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Reviews

Yoga Music- New Earth Records Review

https://nykdanu.com/yoga-music-new-earth-records-review/

One of the questions I get asked a lot by my Yoga students is where do I get my Yoga Music from. It would be impossible to do a blog post about ALL my Yoga music (cause I have a shit ton of it). But I can highlight some of my favorites.

I love New Earth Records and I would say 80% of my Yoga music is from New Earth Records. They have a big variety from up-tempo and a bit dance-y to super atmospheric and spa-like, so whether you are doing a Yang (flow) practice or a Yin practice they likely have something for you to  help you get your ‘Yoga groove on’.

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If  you’re new to buying Yoga music, starting with some of New Earth’s compilations is a great way to sample a few artists all at once.

I have these compilations:

  • Grace
  • Prana Yoga
  • Shambala
  • Spa Lounge
  • Spirit Lounge

 

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The first Yoga CD I ever bought was by Chinmaya Dunster and I have bought several more since then. Chinmaya Dunster’s work is on the more lively side and great for Yang (flow) Yoga.

Chinmaya Dunster Cd’s  I have:

  • Yoga: On Sacred Ground
  • Yoga Lounge
  • Sacred Temples of India
  • Feng Shui
  • Fragrance of the East

That’s what I have so far but really I want all his CD’s.

The second  favorite artist is Deuter. I find some of this music too Flute-based (not my favorite instrument) so I always listen before I buy. I would say his music is better for Yin Yoga as it tends to be more atmospheric.

The Deuter CD’s I have are:

  • East Of The Full Moon
  • Eternity
  • Flowers of Silence
  • Koyasan
  • Tibet: Nada Himalaya 2

I have a few Terry Oldfield and again I try before I buy with him as well because he also tends to be flute-based. Again I would say Terry Oldfield’s work is more Yin than Yang but there are some exceptions.

Terry Oldfield CD’s I have are:

  • Yoga Harmony
  • Journey Into Space
  • Sacred Touch
  • Reiki Flow

I have 2 CD’s by Osho and I would say it is a bit softer but could be used for either Yin or Yang Yoga depending on your preference.

The Osho CD’s I have are:

  • Garden Of The Beloved
  • Ten Thousand Buddha’s

Rasa makes beautiful music. Kim Waters has a beautiful voice. I tend to use if for Yang since I prefer more sound-scape-y type music for my Yin.

Rasa CD’s I have are:

  • Saffron Blue
  • Shelter

So there you have a small peek into my Yoga Music collection.

Visit New Earth Records website to listen to samples and click though to either by Cd’s or MP3’s either through iTunes or Google.

Happy Listening

ox

nyk

Jewelry By Andrea – A Product Review

https://nykdanu.com/jewelry-by-andrea-a-product-review/

Andrea of Jewelry by Andrea is a Calgary-based Jewelry designer that has a stunning line! Andrea and I first met virtually because we traveled in some of the same business groups on Facebook. When we realized we were living in the same city we had to meet up in person.

harmony ball prayer mala

When I first saw Andrea’s line, I loved how many beautiful Yoga, Meditation & Buddhist inspired pieces she had. Since then she has expanded on her line and has started to add more themed  pieces and is adding Malas as well.

 

yoga bracelet

 

Andrea made me the above two pieces for review which you can learn more of in the video below but first a bit more about Andrea and her company Jewelry By Andrea.

Nyk: When and why did you start making Jewelry?

Andrea: I started making jewelry in 2008.  My children were 2 & 4 and as a stay at home Mom I was looking for a creative outlet.  Prior to children I used to travel & collect interesting jewelry.  I have always loved jewelry with a story to tell or items that remind me of an amazing experience.

Nyk: How did Jewelry By Andrea Come About?

Andrea: After children I wasn’t able to travel like I used to so I started bringing in interesting beads, fair trade materials and spiritual symbols.  It all just grew organically into a beautiful creative expression. I couldn’t have planned it if I had tried!

Nyk: What’s the vision or mission of your company?

Andrea: Unique fashion jewelry with meaning.  High quality designs using spiritual symbols and fair trade materials.  My goal is to create jewelry with a story to tell that allows the wearer to tell their story.

Nyk: Where is your line produced?

Andrea: I hand make many pieces from my home studio in Calgary.  I have also recently started having custom designs made through Fair Trade in countries such as Nepal, Bali and India.  This process has been exciting as I’ve been able to have stones colored, cut & died for me.  It has allowed me to create my Capri Collection featuring vivid peacock blues (did I mention I love peacocks!).  Stepping into having stones cut for my collections has opened up an entire new creative process that I am just beginning to explore.

Yoga is a big part of my creative process.  It sparks my creativity and allows me to create from a place of zen.  I try to do yoga prior to making jewelry.
yoga jewelry

Nyk: What are the ways the company gives back? Are there charities or non-for-profits you support?

Andrea: I give a portion of my proceeds to the YWCA of Calgary.  I also always focus on ethically sourcing materials. Many items I use are made through traditional methods that have been passed down through generations.  To me it feels wonderful to work with handmade materials and I often wonder what life was like where they came from.  I travel viciously through the designs I make.
Watch the video below for my full review of the two stunning pieces designed for me by Andrea.

A huge Yogic Thank You to Andrea for my beautiful sacred jewelry. You can use the code karma for 20% off your first purchase.

Peace, Love & Malas

nyk

Legging Love! Sweet Skins Leggings: Product Review

https://nykdanu.com/legging-love-sweet-skins-leggings-product-review/

Disclaimer: This item was sent to me free of charge for the purpose of review. As with all my product reviews, I only give my honest opinions and I only review items I would buy with my own money. In fact, I send products back and don’t review them if  I don’t find they fit my very high standards for sustainability, ethics and product quality. I am not an affiliate of Sweet Skins and make zero money if you buy any items. I just think it’s important to to highlight some of the smaller companies who are doing amazing work.

As a Yoga teacher I wear leggings a lot and most of them, to be honest, disappoint me. Now that has all changed. I have fallen in love with the Sweet Skins Soya High-waisted leggings!

Sweet Skins Soya High Waisted Legging

Sweet Skins Soya High Waisted Legging

Mira Fannin, designer/owner of Sweet Skins Organic Apparel, reached out to me about her clothing line. Sweet Skins fits right in line with what a look for in Yoga Clothing (ethically made and sustainable) so I told Mira I would be happy to review an item of her line.

After looking at her line I selected the Soya high waisted leggings in purple and the rest is history. I have completely fallen in love with these leggings. They are by far the BEST leggings I have worn to date and I plan on buying more in purple and in black.

In the video down below I go into more detail about the leggings and give my full review, but before I get into that allow me to introduce you to the woman behind the brand, learn more about Sweet Skins and how it came to be.

Sweet Skins High Waisted Leggings

 

My interview with Mira Fannin Designer/Owner Sweet Skins Organic Apparel

Me: How did Sweet Skins come about?

Mira:  Sweet Skins is a minority women owned eco-clothing Company. I’m a Designer and mother of three. I  started the company 10 years ago selling at the Saturday Market in Eugene, Oregon. Sweet Skins has since grown into a web-based company shipping clothing all over the world, sold in fine boutiques nationally and internationally, and using the latest and greatest in ecologically sound fibers through conscious clothing manufacturing.

Me: What’s the vision or mission of your company?

Mira: Sweet Skins is committed to bringing women simple, elegant clothing that makes dressing and looking fantastic effortless and fun. I am committed to running an environmentally and ethically sound company, as we grow and maintain strong roots to the community, the health of the planet and to pave the road for a new more conscious business model. “I want to be an example of success for future entrepreneurs and young people from diverse backgrounds”.

Me: So many clothing lines are mass produced abroad in sweat shops with little care for the earth or the workers.
I know that your line is made in the US and sweat shop free, but you also use sustainable fabrics. Which ones do you use and why did you decide to go this route?
 
Mira: We use a variety of fabrics like eco-fleece, hemp, organic cottons, soy blends and wool for their low impact processing and superior texture and quality. Dyes are low impact and everything from fabric scraps to paper products are recycled or reused.

Me: If someone hasn’t worn natural and organic fabrics for Yoga before what can they expect? How does the fabric feel and preform?

Mira: Unlike most Yoga wear, ours is made from natural fabrics, so you will not get that synthetic sweat repelling effect. It is softer and more breathable. It needs to be washed after each session because it may tend to loosen up more than synthetics, only to bounce back to original tightness and be ready for the next wear. Nyk, maybe you can speak to this yourself, since you’ve been wearing our high waist leggings.

Me: Yes, I have been wearing organic cotton & bamboo for a while now but the soya and hemp fabrics are newer to me and I am loving the soya (more in the video)

Me: What are the ways the company gives back? Are there charities or non-for-profits you support?

Mira: Sweet Skins is designed and made in our own studio-warehouse by a handful of diverse women living in non-industrial Eugene, Oregon.

We make use of our small pieces of fabric, panties, scarves and slippers, baby shirts etc.

Pieces that are too small and all of our unused fabrics and scraps we donate to artists and crafters.

We have had fund raisers in the past for the international woman’s organization RAWA (Radical Afghani Woman Association). Definitely eager to do more of this kind of thing as we grow: focus on International Woman’s Empowerment!

Watch the video below for a more detailed review and to find out why I fell head over heels for these leggings. Mira was also  generous enough to offer a discount code for you off your first order, you’ll find that below the video.


Check out Sweet Skins and use the discount code realyoga15 to get 15% off your order (expires April 1 2015).

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Yin Yoga Music: Tibetan Chakra Meditations- Cd Review & Giveaway

https://nykdanu.com/yin-yoga-music-tibetan-chakra-meditations-cd-review-giveaway/

I get so many complements on the the music I play in my classes, I often get asked to recommend artists and albums. It would be impossible for me to discuss or review all the music play in class, I can hi-light the odd label or artist.

It is actually pretty hard to find music for Yin Yoga. Most of the Yoga music out there is too active sounding or has too much singing, what I am really looking for is a soundscape just to provide Bavana (mood)  tone or atmosphere of the class.

I’m looking for just enough sound to help my students full arrive in the space, relax and let go of the day or week they’ve  had.  This is why stumbling upon the Tibetan Chakra Meditations Album was such a gift.

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It is beautiful and atmospheric without dominating the Yoga experience or distracting the mind preventing it from dropping inward.

I have one copy of the CD to giveaway for a lucky blog follower, details on how to enter to win your copy below.

You can hear samples of this CD here on iTunes here  Tibetan Chakra Meditations and download it. Or for those who prefer CD is also available to order both amazon.ca here Tibetan Chakra Meditations or amazon.com here Tibetan Chakra Meditations

A 5% royalty from the sale of each CD is donated to the Tibetan Relief Fund to support the Tibetan people.

Giveaway Rules and Guidelines:

  • You must be a subscriber to my blog (which you can do by entering your name & email below (if you haven’t already)
  • In the comments below let me know if you use music for your Yoga practice? If so what’s your favorite artist or Album
  • Giveaway open worldwide
  • Giveaway deadline is Feb 15/ 2015
  • Winner will be chosen using Random.org and notified via email

Good Luck!

 

Indie Spiritualist A No Bullshit Exploration Of Spirituality – A Book Review

https://nykdanu.com/indie-spiritualist-a-no-bullshit-exploration-of-spirituality-a-book-review/

What does a “Spiritual Person”  look like? When you think of a Spiritual Person does this image come to mind?

Guru

 

What if it was more like this:

Chris Grosso

I first discovered Chris Grosso through a mutual friend Kayla via Twitter. I started following him and vice versa and we have since become friends on Facebook as well. There aren’t alot of us tattooed, alternative folk in the wellness and spiritual circles, so I  was excited to check him out.

When first I read Chis’s blog Indie Spiritualist, I was immediately struck by his wise (beyond his years) and humble nature. I was so inspired and moved (literally to tears) by his story and how he came to spirituality. I am also a graduate of the school of hard knocks, and felt an immediate resonance with his story and his message.

When I heard Chris was writing a book I just knew I had to get a copy and do a review & giveaway! Lucky for me Kayla had already bought me signed copy as a gift. In an effort to pay it forward and get this epic book into more hands you will have a chance to get your hands on a signed copy as well (more on that below).

So who is Chris Grosso and what is an Indie Spiritualist?

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“Chris Grosso is an independent culturist, recovering addict, and bestselling author of Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality. He writes for ORIGIN MagazineHuffington Post and Mantra Yoga + Health Magazine. A self-taught musician, Chris has been writing, recording, and touring since the mid 90’s.”

Indie Spiritualist in Chris’s words taken from Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality.

“Spirituality is often of little interest to those who are independent thinkers and don’t necessarily feel like we we fit into the mainstream cultural norms in terms of interests, passions, values, or attitudes. Whether we’re a teenager, a twenty- or thirty -something or older; into punk rock, hip hop, or alternative music; covered in tattoos and piercings; a skateboarder……”

He goes on to say: “Many of us looked to religion or spirituality for answers but soon found that neither the dogma of old religion nor the “love and light” fluffiness of New Age spirituality were approaches that resonated with us. Still, we were left with an internal yearning – one of virtually deafening silence-that compelled us to answer it’s call, but how? What can we do? What about the rest of us who don’t resonate with the exceedingly positive love-and-light movement or the dogmatic tenets of spiritual and religious traditions? What are we left to do when we are looking for something more, something we can embrace exactly as we are?”

Watch the video below for my full review and details on how you can win your very own signed copy.

Chris’s Website: The Indie Spiritualist

To enter to win a signed copy of  Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality.

  • If you are not already Subscribed, Subscribe To My Blog Below
  • In the comments let me know what “spiritual” means to you

Winner will be selected August 30, 2014 using random.org and notified by email

Good Luck

This Giveaway has closed you can get Chris’s book on Amazon.ca here Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality or on Amazon.com here Indie Spiritualist: A No Bullshit Exploration of Spirituality

Happy Joints: The Yoga For Arthritis Handbook-A Book Review

https://nykdanu.com/happy-joints-the-yoga-for-arthritis-handbook-book-review/

If you or someone you care about suffers from Arthritis, You’re going to want to check out this book review.

Kim McNeil (a fellow Yoga Therapist and trailblazer) and I follow each other on Instagram. When I saw that Kim had released a book Happy Joints: The Yoga For Arthritis Handbook I knew I had to buy a copy and check it out.

happy-joints-

This is the story of how this book came to be in Kim’s own words:

I had heard too many stories about how arthritis had reduced the quality of life of my family, friends, and students.  Their stories were too similar: they went undiagnosed for years, they felt older than their age, they had given up on the things they loved to do, and they were frustrated about how their bodies were no longer working for them. Their physical and mental health had gone down the tubes. When it came to yoga, they felt left out of classes and misunderstood by teachers. I knew yoga could help them feel better again.  I heard the testimonials from my students and complete strangers about how yoga helped improve their lives.  I saw the changes made in my client’s bodies.  I decided there should be a book written just for them, something they could use at home every day to help empower them to manage their pain, stiffness, and depression.  I got on the job of creating such a book.” ~Kim McNeil

I cannot rave about this book enough. Watch my video below for my full review and your chance to win a signed copy!

Giveaway Details / Rules

  • You must be a subscriber to my blog (which you can do below or on the top right-hand side be entering your name and email)
  • Leave a comment below letting me know if the book is for you or a loved one
  • Winner will be chosen June 30, 2014 and contacted via email

Please check out Kim’s website for more info on Happy Joints: The Yoga For Arthritis Handbook and her Yoga For Arthritis Classes. If you know someone who suffers from Arthritis, share this blog post with them.

Jade Yoga Mats ~ Product Review

https://nykdanu.com/jade-yoga-mats-product-review/

FTC Disclaimer: This review is my own unsolicited opinion. I have bought all of my Jade Yoga Mats with my own money. Jade has not given me any products for review or to giveaway.

A few years ago, I decided to order my first Jade Yoga Mat. I heard so many good things from Yogini’s and Yogi’s I respect and admire about the quality and ethics of Jade Mats and Jade as a company.

They are a premium mat and I tend to be thrifty by nature so I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not they would live up to the hype. So I ordered my first Jade Mat; the professional 24 X 74 (in purple of course). It was Love at first Downward Dog and there was no going back. I have bought several now, and have one at each location I teach at. They are the only mat I use and recommend.

I’m doing another order Feb 15/2014 for those of you who are local.  I will have order forms at class for you and if you aren’t currently signed up for classes, watch your inbox for details or email me using the contact form on this page. I have a Video Review and Giveaway or you below.

Review Highlights

1 star for natural and sustainable

1 star for giving back by planting a tree for every mat bought

1 star for made in the US (sweatshop-free)

1 star for Kick Ass Quality (best mat I have used to date)

Jade Yoga Mat Giveaway Rules:

I will be giving away 1 -24 X 17 Jade Travel Mat in the color of your choice (colors in the image below)

Giveaway deadline is Feb 15/2014

Giveaway open anywhere in North America

To enter to win a Jade Yoga Travel Mat you must:

1) Subscribe to my blog below (if you are already on my email list, you can add my blog to your subscriptions by “updating your preferences” once you have entered your email.)

2) In the comments below tell me what color of mat you want to win

jade_yoga_mats

Photo Credit

The winner of the Jade Yoga Mat will be chosen using Random.org and will be contacted Via Email, Good Luck!