Yogi Surprise – December Box Review

Happy Holidays! 

yogisurprisedecemberI don't know about you, but December has been a whirlwind of red and green for me. I recieved my Retreat in a Box on December 12th and it has taken me this long to write about it. Pretty soon we will be welcoming the new year (and another box from Yogi Surprise – yippee!). 

The theme for December's box is "The Gift of Giving" and that is definitely my favorite thing about the holidays. I really love taking the time to consider and appreciate the people in my life in a bigger way. Most of my gifts are hand made and I do my best not to get caught up in the consumerism and the frenzy. With that in mind, I'll mention yet another thing I appreciate about Yogi Surprise. So far, their boxes do not contribute to clutter in my life. They are full size products rather than small samples that create excess waste. The packaging is minimal, reusable and/or recyclable. Best of all, the items I receive are really quite useful and I actually USE them. It is as if they went holiday shopping just for me. 🙂

The December Retreat in a Box has been a real gift! So, without further ado, here is the goodness that was inside:

  • Booda Butter by Booda Organics– This stuff is amazing! It is vegan, cruelty-free, and hand made in the USA. The ingredients in Booda Butter are simple, pure, and organic – just shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil. It is good food for your skin and I absolutely love it! I highly recommend for dry skin and as a way to boost the overall health of your skin. My tin currently lives in my bathroom where I have easy access to it throughout the day. It smells delicious, too. 
  • Essential Living Foods Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs – In a word, scrumptious. Chocolate on chocolate in a pure, raw, ecologically grown form. Such a treat! 
  • Urban Moonshine Energy Tonic – At first I thought this was something like an all-natural, herbal Red Bull but it actually much more than that. This energy tonic is meant to be taken daily to protect your body from the harmful effects of stress. It is a potent combination of beneficial herbs in an alcohol tincture (I'm assuming that is the reason for the moonshine moniker!). I recommend drinking this in a glass of water as it is quite bitter and strong on its own. I am a huge fan of medicinal herbs and highly recommend this Energy Tonic. Good stuff. 
  • Indian Tiger Eye Mala Beads – Tiger's Eye has been my favorite stone ever since I visited a science museum in elementary school. So, as you can imagine, I was super stoked to receive this gorgeous mala. I have been wearing it when I chant for grounding and clarity. You can read about the healing properties of tiger's eye stone here
  • Angel Rejuvenation Spray Facial Mist & Aura Cleanser – I love this spray! It contains essential oils of frankincence, lavender, and geranium in a base of activated sacred healing water. It smells divine. I like to spray on my face as a moisturizer before I head out into the crisp, dry, winter air. It also works to elevate my mood and bring clarity and positivity to my mind. 
  • Scout Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds – Another delicious addition to this month's box. These pumpkin seeds are healthy, tasty and make the perfect snack in between yoga classes and at work. My kids love them, too!
  • Yogi Surprise Organic Cotton Yoga Strap – I am a dork for yoga props (I even work for a yoga prop company) so I was pretty geeked to receive this strap. In my opinion, you can't have too many yoga props laying around. This belt/strap is high quality and durable with metal loop fasteners which are my personal favorite because they don't break or loosen over time. 

Thanks, as always, to Yogi Surprise for putting together such a perfect box for a yoga lover like me. I am looking forward to next month's box already. Here's to a Happy, Healthy New Year! 

Love,

Lindsay 

Yogi Surprise – November Box Review

Little purple box of LOVE. 

yogisurprise box

Month #2 and I am already developing a pavlovian response to seeing that purple box at my door. When my Retreat in a Box arrives, I simply can't help but smile, slow down and exhale. 

This month's box is a treat for the senses. It is filled with decadent natural foods and sensual body care items that I am happy to integrate into my life because they inspire and delight me. These all-natural, yoga lifestyle supporting products remind me to take time out, to enjoy my day, and to take care of myself and my family (Oh, yeah. My kids love seeing that purple box, too!).

Yogi Surprise is different than other subscription boxes I've tried because they really care about the details. From that adorable purple box, to the sweet notes and thoughtfully selected treats inside, and their excellent customer service, they have done a wonderful job of creating something of real benefit and value. And to top it off, they award an actual retreat to one lucky member each month. How cool is that? 

Here is the November box as I enjoyed it:

  • Valentina's Home Brewed Psychic Detox Bath Salts I used this right away. The combination of citrus, peppermint and neroli is lovely. Never underestimate the power of mineral salts and potent essential oils, I say. This bath transformed me. 
  • Hurraw! Vata Balm Love this! One of the great things about subscription boxes is that you are made aware of products which might not be on your radar otherwise. A vata balancing lip balm is brilliant and super helpful for a busy, working mom like myself. "Grounding" on the go. They also have a pitta and a kapha balm. 
  • Valentina's Home Brewed Sunny Outlook Body Mist Another wonderful product from Valentina's Home Brewed Pure Body Care. I'm a fan. This is great as an energizing body mist and also as a refreshing room spray. It is currently living happily in my bathroom, where the mandarin-lemon-ginger-ness is enjoyed by all. 
  • Lush Nuts Lush Nuts – Coconut Lavender This might be my most favorite item in this month's box. Seriously delicious. I am actually drooling in aniticipation of ordering more. Ingredients: California-grown almonds, Cane sugar, Non-GMO coconut water, Unsulphured coconut flakes, Lavender, Sea salt. Gotta love that. More flavors to enjoy: Coconut Orange Peel and Dark Cocoa Chili (!!!).
  • Golden Earth Chakra Wellness Oil "Energy" A healing, pure essential oil blend infused with crystals. The sample I received is called I Choose Energy and is made with pepperment essential oil and yellow calcite crystal infusion. In other words, this little bottle packs lots of good mojo. I love the roll-on bottle for ease of use and less mess. 
  • Schmidt's Natural Deodorant (Cedarwood & Juniper) I like different. I appreciate challenging the status quo, and apprently, even when it comes to deodorant. I love this stuff! The fragrance is subtle, which is great, and they also make an unscented version. This deodorant works much better than most other natural deoderants I've tried. No white residue at all. Really great product. I highly recommend giving Schmidt's a try. 
  • Sencha Green Tea Mints (Tropical Mango) I love matcha tea and I love these Green Tea Mango Mints. As is says on the package and the Sencha website, "Each mint contains antioxidants from matcha green tea to eliminate bacteria that cause Dragon Breath." And they're tasty, too. 
  • Earthling Organics – Heirloom Cacao Bar This bar is delicious and it's a good source of nutrients, antioxidants, and natural energy. I wish all granola/energy bars were made this well and tasted this good. 

Thanks and hugs to Yogi Surprise for helping me to remember to slow down and appreciate the sweet things in my life. 

Love,

Lindsay

Yogi Surprise – October Box Review

A Treat in a Box

I received my very first retreat-in-a-box from YogiSurprise last week. My initial reaction was, well, non-verbal. I literally squeeled when I saw the purple box. And speaking of their box design, how charming is it? Personally, I really appreciate simple yet thoughtful things like box design. It speaks to how the company considers my experience and not just their bottom line. I have received other subscription boxes in the past that were pretty underwhelming – picture an oversized cardboard box containing dissapointingly small trial size products and (yawn) a packing slip. So, for me, the sweet purple box and the equally sweet card inside with their monthly message (this month's theme is Love Yourself) makes all the difference. This is not just a random sampling of tiny, unrelated products. It is a care package. 

And I really did feel taken care of when I opened that box. I don't treat myself often, but the night that I received my YogiSurprise box, I lit the Big Dipper Wax Works candle, made a cup of tea, put my feet up, and enjoyed a much needed evening of sweetness (Emmy's Dark Cacao Macaroons. Omg. So good). 

What I didn't immediatley open made its way into my yoga/work/travel bag. I think what I love most about this month's box is that it was full of items that, as a busy, full time working mom and yogini, I can and will really use. 

Here is the goodness that is this month's box: 

Buddha Nose Awaken Yoga Mat Spray This one made the yoga/work bag. I use it every day. I love spritzing my mat before and after practice. I also love it as a body spray after a good, sweaty flow. Rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus happen to be my favorites. This is a new staple for me. 

Teatulia Organic Tea Medley First of all, delicious. Second, I am really impressed that this tea is all grown on their single USDA-certified organic farm. You can really taste the difference. They first tea that I tried was the peppermint and the leaves turned green again after being in the hot water. That's how fresh and amazing this tea is. Do yourself a favor and get some. 

PeopleTowels Organic Cotton Towel I really love this on-the-go, reusable, alternative to paper towels. The convenient hangtag attaches nicely to my aforementioned work/yoga backpack and PeopleTowels are printed with eco-friendly dyes on soft, organic, fair trade cotton. Aaaahimsa. 

Vedabar Pitta Bar The package  of the Pitta Bar reads "eat me of you are impatient or 'hangry' (hungry + angry)." They pretty much had my at "hangry" but this  ayurvedic, whole food bar is really tasty, too. I love that they contain ghee becuase it is super satisfying and calming for hangry me. Vedabar also makes a Kapha Bar and a Vatta Bar. 

Big Dipper Wax Works Beeswax Aromatherapy Tin I used this candle right away. I am using it right now, as a matter of fact. The Cedarwood and Balsam "Meditation" scent is wonderful without being perfumy or overpowering and this small 1.7oz travel candle has a surprisingly long burn time of over 12 hours. 

Emmy's Organics Dark Cacao Macaroons These didn't last long. Emmy's maccaroons are organic, nutritionally rich, packed with anti-oxidants, incredibly decadent, and guilt free. So, if you like yummy things that are also good for you, this is about as good as it gets. 

Rooted Beauty Raspberry Citrus Facial Wipes – I have sesitive skin and a lot of cleansers irritate my skin or cause me to break out. These facial cleansing wipes feel great, work great, a leave my skin looking great. It must be the nutrients and anti-oxidents and earth-love that they put in them. 

Thanks to the folks at YogiSurprise for taking care of me this month with an awesome and thoughtful box of new natural products I already love. Can't wait to see what's in next month's box! 

Love,

Lindsay 

 

Ukulele Fridays

Ukulele Fridays are officially a thing now. Join me Friday mornings at 9am at Anjali Hot Yatra Yoga for a sweet Hot Yatra flow that includes singing and mantras and my awesome new uke! Click on the image below to view an Instagram-sized snippet of my first kirtan song. I'd also like to thank you all for being so supportive. Sharing this part of my practice was a huge leap out of my comfort zone. I was terrified to do it but you all are amazing. THANK YOU. 

 

Click here if the video does not play

About the mantra in the video…

lokah: location (everywhere)
samastah: sameness or equality
sukhino: sweetness or happiness
bhavantu: unto all

This mantra asks for happiness for all without any conditions or qualifiers. May all beings everywhere be happy. Period. It is also important to realize that this won't necessarily happen just because we ask. We must cultivate within ourselves qualities of friendliness (maitri) and compassionate action (karuna) and these qualities in turn give power to the mantra. When we chant we are both asking and affirming our practice. 

Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. May all beings everywhere be happy.  

5 Years Ago

yoga teacher vision board5 years ago this month I taught my first yoga class.

I had just completed a 200 hour Hot Yoga teacher training and I couldn't wait to share the wealth of knowledge I had accumulated (Look out Asheville! Here comes Lindsay Fields, RYT200!). The class was held in a gym and we used space heaters and homemade door draft blockers to heat the room. I had a carefuly curated playlist and flyers I designed myself. Most of the students in that class consisted of my friends and family. And it was pretty great, if I do say so myself. 

5 years ago this month I was ready. I felt fresh, optimistic, and excited.

What I would encounter following that first class, was more challenging than I expected. Starting a new yoga class, in a new location, in a different style than was was already established here in Asheville, and all with a non-existent advertising budget, was not easy. It was lot of hard work and often met with disappointment, questions, and lessons.  

In the last 5 years I have had many classes where no students showed up. I've been "let go" by yoga studios and gyms. I have felt frustrated, misunderstood, criticized, ridiculed, and even wronged at times and I have made plenty of mistakes myself. 

So, why continue? Moreover, how can I continue and maintain the purity and authenticity of yoga without being colored by the negative expereinces? 

Without a doubt, it has been my personal practice that has kept me grounded and honest. Meditation, self reflection, yamas and niyamas, discipline, equanimity, letting go of attachment, friendliness, and compassion are more than words I memorized for a teaching certificate, they are my life. When offering a class or workshop I consider it for a while first. Before I begin a new project or class, I meditate and get clear about my intentions. I remind myself of why I practice yoga and what led me to that first teacher training. I consider my students and I am careful where I choose to teach and what people/businesses I work with.

And I think maybe the negative experiences are part of the yoga. They are the teachers, my practice being reflected back at me. 

Yes, there have been bumps along the way, but those bumps in my path have led me to treasured friendships, more teacher trainings, a deeper personal practice, and a life I truly love. Through it all, I have always enjoyed leading yoga classes. Whether to 1 person or 30, I always leave with a big ol' YES in my heart. 

So, 5 years later, a little older, and perhaps wiser. How do I feel about teaching yoga? 

Grateful. Settled. Inspired. 

With Love, 

Lindsay

Why I Love Vinyasa Yoga

There are so many reasons, actually. Here is one:

I find the individual asanas fascinating and fun. It can be meditative and illuminating to break down a pose (by anatomical focus, actions, alignment, variations, symbolism, etc.) and practice it in a static way.

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But it is also important to learn how to MOVE in a healthy and sustainable way, a skill that really serves us in daily life. Moving in between the poses with attention and care teaches us about our biomechanics. Synching our transitions with the natural actions of our breath and vital life force, helps us set ourselves up to be efficient and open in the asana with a balance of effort and relaxation. This, to me, is the gift of Vinyasa Yoga.
 
And what if we could apply this principle to life? To be able to hold ourselves, understand ourselves, move freely, and flow into and out of transitions gracefully, requires practice. That's what our mats are for.
 
Love,
 
Lindsay
 

Yogi Surprise is Live!

Last week I posted about a new company called Yogi Surprise. Well, I am happy to to announce the official launch of YogiSurprise.com! Their site is live and contains everything you need to know. You can read about the company, how their subscription program works, and their inspirational blog, Yogi's Journal. Check it out now! 

Yogi Suprise Box

Yogi Surprise is a monthly care package designed for yogis – like a retreat in box. They're offering 20% off for the first 500 members when you use code VIBRANT at yogisurprise.com

What is Yogi Surprise?

I'd like to introduce you to a new company called Yogi Surprise which I am personally really excited about! Members of Yogi Surprise will receive a monthly care package that is specifically designed with active yogis in mind. Their full site and services will be launching very soon! 

yogi_suprise

The folks at Yogi Surpise describe their service to be "like a mini yoga retreat delivered to your doorstep." My first thought when I read this? Yes, please! As a full time yoga teacher and working mom, Yogi Surprise really appeals to me. I have learned over the years that self care and and high quality health and beauty products help me to be a better me. 

I have susbcribed to similar sample boxes in the past but I always felt that they were missing something. What I like about Yogi Surprise is that it addresses that "missing something" for me by providing yoga, wellness, and fitness lifestyle products as their unique offering. I also appreciate that with Yogi Surprise you'll get 6-8 full size products, not trial size! The items range from unique yoga accessories and natural beauty items to herbal tonics, organic snacks, super food essentials and more. Like I said, I am super excited! Stay tuned for more info. 

You can request an invite now and be automactically entered to win a LIFETIME membership to Yogi Surprise. 

NamaSTAY Hot Yoga Towel Review

I am so excited to be writing my first Hot Yoga product review in, ahem, a very long time. But this towel rocks! I just had to share.

The NamaSTAY Non Slip Yoga Towel

 
I love when I find a product that fits seamlessly into my practice without becoming a distraction. I honestly would rather go without the accessories than have something that I have to continually adjust and fix and keep an eye on while I practice. This is why I think it is totally worth it to invest in quality yoga props, to find a few key pieces that work so well you don't even notice them while you're practicing but you can't imagine being without them ( i.e. clothing that doesn't ride or chafe, a mat that is the right size, a block that does it all). I would definitely put the NamaSTAY towel into this category of quality and usefulness. 
 
 
The color options are terrific and varied and the texture of the towel is plush and soft. The microfiber material is absorbent and becomes even softer when wet. Also, like most yoga practice towels, the NamaSTAY towel grips even better when it is wet. This is especially helpful to know if you practice Hot Vinyasa styles, where you are at times moving between yoga poses at a faster pace. It also makes a difference in poses like Downward Facing Dog and arm balances, where you are using your hands on your mat to support some or all your body weight. 
 
 
My lululemon "The Mat," which is slightly bigger than the average yoga mat, fits perfectly into the sleeves at either end of the Medium Size NamaSTAY towel (they have a handy sizing chart on their website to help you find the best fit for your mat). The name NamaSTAY is spot on as this towel truly stays in place and, if you're like me and you like to get your sweat on, you know how important and helpful this feature is. A good, absorbent towel that doesn't slide around is necessary for safety during Hot Yoga practice. 
 

Try it Yourself

The wonderful folks at NamaSTAY Towels have set up a discount code for you, my dear readers. This code is good for 20% off a NamaSTAY Yoga Towel!
 
Simply enter case-sensitive code: LINDSAY when purchasing a towel at www.namastaytowel.com
 
If you are looking for a product that will support your yoga practice and not distract you from the goodness that comes with a sweet, sweaty flow, then I recommend you get a NamaSTAY yoga towel … or two! As you can see in the picture to the right, my NamaSTAY towel inspires me to kick up my feet and smile. 
 
Keep it Sweaty, 
 
Lindsay

Thoughts on Yoga, Suffering and Relationships

Do you ever find yourself telling someone off in your head?

Ganesh tattoo design abstract by Adam FieldsOr that you're imagining a conversation you are going to have with someone who has hurt you where you finally get to put them in their place? Okay, maybe it's just me. But why is letting go, especially when it comes to relationships, so difficult sometimes?

I think it is because these moments of challenge have something to teach us.

Right now my inner spiritual warrior/punk rebel yogini is fighting my urge to be passive-aggressive (oh, how I want to formulate the perfect cutting text message) and reminding me of how grateful I am for my mindfulness practices, my commitment to something bigger than me and the ancient wisdom of yogis.

So, I will not commit violence towards another with my words (yep, this includes text messages). I will not assume to know another's truth. I will act with awareness of a higher purpose and I will give thanks to the other person for being my teacher in this moment.

Can you relate? I wish I could say that I am this mindful in all of my relationships and in every moment, but that is just not the case. I can say however that with practice, I am becoming less reactive and more intentional in my relationships.

Becoming more aware of our interpersonal dynamics can be especially challenging and deep work but it provides a great opportunity for learning and a "real life" example of finding freedom from suffering. Yoga practice, meditation, studying the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (specifically Sadhana Pada and the 8 Limb Path) and the Bhagavad Gita are so helpful in this regard.

To sum it up: Life is a really great teacher. You just have to pay attention.

Feel free to share you're thoughts below! Oh, and speaking of punk rebel yoginis … what do you think of my Ganesh tattoo design in progess?

Lots of Love,

Lindsay