The Ultimate Guide to the Right Yoga Mat for You

The Ultimate Guide to the Right Yoga Mat for You

With hundreds of yoga mats on the market, it’s no wonder why you came searching for some recommendations!

As much as it may feel overwhelming trying choose a mat from among so many options, the good news is that I can practically guarantee you will be able to find one that fits your exact specifications and complements your practice perfectly.

The two most important things to consider when you’re looking for a new yoga mat are material and thickness – both of these things should be informed by the type of yoga asana you normally practice, in order to better serve you rather than hinder or even potentially hurt you. 

Material

Ever since Hugger Mugger created the Tapas mat – the first sticky PVC mat produced in the U.S. specifically for yoga – in 1990, the options have slowly been growing. PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, remains the most popular type of yoga mat on the market today, but multiple other materials have since gained mainstream popularity as well.

Each material has its strengths and weaknesses, so be sure to ask yourself which qualities are most important to you. Are you sensitive to rough or raised textures? You’ll drive yourself insane trying to relax in Savasana on a TPE or jute mat. Do you need something non-slip to avoid falling flat on your face in downward dog when your hands start to sweat? Then some of the natural options may not be your best bet.

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Everything You Need to Know About Bulletproof Coffee

Everything You Need to Know About Bulletproof Coffee

Butter…and oil…in my coffee?

The first time I heard the idea, I was disgusted. Who would do such a thing? As a low-key coffee snob (I worked at a small-batch coffee roaster for a few years in college, where I learned to love my coffee black and admonish anyone who thinks Starbucks’ caramel macchiato is a real macchiato), the concoction seemed sinful.

But when you think about it, of course butter in your coffee would taste delicious! The majority of people put milk or cream in their coffee, and what is butter if not just a more concentrated form of cream? I was still hesitant about the oil. But slightly less horrified by the idea, I decided to do some research.

Bulletproof Coffee has skyrocketed to popularity since self-proclaimed “biohacker” Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of the Bulletproof company, published the recipe on his blog back in 2009.

What Is It?

If you’ve never heard of it, Bulletproof Coffee is branded as a superpower breakfast replacement that will boost brain function, give you extra energy without the usual caffeine crash, keep you full until lunch and even help you lose weight.

You make this miracle elixir by blending a cup of freshly brewed coffee with 1-2 tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter (or ghee) and up to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil.

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The Healing Energy of Palo Santo

The Healing Energy of Palo Santo

You’ve watched your yoga teacher light it and wave it around the room before class. You noticed it in the crystal shop, stacked inconspicuously with the cones of incense and bundles of sage. You even saw that girl on Instagram had some burning in the background of her last flow video. But what is it?!

If you’ve been to a yoga studio or metaphysical shop lately (bonus points for going to both), you may have noticed the uplifting presence of Palo Santo. Most often found in natural wood form, Palo Santo is sold as individual wands or small bundles for burning. It can also be found as an essential oil, popularly used in aromatherapy and massage.

Well, What Is It?

Translated from Spanish to mean “Holy Wood,” Palo Santo comes from the Bursera graveolens tree, which is native to Mexico and Central and South America, where it grows wild along the coastline.

Bursera graveolens falls under the broader Burseracae family, commonly referred to as the “incense tree” family, where it is accompanied by its fragrant siblings Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal.

With a light, aromatic smoke, Palo Santo produces a beautiful scent reminiscent of citrus, pine and mint. The first time you smell it, you’ll immediately understand why it’s so popularly used as incense.

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The 7 Reasons Why You Need to Start Journaling Every Morning

Why Journaling Is the Best Thing You Can Add to Your Morning Routine

It doesn’t have to be the “dear diary” antics of your tormented, hormonally charged teen years, but it should be a pen and paper and twenty minutes of your time each morning.

There tends to be a wide range of reactions from people when you mention journaling, whether you freeze in awkward trepidation at the thought of having to put a pen to paper – what does my handwriting even look like these days? – and aside from jotting down your own signature a few hundred times (let’s be honest, it isn’t even legible for most people) you haven’t written anything by hand since that one time you filled out an emergency contact form for a ski trip in college.

Or maybe you’ve lost track of the number of notebooks you’ve filled up over the years, you have a favorite kind of pen and keep at least a dozen of them stashed in various corners of your life so you never have to go without (and to which you may also have an unhealthy attachment) and you nearly fainted the first time you saw a Moleskine store IRL. Oh, that last one was just me? Cool.

I happen to be incredibly partial to the fine point Pilot Acroball, in case you were wondering. There are only so many pens that lefties can use without smudging everything and developing an ink stain on the side of our hand that we wear with both pride and exasperation, so when we find a blessed pen that doesn’t smudge, we hold on to it for dear life.

In any case, journaling has been shown to have a number of positive effects on the lives of those who make it a habit. Here are a few of the best things that it will do for you:

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Yes, You DO Have a Yoga Body

Unrolling Yoga Mat

To an outsider, the world of yoga can sometimes look like an intimidating, exclusive club.

A few of you read that and are immediately saying “uh, not really…” and that’s great! Pat yourself on the back for having enough confidence not to be nervous about diving headfirst into the unknown. But as with any new activity that involves a learning curve, for a lot of people it is scary to step into a yoga class for the first time.

And when something is scary, it can be easy to make excuses as to why you shouldn’t or don’t need to go through with it.

I don’t really even have the time to start a new hobby…

It’ll be expensive to get my own mat and pay for classes all the time…

I’ll just fall over and make a fool of myself…

I don’t have the body to do yoga anyway…

STOP RIGHT THERE.

Thank you. Please take a seat. Let me tell ya a little something…

One thing I hear all the time, as does probably every yoga instructor to grace every yoga studio on Earth, is the “I’m not flexible enough to do yoga” argument.

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An Introduction to Holistic Health and Wellness

An Introduction to Holistic Health and Wellness: Taking Care of Your Body, Mind and Soul

Have you heard the term “holistic health and wellness” thrown around, but aren’t sure what it actually means? Is it a hippie thing? What’s wrong with regular health and wellness? Well, since you asked…

Holistic health and wellness is a way of living that focuses on the interdependence and cooperation of all aspects of an individual – body, mind and soul. It is a lifestyle that focuses on the whole person – hence the term holistic – and how he or she interacts with his or her environment.

A person cannot be considered “healthy” if any or all of these pieces of his or her being are not optimally functioning. Your body (the physical features of your being), mind (the mental and emotional) and soul (the spiritual) all depend on each other to support an individual’s wellbeing. So holistic health and wellness can be differentiated from conventional health and wellness by concentrating on more than just the physical body. A lifestyle focused on holistic health and wellness is one that understands how each aspect of an individual relates to and influences another.

And to be clear – in referring to spirit or soul, there is no inherent suggestion of religion. It simply refers to your “being” – your core personality or character.

It’s all about finding balance in everyday life. Any kind of imbalance, then, would result in illness or other manifestation of dis-ease. For example, stress or anxiety in your emotional world often leads to symptoms in your physical world – maybe presenting as a migraine or digestive issues. Similarly, a lack of sleep will not only cause fatigue in the body, but difficulty concentrating and jumbled thinking as well.

With all of this in mind, one of the fundamental theories of holistic health and wellness is that you are responsible for maintaining your own wellbeing, by way of your habits and everyday choices.

According to The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Body/Mind Disciplines, “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the key factors influencing an individual’s state of health have not changed significantly over the past 20 years. Quality of medical care is only 10%. Heredity accounts for 18% and environment is 19%. Everyday lifestyle choices are 53%. The decisions people make about their life and habits are, therefore, by far the largest factor in determining their state of wellness.”

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