 2011 dates and trips check out: http://www.zenithoceanvoyages.com/rates-dates#dates



5/25/2011

What kind of Yoga is right for you? Here's a quick guide to the most popular

Getting lost trying to figure out what type of yoga you practice {or want to practice}? 
Although all of the styles are based on the same physical postures (called poses), each has a particular emphasis. Here is a quick guide to the most popular types of yoga that can help you decode the schedule at your gym and figure out which class is right for you. 

HATHA
Hatha is a very general term that can encompass many of the physical types of yoga. If a class is described as Hatha style, it is probably going to be slow-paced and gentle and provide a good introduction to the basic yoga poses.

VINYASA
Like Hatha, Vinyasa is a general term that is used to describe many different types of classes. Vinyasa, which means breath-synchronized movement, tends to be a more vigorous style based on the performance of a series of poses called Sun Salutations, in which movement is matched to the breath. A Vinyasa class will typically start with a number of Sun Salutations to warm up the body for more intense stretching that's done at the end of class.

ASHTANGA & POWER YOGA
Ashtanga, which means "eight limbs" in Sanskrit, is a fast-paced, intense style of yoga. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. Ashtanga practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next. In yoga terminology, this movement is called flow. Ashtanga is also the inspiration for what is often called Power Yoga. If a class is described as Power Yoga, it will be based on the flowing style of Ashtanga, but not necessarily keep strictly to the set Ashtanga series of poses.

INYENGAR 
Based on the teachings of the yogi B.K.S Iyengar, this style of practice is most concerned with bodily alignment. In yoga, the word alignment is used to describe the precise way in which your body should be positioned in each pose in order to obtain the maximum benefits and avoid injury. Iyengar practice usually emphasizes holding poses over long periods versus moving quickly from one pose to the next (flow). Also, Iyengar practice encourages the use of props, such as yoga blankets, blocks and straps, in order to bring the body into alignment.

KUNDALINI 
The emphasis in Kundalini is on the breath in conjunction with physical movement, with the purpose of freeing energy in the lower body and allowing it to move upwards. All asana practices make use of controlling the breath. But in Kundalini, the exploration of the effects of the breath (also called prana, meaning energy) on the postures is essential.

BIKRAM/ HOT YOGA 

Pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, this style is more generally referred to as Hot Yoga. It is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room, which allows for a loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating, which is thought to be cleansing. The Bikram method is a set series of 26 poses, but not all hot classes make use of this series.
 
VINIYOGA 
Viniyoga is all about adaptation. Viniyoga is based on the guru/student model, in which an experienced teacher works individually with each student, making a personalized yoga program for them based on such factors as health, age, and physical condition, including past or current injuries. T.K.V. Desikachar is the world's foremost Viniyoga authority, while Gary Kraftsow, founder of the American Viniyoga Institute, is the most prominent American proponent of Desikachar's method.

ANUSARA 
Founded in 1997 by John Friend, Anusara combines a strong emphasis on physical alignment with a positive philosophy derived from Tantra. The philosophy’s premise is belief in the intrinsic goodness of all beings. Anusara classes are usually light-hearted and accessible to students of differing abilities. Poses are taught in a way that opens the heart, both physically and mentally, and props are often used.



KRIPALU 
The name Kripalu is associated both with a style of hatha yoga and a yoga and wellness center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Both were founded by yoga guru Amrit Desai, who came to the United States from India in 1960. Kripalu is a yoga practice with a compassionate approach and emphasis on meditation, physical healing and spiritual transformation that overflows into daily life. Kripalu also focuses on looking inward and moving at your own pace.


INTEGRAL 
Integral yoga follows the teachings of Sri Swami Sachidananda, who came to the U.S. in the 1960s and eventually founded many Integral Yoga Institutes and the famed Yogaville Ashram in Virginia. Integral is a gentle hatha practice, and classes often also include breathing exercises, chanting, kriyas, and meditation.

RESTORATIVE 
In restorative yoga, props are used for support the body so that you can hold poses for longer, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching. Restorative postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate
YIN YOGA
In Yin Yoga, poses are held for several minutes at a time in order to the stretch the connective tissue around the joints. Yin Yoga directly addresses the demands that sitting still in one position for a long time, as in meditation, places on the body by focusing on stretching connective tissue instead of muscle. 

5/13/2011

Slipping in Downward Dog? Not anymore thanks to YOGITOES

Krista Cahill's beautiful and effortless flow on YogiToes mat..
{New Yogitoes Mats just came instock... check them out below}

Yogitoes skidless is a a super absorbent, hygienic layer to place on your yoga mat to prevent slipping. They use eco-friendly nubs which reduces the amount of "slippage" (if thats a word)   :)
Yogitoes = Happy Yogis
Yogitoes Skidless Classic-$64

   Yogitoes Groovy Tie-Dye  $64