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!
All the world is a stage, they say. This is especially true for all the women across the country who use their brains, talents, and bravado to compete for scholarship prizes in pageants. I am so thrilled to announce that BaliniSports has signed on to become an official sponsor of the Miss Nevada Teen pageant. It brings me so much satisfaction to support the community as a local business owner while empowering young women to reach for the stars. Contestants in the pageant will wear clothing from BaliniSports during practice and on stage. I am especially excited because our sponsorship of the event brings together the worlds of high glamour and eco-friendly, socially conscious apparel. After all, we all tend to think of tiaras, rhinestones, and ball gowns when we think of pageants, don’t we? The contestants in the Miss Nevada Teen pageant will be wearing carefully engineered apparel that is designed to help them move freely and confidently. I am so excited to help these ladies enjoy the freedom to move gracefully and feel beautiful in clothing that allows their inner beauty to shine. I know that these bright, intelligent, and socially aware ladies will really love showing off designs that are ethically made in the USA using environmentally friendly methods. The best part is that everyday women can now have the freedom to dress like a pageant contestant. While ball gowns may not be something that fans of the pageant can run out and buy, they can enjoy the fun of getting their hands on the same exact pieces of yoga apparel the ladies will be wearing up on stage. Don’t get me wrong, ball gowns are great some of the time. But, in a world where we are trying to empower girls to be strong and reach their dreams, I think it’s time to perhaps toss aside the idea of showing up in a gown and glass slippers like Cinderella every time and leave room instead for clothing that equips us to move, grow – and change the world.
I hope you will join me in supporting the young ladies who will be competing in the Miss Nevada Teen pageant this year. No matter who you root for to win up on stage, rooting for eco-friendly apparel to take center stage ensures that the Earth – and all of us- wins in the end.
Is Manifesting Bullshit?
Guest Blog by Erica Rodefer Winters
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” — Roald Dahl
I’ll never forget the first time I heard someone seriously talk about the concept of manifesting. It was many years ago at one of the first yoga trainings I’d ever been to, and several yoga friends were lounging around outside during our lunch break. The teacher, a lovely woman who I admire and respect, shared that when she decided she wanted to be a mother she had meditated to find the man who would father her children. Up until this point, I thought everything this woman said and did was nothing short of brilliant—her teaching techniques, her asana tips, her posture, all of it—but this particular comment made me raise my eyebrows. Really? You just “meditated on it” and it happened? Like magic? She swore it worked for her, but I didn’t buy it.
How I Embraced Change; One Woman’s Guide to Healthy Lifestyle Transformation
Guest post by Manhattan-based fitness and health blogger, Lauren
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
I turn my face to greet the morning sun as flume’s insane fills my ears, and in this moment, I am ready. Ready to share how I arrived at the first step, the one which allowed me to embark on this life-altering weight loss lifestyle journey of becoming the best version of myself and the woman that I am destined to become. How, in ridding my day-to-day of toxicity, unnecessary weight, and exposing my fears for what they truly were, in turn, diminished their power on my life.
Grace Van Berkum, R.H.N., C.P.T., B.A from Gracious Living shares five amazing recipes for homemade salad dressing with us. This is what you’ve been looking for if you’re craving healthy, whole ways to enjoy crunchy and nourishing salad this summer without getting bored of what’s on your plate. Grace teaches yoga, provides nutrition classes, and serves as a personal trainer. She treks the globe teaching people yoga and routinely leads retreats in Central American, particularly Nicaragua. She is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Sivananda Yoga Teacher, Certified Yoga For Runners/Athletes Teacher, Certified Personal Trainer, Yoga of Recovery Counsellor, Kettle Bell Trainer, as well as an ambassador for many brands and movements – and as you’re about to find out, a FABULOUS chef! Her homemade salad dressing recipes are meant to detoxify and invigorate you.
This week we are lucky enough to have our very own BaliniSports brand ambassador Lina Fong @liifong give us a step-by-step breakdown of a pose she loves. Lina’s favorite quote is:
You can lie, but you can’t make up the truth – Steve Harvey
We chose to make this quote our Weekly Kiss of Inspiration for our June 3rd newsletter. We really treasure Lina here at BaliniSports because she balances grace and strength so effortless. In the photo above, Lina demonstrates a pose that she loves when she’s seeking relaxation. She tells us, “As I surrender and let go of my body into the earth, it feels liberating opening up the heart by placing a block underneath my shoulder blades. At the same time my legs in Baddha Konasana help to release and relax the hips and inner thighs and increase blood circulation in the lower abdomen.”
But that’s not the only pose Lina is passionate about! Lina has agreed to treat our readers to exclusive step-by-step pose tutorial of EKA PADA BAKASANA. Follow along and discover how this pose allows you to find strength and open your heart.
It’s the time of year when everybody is thinking about how to get the “perfect” beach body as quickly as possible. Once people find out that I practice and promote yoga, they want to know more about the benefits of yoga. The same inevitable question comes up time after time – people always want to know if yoga is a good method for weight loss. So what’s the truth?