It’s that time of year again (already?).  Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday– any way you look at it, the holidays and holiday shopping is creeping up.  The good news is– if you have a special yogi or yogini in your life, we’ve got the best holiday gift guide for you!  And even better news– if you’re in the DMV area, many of these gifts can be found at extendYoga (probably for less and no shipping).  :)

 

namaste_om_gf_satellite__52005.1333650914.1280.1280Every gal loves a good piece of jewelry, but yoga inspired jewelry– now we’re talking!  Erica Sara Designs jewelry has so many amazing pieces in not only the yoga collection, but many other themed collections as well.  You can also get pieces personalized/monogramed.

Erica Sara Designs jewelry ($30 and up)

 

 

 

 

matIs your friend or partner’s yoga mat getting a little funky?  Grab him/her a new mat!  Try kulae’s Elite Hot Hybrid.  The PERFECT mat AND towel for hot yoga lovers.  Available at extendYoga in Bamboo and Sea colors.

kulae’s Elite Hot Hybrid ($88), extendYoga ($68)

 

 

 

 

yogi-toes

Another great gift for the sweaty and slippy yogis out there.  If you don’t want to invest in a fancy mat, definitely get a towel to step up your practice.

Yogi Toes Skiddless Yoga Towel ($64), extendYoga ($60)

 

 

 

 

 

 

yoga-journal-magazine-subscriptionGet a gift sent directly to your home every month, year-round!

Yoga Journal subscription (~$14 for a year subscription)

 

 

 

 

 

 

natureboxfoods.1367620218If you like having gifts mailed to your home, this gift is PERFECT for any health food/yoga (organic) nut.  NatureBox is a simple, affordable way for you and your family to eat healthier.  Subscriptions are easy to set up, can be paused at any time and shipping is always free.  There are 3 gift subscription options: 3 month, 6 month and 12 month.

NatureBox ($59.95, $99.95 or $199.95)

gift card

 

How about a good ol’ fashioned gift card to your honey’s favorite yoga studio?!  Always a crowd pleaser!

Yoga Classes or Gift Card ($??)

 

 

 

 

thai-yoga-extendyogaShare the Love: Couple Thai Massage with Dahlia Shaaban.  Trying to connect on a deeper energetic level with your partner?  In this dynamic massage, you will learn to utilize acupressure and deep yoga stretches to release stored tension in the body. Your partner will enjoy the benefits of yoga without the effort! You’ll learn all the principles of compassionate, therapeutic touch and yummy, easy-to-do-at-home techniques that release tension in common areas of the body that hold stress, including the neck, shoulders, lower back and hips. 

Share the Love: Couple Thai Massage ($70 per couple, $35 individual)

 

 

 

 

art of yoga bookWrap this book up and add a note in your card about planning a trip to the first ever exhibit of it’s kind; Yoga: The Art of Transformation.  It’s a beautiful exhibit and book.  Great gift for a friend/co-worker!

Yoga: The Art of Transformation ($38-$55, hardcover/paperback)

 

 

 

 

 

 

imagesSpend the holidays and the new year in some new yoga duds.  Onzie yoga gear are all the rage.  With so many patterns and options, there is something for everyone.  AND all their products are made in the USA!

Onzie capri and long pants ($56-$65), extendYoga ($45-$52)

 

 

 

 

Greg-Tuscany-RetreatSaving the best for last, the ULTIMATE yogi gift.  The trip and retreat of a lifetime!  Your choice of two retreats with Greg Marzullo and crew.

Italy in May 2014: Surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and fruit trees, the villa features spacious rooms, breathtaking views and a nearby pool to enjoy on lazy afternoons. The food is revelatory – prepared by loving hands from ingredients grown at the villa’s organic gardens.  read more…

Italy: On the Heels of Dionysus ($1,600, plus flight)

Spain in Aug-Sept 2014: Spiritual explorers discovered ancient truths reflected in the wisdom of yoga; even a quick glance reveals the deep resonance between the mystics of all cultures, and, like Spain itself, our retreat will be a meeting place for the divine. read more…

Spain: Mystic Devotion ($1,650, plus flight)

 

***don’t forget your stocking stuffers***

vegan thin mintsVegan girl scout cookies– Yes!  You read it right!  Grab a box for your kids, spouse, friends (and obviously yourself).  Lot’s of vegan (and non-vegan) options.

Vegan Girl Scout Cookies ($4 per box)

 

pura-vidaVideoBanner-913x396Wearing one is cool, but stacking is way more fun!  Snag a couple and help someone start their puravida collection.  Wait, what? Each purchase also helps provide jobs in Costa Rica AND supports causes like: breast cancer, save the dolphins, migraine research, prostate cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, eating disorder awareness, hurricane sandy relief, autism speaks (just to name a few).

puravida bracelets & accessories($5-$20), extendYoga ($4-$15)

 

volunteer4And if you are still looking for gifts or even an addition to your existing shopping list, please consider volunteering your time, making a contribution to a cause, organization, charity event or person(s) in need during this holiday season.  Need help finding a cause?  Check this list for ideas.

 

 

 

Good luck and happy holiday shopping!

holiday gift guide for the yogi in your life

holiday gift guide for the yogi in your life

Today’s What We’re Loving is dedicated to sugar busting.    Here are some of our favorite articles this week about sugar myths, sugar addiction and how to kick the habit.

Cereal is one of the most processed foods available; many are loaded with carbs and lacking in fiber.  Avoid cereal – its recommended to eat (rhyme coming) clean lean protein and healthy fat  for breakfast.  Check out more in this article - Cereal: Not the Breakfast of Champions.

Did you know that the average American consumes 10 teaspoons of high-fructose corn syrup a day?! This is just one of the eye-opening facts in this infographic from MindBodyGreen.

Feel yourself getting tired throughout the day and want a natural way to keep those energy levels up?  Start by avoiding energy draining foods:  fast food, canned, frozen, packaged and processed foods are all energy zappers.  They are all difficult to digest and contain little nutritional content.  Check out this article for Ayurveda and Yoga Tips for High Quality Energy.

Remember our post about Sugar Addiction?  Well, Trifecta Wellness is offering a 30 Day “Kick the Sugar” Challenge starting Monday, August 20th.  Don’t worry if you’re not in the Maryland area, since its over the course of 4 weekly conference calls, you’ll still be able to participate.  You can see the details and sign up here.

See you on the mat!

what we’re loving: sugar busting

what we’re loving: sugar busting

The Olympics are everywhere – and if you’re like me, you’re probably frusterated with social media lately for all the spoiler alerts throughout the day on the events and outcomes.  Is anyone else finding it impossible to watch the games at night without knowing who won already?

While watching the games I’m so impressed with each of the athletes (especially Team USA!), and their incredible strength, stamina and overall athletic abilities.  Since this is technically a yoga blog – I thought I’d share this article that highlights some of the Olympic atheletes that incorporate yoga into their training.

You’d assume the Olympians eat a strict diet, and eating heart healthy, protein rich foods.  This article goes over weird diets of the Olympians.

Here’s an interesting take on yoga and the Olympics that discusses how asana is only one of the eight limbs, but it’s the obvious Olympic limb.

My fiance noticed that the USA Men’s Volleyball Team was sporting lululemon – he was so proud of himself for noticing my favorite brand on our athletes.   Here are some photos!

See you on the mat!

 

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what we’re loving: olympics edition

what we’re loving: olympics edition

Today’s blog is written by Greg Marzullo.

Massacres by the Syrian government have killed thousands.

A young man in Colorado goes berserk and guns down a movie theater full of people.

Here in D.C., a yoga teacher and his boyfriend were viciously assaulted over the weekend. (to attend a donation based yoga class to benefit Michael Joel Hall at extendYoga, click here)

At every turn, with every click of a remote or a mouse, we’re confronted with the insanities of humanity run amok. Violence, degradation and breathtaking suffering are our daily bread, leaving us to wonder what any of us can possibly do in the wake of such overwhelming odds.

The answer is simple, yet nonetheless daunting: Transform yourself.

The Bhagavad Gita, the Song of the Lord, is one of the great spiritual classics of the world, and although the actual time of composition varies between the sixth and second centuries B.C.E., the wisdom contained within its verses have stood the test of time. Ranging in content from impermanence to the true nature of the transcendent Self, the Gita has been a guidebook for yogis, saints and everyday people trying to lead a better life.

Set against the backdrop on an impending epic battle between two sides of a large family, the Gita is a conversation between the mortal warrior Arjuna and his charioteer Lord Krishna. As Arjuna stands on the battlefield staring across enemy lines, he sees his foes and recognizes them as friends, cousins and well-loved uncles. Despairing at having to slay kith and kin and fearful of incurring great sin, he throws down his bow and says, “I will not do this thing.”

It’s at this point that Krishna leans down and says (if he were to speak in 21st-century idiom), “Get your ass up and fight.”

It’s at this point that Krishna delivers the famous lines of the text, which are meant to help all peoples overcome the war of the mind and reach enlightenment. This is not just some far-fetched notion meant only for holy people meditating atop the mountains; the Gita is specifically designed to assist those engaged in the rigors of the real world.

Mohandas K. Gandhi lived his life by this book, and although there is some debate as to whether or not the Gita is in favor of war, the great pacifist said to try living your life by this book and see if you can harm anyone. In some of the most moving passages, Krishna tells Arjuna to see God in all creatures, from a priest to a cow.

Recognizing the divine in all beings is so obviously needed in today’s world. Who could say a cruel word to God? Who could raise a fist or an assault weapon to that which is Pure Love?

In order to find peace and change the world, we must drink deeply from the wellspring of transcendent consciousness that bubbles up within each one of us. The Gita in all its profound wisdom is like a divining rod held in our trembling hands. If we just become still and listen, the rod begins to twitch and tremble, leading us eventually to that font of wisdom that never runs dry.

You are the rod and the fountain. Change yourself, change the world.

 

Greg Marzullo is teaching a third installment of his workshop, Yoga of the Revolution on Sunday, August 5th at extendYoga.  To read more and sign up please click here.

 

Change yourself, change the world.

Change yourself, change the world.

Happy Monday!  In a little under 5 short months I’m getting MARRIED!  Crazy right?

With so many major things left to still plan – I find myself daydreaming about the little things…daily activities like snorkeling, trips to sting ray city, rum tasting, and yoga, of course!

I was inspired by my friends destination wedding itinerary where we had a yoga class in the Rocky Mountains on her wedding day (you can read about that here), and we’re planning on having a morning beach yoga class every day during our wedding week in the Cayman Islands.

With all things wedding on the brain I thought I’d share some things I’ve been reading about weddings and yoga :)

My fiance is coming to all the classes at extendYoga this weekend, and I’m so excited to practice next to him.  Check out this post on 7 Yoga Poses for Brides and Grooms.  You’ll learn how to chill out and get in shape for your wedding day!

While I can’t say that we’re considering it – Here’s an interesting idea…you love yoga right?!  Why not have a yoga wedding complete with white yoga pants!  Read all about the trend here.

While wedding planning can be fun and exciting, for a lot of people its stressful.  Here’s a breathing meditation specifically to help people deal with stressful relationships and family issues.

We have so many students engaged and planning weddings and its so fun to hear about all their planning!   Are you incorporating yoga into your wedding planning?

 

See you on the mat!

yoga and your wedding

yoga and your wedding

The fun pose of the day is adho mukha vtksasana or handstand.

adho= downward
mukha = face
vrksa = tree
asana = pose, posture

Today was a steamy 100 degrees, so we didn’t even need to add more heat to our heated flow class this evening.

With the natural heat we had an amazing class – and we started our handstand prep.  While I spent my time with my feet on the wall (like the photo below) , I feel like I made a lot of progress!

Before we take you through the steps to handstand, here are just a few of them nay benefits:

  • Strengthens the shoulders, arms and wrists
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Calms the brain
  • Relieves stress and mild depression
  • Stretches the belly
  • Improves circulation
We’re linking up to Kathyrn Budig and her Challenge Pose blog to help guide you through the steps.
Enjoy and we’ll see you on the mat!

 

fun pose friday: handstand

fun pose friday: handstand

A few of you may be asking “how is supported shoulder stand a fun pose?!”  Well, it is a pretty pleasant asana, and more importantly it will help you cool down during all this heat!

This inversion requires little muscular effort (unlike a headstand, or handstand), so the large muscles can rest. It encourages lymphatic fluid to flow toward the heart, sweeping out toxins and boosting circulation.

Other benefits include:

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates the thyroid and abdominal organs
  • Stretches the shoulders and neck
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces fatigue and alleviates insomnia

To enjoy this pose with the least amount of effort you should put a block under your sacrum (as in the photo below).  And that’s what we’ll walk through today.

 

1) Begin lying on your back on a mat or rug.  Come into Plow (below) with your feet over your head and your hips over your shoulders.  Be sure to have your block close by.

2) Grab your block and put it under your sacrum (the height of the block should be based on how much support you’re looking for: choose the lowest height for more relaxation, and a slightly higher height with the block on its side to get the hips higher).

3) Relax here.  Go into savasana, with your arms by your sides and your palms facing up (this helps open and relax the shoulders).   Try and keep your body completely relaxed.  If you find it at all difficult to breathe, just shift your hops away from your head a few inches.

4) If you’re feeling any pressure in your neck, press the back part of your head into the ground.  Don’t shift your head side to side, try to keep the body in as much of a straight line as possible to avoid straining any muscles.

5) Stay here for 10 or more breaths, and when you feel complete you can slowly lower your feed back down towards the ground coming back into Plow pose.

6) From here bring your hips slowly to the ground and hug your knees into your chest.

 

Be sure to take your time coming out of this pose.  Since its an inversion, you may feel a little dizzy if you try to stand up too quickly after the pose.

 

Enjoy and see you on the mat!

fun pose friday: supported/half shoulder stand

fun pose friday: supported/half shoulder stand

Right in the middle of a HOT week  - see what we’re loving this week…

Want some yoga art in your life?  We love this post by lo over at Namastillo…My favorite is “With my Whole Heart”.  For more information and where/how to purchase head on over to Namastillo.

extendYoga

 

The heat is certainly here – read this MindBodyGreen article to find out what foods are going to cool you down.  I was a little sad reading this because when it gets hot the two things I reach for are frozen yogurt and iced coffee.  The article explains when it get hot you need to enjoy water-rich foods.  While that Starbucks iced coffee might seem like a quick fix, it’s actually going to dehydrate you.  A quick trip to yogiberry may actually cause congestion and hinder your body’s cooling systems.   Instead its recommended to reach for fresh and raw vegetables and fruit with a high water content.  For the full list check out the article here.

Some people think that hot yoga in the summertime is crazy, while others are thinking “if I’m going to be sweating anyways I might as well be doing some hot yoga!”  Check out this new “hot but not” tank from lululemon – looks light and airy and I’d buy it just for the back!

Enjoy the heat and see you on the mat!

yoga art, what foods cool you, hot but not

yoga art, what foods cool you, hot but not

Everywhere you look people are doing yoga.  Not only “normal” people like you and I, but everyone from star athletes to celebrities to OPRAH incorporate yoga into their lives.

There are so many benefits to practicing Yoga it would be hard to name (and type!) them all in this blog.  For  example, Sting says Yoga is reversing the aging process, and Meg Ryan says it changes her life.  You can read about the other celebs who have a regular practice HERE.

Matthew McConaughey practices yoga shirtless (does he ever wear a shirt?!) on the beach, and Jennifer Aniston says yoga is therapeutic for her (and helped her get over Brad).

Now onto athletes…

Superbowl bound NE Patriots Cornerback Devin McCourty credits his success to hot yoga in the off-season.  And Lebron James’s secret is Yoga (and where he practices is a secret too!)

Do you want to have a regular practice but don’t have a celebrity paycheck?  Not a problem!  extendYoga’s new schedule starts FEBRUARY 1st and we’re happy to announce that we have Four classes for $5 on Fridays in February.  Join us every week and enjoy and hour of yoga for just $5 (that’s less than a latte at Starbucks!).  We’re also teaming up with lululemon athletica to offer COMPLIMENTARY classes on Sundays at 11am – that’s right, $0 for one hour of yoga!  At extendYoga we’re making it more affordable than ever to get yoga into your life.

See you on the mat!

extendYoga

12106 Wilkins Ave

Rockville, MD

www.extendYoga.com

yoga: everybody’s doing it

yoga: everybody’s doing it

Well… we did it!!!  We are open!

This is a little overdue… but THANK YOU to all of those who came to our grand opening celebration on the 5th.  And a special thanks to so many friends and family members who worked so hard and helped the week leading up to the opening (we had a lot of late nights and pizza dinners)!

We were more than thrilled with the turnout and it was truly a special day for Antonia and I.  We are so thankful for all the support and grateful to be a part of the community.

 

 

Our 10 minute sample classes at the opening were a hit!

Our visitors loved 10 minute Zumba! Check out a full Zumba class at the studio 6pm-7pm on Thursday nights!

Me and my mom at the front desk under our logo decal we had put up a couple days before the party (we love it)!

Our first couple weeks in business have been great.  We are excited to see new faces and get to know our neighbors each day.  Don’t forget that we are offering 10% off all our packages for the rest of November!

Stay tuned for information on our first HOLIDAY FAIR!  On Sat, Dec 17, 12pm-4pm we will be opening the studio up to the community and local vendors who will be showcasing their crafts, art and more, for all to enjoy!  extendYoga will be offering 10% off all packages during the holiday fair as well.

Last of all, with thanksgiving around the corner… we take a look at how far we have come and how blessed and THANKFUL we are for everything that we have and for everything that lies ahead.  We wouldn’t be able to follow our dreams without those who love and support us every day.

And to Antonia– I have no idea what I would ever do without you!!!  I could tell you in person, but I feel the world (or our handful of blog followers) should know what a wonderful, supportive, patient and caring person, friend and business partner you are. :)

Gobble gobble!  Hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Arlet

come in… we’re open!

come in… we’re open!

We are anxiously awaiting our grand opening celebration on Sat, Nov 5, 12pm-4pm.

Please stop by and enjoy sample classes, a variety of retail and gift items and most of all
20% OFF ALL PACKAGES!!!

Don’t forget to check out our website.  We went LIVE last week!  www.extendyoga.com

See you all soon!
Arlet & Antonia

In case you didn’t get the invite the first time….

and the countdown begins!

and the countdown begins!