One of the most frequently asked questions from students are how to find good quality yoga products. Although you don't need yoga gear to be able to practice, investing in them is worthwhile if you want to practice yoga regularly. Props are a useful way to enhance your practice, make it more comfortable and open doorways to postures that may otherwise be inaccessible. Here are my tried and true favorite essential products and where you can purchase them! I am in no way affiliated with or benefitting from suggesting the yoga products listed below.
My Top Favorite Yoga Mat is the Manduka Pro Lite Mat. This mat is incredibly durable, including a lifetime guarantee, is thick enough to provide the support your body needs and isn't too heavy to tote around town. If you practice a lot of hot yoga I recommend purchasing a Yoga towel for the top like Yogitoes. $100.
My top pick for blankets is the Traditional Mexican Yoga Blankets from Yoga Accessories. $17/blanket
My top picks for blocks are:
Manduka Recycled Foam Yoga Blocks. $20/block.
Gaiam Foam Yoga Blocks. $10/block.
My top pick for Straps are any strap with a metal D-ring! I've not found that certain brands are better than others. If you want a beautiful strap go for this one!
My top picks for bolsters are:
Inner Space Yoga for a local option made regionally in NC. These come in a variety of beautiful patterns and are very durable. $120.
Hugger Mugger Standard Yoga Bolster. These are firm, long-lasting bolsters that come in plain colors and patterns. A yoga studio favorite. $89-99.
Other yoga props that I love and use are: Eye Pillows, Sandbags and Three Minute Eggs. Happy Practicing y'all!
Sometimes the simplest truths are the hardest ones to grasp and put into practice.
For example, we all know that we have a body, mind and spirit. But actually being able to feel into each of these, harmonize them and harness their unique power is a different thing.
So much stands in our way.
From lack of education, to disconnection from self, culture and so much more.
The work I do as a Yoga Therapist is rooted in an eastern medicine approach that focuses on the whole person - body, mind and spirit.
So much of the suffering we experience like anxiety, depression, dysfunctional habits, relationship struggles, digestive issues and stress are all linked back to trauma as a root cause.
Trauma that's impacted our body, nervous system, the way our mind words and our ability to express ourselves (among other things.)
You see, much of the suffering we experience like anxiety, depression, dysfunctional habits, relationship struggles, digestive issues and stress are all linked back to trauma at the root. Trauma that’s impacted our body, nervous system, the way our mind works and ability to express ourselves (among other things).
The answer right in front of us is that feeling better lies within our ability to strengthen our relationship with our body, mind and spirit.
For everyone I’ve ever met and worked with, this simple sounding thing of strengthening our relationship with our body, mind and spirit takes real conscious effort, vulnerability, support and growth.
Sending love to each of you as you do your own version of this work for yourself and I’m here to support you!
If you want some guidance and community to lift the weight of depression this fall, join me for an in person Yoga for Depression series. Classes begin this November at Pettigru Counseling Associates. See details here.
Three things your body needs to improve your mental health and integrate the trauma that keeps you suffering...
1. Love and Attention
- Your body needs you to be aware of it, feel what it feels like, listened to and honored.
2. Therapeutic Movement
- This can take on so many forms but my favorite is Yoga. Yoga offers an impressive spectrum of benefits to body, mind and spirit in one package. Other movements that I love in this season of my life are: walking in nature, ecstatic dance, strength training, somatic healing practices and play.
3. Nervous System Regulation
- For most people nervous system dysregulation is just a part of our lives. Our nervous systems can become chronically in fight/flight/freeze mode, go there easily and have trouble regulating back to a more easeful state. Learning about our nervous systems and engaging in practices that help train our nervous system are super helpful.
If you're interested in learning more about this, I have open spaces for new Yoga Therapy and Spiritual Life Coaching virtual & in person, as well as, upcoming programs that are launching locally in Greenville, SC.
Trauma is that thing that keeps us stuck, repeating the same old patterns and feeling limited.
The good news is, it doesn't have to be that way.
In my experience 3 things are really important when healing from past trauma and learning how to become more resilient in the future.
3. Integrative Approach (body, mind and spirit)
I currently have two ways to do direct trauma integration work with me:
PS The examples given are just a snapshot, there are too many to mention.
In my journey as a yoga teacher one of the things I've always identified as a huge part of my role is teaching people how to relax.
That may sound funny because I know a lot of people think that they've got that figured out. You know how to put your feet up and take it easy.
But let me tell you, if you have never experienced the serenity of a Restorative Yoga practice you have no idea the goodness that is possible.
The Restorative Yoga folks have optimized relaxation to a whole other therapeutic and yummy level.
It's the last few days to sign up for Restful Night, my 6 week VIRTUAL Restorative Yoga series.
As a Mom of two young children and person who wants to feel my best each day, I prioritize sleep in a very conscious way. Dr. Suzannah Bozzone who focuses on lifestyle medicine, once said every decision we make is either adding to our health or taking away from it. I feel the same. As important as sleep is, putting in some intentional effort goes a long way towards getting our needs met.
Here are three bedtime rituals that I do each evening that help me get a great night of sleep:
1. A set bedtime.
2. A magnesium lotion foot massage.
3. A pre-sleep meditation or breathing practice.
What are your favorite bedtime rituals?
Starting in August, my virtual Restorative Yoga programs launches. Click here if you're interested in learning more.
We all know it, we feel better when we get a good night of sleep.
When well rested:
Yet for many people, we spend our days busy and when it’s time to turn out the lights, sleep is elusive. Maybe it takes you a while to fall asleep, perhaps you become anxious when you lay down in bed, have a busy mind, young kids who wake you up frequently or struggle with insomnia.
Whatever is keeping you from the sleep you need, Restorative Yoga can help you get a better night of sleep.
Restorative Yoga is designed to help you relax and release tension. In this practice, you’ll spend time creating a cozy resting place in supported postures using props like blankets, pillows and bolsters (if available). Once settled into the poses your body releases into the support of the props and the stress you’re holding onto melts away. You’ll spend several minutes laying down while being guided through relaxing meditations and soothing breathwork.
Sound like something you want to experience?
Join me for a virtual Restorative Yoga class series, Restful Night, starting in August. Each Sunday night we’ll meet from 8-8:45pm EST for a calming and healing practice from the comfort of your home.
What would it feel like to do 12 straight weeks of 1:1 Yoga Therapy and Spiritual Life Coaching?
During that time you would:
Sound like something you want?
Sign up for a free 15 minute consultation or click here to see the details. Limited spots available. Sessions are virtual or in person. Payment plans available.
I often hear people talk about the busy pace of our day to day lives and that they, "don't have time to (insert self-care practice here)."
On some levels, it's so true.
Life is busy. As an adult, there is a never ending list of things to do, people to follow up with and dishes...so many dishes. It's a fact that as long as your heart is beating there will always be more to do. We put off self-care related practices "because we have so much to do," but that's not really the truth.
We put off showing up for ourselves because...
So my question for you is, wtf are you waiting for? Some magical moment of an empty schedule, the kitchen being sparkling clean, when you've conquered everything on your to do list and you feel super motivated to show up for yourself doesn't often come.
But the choice to do the work and be with yourself is one you CAN choose to make each day, often in small bites.
So stop putting it off, look beyond your resistance and pick one thing today that feels desirable and approachable then through with doing it!
Some ideas for small time commitments that make a big impact:
Pro Tip: When we slow down and take time to tune in we're often faced with a beautifully complex world of feelings, thoughts and intuitions that our busyness left us unaware of. Many of my students are quite surprised by the level of feelings, limiting belief systems and emotional pain they are walking around with until they slow down and relax enough to listen. Don't be surprised when it happens to you!
If you want support and education on self-care practices to help you honor yourself, grow and move forward check out my Yoga Therapy and Spiritual Life Coaching sessions. We'll dig deep and you'll have a collection of practices that will change your life for the better.
Walking the spiritual path is ultimately about awakening...
Ultimately, it's a path for those who want life to feel heart aligned and fulfilling.
And, it's a hell of a lot of fun.
The spiritual path is confrontational and scares people off because facing what you typically avoid takes every day courage.
But on the other side of owning your truth and integrating your trauma is more joy, pleasure and connection.
If you are looking for support, want to live more authentically and someone to guide you on the spiritual path click here to check out my Yoga Therapy and Spiritual Life Coaching.
About this blog
A collection of all things yoga and wellness from yours truly.