Must-read Monday: building your yoga brand, Gemini season, deals on yoga stuff and the real core work

News you can use: we’re now officially-official affiliate BFFs with Yogavated. Click here and use promo code MUDRA for 20% off on your loot. Boom. Done. Because the only thing better than sweet yoga pants (like these) is sweet yoga pants on sale, yo.

Trippy: tips for Gemini season from the AstroTwins. Video of a yoga flow on a frozen lake.

Screen Shot 2019-05-20 at 12.25.06 AM.pngCore stuff: a good read from a student’s perspective about inner work and crying in yoga class. Five questions to ask yourself in times of uncertainty. How to make a mental health journal. Seven habits that build courage and a better life. How to quiet a busy mind. How to create your own inspiration

Yogi, yogi, yogi: mantras to keep handy af. OMG THIS –> How to build a yoga brand that fits your voice. Essential oils to energize your yoga practice.

 

 

Yoga mat cleaning spray (also, prepare to be grossed out like whoa)

The fine yoga blog, Yoga Approved, has this recipe for a simple yoga mat cleaner made from essential oils that we tried and like. We added a teensy bit of bergamot and lemon essential oils to their recipe and loved the scent even more. So, there’s that.

But, a particular paragraph in the post’s intro is the most OMG-factor thing on the page, no disrespect intended to the excellent mat spray, but seriously, for real:

In a lab test conducted on several different yoga mats, some of the mats were found to have Staph, yeast build-up (a form of fungus), fecal matter, allergens, and millions of bacteria, to name just a few of the findings.

Sooo, in the spirit of cleaning the hell out of your yoga mat, in addition to the aforementioned great recipe from Yoga Approved that we doctored up, here are a few more now that we’ve completely creeped you out, too: here’s a really beautiful one from The Healthy Maven, this rose-water version from Living Well Mom, MindBodyGreen’s nice eucalyptus one, and this minty one from Avocado Living.

GO. CLEAN. YOUR. MAT.

Must-Read Monday: chill, “fart yoga,” and hot sex later in life edition

yoga4Read this: Great post on feeling strong and the evolution of a yoga practice. Another about chakra work for with stress and racing thoughts.

Wish we thought of this: yoga dice.

Admit it: this “fart yoga coloring book” made you laugh and you immediately thought of someone who needs a copy.

So, these are super cute: tiny crocheted yogis!

OMG, Grandma: How to keep your sex life hot later in life.

Into it: this was called the most feminist period app. We’re testing it out and so far, it’s giving a lot of insightful info about cycle-awareness. Speaking of apps, here’s a good list of sustainable living apps.

We’re down, dog: summer 2019 yoga festivals.

 

The State of Yoga in America

Did you know that the Yoga in America Study is a thing? It is. Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, the study reveals interesting insights about the state of yoga in the U.S. Like what, you ask? Well…

  • There are 36.7M US yoga practitioners, up from 20.4M in 2012
  • 33% of yoga practitioners started practicing yoga because of a friend
  • 28% of all Americans have practiced yoga at some point in their lives
  • 90% of Americans have heard of yoga, up from 70% in 2012
  • Yoga practitioners are twice as likely to buy organic food as are non-practitioners
  • 34 percent of Americans say they are somewhat or very likely to practice yoga in the next 12 months – equal to more than 80 million Americans
  • Women represent 72 percent of practitioners; men, 28 percent
  • Practitioners are significantly more involved in many other forms of exercise, such as running, cycling and weightlifting, than non-practitioners
  • 30–49 year olds make up 43 percent of the practicing public, followed by those ages 50+ (38 percent) and 18–29 (19 percent)
  • 58% of yoga practitioners are 40+ (yeah buddy!)
  • Only 8% of yoga practitioners have attended a yoga retreat, 62% are interested in attending one in the future
  • Only 29% of yoga teachers report yoga as their primary source of income (29%??)
  • For every existing yoga teacher, there are 2 more yoga teachers currently in training
  • 74 percent of American practitioners have been doing yoga for five or fewer years
  • 86 percent of practitioners self-report having a strong sense of mental clarity, 73 percent report being physically strong, and 79 percent give back to their communities – all significantly higher rates than among non-practitioners
  • Yoga teachers are twice as likely to donate their time to their community as is the average US adult. 54% of them do

Must-read Monday: prison yoga and Jimmy Fallon edition

While the topic of yoga doesn’t yield the volume of news as, say, the 2016 presidential election, there are still plenty of stories out in the world each day that it behoves up to talk about them and keep ourselves in the yoga-know.

Dancing to the jailhouse ohmmm…. A Swedish study says incorporating yoga into prisons has led to calmer prisoners. Writes the NY Post: “Those prisoners who took part in yoga reported increased attention spans along with feeling less antisocial and less impulsive, the scientists said. The inmates also slept better, were less aggressive and were less self-destructive, the study found.” The story went on to share that the prison yoga movement has even earned the nickname “crim yoga” and a YouTube channel.

“It’s Miley!” Miley Cyrus taught Jimmy Fallon ashtanga poses on The Tonight Show. That’s about all we have to say about that. Video after the jump.

Are you looking at my bum, bum-looker? Washington Times ran this piece about a glimpse inside a naked yoga class.

Speaking of looking… behold this gorgeous photo gallery of a Texas yoga-mama breastfeeding her infant while holding yoga poses.

Perhaps a gong wash instead of a school bell? A British education minister said children should be taught Buddhist meditation techniques and yoga in schools to help them “unplug from their online world.”

And that’s your business why? This debate continues after a male business developer writes a LinkedIn screed about why women should not wear yoga pants at work, for any length of time, and basically objectifies and infantilizes the crap outta them.

Why are there 108 beads on a mala?

Why 108 mala beads? We’ll tell you: um, nobody is exactly sure. Which is ok, especially given that many of the theories as to why are really meaningful and resonant, which allows for you to feel it out and decide what feels like the right explanation for you about why 108 is the customary number of mala beads on a strand.

But first: what are mala beads?


Mala beads are a string of (usually) 108 prayer beads plus a “guru” bead, sometimes used in Hinduism, Janism, Buddhism, Sikhism and in some yoga practices to keep count while reciting a mantra so the practitioner can focus on the mantra completely instead of the mantra and counting. In Sanskrit, the practice of reciting on repeat is known as japa, which is similar to the rosary in Catholicism. In Tibetan Buddhism, prayer wheels are often used in place or in addition to mala beads recitations.

As for theories about why there are 108 beads on a mala, here’s where we think it gets very exciting, as reasons range from:

  • 108 stages on the journey of the human soul
  • 108 energy lines to the heart…
  • the 54 letters in the Sanskrit alaphabet, each with a masculine and feminine version, so 108 covers them all…
  • the idea that a mantra is complete after reciting it 100 times, then allowing for eight additional mantras for error and to dedicate a few extra to your guru…
  • 108 is a Harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (Harshad means “great joy” in Sanskrit)…
  • In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets… (hashtag math)
  • Some traditions suggest 1 stands for God or higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness-thus-completeness, and 8 is for infinity…
  • According to yogic tradition, there are 108 sacred sites throughout India

Aa far as the right mala for you, it’s largely a matter of finding a connection, being drawn to a certain one, and, sometimes, in finding a mala with a specific stone to help manifest a certain intention during a sadhana, such a bodhiseed for compassion, and choosing malas for practical preferences, such as malas especially made for wearing on the wrist, chosen by favorite colors, or chakra correspondence.

Sat nam and namaste!