I always knew that Balini’s customers and followers were amazing – I just didn’t realize HOW amazing until this month. You have all helped me to give thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to people in need by participating in my charities challenge last month. I set out to make September a month of giving because I wanted to celebrate the fact that BaliniSports was featured on the 40th anniversary edition of Yoga Journal. I think it is SO important to celebrate our own successes by doing what we can to lift others up. I chose Uprising Yoga as a beneficiary of our donation because it uplifts people and equips them to help themselves so they can go out there and make a difference in the world. The second charity that I chose, Shade Tree Wome’s Shelther, helps women who are caught in what may seem like a hopeless situation to some. However, I am hoping that in some small way the Balini clothing that they receive will serve as a reminder that they matter, and that they can use their minds, bodies, and hearts to reach their goals and dreams. The best part is that YOU will be a part of that because you used your gifts and passions to help us reach our goals. The women we’ve touched though our September charity extravaganza didn’t just receive pieces of clothing, they received tangible evidence that they do matter and that they are empowered to do anything. This is exactly the philosophy that I founded BaliniSports on – personal empowerment that allows us to not only propel ourselves towards our dreams, but to lift up others in the process.
One thing I’ve noticed about all of the weight-loss and fitness commercials I see out there is that they all seem to emphasize that they are here to help you “fight cravings” or “battle temptations.” I can’t help but wonder, who would want to live in a constant state of battle when it comes to their body? We should not be at war with our bodies, we should be in harmony with them. That’s why I think it’s so important that we all stop thinking of food cravings as an enemy that needs to be squashed. Do you feel out of control when it comes to cravings? Don’t let cravings rule you – tame them. Having healthy alternatives at your disposal when weak moments strike can help you stay in control and enjoy a healthy relationship with food.
A fall walk in the woods is one of the most magical things you can do! There is something so raw and beautiful about the way the land transforms and puts on a stunning display of color and beauty as it surrenders itself to the coming of winter. Every leaf, as it falls, is an expression of the Earth changing, transforming…wishing us into the next season of our lives fearlessly. I want to share with you some ways to turn a simple fall hike into an experience that builds up the soul and nourishes the body. I promise that these little steps won’t take up a lot of room or time or cost you very much money. What they will do is create a memorable way to kiss summer goodbye and embrace the next season, and chapter of your life.
I spend a lot of my life on the road, so the temptation to keep crazy hours and get lazy about creating healthy sleep is always there. I have found that controlling my sleep habits has helped me enjoy normalcy in my otherwise hectic life. While many things, such as our schedules or our work and family responsibilities, are out of our control when it comes to how many hours of sleep we can get and when, there are some little adjustments that can help us be in charge when it comes to getting some Z’s. Here are my best tips for sleeping anywhere and loving it!
Are Ugg boots, cute scarves, and pumpkin lattes the first things you think of when you picture fall? If you’re like me, you just love diving into fall goodies at the first sign of a chill in the air. I admit to chugging more than my share of lattes throughout the years – however, I would soon find that my fall bliss turned into headaches and sickness. You see, those yummy lattes we all love are filled with caffeine, sugar and additives that are just waiting to cause us to crash. Of course, I believe in everything in moderation – so I would never tell you to give up a yearly tradition! However, there are some very delicious healthy alternatives to pumpkin lattes that will put you in a festive fall mood without making your energy levels fall.
Put down that hanger and step AWAY from your closet! Just because summer is ending doesn’t mean you have to condemn your favorite summer pieces to the closet until next spring when warm weather returns. You can transition your favorite summer clothing into fall with just a few quick tricks. Continue reading →
We all know the stereotype that Hollywood is a vapid playground of glitter, galas and gossip. However, I’d like to think that Tinsel Town isn’t all sparkle and no substance – especially since so many of the town’s biggest stars are yoga devotees. I have many celebrity friends and clients who are true lovers of yoga – and they inspire me to make gear that can keep up with their busy lifestyle. Continue reading →
That pair of cute leggings in your closet is keeping a dirty little secret.
It takes somewhere between 1000-1800 gallons of water to produce a single pair of leggings. Unfortunately, those gallons of water are usually not recyclable because they likely came into contact with harsh chemicals during the manufacturing process. Newer technologies and greater awareness of how to use resources more wisely gives us all a lot to be excited about. With companies putting their hearts in the right place, the future of apparel production looks bright for the fashion world and the world we live in. Continue reading →
I am so grateful that Yoga Journal chose the Amanda Leggings from BaliniSports to grace the cover of its 40th anniversary issue. We think it’s amazing that this publication has been sharing tips and wisdom with the yoga community for four decades! It takes something special to survive this long in the publishing world – and Yoga Journal consistently gives readers a wealth of useful info and wonderful inspiration. We wish Yoga Journal 40 more years of success…and we plan to keep on innovating right alongside them to nourish the world’s yoga lovers and spread positive vibrations!
The Benefits of a Daily Yoga Ritual
Guest Post by Susan Dawson
There comes a point in everyone’s life where a daily yoga practice or some sort of stretch regime – becomes a necessity. Not a “gee, it would be fun to do the splits” aspiration but more of an “I need to stretch to function pain-free throughout the day.” Case in point, I pulled my neck a few months ago. How did I do this? No, I wasn’t power lifting or participating in a challenge. I simply turned my head. Just a simple glance at my son, nothing dramatic, and a neck muscle spasm ensued. I had neglected my daily yoga practice and this, compounded by years of carrying my boy and coercing shoes or coats or hats on a unwilling toddlers hit me all at once. I’m always close to collapsing. I stretch through a yoga practice that often feels more like a boot camp than a calming image of a yogi on a mountain top. We hold our Warrior poses or the (attempted) splits past my breaking point and then we go back and do a second set. Something that began as an excellent workout has now morphed into a means of self-preservation. I now employ a daily yoga practice for self-preservation. A daily yoga practice is a change of thinking for me. Often, I have an all or nothing attitude. If I cannot put aside one hour for yoga, why bother doing fifteen minutes? Time has taught me that each day is different, so three days of fifteen minutes per day is far better than forgoing stretching all together. Some days I wake energetic and ready to tackle the world. Other days, I drag myself out of bed and am hurried to get my boy out the door for daycare. My daily yoga practice is just as varied. Some days it seems that every pose is effortless while other days I’m looking at the clock after 5 minutes. The important point is to show up – to practice every day. It is the only way change will come.
As I get further into my time leading the helm at BaliniSports, the more I am convinced that clothes CAN change the world. Today, I am sharing two little ways Balini is using our love of yoga and passion for eco-friendly clothing to try to make the world a little brighter. Continue reading →
This week, the lovely and strong Susan Dawson @_suetra_ answers the question: What does your favorite quote have to do with your practice?
I love reading quotes about yoga, or enlightenment, and I’ve noticed that many people like to share them on Facebook, Twitter and social media sites. I find some to be good, some quaint and light, while others are inspiring and encouraging. Mostly, I keep them in perspective.
Here’s a sample from B. K. S. Iyengar: “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and to endure what cannot be cured.”
It’s a great quote, but what does it mean? I believe reading a quote will do nothing…but if I memorize, internalize, and let it guide my thoughts and actions for a while, it influences my practice and my personal life. All of us experience stress in dealing with everything from daily life routines to relationships and there are numerous wins and losses, compliments and criticisms, fear-making or confidence-inspiring daily events. So we search for something to grab that will help us deal with fickle fate and loss of control. A quote is no magic formula, it takes more than that. While it’s not the easy route, I believe the only way to approach my yoga practice is to give my best effort, and by doing so, experience its full restoration. Yoga, at its philosophical center, is dynamic and arises from the profound notion of a union with the divine.
If my practice is too small, if I’m afraid of opening up and letting the benefits of a cleansing breeze flow through my soul, I will mind the very point of engaging this historically transformative practice. I’m aware that change is not always easy and doesn’t happen overnight. If it were, people would not be bound in chains of their own making and challenge their limits. The rule-makers are winning in my world, and I am sure that if I chose to ignore the rules, someone with a camera would be there to record my lawless deeds and I could suffer the bondage of real chains. But the heart of yoga empowers us to address our chains, for yoga’s deepest impulse is one of liberation from steely attachments. The chains and rules in our world function very well, keeping us tethered with an ongoing bondage to that which we ought to change. But it takes big effort and some are not willing to engage if they believe there will not be a worthy payoff. It used to be that if one put great effort into education – there was a payoff later; if one put great effort into job performance – the boss would reward the hard worker with a raise; if one put great effort into winning by reputation – good things happened; if one put great effort into keeping sacred religious principles – divine favor was assumed.
But our world has changed and the change will happen and you will be a better you. I’ve discarded my faith in rule/reward systems; they seem to be broken, so I look to yoga and its benefits that accrue to me and those in my circle of influence. Putting in the effort will change you but it will not help you make more money, or leapfrog others to advance at work, or immediately thrust you into leadership positions; but I give my best knowing that the change will happen and we will be better and healthier. It has nothing to do with rewards and everything to do with true wealth … and that is health.
About Our Guest Blogger: Susan is a yoga enthusiast, nature goer, lover of the oceans and mountains, and a mama of 2 kids. She has documented her weight loss journey since 2012. She is passionate about blogging and posting on Instagram to share her experiences.
Summer is definitely a time for sweating! It can feel so good to work up a sweat in the sun during a yoga session on the beach or on a walk through a tranquil trail. Of course, staying hydrating is more important than ever when temperatures soar. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, moodiness – or even cause you to pass out! Most people associate staying hydrating with chugging boring water from a water bottle all day long. While it’s important to sip throughout the day, there are also some enjoyable and easy ways to stay hydrating that don’t involve a water bottle. Did you know there are plenty of moisture-rich foods that will hydrate you just as well as water? In fact, many fruits, veggies and other foods actually count towards your daily water intake. Here is a list of 5 yummy ways to stay hydrated beyond the water bottle.
I simply cannot turn down an opportunity to give back to the yoga community – especially when it will benefit a cause in my own backyard. As many of you already know, I am spending this summer in Los Angeles in order to focus on Balini and work intensely with designers. While I am here, I will be participating in a charity event and concert benefiting UpRising Yoga at (HOMA) in Los Altos, CA. Continue reading →
by Susan Dawson
There comes a point in everyone’s life where a daily yoga practice or some sort of stretch regime – becomes a necessity. Not a “gee, it would be fun to do the splits” aspiration but more of an “I need to stretch to function pain-free throughout the day.” Case in point, I pulled my neck a few months ago. How did I do this? No, I wasn’t power lifting or participating in a challenge. I simply turned my head. Just a simple glance at my son, nothing dramatic, and a neck muscle spasm ensued. I had neglected my daily yoga practice and this, compounded by years of carrying my boy and coercing shoes or coats or hats on an unwilling toddler hit me all at once. I’m always close to collapsing.
What could feel more amazing – or more natural – than digging your fingers and toes into sun-warmed sand and doing a little yoga during your next beach outing? There is nothing more amazing than practicing yoga outside and connecting your soul with nature. I think that fitting a yoga session in between catching some rays, swimming or surfing is an excellent way to find balance at the beach and achieve some genuine relaxation. I always LOVE practicing poses near the Pacific whenever I am in California – and I have a few tips to share with you that will enhance your experience the next time you hit the beach.
It seems like every magazine cover you see has a headline about how to get perfect, rock-hard abs that will make you desirable and oh so sexy. We’re constantly bombarded with images of perfectly sculpted tummies and “quick” solutions for getting a set of washboard abs for ourselves. While a sculpted midsection is certainly worth pursuing if you want to look better in or out of your clothes, I want to emphasize that striving for a strong core instead of a “bikini-ready” body is an important part of keeping your mind and body balanced. Of course, a strong core doesn’t happen overnight. Core movements typically revolve around sustaining your position for a long time to build up your muscles instead of using multiple movements to contract your muscles. The benefits of focusing on building a strong, healthy core will extend to virtually every aspect of your life. You might say that building your “outer” core can truly help you build up your “inner” spiritual core. This week, I am sharing the important benefits that come with dedicating a little bit of your time on the yoga mat to moves that will build your core. Did you know that building up your abs through yoga can help you in the following areas?:
Are you looking for an amazing meal option that is a real crowd pleaser? Sarah from TheSeasonalDiet.com is sharing an amazing recipe for raw tacos with us this week. You’re going to love serving this healthy, wholesome, and delicious dish to guests on your patio this summer. The fresh, robust flavor of these tacos is the perfect way to enjoy a satisfying and healthy meal in a pinch.
Something very exciting happened in the world this week. Did you happen to catch it on the news? The first official International Day of Yoga placed the spotlight on yoga in a historic way. Yoga devotees from across the world gathered at landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Times Square, Rajpath and the banks of the Ganges River to participate in record-breaking yoga sessions. The pictures of the day were breathtaking! People of all ages were spread out on parks, soccer fields, public squares, prison yards and city blocks in every corner of the world to unite in yoga poses. A single gathering in India attracted 35, 985 participants – including dignitaries and the Prime Minister of the country. Even the United Nations General Assembly has formally declared June 21 as the International Day of Yoga.
Are you looking for a fun excuse to go out on the lawn and practice some new yoga moves while the weather is warm and the sun is shining? Elaina Palmer @ElainaPalmer is sharing a step-by-step breakdown of a fun and freeing headstand. Kick off your shoes, head for the grass, and let summer take you over as you practice getting into this fun pose!