Recommendation: Yoga Mat for Hot Yoga

If you have ever tried a hot yoga class (where the room is heated) or even just happened to have a super sweaty flow (Yoga at the Manor has gotten sweaty on occasion), you know that the yoga mat is the THING.

In a pinch you can just put a towel over a regular yoga mat, but what if the towel was just built in.

And it was pretty to look at, soft to the touch, and easy to wash!

That’s the Yoga Design Lab yoga mat! Beautiful designs to choose from, the softest of feels, and it’s machine washable!

Although I just give it a rinse down with just water in the shower and hang it dry.

You can find designs on the Yoga Design Lab website or Amazon (not to mention Anthropologie).

Spotted at Yoga at the Manor, Kieran’s mat!

Have you ever tried hot yoga?

Wellness Wednesday: Sunsets

Self care is kind of self explanatory, it is the things you do to take tend to and nurture your emotional, mental and physical well-being.

There is no finite list of self-care activities and each of us may be nurtured in different ways.

I have a long running obsession with sunsets. Doesn’t everyone?

And this summer I have been all about those Tudor City sunsets! The bridge on Tudor City Place that sits just over 42nd Street has a direct line to the Hudson River and unobstructed view of sunset.

If you ask me, it’s one of the best seats in the house for the spectacular show that IS  the NYC summer sunset.

As is the roofdeck of the Manor. They are tied for best.

Depending on when you arrive and how far we are into summer, it absolutely looks different every night.

And for me, taking the time to enjoy sunset as much as I can during the summer months, is self care.

It is a few moments, somewhere between 7pm – 9pm, to observe, appreciate, and breathe. I mean of course I take a slew of photos every time, but once I have my shot it is pure awe at the glow, the colors, the beauty.

What’s your favorite sunset spot?

Tuesday Intention: Gratitude

Gratitude is the simplest form of intention setting there is and quite possibly the secret to a fulfilled life!

There are so many ways you can express gratitude, but my favorite is in a journal. If you are pressed for time you can just jot down a few names or words right when you wake up or right before you go to bed.

If you really want to spend time with it (and I recommend you do from time to time), write out the what and the why.

If you keep a running list without trying to repeat, once you get past the surface stuff it really gives you the opportunity to go deeper.

This week I have been feeling so grateful for connection. Having not left NYC in nearly two months I feel so much more connected with the people around me here, it’s palpable. And in those past two months having my parents and John & Jenna come stay with me I feel more connected than ever with family. The connection feels magnetic and I’m so grateful for it!

What are you grateful for?

Essential Monday: En-R—Gee

I spent the long 4th of July in NYC with my brother and sister-in-law (and baby DeYoung on the way) and my Monday has me like: one more dayyyyyy!

This blend from Young Living to the rescue! I smell strong hints of lemongrass, but it also includes Rosemary oil, Juniper oil, Nutmeg oil, Balsalm Canada oil, Clove oil, and Pepper Fruit oil. If I were to diffuse it I would probably add orange essential oil or something citrusy to balance out that powerful lemongrass scent. But this morning, I rubbed it on my feet, the inside of my elbows and the back side of my knees and threw on the wildest workout pants I own to jumpstart my week with a sweat session!

The long holiday weekend was an absolute blast, literally.

It was the perfect mix of sun, good food, and yoga (not to mention rosé).

Loved it!! Now off to get my week back on track!

Tuesday Intention: You’re The One!

I use Danielle LaPorte’s Truthbomb cards to find inspiration regularly, and some of the cards stick with me for a long time.

I remember the precise moment that this one came to me, in March, right before a yoga retreat to Belize I was taking with my sister. One where I hoped to not just unplug, recharge, and do yoga twice a day, but one where I was hoping to start manifesting some ideas perculating just under the surface.

So much of what I am trying to accomplish with work, with my personal pursuits, with this journey we are on called LIFE, can so easy be bogged down by self doubt and fear of failure.

But when I flip my perspective, away from doubt and fear, to this underlying belief that I am the one…to come up with the idea, to deliver content, to impact the world around me, to grow the business, to make things better, to change lives…it propels me into action. Do the next thing, take the next step, follow through on that last thing…because if not me, then who?

And i believe that you’re the one too! No one is uniquely you and you have gifts to give this world! No self doubt today, just total confidence that you have something good and the world needs it!

Monday Essentials: Grapefruit EO

Grapefruit essential oil smells so fresh and citrusy and is best known for its uplifting qualities! Want to know how I use it most?

1- In Water. When I’m at home and feeling detox-y, I add it to my lemon water along with black pepper essential oil. When I’m traveling and drinking local tap water, I add it for its antimicrobial properties.

2- For Yoga. I love it mixed with cinnamon for an uplifting and invigorating blend for yoga, either rubbed between the hands and on the bottoms of the feet or diffused nearby.

3- For a DIY Candle Project. I recently tested my hand at a DIY soy-candle and added grapefruit as the primary essential oil in the final stages, secondary oils: cinnamon, peppermint, lemon, ginger and sandalwood. Mmm, smells like what I imagine sunrise to smell like!

I’m also going to experiment to test out its claim to lower blood pressure, i’ll keep you posted! Grapefruit essential oil is another great basic EO with a lot of great properties and diverse uses! You can read more about it here.

Weekend Posing: Downward Facing Dog

One of the first poses we broke down in Yoga Teacher Training was downward facing dog. It was the very first day: go around the circle, introduce yourself, welcome, now everyone get in downward facing dog.

Downward facing dog is one of those very basic poses that in a vinyasa style class you come back to over and over again, and if your body is in right alignment the pose it feels great!

And as a yoga instructor I can tell when it doesn’t feel great. It’s not just that the alignment is off, it’s that there is no ease to it. And unless you are holding downward dog for extended periods of time or alternating between downward dog and plank to build heat and strength, my personal view is that there should be an ease to it.

So let’s get right into it!

1- Arms: starting in table top, set yourself up so that your pointer fingers are parallel (hands might be slightly turned out), your finger tips are gripping the map and the inside of your elbows are turned out.

2- Hips: from here press the mat away from you with your hands and reach your hips to the ceiling, creating an A-shape with your body.

3- Legs: your knees will have a slight micro-bend and your heels should be reaching toward the back of the room; if your body alignment allows for it, try for your heels touching the mat.

Deep inhale, long slow exhale. Downward facing dog!

Thursday Recs: 4th of July Leggings

If you know me at all, you know I love any opportunity for themed leggings! With the 4th of July right around the corner I thought I’d share some patriotic yoga looks!

There’s actually a shop that I used to go to down on Broadway and 28th to get these leggings pictured above for like 3 for $10! Great for a photo shoot, but questionable for long term use.

Today I’ll share some functional red white, and blue options that are also super comfy for yoga flows!

Bright red leggings from Amazon

Bright blue tank on sale from Onzie

My friend Steph and I at international yoga day last week.

Red leggings from Aerie by American Eagle, these are awesome they have pockets!

Navy tank top from Amazon, soft and comfy and long enough!

White bralette on sale from American Eagle

View from sunset

I’m kind of digging the Aerie line by American Eagle yoga leggings, so one more look:

These star leggings, which come in navy and in white and pair easily with any patriotic graphic tee or colored tank.

I hope you decide to get festive for the 4th!