One lovely morning a fairly new student of mine (one-two month or so of attending classes) was inquiring about yoga toes prices (yoga towel for the mat). I looked those up and mentioned that while they are not cheap they do last for a while. Had mine for several years and it's still in close to new state.
The student seemed surprised at how long I've had my mat and mat towel.
You see, his yogi toes and mat have developed a smell and he though he may have to buy a new one every couple of months to combat the problem. This is actually very common. The smell and those thoughts. The "lost and found" mats would also have a smell after a few days...
But this is a common misconception. As much as the manufacturers may want you to, you DO NOT have to buy new mat towel and mat every few months of hot and sweaty yoga!
You simply have to do ONE sime thing and it will make your mat and mat towel last for years and years. Want to know what that one thing is? No, washing is not it.
ROLL IT OUT!
Just roll out your mat with mat towel on top after your practice and let them dry.
Do this as soon as possible.
If you have a long ride home do not put your rolled up mat in the trunk of your car. Roll it out and place it over passenger seat or across the back seat.
Stuck in the office? Drape it over your office chair. Roll it out on the floor if you can.
It is best to roll out your mat towel and dry it separately from the mat but if they are together you can still save them from developing unpleasant odors.
The reason why your mat develops a bad odor is because there is a lot of moisture on the mat after yoga and you are trapping that moisture inside when you roll up your mat. Bacteria quickly grow in such environment and thus make your mat smell bad.
Once a year, or more often if you'd like, spray your mat with a cleaner and wipe it down with a paper towel or cloth.
You can also use one of those pre-moistened wipes.
Leave it rolled out to dry.
That's all the care your mat will need. Anything extra is up to you.
Your mat and mat towel should last you a long time. I've had the same mat for over 6 years now. It doesn't smell and works great. No, it is not some fancy yoga mat, it's a plain mat I got at T.J. Maxx for about $20 and haven't had the need to buy another one.
Buy less and take care of what you have.
Hope this helps you!
And now...do you really need to spend a ton of money on your workout and yoga clothes? Next post will address this topic.
Yoga is not like other sports. So the question was no surprise - one of my yogis asked if they should wear underwear with yoga pants.
Most likely you won't see this one answered on a yoga etiquette studio brochures.
I've been teaching and practicing yoga for years and have seen lots of different students and wardrobes.
So, what do you think? It's really up to you. Yes, you choose!
But first, consider these points:
1. It may not be what you think
Most yoga pants do come with that little triangle insert sewn in the middle so that you may think it replaces underwear. While that may be true, I believe that little triangle is there to ensure proper movement. After all, you don't want the seams to split when you are doing, say, standing splits.
2. Great coverage…but...
Even if your pants are of the highest quality and so on you may want to make sure they do indeed have great coverage. You won't be just sitting in class. The poses will test not only your body but your clothing too.
Do this: before going anywhere in your yoga pants bend down in front of a mirror at home to make sure your seams are intact and the pants are thick enough. If you can, do this in the fitting room before buying your pants.
Be considerate and respectful towards others and yourself by making sure your clothes are not offensive or borderline inappropriate.
3. Skin irritation
The other day a female student of mine complained about a rash from the back seam in her yoga pants. She didn't wear underwear with yoga pants and I advised her to wear underwear next time to avoid any skin irritations.
4. Underwear lines
Remember - you are not going to a formal event in a tight fitting dress where photos are snapped left and right - you are simply going to yoga.
And trust me, yogis much rather see underwear lines then anything else…
If it still worries you the industry has been making special no lines underwear. Give them a try.
My advice -
Wear the underwear. You will protect yourself from skin irritations and unnecessary exposure.
Try mesh underwear or one made out of synthetic material because cotton undies soak up the water and become heavy and uncomfortable. Bring a fresh pair for after class if you have a long ride home.
Next topics I would love to share with you:
- save or spurge on yoga wear and gear?
- and how to take care of your mat so you don't have to buy a new one because the old one stinks
1. Is it wrong to eat cereal with chocolate milk?
2. It came to me that Central Market in Plano is a lot like Ikea. The store is set up like a maze so you go through each section with shortcuts to other sections available.
3. It's hard to build muscle when you can't digest protein. Hydrochloric Acid to the rescue!
4. I always want to nap after teaching 6 am yoga - so peaceful in the morning as the sun rises.
5. Just Dance on Wii is the best cardio ever! What's your favorite cardio?
My friend Maddie had recently moved to a new apartment and needed help decorating her new room. After visiting my apartment she decided that she could trust me with this task (this usually happens when people visit my apt) and since I love decorating I gladly agreed to help her.
We met at her place on a Sunday and got to work. More like play!
What we were up against
1. The problem - the eye didn't travel the room. It was focused on one spot only. A common decorating mistake.
When I walked into Maddie's room my eyes went directly to the corner where she had beautiful bright red flowers in a white vase. See picture below on the left. Next the eyes saw her bed with pillows that had bright flowers on them to complement the flower in the corner. The problem was that both of these bright, attention getting spots were in exactly the same location or too close to each other.
2. Another issue was the fact that everything was floor level. This is very common - we tend to keep that picture frame on the floor for months before putting it up, and even after putting it up the placement may be too low or in the wrong spot. See the photo on the right below. Again, the eye doesn't travel the room or is kept in one spot or one level of the room.
3. Another corner needed help. The placement of furniture was inefficient and crowded one corner. Again, this is also very common. By the window Maddie had a chest of drawers and right next to it another taller chest of drawers. In the taller chest she kept some of her clothes. This meant that she had to cross the room to get her clothes from the tall chest and then walk all the way back to her bathroom where her closet and the mirror are. Not only did this placement of furniture create an imbalance in the room, it also created an inconvenience for Maddie.
First, we needed to set some requirements. We were not about to buy a whole bunch of new furniture and decorations and spend thousands of dollars! All of the above could easily be fixed by moving things around.
1. We rearranged the furniture to create efficiency and movement. We, right then and there, moved the tall chest of drawers from the corner of the room to the other side of the room, right next to Maddie's bathroom and closet. See photo below on the right.
2. We put up the picture high up on the wall between the bed and the tall chest of drawers. This rebalanced the room and made the eye travel upwards as well. Also, when you first look into Maddie's room you see what you now see in the photo on the right. Before Maddie had a big side table with lots of items on it. This looked messy, even though it wasn't and that's all you could look at. Now you can look at the pretty art up on the wall.
3. We moved the shorter chest of drawers from underneath the window and into the corner. This allowed us to put the bright red flowers in a white vase in the corner creating space between the two bright spots - the flowers and her pillows on the bed.
4. That's it! That's all it took to make Maddie's room look like it now does in the below photo without the need to get anything.
Maddie's room after quick initial re-decor
Afterwards Maddie and I sat down in her living room and made a wish list for her room:
Wish list (even rooms have wish lists :)
Oh yes, we are not done yet! Maddie and I logged into IKEA's website and looked at desks, dressers, and curtains. We added the ones that she liked to a list and emailed the list to her.
Next we will visit IKEA and use the list to see the items in person and purchase them if she likes them. Efficiency!
While we were at it I rearranged a few items on the kitchen counter in less than a minute and Maddie loved it. No more messy chargers and face blocking bouquets.
What about me?
How about your room? Is it just how you want it to be? Remember, holidays are around the corner and there's no better time to get your room decorated just the way you want. After all, you may have guests over. Need help? I'd love to help you with your room or any other room in your house! Just let me know.
Like this post? Let me know by liking it on facebook and I'll be sure to post more.
Thank you! Hope you enjoyed this post.
Last Friday, October 12th, was a very special day. My friends and I gathered for a casual dinner and among them was Vladimir Ajaev, a professor at SMU. Vladimir is the author of a book titled Interfacial Fluid Mechanics that has recently been published and we had to celebrate this accomplishment! Above are some photos from the celebration.
A while back, when I was finishing high school, I used to work at the Gap outlet in Grapevine Mills Mall and would walk around the mall on my breaks sometimes. There was a DNKY outlet store a few stores down from us and I bought this t-shirt there. Never really wore it much but kept it because it has a very cool NYC sky line drawn using yellow lines on indigo background. Years have gone by since 9/11 but I still had this shirt. I noticed the original Twin Towers were still on there and so I decided to frame it. I wonder how many t-shirts, prints, photos, and other artwork out there still have the original Twin Towers imprinted on them...
Perfect Fall. I took this photo in Orange County last year on my Thanksgiving trip.
Fall is here! For the first time in a while we were blessed with very awesome weather this weekend here in Dallas. It was almost no A/C, windows down, let's go outside type of weather while still sunny and gorgeous! Definitely looking forward to more of that.
There's going to be a lot happening this fall. And a lot already happening. Let's see...
1. Addison Oktoberfest is from September 20th to 23rd
2. Get fit for free with boot camp, yoga, and zumba at the Local Motion. This one already started! September 8th - November 3rd
3. Cirque du Soleil's Kooza September 20th through October 7th. There's a good deal for the tickets.
4. New 2012 - 2013 Opera season: Pursuits of Passion. Aida opens on October 26th. I plan on going to that one with my friend Aida. She has to come see this one! Ticket pre sale has already started.
Turandot and The Aspern Papers open in April 2013.
5. Sunset screening of The Prestige on Saturday October 13th at 8 pm at the Strauss Square over by the Opera.
6. Starbucks VIA instant coffee in Pumpkin Spice is here!
In addition to everything Trader Joe's opened in Plano! I went yesterday and it was like a zoo in there, but still very happy to have one close to me.
More coming - stay tuned :)
On Thursday August 30th FLOR threw a nice little party to meet a local inspiring designer in 11 of their stores across the country.
Of course, I couldn't have missed an opportunity to meet a real designer in person! Especially since our Dallas FLOR store got to meet Bonnee Sharp, the founder and owner of Studio Bon.
Prior to the event I've checked out Studio Bon's cool website and felt a great connection to Bonnee on a personal and design levels. After checking out every page I could immediately see Bonnee was a genuine, authentic, legit (if you will) type of designer. This is because she took her time and build her designs and studio in a very particular way. Only true designers at heart go through such lengths. Just look at her choice for the manufacturing process and you'll see that she had a very particular idea in mind and was doing whatever it takes to make sure the real thing matched her idea and it felt just right before making it final. Only true designers get this detail oriented about their creations. For Studio Bonn Every. Detail. Matters. All of this translates into a high quality design that will last a looong time.
And now, back to the party:
The store was sizzling with creative folk and yummy sodas. Unlike the usual store scene with display of mobile floor patterns, FLOR had their new unreleased patters out mixed in with Studio Bon textiles everywhere. The layout was well thought of. You have to understand that the Dallas FLOR store had to move to a temporary location and was working with very little space. Aside from cleverly solving the space issue FLOR had these awesome chocolate squares, among other snacks, that were different flavors and had different designs on every single one - two thumbs up for that!
Bonnee was busy meeting and chatting with everyone and then gave a presentation filled with slides. She covered everything - from her inspirations to how it all came together to where it is now.
The party wrapped up with a drawing for a chair covered in Studio Bon's pattern. A girl who is just about to move into a new place won that one. She was very happy (and lucky!). Another drawing was for a rug from FLOR! That's one awesome prize as well. Another lucky lady got that one. She screamed when her name was drawn :)
Now I'm wondering how amazing Studio Bon's patterns would look on silk - beautiful curtains or even sheets...so many opportunities. And that was my takeaway from the event - inspirations and opportunities for design everywhere.
Let's hope Dallas keeps on having more of these parties!
Don't forget to check out Studio Bon.
Soma Intimates is collecting gently used bras till this Sunday August 12th. They will donate them to women in need.
This is a great cause to give towards and to make room in your closets!
You can drop them off at a mall. Look for where on soma.com/givebras
neon + skinny jeans + loose-fitting top + print
We are in the midst of summer but Fall collections are starting to roll into the stores and into the mags.
In the meantime, take advantage of the Summer Fashion collections that are currently on sale.
You may be wondering...
What are the current trends?
Here are the trends that (I think) are happening:
Zara is having a sale right now and I found awesome steals there for a great price and in line with the current trends. Take a look below! Click on the caption and it will take you the item on Zara's online store.
You may be wondering...
How do I know what will look best on me?
Let's make this simple. You have to consider 3 things about you:
1. Consider HEIGHT:
For TALL ladies -
For PETITE ladies -
2. Consider COLOR:
Ohhh...this is my favorite topic. As an artist, color is a big deal to me, and it does wonders not just in art but in fashion too. Trust me, I went to art school. ;)
Color will enhance you. Don't be afraid to use it. This is true for boys and girls.
Try these out:
Create CONTRAST. Black&white or dark&light is the easiest way to create contrast.
If you are a brunette try wearing light colored tops. If you are a blonde try dark colors. This will make your hair pop.
Think Gwen Stefani. You often see her in a black top which brings out her platinum blonde hair.
MONOTONE look can also enhance you. Got dark hair, nice dark tan, and dark eyes? Try a black shirt with dark pants - it may be the best way to draw attention away from your clothes and to your skin, hair and features.
Think J.Lo. She has golden skin tone, golden hair, and you often see her in...Yes! ... neutrals or golden tones.
OPPOSITES ATTRACT - check out the COLOR WHEEL.
Make your natural coloring pop by using color.
Got baby blue eyes? Try baby blue shirt. Katy Perry comes to mind. From blue nails, to blue accessories, to even blue hair - either way you notice her blue eyes.
Bright red hair? Try emerald green.
If you are on the neutral side like me (brown hair, medium skin tone, hazel/brown eyes) then you may be the best candidate for super bright colors OR neutrals. You can use yourself as a neutral canvas and brights will not clash with any of your features while neutrals will look at home on your body. Moreover, these two different color choices will draw attention to you.
3. Consider SHAPE.
Shape is a tough one because it is tricky (tell me about it 0_o). Just try it on. Grab an item in the style you would never go near and just try it on - it may just be right.
Keep the big picture in mind - FIND THE RIGHT PROPORTION.
Speaking of proportion...
Just because skinny pants and Brazilian bikinis are hot right now DOES NOT MEAN you will automatically look good in them.
Please note - both of the above (skinny pants and Brazilian bikinis) ONLY look good on PERFECT PROPORTIONS (such as perfect bottoms & good looking legs IN PROPORTION to the rest of the body). This goes true for boys and girls!!!
I just got back from Mexico and I saw a ton of women on the beach in Brazilian bikinis or thongs. About %80 of them looked AWFULL and would have looked MUCH BETTER in a regular bikini.
Showing more skin does not automatically make you look better. Even if you don't have cellulite and/or a saggy bottom.
Just think: when was the last time you saw a guy or a girl in skinny jeans that look awful? That's because they are not proportionally balanced for this specific trend. And that is perfectly fine - most of us are not. I'm in that boat with you. SO, proportion is very important for such noticeable styles as skinny jeans and Brazilian bikinis or any style that hugs your body closely.
As with Brazilian bikini, if you don't have a perfect model body - leave it alone. There are a million other styles to make you look fab.
Ahhh... thank you for letting me vent. :)
Take a friend shopping. No, boyfriends/husbands/dates do not count and don't take just any friend. Take the one that seems to always a) looks good in their clothes, b) has a style you like and c) is honest.
They most likely have a natural eye for clothes - think color/proportion - and can help. Also they are not the sales person who is trying to just sell something and are not trying to date you so will most likely tell you the truth. Don't take a friend who always tells you you look great in anything. You don't. Even if you are perfect ;)
And most importantly - HAVE FUN!!!
NOTE: All images in this post are from Zara online store. I am not affiliated with Zara in any way. I'm just a fan of their clothes.