Monthly Archives: September 2013

Yoga to Complement Your Gym Workout

Womens Yoga ApparelThis article is for those that cannot decide whether to go all out on yoga or to go full throttle at the gym only. The beauty of the answer is that one doesn’t have to exclude the other. In fact, what many people have found is that by adding yoga to their normal weight training regimen, they have noticed more gains than ever before and have welcomed the transition with open (and more shapely) arms. Cozy Orange specializes in producing quality yoga apparel for woman that is versatile enough to wear for a all types of cross training, including weightlifting. They understand that there is no set in stone routine for everyone. To that end, they strive to provide a line that answers the physical demands of whatever you opt for as your personal fitness routine. So even if you are only adding a few poses or positions of yoga to your weightlifting workout or giving it a full half hour, they have just what you demand in comfortable and functional yoga clothing.

Yoga Stretches

There are a multitude of ways in which yoga can potentially support you during your training regimen. To warm up, you should start out with full body rotations, which help to warm up your body and reduces the risk of muscle spasms or lower back pain from heavy lifting. Up next, you can ease into the warrior pose, which reduces stress in the shoulders as well as increases overall stamina. The triangle pose stretches the sides of the body, particularly the hamstrings and the all-important hips. To fully stretch your back, the standing forward bend is ideal before any strenuous activity. Stretch your lower back and torso with the chair pose, while the cat stretch improves circulation of the blood throughout the body as well as tones the midsection. Certainly not least on the list is meditation which you can take at your own pace for as long as you desire. After a thorough workout, it may be the most ideal thing for piece of mind and re-charging your energy.

Time to hit the RESET button

A Climbing Adventure

Whether it’s starting a new school year, embarking on an entrepreneurial venture, rearranging your work schedule, working on a tough project, in an argument or discussion, or just clearing space (in your home, life, and/or spirit), sometimes you hit a point where you need to “reset” button. If only it where that easy though – a button that press that resets everything you have a fresh, clean slate to start from. To complicate it further, when do you hit the reset button? Often, it is easiest to hit the reset button when you’ve hit a “dead end” in your project, life, etc. and start fresh. Sometimes you need to hit that reset button when you’re actually doing well – rather successful, though maybe not as successful as you want to be, but wanting to move in a different direction. The latter can be a bit more difficult, especially if you’re a firm believer of the saying, “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” Change can be difficult and scary, even more so when you are the one who initiates it.
Svadhyaya (pronounced sfud-YAH’-yah) is one of the five Niyamas that comprise the second limb of the eight limbs of yoga according to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In short (and in the traditional sense), Svadhyaya involves studying Scriptures in order to better study oneself. Even if you are neither religious nor spiritual, being aware of your own preferences and tendencies qualifies as Svadhyaya. This deep self-study can help you determine when to hit that “reset” button. This can also be thought of as “soul searching” and can be influenced by outside factors (popular culture books and aforementioned Scriptures are some examples). Other ways to explore Svadhyaya are through Asana practice, journaling, and meditation.

No matter what path you take that might lead to pushing that “reset” button, you may feel nervous or excited or both. Feelings of worry and regret may flow through your mind. There is one great possibility, however: a STRONGER YOU, achieving things you did not imagine before. Whether rebranding your company, recommitting yourself to your studies, or as simple as a commitment to changing your outlook on life, a mindful, yet significant change (as represented by our “reset” button) can be the thing that puts your life in the direction that aligns most with your heart.

Live wholly. Live passionately. Just live AND let your soul smile.

Get Some Help!

A Climbing Adventure

“Get some help. You’re going to wear yourself down and get old before your time…” These words still echo through my headspace some 15 years later. Newly married, I remember my husband’s grandmother admonishing me over the phone as only she could. While wishing we could end this conversation, I smugly thought, “I’ve got everything covered, I don’t need any help.” I was young and strong and thought I knew it all…
Fast forward a dozen years and I wish I had listened to her sooner.
It’s one of those things that, whether it’s true or not and whether it is the best or craziest advice, most of us have to stumble, fall, and crawl and eventually live our way into believing.

This year I will be 41 and guess what??? I finally did ask for and thankfully received help and I do try to take better care of my aching joints than earlier generations of women in my family were afforded; I’m not wringing boiling diapers from a tin tub or anything.
The point I’m trying to make is that there are some things you just need to touch and try and feel your way into; in your own body, on your own time. We all need this experience to come to our own conclusions, hopefully sooner rather than later.

When I teach my yoga classes, I try to keep all this in mind and remain open and accomidating to the various backgrounds, experience levels and styles students will unpack in the 75 or 90 minutes they are with me. I try to only teach what I know fully to be true; not simply what I have read and studied and felt on my own, but what I have incorporated into my own ever-evolving practice. I hope in some small way to help my students find their own truth.
For example, if your yoga teacher asks you to tuck your toes in pigeon prep or move your arm to the inside your front leg in trikonasana, give it a try and come to your own conclusions. Take note of the changes in the quality and quantity of your energy, engagement of your muscles, and integration of the asana through your physical and more subtle energetic body. Notice if you feel steadier, more aligned and more open in your heart.

One more thing…when a sage elder sprinkles you with a bit of hard earned wisdom I hope that you pause and consider the advice and test it in the laboratory of your own body and heart instead of automatically dismissing the words in a flash of impatience, ego or just plain laziness of youth.

I wish I was capable of recognizing that years ago, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have listened to that either…

Life is Practice, Practice is Life. Namaste.

Yoga: Clear Your Schedule

Cozy Orange Yoga ApparelThere never seems to be enough time! Time is one of the few things that we all have the same amount of, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. No matter how rich or poor we are, it is a constant in all of our lives. If it seems like there’s not enough time in the day and breaks are coming to you less and less, perhaps now is the time to make a real break and give yourself a chance to re-connect. For many people that have decided to stop and breathe for a moment, yoga has provided the perfect opportunity for them to get back in touch with themselves. At Cozy Orange, they know that women’s days are filled with many demands and they have made sure that they not only design amazing yoga apparel for their women customers, but also disseminate information to them in an effort to ensure they get the most out of yoga for their busy lives.

Re-Connect to Re-Energize

Even though you think you cannot spare 15 minutes of your time, you can and you should. Studies have shown that the average person needs about a quarter of an hour of physical activity to stay in shape. Yoga is a great way to keep you fit and also elevates your mind. It is indeed a great investment in yourself. So before you start your seemingly unending day, take 15 minutes of your time to add hours, days, and possibly months to years of peace and calm to your life through the practice of yoga. What many people discover is that this precious quarter hour can yield many returns, re-energizing them throughout their entire day and making them more productive. Since yoga teaches people how to focus and meditate, these principles can be applied throughout the day. Many people have attested that even a few minutes at work with a few poses can make all the difference in the world as they work in their office. As a fitness regimen, yoga is great, with very little needed in the way of equipment. In fact, all you really need is enough space to stretch. It is not always necessary to get on the floor, so a mat is not a must! Cozy Orange is not only here to produce great yoga apparel for women they are also here to get the word out on the healing aspects associated with it.

Prenatal Yoga? Yeah baby!

A Climbing Adventure

There are a myriad of benefits for performing prenatal yoga throughout your pregnancy (some of which I will go over!), and luckily for us pregnant folk, classes now are more popular than ever.
Yoga (done along with a cardiovascular exercise such as walking) is a perfect way to stay in shape throughout your pregnancy. Your yoga practice will help to keep you limber, it will keep your muscles nice and tone, and it will help to improve your balance and circulation. Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise for pregnant women because it has little to no impact on your joints.

Another great bonus from practicing yoga, is learning how to perform ujjayi breathing which can help during labor and childbirth. Learning to breathe deeply and fully can really help you to relax when you need it most. The ujjayi technique teaches you to take in air slowly through your nose filling up your lungs, and then exhale completely pulling your belly button inward.
Lastly, taking prenatal yoga classes is a great way to meet other pregnant women and to become a part of a community. Being in a positive and supportive environment can give you a nice emotional boost and help to keep you motivated to continue exercising throughout those nine months.

However, there are some things that you will want to be conscious of throughout each trimester, since every trimester is so different.
During the first trimester, you won’t have as many restrictions, but you will need to keep in mind that your normal routine will require some modifications as time goes on. It is most important during this trimester to listen to your body and do whatever feels best for you. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout to help keep your body nice and hydrated.

The second trimester is when you begin to notice some changes. Your joints are loosening up and many things have begun to shift within your body. Your belly has probably expanded some and it is best to proceed with caution as this can affect your sense of balance. You shouldn’t hold your poses for quite as long, and remember to get into the yoga poses slowly and carefully to avoid any injuries. Steer clear of lying on your back during this trimester, so that your blood can keep flowing as it should to your uterus. This is definitely not a time to overdo it. As always, listen and trust what your body is telling you.
The third trimester is also a time when you want to keep your body moving, so continue to not hold the poses for a very long time. Your belly is definitely getting bigger as this stage and you are probably feeling less and less graceful. Make sure to have props (either stand by a wall or have a chair nearby) to support your balance throughout standing postures. You will most likely discontinue downward facing dog during this trimester, but talk with your yoga instructor about incorporating a variation of this pose that can help to energize your entire body. Continue to focus on breathing techniques and always listen to your body so that you don’t overexert yourself.

Some words of caution: pregnancy is not a good time to start an inversion practice. If you are familiar with these poses and feel comfortable, many inversions can be performed well into your second trimester. It is advised to avoid these poses altogether however, during the third trimester. You also want to make sure not to over stretch the abdominal area too much. You are more likely to tear and strain your muscles now due to the lovely pregnancy hormones, so take care and proceed with caution during any deep forward bends, back bends and/or twists. And one last word of caution is to avoid any heated classes 90 degrees or higher. Pregnancy itself causes you to heat up your insides, so being in a hot room can cause dangerous overheating. It is best to find non-heated yoga classes to enjoy.

Lastly, enjoy this wonderful and crazy time in your life! You are producing a miracle inside of you, so take extra time for yourself, and see if prenatal yoga classes help to keep you happy and calm. If you are happy and feeling great, then your baby will reap the benefits too!

The Yoga Novice: A Guide to Gear

Yoga ApparelNew to the world of yoga and not exactly sure the ins and outs yet? At Cozy Orange, they have amassed a reputation as one of the new yoga apparel brands on the market dedicated to being a true wellness lifestyle brand, assisting women on not just yoga apparel, but the lifestyle and the approaches to the techniques utilized in this fast-growing exercise regimen. So if you are not certain about what type of clothing you should start with and other aspects of yoga, then take some notes and let Cozy Orange give you the insights you need to make the right decisions for your specific fitness goals.

One of the first things you will need to do for yoga is decide on some proper yoga pants, yoga tops, and yoga accessories that you may need. If you are looking to take a hot yoga session, you will in particular need to wear something that is fitted enough to keep you as dry as possible as you perspire over the course of the workout. Cozy Orange produces a line of yoga clothing that allows for a full range of movement and uses materials that dry quickly to keep you at optimal dryness. Also, depending on your personal tastes, Cozy Orange has a line of yoga pants and shorts to choose from. One of their more popular style of pants, the Libra Crops, are not only ideal for a workout, but are fashionable and comfortable enough to be worn on the streets after a session as you run errands. For a more fitted look, they also offer our Pisces Crops, which are available in a several lovely colors to choose from. Whatever your personal preferences may be, Cozy Orange has something in their line that agrees with your personal tastes and your body type. Take a look at their website and decide for yourself what works best for you.

A Climbing Adventure

A Climbing Adventure

You may or may not know that for the past three months I have been traveling around North America rock climbing.  I was a high school art teacher for the past five years and decided to resign my position and take some time for myself.  I recently experienced the most intense adventure of my life.  I went on an alpine climb with one of my best friends and two other great guys.  Going into this I thought I knew what I was getting into. A month and a half prior I had climbed 15 pitches in Squamish B.C. and figured this would be one pitch less and all of the pitches would be two grades easier than the hardest pitch in Squamish.  In my head this would be difficult, but I was completely ready for it.

We packed our backpacks for two nights and three days of backpacking and climbing.  Our packs were probably around 35 to 40 pounds.  We hiked in 4.2 miles to Colchuck Lake in the Wilderness of WA and set up camp. Camp was our sleeping pads, bivy sacks, and a tarp over head.  The next morning we got up at 5:30 am ate breakfast and began the hike to the base of Dragontail Peak.  The hike was up a steep loose talus field and across a ridge to the base of our route called Serpentine.  We began climbing at 8:00 am.  Originally we were going to climb as a party of three, and below us friends were going to climb as a party of four.  Three of our friends backed out after the hike to the base, as the weather was pretty poor.  You could only see a third of the climb as the clouds had socked in the large granite face.  We then began climbing in pairs.  We rock climbed for 12 hrs straight.  Literally the leader would climb and belay the second climber up we would exchange gear and begin climbing the next pitch. There were times where the second climber had to take out the anchor and begin climbing while the lead climber was still climbing due to the 70-meter rope not being long enough.  Often we would find ourselves putting on coats at the belay and taking them off to climb as the weather was constantly changing.  My climbing partners all had on quick dry clothing and Merino wool clothing as a base layer.  I had on my Cozy Orange Libra Tank and Aries Long sleeve.  It would get wet with sweat, but dried quickly allowing my body to stay at a comfortable temperature.  It never became bulky under my warmer layers and raincoat and stayed comfortable therefore never restricting my movement.

The entire climb I was on edge as we were rained on, fearing a thunderstorm, trying to avoid pulling off loose rock, which could injure, kill, or cut our rope at any moment.  The most trying time was on a section with consistent loose rock.  Scott was leading a pitch, Jimmy was belaying him, my climbing partner John had just climbed the pitch below and was belaying me as I climbed.  Scott stepped on a rock thinking it was solid and as he moved off it, the rock fell, he immediately began to scream “rock” as it fell down directly above us.  We all stopped and moved as close to the rock face as possible.  Jimmy and John were about 40 feet above me.  I heard the rock pass them and they shouted out that they were okay.  I then sucked in even tighter to the rock and waited for the loose rock to pass me.  I heard it crash into the wall and bounce over me and with a sigh of relief I yelled up “i’m okay” and began to continue my climb up.

At some point we were became really off route and did not summit until 7:30pm.  When we finally reached the summit the sky opened up on us and began pouring rain.  After breaking out our rain gear and changed from climbing shoes to approach shoes we began our hike down.  Our goal was to cross the glacier and make it to the start of Aasgard Pass before dark.  John separated from the rest of us in search of the trailhead.  A cairn appeared and Scott, Jimmy, and I headed down the trail figuring it was the start of Aasgard pass.  Shortly after starting our decent we heard someone yelling.  We thought it was John, but it was difficult to decipher whether it was coming from above or below us.  We tried to yell back, but really could not understand anything being said.  We continued down the path turned a corner and John’s headlamp jumped out.  We shouted with joy that we were all safe and together again.  However, he was on the opposite side of a large rushing stream.  John told us there was a crossing about 25 feet above where we were.  With no trail going up, all of the rocks were wet and slick, but we had to climb un-roped to be on the correct trail.  It was unnerving, but we all made it up and across the rushing water.  Our hike continued down a large steep talus field and we finally returned to camp at 11:15 pm.  Our three friends who decided not to climb had lots of filtered water waiting for us and cooked us dinner!  They were able to watch our headlamps descend the pass and gauge when we would arrive back at camp.  We had planned on the climb taking us about 9 hours and figured we would be back at camp around 8:00 pm with the hike down.

There were several times during the climb and descent the thought of why I didn’t turn around when our other three friends did crossed my mind.  I still cannot answer that question, but I can say I am very happy with the decision to participate in an adventure unlike any I had experienced prior.  We all have our perceived limits.  However, in reality we are capable of much more it is just a matter of putting fear aside and focusing on the task at hand.

Yoga: The Philosophy Behind the Apparel

For many women, yoga is not just a way to keep fit and maintain a spiritual and mental balance, but also a way of life. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and has always been considered a way to bring solace to the core – body and soul. Women that practice yoga have said that they feel whole in all of these areas and it is no incident that its practice has gained considerable attention the past few years. As more and more people, particularly women, begin to attend yoga studios, more companies are answering the call to provide clothing, information, and additional support to their efforts.

The practice of yoga has been a tremendous help to others, instilling a sense of balance and power in their bodies and lives as a whole. At Cozy Orange, not only are they the designers of amazing yoga apparel for women, but they also provide a wealth of assistance for women that come to their site for the latest in informative perspectives about the practice worldwide. Armed with this knowledge, they have a line of clothing that is as comfortable as it is supportive.
Womens Yoga Apparel
Cozy Orange offers a range of tops that include yoga tank tops, sleeved tops, sports bras, and jackets. Their collection features the mystical signs of the zodiac. The first sign of the Zodiac, Aries, led the brand to design their Aries Long Sleeve Top. Available in Optic White, Raven Black, and Frost Gray, this is one of Cozy Orange’s most popular tops. It features an inlayed Cozy Mesh fabric for added breathability and the contouring it provides flatters any woman’s physique. For a pre or post yoga session, this is womens yoga clothing at its finest.

When it comes to needed support, Cozy Orange has listened to its consumers, who have helped them to design a line of sports bras that not only provide the added support necessary during an intense workout, but are also stylist enough to be worn outside of the yoga studio and out for a pre or post workout warm-up jogging session. Their Pisces Sports Bra is available in Optic White and Raven Black and Dusky Violet This bra provides the support an active woman needs: inlayed with Airy Mesh fabric with removable inserts, it effectively protects as well as flatters during a workout.

Cozy Orange doesn’t stop there. In keeping with their Zodiac theme, they also offer their Celestial Jacket, available in Heather Rose and Heather Gray. A versatile piece, the jacket features a hood and a wrap-tie jacket design, perfect for lounging before or after a workout. The deep side pockets are perfect for storing personal items and the contoured seams are chafe-free. With such an excellent line of yoga apparel for women, it is easy to see why Cozy Orange has maintained its place in the industry as a true women’s yoga clothing line that listens to their customers.

Endless Summer

Endless Summer

My husband is a teacher and my daughters are five and seven years old. All three of these beautiful souls spend nine weeks at home for summer break. No set schedules, sleeping in, long luxurious mornings of snuggles and play, and time, precious time together which feels spread so thin when the school year starts. The girls are at that magical age where they still believe in fairies and unicorns and they play well together. We travelled and we were spontaneous and found adventures. Needless to say, a few weeks ago I began to feel apprehensive and anxious about the end of summer. I do not want to end this summer, ever. “Stay present,” has been my mantra. I’ve been repeating it over and over in my mind, but sometimes it takes going all the way through transition to gain a better perspective.

 This week was the first week of school. My resistance continued, and elevated. I felt like I was going through phases of grief; denial and anger. On Tuesday I was so angry in the morning. I had a horrible mommy moment as we were getting ready to leave for school when my oldest couldn’t find her shoes. Dare I say rock bottom? I immediately went to yoga. I dove in head first. By the end of Tuesday I had taken three classes. Om!! Beyond their understanding of the physical (asana) work, I find the true blessings of yoga teachers are from their personal experiences and how they incorporate them into their teachings. Their authenticity. My first teacher presented truth with an “authentic share”…her fears, her doubts, her struggles. Yes! We all have them. Thank you. My second teacher presented fluidity and reminded me to ride my breath and just be in my body. During Savasana I went into my subconscience for the first time in a long time. Victory!!!

Later, I had to teach my Intro to Yoga class. It’s such an important class to offer to students, and for some it’s their first yogic experience ever. Certainly not the class you want to teach while grumpy, or on the verge of tears (which I was feeling). The blessing of this class is that to teach it, I have to be so present with what yoga is…at least to me of course. Yoga is presence, patience, truth, connection, and breath & body awareness. It’s funny, but sometimes when there’s so much going on in my life, I am (energetically) more willing to get out of my head and take a break and just BE. During these classes I find I am the most open, both as a practitioner and a teacher. I had a great Intro class!

On to my last class which was a Yoga Therapy class. A very “focus on your breath and body” type of class, soft and aware. This time my teacher just listened…to me. Yes! So often we need to share (or barf) all we are feeling to “get rid of it” and let it go. It’s like a long audible exhale…ahhhhh.

Wednesday was profoundly zen-like!

We can all relate to feeling resistant to change, but deep down resistance has a way of bringing us into touch with ourselves. Dig deep. Accept. And know you’re not alone.

all love always,

~a

Yoga Apparel: Dress Me Up

womens Yoga clothes

When you apply for a job and attend the interview, you always dress the part, right? Right. So the same approach should be executed when you decide that you are going to take up yoga. At Cozy Orange, they are serious about yoga because their customers are dedicated to the exercise and they listen to their customers. They have designed a collection of yoga apparel, where fit meets function. So when it comes to their yoga tops, yoga pants, and yoga accessories, consider them the prime source for all of your needs.

One of the most important things to remember is that when it comes to yoga clothing, loose material may be to your detriment. As you twist and contort your body through a workout, the loose clothing that you decide to wear may not be as flexible as you are doing these poses and you risk exposing yourself to other people in your class. Also, if your clothes are too loose, they actually restrict your range of movement instead of aiding it. While we agree that you should be comfortable during a workout, what is crucial is that your clothes are so free flowing that you risk injury as hoodies can obstruct your view, and pants that are too long can upend your balance. Cozy Orange has a line of yoga pants that are available in several lengths depending on your preference. Choose one that is to your liking and I can assure you there will be no turning back.

Depending on your body size, you may opt to cover more of your physique during a workout. Their customers have noted that they want to work out strenuously and that they also do not want to be thinking about their body size as they work out, but instead to concentrate all of their energy on the poses and breathing techniques during a yoga session. Bearing that in mind, Cozy Orange has a line of yoga tops for any body type. From tank tops to sleeved tops, sports bras to jackets, whatever you feel comfortable with, they have something in their line that you will love. You can be reassured when you make a purchase at Cozy Orange they are providing the very best in yoga apparel for you.