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Your ultimate holiday YOGA gift guide! Find yoga gift ideas for everyone on your list, no matter what you budget is, we have some fab ideas for you! #yogagift #christmasgift #yogigift #giftguide

30+ Great Yoga Gift Ideas! Gifts for Every Budget: Your Ultimate Yoga Gift Guide

Your ultimate holiday YOGA gift guide! Find yoga gift ideas for everyone on your list, no matter what you budget is, we have some fab ideas for you! #yogagift #christmasgift #yogigift #giftguide

 

With the holidays coming, everyone is searching for great yoga gift ideas.  For your favorite yogi, maybe you need some special yoga gift ideas.  Or maybe you ARE a yogi and you’re having trouble thinking of a good answer when your loved ones ask, “what do you want for Christmas?” (or whatever holiday you celebrate).  We’ve got you covered.  And the best part? All of these items are shop-in-your-yoga-pants-from-home-style online buys.

[Just so you know this post contains affiliate links.  You can click the photo or the colorful text to view more information or purchase the items]

Yoga Gift Ideas under $20

Yoga strap ($9.95)

yoga strap is a super handy tool to help you reach just a little bit further into a stretch.  It sort of extends your arm or your leg to make an impossible pose possible- start you working into the right muscles and using the right alignment to properly learn to get deeper and deeper into those impossibly bendy shapes.  This yoga strap has a set of D rings at the end to help hold a loop so you can easily hold onto your foot or another body part.  The strap itself is made of durable cotton so it won’t lose its shape and functionality.  Click through to see other colors.

Yoga Mat Spray ($9.99)

Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner is a yoga essential.  To keep your mat clean and sanitary after each practice, it’s super important to properly clean it.  This cleaner won’t leave behind a reside on your mat and it dries quickly.  It is plant-based with essential oils so it won’t harm your skin or your mat.  It cleans and disinfects.  Towelette is included.  Made in California.  Click through to see scent options.

Eye Pillow ($10.95)

An eye pillow adds to the heavenly feeling of your savasana.  It can help you relax just that much deeper and more completely.  This eye pillow is made of lavender and flax seeds.  The lavender can help you destress and find calm while the flax can help your vision.  The pillow rests over your eyes and doesn’t exert pressure.  It’s available in many colors- click through to see more.

Yoga Prints ($11.95 and up)

The 8 Limbs of Yoga Tree and Chakras Poster beautifully displays the 8 limbs of yoga, which tell yogis how dig deeper into all of the aspects of yoga.This print showcases the 8 limbs of yoga on the branches on the tree as well as the 7 chakras on the trunk.  This print beautifully depicts different aspects of each of the limbs of yoga.  The chakras are also displayed in depth, including the mantra associated with the chakra, the meaning of the chakra and an English affirmation.  The image is printed on durable archival paper.  Click the image to see details of this print and more prints.  These items are also available in our Etsy Shop.

Himalayan Salt Candle Holders (11.99)

These beautiful Himalayan Salt Tea Light Holders add ambiance to any space with their warm glow.  They’re a wonderful gift idea for yogis or meditators.  Himalayan salt is said to help purify the air and help restore ionic balance.

Meditation for the Love of It ($13.42)

This book is a fantastic aid to anyone wanting to start or refresh their meditation practice.  It gives many wonderful ideas for things to focuc on during meditation.  Meditation for the Love of It: Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience is full of practical ideas for your practice.  Sally Kempton is a wonderful author full of wisdom from her own 40 years of meditating.  She shares a deeper practice and more than 20 meditations to try.

Moments of Mindfulness ($13.56)

This books is by the famous Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.  Moments of Mindfulness: Daily Inspiration gives a year’s worth of ideas for meditation quotes and inspiration with new and beautiful mantras to focus on each week.  The book itself is also beautiful, with sweet and soothing illustrations.  The book includes lots of wide open space so you can also use it as a notebook to record your personal findings and thoughts from meditation.  It includes basic instructions on how to meditate as an introduction.

Yoga Mat Bag ($13.98)

Take your yoga mat on the go in a funky Yoga Mat Carry Bag.  This bag fits standard yoga mats.  It comes in lots of fun colors and patterns.  It has an adjustable shoulder strap and pockets to hold your keys, phone, etc while your practice and on the way.  Click through to see the great designs.

The Radiance Sutras ($14.92)

The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder and Delight (English and Sanskrit Edition) shares 112 Sanskrit teachings, with beautiful interpretations of the words’ meaning and how you can utilize and embody each one in this life.  Themes from this book include divinity, eternal energy, harmony and meditation.

Yoga Mantra Mugs ($14.95)

Aum Hibiscus Mug | Coffee Mug | Mantra Mug | Beachy Mug | Yoga MugCurl up with a cozy cup of tea or coffee with your favorite mantra.  Aum is said to be the sound of the universe and the beginning middle and end of all things.  The mug is also available with the classic mantra, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu which means May all beings be happy and free.  Click through to see different mug sizes and mantras.  These items are also available in our Etsy Shop.

Handmade Organic Beeswax Vanilla Honey Candle ($16.99)

This handmade candle will add great ambiance to your yoga or meditation space.  This candle is hand-poured 100% natural beeswax with a soft vanilla-honey scent (though it’s also available with other scents).

Non-slip Yoga Towel ($16.99)

If you love the cushy nature of your mat, but you slide around on it during sweaty poses or worse all the time, this non-slip yoga towel-72″x24″ could help.  Also, if you use mats at a local yoga studio, bringing a towel to put over the mat could help protect your from bacteria left over on the shared mat.  OR if you are just starting to get tired of the pattern on your old mat, this cover could help you spice it up without investing in a whole new mat.  This particular skidless super grippy mat is made of fast-drying absorbent microfibers.  It’s light weight and fold-able so it’s easy to take it on the go.

Wanderlust Book ($17.32)

Wanderlust: A Modern Yogi’s Guide to Discovering Your Best Self is a wonderful book for any yogi or spiritually inclined person.  It is full of amazing articles, asanas and activities.  This book explains yoga as a way of life and how you can make it part of your life.  It strives to let you (and all of its readers) find your very own path.  It’s full of meaningful, inspirational ideas and gorgeous photographs.

Yoga: Mind Body and Spirit ($18.66)

Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit: A Return to Wholeness is a great book for learning about every aspect of yoga on your own.  This book is great for a beginner as you start to learn about theory behind the poses and exactly how to do each pose.  This book is great for an intermediate yogi if you want to look deeper into yoga and perfect your alignment.  This book is even great for an advanced yogi to revisit the alignment principles and draw them into practice.  Each   Each of the movement principles discussed is incredibly influential to your yoga practice.  Photos and detailed instructions accompany more than 70 poses.

Yoga Gift Ideas Under $30

Yoga Sequencing Deck ($23.54)

Yoga Sequencing Deck can help improve your self-practice (or home-practice) or as a teacher, it can help you find new flows and sequences.  A yoga sequencing deck is a set of cards showing different yoga poses.  You can line them up to help you remember which poses you want to do when and mix them up to find new creative ways to move between poses.  This particular set is based on Mark Stephens’ Classic book on yoga sequencing.  The deck  can be used in conjunction with the book or on its own.  The deck includes a 92-page booklet describing yoga sequencing principles and 100 yoga photo flash cards that are color coded based on the family of poses (eg standing, backbends, etc).

Tibetan Incense Variety Pack ($23.98)

Tibetan incense creates a beautiful ambiance for yoga or meditation.  It can also be spiritual or medicinal.  These incense sticks were hand-rolled in Nepal by Tibetan refugees.  They contain more than 25 medicinal Himalayan herbs.  This pack comes with 5 different varieties.

Yoga Tanks ($24.95)

The Shanti (Peace) Women's Yoga Tank Top is a colorful reminder of the sanskrit mantra meaning peaceThese yoga tanks are made of super comfy soft breathable triblend fabric.  They come in a variety of colors to match all of your yoga pants.  There are also other designs with different mantras, like Aum or Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu or Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There or Breathe and MORE  Click the tank to see more great options.  These tanks are also available in our Etsy shop.

Yoga Crop Top ($24.95)

The Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu Crop Tee has this gorgeous sanskrit mantra on the front and its translation on the back $35Crop tops are fun and trendy even in cool weather.  Once you’re sweating in the yoga studio, you won’t notice the biting Winter winds outside… hopefully.  This crop top comes in black or white.  Other mantras and sayings are also available.  Click the top to see more choices.  These items are also available in our Etsy shop.

Stamped Rose Gold Bracelet ($24.95)

This stamped Rose Gold OM bracelet makes a great gift for a yogi #giftforyogi #stampedbracelet #rosegoldThis dainty, sweet bracelet is hand-stamped with the word OM.  Om is the sound of the universe in yoga  This bracelet is a cute reminder to stay calm and connected to the universe and everything around you.  These items are also available in our Etsy shop.

Cork Yoga Blocks ($24.99)

Yoga blocks are super helpful for reaching new levels.  They can help expand your flexibility and strength.  They can also improve your balance and alignment.  These cork yoga blocks provide support and stability.  Their weight makes them dependable as a support and they can also be held for weight training in poses.  These particular blocks are made with eco-friendly practices.  Click through to learn more.

2100 Asanas ($25.55)

2,100 Asanas: The Complete Yoga Poses is an amaaazing book.  It literally has 2100 asanas so if you ever feel like your practice is getting stale, this book can help because it is FULL of ideas.  Beautiful simple photos with brief descriptions including the name in English and Sanskrit, information about the modification pictured, the drishdi point (where to look) and which chakras (energy centers) are affected.  The poses are grouped into families based on the type of pose.  It is said to be the complete collection of yoga asanas.

Seated Buddha Statue ($27.99)

Buddha statue adds a sense of calm to any yoga or meditation space.  This is an especially wonderful gift for you if you are interested in Buddhism and its teachings on how to live life as your best self.   This statue is in a Thai style with its narrow face and crown on top.  It has nice, modern detailing, but follows a traditional style with its pose.

Yoga Blanket ($28.99)

A  yoga blanket is a wonderful prop for making yoga more comfortable.  For someone with sore knees, it can be good to slide a blanket between your knee and the mat in some poses.  Also, it can help with creating a comfy environment for yin or restorative poses.  If you get cold during savasana, a blanket is a great prop to have beside your mat.  It can be nice to sit on to meditate.  There are so many wonderful uses!  This blanket is machine washable and becomes softer with use.

Yoga Gift Ideas under $50

Framed Yoga Prints ($34.95)

Blue Framed Tree of Life Print, shown here 18x18" from $35These yoga-inspired framed prints are ready to hang on the wall or place on your desk.  They are printed on archival matte paper and framed in a sleek matte black frame.  They are a nice splash of color for any room.  This print is of a Bodhi tree which is the kind of tree that the  Buddha sat under when he was enlightened.  This print comes in other colors and there are other framed prints available in our shop.  Click the photo to see more choices.  These items are also available in our Etsy shop.

Tibetan Singing Bowl (39.93)

This Tibetan Singing Bowl is a wonderful addition to any yoga or meditation space.  It’s beautiful sound reverberates through a room, creating a sense of peace and calm.  This   singing bowl was made in Nepal at a Singing Bowl house.  It is tuned to be harmonic in its ambient sound.  This set comes with a cushion to rest your bowl on, a mallet for striking it, and a drawstring bag to keep your set safe when not in use.  A free ebook will also be emailed to you with your purchase of this set.

Jute Yoga Mat ($42.95)

This natural Jute Yoga Mat is non-slip and light weight.  It is strong and sustainable.  The absorbent natural fibers and grippy surface make it perfect for intensive or sweaty yoga classes like hot yoga or bikram.  The jute fibers are breathable and resilient but still give your joints and body the support it needs for yoga.  The jute mat is a great yoga mat option.

Yoga Pants ($54.95)

Longyi Yoga Pants with ethnic Myanmar print at the base- a beautiful legging for your practice #yogapants #yogaleggingsThese yoga pants are super soft and comfy with their 4-way stretch microfiber yarn.  The leggings have a raised waistband to ensure that they won’t slip or expose.  They also have a small interior pocket for keeping something small and important.  The fabric is pre-washed before it is sewn to make sure the pattern and fibers stay in place.  Then they are hand-sewn in California.  They come in a variety of beautiful patterns.  Click the photo to see more options.  XS-XL also available in our Etsy shop

Handmade Malas ($54.95)

Amazonite and Rudraksha Mala Necklace- 108 Hand-knotted beadsA mala is a wonderful way to stay focused on your meditation.  You can move a bead with each breath or repetition of a mantra.  These gorgeous necklaces are associated with spirituality.  They hold their meaning when worn outside of meditation or yoga practices.  Each mala is made of different beads that have different beneficial properties.  For example the amazonite mala to the left has stress-reducing, calming powers.  Click the photo to see more of our malas on Etsy.

Yoga Bolster ($61.18)

yoga bolsteris a wonderful must-have prop for extra deep stretches.  It’s perfect for creating support in especially yummy poses like restorative and yin.  These poses help stretch your joints and fascia which is different from most styles of yoga that stretch your muscles only.  Yoga bolsters are great for relaxing into your stretch.  They are also good for sitting on for mediation.  This bolster is flat on top and bottom to create stability.  It also has handles on the ends for easy carrying.  Click through to see different colors.

Mommy and Me Yoga Pants Set ($77.95)

These Mommy and Me Leggings are super cute for matching days! #mommyandmeleggings #mommyandme #motherdaughterMommy and me matching is a fun trend.  Kids love to be just like their mom!  These matching leggings are a cute way to pair up.  The leggings have 4-way stretch that makes them super comfy.  Mom’s leggings have a high waist and interior pocket.  The sets come in a variety of patterns.  Click through to choose your matching design.  Available on Etsy

Embroidered Zafu Meditation Cushion ($79.99)

The zafu meditation cushion is a gorgeous place to sit for meditation.  The pattern is silk-screened onto a silk-blend fabric.  This cushion is filled with buckwheat.  It shows 8 auspicious symbols.  Click through for details on the meanings and different colors choices.

Yoga Gift Ideas Wrap-Up

I’ve tried to gather a pretty comprehensive list, but if you have other great ideas or suggestions, please let me know!

Also, if you get one of these fantastic items, please let me know if you like it as much as I do!

 

Happy holidays to you and yours! Peace on Earth <3

Your ultimate holiday YOGA gift guide! Find yoga gift ideas for everyone on your list, no matter what you budget is, we have some fab ideas for you! #yogagift #christmasgift #yogigift #giftguide

Your Complete Guide for How to Start to Meditate: Practical Ideas and Encouragement for your Meditation Practice. This post gives detailed tips on how to start to meditate, including benefits, inspiration, what to focus on, how to sit, when to meditate and more #meditation #meditate #starttomeditate

Your Complete Guide for How to Start to Meditate: Practical Ideas and Encouragement for your Meditation Practice

It can be overwhelming to think about sitting down to clear your mind, but the very point of meditation is to let your mind take a break from all that thinking!  With a little preparation, I think you’ll find meditation a relaxing and important part of your day.  Here are some practical tips that may help you start to meditate.

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Benefits

Regular meditation Your Complete Guide for How to Start to Meditate: Practical Ideas and Encouragement for your Meditation Practice. This post gives detailed tips on how to start to meditate, including benefits, inspiration, what to focus on, how to sit, when to meditate and more #meditation #meditate #starttomeditatehelps with the immune system, lowering your blood pressure and reducing stress levels.  Your brain pattern changes with a consistent meditation practice.  After just a few weeks practicing 20 or 30 minutes a day, you can improve your cognitive functioning, self-awareness and empathy, along with other aspects of your humanity. (Source: In Search of Buddha’s Daughters: The Hidden Lives and Fearless Work of Buddhist Nuns)

 

When to Meditate

Probably the most important thing about starting your practice is finding a reliable time when you can realistically make the time to sit every day.  A sporadic schedule makes things difficult.  The easiest way to form a new habit is to tag your new task on to an existing responsibility you take on every day– like you could meditate every day before breakfast or you could meditate every night after you brush your teeth.  You will always have that original responsibility to remind you to meditate.  It takes 21-28 days to make a new habit so until meditation is one of your habits, it may help to attach it to an existing one.

 

Preparation

It’s also very important to set the stage for yourself.  You need a Ideas and inspiration for creating your own yoga and meditation spacecomfortable clean environment that can become sacred for you.  You want a spot that’s as distraction-free as possible.  It helps if you have the time and space to make a meditation space– use a meditation cushion, candles, meaningful images, etc.  Click the image to the right to see more about creating your own yoga and meditation space.

Take a moment before you begin to set your body up for the practice as well.  Maybe take a couple of easy stretches.  Maybe bow to each direction, acknowledging the universal presence around you.  Definitely take a couple of calming breaths.  – allow yourself to slowly succumb to the mood of meditation.

You’ll definitely want a timer to start.  That way you won’t have to keep peeping through one creased eye to glance at the clock.  Start simple; I recommend 10 minutes.

 

 

Posture

It’s Don't Just Do Something Tank is a reminder of mindfulness and being present. #yogatank #yogatop #mindfulnesstank #mindfulness #meditationtanktypical to be seated on a small pillow during meditation.  If you elevate your hips above your legs it can help to keep your legs from falling asleep.  It’s ok if you want to set up next to a wall and use it to support your back.  It’s also ok if you prefer to sit in a chair.  It’s even ok if you want to lay down (though this is a potential sleep danger).  You can even stand to meditate or take a slow walking meditation.  There isn’t a right way; whatever position suits you best in the moment is the best one.  Meditation is about your mind not the shape you set your body in.  The only goal is to find a position that keeps you comfortable so you can give yourself the best possible chance at staying focused.

 

Inspiration

It’s super hard to sit down and just clear all of the thoughts out of your mind.  Many people find it easier instead of give the mind one specific thought or mood to focus on.  Here are some ideas.

  • Follow your breath- watch it go in and out of your body, feel it coming through your nose and going down into your lungs and your belly, feel each molecule coming back up through your body and exiting your nose again.  Try not to control your breath, but observe it.
  • Look for the spaces between your breath at the top of the inhale and exhale- focus on that eternal space.
  • Imagine a light at your heart center or your third eye.  Focus on watching it grow with each inhale and spread with each exhale.  Watch the light glow.
  • If you’re struggling with thoughts, let a cloud come and carry each one away in turn.  Watch the beautiful sky.
  • Also, you can attach your inhale and exhale to a phrase.
    • in (on your inhale) and out (on your exhale) that being the universal energy, everything at once
    • so hum- I am that- or that I am if you accidentally flip the phrase around
    • Thich Nhat Hanh style
      • calm/ease
      • smile/release
      • deep/slow
  • Alternatively these phrases can be attached to each bead of a mala necklace
  • Also, you can meditate on a poem, idea or feeling

My two favorite books for ideas to guide meditation are Moments of Mindfulness (right) and Meditation for the Love of It (left).  They were influential in creating my practice.

 

Challenges

All of these thoughts and suggestions are for giving you a good chance at making it work.  I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, especially at first.  Expect that at some point you’re going to wonder how long it’s been, or you’ll notice something about your position is becoming uncomfortable or you’ll start to make a to-do list or you’ll remember something very important and feel compelled to go do it immediately.  It’s normal.  All of it and more.  Some days will be easier than others, even for experienced practitioners.  The key is not to be upset at yourself- to acknowledge the thought or the pain or the idea and let it pass.  You can meditate with a notebook beside you to jot ideas down if you struggle too much at letting them go.

 

 

After your Meditation

Amazonite and Rudraksha Mala Necklace- 108 Hand-knotted beadsBefore you rush off to your next task, Malas: choosing one, activating it, and using your mala for meditation and manifestationtake a moment to thank yourself for the gift you’ve given yourself.  Even if it was not your most successfully quiet-minded practice, it’s still a wonderful way to honor yourself.  Also, you can dedicate your practice- choose someone you know and love, a deity, eternal oneness, someone in need, a worldwide issue, whatever you like and send the good vibes of your meditation off to that cause.

Another really beneficial thing to do after meditation is to take a moment to journal about your experience.  It helps to see how far you’ve come and solidify your experience.

However you choose to seal off your practice, re-enter this world slowly and carefully.  You may be in a dreamy state and it make take worldly awareness a moment to return to you.

 

Continuing On

When you get to a point where the timer surprises you or after a few weeks, try increasing the length of your meditation.

Look for new ideas and inspirations for your meditative focus.  Try out new positions, try meditating outside, try everything!  See what works for you and what doesn’t and remember it may be different tomorrow.

Whatever you do,

Continue offering yourself the gift of meditation.

 

Your Complete Guide for How to Start to Meditate: Practical Ideas and Encouragement for your Meditation Practice. This post gives detailed tips on how to start to meditate, including benefits, inspiration, what to focus on, how to sit, when to meditate and more #meditation #meditate #starttomeditate

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo | Adi Mantra Meaning, Uses and Meditation #sanskritmantra #mantra #adimantra #meditation

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo mantra

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo | Adi Mantra Meaning, Uses and Meditation #sanskritmantra #mantra #adimantra #meditation

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo (also called the adi mantra) is a beautiful, deeply moving mantra.  It’s is often chanted at the beginning of a practice, especially in Kundalini Yoga .  It’s a great way to center yourself and tune in to your subtle body and focus your mind.  It allows us to connect with self-knowledge and the divine.

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Meaning

This mantra asks you to believe in your own internal wisdom; to trust and listen to your inner guidance.  It states that you are your own best teacher and you must trust yourself and your own wisdom.  Another rendition of the translation says “I bow to the Divine Wisdom within myself.”   The mantra also recognizes that everything is one and also means “I bow to the All-That-Is.”

Translation Break-Down

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo Sanskrit Mantra Yoga Tank #yogatank #yogaclothes
Check out our Ong Namo Tanks

Ong means subtle divine wisdom or infinite energy; all-that-is

Namo means I reverently bow/greet/salute

Guru means teacher– giver of wisdom

Gu means darkness

Ru means light

Guru means the one who brings you from dark to light

Dev means divine

Namo means I reverently bow/greet/salute

How to use the mantra

Amazonite and Rudraksha Mala Necklace- 108 Hand-knotted beads
See our malas on Etsy

To chant the mantra, sit in easy pose (sukhasana)- cross legged, but with both ankles on the floor.  Bring your palms to touch in anjali mudra (prayer) with your thumbs touching your sternum.  This pose creates a nice base for concentrating on bringing the mantra in.

Typically, Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo is chanted at least three times for past, present, future.  Alternatively, it can be used as a meditation, attaching the mantra to each breath.  Or a mala can be used– moving one bead for each repetition of the mantra.

 

 

 

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo | Adi Mantra Meaning, Uses and Meditation #sanskritmantra #mantra #adimantra #meditation

happy fall yogawear sale on katiayoga.etsy.com #yogaclothessale #yogawearsale #yogaapparelsale #yogasale

Fall Yogawear Sale! Yoga pants, yoga tops, mommy and me, malas, art and more

Fall Yogawear Sale!  New items and old classics, all on sale!  Start your Christmas shopping early or treat yourself to a couple of special things before the holiday rush!  Yoga pants, yoga tops, mala necklaces, mugs, art prints, mommy and me outfits, and more!

Now until October 31st!

happy fall yogawear sale on katiayoga.etsy.com #yogaclothessale #yogawearsale #yogaapparelsale #yogasale

***Free shipping is only applicable in the US, sorry international shoppers! <3

Third Eye Chakra (brow chakra, ajna chakra): meditation, mantra, mudra, balancing, asana, and more! #chakras #thirdeyechakra

Third Eye Chakra | Ajna Chakra | Balance, Meditation, Mantra, Mudra, and More

Amazonite and Rudraksha Mala Necklace- 108 Hand-knotted beads
Also see our malas on Etsy

Third Eye Chakra (brow chakra, ajna chakra): meditation, mantra, mudra, balancing, asana, and more! #chakras #thirdeyechakraThe Third Eye Chakra is called the Ajna chakra in Sanskrit.  It is located between your two eyebrows, slightly above them on your forehead, so it is also sometimes called the brow chakra.  It is responsible for seeing within the self and in the outer world.  This manifests as imagination, insight, foresight, openness, perception, and motivating creativity.  It’s one of the more spiritual rather than physical chakras.

This chakra helps align the concept of “I” or the individual with the whole or the consciousness.  This means this chakra helps you see the interconnectedness of everything and feel free from the self, as part of the whole.

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Imbalance

An under-active third eye chakra leads to a feeling of monotony- like you’re stuck in routine.  This scenario leads to a lack of clarity and perspective.  It can also lead to rejecting spirituality.

An over-active third eye chakra can lead to living in a sort of fantasy– a loss-of-touch with reality.


Balancing Techniques


Third Eye Chakra (brow chakra, ajna chakra): meditation, mantra, mudra, balancing, asana, and more! #chakras #thirdeyechakra

Let your creative spirit soar!  Visualize, dream, but don’t completely lose sight of the ground.  Let your mind rest from daily ponderings and wonderings with meditation or a walk in nature, especially under the moon.  Follow your intuition.  Trust it and yourself.

Mudra

Try the Kaleshwar mudra.  With your middle fingers straight, press their finger tips together.  Bring the finger tips of the thumbs together too.  Bend all of the other fingers so that they can touch at the second knuckle.

Mantra

Aum Hibiscus Yoga Tank Top
click to see our aum tank

The mantra associated with the third eye chakra is a classic: aum (or om).  This is the sound of the universe.

Affirmations in English include

  • I trust my intuition
  • I care for my spirit
  • I am connected
  • I am open to inspiration
  • I love myself
  • I see

Asana

Poses where your third eye is pointed toward the Earth like balasana (happy baby), half forward fold (ardha uttanasana), dolphin (ardha pincha mayurasana) and downward dog (adho mukha svanasana) can help.  Other strong poses assosciated with the third eye chakra include shoulder stand (salamba sarvangasana) and hero pose (virasana).

Indigo-Blue-Purple

The Purple Tree of Life Poster Print adds color and spirituality to any room. Printed on thick durable matte paper that’s archival and acid free.
Click to see our prints

The third eye chakra is associated with a indigo or dark blue and sometimes blue-purple.  You can harness the energy of this chakra by surrounding yourself with this color- in your clothes and your home.   Also meditating on the color can help.  Try to focus your energy into your third eye and imagine an indigo ball of energy at your third eye.  Eating foods that are this color can help too like blueberries and blackberries, plums, eggplant and beets.  Gems that help this chakra include lapis lazuli, amethyst, azurite, moonstone and clear crystal quartz.  Rosemary, juniper and sandalwood aromatherapy also benefits the third eye chakra.

The third eye chakra is crucial to trusting and believing in yourself.  Intuition and creativity thrive when this chakra is open and balanced.

Third Eye Chakra (brow chakra, ajna chakra): meditation, mantra, mudra, balancing, asana, and more! #chakras #thirdeyechakra

How to make a yoga mat strap-- carry your yoga mat with you anywhere you go! DIY yoga mat strap. Easy yoga mat bag alternative for yogis on the go

DIY Yoga Mat Strap | Take your mat on the go!

How to make a yoga mat strap-- carry your yoga mat with you anywhere you go! DIY yoga mat strap. Easy yoga mat bag alternative for yogis on the go

 

Here’s an easy way to take your yoga mat with you anywhere you go: make a DIY Yoga Mat Strap!

 

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Materials:

Steps for Making Your DIY Yoga Mat Strap

1.  Cut your yarn to size– I wrapped it around 2 chairs to get the strings to be about 7 feet long,

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then cut the ends so you have individual strands (I had 21 strands- 7 for each piece of the braid)

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2. Tie the ends of the strands together so all of the pieces are attached to each other.  I tied the top of the strands around a chair leg to hold them in place while I braided.  Option: wrap the yarn around your hand, starting from the side closest to the chair to make it into balls– this is a trick I learned from knitting.  As you pull, the ends will stay balled up but you can use however much you need

 

3.   Braid!  End to end– you’ll use the whole thing!  Tie off the end

4.   Tie one end of the braid into a small loop– use a double knot this part needs to be strong!  Pull tight and trim the fray if you had any loose strings on the end.

5.   Pull the braided strand through the loop so that the braid makes a big loop through the small knotted loop– your yoga mat will go inside and the braid will pull on itself to hold your mat tight

6.   Repeat Steps 4 and 5 on the other side

7.   Test it out!  Roll up your mat and put one loop over each end.  You’re ready to go!

Check out our other DIYs

How to Make a Mala: knotting and making a tassel

DIY Yoga Mat Spray: How to recipe

Step by step instructions for how to make a yoga bolster, including standard dimensions. Also, some restorative poses to try with this yoga pillow

 

 

 

How to make a yoga mat strap-- carry your yoga mat with you anywhere you go! DIY yoga mat strap. Easy yoga mat bag alternative for yogis on the go

Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training: Traditional vs. Modern: Studying Traditional Yoga in India or Studying Yoga with a Modern Western Yoga Instructor #yogateachertraining #ytt #becomeayogateacher #becomeayogainstructor

Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training: Traditional vs. Modern

When I was thinking about choosing a yoga teacher training, I debated between the traditional home of yoga (India) and modern Western teaching in Bali.  The stars aligned perfectly for my sister and I to do our ytt together in Ubud, Bali with American yogini, Emily Kuser, and her chosen gurus from the west.  We learned a great deal about yoga and ourselves.  We sometimes joked that it was more of a group therapy session than yoga.

This Summer, some of my friends and I signed up for a yoga retreat in Rishikesh, India.  We thought it was going to be a nice relaxing week of yoga- learning more about the roots of yoga, practicing ashtanga in the morning and gentle flows in the evening.   The website said our experience would be sprinkled with excursions and a free massage would be included.  Instead, we retreat-goers were tossed in with a new batch of yoga teacher training students.  For me it was an fascinating glimpse into what my experience might have otherwise been.

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Comparison

Room and board

Marigold Yoga Leggings are bright, happy yoga pants inspired by the beautiful marigold flowers used in Indian ceremonies. Four-way stretch, inner pocket, and raised waistband. $55
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In India, housing and food were included in the price of the training.  We were each given our own room with a bed, a dresser and a small bathroom.  The paint on the walls was peeling and the fan only minimally cut the heat.  Delicious Indian food was passed through a little hole in the wall (literally) between the kitchen and the cafeteria-style dining hall.  The chef, Shiva, and I conferred regularly about what I could and couldn’t eat and the events of the day.  He asked questions like, “you gluten free, you don’t vegan, right?”

In Bali, we were on our own for housing, which meant we each chose a place that we felt very comfortable in.  However, this was in  addition to the price of the training (which was already nearly double the training in India).  Breakfast was included at the hotel and lunch was included at the yoga studio’s cafe.  We were on our own for dinner, which meant we could try the food at any of the healthy cafes in town but at additional expense.

Ceremonies

In India, our training began with a puja or Indian blessing ceremony.  A guru sat at the front of the room by a statue of Krishna, chanting and ringing a bell and offering flower petals and lighting candles.  We sat on bolsters and watched and listened until the end, when a vessel full of candles was handed to each of us in turn to circle near Krishna.  I asked a man behind me what we needed to do, but most girls went in blind.  They gave us threaded bracelets and Indian sweets to eat as part of the event.  It was a beautiful peaceful ceremony but we didn’t know what it was all about.

In Bali, we had a water ceremony and a fire ceremony.  Before each one, our teacher told us about the meaning and protocols.  She explained what we would need to do– At the fire ceremony say “swaha” as we tossed things into the fire, listen to the repetitive chanting and join in if we wanted to, prepare a note to release some sadness or anger to throw into the fire to cleanse ourselves if we so wished.  At the water ceremony, stand with hands in prayer as the guru chanted and sprinkled water on our heads, at one point, accept the holy water in your hands, drink it and wipe the rest over your head.  This ceremony was to cleanse and purify.  We talked about everything from what it all meant down to what to wear.

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In Class

In India our yoga course was run with a tight discipline.  The phrase, “I didn’t say… (for example) turn your knee in” was used to remind us of the exact way that we should do the poses.  We focuses on warrior 2, triangle, and half moon for the entire week.  Poses were held for a very long time to build strength.  Counts to hold sometimes started at 5, but were drawn out to more like 100- the pauses between numbers almost left us uncertain of whether or not the counting had been forgotten.  “I love you” would be thrown in instead of a number sometimes.  In anatomy, philosophy etc. precise alignment was lectured and demonstrated.  It was a traditional teaching style with some tough love.

In Bali, we were encouraged to listen to our bodies and were sometimes offered two different poses to choose from based on our level and energy.  The practices flowed smoothly  The teacher encouraged us to pause during the practice any time we wanted to take notes on alignment cues and transition ideas.  Each day one student was an assistant who helped arrange the classroom and watched the teacher and how she related to the students.  We could sign up for office hours to discuss anything with the teachers.  Our teachers encouraged questions and discussions.  There were lots of hugs and there was lots of time to process everything together.


The Shala

Amazonite and Rudraksha Mala Necklace- 108 Hand-knotted beads
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The Shanti (Peace) Women's Yoga Tank Top is a colorful reminder of the sanskrit mantra meaning peaceIn India, the yoga shala was on top of the housing.  Its windows faced the mountains.  Monkeys swung by as the sun set.  The bolsters had seen better days and sometimes there was a shortage on blocks or room for the mats.  Everyone was issued a mat with the school’s name on it.  There was air conditioning, but it was never used during asana because “it would make us sick.” It felt like we could be another era learning like the masters.

In Bali, we were in an open-air shala at the back of a field of rice paddies.  Breezes, frogs’ croaks and children’s voices floated through.  Mosquitoes buzzed through too but a natural remedy was available for use.  Shiva danced in the corner.  Each morning, a flower mandala was created by his feet.  Music was crafted to perfectly compliment the energy of the movements.  Mats were provided but most yogis brought their own.  There were more than enough props and cabinets to stow them in.  Care was taken to perfect the atmosphere.

Academics

In India, there was daily library time and there were academic assignments to be completed.  In some of the strict classes, a concept would be concluded with the phrase “any doubts?”

In Bali, we read our books in the 6 weeks before the course and completed several short assignments about our progress leading up to the class.  Questions were encouraged at any time.

Emotional Support

Teacher training is a difficult, emotion undertaking.  Intensive yoga brings up feelings you didn’t even know you had and tests your limits, physical and beyond.  In both settings, I regularly saw tear-stained cheeks.

In India, we had one full hour and a half long session with our eyes closed.  This is a deeply moving, personal experience.  You connect with your space and your mat as well as the feeling of yoga in your body and your being.  Afterward we were dismissed as always.  Some girls seemed to be emotionally drained.  Living together under the shala meant it was easy to find a friend to talk to if needed.

In Bali, after any of our many emotional meditations we journaled on the experience and then discussed in small groups and then sometimes came back to the whole group to talk about it all.  We examined the intricacies of how we felt and how it could change us.

Outcomes

So the question comes to mind: which one is better?  I don’t think it’s possible to give a definitive answer.  It depends on your style and your needs.  It depends what you like and what would challenge your weaknesses. Whatever you feel deeply drawn toward is probably right for you.  The hardest decision is one with lots of good options.

Everyone in both groups came out of the month-long experience feeling empowered and transformed.  Both groups tremendously improved their yoga skills as well as their dedication to the practice.  Everyone had lots of time to think and evolve.  Yoga teacher training any where, any time, any way is a magical experience and a beautiful gift to yourself.

Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training: Traditional vs. Modern: Studying Traditional Yoga in India or Studying Yoga with a Modern Western Yoga Instructor #yogateachertraining #ytt #becomeayogateacher #becomeayogainstructor

End of Summer Sale! Use code "summer-15" for 15% off of your yoga leggings, yoga tanks, 108 bead mala necklaces, art prints and more!

End of Summer Sale

End of Summer Sale!

Hope you’ve enjoyed your Summer!  One last thing to love… now through Aug 31: use code “summer15” for 15% off of yoga pants, yoga tops, 108 bead mala necklaces, mugs, art prints, and more!

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Or use the same code in our KatiaYoga Etsy Shop

End of Summer Sale! Use code "summer-15" for 15% off of your yoga leggings, yoga tanks, 108 bead mala necklaces, art prints, mugs and more!

 

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DIY Yoga Mat Spray | How to Clean Your Yoga Mat, Recipe for Mat Spray, Essential Oils Ideas

DIY Yoga Mat Spray | How to Clean Your Yoga Mat

DIY Yoga Mat Spray: How to recipe

 

I’m sorry to tell you this, but your yoga mat is probably disgusting.  Those cushiony-supportive or sticky anti-slip fibers can really hold onto a lot of bacteria, germs and general grossness.  Think about those super sweaty vinyasa classes!  And your hands and feet on the mat and later you put your face right in the same spot.  Acne and warts can come from your mat.   How can you slowly sink into a soothing savasana knowing what lurks beneath?! (the horror! lol)

 

DIY Yoga mat spray to the rescue!

 

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Ingredients and Supplies

For my first yoga mat spray, I used lemongrass essential oil.  The scent went well with the natural scent of the witch hazel.  It left a refreshing and energizing scent on my mat for my next yoga practice.

Antibacterial Essential Oil Ideas

The 8 Limbs of Yoga Tree and Chakras Poster beautifully displays the 8 limbs of yoga, which tell yogis how dig deeper into all of the aspects of yoga.
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Each of these essential oils has antibacterial properties that can help with making your mat clean and give it a nice scent.  Choose one or make your own special blend.

How to make DIY Yoga Mat Spray

  1. Fill your bottle up 3/4 with water
  2. Add witch hazel or vinegar until it’s nearly full
  3. Add 15-20 drops of your chosen oils…voila!

How to use your spray

  1. After every practice, spritz/mist your mat with your DIY yoga mat spray
  2. Wipe your sprayed mat with a cloth to evenly coat the surface
  3. If possible, leave the mat out for 10-15 minutes to let the spray do it’s magic and let the mat dry
  4. Hang (or roll) your mat up
  5. Repeat after every practice 🙂

A personal story of challenges and wins of teaching yoga in Mandalay

Teaching Yoga in Mandalay: Difficulties and Joys

A personal story of challenges and wins of teaching yoga in a foreign countryAfter yoga teacher training in Bali and teaching yoga for a month in Nicaragua, I decided to return to Myanmar, which had been my home for 2 years already.  I missed the life I had there, but I was also determined to bring my new passion as a yoga teacher to my Mandalay world.  This post is about the wins and challenges of teaching yoga in Mandalay.

 

The Search for a Yoga Shala (Space)

Before I even went back to Mandalay, my friends told me about a new gym that opened in town, “a fancy one,” they said.  They were thrilled about the classes it provided and the caliber of the equipment and the space.  They encouraged me to get in touch with the owners to see if they needed any more yoga instructors (the local Myanmar staff had been given a short training by a guru who had flown in from India).  Unfortunately, the gym responded that they were fully staffed.

On arrival in Mandalay, my next plan was to find a space that I could borrow for yoga classes.  I posted in expat forums and asked around, but no one had any brilliant ideas.  There were a couple of leads that volunteered their hotel or hostel, but they didn’t follow through.

So I tried going door to door to the hotels in town to see if they had a vacant conference room or lawn space.  The receptionists mostly looked at me either like I was trying to scam them or like I was asking if we could do alien seance dances in gold unitards in the lobby.  They each gave me a resounding NO in turn.  I never got the chance to talk to a manager or owner.  I felt so small and so lost leaving most of the hotels.

Mandalay Hills Yoga Leggings and the Mandalay Hills (Myanmar)
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Although I had really hoped to separate my kindergarten teaching/home-life (we lived on the school campus) from my yoga teaching, I realized a fantastic space was sitting right under my nose.  Or directly above my head, really: the roof of our apartment building.  It was a huge flat, empty tiled space.  It overlooked lush green rice paddies flowing into the distance until the landscape climbed into rows of mountains to the East.  The towns’ roofs and treetops to the North extended all the way to iconic Mandalay Hill.  The sun set over the roof and painted the clouds in pinks and golds everyday between 5:30 and 6:30 depending on the season.  Monks’ chants sometimes floated in on the breeze and migrating birds passed overhead in season.  What a perfectly serene and beautiful place for yoga!  I’m tearing up just thinking about it now that I’ve left again.

 

Rocky Beginnings with my Classes

I started out with donation-based classes.  I felt like I was too new to demand money for my class, which I regret in retrospect.  I wish I’d valued my knowledge right from the start.  In the end, it’s a matter of self-worth.  Teacher training wasn’t cheap and the 10+ years of practice I’ve put in to learning yoga myself wasn’t easy.  People asked what charity the money was going to, shocked to find out it was just for the lesson.

A personal story of challenges and wins of teaching yoga in a foreign country

I also wish I hadn’t given myself permission to start simply with flowing asanas, pranayama and meditations; I wish I’d gotten wild and weird right from the start with funky themes.  I found as I grew into theme-ing that I was more invested in the classes and ideas came to me more freely in relation to the concepts.

 

After a couple of months of weekly classes on the roof, I got an email from the fancy gym, Everfit.  They decided to expand their yoga offering and wanted me to come teach.  Myanmar style, they asked if I was free that very day for an interview.  I agreed and we chatted for 20-30 minutes.  They gave me a tour of the gym, asked briefly about my experience and gave me the job on the spot!

I was thrilled.  I started the next week.  I misunderstood how much they were going to pay me, which made for an awkward situation later.  I was also under the impression that there would be a translator working with me to assist with alignment cues, which was not true.  In spite of these misunderstandings, I pushed on with both classes.A personal story of challenges and wins of teaching yoga in a foreign country A personal story of challenges and wins of teaching yoga in a foreign country

 

Because I posted regularly about my weekly classes in an online expat forum, people started to recognize me from my thumbnail sized photo. When I met new people around town, they’d say “OH you’re the yoga teacher!” and tell me about how they’ve been meaning to come to the classes on the roof.  I became “the yoga teacher” instead of Katia.  But I guess that’s good PR!

 

Wins and Joys as a Yoga Teacher

On the roof

With my roof classes, it was fun to see new people come to yoga.  It was good to chat a little and get to know them before we started- feel out a little bit about their personality and their yoga experience.  I tried to remember names so I could thank them personally after class.  This practice helped boost my confidence.  I am used to 5-year old faces staring at me, but it’s harder for me to hold the space for adults, but I’m getting better.  Sometimes I’d use these facts together and try to calm everyone’s nerves with a little humor, saying “if you have any questions, feel free to shout them out at me at any time.  I also teach kindergarten.  Trust me, I’m used to it.”

A personal story of challenges and wins of teaching yoga in a foreign country
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And people did shout out questions at me.  And I was surprised that I usually had good, meaningful answers.  It was fun to get into the nitty gritty of poses and talk yoga.  I also enjoyed talking through the alignments and seeing people move their bodies ever so slightly to better their pose.  It was also fun for me to try out some more advanced sequences when it was just me and some of the fab girls I knew could take it.

Toward the end, I added some funky themes and made people think about funny things.  I believe we all learned a bit more from that.

I stopped giving the classes a little before I left and I got some great feedback from some of my favorite students about my growth.  They also asked if there would be more sessions.  That was a boost for sure.

At Everfit

At Everfit they essentially left me alone to do what I pleased.  The owners touched base a couple of times about how many regulars I had and if I had any suggestions for the space.  I passed on some comments from the students too.

The classes were fun- a really unique and intense experience.  Often the yogis who came to class were new to yoga and English.  Sometimes men would grunt loudly as they tried to stretch their tight, tense gym bodies.  Sometimes people would face the back when I said come to the front and it might take a while to get them turned around.  There were some classic, epic mistakes and I tried hard to keep my composure and gently, cooly guide people into position and ideally bring them over to the zen side.

A personal story of challenges and wins of teaching yoga in a foreign country

I modeled a lot, even alignment cues, sometimes moving my body in to the wrong place so I could show how the yogis could move their bodies into proper position.  I’d say things like “bend the front leg” and simultaneously squat and lean a bit deeper, looking at my leg.  People got it! When they had uncertain looks, I smiled to encourage them and they smiled back.  It took a lot of attention and energy on my part to see the things that were going wrong and show motions that were active and vivid enough to make it clear what needed to be changed.  I felt like I was physically bridging the communication gap.

In this space I also learned about making the ambiance right.  I had to play with a loud air conditioner, an echo-y room, a sound system and my voice to find the perfect combination of noises to create a calm space where my calm cues could be heard.

Here I also learned to find the right level and the right number of asanas.  I was proud the first time I followed my plan from start to finish and it was right on the dot for timing.  I have practice with improvising a few minutes here or there from teaching kids- no problem!  But I was more proud to understand my audience well enough to make a perfect plan.

There were a few expats that came regularly too and I befriended them.  They came with smiles, a sense of certainty with the cues, deep questions and sometimes they even brought friends.

My last class at the gym was the most full I’d ever had.  Every mat was taken.  It was great way to go out.

Amazonite and Rudraksha Mala
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In the End

I’m so happy to have pursued teaching yoga in Mandalay even when it seemed impossible.  I learned and grew a lot as a teacher and as a person.  I’m pleased to have shared my passion for yoga with so many others.  I am looking forward to moving on to a new place where hopefully I can take some more yoga classes myself and hopefully share the beauty of yoga.

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