Yoga Workshops

debby-siegel-yogogirls-yoga-teacher-workshop

Upcoming Workshops with Debby Siegel of YoGoGirls:

 

Yoga for Athletes

by Debby Siegel

Saturday, October 22, 2016 | 3-4p

Innsbrook Resort 

This 60-minute workshop provided during Sally Drake Endurance Coaching’s Off Season Training Retreat will help you:

  • Become more symmetrical in your sport. By encouraging symmetry in your body, you can balance out your power output as well as reduce the likelihood of future injuries.
  • Learn about and address the effects of lower cross syndrome – an American epidemic – through heart and front body opening yoga exercises.
  • Incorporate safe stretches into your off season and race season, and find out how this changes your outcomes.
  • Learn about how calming the central nervous system through yoga can improve your body, your mind and your race career.

All levels of athletes are welcome. To find out more about this weekend of athletic training, including mountain biking, road biking, kayaking, strength training and yoga, visit Sally Drake’s Facebook Event.

Special pricing for those just attending events on Saturday. Email Sally for pricing.


Let’s Give Props to Props!

by Rebekah Jarchow & Debby Siegel

Sunday, November 5, 2016 | 2:30 – 4:30p

$30 or 2 for $40 | scholarships available through Yoga Buzz

Metro Power Yoga | Kirkwood, MO

rebekah-debby-props-workshop-no-5

Whether you’re a novice or expert yogi, props should be an important part of your yoga practice. Debby and Rebekah will help you explore creative uses of all kinds of props in all kinds of yoga poses, sharing how they can enhance your practice and help you achieve deeper poses, safer and sooner. 

Props can allow us to get into poses that are hard or even impossible without them, or stay in a pose for a longer time. They can bring the floor up, lengthen our arms or legs, provide comfort and stability, but they can also add a new challenge to our practice or encourage us to engage different muscles. By providing support, props help you to extend beyond habitual limitations and teach you that your body is capable of doing much more than you think possible.

This workshop will include a full, well-rounded vinyasa practice including warm up, core strengthening, sun salutations, standing poses, twists, backbends, forward bends, inversions and relaxation – and all of these will be practiced with the use of props.

Bring your own favorite props if you have any (like blocks, straps, yoga wheels or a blanket).  We’ll provide them if you don’t have your own.

Yoga Teachers! This workshop will cover the use of wall space, straps, bolsters, blocks, and new props on the market for assisting yogis in continuing to develop safe practices. Come discover a couple of versatile new props — the Dharma Wheel & Yoga Paws Paw Pads — and ways to incorporate their use into classes and privates as wrist aids or head, elbow, knee, hip or forearm cushions and tools for assisting in deepening heart opening poses.

Visit our Facebook Event Page to register for updates on prop give aways and other announcements!

Register online


Defy Gravity with a YoGoGirls Inversions Game Plan

by Debby Siegel and Michelle Thomas

Dec, 2016 |

Location TBD

$50 includes workshop, homework video, and photos

yogogirls-inversion-workshop

Want to experience the joy of being upside down? Join inversion enthusiasts Debby & Michelle of YoGoGirls for this inversions workshop mastering invigorating yoga poses such as headstand, forearm stand and handstand. We will safely build these poses from their foundations up in order to gain confidence and dispel the fears associated with practicing inverted poses.

Inversions can be empowering postures that teach us not only about our inner strength, but about our playfulness, courage, and our ability to create lightness and space. They help our circulatory system, our lymphatic system, energize us and even help our immune system. So let’s make them happen!

We’ll discuss anatomically what needs to happen in the shoulder girdle, core and bandhas for you to defy gravity and get your heart above your head. We’ll share our stories of how we developed the strength and confidence to attempt these more challenging poses. We’ll provide you with homework in video form so that you may continue your inversion practice after the workshop. And of course, we will take some success photos at the end of this 2 hour workshop.

This workshop is best suited for those with a regular yoga practice of all-levels. A willingness to fall 3 times and get back up 4 is key. We ask that if you have any neck and/or head injuries, high blood pressure or eye problems like glaucoma that you not register for this workshop.


Living Libido Yoga

by Debby Siegel

New Date & Location of the second offering coming soon!

 

Debby debuted this workshop at Yoga Home Retreat in a castle at Lake of the Ozarks September 24. This one will be offered regularly at various retreats and events. Living Libido Yoga designed to show you how developing mindfulness, improving body perception, and increasing blood flow, stamina & flexibility can help you sustain a passionate life – including your sex life. Living Libido Yoga will safely and comfortably delve into strengthening your Mula Bandha and understanding how your pelvic floor impacts not only your body throughout your life, but helps in all balancing poses as well. We’ll strengthen and tone sexual centers for better performance, understand ways of showing up intimately that help you and your orgasmic sexual energy, and practice a vinyasa flow with additional asanas for improving stamina and flexibility.

This 75-minute workshop is a safe instructional space. There will be no hands on adjustments. If words like sex or genitalia, and anatomical descriptions of areas of the body used in sex might offend you, this workshop may not be for you. This is designed to give you tools for your intimate life. It focuses on ways yoga can help you maintain sexual health throughout your life. You will need to bring a yoga mat, towel or blanket, and water bottle to this workshop; and to wear comfortable clothes. Blocks are available and their use encouraged.

What this workshop is NOT: Living Libido yoga is not intended to create an ego-based, sexually charged environment. It is not intended to cause infatuations, nor proclaiming to be the sole answer for yoga nor sex. It is merely an offering of researched ideas that may position you in a place to help you integrate your mind, body and spirit more thoroughly in support of your healthy, vibrant life and sex life.

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Yoga Teacher Training Taught Me
Witness Consciousness

by DEBBY SIEGEL

Life has its roller coaster times, and I don’t mean like some kiddie mine shaft coaster, I am talking Tower of Terror with its 90 degree, 164-foot drop and loops, and scream-inducing twists and turns. It wasn’t until my 40s and especially since meditating regularly and now learning about Witness Consciousness in yoga teacher training, that I have found an ability to hold on to those safety bars and smoothly ride it out.

Along with 19 other yoga teacher hopefuls, a radical experiment clarified Witness Consciousness for me. It began with us all in a circle on the floor. Each of us given a small hand towel and asked to sit in sukhasana (easy, cross-legged pose) with our palms face up on our knees, we were to place the cloth on top of our knee area of our thigh, under our hand. We were then to close our eyes. Ooooh, this is getting interesting. Immediately my monkey mind began attempting to decipher what was going to happen. Why the little hand towel under my hand? Why are my palms face up?

Next, my chatty mini primates tried making sense of what was being distributed to each of us through sound. I could hear Christine Kick (our teacher) gently gliding along to each person, and some sort of hollow plastic sound, which I determined to be a bucket and the contents I believed plastic too. She was giving us a little toy and we were going to have to feel it and guess what it was! Yep, I had it all figured out.

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As Seen On…

News media around the world have joined forces with YoGoGirls in our mission to inspire others to grasp hold of their edge and nudge it along. Here are some places you may find motivation to explore your threshold:

SEPTEMBER 1, 2016

Cyclelove

AUGUST 30, 2016

Terrain Magazine

AUGUST 19, 2016

Elle, Italy

AUGUST 18, 2016

NewsGiro

AUGUST 17, 2016

Huffington Post UK

New York Post

Daily Mail

The Telegraph

APRIL 28, 2016

Yoganonymous

APRIL 11, 2016

Birdy Magazine (Russian)

MARCH, 2016

TAKE HOLD (video by So iLL Holds)

FEBRUARY 22, 2016

Town and Style

FEBRUARY, 2016

The Idle Man

FEBRUARY 15, 2016

TechKnowd (Bicycling Magazine)

JANUARY, 2016

Mantra + Yoga and Health Magazine

JANUARY 6, 2016

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

AUGUST 10, 2015

Pointe Studio

JULY 17, 2015

Malendyer

JUNE 1, 2015

Katie Loves You

MARCH 5, 2015

Peonies and Miles

JANUARY, 2015

A Twisted Spoke

JANUARY 6, 2015

Buzzfeed

NOVEMBER 17, 2014

Yogomotive

SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

Self Magazine

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Win a DAT MAT + YoGoGirls Photoshoot


How’s a funky new yoga mat

and a yoga shoot with YoGoGirls sound?!

You in?

dat-mat_mats

Well, it’s simple to make this happen for yourself. Just enter our sweepstakes for this $640 value prize and check our Facebook wall and Instagram on October 1, 2016 to see if you won.

As the winner, you’ll receive a DAT MAT yoga mat of your choice, plus a photo of you on a DAT MAT to be used on YoGoGirls and DAT MAT’s social media! The winner will be selected and announced on YoGoGirls’ social media on September 30, 2016 and the photo shoot will take place by Oct 14, 2016. (lookatdatmat.com to view mat options)
Oh, and if you want extra entries for yourself, share the contest with friends after you’ve entered. For each of your friends who enters, you’ll get 3 more chances at winning the mat and shoot!

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Jamie Austin – Yoga Studio Owner Extraordinaire

This is Jamie Austin. We met her at the front desk at Yoga Six St. Louis years ago. She has since obtained her 200 hour yoga teacher certification and opened her very own light-filled yoga studio in a part of St. Louis where there are none. Jamie is a hero and we applaud her choice to create this studio’s encouraging atmosphere dedicated to making yoga accessible to all.

Jamie’s yoga establishment – Mindful Movements – is in Old North St. Louis, north of what locals know as the Delmar divide. Jamie is a pioneer. She wanted to take yoga into an area ripe for growth and layered with diversity and say “Hey you can do yoga, if you’re not already, and I’m going to make it as accessible as I can.”

She has been doing just that too. With a schedule of classes offered 6 days a week, Mindful Movements will achieve their mission. And added to their schedule this fall, is a tour of yoga classes taught by area instructors who specialize in their specific area of practice. From Ashtanga to Restorative, there are 13 varieties being offered through a non-profit company called Yoga Buzz. The weekly 75-minute, all levels classes on Wednesday evenings this fall are just $10 to drop in. Now that’s accessible!

The purpose of this Yoga Tour is to offer students a variety of class formats from around our area, so that they may explore a style of this ancient art they may have wanted to explore. The schedule of classes and their weeks are as follows:

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TAKE HOLD of PLAY

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

The secret to remaining youthful and agile is to play. Good thing St. Louis is home to some of the best playgrounds available. Two of which – City Museum and Forest Park – are in the city proper and offer YoGoGirls many opportunities to sustain enthusiastic hearts, young mindsets and athletic physiques.

 

Constructed of repurposed industrial debris, City Museum, with its 10 stories of continuous labyrinthed chutes and caves is the world’s largest funhouse. It’s an outstanding place to awaken the kid in you and connect to the joys of play. In addition to frolicking through a myriad of mazes and slides, I have seen concerts at City Museum, attended a wedding and even practiced yoga at City Museum with Yoga Buzz. And, we understand there are yoga classes for kids beginning there this summer! (Check their Facebook for details).

 

Then there’s St. Louis’ nearly 1,400 acre Forest Park. Just last month Forest Park was rated the number 1 city park in the country in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards. It is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, nearly a third larger than New York City’s Central Park. The St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center and Planetarium, History Museum, Zoo, Jewel Box and Muny Theater are a few of the many attractions located on the grounds. Michelle and I use Forest Park for outdoor recreation and photo shoots. We bicycle on its paths, jog its trails, practice yoga at many locations throughout the park, and ice skate and paddleboat there.

 

So when we were recently approached by the owners of a climbing gym (my new home away from home) and outdoor equipment manufacturer to be filmed as part of their series on athletes around the country, we knew we had to shoot our footage in these playgrounds.

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Yoga Home Retreat SEPT 23-25

Your transformative weekend awaits…

Christine is a dynamo and sprouting with the Earth’s bountiful energy. And Joshua Holder will soothe your soul. Meditation, Acro, Music, Yoga, Hiking, Boating, Photography by YoGoGirls, and some surprises that we know will affect your energetic imprint.

Treat yourself to a weekend of playing with friends, while elevating your vibrations with sacred music and creative class offerings at Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. Join YoGoGirls, Christine Kick, and Joshua Holder SEPT 23-25 in the 9,400 square foot Kinderhook Castle on Lake of the Ozarks. This home sits on the highest elevation in Old Kinderhook Golf Course with its great room and three separate patios offering spectacular views of sunrise and sunset, the private golf course and the Lake. Its landscape is plush with a cascading water fall and pristine foliage all around.

We’ll dine on healthy meals in the gourmet kitchen complete with three ovens, built-in wok, warming drawers, wine storage, ice maker, wine refrigerator, and two sinks. We may even choose to challenge each other to a game of air hockey, basketball (an indoor court), ping pong or pool in the game room.

We’ll practice yoga indoor and out, frolic in various outdoor and lake adventures, and of course experience acro yoga, meditation, and lots of love and laughter. Come free your heart with a weekend of joyful play. Accommodation options range from building your own fort inside the massive home to a private room.

Yoga Home
346 Country Ridge Drive
Lake of the Ozarks, MO 65020

Photos of the Home 

REGISTER ONLINE >> christinekick.com

Facebook Event Page

Fun Facts about Lake of the Ozarks:

 

  • The lake runs 92 miles end to end.
  • The Lake holds around 617 billion gallons of water.
  • At roughly 1,150 miles, the total shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks is longer than the coastline of California.
  • The lake was the largest man-made lake in the United States, when it was completed in 1931 by the Union Electric Co. of St. Louis.
  • The total cost to build Bagnell Dam was approximately $30 million (nearly $360 million in today’s money).
  • At 17,741 acres, Lake of the Ozarks State Park is the largest park in Missouri.
  • Lake of the Ozarks covers 61,000 acres and contains 617 billion gallons of fresh water, what the city of St. Louis typically uses over a decade.
  • Roughly 3.5 million tourists visit Lake of the Ozarks from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
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Your Wonderland.

BY YOGOGIRLS

Dosomething.org reports that 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies. Let’s change this. Our bodies are amazing because of what they do for us each day. Let’s rejoice in the fact that we can stand, sit, walk, practice yoga, ride bikes, dance, skip, and all the things we ask of our soul-carrying, skin-covered, physical beings.

Some of you reading this are already stating something in your head in regard to your body or Michelle and my bodies and how we display them on social media. Not only do you have feelings about your body, you have an opinion of others’ bodies and it is based on your personal choices and beliefs, media’s influence, and how you feel about your own body. Let’s all shift the self-talk about ourselves to that of the 9%. Let’s all become those women who are happy with their body and incorporate the empowering wisdom of loving our spirit vessels into our daily presence.

However you are thinking right now, we invite you to take this moment and ask yourself this question:

What do I like best about my body?

 

We began this conversation, asking many of our friends to become a part of our collection of affirmative body statements. It’s a start. If you’d like to be added (this list will continue to evolve), please email debby@yogogirls.com to be included. The list is in order received.

 


The thing I like best about my body is…

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Creating Sacred Space

altar sacred space YoGoGirls Yoga Six YTT

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

No matter who you are, no matter your age, health, or your occupation; everyone benefits from meditation. However, many people – myself included – find the lengthy concentration part a challenge. Allocating the time to just sit and be and not focus on anything? Wha? It’s 2016. I’ve got my Instagram family responding to my feed to check on my watch in between FaceTiming my kid at camp, self-checking at the grocery, studying, working, picking weeds and a whole slew of other forms of adulting to attend to. Time and space that is sacredly held for just me and my spiritual nourishment? Yes, even for us… there is help.

We can improve our ability to focus in meditation by creating a space held solely for this purpose. To create your sacred meditation space, intentionally choose the location and all you place in it.  Your sacred space will be uniquely you. It should reflect what is powerful in your story. What calms you. What draws you inward and closer to what’s in your heart.

Use décor, lighting, pillows, sculptures, altars, furniture, photos, candles and anything you find that will help you tangibly connect to a safe space of calming energy. Summon the healing power of nature by bringing in any piece of nature to which you connect deeply. If sounds of the ocean are meaningful and help you connect, then include them. If you have something you made in Shop class (aka Industrial technology for the younger set), and it resonates with that younger version of you – the one that was less tainted by the layers added onto him/her by the world – then by all means, add it to your area you are building for the purpose of spending quiet time meditating.

earth mandala morning altarHere are some items that you may want to consider including in your meditation area, but please just use this list as a guide and be certain to include items in your sacred space that speak to you:

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VIBRATE HIGHER – Shift Happens

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

PHOTOS BY YOGOGIRLS

Seventeen hours into Yoga Six’s 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. No turning back. This is it. This shift is happening…

We have learned much in this opening weekend. One lesson – that of energy vibrations – I must share.

Science has shown that everything in the universe is made up of energy vibrating at different frequencies. Things that look solid are really made up of vibrational energy fields at the quantum level. When you look at an object through a high-powered microscope and view its smallest components: molecules, atoms, neutrons, electrons and quanta (the smallest particles measurable), it is mostly empty space interspersed with energy. This includes us.

Our overall state of being is our vibration. From a scientific and metaphysical perspective, we are a being made up of different energy levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Each of these levels has its vibrational frequency, which combine to create your overall vibration of being. And it is these vibrations that attract others with similar vibrations. Thus, as one might imagine, yoga teacher training rooms are bubbling with inquisitive energy. I’m surrounded by frequencies of people who chose this study. This is a good space. This is where we each will find love, healing, acceptance, and inquiry.

Here’s a simple experiment you might try to test the power of your vibration in the world. Spend a day making eye contact and smiling at absolutely everyone you see. Everyone. Your neighbor, the trash hauler, the front desk clerk, cashier, patrons and staff at a restaurant. Everyone you encounter. See and Smile. Next, spend a day not making eye contact with others. Don’t smile at them. Don’t even look at anyone. Stay in your bubble, don’t share, and don’t respond. Then see how different you feel at the end of each day. Which feelings you prefer. You likely don’t even have to do this experiment to know.

The concept of sharing positive energy versus negative is relatively easy to grasp. For extremely tangible, astounding evidence of the power of our words and thoughts, look up Dr. Emoto’s experiments on water. We learned in YTT about this man’s incredible studies on the effects of positive and negative energy on water crystals.

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GOTTA GET THAT FUNK

…OUT OF MY YOGA FABRIC

 

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

So you rented a yoga towel for class and when you were down-dogging you noted a slightly pungent aroma wafting from its surface? This smell reminds you of your boyfriend’s hockey / running / cycling (insert sport) clothes and jock and you are now distracted from that zen place to which this class was intended to bring you. The fact is, activewear and most yoga fabrics are made of technical materials used specifically for repelling water, which is exactly what you want them to do when you’re sweating all over yourself, but not when you’re trying to wash them. So cleaning these items can present a challenge.

YoGoGirls is here to report we have done the research and tested various options for removing said stench and are happy to share that we’ve successfully de-odorized a towel or two of our own, and perhaps a tri kit and some other stinky stuff we discovered.

We have been told of the powers of Borax – that stuff your grandma used to use. It’s actually still available on grocery store shelves. We’ve heard a vinegar solution, baking soda too. And we’ve been told of and tried out Oxy Clean.

Well… the winner from these options turns out to be vinegar.

Before you wash your yoga fabrics, soak them in the sink with one part white vinegar to four parts cold water. Leave them soaking for about 30 minutes, then clean in the washing machine. You can add a little white vinegar to the wash too, if you think they need it.

Also, try to wash them soon after sweating in them, but if you’re unable to get them into a wash cycle just after wearing your activewear, at least hang them on the side of the basket, not thrown into it in a wet clump in it. And if possible, try drying your workout clothes using the power of the sun. The sun’s rays are a natural bacteria deterrent, so hanging your clothes out to dry will help keep them fresh as a daisy, like you!

 

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MEDITATION ON MUSIC

BY NATALIE PIONTEK

Ever been in yoga class and wonder, “What’s this song playing?” But then you promptly forget to ask because you’re sweaty and disheveled, and all of a sudden you’re in crow or a side-arm balance, and all you can think about is when the heck you can get back to a nice comfortable child’s pose again? Well…

Here are thirteen relaxed, upbeat tracks that you can use for an hour-long practice—at home! The playlist starts with a bit of ambient electronica to warm up, a mixture of house music and psychedelic pop for your flow, and Coldplay’s “Oceans” for a relaxing cool down. Roll out your mat or kick up your feet—or both, if you’re doing headstands today 😉

Enjoy.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE24bMkab2LkWrrqV6rD9FIEJXHvEtfpG

Track List:

  1. Lusine — Two Dots
  2. Max Richter — Spring 1
  3. Fleetwood Mac (Gigamesh edit) — Dreams
  4. Oh Wonder — Without You
  5. Paradis — Hemisphere
  6. Tom Misch — The Journey
  7. Glass Animals — Gooey
  8. Chilly Gonzales — Knight Moves
  9. Favela — Gong
  10. IAMNOBODI — Good Wine
  11. Darius & Crayon — Alicia
  12. The XX — Angels
  13. Coldplay — Oceans

Natalie_yogogirls_playlist 1-smaller

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GLOBAL WELLNESS DAY – June 11

Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis and YoGoGirls will celebrate Global Wellness Day on Saturday, June 11, 2016 with sunrise yoga followed by a healthy breakfast, a new therapeutic spa treatment and more.

“On Global Wellness Day, we will join thousands of wellness organizations in more than 100 countries and turn our attention to physical and spiritual well-being,” remarked Martin Hilton, the Hotel’s Spa Director.

At 7:00 am on Saturday, June 11 attendees can start their day with complimentary yoga alongside YoGoGirls on the eighth floor Sky Terrace, offering panoramic views of the Mississippi River and downtown skyline. This all-levels class will emphasize breath, movement, strength and alignment, instructed by leading local yogi Keena Alexander.
Following yoga, attendees are invited to refuel with complimentary small bites from Chef Gian Nicola Colucci of Cielo Restaurant and Bar, including freshly-squeezed juices, fruit and breakfast burritos made with locally grown vegetables. Chef Colucci will also be featuring tri-colored quinoa with dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and local honey on the breakfast menu. Add a scoop of organic Greek yogurt for additional protein or enjoy a house-made juice with added antioxidants.

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The C Word…

COMMUNITY.

 

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

The word community traces back to the late 14th century Old French comunité, a word that meant “commonness”. Creating community, as YoGoGirls see it, is one reason for our very existence on this planet. To find and connect to people, our people.

 

This past weekend I was fortunate to reach the age of 48. A slight deviation from prior birthdays, this year’s celebrations included back-to-back triathlons. Both offered ample community. Both offered all the commonness amongst participants that gather people together. One tri however, had no competition factor. It was not timed, no ribbons or awards for finishing. No real training necessary either.  It was a Wanderlust version, called a “Mindful Triathlon”.

 

yogogirls wanderlustWanderlust 108 took place in Kansas City on Saturday, May 21. Participants finished a 5k, a 75-minute yoga class, and a 30-minute meditation. It was as blissful as it sounds. A cool 76 degree high, the sunny skies were filled with the higher vibrations of MC Yogi and Dharma Punx, and the ground covered in yoga mats and happy people. The day could not have turned out better. We got to play with friends, hang out in aerial yoga slings, gain some body art and enjoy the community of nearly 1000 yogis along the Missouri Riverfront.

 

The second triathlon on Sunday – the St. Louis Triathlon – was the swim, bike and run type. This olympic and sprint distance triathlon in its inaugural year at St. Louis County’s Creve Coeur Lake, greeted about the same number of people and had equally sunny skies and music playing. Its organizer, Rich Adams with MSE Racing, has completed more than 30 triathlons since his first in 2007, and putting this one together was a dream of his come true. He included paratriathletes in his race and introduced a swim, mountain bike, trail run version of this sport at this May 22 event as well. It was a big gathering of athletes all collecting in one spot with the same goal… crossing that finish line.

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Curbside Enthusiasm – VeloFix, the Concierge Bike Shop

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

You’re a cyclist. You understand the thrill of balancing on two wheels with a destination in mind, and that connection your bike gives you to a community, its streets and people. You also know that minimally you need to get that bike tuned up and parts replaced once a year. This means finding a bike shop you trust and feel comfortable going into, getting your bicycle to the bike shop, dropping it off, waiting for the call back with an estimate, and then waiting for the subsequent work and of course paying for it and picking it up.

But what if you could eliminate many of these steps and have your bike mechanic come to you? That’s just what we did when Francesca DeRanzo of VeloFix St. Louis visited us this past week.

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Behind Our Scenes

One question we consistently hear – “What exactly is YoGoGirls?”.

Online May 17 a short TAKE HOLD film highlighting YoGoGirls should help give you some of our perspective. We are two friends who, in our midlife found one another and have made this portion of our paths the best yet by indulging our creative talents on a regular basis. Creative people will understand how vital it is to consistently engage their imagination. We get to for fun and recently for a portion of our living.

Crafting with the lens and keyboard, YoGoGirls intends to embolden others to rise to their highest calling.  We enjoy the process of this creative outlet… of coming up with the setting, costuming, postures and quippy messages for each of our Instagram or Facebook posts. We have recently delved more into videos as well, and have a silly fun cycling video planned for this weekend, and a second in our Sporting Sporty Hair series featuring 2 of our friends next week. Stay tuned.

We thought we’d help answer identity questions by taking you behind the scenes in yesterday’s shoot. Excited by the chromatic look of Onzie‘s new yoga wear, we thought Laumeier Sculpture Park with its “living laboratory where artists and audiences explore the relationship between contemporary art and the natural environment” would be the perfect shoot location. So we met just before sunset at this park in a suburb of St. Louis with the intention of getting a few cool shots on some of the huge structures there. Well, to our surprise all the sculptures had new signs posted stating to KEEP OFF, NO CLIMBING, etc. etc. We understand. The artists want their art preserved. (Although, why you would create a piece of art shaped like a stage and/or a bench and then ask that no one get near it had us a tad confused.) But we reluctantly respected all the new rules.

debby-yogogirls-photo-shoot-scoutingSo we shot some in front of the art and headed into the nearby woods and climbed on the handrails of the walkways instead! (No signs there yet.)

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Sporting Sporty Hair

So you’re an active girl and you want your hair to show pizzazz no matter the activity? We understand. So we asked our hair stylist to help us put together hair styles for the girl on the Go – aka the YoGoGirl!

We cover dos for the cyclist, climber and yoga enthusiast in this first video.

Our experience has taught us that cycling hair looks best in and out of a helmet with shaggy braids. So we asked Helen our hair stylist to demo that. Debby has noted that sport climbing, especially during rappelling, requires hair to be up and back out of the way of the ATC. So Helen added a modern twist on a pony tail for her, adding in some viking style braids, cuz, you know, climber chicks are badass viking types. And yoga hair. We all know there are magic spots on your head for keeping hair up and out of your face during inversions or shoulder stands and even in savasana. We have dreamt up many, but the side bun with twisty bangs clipped in, is our first Michelle chose to demo today.

The 49 second video…

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Daniel Rama, the Book

by DEBBY SIEGEL

We are not supposed to judge books by their covers, right?  Well, if we apply this reasoning to Daniel Rama, you’d still be binge reading this book cover-to-cover and then lending it to your friends at book club. This 23 year old, ink-covered, hunky guy with crystally blue eyes and impressive balancing skills taught us much about yogic living and mindfulness. In the brief time we spent with Daniel Rama during his hand balancing workshop tour, we found his energy and presence to be that of a great leader. His demeanor well beyond his years. His ego balanced. His skills immense. His guidance respectful and respectable. We just know Daniel Rama is going to bless many lives with his journey. And now that you’re reading this interview with him, he’ll likely bless yours too.

 

I was fortunate enough to attend a weekend of hand balancing workshops with you, and recall some points you made about how it takes 20 hours of repeating something for your brain/body to retain it. Will you please expand on this?

Whether you’re learning balloon sculpting, handstanding or conversational French, it takes roughly 20 hours to learn the basics of any new skill or activity. That works out to almost 45 minutes per day for one month.

 

I used to try learning something new every month. Not necessarily for the sake of that particular skill or action – I’ll be surprised if a talent such as rolling a coin across my fingers will ever come in handy – but because learning new skills unlocks new neural pathways within the brain, it makes it progressively easier to learn other new things.
In the context of our workshop, I was simply shedding light on the fact that all forms of learning are important and interconnected.

Your energy is so balanced, inviting and calm, were you always like this?

Anyone who knew Daniel De France would say he was quite the opposite. We need not discuss the dirty details my history with substance abuse, selfishness, mental illness and more. The important thing, is that we all came from somewhere, pleasurable or painful. And ultimately, it is because of my troubled past that I started to move toward a more meaningful present.

You are younger than most yoga teachers, and yet you offer wisdom like an ancient master and are so well versed in the philosophies of yoga.  To what do you attribute your maturity? 

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WANDERLUST ASPEN
June 30 – July 3

Photos from Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass are up! Check our Instagram for originals too!

After having experienced a one day Wanderlust 108 festival in Kansas City May 21, we got even more excited about the Aspen-Snowmass weekend long Wanderlust event coming June 30 – July 3. There is something so connecting and yummy about the community at these gatherings. We wrote of our experience in the blog article The C Word…

As Wanderlust partners, YoGoGirls will be heading to Aspen this summer and capturing moments through our lens and written word. AND… we get to give away Two 3-Day Tickets to this epic yoga + music party! Wanderlust participants get to choose their own adventure with multi-level yoga and meditation sessions, mouthwatering organic and whole foods, heart-pumping music, inspiring lectures and workshops, and boundary-pushing outdoor activities. We so found our people!

This Wanderlust includes classes & music by Kathryn Budig, Xavier Rudd, Rod Stryker, Dj Drez, Eoin Finn, MC YOGI, Seane Corn, Desiree Rumbaugh, Magic Giant and many more. For the lineup and schedule of teachers and artists, visit: Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass’ Website.

Enter below by midnight June 22 to win tickets and an onsite photo shoot with YoGoGirls. (Winner selected June 23 and announced on our social media that day.)

 

Excerpt from Wanderlust’s site:

Wanderlust’s core mission is to create community around mindful living. 

Mindful living is a conscious, value-based approach to leading a sane & healthy life. At Wanderlust, they focus on a few simple principles:

  • Practicing Yoga
    Practicing yoga helps clear the mind, tone the body, and heal the spirit. Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass offers a broad array of the world’s most accomplished teachers.
  • Eating Well
    We are what we eat. Wanderlust supports local farms and purchases organic, sustainably grown products whenever possible.
  • Being Green
    It is our solemn responsibility to be good stewards of the earth. Wanderlust is committed to sustainable practices, including waste reduction, recycling, composting, the utilization of renewable energy sources and carbon offsetting. Sustainability is a moving target, and we also pledge to improve year after year.
  • Practicing Purpose
    Wanderlust is a purpose driven company, and we build partnerships with like-minded companies who value social good as well as the bottom line. Some of our greatest power lies in what we do, what we purchase and who we associate with. (Now, this one makes us YoGoGirls feel good!)
  • Creating Awareness
    Many of the great challenges facing us today, from environmental damage to food shortages to disease to political upheaval, can be improved or solved through mass action. But mass action requires awareness, so wherever possible, Wanderlust uses their platform to highlight — and with luck, resolve — the most important issues of our time.
  • Showcasing Art
    Wanderlust is a place where creative expression is both valued and open. We treasure our community of artists and are honored to provide a canvas for their work. YoGoGirls are happy they feel this way! We thrive on expressing ourselves creatively.
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Wanderlust 108 in Kansas City
May 21, 2016

 

 

 

YoGogirls’ photos from Wanderlust 108 in KC May 21 are in this Facebook album for you!

Read more about our time in KC in our blog post: THE C WORD.
yogogirls-wanderlust-2016


A triathlon with yoga? Wha?

On Debby’s birthday?!   Ok… THANK YOU, Universe!

A MINDFUL TRIATHLON

5K  + YOGA + MEDITATION

This is exactly what we’ve been looking for.
A no competition triathlon.  Just a community of people elevating their vibrations to the sounds of DJ Taz Rashid and MC YOGI while exploring mindfulness. YoGoGirls are so in!

Find all the details about it >> WANDERLUST 108 in KANSAS CITY.

As of the end of April, 675 people have registered for this festive one day event.

You and a friend can be two more! Enter our drawing below to win 2 Tickets to Wanderlust 108 in Kansas City, MO May 21 PLUS a mini onsite photo shoot from YoGoGirls. (Winner announced May 14, 2016.)


UPDATE >> Congratulations to Lori Fix! You are headed to Wanderlust KC May 21 with a friend courtesy of YoGoGirls! << UPDATE


We look forward to seeing you at this and future Wanderlust festivals, including Wanderlust Aspen-Snowmass June 30-July 3.

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Pre and Post Natal Acro Yoga

Lizzy & Josh captured by YoGoGirls’ lens just days before giving birth, and again with their newborn on ABC News, Fox and People.

We have been intensely inspired by the acro duo, Josh Young and Lizzy Tomber since meeting them a couple years ago in an acro class. A year and a half later, we hired them to facilitate at our first SO FLY Yoga Festival. This couple who met each other while pairing up in an acro yoga class, have such energy and passion for their chosen profession, it is a joy to be in their presence. If they are coming to your town to teach this sport of connection, communication and playfulness, we implore you to put it on your calendar and go soak up some of their bubbly vibes. They have a tour now that includes everywhere from Oregon to Belgium. Check out their Events page or Facebook to find one of their acro clinics.

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Once Upon a Mine

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

It was there, munching on some authentic chili rellenos at Superior, Arizona’s Los Hermanos restaurant at the end of a long day climbing, where a Tonto Apache Chief told me a story. A story I must share. A story that needs a champion and a happy ending…

On a 3700 mile midwest-to-southwest Spring Break road trip, I found myself climbing Queen Creek Canyon’s spectacular rocks in Superior, a small Arizona mining town 70 miles east of Phoenix. While camping at the adjacent Oak Flat Campground on public land, we hit Queen Creek Canyon’s The Pond, a popular destination with rock climbers. In fact, for 15 years, Oak Flat was the site of the largest climbing competition in the world. Climbers, along with thousands of hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers and campers visit the Oak Flat campground recreation area annually. We camped alongside many this March. 

 

ONCE UPON A MINE

 

Oak Flat CampgroundOnce upon a time, we humans respected our planet’s resources. We tried to ensure mining was done responsibly to protect communities and the environment. This is not that time.

This story’s setting is Arizona’s Oak Flat Campground, where in 1955 President Eisenhower placed an executive order to declare the campground off limits to mining. Some politicians have since wanted otherwise, so they devised a method.

Often in stories there’s conflict that arrives at a climax where greedy motivations create the tension that is ultimately resolved by some hero(es) to arrive at the story’s glorious end. This story is at its climax. A controversial land exchange passed as part of a defense-spending bill late last year that will allow Resolution Copper Company to begin mining a low-grade body of copper ore located 7,000 feet below Oak Flat. The bill was tucked inside this unrelated bill after 10 years of not passing on its own.

The mining process Resolution will use, called block caving, will leave a 2 mile crater where anything on the surface, like sacred sites, campgrounds, and rock climbing cliffs, are likely to collapse and be destroyed forever. Other Arizona towns who have employed this type of destructive mining have had to shift their economies to other means to survive. So the justification of bringing a positive impact to the local economy seems just another bewildering chapter in this story’s dramatic tale.

If mined as currently proposed, the project would constitute the single largest loss of rock climbing on public lands in US history.

This story needs heroes to bring it to the glorious outcome. You can be that hero. Here’s how:

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UP ON A ROOF with Yoga Buzz & YoGoGirls

On April 28, the festivities begin at 6:30 pm with a one hour yoga class led by Eric Betz of Yoga Buzz on the roof of Climb So iLL, adjacent to Element Restaurant and Lounge. Once you’ve limbered up, linger a bit for the debut of a short 5 minute TAKE HOLD Series film featuring YoGoGirls and City Museum, Forest Park and Climb So iLL. Then hit Element for a free glass of bubbly, late night happy hour food specials and drinks (8-11p) and/or grab some climbing equipment and shimmy up the walls of Climb So iLL (open until 10p).

Should you have an interest in any of the following, please sign up for this unique Yoga Buzz event:

  • Getting to know members of your community
  • Touching your toes
  • Using your smiling muscles and those required of your core during laughter
  • Yoga pants
  • Sunset on a roof downtown
  • Champagne
  • Food
  • Climbing walls

One ticket to attend is just $20.

PURCHASE TICKETS

A ticket gets you the yoga class, the world premier of YoGoGirls TAKE HOLD film, a coupon for a glass of bubbly at Element, and a coupon for equipment rental to climb at Climb So iLL, plus access to a late night Happy Hour at Element with a special food menu 8-11p.

LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR MENU:

  • Arrancini- Black Beans, Tomato, Cilantro Aioli $5
  • Steamed Bun- Pulled Pork, White BBQ, Pickled Onion $2 each
  • Beer Salad- Romesco, Dill, Cucumber $5
  • Chopped Salad- Tomato, Bacon, Buttermilk $5
  • Chickpea Salad- Cauliflower, Broccoli, Golden Raisin Yogurt Vinaigrette. $6
  • Shredded Carrot- Cabbage, Celery Harissa $5

If you want to use your gear rental coupon to climb at Climb So iLL on Thursday (it’s good for 30 days), and it will be your first time climbing at Climb So iLL, you can expedite your entry to the wall by completing an online waiver prior to coming.

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Hand Balancing: Vertical Workshops by Daniel Rama at Yoga Source

April 23 & 24, 12n-3p

Want to learn the necessary skills to intentionally turn your world upside down?

Whether you’re a novice with a desire to add handstands to your wellness arsenal (see the Benefits of Handstand Inversions below), or you have figured out how to get upside down but would like to master additional movements while standing steadily on your hands, Vertical Workshops at Yoga Source with Daniel Rama is for you.

Two opportunities to take your balance practice to the next level with this international hand balance teacher:

Intro to Hand Balancing

Saturday, April 23  12n-3p

Intro to Hand Balancing is a 3-hour, all levels workshop, focusing on the techniques required for successful hand balances. Students will learn effective strength building exercises, proper alignment and activation principles, and leave with a greater understanding of the connection between body and mind. No prior handstand experience is required for this intro level class, although prior yoga experience is a plus. Bring a yoga mat and your willing mind.

Advancing Hand Balancing

Sunday, April 24  12n-3p

Advancing Hand Balancing is suited for those with an existing hand balance practice or for those who have taken Daniel’s Intro to Hand Balancing. This 3-hour workshop will expand your understanding of the subtler secrets in holding a perfectly straight handstand. Students will be exposed to Daniel Rama’s personal training technique and will leave feeling confident in bettering their balance practice on their own! While not mandatory, students attending this workshop will feel most comfortable with the pace and content if they already have an understanding of standing on their hands.

COST: $40 to preregister for one or $70 for both days.

 

REGISTER FOR ONE OR BOTH WORKSHOPS

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Road Trips Teach

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

Just having spent 11 days of spring break putting 3669 miles on a rented mini cargo van, we find ourselves reflecting on all the valuable lessons of the open road. While this trip was planned around the ultimate destination of Phoenix to visit family, about half of the adventure was left to the decisions made in the moment. Packing road bikes, yoga mats, bouldering pads, sport climbing gear, ski pants, helmets, a tent and camping gear complete with a tea kettle, we set off with just a few overnights pre-booked. It was an adventure of epic proportions. We happened upon unknown landmarks, found cool radio stations and podcasts, and ventured into the Americana of highway public restrooms all over the mid and southwest.

In all, we gained an experience no plane ride, nor any other form of transportation could provide. We acquired road wisdom from the plethora of reasons we recommend road tripping:

WE LEARNED:

  • Chatting with locals is still equal to, if not better than, Googling.
  • We each have a ranked gas station preference list.
  • A community’s social issues are evident on its billboards & bumper stickers.
  • Bring ample change for toll booths.
  • Town names of those that border two states are fun.
  • Improved squat muscle control (in all that public restroom use).
  • A packing system that includes a bare essentials bag (toothbrush, lip balm, headlamp, matches) stored in an organized, accessible location in the vehicle is key.
  • Air mattresses have short life spans. (Ok, maybe we already knew this.)
  • Dispersed camping (camping outside of a campground area on public lands) is allowed on most Bureau of Land Management land for up to 14 days.
  • The middle prairie-land states are erecting more and more wind turbines!
  • Those one legged yoga poses help with the balance required in changing pants out in nature.

Stay tuned for more about this voyage and one of the social issues mentioned above. If seeing this country through the bug-splattered windshield of an automobile is feels good to you too, you must have road wisdom to share. Please do. We’d love to hear from you. Debby@YoGoGirls.com

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T G I Y: Thank Goodness It’s Yoga (on Friday)

There was a day when our plans for Friday night meant phone treeing friends to find the best kegger. The pre-party consisted of gathering with friends to pick out clothes, do each other’s hair, and begin the night’s shenanigans.

Fast forward to 2016, a year after Michael J. Fox promised supercool hover boards as the norm, and we are desperately seeking yoga for our evening to begin.

We imagine that some of you might want to begin your weekends with a stretch and centering yoga class too, so we set out to compile a list of the studios and classes offered to us modern day party animals.

The criteria for our list: a studio within 50 miles of St. Louis offering a class that begins after 5:00pm on a Friday evening. If we’ve ommitted your class, please email debby@yogogirls.com to have it added and accept our humble apology.

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International Women’s Day!

Society has placed so many expectations on us as women. Let’s break the rules.

Let’s obliterate that box.

Let’s collect monumental moments, not debt for things like designer handbags.

Let’s start each day approving of ourselves, accepting all of our body.

Let’s dance in the moonlight and drink the air of the woods.

Let’s put aside the comparisons and find beauty in each other.

Let’s be examples of unmitigated love for all generations.

Let’s put our oxygen masks on first.

Let’s hold space for all sisters, even those who have our same job titles.

Let’s gaze at the stars.

Let’s begin each day with gratitude for life.

Let’s smile at strangers.

Let’s smell the flowers.

Let’s hug more.

Let’s swing on the swings and slide down the slides and laugh at ourselves.

Let’s eat chocolate. Lots of  c h o c o l a t e.

 

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Sometimes The Best Plans are the Ones You Don’t Make

By Lauryn Humphrey

Originally published on Balanced Bike

 

The 2014 cycling season came to a close for me with a thud. It was the last race of the season, Benton Park. I think I was just a little too excited to just ride around during the off season and somehow missed a manhole cover, or rather did not miss it. This was the second year in a row that my cycling season had ended in this fashion. A flare for the dramatic you might say. Despite the fractured elbow and concussion it was a really exciting season, however. Since I was acquainted with the injury and healing process – second elbow in two years – I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. Trainer, trainer, trainer and then lots of slow riding outside. I kept at it. I mean who doesn’t have obstacles to overcome? Mine are no worse than most of the women with whom I ride and race. We all have jobs, families, friends and we all find the time to train. Of course there are days when I simply don’t want to ride. I am not alone in this. But I do it, we do it. Then there are the days when there is nothing else that I would rather do. I count down the minutes until I can leave work and get out on the bike and just let go.

 

lauren_trek_yogogirls

 

In March I got married. It was one of the best days simply put. I spent much of the spring preparing to race in the Joe Martin Stage Race. This would be the third year there but it was going to be dramatically different this time. We were going to be in the Pro 1/2 race, a UCI event no less. Talk about scared out of my mind.  It was going to be such a big jump in the level of competition. We would be racing with some of the pro women I have only heard about, never raced against, unless you count the few crits including the aforementioned thud in Benton Park. But those were all crits, so in my book it didn’t count. Crits are not my favorite type of race. But stage races with a time trial (TT) and a road race, yes please. Anyway, I just really wanted to have a good race at Joe Martin, to show that I am able to race at that level. I had no ill-conceived notions that I would be winning or making a top placement. I just didn’t want to suck.

Well I sucked. ;-) Okay, it was not a simple case of just performing terribly but things leading up to the race did not go according to plan. I got sick, really sick about a month before. I had some kind of virus. Took a few days off hoping I would be on the mend and then bam, strep throat. More time off the bike including a week off leading up to the race. NOT RECOMMENDED. Needless to say I was even more nervous and pretty bummed. All of my training leading up to the race prior to getting sick had been going so well! Again, it happens to all of us, things don’t always go according to plan, but you deal with it. I didn’t have the race I wanted to and I did seriously consider not going but I am really glad I did. I learned a lot about myself during this race. I learned that as part of a team you show up. You may not be at your best but you just show up. I learned that you give it all you have and you smile when you cross the line even if you miss the time cut by 3 minutes. I learned that you have to accept the cards you are dealt, even if it is a hard lesson to learn. I learned about the type of rider I am and the type of rider I want to be.

The rest of the season was pretty awesome. For the first time I was able to walk away from a crash, get back in the race, and finish with my friend and teammate Anina when she won the Illinois State Championship Road Race. So even though the crash was not part of the plan it turned out to be a fantastic race. Things were wrapping up nicely. Then one of coolest things happened, but I’ll get back to that here in a second.

hello friend!

 

If someone were to ask me what I love the most about cycling, it would be the community. It is pretty small compared to other communities. Especially for women. When you start out as cyclist it can be pretty intimidating. Cycling itself can be scary, dealing with cars on the road, it can be a dangerous sport. So when you find a group to ride with, especially a group of women, it makes conquering fears and insecurities so much easier. The encouragement you get from fellow female cyclists can truly be inspiring. As I said earlier, one of the coolest things happened to me the week before my final race of the season. My friend Lisa Glad, another female cyclist from the St. Louis area, sent me a message asking whether I was planning on going to Masters Nationals to compete in the Time Trial. I said no because I was not eligible to race. It had been my understanding that I was in that void where I had no place to race. Too young for Masters, too old for the U23 amateur division, and not on a UCI team for the Pro division. I was incorrect as it turns out and had it not been for Lisa I would have never known that I was indeed eligible to compete in the Masters 35-39 division. I was not sure I would be able to go. Bike transportation, timing, and the overall cost were all going to be a challenge. Like I said before, the cycling community here in Missouri is pretty amazing, had it not been for this community I would not have been able to go. I owe a huge thanks to Lisa for encouraging me to go for it, for picking me up at the airport and sharing her lodging. I also owe Dana Braet a huge thank you for transporting my bike all the way to Utah and helping me get the bike race ready. I could not have done it without his help. I want to thank MOBRA for helping me with some of the cost. Due to the support I received from my Balanced team, MOBRA, and all the people who encouraged me, I had the opportunity to compete at a national level.

At the start of the season I would not have guessed I would wind up in Utah to race. It was certainly not part of my plan. I never could have imagined that by riding a bike I would have found a community of people and a group of friends like I have, but that is exactly what happened. Racing has opened doors for me. I have traveled and met amazing people. I have pushed myself in ways I never thought possible. Ultimately it has transformed my life. 2015 turned out to be pretty amazing for me, and I am excited about what lies ahead, whether it’s part of the plan or not.

Lauren post

Lauryn is a graphic/web designer who loves running, swimming and other outdoor activities. She was introduced to cycling after deciding to attempt a triathlon. After competing in several local triathlons, she decided she really enjoyed the bike portion, and wanted to try focusing on cycling. She enjoys riding with other local cyclists and is looking forward to being part of an organized women’s team and learning how to effectively work together during races. Lauryn rides a Trek.

 

 

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Sort out Your Cycling Chakras

By YoGoGirls

Model: Michael Palumbo

Hunched over a bicycle frame with your back curved, chest closed and shoulders pinched while your legs are locked into pedals making a repetitive, forward motion? Yoga is a powerful solution to the tightness induced by time spent in the saddle.

yogogirls_bicycling_palumbeau_stretch_2

The earth his yoga mat, and his kit his yoga clothes, we caught up with our friend and yoga teacher, Michael Palumbo, in the woods this morning warming up with a dynamic flow. (Witness the flow on Bicycling Magazine’s Instagram – @bicyclingmag.) If you have been under the impression that yoga is a ladies-only thing, and that you have to bring a mat to a classroom to incorporate its benefits into your life, YoGoGirls is here to tell you it’s accessible anywhere and absolutely worth it.

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Take Time to Smell the Pizza

by YoGoGirls

Model Maura Kinsella of Happiness Watts

 

In September, 2015, YoGoGirls caught up with Maura Kinsella while she was in town for the Gateway Cup and just prior to her heading to the Team Time Trial World Championships in Richmond, VA. She taught us of her lifestyle company – Happiness Watts – which is dedicated to finding the fun in competitive sports.

Watts are the unit of energy cyclists use to measure how much power they’re generating. Competitive riders can hyper focus on watts. Some spend more time staring at their onboard computers than appreciating the scenery. Maura found that adding in some small tokens of life outside the races, helps to round out the intense needs of a competitive athlete.

 

yogogirls_happinesswatts_bicycling_abs_2

Maura’s Happiness Watts is a push to slow down and drink a beer, or eat a slice of pizza. “A milkshake every once in a while is actually going to be good for physical performance, just because it’s something that makes you happy,” Kinsella says. “I think that the psyche is really important for physical performance.”

yogogirls_happinesswatts_bicycling_abs_3

Maura has left the racing circuit for the time being, and is focusing more on yoga, and especially restorative yoga now. She knows the importance of balance in life and finds it these days on her cruiser bike and yoga mat. If you find yourself faced with a life-altering injury try to accept where you are and unroll your mat every day as a commitment to the devotional path of yoga. You will learn new techniques that keep your mind and body healthy. While Maura’s racing career has been sidelined due to some injuries suffered during race crashes, she is finding healing through yoga and her #HappinessWatts company is still very much alive and well. Follow Happiness Watts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and hashtag your happiness watts photos #happinesswatts to be featured.


yogogirls_happinesswatts_bicycling_abs_1

 

Vintage Trek Bike from Billy Goat Bicycling Company

Maura wearing Trek Bontrager Gear
Alignment yoga mat by Liforme

 

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Stretches for Cyclists

Stretches by YoGoGirls

Images by Fedele Studio

Cyclist Trainer / 500 RYT Consultant, Julie Funke of St. Louis Spinning

 

So you want to increase mobility to ride stronger and longer, and you like to feel good the day after riding?  One word: S-T-R-E-T-C-H.

The repetitive motion of cycling can cause your leg muscles to tighten and be sore. And the low back tightening that riding, especially road cycling, can produce, may be improved by a few simple stretches. YoGoGirls, Debby & Michelle have collected some of our favorite post cycling stretches for you.

To reap the benefits of stretching, it’s best to stretch out muscles just after riding. Hold each stretch up to the first sensation of resistance, then breathe your way through it. Inhaling while lightening the stretch a tiny bit, and exhaling as you lengthen deeper. Try holding each stretch for up to 20 seconds.

Modify any stretch to suit your particular needs. Use padding under your knees, or try the same stretch sitting down, lying down, or standing up if it’s more comfortable for you. We show two variations for each stretch here to give you alternatives for unwinding those muscle groups most used by cyclists.

If you’re looking for a way to ease your mind into it. Instead of thinking, “I’m so tight!” or “I can’t reach my toes,” try replacing these thoughts with “This is just what my body needs” and “I am getting more flexible each time I stretch.”

 

Hip Openers – As a simple rule of thumb for keeping the IT band and the muscles around it in peak condition so you can cycle pain-free, focus on hip openers as well as quadriceps and hamstring stretches, all of which can reduce the pull on the IT band. Keeping feet flexed during hip openers is important, as it will lessen any impact on your knees.

yogogirls_fedelestudio_bicyclimgmag_stretches_5

Hamstring Stretches – Lunges are good for elongating both hamstrings and quads, and they will help lengthen those tightened hip flexors.yogogirls_fedelestudio_bicyclimgmag_stretches_4

Lower back arching poses like camel (Debby) or bridge (Michelle) can open the groin, thighs and entire back, as well as stretching the muscles in the chest, the front of the shoulders and back of the neck. For bridge pose: Lie supine on the floor. Bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, with your heels as close to your sitting bones as possible. Exhale and, pressing your inner feet and arms actively into the floor, push your tailbone upward toward the sky, lifting the buttocks off the floor. Keep your thighs and inner feet parallel.

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Piriformis Stretch – Half pigeon pose (Michelle)  is ideal for the piriformis muscle. Debby is demonstrating a sitting version of this same stretch. An indication of this movement happening correctly is that the knee points out to the side. To enter half pigeon, start off in a comfortable seated position. Then, externally rotate your right hip joint, pointing the right knee to the side. Align the right shin so that it is parallel with pubic bone. Extend the left leg back, orient the pelvis forward, and square your hips. Exhale as you relax your torso over your right shin and keep the back as straight as possible, being mindful not to sickle the foot inward. After a period of 30-60 seconds, repeat on the other side. 
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Lower back stretches. A series of cat and cow poses can help to lengthen those low back muscles used so heavily in maintaining cycling posture.yogogirls_fedelestudio_bicyclimgmag_stretches_1

If you have any stretches you find helpful, we’d love to hear them. Email us: debby@yogogirls.com and michelle@yogogirls.com

 

Debby’s gear by Onzie

Vintage bikes from Billy Goat Bicycle Company

Alignment mats from Liforme

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Some Like it Hot

BY YOGOGIRLS

Debby Siegel, Editor
Michelle Thomas, Photographer

 

As the air chills outside, it feels so good to warm yourself up with some hot yoga. It is vital in hot yoga to find a studio and teacher who recognize that you are the best judge of your body and its capabilities, and allows you to modify poses when you need. We also suggest getting inside the heated room a little prior to class beginning, to acclimate your body to the temperature in the room. Heated studios range from 90 to 105 degrees. Proper hydration in this environment is critical too. Bring water and drink plenty every day, but especially when attending hot yoga.

Hot yoga can refer to any yoga class done in a heated room. The room is usually maintained at a temperature of 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Most often, hot yoga tends to be a flowing vinyasa style of practice in which the teacher instructs a series of linked poses.

The Bikram method of Hatha Yoga is a 90 minute series of 26 stretching and strengthening postures (asanas) with 2 breathing exercises, and is the same class each time. Bikram specific studios are available around St. Louis and their room temperature is a strict 105 degrees with 40% humidity.

We put together a list of St. Louis area studios we found offering hot yoga classes.

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The Top 5 Pick-up Lines for Cyclists

by YoGoGirls

 

So you say you were alone on Valentine’s and that your current strategies aren’t working? Well, we have carefully selected some of our favorite cheese-tastic pick up lines and collected the top five for you.

 

5. Do you know what my jersey is made of? Boyfriend/Girlfriend material.

4. Is it me or is your bottom bracket super tight?

3. Your pace or mine?

2. Nice frame.

..and the number 1 pick up line that you might try when attempting to sweet talk a cyclist:

1. Wanna go for a long ride after I make you breakfast?

 

yogogirls_bicyclingmag_kiss
Follow YoGoGirls and The Poggio on instagram

 

Main image Josh – Acropeia.org

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Catching On

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

 

Since we were our tiniest size and being defined by the pediatrician’s charts, we’ve all been told of the importance of maintaining a healthy height/weight ratio. Keeping fit is important to longevity. Now, the methods for getting enough exercise in order to keep the balance change throughout our lives. In high school it may have required little more than the fact that you played some sport or walked or cycled everywhere. Post high school, how many of us managed to counteract any beer and pizza guzzling with a bunch of grapevines left and hamstring curls to all four walls? Later adding the plastic step to the aerobics room, we’d get on that riser and bop around to kitchy tunes while the lady on the microphone confused us with individuals much more coordinated.

In my thirties, I used everything from volleyball, kickboxing, spinning, weight machines and personal training to counteract the 50 pounds I’d gained with each pregnancy. Adding a jogging stroller to my regimen when they were toddlers, and a gym membership later, helped me fit in fitness while staying in touch. Then tennis in my late 30s re-introduced some of the afformentioned coordination skills while keeping me moving – aka exercising. And now, in this decade, I have found alignment, strength and agility through regular cycling, swimming and yoga.

Today, (almost literally today, I’ve been doing it so briefly) it’s a new form of fitness attuning this figure. This method so cleverly disguised as fun, that I don’t even think of it as a workout. I want to do it. I want to fit it into my very busy schedule. My newest thing – sport climbing – has got to be one of the best times I have had while being vertical. It is a sport that involves technique, ropes, some coordination, and friendships based on trust and communication.  Climbing is accessible. It’s noncompetitive in nature and physically gratifying. You will find unusual strength (and soreness) in parts of your limbs not normally speaking to you after you climb a wall or two.  

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Our Fly Over City

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

MICHELLE THOMAS
YoGoGirls Photographer

 

There are people flying all over St. Louis.

Playing with a partner form of yoga that boosts human connection, playfulness, trust, and has been shown to increase the frequency of giggles for those who participate, these people are discovering the joys of AcroYoga.

A fusion of acrobatics, yoga and healing arts, AcroYoga is taking over our fair city, transforming this town from a midwest land of ordinary folk into an evolved community of fit, fun-spreading, aeronautical superpeople. By physically connecting to, and relying on the communication with, another person you grow exponentially as a human. The earmarks of AcroYoga – physical touch, accurate communication, and increased trust – dictate this transformation. 

Now, you may be already inclined to come up with ways in which you feel unsuited for this trifecta of sports, but we are here to tell you that AcroYoga is approachable and attainable regardless of your skill set. You need not be a master gymnast, circus acrobat, or seasoned yogi to enjoy it. You don’t even need a set partner. Classes and jams (free gatherings of various skill-leveled acro yogis) gather people together to learn, support, climb, dangle and fly in trusting groups all around St. Louis.  We collected a roster of AcroYoga classes and jams currently available about our town in this blog post and would love to see you at one soon!

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Baring our Soles

MICHELLE THOMAS
YoGoGirls Photographer

DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

 

Get %15 OFF your Mahabis as a friend of YoGoGirls. Click here: DISCOUNT

 

Not to be confused with your very attached soul, these slippers with detachable soles are our new best friends. We live both inside and out, and shoes that allow us to do both comfortably and quickly, well… that’s a blessing to our soles and our souls.

Once you go Mahabis, you will never go back to any other slipper. The soft, sculpted footwear lined with sheep’s wool and specially-designed easy slip-in heel is certain to make you a lifelong Mahabis fan. Have to grab the mail? Well, clip on your outdoor sole and adapt. And with 35 different look variations available, you’re sure to find a pair to heel your sole.

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Higher Vibrations

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

MICHELLE THOMAS
YoGoGirls Photographer

 

Yoga is personal. While we understand that the most common western version is about connecting breath to movement, yoga really takes on its own definition for each individual practitioner. That is the best part! As we study more deeply about the culture and philosophies of yoga, it is evident that the benefits are numerous and that anyone can practice… ANYONE!

This particular yogini has been immersed in a physical asana practice for just over three years and very recently began exploring the more spiritual aspects of yoga life. The savasana made me do it. Each time I ended a class with minutes of quiet stillness – post my body having been wrung out with great stretches – I began experiencing a serenity not proffered often to single, business-running, middle-aged moms. The clarity of those moments changed me. For at least 6 months post divorce, I would seriously look forward to these opportunities to just be. (I cried in each one for all 6 months.) I still practice for the savasana. It has improved my sense of observation, perception and expression. I feel more balanced in my approach to my days as a result. The way I experience the complexities of life and how I react to them has been forever altered into a more even keel, balanced, optimistic version. I will always practice yoga as a result. And this propels me to explore more opportunities to find this relaxed state, called meditation.

I did so this past weekend at a Tibetan Singing Bowl Meditation with Mark Biehl, CSTC at Shanti Yoga Studio in Maplewood.

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MANTRA YOGA + HEALTH

BY DEBBY & MICHELLE
YoGoGirls

It is with true humility in our hearts and extreme glee in our souls that we share in Mantra Yoga + Health’s vision for “creating a cohesive and connected community that collaborates and creates.” Our hearts feel best when collaborating and creating with our community.  

What started as two 40+ year old creatives biking and training together for a triathlon, has blossomed into a lifelong friendship and partnership. Through delightful images with light-hearted captions, we attempt to inspire joy and crush fear while creating art with our friends. YoGoGirls.com readers share in our journey through stories about a variety of active,

Leggings by So iLL Holds.
Leggings by So iLL Holds.

healthy, conscious-living experiences. Through yoga, mindfulness, health, adventure, the outdoors, family, friendships and gratitude, we progress.

Thank you Mantra Yoga + Health for sharing us with your readers.  We connect to your publication’s goal to “set out to create a visually stunning and context-transforming publication that doesn’t play it safe.” These words echo our sentiments for YoGoGirls precisely. 

To find a copy of this November 2015 publication, subscribe online for a digital download version or a hardcopy or check your neighborhood Whole Foods or Sprouts, or any of the 100s of stores on their list of distributors.

The YoGoGirls horizon is beautiful. Look for more of our YoGo Yoga Festivals. We are busy planning the next one in Colorado. SO FLY 2 will offer acro yoga, Thai yoga, tantra, climbing, hiking, cycling and of course photography, along with many other adventurous activities. Stay tuned for more incredible announcements in the near future too! We have so much to be grateful for… most of all, you. Thank you for reading this, following our journey, and sharing us with your friends.

~ Debby & Michelle

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YoGoGirls Get Knotty and High

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

MICHELLE THOMAS
YoGoGirls Photographer

 

With the expert guidance of Jon Richard of Vertical Voyages, YoGoGirls recently climbed a 100 foot tall pin oak tree inside Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. We recorded the action in 5 parts and have embedded the videos in this blog post. If you’re interested in the technical side of this type of climbing where Jon enlightens us on all the necessary equipment, the safety checks and features, and provides his expert instruction for this exhilarating form of getting high, watch all our live recordings (total of about 35 minutes of viewing). But if you’re strapped for time, STEP 4 & 5 are the actual experience.

:: NO TREES WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE VIDEOS. ::

Conservation of plants and their diversity is central to the mission of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Jon of Vertical Voyages has special permission to take others up in a few of the majestic trees inside this 154 year old National Historic Landmark center for science and conservation, education and horticultural display.

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Exercise. You’re Right!

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

 

The reason we are YoGoGirls, not Yogagirls? Our passions for fitness lie in many forms. In addition to our regular yoga practice, we cycle, climb, hike, paddleboard, swim, and Michelle runs, while Debby sorta jogs.

At any rate, staying consistently active in our mid-40s keeps us young. And while exercise is paramount to our lives, so is sustainable living. For these reasons and more, we most often opt to commute by bicycle – the fuel-free mode of transportation. So imagine our delight to find a company like Boo Bicycles, who makes its bicycles out of bamboo! We got to play on one of their cyclocross bikes this weekend in Colorado.

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Meditation with a Grain of Salt

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

I recently got the opportunity to spend quiet time meditating while breathing in the salty air… in land-locked St. Louis! On October 20, I attended Angie Campbell, 500 E-RYT’s Guided Meditation and Pranayam Practice in the St. Louis Salt Room.

St. Louis’ Salt Room in Maplewood is a halotherapy chamber entirely covered in salt from the ceiling to its salt beach floor, with this amber glow from lights shining through benches of salmon-colored Himalayan salt bricks in the corners. The space incorporates halogenerators that produce negative-ionized dry saline aerosol particles that can travel into the deepest and smallest parts of the lungs. According to their website, the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the dry saline mist reduces edema of the mucosal lining, restores the normal transport of mucus, and unclogs blockages in the bronchi and bronchioles.

Salt therapy, known as halotherapy or speleotherapy, was born in the mid-1800s after it was discovered that people who worked in the salt mines of Poland had remarkably low rates of respiratory illnesses. Artificial salt caves began to pop up across Europe in an effort to mimic the effects. The original salt spa is still in operation today, and these rooms are typically sought out by those with a range of respiratory and dermatological issues.

halotherapy salt room in Maplewood, MOAs I arrived, I met fraternal 3 year old twin girls exiting the salt spa. Their mother found the salt treatment center for them a year and a half prior in order to eradicate a night cough in one of the girls that just wouldn’t subside. After just 2 sessions, the cough was gone. Now this mom incorporates the halotherapy into her daughters’ cold and flu season routine.

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BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls editor
Photos by Sheila Dugopolski
#share1minute

 

Calculate the approximate amount of time you’ve spent looking at a technological device today. Then compare this to the time spent peering into the eyes of another person on this same day. Vast gap in quantities? You’re not alone. Well, at least you can not be alone… by offering eye contact.

On October 15, a public experiment where individuals shared eye contact with strangers for 60 seconds called The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment was conducted worldwide. On this particular Thursday, more than 90,000 people across 140+ cities participated in this humanity exercise. Cities included: Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Montreal, Toronto, Prague, London, Helsinki, Paris, Hong Kong, Milan, Ibiza, Boston, and Los Angeles. (For a full list of all the participating cities click HERE.)  I attended one such gathering in Kiener Plaza, situated in downtown St. Louis.

We all make outward judgements about each other. Even my selection of who to sit across from and connect to through his/her eyes was based on some judgement. My first, a man, a choice outside my comfort zone. But he was closest to where I’d just parked my bike and it felt safest and the least disrupting to choose the closest. I learned in my 20s at clubs and the likes, that eye contact with men can sometimes be misinterpreted, so I adapted as a human to shortening this skill over the years. It was somewhat liberating to have my first experience in this gazing adventure be a man. I struggled a lot at first. I kept laughing and looking away. It took way longer than 60 seconds to accomplish our minute.  But eventually we were able. After we stared into each other’s souls in silence at a table across from one another for that minute, he told me of his life. His story focused mostly on his love for his 2nd wife, his passion for scuba diving, and his occupation. We genuinely connected. Our judgements melted away and we connected on a human-to-human level. I may never have met, nor chosen to speak with this man elsewhere. I am so grateful I did that day. He taught me of hope and happiness at any stage in life.

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Happy Girls are the Prettiest (& Fastest!)

INTERVIEW OF MAURA KINSELLA

ELITE ATHLETE AND MEMBER OF OPTUM’S PRO CYCLING TEAM

 

We were fortunate enough to catch up with hometown girl, Maura Kinsella, this weekend at the Gateway Cup in St. Louis, where her pro racing team – Optum Pro Cycling – took second place overall. She is a delightful, inspiring young athlete, with a clever new endeavor she’s dubbed HAPPINESS WATTS.

 

Professional cyclists measure their legs’ output in wattage (watts) and it’s a very technical aspect of these sometimes intense racers’ jargon. Maura, like many of our yogi readers, has opted for more balance in her training and pro athlete life. She coined the phrase “Happiness Watts” to describe the energy one can put toward race day output from his/her happiness input. Happiness, according to Maura, includes more factors than training and racing. She finds additional strength from this balance she encourages. She will put happiness fuel in her tank in a variety of ways – letting her hair down and dancing, playing outside with friends, yoga, and even eating a donut. Happiness Watts is working for her too, as she has raced some of the biggest Pro/1/2 races in the nation and all over Europe, including the Tour de France.

cyclephotos-womens-tour-of-britain-121717-laura-trott

Here’s more we learned from this amazing lady today:

 

1. So, you’re from St. Louis. Is this where you began your bike racing career? Tell us about it.

Yep! As a senior in high school, I traded in my Cross Country running singlet and knee problems for some spandex and a bike to compete in my first race in February in Columbia, MO aptly named Froze Toes. I had no clue what I was doing and I crashed three times but still won so I began to think, “This is awesome!” I wound up hooking up with a local junior (U19) cycling team through Mesa Cycles, practicing my technical skills, and racing a full season that year. Then, I got a taste for some real elite-level racing in California when I went to college at Santa Clara University the following year. It’s been an upward trajectory ever since!

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Become a YoGoGirl

INTERVIEW BY
ALLIE GREENBERG
of POINTE-STUDIO

 

YoGoGirls comprehend the intense work required of a successful startup. We have poured ourselves into this “side job” for nearly 2 years now and are extremely grateful for the support along the way; and consequently are enjoying the fruits of our labor. It’s rewarding to find your passion and live it.

 

As a successful brand marketing agent in the fitness/wellness community, YoGoGirls is approached regularly for our story. We are humbled to tell it. It is our wish that in relaying our adventures, we inspire others to believe in themselves and take risks necessary to fully actualize their lives.

 

Recently, Allie Greenberg of Pointe-Studio interviewed us. So if you’d like to smile and feel inspired, read the interview and learn…

How to Transform into a YoGoGirl

YoGoGirls brand agents

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YoGoGirls with Flying Colors

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls’ Editor

You’re reading this post on a computer or digital handheld device that you’ve likely spent countless hours on today alone. This digital age is here to stay, but the chaotic noise it can create doesn’t have to rule us. YoGoGirls has your remedy! How about unplugging and taking a moment to rediscover the analog pleasures of coloring?!

 

YoGoGirls have a distinct connection to art. The creative process at the heart of YoGoGirls existence, we are intimately familiar with the outlet offered us by creating art and thrive in that space. There’s much neuroscientific research about the use of art therapy, and how the human brain can physically change, grow, and rejuvenate through art. We are here to offer you the creative outlet of coloring for a relaxing and soothing way to relieve stress and escape your daily pressures.

 

So Unplug. Disconnect. Awaken your inner child. And take a moment to rediscover the delights of coloring, while coloring our pictures! Right click on any of these six images to save it to your computer. Print it and doodle your way to a relaxed state. Then plug back in and share your finished work with us if you’d like! You’ll be entered in our coloring contest:

COLORING CONTEST!

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SO FLY YOGA FESTIVAL

Thank you to everyone who attended our weekend in the woods of southern Illinois September 25-27, 2015.  YoGoGirls Debby &  Michelle are busy planning SO FLY 2.

Photos from this magical time can be found on our Facebook page. We created a gallery for each day:

We are looking into places in Colorado for it. Our activities list will include acro yoga, cycling, and Thai yoga for sure. We’d love any feedback or ideas. Please email them to Debby@YoGoGirls.com.

——————————————————————————

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, our SO FLY: Yogo Yoga Festivals are for you.

  • Does the latest issue of National Geographic sit atop your coffee table (or in your restroom)?
  • Do your social media feeds fill with images of people in incredible places, doing extraordinary things?
  • Do you feel off if you don’t incorporate something active in your day?
  • Are you a nature lover who makes regular stops at outdoor retailers?
  • Do you own more yoga wear than dress clothes?
  • Have others used words like energetic, alive, monkey, bendy, or strong to describe you?
  • Do you prefer acting like a kid?
  • Is “swimming in a lake” in your list of activity favorites?
  • Does swinging in a hammock to the sounds of nature interest you?
  • Have you canoed or cycled this week?
  • Do you like s’mores?

Active individuals enjoying nature through acrobatic, coed, playful adventures. The first SO FLY: YoGo Festival was held at Camp Manitowa, just 90 miles from downtown St. Louis in the woods of southern Illinois Sepember 25-27.

Some options at our First SO FLY YoGo Festival weekend:

  • Acro Yoga Classes with Josh Young and Lizzy Tomber (zero previous experience required)
  • Thai Yoga Massage and Power Yoga with Kim Winn
  • Paddleboard Yoga with Eric Betz
  • 50 Foot high, 7 station High Ropes Course with climbing wall start and 450 foot zipline end
  • Kayaking / Paddleboarding / Aqua Jumping / Swimming on Camp Manitowa’s Lake Hamilton
  • Mountain Biking the trails and/or Road Biking a course around Rend Lake
  • Photo Sessions with YoGoGirls available
  • Fishing / Exploring Rend Lake by boat
  • Winery tour by Camp Manitowa Hippie Bus
  • Campfire Entertainment lit up hooping by Flow Bear and Amy Greenley & s’mores
  • Labyrinth on premises for meditative walks. (Debby designed and built this labyrinth with the camp, her kids and her friend Dianna.)
  • Volleyball, basketball, hard or softball courts available.
  • Games like Twister and Poker available
  • Private or semi-private, 400 round foot Yurts for nomadic dwelling! All levels of accommodations available, from your tent to a yurt to an air conditioned dorm with semi private bath.
  • Possibly the 3.5 foot deep, 20 yard Swimming Pool will be open for the weekend, 24/7
  • Food to write home about. Healthy, all options available. Menu will be posted soon. But rest assured, Chef Corey is a legend. You will remember the food and Corey.

Learn more about SO FLY: Yoga Festival here. And be sure to follow the SO FLY event page on Facebook. We will update it with new additions to this weekend of extraordinary adventurous fun for all.

 

 

Thank you to our SO FLY Sponsors:

dimvaloo active living logo

 

 

 

 

Synergy Organic Clothing

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ABOUT THE YOGOGIRLS

We’re Debby & Michelle

Photographers/graphic designers and athletes living in Saint Louis, MO, we met at a triathlon training camp in Illinois about two years ago. It was kismet! We have been spawning new ideas together, pushing boundaries, doing yoga, cycling and playing together ever since.

 

What got you into yoga?

We’ve both always been into fitness and had passions related to it throughout our adult lives. Life is a path, full of twists and turns, and yoga helps balance it. That is what makes yoga different than other sports. This additional value drew each of us to it. Yoga has been the light on the path. We tend toward the acro and strengthening / stretching aspects, but have shed more than one tear in savasana realizing the immense power of the meditative aspects of yoga as well.

 

How did the concept come together for YoGoGirls?

We began playing around taking pictures and blogging about our active lives less than a year ago. When we’re together, it’s all creative energy and giggles. We were meant to cross paths and create this adventure together. We decided on the name YOGO girls because we are more than just yogis. We have a ton of unbridled energy and we wanted to show this in as many different activities that we are passionate about.

 

YoGoGirls is more than just yoga, whats your superpower? 

We believe that we represent an artistic view in our images and with each image we attempt something new, whether it be inspired by something we have seen that we alter, or a completely original idea like the #yogokickstand series. We like to think of our images as effortlessly effortful. At the core we do it because it is fun and sparks our creativity, but for the most part each image has a concept and is meticulously styled, be it costume, setting and/or lighting.

 

Which was your hardest but most successful photoshoot

We both agree that it may be one in the future, because we haven’t found one too hard yet. We do some funny things though in the winter, due to having to shoot indoors. We have had some silly episodes when using the camera’s timer. Someday they’ll need that footage for our debut on TV.

 

Video to produce? why? 

We auditioned for Amazing Race in November and shot & edited the piece in 3 days. Most of which were rainy and cold. That was a challenge.

 

What are some current projects you are working on? 

We are collaborating with several yogis around the country and world on projects. We also have been asked by some fitness lines to shoot images for their online presence. These are exciting opportunities and we feel are true to us and the YoGoGirls brand. We are also aligning with, and fundraising for, charities that resonate with our brand – one being DASA (Disabled Athlete Sports Association).

 

What influences the way you craft a moment?

Our flexibility during that moment! We sometimes realize we should do a class first then shoot. But, mostly we just hope something awesome comes to us, or that we remember that cool move we just learned in yoga class long enough to shoot it.

 

 

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Youngster Yoga

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Editor

 

Yoga studios didn’t exist in the U.S. for kids when Michelle and I were kids. If so, I am certain my garden-growing, fruit dehydrating, tofu-serving, seamstress mother of the 70s would have signed me up. Instead, I attended gymnastics, and I feel fortunate that the Girls’ Club in my neighborhood offered this means for me to stretch and strengthen my childhood body. I believe it some of the reason for my advanced practice today. 

Nowadays kids can add the helpful mindfulness aspects of a yoga practice to their childhood imprints. How amazing will this next generation be with that foundation?!  A dedicated and intentional yoga practice, including breathing techniques and physical postures can be incredibly valuable for children – helping them with coordination, concentration, confidence and connection. Sonima Foundation – a non-profit dedicated to health and wellness best practices, primarily for underserved students from preschool through high school – has the research to prove their online statement that 40 minutes and a mat twice a week can improve a child’s life.

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SO FLY: Yogo Yoga Festival Sept 25-27

If you can answer yes to any of these questions, our SO FLY: Yogo Yoga Festival is for you.

  • Does the latest issue of National Geographic sit atop your coffee table (or in your restroom)?
  • Do your social media feeds fill with images of people in incredible places, doing extraordinary things?
  • Do you feel off if you don’t incorporate something active in your day?
  • Are you a nature lover who makes regular stops at outdoor retailers?
  • Do you own more yoga wear than dress clothes?
  • Have others used words like energetic, alive, monkey, bendy, or strong to describe you?
  • Do you prefer acting like a kid?
  • Is “swimming in a lake” in your list of activity favorites?
  • Does swinging in a hammock to the sounds of nature interest you?
  • Have you canoed or cycled this week?
  • Do you like s’mores?

Join a group of active individuals for an acrobatic, coed, active adventure just 90 miles from downtown St. Louis in the woods of southern Illinois September 25-27.  YoGoGirls is co-hosting the weekend with Acropedia.org’s Josh Young and Lizzy Tomber.

 

Just some of your options at the SO FLY weekend:

  • Acro Yoga Classes with Josh Young and Lizzy Tomber (zero previous experience required)
  • Thai Yoga Massage and Power Yoga with Kim Winn
  • Paddleboard Yoga with Eric Betz
  • 50 Foot high, 7 station High Ropes Course with climbing wall start and 450 foot zipline end
  • Kayaking / Paddleboarding / Aqua Jumping / Swimming on Camp Manitowa’s Lake Hamilton
  • Mountain Biking the trails and/or Road Biking a course around Rend Lake
  • Photo Sessions with YoGoGirls available
  • Fishing / Exploring Rend Lake by boat
  • Winery tour by Camp Manitowa Hippie Bus
  • Campfire music (play an instrument? Bring it!) & s’mores & beer
  • Labyrinth on premises for meditative walks. (Debby designed and built this labyrinth with the camp, her kids and her friend Dianna.)
  • Volleyball, basketball, hard or softball courts all available. We will schedule a volleyball game hour
  • Games like Twister, Bingo and Poker available
  • Private or semi-private, 400 round foot Yurts for nomadic dwelling! All levels of accommodations available, from your tent to a yurt to an air conditioned dorm with semi private bath.
  • Possibly the 3.5 foot deep, 20 yard Swimming Pool will be open for the weekend, 24/7
  • Food to write home about. Healthy, all options available. Menu will be posted soon. But rest assured, Chef Corey is a legend. You will remember the food and Corey.

Learn more about SO FLY: Yoga Festival here. And be sure to follow the SO FLY event page on Facebook. We will update it with new additions to this weekend of extraordinary adventurous fun for all.

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Where Passion and Freedom Align

BY ALEX KAHN

@prettyfitladies

Blue Lagoon at Nusa Cenigan, Indonesia

For the past three weeks I have traveled around Bali with two girlfriends who practice yoga and meditation regularly. Both full time workers, yoga gives them a sense of peace and comfort in the stress of their busy lives. Although yoga is not a regular occurrence for me, I enjoy the physical and mental challenges the poses provide. Our journey began in a small surf town in the south of Bali called Uluwatu.

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Next, we traveled north to Ubud, a town world renowned for its yoga. On the way, we made a few stops to villages known for different types of artistry and visited a famous temple where we found some peace and quiet in a small courtyard.
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Ubud resembled more of a city than we had prepared for and despite attending a yoga class at the famous, Yoga Barn, we did not receive the inner peace we desired. The three of us began a hike through the nearby rice fields and it is here where we began to play with yoga poses.
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Daily Habits for the Urban Yogi

BY DEBBY & MICHELLE
Urban Yogis / YoGoGirls Team

It’s Debby & Michelle! – two uber active, single moms and multiple business owners, who manage to find balance in our lives while inspiring women with our YoGoGirls blog & our social media. We are passionate about encouraging you to find your edge and become all you can. To this end, we jumped on the recent opportunity to share our advice through a free global online summit on living consciously amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.

Mother Theresa once stated, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one come to you without leaving happier.” This is our hopes for participating in this summit. 

Daily Habits for the Urban Yogi is hosted by the spiritually-enlightened and sweet yoga instructor, Alba Creales. In it, experts from around the globe offer tips for meeting the demands of high-pressured lifestyles while making time for living more spiritually meaningful lives. This free video series is ideal for anyone, seasoned and aspiring yogis alike.

Register here to participate in this FREE online event!

Please join Debby, YoGoGirls editor, and many other powerful experts in this series so that you can learn how to take the edge off, turn the pressure down a notch and still be highly productive.

We look forward to sharing any insights we may be able to offer yogis for actualizing each dream.

Namaste!

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Let’s Right our ChatuWRONGas

EDITOR DEBBY SIEGEL

INSTRUCTOR KIM WINN

YOGA MODEL KAYLI DICE

PHOTOGRAPHER MICHELLE THOMAS

 

After practicing yoga fairly regularly for about 2 years, Michelle and I were in Kim Winn’s power yoga class when she stopped the class to properly correct the majority of us on our chaturanga dandasana. Chaturanga? We had done this move hundreds, perhaps thousands of times by this point, and I, along with most others in this full class, was doing it wrong! Since Kim’s minor adjustment correcting my form, my capabilities and practice have grown exponentially. Michelle echoes my sentiments here. Unfortunately and fortunately, correct form requires more strength than incorrect form. Your body will generally accommodate for positions that require more of it. However, correct posture prevents injury and is critical to reaping the benefits of the asana or pose.

We asked Kim to show us more about accuracy in yoga poses, and about her adjustments that help yogis achieve the deepest benefit from their practice. Kayli Dice, a plant-based chef/dietitian and food blogger planteatersmanifesto.com demonstrated for us.

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The (Ir)responsibilities of a YoGoGirls Intern

BY MEREDITH BERKOWITZ

Intern at YoGoGirls

 

As a YoGoGirls intern, I’m asked (forced) to do a lot of unique (these girls are nuts) things. The least of which was to come up with a rap song (sorry Nelly) in 15 minutes to be filmed (wha?) and subjected to the Saint Louis community and beyond VOTE HERE (scroll to bottom for ballot). I’m game for anything (mostly) and I love my hometown, (I’m a wannabe tourist) Saint Louis!
I’m YoGoGirls‘ Meredith Berkowitz, (the shizztaker) and I’m down to entertain you on the streets of St. Louie. From the Gateway Arch Riverboats to The City Museum, (coolest place on EARTH) I’m in love with this town and can prove it. Here’s a little ditty about my favorite spots about town, sang to Nelly’s Ride Wit Me (again, sooooo sorry Nelly)
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Take a F.LO.A.T. Trip

BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls editor, stylist and silliness supplier

Photography by MICHELLE THOMAS YoGoGirls

 

Last night, by the light of the full moon, I took a vacation from my senses in a cocoon of salt water.  I went on a F.LO.A.T. trip in downtown St. Louis.

With all light removed, insulated from sound, and floating in a tank of Epsom salt-laden water while completely naked, I found serenity like none I’ve known.  Initially, my body took a bit to gain composure and fully relax in the weightlessness of the womblike orb.  But once there, it was uncanny how even the slightest sensation of my pinky toe touching the edge reminded me that I even possessed limbs at all.  I liken the state to an awake version of REM sleep. The only constant being the methodic rhythm of my breath. A daily yogini, this recognition is not foreign to me. Noting it in a vacuum of all distraction however is new and altogether refreshing.

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Win a YoGoGirls Photo Shoot
at Yoga Buzz Ball

Yoga Buzz Ball Fundraiser Bash

Photo by Michelle – YoGoGirls | Model Melissa Zahner

Chase Park Plaza | Friday, March 27, 6-11pm

Benefiting the Yoga Buzz scholarship fund and Camp Ferguson

Arrive in the Starlight Ballroom at 6pm atop the historic Chase Park Plaza and get ready for an amazing evening. Kick things off with an hour-long, all-levels yoga event led by Yoga Buzz founder Elle Potter, set to live music. After class, enjoy the most extravagant Yoga Buzz event yet, sampling a huge variety of food, beverages and desserts from local restaurants and vendors (like food from Sugarfire Smokehouse, dessert from Ices Plain and Fancy and spirits from the distillery of New Holland Brewing). Partake in the silent auction or purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win one of our incredible giveaways, watch YoGoGirls perform Cirque de Yogaleil, and then get down on the dance floor with the DJ.

YoGoGirls will be offering a yoga photography booth from 8:30 to 10pm, where yogis and yoginis can have their favorite pose styled and snapped by our professional lens to be shared on YoGoGirls Facebook page! We’re also giving away one professional shoot with YoGoGirls in our studio or at an area location like Forest Park, City Museum or the Chess Museum. (Shoot scheduled for a spring date tbd. Winner announced on YoGoGirls social media.)

You say you’re nervous, you’ve never done something like this before? Well we’re ready to share in that mode. Come watch YoGoGirls, Debby and Michelle, entertain guests live with our Cirque de Yogaleil routine just prior to the dance floor opening! We are practicing what we preach: comfort-zoneless living! Gulp.

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Bend and Mend

By Chelsea Benjamin instagram @boucles25

When I first discovered yoga, I was a heartsick 19 year old looking to distract myself from my first heartbreak. I was so lost. I prayed for a way out; a way to undo the rejected and worthless feelings that consumed me.

I had tight shoulders that hunched over, protecting my heart. I had tight hips that made me cry in pigeon pose in my first-ever yoga class. And I had hamstrings that were wound as tightly as my nerves. I unrolled my mat. It changed my life.

Yoga quickly became my new routine. I knew early on that it was something I would not just try and give up on, like basketball, swimming, running, and ice-skating.  A few weeks in, lying in savasana after a particularly challenging class, I felt myself drift away from my worries. I felt my heart burst open. My broken thoughts of my former love shifted to compassion and unconditional love. I’d made a leap. This shift in my heavy heart was a huge moment for me. I recognized the power yoga had to heal. I became a lifer.

Since then I’ve found compassion and an increasingly open heart through rolling out my mat. Yoga has provided me an outlet to face my fears and let them go. There are still those days I start to close my heart again. And yoga is the place where I let the light back in.

My regular yoga practice helped heal me.

 

What does your practice offer you? Write us to let us know. We love featuring our yoga friends’ stories. michelle@yogogirls.com

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Meditation, the Game Changer

BY BRITTNEY POETZMAN ~
a fellow Instagram yogi explains her evolutionary experience of meditation

Follow Brittney at @novayoga Photos by @jobiotso
Legs folded in Padmasana, hands at my heart. Closing my eyes I bring my focus to my breath, cool air flows slowly through my nose as I give thanks for the opportunity to come back to the present. Meditation has had a major impact on my life. I began meditating as part of my yoga practice and have discovered that like myself, at first, most people find meditation difficult, boring, and sometimes frustrating. When I first began meditating I would set an alarm for ten minutes and would constantly be checking to see how much longer I had left. Every few breaths I would lose my focus and find myself thinking about my day, plans I might have later, and things that had bothered me in the past. Bringing my attention back to my breath again and again, I eventually found myself able to sit for longer periods of time without being bombarded by distracting thoughts or signals from my body such as an itchy shoulder or feet that had fallen asleep.

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Finding the Light

by BRITTANY HOOGENBOOM
Follow Brittany: ladiboomyogini

Brittany is a kind follower of YoGoGirls, and she bares her soul in this post about her path. We hope by sharing it, we are a conduit for more positive stories.

The darkness engulfed me.  I hit my all time low and was lost in all of the madness.  Sex and drugs were all I cared about, it didn’t matter how or where I found it, I was going to get what I wanted.  There were times that I didn’t think I would live, times where I didn’t want to live any longer.

I thought I had ruined my life and the relationships with the ones that I loved.  I had already been through rehab and anger management, nothing was helping because I was being forced.  Than one day I literally opened my eyes to see what I was doing to myself.  I remember practicing yoga in 9th and 10th grade during track practice.  We had it a few times a week and I thought nothing of it,  I wasn’t aware of the power of yoga back than.  It wasn’t until I was searching for something to pull me out of the darkness when I finally realized that yoga was magic, literally magic.  I decided to go buy a yoga mat, after seeing something on television about the power of yoga practice, and that was the day that my life begun to change.  Yoga saved me from myself. It showed me the light, the path to happiness and positivity.

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Illuminated Chakras

BY YOGOGIRLS & TAHL RINSKY A Collaboration on Instagram. Follow @yogogirls and Tahl  for all the details.   According to eastern medicine we have invisible energy channels circulating through our bodies. This energy force is called Prana by the Indians or Chi by the Chinese. Prana is constantly circulating through our bodies, running through a series of nadis (Sanskrit for ‘tube’ or ‘pipe’). Some ancient texts say we have more than 72,000 nadis in our bodies. They intersect with the chakras lining our spinal column. Like blood vessels transporting oxygen, they transport our life force through our extremities and beyond. The three most important nadis are the lunar ida (yin in Chinese philosophy) of the left side of the body, which is associated with feminine qualities; the solar pingala (yang) associated with our masculine qualities; and the central shushumna running from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. Running along the shushumna channel we find the seven main chakras. The chakras are believed to be moving in a clockwise direction moving energy up and down the spine. Eastern medicine believes that the fluctuations of energy we experience all the time are directly related to our chakras. Like any tube or vessel they can get blocked or overworked. If we are feeling slow and sluggish, our chakras are blocked up with stagnant energy. When we are feeling hyperactive, our chakras are too open and we are at risk of burning out.

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Peaking with YoGoGuys

INTERVIEW BY DEBBY SIEGEL
YoGoGirls Silliness Supplier, Photo Stylist and Editor

 

Introducing YoGoGuys featured athlete, Sam Hall. He’s young, well-dressed, handsome, and an accomplished business owner. Sam co-owns a niche real estate firm in St. Louis Warner Hall Group.

An avid cyclist, triathlete and yogi, Sam set out on a new challenge this past year… climbing to the top of the alpine giant, Mount Rainier. He accomplished this tremendous goal in October.  At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is the highest volcano and largest glaciated mountain in the contiguous U.S.

I could tell you all about the various details of the actual climb, but I think his personal growth journey as a result of accomplishing his mission is where the story is at. Here’s Sam’s journey…

His Training:

I spent six months training, pretty intensely with yoga, running, cycling, triathlons, and hiking, sometimes with weight packs and an oxygen deprivation mask.

I know, I have seen this guy in a few triathlons and long distance cycling events. He’s a motivator in spandex, just saying.

His Mindset:

I wanted to push the limits of what I think my body and mind are capable of.  Plus, I have a severely underdeveloped sense of fear, and I enjoy exploring those boundaries as well.

Um, severely underdeveloped sense of fear? YES! This is making more sense now…

His Peak Understanding:

It was one of the hardest physical things I have ever done, three days of walking up hill (very few switchbacks), through newly fallen snow, between crevasses, and in the dark freezing wind on the last day.

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10 reasons to do headstands or handstands every day!

Photography by Michelle – YoGoGirls

Handstanders Debby – YoGoGirls & Cole Bombino

 

1. They’ll make your upper body super strong. Get those yogi guns firing!
2. They will increase your balance. Use your thumbs and index finger for grip and balance!
3. They are fun and can boost your mood.
4. They build core strength. Abs! Abs! Abs!
5. They help with bone density, blood circulation and breathing.
6. You see the world from a different perspective.
7. Relieve your feet for a while, walk on your hands instead.
8. You can finally master the keg stand.
9. You can wow your friends and neighbors.
10. Keeps your face young and lifted. Not necessarily the skin but with a smile.

 

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Uncomfortably Comfortable

By DEBBY SIEGEL
@yogogirls on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter

Photo by Michelle – YoGoGirls  Model Bianca Jade – Mizzfit

 

It’s 2015, the start of another year in your life. What will you choose to do with this one? Did you make a resolution? Did you keep last year’s?

 

With each exchange of the calendar, we are given a whole new 365 days to choose who we want to become. And each new day is an opportunity to grow as humans. But growth can be uncomfortable, something new, frightening even.

 

Human development is a lifelong process of physical, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional growth and change. We can continue to assimilate new portions of ourselves at any age. Or not. We also have the opportunity to stay comfortably stagnant. To continue with the status quo, do what’s been done. Either is acceptable. And either even expectable. But growth is so fulfilling as an evolving species. From the first time you sat up as an infant and saw the world from this whole new vertical perspective, you knew that growing was important. The momentum of improvement when we’re young and inhibition-free propels us. But along the way, we find obstacles to continuing at a steady, fast rate. YoGoGirls to the rescue!

 

Michelle and I started YoGoGirls over a year ago now with some understanding of how we affect others in our daily lives. But the way this blog and accompanying social media has gifted us with opportunities to help others get outside their comfort zones is immeasurably immense. It is our hope that through YoGoGirls, we are able to show people the “whole new perspective” like those infancy leaps. We want to help women (and now men on YoGoGuys) choose to try something new, something challenging, something that may in turn inspire others to do the same.

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We OPEN HEART a Good Cause

What opens your heart? How about Michelle’s son’s new puppy, Lela? She’s a heart opener for sure! Check out Debby’s gorgeous Open Heart Warrior Bracelet by @MaryCarolinejewelry It’s an original design created with ancient techniques and cast with recycled sterling silver and non-toxic hand-dyed silk.

 

This wrap’s intention is to constantly remind us to keep our hearts open as we are powerful goddesses filled with an abundance of love. And no matter what, we can handle it. Through mid October, you will get 15% off this piece we fell in love with by using the coupon code yogogive on etsy.com/shop/marycarolinejelry

 

In addition to offering you a discount, Mary Caroline and Yogogirls are donating 15% of these sales to a place close to our hearts – Beyond Housing (beyondhousing.org). This charity is helping give people in Ferguson and its school district access to quality education, safety, and healthy lifestyles. We hope your hearts are as open to giving back as ours. So check out and follow @MaryCarolineJewelry on Instagram and Facebook and click on the direct shop link to get yourself one of these Open Heart Warrior Bracelets and open your heart to support and love… and puppies!

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United We Handstand

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

 

Michelle and I live in suburb communities of St. Louis just minutes from Ferguson. The news is depicting the divides in our great community. Let’s discuss the connects, the ways to create UNITY.

 

This weekend, I was able to connect with and support a young disabled athlete completing her first triathlon. Sydney Kendall, at 13, wanted to finish a triathlon for what she described as “bragging rights” at school. First off, she is a fish! Sydney swam that Lake St. Louis fast (faster than me I might add). The gleam in her eye as she jogged into transition to her bike told me how much this girl knew at a young age. She exudes determination. Inspiration is one of her gifts. She rode a bike that her dad altered to accommodate her for many miles with me. I learned so much from her in this time together. She believes in herself and is determined to accomplish her goal of joining the paralympic swim team. This amazing young teenager also supports other kids by being an ambassador for St. Louis’ Shriners Hospital for Children. She is a connector too. I was fortunate to be paired with Sydney.

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Tending To Your Inner Garden

BY NADIA BURKE

 

Ever thought of your Self as a garden?

 

Distracted by our roles and responsibilities to the outside world, we tend to forget about the need to take care of our beings, our Selves- our inner garden. What happens to a garden when no one waters the plants or pulls the weeds? The garden, along with its flowers and fruit trees, slowly begins to fade. But if you roll up your sleeves, give it water, and spend time de-weeding, it comes alive with vigor and thanksgiving.

 

Here are a few simple suggestions to help you tend to your Self:

 

* Pull the “weeds”: These are mindless actions which occupy your time, crowding your inner garden and suffocating its beautiful bounty. What am I talking about? Well, how about the 9 AM gossip session with your co-worker BFF? What about a ritualistic hour-long love fest with Facebook? And let’s not forget the daily Housewives fix before bedtime.

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#notsorry

BY NADIA BURKE

 

Have you ever stopped to notice all the apologies that are coming out of our mouths throughout the day? Granted, there are legitimate reasons behind some of them: spilled red wine on your best friend’s dress or forgot to pick up dog from the vet after 2 calls from the clinic. However, in many instances, “sorry” is just a word flying out into the universe before we can truly assess its necessity or genuine nature.  So why are we so comfortable with making useless apologies? And what do we do about it?

 

The way I see it, fear is to blame. In the case of apologies, fear of rejection is the invisible force that takes control of our voice, before we can even think about the necessity of saying sorry. Apologetic words become our defense to avoid a chance of not being liked or of not being accepted.  So how can each of us start to curb our enthusiasm for constant remorse?  Here are my 5 suggestions, sans $100/hr therapy session:

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Sleep Like a Teenager

By DEBBY SIEGEL
@yogogirls on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter

 

Thai massage. Have you tried it? Well those Thai chicks have had it figured out for over 3000 years ladies. I’m telling you. Think of this. You take your man to a Thai massage lesson (for lack of a better word, it is a class setting and you follow the leader) and during this 3-4 hours of basically foreplay, you get massaged and stretched! Win-win. Right?

 

Thai massage (also called Thai yoga massage) integrates movements for your whole body. Its rhythmic compressions increase blood circulation to muscles while generating a connecting experience for the massage practitioner and receiver. So again… win-win. Incidentally, Michelle and I learned to be the receiver second. So there’s a free tip from Yogogirls. If you give the massage first, you get to relax away at the end. And I mean sublime relaxation. Seriously. Everyone unanimously messaged me the next day with stories of how they slept solid that night… no small feat for adults in 2014.

 

Michelle and I chose to learn this ancient art form from renowned Thai Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, and Personal Wellness Chef, Jill Duncan LMT. Jill taught our group of four couples at Casa Bagus in St. Louis; a new, beautifully designed space filled with many new age wellness classes. The lighting and space were perfect. We started our evening with some Rockin’ Mockin’ Tuna and hummus appetizers from Seedz Cafe, a local plant-based restaurant. Jill began our session by lighting candles all around the room, and she’d lined the floor with mats covered in blankets and pillows for our massages. It was magical.

 

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Hang Time Heros!

By DEBBY SIEGEL

@yogogirls on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & any other social media we can find!

 

Like the brave settlers of long ago, those adventurous people who traversed the seas in search of more, of better, of new, I headed west this week & discovered a form of yoga I’ve not yet seen in person, nor tried. And much like my forefathers, my destiny was the result of a mishap – a lateness of arrival to my original “free” location if you will. My Google Magellan lead me to this new territory. And like the Spanish spice island seekers, my life was changed by it. For I discovered hanging yoga at The Yoga Hangout.

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We are all Villagers

POINTE STUDIO Brienne Lyn FundraiserIt takes a village… and our active-mom villager, Brienne Lyn, is in need. As dedicated moms and athletes, Yogogirls can only imagine what our friend, Brienne, is facing as she shows this leukemia diagnosis her strength and courage. Please help us support this barre teacher and mother of two little boys. By purchasing Pointe Studio’s Mercer in Teal socks (just $10) this month, you’ll be donating to her cause: beating acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Visit the Pointe Studio page and read more about how our collaboration with this generous organization came about. It’s a sweet story that will reward you with smiles. We are all in this together.

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BEAUTIFULLY {IM} PERFECT

By THUY DOCKENDORF

Find more from Thuy @mango_twee on instagram

 

Three years ago, stationed in Korea as a metal fabrication mechanic in the air force, I began my quest for the new me. My brother and I were raised in Florida by our mom. I never had the opportunity to meet my dad. My school years were filled with comparison opportunities. Me in my Wal-Mart clothes, and the other kids dressed in their expensive brand names, I felt left out. I was petite with scrawny arms and legs. My friends called me “two by four.” My inner voice began then. It said, “Your body is not right. You are flawed.”

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VERNAL YOGANOX

BY YOGOGIRL DEBBY SIEGEL

 

Today’s lunchtime enlightenment for my 10 year old had me showcasing my vast knowledge on the scientific importance of this day, the vernal equinox (March 20th 2014). I went into details I knew about spring’s equinox — most of which turned out were remembered slightly differently than Google would have the rest of the world believe. But… he was impressed. Me feeling so fly as I munched on turkey and cheese. Watching his eyes light up when I explained how tomorrow begins longer days, I started to realize all the correlations in my words describing today to those I hear during my favorite regularly scheduled portion of most days — during yoga.

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WHO THE HECK ARE THE YOGOGIRLS?

We’re Debby & Michelle

Photographers/graphic designers and athletes living in Saint Louis, MO, we met at a triathlon training camp in Illinois about two years ago. It was kismet! We have been spawning new ideas together, pushing boundaries, doing yoga, cycling and playing together ever since.

 

What got you into yoga?

We’ve both always been into fitness and had passions related to it throughout our adult lives. Life is a path, full of twists and turns, and yoga helps balance it. That is what makes yoga different than other sports. This additional value drew each of us to it. Yoga has been the light on the path. We tend toward the acro and strengthening / stretching aspects, but have shed more than one tear in savasana realizing the immense power of the meditative aspects of yoga as well.

 

How did the concept come together for YoGoGirls?

We began playing around taking pictures and blogging about our active lives less than a year ago. When we’re together, it’s all creative energy and giggles. We were meant to cross paths and create this adventure together. We decided on the name YOGO girls because we are more than just yogis. We have a ton of unbridled energy and we wanted to show this in as many different activities that we are passionate about.

 

YoGoGirls is more than just yoga, whats your superpower? 

We believe that we represent an artistic view in our images and with each image we attempt something new, whether it be inspired by something we have seen that we alter, or a completely original idea like the #yogokickstand series. We like to think of our images as effortlessly effortful. At the core we do it because it is fun and sparks our creativity, but for the most part each image has a concept and is meticulously styled, be it costume, setting and/or lighting.

 

Which was your hardest but most successful photoshoot

We both agree that it may be one in the future, because we haven’t found one too hard yet. We do some funny things though in the winter, due to having to shoot indoors. We have had some silly episodes when using the camera’s timer. Someday they’ll need that footage for our debut on TV.

 

Video to produce? why? 

We auditioned for Amazing Race in November and shot & edited the piece in 3 days. Most of which were rainy and cold. That was a challenge.

 

What are some current projects you are working on? 

We are collaborating with several yogis around the country and world on projects. We also have been asked by some fitness lines to shoot images for their online presence. These are exciting opportunities and we feel are true to us and the YoGoGirls brand. We are also aligning with, and fundraising for, charities that resonate with our brand – one being DASA (Disabled Athlete Sports Association).

 

What influences the way you craft a moment?

Our flexibility during that moment! We sometimes realize we should do a class first then shoot. But, mostly we just hope something awesome comes to us, or that we remember that cool move we just learned in yoga class long enough to shoot it.

 

 

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MOMENTAGE APP

YoGoGirls are featured on Momentage App’s blog. Check it out and have a fun day!!

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TAKE CHILD’S POSE

“The sensation of energy expands with increasing relaxation.”

― Ilchi Lee

 

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INSTAGRAM | YOGOGIRLS

Look for YoGoGirls on Instagram! Tag your fun yogi, bike-y, run-y, swim-y, etc-y photos #yogogirls. We will try to re-post as many as we can without annoying people.

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MY GUILTY PLEASURE:
GRANNY PANTIES

BY ELLE POTTER

Find Elle on Facebook
 

It all began on a camping trip a few years back with my friend Cynthia. In our planning the trip to the Lake of the Ozarks, we joked that we would dance around our campfire in granny-panties and polka-dotted socks like good little Pagans. By the time we got to our destination, I had all but forgotten about this – but Cynthia had not.  We finished our hot dogs and a bottle of wine. Then she surprised me with socks and underwear for us both. We put them on and began our fire dance.

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YoGo KICKSTAND

When your view is turned upside down you make the most amazing discoveries!

 

Share your “kickstand” on instagram #yogokickstand or facebook

 

yogogirls-yogokickstandinstagram@ aries_yogini

 

yogogirls-yogokickstand-2

instagram@yogogirls

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TRI-ING & FLYING

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

 

Oh President’s Physical Fitness Badge, how you eluded me throughout my formative years. Each year, taunting me with your requirements to climb and run fast. Well, have I got some updates for you Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan. I am a grown woman triathlete who performs aerial stunts in between. So please, mail me a badge. If there’s still money in the budget for one. If not, an email will suffice.

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BALANCING ACT

PHOTOS BY BARRY HAMILTON
 
“FREE your MIND your ASS will FOLLOW”

— George Clinton

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WHAT’S SUP?

BY DEBBY SIEGEL

PHOTOS BY boy vs girl photography

 

As fast as you can surf a wave into the shore (or fall off and get tugged by that strap around your ankle), I latched on to paddleboard yoga, aka SUP yoga. I’ve experienced countless forms of yoga — from kundalini to ashtanga, hatha to vinyasa flow, Bollywood and acro, even hot yoga entered my winter world for a brief nauseous moment this year.

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YOGA MAMA

BY SHEILA FAZIO

All by 7:30am. My morning as a mama of a 2 month old, 4 year old and 6 year old:

 

  • Wake up to baby sleeping next to me all night- what a sweaty milky mess!
  • Look over see my beloved’s entrenched frown as he sleeps on a slither of the bed left over for his wideass shoulders (so sexy though)
  • Laugh because I know he has ninja’ed out of the bedroom for some uninterrupted sleep in the spare room at 2am and snuck back in at 6.
  • Hear pitter pat of the girls feet running to our bedroom to yell, “Surprise!” (They woke up on their own.)
  • Get up
  • Get the Girls Dressed
  • Untangle Hair, Whoops I forget to put my clothes on – but they don’t even notice because I’ve been naked so much feeding this little baby on demand… (which, hopefully my mother will stop posting photos of me half naked with the baby on Facebook).
  • Pull sarong on now, gentle laugh at self, wondering if they remember this – baby now happy in the swing.
  • Sisterly love power rocks the swing, baby Will barraged with loving accolades from his four year old sister who must believe him deaf and blind…
  • Eat cereal for breakfast, nebulizer, vitamins, oh.. 2 dollars for Gia’s turkey cookie experiment at school… Did we do her homework?
  • Pack homemade chicken salad for Ceca’s lunch- with a new twist of Cilantro (taste test approved) 3 bites of my own for breakfast!!
  • Get out the door, coats and mittens along for the ride
  • Note Ryan’s out the door with kids in tow. Battery of the truck is dead.
  • Switch the carseats, laugh out loud, It’s only 7:30am.
  • Ah sit down for a second before heading to mommy and me yoga.
  • Baby asleep in swing- how nice, so peaceful and loving to see
  • No way to get to yoga with Dianna Lucas.
  • Hear her say through time and space- “Okay breath, breath, accept and laugh. Enjoy this time of absolute quiet.”

I love you Ryan. I love you Ceca. I love you Gia. I love you Will. I so need a date with You! xoxo Sheila

kids-410x496  sheila-siblings-yogogirlssheila-ryan-will-200x286

Sheila Fazio is a licensed clinical social worker and practices as a holistic therapist in the St. Louis area. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and integrates Eastern and Western practices into her private practice. Sheila is also a Bhakti yoga teacher, cranial sacral therapist and licensed massage therapist. And she teaches at Casa Bagus in Clayton, MO.

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MOOMOTION TRI-WEAR

BY MICHELLE THOMAS for

BIANCA JADE (MizzFIT)

PHOTOGRAPHY BY WESLEY LAW
 
MizzFIT, who is my friend and workout buddy, was an incredible inspiration to me and encouraged me to run the New York Half Marathon last May. Fashion is also one of my passions, so I was super excited when MizzFIT asked me to review MooMotion’s Tri apparel and give my honest opinion. As a designer, I’m really impressed by the unique details in the design and high quality fabrics that are necessary in my multi-sport world. Read the entire article at MizzFIT
 

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MY CITY, MY LOVE

BY MEGAN CHANEY

 

I’ll admit it up front: I LOVE St. Louis. I love it. I am so lucky to call this wonderful city my home. Yes, there are absolutely things I don’t care for, but frankly that’s true about any city I’ve lived in. There is something special here for me. I can’t describe it. It’d be like trying to describe the feeling of love.

 

I love showing people the wonder of my town. We get a surprising amount of visitors, so I’m always trying to make sure they see some of the city’s hidden gems.
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HOME SWEET HOME RUN!

To celebrate the best town in baseball, Origin Agency designed this poster to support Gateway180, an organization dedicated to finding housing for women and children in need. Make your donation of $20 or more to get your free 16″ x 20″ poster. Put “BASEBALL POSTER” in the notes section on the Gateway180 donation page.
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CLICK FOR SOURCES

CX TOYS to get you excited for CYCLOCROSS season!

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BIANCA’S {QUARTERLY} BOX

See more about the Quarterly Box and Bianca at MIZZFIT

 

WHY THIS BOX ROCKS

It’s inspired by my FIT-losophy of Styling Up 2 Shape Up. Sometimes a gym membership isn’t enough to get you to the gym.

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JUNK JUNKIE

PHOTOS BY MICHELLE THOMAS

 

Visit JUNK JUNKIE for some rad curated junk. 3156 Cherokee Street, Saint Louis, Missouri 63118 Hours: Friday-Sunday 12-5

 

Model Paige Smyth

junkjunkiepaigejunkjunkiepaige2junkjunkiepaige5junkjunkiepaige7

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PUPPY <3

BY MEREDITH GOETTE

 

Agency “life” has been described as, ‘work hard, play hard’ for as long as I have been in the biz (longer than I prefer to mention). On the play side, I’ve experienced everything from pool tables to pinball machines, Cheez-It’s to M & M’s but my favorite perk has got to be taking my best friend to work!

 

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YOU DO YOU

STRING ART BY MICHELLE

 

I created a piece of wall art that reminds me of the things we should all remember. Here is a short list of the things taken from wiki how. You can read the longer list by clicking on the link.

 

Fads and trends are a personal decision. While some people avoid them like the plague in the name of “individualism”, it doesn’t mean you’re not being yourself when you choose to follow trend. It’s all about what you want.

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{ 10 AGAIN }

BY LISA FISTER

 

The post ‘Musings of a 10 Year Old’ came at just the right time for me. My 10 year-old daughter brought home a fortune-teller just last week! Hers predicted that she would drive a Lamborghini, have one kid and live in Paris. Sometimes you don’t have to teach the important childhood traditions — they’re so good that they never die out.

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MUSINGS OF A 10 YEAR OLD

BY MICHELLE THOMAS
 
It recently occurred to me that some of the opinions that I formed when I was ten years old hold true. I still think peanut butter and banana sandwiches are the shizz, adults don’t always know best, cootie-catchers are all knowing, and skipping is absolutely exhilarating!
 
There are even larger concepts my ten year old brain analyzed and formed opinions around.

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RIDING FOR MY MOM

BY JENNIFER OUGHTON

 

Over the summer, Michelle and I rode in the Lupus Wolfride Gran Fondo for 56 miles around Columbia, IL to  create awareness around lupus and generate support around the disease. This was the first time I’ve done the ride, and holds a lot of meaning for me, as my mother suffers from lupus.

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A Hundred Thousand Possibilities

BY JULIE LONGYEAR

founder of Blissoma Holistic Skin Care & Apothecary

How to describe how I feel this morning…. I feel like life, and my ultimate guru (myself) gave me a koan on which I meditated for over a decade and I finally broke through ego + intellect to intuition. The doubt was useful, the self examination held purpose at the time. Now instead of doubt, analysis, and questions I have peace. I am grateful for the doubt, but I am glad it is gone.

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SOLO TRIPPING À MONTRÉAL

BY ALLISON BRADDOCK

 

Don’t be afraid go it alone, it can lead some of the most memorable vacations you’ve ever experienced! I’ve been to many places out of the country without a travel partner and have always had a great time. Here are a few tips to use to submerge yourself with the locals and culture.

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YOGOGIRLS

PHOTOS BY ALEXANDER GRMAN

Hi! I’m Michelle Thomas, mother of a 13 year old Tennyson, and Partner | CCO at Origin Agency. I’m active every day. I bike 6 miles to and from work, rock climb and practice yoga. I race cyclocross in the fall, and do sprint triathlons throughout the year.

This blog is dedicated to all the wonderful, amazing women I’ve met and their inspiring stories.

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39.3 MILES. 3 CITIES. 1 GOAL!

BY CHRISTEN TERRY

 

After I ran my first marathon in October 2012, of course the first question everyone asked was, “When are you going to run another one?”
The short answer was, “I’m not sure”, but I knew I had to have a new goal for 2013.

 

I decided I would shift away from a full marathon in 2013 and instead, focus on half marathons. My 2013 goal would be to PR
each of my half marathons. Because I couldn’t stop at “regular” goals, I also set BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals).

 

The rundown…

 

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WATERMELON & BEET SALAD

SUBMITTED BY MEREDITH GOETTE

 

YUM!! Try this refreshing summer salad!

 

Beets
Feta
Watermelon
Arugula
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

 

Organic veggies, good oil and vinegar are the key! Simple, delicious and healthy!

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CHOCOLATE MILK & LOGIC’S EVOLUTIONARY LOOPHOLE

BY LISA FISTER

 

I was recently reunited with my mother’s best friend from when I was a child. She told me many stories about my childhood. Her description of me as a child sounded remarkably like the adult I am today. I was (and still am) a social animal, artistic, introspective, mildly critical, but happy and hopeful.

 

The encounter made me wonder about my own evolution. In 42 years, have I evolved as a person? (I’d like to think so.) So what’s different? How exactly have I evolved? How do any of us evolve?

 

Evolution, by its very nature, happens slowly. For me, it’s not in the sudden absence of a pinky toe, the spontaneous growth of gills or the rather handy development of opposable thumbs. My evolution resides in finely tuned responses to my environment. (Ha!)

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REACH YOUR RUNNING HIGH

BY BIANCA JADE

visit mizzfit.com for complete article

(From October, 2012)

 

Any chance you’ll be running this Fall? I’m running a marathon in exactly 1 month from today. The ING NYC Marathon…heard of it? I’ve already started preparing for it and not just by training.

 

For me, a marathon is all about putting together a lifestyle, a look and a strategy geared towards avoiding death at mile 17 (out of 26.2, yikes!). I want to perform at my best while finding my happy zone (a.k.a. run high). It’s a balance that takes effort to find, but you won’t regret it once you’re out there FLYIN’! And I want to make sure that’s exactly what you do–fly! So I’ve put together some tips for you below that relate to a range of important topics when it comes to running.

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CAN YOU FIND PEACE BY AVOIDING LIFE?

BY DIANNA LUCAS

 

There is a rich and flowering place within each of us. Close your eyes and envision yourself entering the lush and fragrant gardens of your mind and heart.

 

There is an opportunity to explore the freedom to create a healthy, meaningful life through integrating your body, mind, and spirit with a sense of clarity and gratitude. By focusing attention to all three aspects of the self, by developing an awareness of the needs and desires of others, and considering the practice of generosity, a sense of wholeness and balance envelops the individual.

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SHRIMP & KALE SALAD

FROM CHRISTEN TERRY

 

kale, scallions, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, garlic shrimp, mango chunks, black pepper, crushed red pepper, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

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WATERMELON COCKTAIL COOLER

We LOVE this refreshing summer cocktail made with LaCroix Sparkling Water!

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HOME

BY MEGAN CHANEY

 

When I was 22, I left Missouri and went to San Francisco with little more than $3,000 in my pocket and a lot of rose colored hopes for my future. I thought I’d land the perfect job, meet the perfect guy and live in an incredible apartment. None of that really happened – I landed a lot of jobs that were stepping stones that would eventually lead me to the perfect job. I dated a lot of not-so perfect guys and I lived in a tiny apartment that was more than overpriced. I did a lot of stumbling, falling flat on my face and generally failing.

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BE AN ESPONJA*

BY JENNY OUGHTON

*sponge.

 

I learned this simple and valuable message while traveling through the countryside of Costa Rica. I was studying abroad for two months and traveled with a group of students all over the country. While on our school bus, we would all chat and listen to music and our professor constantly said, “Be an esponja. Stop talking. Stop doing. Take in what is around you.” After looking out the window and shutting out the rest of the world, I began to take advantage of the scenery and this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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KIDS MEMORIES ON TWITTER

BY TERESA ESCHMANN SAUSVILLE

 

When it comes to evolution, I think I have the first basic concepts right.

 

First, evolution is a slow, gradual process, with small milestones along the way. I am pretty patient with myself. Check.
Two, you have to start with an idea, a pebble of sorts, that will roll down the hill to create an avalanche. And I actually have no shortage of new goals I set for myself. Check two.

 

But unfortunately, my buddy Ben’s insight of, “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” is what trips me up every time.

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SAYING NO. NO MORE!

BY BARB ADAMS

 

For a long time, probably decades, my husband Steve has wanted to go on a bike trip in Europe. I always said “no”. I emphasized that he could go without me, but I didn’t want to be in some country lane with crazy European drivers whipping around me while I wobbled along. And I especially didn’t want to be climbing up some god-forsaken hill in the Loire Valley, or Tuscany, most likely pushing a bike on foot rather than pedaling. My mental image of the whole thing was myself sitting in the back of the sag-wagon while the rest of the capable bicyclists were speeding along with their powerful thigh muscles going round and round.

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WHAT I LEARNED FROME THE ITALIANS

BY SARAH GAFFNEY

 

About a year ago, I made a pretty substantial career move. For a long time, I had a strong urge to leave my job and start all over again. I kept telling my husband that there was something inside me, telling me that there had to be more to life than where I was. With my husband’s support, I quit my job in the agency world, and went to Italy.

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ACCEPT DARES

BY JULIE WOOD

 

I’m naturally pretty easy on myself.  But I’ve found a really effective way to ensure that I don’t get into a rut.  I found a friend who has promised to continually dare me to try new things (and I’ve made the same promise to her.)  For four years now, my friend Kelley Carman and I have been challenging each other to try new things and evolve.  It started the year our oldest kids got their driver’s licenses.  (Nothing makes you feel older than watching your kid drive away in your car alone!)

 

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URBAN OUTFITTERS WALL HANGING

PHOTO BY TENNYSON THOMAS

 

This Urban Outfitters Window View Tapestry is huge it covered the entire wall in my bedroom, I feel like I’m in Paris!! It works great as a photo backdrop too.

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TOMATO MOZZARELLA BASIL SALAD WITH TUNA

Try this for dinner tonight it is amazing!  2 Roma Tomatoes Sliced, Mozzarella, Basil, Olive Oil, Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar, Salt, Pepper. Package of Tuna.

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