Aqua Yoga

The power of water is undeniable, and its greatness and value were always known to man. Its benefits were used from the ancient times – both Greeks and Romans not only bathed but also engaged in water exercises. Water might also be the best place to practice yoga since it allows our body to move further than anything possible on land. It is also supportive and makes exercises easy and enjoyable.

Aqua yoga is a low impact exercise which combines yoga, swimming, and breathing relaxation. A good ratio of activity would be to split it into three equally long parts. Usually, this is an individual practice, but you can also work with a partner who could help you to stretch deeper. You can choose to practice at the beach or in the pool, according to your possibilities and preferences.

Aqua yoga combines benefits from both, yoga and swimming. In water, the body can move more freely, and with the release of gravity, it can stretch even further than in regular practice.

In yoga part of the class, water would ideally be at the chest level – but anything between hips and shoulders is acceptable. You mostly do standing poses; for example, warrior poses are a good choice. Regardless, like in regular yoga, you can always play and explore variations of classic poses, in this case, modifying it for water practice. You can also always utilize the help of floating. The breathing and stretchings are the same as in classical yoga, but practice in water allows you a greater elongation of the muscles and a wider range of motion. 

Swimming should be a part of every aquatic exercise since its many benefits complement everything you do in the water. 

  • It is known to strengthen the immune system and help with many conditions. It can, for example, help with breathing diseases, such as asthma, since it improves lung capacity. 
  • It works the whole body rather than focusing on one muscle or part of the body at the same time, and it improves both, your strength and range of motion. 
  • Furthermore, it allows us to work on deeper tissues and muscles simultaneously. 

The best technique to complement a yoga practice is the breaststroke. In this technique, arms open our chest and stretch the upper body. The swimming is done in a slow, controlled motion, and we should try to disturb the water as little as possible.

At the end of the practice, do some breathing exercises while you allow your body to float freely on the water. We try to relax without losing consciousness of our body. If you find it hard to relax, use some floating props. In aqua breathing, your exhalation should be twice the length of your inhalation. You can also play a bit and exhale underwater through the mouth.

At the end of the exercise, you should do floating relaxation on the back, instead of savasana (corpse pose). Try to give up any tension and just allow the water to hold you.

Health benefits of aqua yoga include: 

  • Pain relief from arthritis
  • Increase of muscle relaxation and strength
  • Better breathing
  • Improvement of endurance
  • Body detoxication
  • Also works on the nervous system to calm and stimulate it at the same time. 

What Are the Benefits of Floating Yoga?

Yoga is developing a number of popular offshoots that are drawing in new yogis all the time. Whether you want to try something new or just switch up a stale yoga routine, the latest trend could have a lot to offer. What is this new phenomenon that’s sweeping across yoga studios and health centers? Most yogis know it as floating yoga, the practice of performing their usual sequence on a paddleboard in the middle of a local pool.

If you’ve been tempted to try this latest trend, you should know what it has to offer. There are some real benefits to this mainstream movement that could help to move you further along in your yoga practice.

It Forces You to Focus

You’re probably able to move through the average yoga sequence with a very little thought on any given day. You can jump back to chaturanga and move straight through a vinyasa with ease. Unfortunately, those same skills won’t necessarily apply when you move on to floating yoga.

Floating yoga will require you to think about each individual movement you need to make. If you want to stay afloat, you will have to focus on what comes next and how to shift your balance accordingly.

You’ll Develop a Stronger Core

Practicing yoga is certain to give you a thorough workout, but floating yoga promises an even more rigorous option. Because of the balance and movements required, floating yoga gives you an ample opportunity to improve your core strength. You will have to use your core strength to stabilize yourself, even as the gentle waves rock your board.

What’s the real challenge? When a classmate falls face-first into the pool, you’re likely to be rocked by bigger waves. Utilizing your core muscles can help to keep you floating even in the midst of the water surge.

Yoga Will Become Fun Again

Do you ever fall into a rut where yoga becomes more like a chore than a pleasure? Trying some of these unconventional yoga styles may give you the boost you need to help the practice become fun once more. It can shift your mindset and let you go back to your regular practice feeling renewed and energized again.

You won’t be tempted to take yourself too seriously after the first fall into the chilly pool water. It’ll be a pleasant experience that also jolts you out of a routine mindset that is too stuck on being serious all the time.

Not all fitness centers are offering this unique class, but it’s definitely worth trying if you find it on a schedule near you. Be sure to trade your usual yoga leggings for something you won’t mind getting wet with pool chemicals! A pair of yoga shorts and a tank top with a bathing suit underneath may be the ideal outfit for floating yoga.

Don’t be afraid to dive on into a new yoga practice with this floating class. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and your practice in the process.

How To Make Natural Dye for Textiles

There’s a little artist living in each of us. Especially when directions to different DIY projects are only a click away. I particularly enjoy to DIY and experiment. At the same time, I like to keep the environment free of unnecessary chemicals. My preference in textile materials is natural. Therefore, upcycling some of my old clothes, bedding, and curtains with natural dye techniques is a perfect match to prolong their life and make them even more vibrant.

Choosing natural materials to match with natural dyes is important as natural colors won’t stay on firmly on other materials. Also, with further washings, they could potentially ruin your other clothes. The best materials for dying would be wool, cotton, linen, and silk. Also, for dyes use fresh, ripe plants (dried don’t have the same properties anymore).

Here are some of the ingredients I have used and also things I have learned about these dyes through the process. Some of them even have medicinal properties that I’ll be able to put to use in the future. I always like a good informative DIY project.

I decided I want my sheets to be a deep shade of red, so I used black elderberry berries. Starting out the dye process you could even think of what stains are not easily removed from clothes and the colors they leave on behind.

1. First, dampen or wash the fabric you wish to dye (don’t dry it through completely).

2. Place the plants, black elderberry berries in this case, to a stainless pot and fill up with twice the amount of water. Bring to boil and let simmer until it is pretty dark. 

3. Then dip the fabric in for as long as it is two shades darker than you would want it to be. Keep in mind that the finished dye will lighten up.

4. Dry as usual. 

5. You have a fabulously re-made piece of clothing or upholstery.

Did you also know that black elderberry contains the most Vitamin B out of all the plants? I’ve learned that from the research before the dye process. It is one of the rare plants that can be fully consumed. The one thing to keep off your menu are fresh berries, but boiled in tea even have healing properties. Black elderberry tea helps with treating scarlet fever, flu, and measles. It even helps to ease the pain of rheumatism and prevents from UTI. As well as works as a diuretic when constipated. Flowers which can be gathered in June are a great addition to scrambled eggs. Bark in February and March. Berries in September – try making jam of it, it is delicious. Leaves in April and May. And roots all from February until November.

I enjoyed a warm cup of black elderberry tea while waiting for the bedding to dry. It initially turned out just the way I hoped. If you wish to attain similarly dark tone another dark violet dye might come of blackberries.

While you’re picking ripe berries during the months of August in September, as there is quite some work to get to a handful of these tiny berries, you could consider drying a few for possible future use. For example, its juice helps with easing the pain while overcoming angina. While blackberry tea is moreover a great thirst quencher as well as works soothingly on digestion.

There are also other colors, plants and different techniques I experimented with. While my kitchen was already half a mess, I died some linen curtains lightly green using sage. I also gradually took the curtains out of the coloring pan in order to achieve an ombre effect. The smell of sage was actually pretty soothing. I learned that sage moreover treats weak lungs and glands when clearing throat with it. It also works preventively against stroke. It clears blood and removes slime from the body. And stops bleeding gums when applied fresh or in a toothpaste. Lightly infused sage tea promotes sweating, while strongly steeped tea prevents it. It is known to calm down when excessively nervous. The one time to better avoid it is when young mothers are trying to breastfeed as it is known to clog the milk pores.

As there could be all the colors of the rainbow found in nature, there could be different tones attained by natural dyes. Let your imagination run wild a little and create textiles that blend with nature seamlessly. I always find contentment in projects that bring my old textiles to life. There is a little less waste and at the end of the day, I have a new piece of clothing or upholstery ready to show off. Win-win, right?

Yoga Clothing: What’s Out There For Me?

“Tight, but not too tight. Practical, but fashionable. Affordable, but environmentally responsible… wait, what do I choose?”

We know all about the agony that some might feel when having to go through the trouble of choosing where to buy the ideal set of yoga clothes, but before you head out to flatten the floors of the mall or stare at a screen browsing for just too many hours, we here give you an overview of the options that are waiting for you out there depending on your purchasing priorities.

Tree Hugging

If your priority is making a purchase while remaining in harmony with the natural elements of this world, great! We applaud your all-round yogi approach to life and encourage you to check out these brands that share your same admirable values.



Yoga Smoga


For those busy ones working on a tight schedule who are in the search of versatile multi-use clothing, there are a few brands that will be pleased to cater to your needs.

Alo Yoga

Lily Lottus

Outdoor Voices


You don’t have to buy expensive clothes to look or feel good; you just have to feel good with yourself to look good… definitely one of the many wise yoga lessons. So, if going on a shopping spree and ending up with a whole in your wallet is not part of your plan, do not worry, we here present you a few brands that have this all covered.

Forever 21


Old Navy




Colors, prints and singular designs that will be hard to find somewhere else: If high-quality, stylish clothing is your cup of tea be ready to blow your mind over the well thought and unique outfits you will be able to run into at these stores.



Live the Process



Are you looking for clothing designed by people or companies that have somehow of a clear idea of what you want as an athlete? Here are some of the brands that will most probably satisfy your needs.

Nancy Rose Performance



Tory Sport


If none of the fore mentioned purchasing priorities ring a bell with what you are actually looking for then we hope these few will.

Mika Yoga Wear: A brand to honor the differences in each body; this is the concept they have in mind while crafting their yoga clothes and depending on what you pick you can get it for a medium-ranged price.

Nordstrom: This is the place for you to go in case you are indecisive of what you want. Head out there and take a look at different varieties of brands, price tags and styles and compare them right next to each other.

Sweaty Betty: Although a bit pricey, this store offers a broad range of looks from simple basics to more elaborated apparel.

90 Degree By Reflex: These clothes are not only affordable but they are well made and lots of styles to choose from. 

6 Yoga Gear Complaints From Men

The yoga men are here to stay, and more may be on their way. Should we let them get comfortable? Maybe, if you consider the fact that, for some enterprising ladypreneurs, there’s a market gap for adapting gear to men’s specifications. Below are suggestions from yoga practicing for making yoga gear more amenable to a male aesthetic – though some ideas are markedly more practical than others.

Does This Come In Anything Other Than Periwinkle?

Among the concerns of yoga-practicing men is that yoga mats only come in “pink and purple.”
“And the blocks,” they say, “Again with the pink and purple.” If their source for yoga gear is the softball aisle at Dick’s Sporting Goods, then point taken; otherwise, I think perhaps this misconception is a product of shoddy market research. Boys, let me introduce you to the experience of practicing a female-dominated sport. First, it’s periwinkle and raspberry, not “purple and pink,” though I realize the red spectrum can be tricky.

Second, my web search brought up a rainbow of different colored yoga mats among the premium manufacturers, so I think what you have to understand is that yoga is not like golf. There is no yoga equivalent to picking up a new driver at the pro shop just before your tee time. Female-dominated activities require research and often the best stuff requires a drive or an online purchase. The good news is that buying your gear in the right colors offers another opportunity to adjust your mindset!

Why Is This Mat so Short?

Now, this is a legit beef, but not so fast! Remember when we went to college and bought extra-long sheets for your extra-long mattresses? Back then, some of us had décor aspirations that didn’t ship in extra-long. Who cried for us? As you meditate on your short, periwinkle mat in class, appreciate this moment for what it is: the first time in which a product upon which you depend isn’t defaulted to your specifications. And then relax, breathe in, and know that because we know your pain we shall make you a longer mat, and charge you heavily for the privilege.

And Narrow, Why Is This Mat So Narrow?

Ibid., substituting in “narrow” for short and “long” for wide.

Could the center of the mat be more padded—the part where the knee is placed down on floor poses and meditation?

Serious answer: I think this might mess with your balance on some of the poses. It would also add heavily to the price of the mat unless the entire mat was made much thicker. This would also be a more expensive and cumbersome mat, but perhaps there is a market for it.
Not so serious answer: Questions like this are why women are the ones who handle childbirth.
(Questions like this one are why women are in charge of childbirth.)

Could we get mats with lines placed at 45, 60, and 90-degree angles? This would allow for foot placement at precise angles.

I’m glad that you’re taking yoga.

I sometimes use three or four mats, along with my non-slip, rubber coated towels. I arrange my mats in a T-shape and stack them together because they aren’t thick enough otherwise.

This isn’t a question. I just included it because it’s the best confession of man-spreading I’ve ever heard.

Yoga Fusion Classes: The Blend

The Vinyasa power flow, Kundalini meditation, restorative yin; each of these styles hold true to classic yoga practices. Many studios, however, are beginning to blend classic practices with other methods of fitness. From yoga sculpt to trigger point therapy, yogis are beginning to draw in fitness junkies with the allure of combining multiple workout styles into one class. Here we’ll delve into a couple classes being offered in LA’s hottest studios and what you can expect when you roll your mat out.

Yoga Sculpt

We know that moving our bodies through yoga poses takes plenty of strength, however, these classes bring an additional layer of strengthening: enter hand weights. Most yoga sculpt classes begin with building heat with a vigorous yoga flow. This allows you to become acquainted with the poses, focusing on form and alignment.

  • As the body heats up and lengthens out, familiarity builds. Step one, check.
  • Next, you’ll grab a pair of dumbbells—typically anywhere from three to five pounds.
  • You will return to the yoga poses you were just moving through, but this time you’ll stay in each posture a bit longer and add on strength moves.
  • Think holding chair pose while doing bicep curls or raising and lowering your horse pose in sequence with overhead presses.

Sculpt classes are allowing participants to mellow out during with a yoga flow and hammer out any aggression with some sculpting. The result: sweaty and satisfied.

Yoga Barre

A traditional barre class is inspired by classic ballet movements and positions. You elongate and tone with high repetitions and a variety of props. The fusion of a yoga barre class intermixes the two styles of fitness throughout the class. Instead of creating a flow by moving through yoga poses, you’ll find yourself in a series of exercises focusing on the same body part. After several consecutive exercises working the same area, you’ll be stretching it all out with neutralizing yoga poses.

Picture being at the ballet barre and performing squats through the full range and half range of motion followed immediately by pulses in your deepest bend; lengthen it all out in standing pigeon pose for sweet relief. Core work follows suit with high repetitions and minimal rest, but instead of traditional crunches, resistance from the barre or a ball are used to engage the deepest layer of your abdominals.
Side note: strengthening these muscles just so happen to help with your yogi handstands and inversions. Win-win.

Trigger Point Therapy

The importance of tissue mobility is hotter than ever. We are realizing you can’t optimize your practice if you’re holding onto all sorts of tension. TPT yoga classes spend about half of the class flowing and half the time mobilizing. The goal of the flow is to heat the muscles up. Warming up muscles is optimal for working out trigger points.

After about 30 minutes of a gradually building yoga flow, the latter half of the class uses tools and techniques to relieve trigger points – knots of tension within our muscles. Lacrosse balls assist in providing a self-massage, but beware: you might shed a tear or two. Insert breathing techniques to guide you through the tough spots. Wrap it all up with a soothing Savasana, and you will leave this TPT class feeling like you just walked out of a spa – refreshed and rejuvenated.

Fusion classes open our eyes to the progressions of fitness. The art of intertwining two workouts into one class takes balance and finesse. Challenge yourself to step outside of the box and switch up your regular with a yoga fusion class.