Hello Youtube… Summer Porch Yoga has Arrived

My daughter Piper tells me that all the cool kids put their “content” on Youtube; and, we all know coolness is my lifelong goal, so I am uploading my free videos onto YouTube. You can find me wedged between “Crazy Nuttyass Honey Badger” and “Goat Yelling Like a Man” Or, you can follow this link to my Hips and Hamstrings class https://youtu.be/TCey6kBCIqM
(but seriously that Goat is unsettling)

See you there!

Tara

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Yoga Club Review Take 1

Yoga Club is a subscription wardrobe service like Stitch Fix, Trunk Club or Wantable, but for workout clothing.  I recently participated in a challenge on Yogadownload.com in which a Yoga Club subscription was the prize, and while I did not win, I was intrigued by the idea and thought I would give it a try.

With Yoga Club, there are three levels to choose from, Mantra, Karma and Guru, the names are a little hokey I know, but I guess they had to call them something.  With the Mantra you just get a pair of leggings, the Karma is leggings and top, and the Guru gets you leggings, top and layering piece.  The prices range from $45-$79, and you can choose monthly or seasonal shipments.  I went with the Guru, cleverly deducing that the per item cost is around $26 which is actually quite reasonable.

If you use my referral code, which is, https://my.yogaclub.com/TaraK7 you can give Yoga Club a try and get 25% off your first box.  Full disclosure, I will get “Lotus Bucks” in return, but frankly you need a ton of them to get just to get a 10% discount, so I am a bit nonplussed with their reward program. But please, get yourself that discount because 25% off is nothing to sneeze at.

First, you will take a little style quiz and yes, you do have to give them your credit card information.  Shortly thereafter you will get a bright pink Yoga Club box full of goodies just for you.  It’s like it’s your birthday every month. Let’s take a look at what I got in my first box.

In my happy place watching birds and eating peanut butter 🙂

This is the LA Soul Happy Tank and Peek A Boo Glyder leggings.  I really like both these pieces. At first the leggings seemed a little stiff, but as soon as they warmed up, they fit like a glove.  They are mid-rise and have a cut out detail on the back of the calves. The tank, speaks for itself, quite literally.

Showing a little skin.

Next up, the layering piece, meet the Amari  Revive Pullover.  How did they know I hate hoods, but love these loose mock-neck sweatshirts?  Well played Yoga Club. I really like the weight and finish on this top.  It’s warm, but not too heavy.

Perfect hanging out and drinking coffee top.

Bonus, there is a kangaroo pouch to hide your secret stash, whatever your particular vice may be.  No Judgment.

Skittles, what Skittles? I have no idea what you are talking about.

Since I liked all three pieces there was no need to explore the exchange feature this time.  However, had there been a item I did not want, I could have gone to the website and chosen another item which they will send in the subsequent box, along with any envelope to return the unwanted piece.  There is also a Facebook group where members trade and sell Yoga Club clothing.

So to recap, Yoga Club Round One was a success.  I look forward to seeing what they send me next.  If you want to give it a try, use the link above and treat yourself.

Tara

Finding the Perfect Yoga Mat

People will ask me which yoga mat is the best, and while I can answer that question with absolute certainty for myself, I think you have to consider a number of variables. Here are some tips to buying the perfect yoga mat for you.

My mat of choice is the Jade Fusion, it was an absolute game changer. Given that I have the boniest knees on the planet, I tried numerous mat and supplemental padding permutations. When I found the Fusion mat, my life changed. No more folding mats or setting up towels, I could just drop a knee and focus on the pose, rather than counting the seconds until I could get back up. I have several of these mats and I let clients use them just so they can see the difference. It is always a transformative moment. Check out the Jade Fusion here https://amzn.to/2qKMjsn

This is not to say I think the Fusion is the right mat for everyone, it has some downside. First, in comparison to other mats, it costs a small fortune. Second, it weighs as much as my cat, so lugging it around can be a burden. And, because of the extra density, it makes balance poses a bit more challenging. But to me, those are prices I am more than willing to pay.

Oh, that’s why it’s so heavy

My standard advice when choosing a mat is the same that I give when buying a cake, look for density. There are some nice mats out there that won’t break the bank. If you have been practicing for a while and are ready to treat yourself to a premium mat, check out Jade and Manduka. I have a Manduka mat that I use at my office and it is really nice, not quite as dense as the Fusion, but a really good mat at about half the price. Check out my Manduka mat here: https://amzn.to/2H7PqkT

There are good options at places like TJ Maxx and Target. Gaiam is probably best known, they have a premium line which I am seeing a lot of, and people seem pleased with them. When looking at mats, try to find a minimum density of 5mm, you can generally tell by the size of the roll how dense the mat is, if it looks like a taquito, it is probably 3mm so move on. Here is a nice Gaiam mat with lots of color choices: https://amzn.to/2J5ZjjD

Also, consider length. Standard length is 68” which is fine if you are 5’8″ or shorter. For taller clients, I recommend they spend the extra few bucks for the 74” mat, it is a rarely regretted decision. Extra wide mats also exist, so don’t just buy the first thing you see, get what you need, you are going to spend a fair amount of time, face down on this thing. The Jade 74″ Fusion mat is here  https://amzn.to/2J6i2f3 Gaiam also has a nice extra long/wide mat as well: https://amzn.to/2HtgTAR 

While there are plenty of mats which will serve you well out there, I have definite opinions about those big puffy “fitness mats.” Stay away from them. They are not designed for yoga, they have no grip, the ends roll up, and they condense to a tissue-thin sheet when you press on them. I cannot tell you how many people have bought them thinking the puffiness will make them more comfortable, only to be disappointed and frustrated when they don’t work.

This guy, yeah… avoid him.

Bottom line when buying a mat, consider how often you practice, if it’s more than once a week, spend a little more for a premium mat. If you practice once a week or less, get yourself a nice quality 5mm from one of the mass retailers. A final word of warning, if you float the idea of getting a mat as a present, be specific about the mat you want, otherwise the decision will be made on color and price and that does not always end well.

I would love to hear from you, please comment below and let me know your favorite yoga mat, and what it is about the mat that you love.

NEXT LEVEL VIDEOS- CORE BALANCE CHALLENGE

This class combines the two things my clients request most, cork work and balance. I don’t believe balance is improved by standing on one leg, but rather, by challenging the body’s ability to adjust during movements in all planes. Handily enough, all balance work requires core strength. I have combined kneeling core and balance work, with leg swings and lunges, a core isolation flow series, then a long leveraged balance sequence, we finish on our backs with a series I call dead crow progression. Not gonna lie, this one’s a challenge.
You will need a block.

NEXT LEVEL VIDEOS- YIN YANG FLOW

SUMMER PORCH YOGA- YIN YANG FLOW from Tara Kestner on Vimeo.

Seek Balance in All Things. This Yin Yang class is designed to balance the sweet ease of a yin yoga class, with the spicy effort of a yang flow class. The first twenty minutes are slow paced, gentle poses. The middle 20 minutes are a slow easy flow designed to loosen the joints and get your energy moving. The class finishes with 20 more minutes of quiet yin postures for a soft landing into final relaxation.

NEXT LEVEL VIDEOS – Hips & Hamstrings

Issues with low back pain?  Tight hip flexors and hamstrings are often the culprits.  Try this lower body focused class to loosen those areas and provide some relief to your back. It’s beginner friendly and the only equipment you need is a strap.  If you don’t have a strap, a long belt, dog leash or towel will do the trick.  Enjoy!

NEXT LEVEL VIDEOS- Yin Yoga Tribute

Please enjoy this short practice which is my tribute to Yin Yoga.  I designed this session to introduce my public classes to the concept of Yin Yoga.  This particular session is a portion of a longer one hour class which will be available on my Vimeo page,  https://vimeo.com/user64021270  in the near future.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

 

 

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