Thursday, June 29, 2017

Exciting News from RYST

We wanted to reach out and give you a few updates on all the exciting things happening with

1. Interest. We are thrilled to announce that there is a great deal of interest in what we do, and we are booked through March 2018 with an AMAZING list of studios across the globe!

2. Social media. Although we advertise in major yoga publications, we love the idea of sharing, and rely heavily on social media. We promise to celebrate and give lots of exposure to all of our Featured Studios, and are so grateful to all of you who have shared and liked our posts in support of ALL of our Featured Studios. Please continue to share us with all of your yoga friends!
Check out our latest Instagram post featuring Lotus Yoga Loft:

3. Travel. We will be in attendance at the 4-day Asheville, NC Yoga Festival at the end of July showing off our beautiful logo tees. Please tell your friends. We hope to see you there.

4. Shirt pricing. Now that we have reached a wider member base, we feel that we can reduce the cost of our shirts, making them more accessible to a wider community. As of July 1st, our monthly membership fee will be $18/mo (w/ free shipping), reduced from $22/mo. Our new promo code will be NAMASTE, offering $3 off the first month. A 12-mo subscription is an even better deal. Please continue to spread the word - a RYST subscription makes a perfect gift for your favorite yogi!

5. Catalog. All of our Featured Studios become permanent additions to our Featured Studio Catalog, where tees and tanks may still be purchased for $20 each (price effective July 1st), a slightly higher price than the regular monthly subscription fee for limited edition tees featured during the showcase month. People who visit our site can take virtual studio tours at any given time.

That's about it for now. We are so happy to lead such a vibrant community of yoga-loving people :) Please feel free to reach out to us through our site.
See you next week!

Erin & Dan

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Yoga One-Two-One

Last night I went to the studio to teach my weekly Wednesday 6 pm yoga class. Although I most always have a healthy-sized group of followers, I noticed no one had shown up yet, and it was 5:51! I had lit the candles, arranged my Tibetan singing bowl, marked the passages I planned to share from my books, and turned on my Spotify set list. Was I going to have to bag it? This was strange. Where was everyone? 

It was now 5:58, and I figured I would give it a few more minutes before packing it in. All of a sudden, the door swung open. My student Stacey made her way in huffing and puffing and looking frazzled as she stuffed her things into a cubby. I apologetically told her I did not think anyone else was going to show, expecting her to want to leave. The two other times this has happened in my yoga teaching experience, I realized that 'singletons' either feel guilty for making you stay and teach a class to only one person, or else prefer to come back when there is more of a group. 

Her reaction surprised me. "Oh PLEASE! I don't care if I am the only one! I JUST NEED SOME YOGA!", she pleaded. 

She went on to tell me how crazy her life has been with wrapping up her school year, knowing her son was soon leaving for college, and having to attend events that made her miss yoga class - not to mention feeling all the emotions associated with these things. As I listened to her, it was as if she was telling my own story, as a school teacher and a mom of a son leaving soon for college. I realized that I needed yoga, too! 

We agreed to park our mats next to each other, rather than mirroring, and practice together. Although I was still verbally guiding her through this 'class,' there was a lot I did not have to say. Stacey is a seasoned practitioner, and I took this opportunity to luxuriate in practicing with her, from our centering pranayama supported with bolsters and blankets, all the way through to savasana, where we both melted into our mats in silence, for I knew what we both needed. We kept our physical practice fun and light. I played my music more loudly than I normally do as we moved through our sequences together and got lost in the poses. We even giggled about how often the tenants who live above the studio decide to vacuum their floors during classes. 

When we sealed in our practice with a 'namaste' to one other, I felt such gratitude for Stacey's friendship and partnership as a fellow yogi, mom, school teacher, and woman trying to juggle a million things and do them all well in these busy lives we lead.  

Last night, the universe gifted me with Stacey as another reminder that we are all one.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Detox with Yoga

Summer is here, and many of us are sweating it out even in our NON-hot yoga classes these days! As the body temperature rises, the nervous system works to stimulate the eccrine glands, which have the most density in the palms, soles, and head, to release sweat. 
Many people do everything possible to prevent sweat from happening or being noticed, but really it is a very natural phenomenon that is healthy and brings balance to our bodies. In simplest terms, sweating is how the body cools off. The higher the body temperature rises, the more sweat is produced. It is also a way for the body to detoxify, most notably through our largest organ - the skin. Sweating helps to release pathogens and other toxins in the pores, and that is why people who practice yoga often enjoy such youthful, clear, and radiant skin. 
A lesser known fact is that sweating boosts our immunity. As pathogens are passed by way of detoxification, the immune system receives a boost. Just as a fever wards off bacteria and other viruses, sweat allows excessive heat to release, along with toxins in the body.
Drinking lots of water helps to flush away the toxins and replenish the body's natural ability to sweat. So next time you are sitting in a toxin-squeezing twist stimulating your digestive and abdominal organs, or resting in an inversion draining fluids from your feet and legs back toward your heart, remember how important it is to re-hydrate following your practice. 

Here are some of our favorite, all-natural, summer detox re-hydration recipes. Enjoy!

1. The Classical ~ Lemon/Cucumber 
Mix in a glass pitcher: 10 cups water + 1 cucumber and 1 lemon, sliced thinly + 1/4 fresh finely chopped basil leaf + 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves. Refrigerate overnight before enjoying.

2. The Granite ~ Strawberry/Lime or Raspberry/Lime
Mix in a glass pitcher: 10 cups water + 6 strawberries or raspberries and one lime, sliced thinly + 12 finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Refrigerate overnight before enjoying.

3. The Antiox ~ Blackberry/Sage
(Note that aside from the berries, sage is the herb with the highest antioxidant content)
Mix in a glass pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cup of fresh blackberries that have been very slightly crushed, + 3 - 4 sage leaves. Refrigerate overnight before enjoying.

4. The WATERmelon ~ Watermelon/Rosemary
Mix in a glass pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cup of watermelon cut into cubes + 2 rosemary stems. Refrigerate overnight before enjoying.

5. The Exotic ~ Pineapple/Mint
Mix in a glass pitcher: 10 cups of water + 1 cup of pineapple cut into cubes + 12 fresh mint leaves finely chopped. Refrigerate overnight before enjoying.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Simple and Beautiful Lessons of Animals

Yesterday my family lost our beloved dog, who had been with us for nine years. As profoundly painful as this loss has been, I have found solace in thinking about how much we can learn by taking the time to mindfully observe and reflect on the nature of animals. They just act, without any self-surveying, or worrying about what anyone else thinks. They just do what they do, living completely in the moment. There is no looking back with guilt or remorse, or looking ahead into the future with worry or anticipation of something great to achieve. They really have little else to think about aside from finding their next source of food or water, place of shelter or rest, or seeking their next mate. If you observe an animal in the wild searching for food, you will see that that very task is the only task at hand with little distraction. They simply live in the moment.
Animals also exhibit unconditional love. My dogs come running to the door every day I arrive home from work. They are so happy to see me that sometimes I wonder if they might just jump out of their skin - and it is not even feeding time! Although my family members love me very much, I cannot say that the excitement of my homecoming peels my 14-year-old off the couch or invites my 18-year-old to leave his bedroom. No one's reaction to seeing me walk in the door is even closely matched to that of my dogs. In response to this tremendous, daily gift, what I should do is get down on the floor with them and love them up in return for this often unrequited showering of love, but inevitably, the school bags are dropped down as the shoes are kicked off, and the chaos of running the kids to sports practice or getting dinner ready ensues. Even still, the dogs happily give their same daily dose of unconditional love no matter how much attention is reciprocated by our busy family.
I know, too, that forgiveness is inherent in animals. How many times have you heard of abused animals being readopted or reintegrated into homes from shelters, and, against all odds, becoming some of the most trusting, loyal, and loving pets imaginable? And elephants, who share much of the same complex emotional intelligence as humans, are often injured at the hands of man yet they still happily acclimate to new beginnings at sanctuaries and enjoy new interactions with caring humans. Animals seem to forgive even if they do not understand why these things have happened to them.
There are so many lessons we can learn from animals, just by observing. How many of us can honestly say we have taken more than a few moments out of our busy day to stop and watch a mother cow lick every inch of her baby calf or behold the miracle of a squirrel gathering acorns in preparation for a long winter?
As fellow animals, it is important that we humans not only observe, but also remember the importance of listening to and following the patterns and cycles that nature has ingrained in us over millions of years of evolution. Let us find beauty in the simplicity of it all. Like animals, may we listen more than we talk, make time to get the rest we need, follow the natural rhythms of our own bodies, exhibit bravery when we sense danger, explore our own paths, love unconditionally, forgive without knowing all the answers, live in the present moment, and embrace death without fear, for death is a part of life's great cycle.

Our July Featured Studio is in Mexico!

Our July Featured Studio, Tribal Yoga, is located in Tulum, Mexico - one of the most beautiful places on Earth! To see pictures of and read ...