seeking my mala mate

maybe it's the heat, maybe it's the humidity or maybe it's just the busy-ness of life that is making me gravitate towards learning how to meditate - you know, the real deal with the mala beads. no i'm not trying to win a part as an extra in eat, pray, love with julia, i'm just searching for a way to find center even when reality gets really messy.

so i have begun my research...

offers some great tips on the basics of meditating with mala beads, with the first step being to find your mala mate (read: choose your set of 108 mala beads), there really seems to be a limitless amount of options that you really have the chance to customize your meditation practice. i am now on the hunt for the right set in hopes that the simple beauty of the beads will inspire me to be diligent.
  • custommalashop.com offers some less spendy options of really making your mala your own with a wide variety of options to choose from - i already spent an hour exploring the site & still have yet to decide...
  • everythingyoga.com has a sandalwood necklace for only $19.99 with free shipping (when you spend $50+).
  • yogabasics.com offers perhaps the most stock items at very affordable prices & are having a sale with many ranging from about $7.95 & up.
  • ecrater.com offers a unique buddhist set for $14.99 with free shipping.
or should i just try meditating with a set of rosary beads i was given as a child? it might be a way to ease into it using what i already have even if it is not exactly for the original religious type of prayer....

thoughts? does anyone have any suggestions for getting started?


coconut oil - the phattest fat out there

i myself have recently just begun testing new oils in my cooking & skincare. in the past there was a fear (at least in the u.s.) of coconut oil being bad for you, but in actuality coconut oil is one of the healthiest of the all. here's a laundry list of why:

+one of the highest sources of saturated fat (= good) that is transfat free (so bloomberg in nyc approves!)
+loaded with lauric acid, a v.i.p. essential fatty acid which aids in building & maintaining the body’s immune system, its high concentration is similar to that found in breast milk (but a much less awkward way of obtaining it)
+lowers heart disease factors
+helps fight yeast infections when taken as a supplement

other happy-go-lucky benes/uses:
+cooking vegan (sub out the butta in any recipe - even on toast)
+great skin moisturizer (yes you can use the same jar in your kitchen that you use for cooking!)
+pre-shampoo conditioning treatment (remember a v. lil goes a long way!)

the oil is liquified around 75 degrees so if you buy it in a chilly store it will probably look like the flesh of a coconut in a jar - no nuking needed - just run the (closed) jar under some warm water in your sink to heat the oil.

deal: i found this 16 oz jar of organic coconut oil for $5.11!

anyone have any recipes or remedies to share?


summer humpday evening yoga in nyc (free of course)

it's summer & even in the concrete jungle that is manhattan, there are still sprinkles of cooling greenery to take advantage of on these sunshiny days & heated nights. laughing lotus has partnered up with chelsea improvement company for FREE classes in the park every wednesday evening at 7pm! leave your wallet at home, but bring your mat & head over to 10th ave between 14th &15th street for a hangover-free happy hour.

any yoga happenings in a park near you? please share as not all lovers of yogadeals dwell in nyc.


avoid asana annoyances

in my practice i try my best to stay present & focused on each pose, however i will admit that fighting off my fly-aways in class can definitely test my patience. so i was excited to find the yogitoes hBAND headband 4 packs on www.itssimplyzen.com that not only offers the packs at a discount price ($10.80=$2.70 per hBAND) but also with free shipping*! since it's a 4 pack i should be set for my weekly asana practice without a laundry day midway through - so what's not to love?

there are also some other multi-stylin' buff headbands on the site too - if you prefer just one with convertible looks, some even with uv protection for around $20.


july independence in nyc (read: free yoga)

perhaps they were inspired by the freedom that july 4th symbolizes, but it was probably another reason that was more likely geared towards marketing goals, nonetheless if it's free i'll take it! here are two FREE yoga events i stumbled upon today that incorporate two great individuals within the yoga community, sadie nardini, for her teachings & victoria keen, for her style.

deal #1 of the day
free yoga class at the victoria keen boutique

who: taught by nixa de bellis
what (else): complete with organic snacks & a store wide sale of 20-50% off victoria keen apparel!!!
when: this wednesday, july 15th, 6:30-7:45pm
how: bring friends, but most importantly please bring your own mat
where: victoria keen boutique 357 lafayette between bleecker & bond 212.473.1412

deal #2 of the day
the GAP opens its pure body studio & offers up some free yoga
who: taught by sadie nardini
what (else): get acquainted with the GAP's new line of layering pieces & a free jade harmony yoga mat ($60 value) while you're at it.
when: 10am the fierce club flow (1 hr.); 12pm learning to fly (1 hr.); 2pm bikini boot camp (1 hr.); 4pm total body transformation
how: call in advance 212.330.8080 to reserve a spot only 12 students per session!
where: 680 5th avenue between 53rd & 54th streets

maybe i'll see you on the mat :)


the sham wow of yoga towels?

it was almost comical to stumble upon these thirsty microfiber yoga towels, especially because i have been joking with one of my students, who constantly uses a towel to dry off his mat, to see if a sham wow would effectively save him some time during his constant wipe downs. for only $10.95, it certainly is a cheaper alternative to the $19.95 shammy & the $30 yogitoes hand towel. anyone out there have one already?


even yoga students love stickers

sticker your students after class for a job well-done while reminding them to maintain the harmony, balance & strength they found within while on the mat.

as a personal fan of the gold star in school, i was thrilled to stumble upon these yoga decals that are even affordable on a yoga teacher's salary, at only 75 cents for the strip of three (for the super savings saavy you could even carefully trim the sticker into three separate ones!). check out yogadudes.com for more kitschy yoga knick knacks that may not be necessities, but could be inspirational, gentle reminders to take your practice (or that of your students) off the mat.


go ask alice(.com)

the new meat market (vege-friendly of course) for retailers & online shoppers, alice.com is a new site that has launched to compete with the big boys (i.e., amazon.com & drugstore.com) for everyday purchases. now in its beta version, alice.com is promoting its promise for always free shipping & coupons that they magically connect to your shopping preferences. as a sucker for free shipping, i signed myself up for a free account to find me some deals & was thrilled to find categories like 'green/organic products' & ' shop the best deals.' i'm actually shopping as i type, & will let you know once i get my first order!