Gifts for Guys

Your lover has a birthday coming up, or you simply want to surprise him with a thoughtful present. He does it all the time for you, and if you’re anything like me, it leaves you with an uneasy feeling that you should definitely repay him somehow. 

From what I know from experience, guys are not as into gifts as they are surprises. It’s more important how you present the gift than what he’s actually getting. But still, here are some of my favorite picks. Think of their lifestyle and things that they wish to have but wouldn’t buy for themselves.

  • Buy him a T-shirt. The kind that you know he’s going to wear. Plus, every time he does, he’s literally going to wear you. Cute, right?
  • Get him a big boy’s bag. Like a women’s purse, just men’s version or a duffel bag. I’m sure he wouldn’t normally admit that he needs it, but he actually does. Instead of throwing things into your purse, he can now carry his things, and even some of yours, too.
  • Maybe he’s the athletic type, and a sport’s watch is just a thing on his wish list. Who doesn’t love a good sweat session? Those are that much better when you have control over how hard you’re working. Maybe he needs a daily reminder to move a little. Or when he does move, to slow things down and not overburden his body either. 
  • Buy him a pair of speakers. Listening to music or your favorite podcast sounds much nicer when the sound quality is better—just saying. From my experience, electronics, in most instances, hit home with men.
  • Even get him a pair of slippers. You’ll let him know that you want to keep him around for a while. 
  • Or what I like most is thinking of going places: you, him, and a lot of pleasure. Get him a travel kit for the vacation where he can keep all his toiletries neatly organized. 
  • To add one up, buy him a flannel robe. I don’t think men think of those. While they secretly love to lounge around on the weekends. It is the perfect attire to get you to brunch. While you possibly dance around in matching ones, preparing that all so needed weekend meal with all types of fruit and mimosas included.
  • Regardless of everything I suggested before, my very favorite gift is in line with any of the previous ones—and that is a surprise weekend getaway trip. Maybe you can pair a sport’s game or his favorite band in concert on that same weekend as well. Look into your options. I’m sure there are plenty.

I know that buying for your significant other might be a tough cookie to break, but listening to them might immensely improve your selection. If you can’t do anything else, ask them what they would like and, on the day, present it in a fun and playful manner. At the end of the day, it is probably not so much about the present, as it is about the person that gives it to them and the presentation you make for the person closest to your heart.

Astanga Yoga Poses

“Aѕhtаngа уоgа роѕеѕ” is a frеԛuеntlу ѕеаrсh рhrаѕе оn Gооglе. Thеrе аrе twо vеrу different ideas about tеrm аѕhtаngа уоgа tоdау though, ѕо the wеbѕitе уоu land оn might nоt bе ԛuitе whаt you’re looking for. Thе Sanskrit wоrd Aѕhtаngа means “еight limbѕ” (ashta mеаnѕ еight, аnd anga means limb), rеfеrring tо the traditional ѕуѕtеm of уоgа соmрriѕеd of 8 еѕѕеntiаl, intеrсоnnесtеd раrtѕ.

But, the term ashtanga уоgа hаѕ аlѕо gotten аttасhеd tо a modern еxеrсiѕе ѕуѕtеm thаt fосuѕеѕ hеаvilу оn раrt, the уоgа роѕе. Yоgа роѕеѕ, thоugh, аrе оnlу thе tip оf thе iceberg in уоgа. If уоu dоn’t gо vеrу far beyond them, уоu simply AREN’T DOING YOGA.

How many limbѕ dо уоu have?

Thе first ѕtерѕ in аѕtаngа уоgа аrе thе уаmаѕ and niуаmаѕ. If уоu’vе rеаd аnуthing аbоut yoga, I’m ѕurе уоu’vе heard about these morals аnd еthiсѕ. Yоgiѕ seemed so оbѕеѕѕеd with them. Cоmе оn though, who doesn’t knоw thаt we ѕhоuld be gооd people? Stер three though… nоw wе’rе getting into the good ѕtuff… those уоgа роѕеѕ! If Jеnnifеr Aniston keeps looking younger еvеrу dау with them, then I dеfinitеlу want to dо yoga too! Yеаh, we’ve all hеаrd about step 4 tоо… thе BORING уоgа brеаthing… Ok, fivе minutes оf thаt iѕ еnоugh. I know how tо brеаthе…

But whаt rеаllу comes next?

Aftеr thеѕе firѕt fоur ѕtер, уоgа gеtѕ very hazy fоr most people. Even mоѕt уоgа tеасhеrѕ get рrеttу new-age flаkеу when they ѕtаrt to tаlk about the higher lеvеlѕ оf уоgа. It ѕееmѕ thаt thе lасk of ѕtudеnt intеrеѕt in the highеr stages оf yoga is rivalled оnlу by the lack оf enthusiasm by tеасhеrѕ to еduсаtе about them. But guеѕѕ what… It’ѕ in the higher four ѕtаgеѕ уоgа асtuаllу bеginѕ!

Whаt’ѕ thе роint оf thе first fоur limbs thеn?

Wе аll knоw the ѕауing, “уоu nееd tо сrаwl bеfоrе уоu саn wаlk.” The firѕt fоur limbѕ are “yoga сrаwling” ѕо tо ѕреаk… рrераrаtiоn fоr thе higher ѕtаgеѕ. But оnе of thе biggеѕt yoga delusions people hаvе iѕ thinking thаt, bесаuѕе they саn move their bоdу intо аll ѕоrtѕ of extreme роѕitiоnѕ, thеу аrе “аdvаnсеd” in yoga.

Thе ashtanga уоgа роѕеѕ аrе indееd great tools for imрrоving and mаintаining оur рhуѕiсаl hеаlth. They even hеlр ground uѕ a lоt on thе mеntаl аnd еmоtiоnаl lеvеlѕ too. But trаnѕfоrming from ѕоmеоnе who iѕ dеерlу attached to thеir possessions, еmоtiоnаl dramas аnd rеlаtiоnѕhiрѕ in thiѕ wоrld, intо someone whо iѕ able tо detach from аll these thingѕ аnd еxреriеnсе thе rеаl jоу оf being раrt оf this miracle оf life, rеԛuirеѕ a jоurnеу tо thе higher уоgа mоuntаin реаk.

If wе dоn’t want tо go there, then perhaps оur уоgа tеасhеrѕ haven’t dоnе a good еnоugh jоb tо inѕрirе us… tо lеt uѕ knоw whаt wе’rе missing, аnd why wе nееd tо ѕеt оur ѕitеѕ a littlе higher. If we dоn’t outgrow оur аttасhmеnt tо thе Aѕhtаngа уоgа poses, thеn wе’ll be stuck in that lаnd оf рrераrаtiоn forever. The ԛuеѕtiоn is, what exactly аrе wе preparing fоr?

Yoga Clothes for Different Seasons

Depending on where you live, the weather can have a powerful impact on your yoga practices. If it gets very hot or very cold, you might find yourself unwilling or perhaps even unable to keep up with your at-home yoga practices. This can be a problem unless you can afford to attend a yoga class every day. The following are some tips and tricks that you can use to help make you comfortable during your yoga practice no matter what the weather is doing outside.

Yoga when it’s hot

In some areas of the world, it can get swelteringly hot or humid. Doing yoga when you’re already dripping with sweat can seem like too much effort, destroying your motivation and good intentions. If you are doing yoga in a hot place, make sure that your lesson is early in the morning, before the sun and your house gets too hot, and keep a bottle of water close by. You could also try altering your yoga practice to include more poses that relax and cool you down such as meditation or the legs up the wall pose.

Yoga clothes for summer need to be light. This is the time for tank tops, crop tops, muscle tees, and shorts. Make sure that all fabrics are lightweight and breathable and try light colors to keep you cooler. This may be the time to experiment with doing yoga in just a sports bra or topless for the men. Also, a hairband can be a lifesaver if you have long hair, it will keep your fringe out of your eyes and stop the sweat from dripping down your face.

Yoga in the cold

It’s hard to do yoga when you just want to live in your flannel pajamas, fluffy socks, and dressing gown. The idea of taking them off, even just enough so you don’t slip, can put any devoted yogi off their practice. The cold can also make your muscles and joints constrict, meaning that you could have more trouble with certain movements or feel pain when stretching. Try drinking warm water before your practice, it will heat your body from the inside out and don’t be afraid to increase the intensity of your workout. The more you move and the harder you work the warmer you will feel.

Layers are excellent for yoga in cold weather. You can remove them when and if you warm up and the extra layers will hold in the warmth. Put your tank tops away and reach for form-fitting, dark fabrics that are thicker while still allowing you to move freely. You can even buy yoga socks if your feet get too cold, which are warm and have a grip sole so you can still perform your postures. Make sure you also have a wrap so that you can cover yourself when you are doing prone postures at the end of your practice and start to cool down again.

Trying to convince yourself to do yoga when it’s too cold or too hot to move can be difficult. Don’t let the weather be another reason for skipping your workout. Try some of the tips here, or come up with your own, for making your at-home yoga practices comfortable no matter what the temperature.

Choosing the perfect yoga pants for men and women

Yoga is an exercise for both men and women, which has gained popularity over the years. As men and women flex their muscles in the gym and other various places, they need specific garments that can bring comfort and at the same time ensure efficiency. There are lots of types of yoga garments but our focus is on pants, which can be worn by both men and women. 

The following guidelines should be useful when choosing your yoga pants:

Consider the length of your pants

The length is very important when choosing a yoga pant. When practicing yoga your body is going to be subjected to motions and poses that require you to have a pant that gives you comfort. Some people prefer their pants to reach a particular length, maybe below their knee. There are others who love shorts and really look great in them. When making your choice, you also need to consider the climatic conditions of your area. For women, leggings can serve as pants, being very classy at the same time. 

Consider the type of yoga you practice

Many types of yoga require different types of pants as you practice. For example, if you practice gentle yoga you may only need simple pants since this practice is not so vigorous. On the other hand, if you practice hot yoga then you may have to consider a pant that can absorb the sweat and make you feel comfortable in the heat, preferably a pair of shorts.

Consider the fabric of your pants

Most yoga pants are made of cotton and other synthetic materials like spandex, or a blend of synthetic and cotton. When choosing the fabric you may consider one that is soft and stretchy since you are going to stretch and bend your body as you practice yoga. The cotton-made pants will absorb more sweat than the synthetic ones. However, pants made from synthetic fibers give you more stretch and have moisture-wicking properties. Hence, synthetic materials are the best since they give you room for air circulation and dry quicker than cotton. 

Look for gusset features

Gussets are a very familiar feature in most pants. They are designed to reduce the pressure exerted around certain body areas and make you more comfortable as you perform yoga. Gussets also give you more motion range compared to simple pants that do not have this feature and they make your pants more durable.

Consider the waistband of your pants

As you choose your pants, you should look at how high the waistband goes. You should pick a pant that has a waistband, which coincides with your waistline that is too high or too low. This is because you will be doing certain poses in your yoga sessions, which need no hindrance at all. If the waistband material is too thick it can also prevent you from doing yoga bends.


As you go out to choose your yoga pants, take into consideration the above guidelines so that you get a very enjoyable experience with your yoga pants.

Can Yoga Impact Your Health?

Nowadays, people are more turned to technology than ever. This has its own benefits but also has its down-sides. If you are looking for a way to spend some hours off of your computer, trying to do some good to your body, or just trying to have fun, I present to you a good way for all that: Yoga. 

I believe yoga doesn’t need an introduction. All of us have heard about it. All of us have seen someone practice it, at least on TV. I will try and help you realize the benefits of yoga, and also answer some of the frequently asked questions about this movement. 

Is Yoga Strictly For Women?

Many people make a mistake and think yoga is for women only. It might seem that yoga is easy, but it isn’t. It represents a challenge for both men and women. Yes, there are more girls in it, just like there are more boys in football. However, that doesn’t mean that yoga is for women only. Just look around, there are plenty of male yoga instructors all over the gym.

How Can Yoga Impact Your Health?

Yoga is excellent for the following (and all of this has been scientifically proven): 

  • Lowers the risk of arthritis
  • Muscle strength
  • Reduces anxiety levels
  • Helps you cope with stress
  • Strengthens your immune system

Whatever your goal for trying out yoga is, all of these points will be provided to you. It’s better to practice yoga every single day or at least every other day. Don’t worry, yoga doesn’t take that much time; you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. All that you need is at least 30 minutes per day for it. 

Another great thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere – in the park, in the gym, or at home. It is recommended that you attend a yoga class first, but you can even skip that part as well. Find information on the Internet, watch some videos, or buy some tutorials. It really isn’t difficult. 

Yoga will be the push that you need to live a healthier lifestyle. After a while, you will notice some changes. You will learn how to handle stress, and we all know how important that is. Stress is the number one killer nowadays! The “silent killer” as I like to call it. Through its breathing techniques, you will learn how to calm yourself down and create positive better thoughts. 

The Final Verdict

Yoga can help you blossom like a flower if you use it the right way. Yoga classes aren’t expensive, but if you don’t like the price, do it at home! Your health will improve, your immune system will strengthen, and all in all, you would feel that much better! 

I hope this article provided you enough information for you to go and start practicing yoga. Everything is out there; you just need dedication.

Reality is Your Mirror

Perhaps one of the chapters in Deepak Chopra’s Book of Secrets that delivers more insight is Chapter Two: The World Is in You. This section looks into one of science’s greatest frustrations; the fact that they cannot prove the existence of the material world we perceive. All they have managed to tap into are a series of impulses, electrical charges and chemical reactions orchestrating within our brain, and therefore, enough proof to shake the very basis of materialism. Because as Chopra states, “The only reason that rocks are solid is that the brain registers a flurry of electrical signals as touch. The only reason the sun shines is that the brain registers another flurry of electrical signals as sight” (Chopra, D., 2004).

In other words what we are currently perceiving as a screen is nothing else but an energy field vibrating at a certain frequency that our brain ends up decoding or perceiving in a certain specific way. At its core, it is far from being a plastic solid device that allows us to read or write words down.  

But what may seem to be a failure for neuroscientists and science as a whole is actually the core of spirituality. It is a wonderful truth that does not only allow us to see how we are the creators of our own reality but also, how intrinsically connected we are with one another. We seem to be not only fundamentally linked to other human beings, but to every living creature, every planet, every star and everything we see and even everything we do not see around us.   

Chopra calls this “one reality”, a truth that in previous past times was fully recognized and accepted by our ancestors and that was later replaced by a “dual reality” led by the ego to the point of nearly being forgotten. This dual reality is also known as “the pursuit of pleasure, the bondage of karma, and (if we resort to a religious vocabulary) the banishment from paradise” (Chopra, D., 2004). Rather than making us feel like a part of a magnificent silent intelligence, dual reality makes us feel segregated and alone instead. 

This chapter pushes us to recognize ourselves as co-creators of everything around us, including that of what happens to us. In brief, it opens us up to a set of new beliefs such as the following:

1. All of what I experience is a reflection of myself.

2. My life is a part of all other lives. 

3. I do not have the need to control anyone or anything except for myself.

Chopra, D. The Book of Secrets. New York, Three Rivers Press, 2004. Print.

How to Use Healing Crystals

Life throws us off balance. Work brings stress, the future inspires anxiety, and we’re always worried about our families. Not to mention our health which seems to sabotage us at the worst times. Instead of downing over the counter medication, try one of the oldest methods of healing on the planet – crystals. 

Healing crystals date back at least 30,000 years. Amulets have always been prized by humankind, as archaeologists have discovered. Almost every ancient civilization used crystals for protection, healing, and decoration. These days, the use of healing crystals is still alive and well – even some celebrities praise their benefits! Every crystal has its own “powers” so to speak and can be used for different purposes. 

Below are some examples of common uses and which crystals are best for each.

Enhance your meditation practice with a grounding stone to put you in the right frame of mind. The best stone for this purpose is a quartz crystal, which offers clarity and focus. “Program” your meditative intention into the stone by holding in your mind what you which to attract into your life. Think big picture; instead of saying something like “I want more money,” try “I attract abundance and will never know the meaning of scarcity.”

There is no right or wrong way to use stones in meditation, but the best ways are to hold them in your hands or lay them on your body, preferably against the skin.

Yoga Space
Many different crystals can be used to enhance your yoga practice. From the self-love inspiring rose quartz to black tourmaline’s composure building properties, and selenite for clarity, each stone’s purpose is to create an environment of positive energy that you can call upon and use during your asanas. 

Place crystals on or around your mat, or build an altar and practice in front of it. 

Carry With You
Sometimes, you need something to give you an extra feeling of support, or a reminder that you are strong. Healing crystals aren’t just good for their inherent qualities; they’re also wonderful reminders of the power within you. Find one that speaks to you and carry it with you in your purse, your car, or as a piece of jewelry.
To find the crystal that speaks to you, go into a shop that sells a variety and holds a few in your hand. You can get one for its properties alone, but it’s advisable to choose one that resonates with you and just seems right. You’ll know it when you feel it. 

In the Bath
What could be more luxurious than milk and rose bath with candles, soothing crystals, and Zen music? Cleanse your mind along with your body by placing crystals in or next to the bath. A few common choices are amethyst for stress relief, rose quartz for self-love, and hematite to inspire a state of calm. For an even more relaxing atmosphere, find some healing crystal candle holders and candles with essential oil. Aromatherapy to the max! 

After using your crystals, make sure you cleanse them. Crystals absorb a lot of energy, and after being inundated with a variety of different vibrations they need to be reset. There are quite a few cleansing methods you can use, from leaving them in salt water for 24 hours to smudging them, to set them out in the sunlight or moonlight. Whichever way you choose, you will need to set your intention once again after they have been cleansed of previous energy. Crystals may seem a little high on the “woo-woo” scale, but once you try them you will see why they’ve remained in use for so long!

The Best Bags for Yoga

What do you do when you don’t have enough hands to carry all of your yoga gear to class? A yogi’s purse may not be the best place to shove a rolled-up yoga mat, a couple of blocks, and all of the other items you like to use for class. Most yogis will eventually want to invest in a bag that can accommodate all of their yoga essentials.

Admittedly, you may not really need many items to head to the studio. A high-quality yoga mat and perhaps a strap are the only things that yogis truly find to be essential to their overall practice. Blocks are often provided by the yoga studio and other types of gear will be used based on your personal preferences.

However, if you have lots of odds and ends that enhance your yoga practice, these are some of the best bags to have.

Crossbody Sling Bag

A crossbody sling bag designed for yogis allows you to store your yoga mat and many of the accessories all in one place. One of the best features of having a crossbody bag for your yoga gear is the ability to redistribute the weight. This is great if you have a sensitive back or often feel off-balance when carrying bags over just one shoulder.

You may even be able to find a crossbody bag that is styled more like a tote than a yoga mat bag. The totes will allow you to toss all of your items in, which is convenient if you don’t require a lot of organization.

Large Yoga Mat Duffel Bag

A basic duffel bag may not cut it when it comes to carrying your yoga mat. Not many of the small to mid-size variations are going to be large enough to fit a yoga mat. They may be large enough to accommodate your odds and ends, but don’t you want something that could fit all of it neatly?

Many manufacturers specifically make bags to hold a yoga mat. In addition, you may want to search for ones that have extra pockets adorning the outside of the mat bag. This can help you to store your extra items like yoga socks and gloves, a non-slip towel, a water bottle, or a yoga strap.

Top-Loading Yoga Mat Bag

Is simplicity more your style when it comes to bags? A top-loading yoga mat bag is an excellent way to store your yoga gear after practice. All you have to do is roll the mat up neatly and slide it inside. The nature and structure of the bag can often help to keep it in shape, even for the long journey home.

Do you have a difficult time figuring out how to get your yoga gear out the door before class? Having the right yoga bag can make all the difference. You can choose from a highly-structured bag with lots of extra storage to something as simple as a mat sling for tossing your yoga mat right over your shoulder. Take some time to consider what style may make your next yoga class a little easier.

Plow Pose Tips, Pros & Cons

The plow pose works great when it comes to opening your back, neck, and shoulders. If you stay all day in a chair behind a desk, this is the perfect method to release tension from your tight body. Below, you will discover some useful tips that will help you perfect your plow pose. Also, we have gathered both pros and cons of this asana. 

 Provide Support for Your Shoulder

No matter how experienced you are, it is always a good idea to use some folded or rolled blankets beneath your shoulder area for a full support. However, you must place your neck and head off the blanket in order to prevent injuries due to a lot of pressure on your spine. 

 Focus on Your Breathing

You must breathe slowly and be in control during the entire pose. I know it can be challenging to breathe when you sit in this position especially if you are a larger-chested woman or you have very tight shoulders. Whatever you do, try not to give up. 

Don’t Stress too Much About Your Feet

If you don’t have enough experience and practice, you might not perform the plow pose perfectly from the first try. Just swing both legs over your head and touch the floor with your toe tips for a better support and balance. Don’t fret if you cannot reach down to the floor. Instead, you can use a chair and place your toes on it. This way, you will not have to go all the way down to the ground. 

Rotate Your Arms Externally

Theoretically, during the plow pose, your arms must be extended in the opposite direction of your rolled legs. Also, you should hold your palms together. However, if you find that position to be too challenging and if you feel like you’re losing your balance, you can always rest your arms by your torso’s sides. Furthermore, you can rotate your arm muscles externally. This will give you a solid and stable foundation. In other words, you will not risk rolling over or falling down from the pose. 

Advantages of the Plow Pose

Strengthens your spine muscles while also loosening any tension you might have in your upper back, neck, and shoulders areas

Provides an incredible sensation of calmness and relieves stress and anxiety

Fuels your energy level

Stimulates your throat chakra, which is also called the energy point of your body

Improves thyroid gland function

Strengthens your immunity system

Engages the abdominal muscles; this leads to a more balanced hormonal activity. This might also help those who suffer from diabetes.

Disadvantages of the Plow Pose

It puts the body in an awkward position which some people might find uncomfortable and too challenging.

There is a risk of overstretching your neck especially if you do it incorrectly. So, make sure not to pull your shoulders far away from your ears.

Unlike other yoga poses, the plow asana requires props such as blankets.

It is not suited for beginners.

Summing It Up

The plow pose will fold your body over your head, which offers a lot of health benefits. Your mind will calm down, and your spine muscles will stretch and strengthen. Be careful to do it the proper way so that you don’t put too much pressure on your neck or cervical spine.

Icons of the Yoga Fashion World

Every yogi needs their style inspiration! Dressing in our most comfortable and attractive clothes during a practice makes things fun and can also boost self-confidence. Here are 4 yoga instructors from across the globe, each with a unique take on yoga apparel for both comfort and style.

1.) B.K.S. Iyengar

This master yogi, born in India in 1918, is one of the most widely read and respected yoga teachers of the 20th and the 21st century. B.K.S. truly mastered the art of yoga during his time, and inspired thousands of students the world over.

What can we learn from B.K.S.’s apparel choices? Tradition and the basics. B.K.S. typically wore a traditional Indian dhoti for practice. A dhoti can be described as a long piece of fabric wrapped around the waist—it typically doesn’t cover more than the groin area. This style is characterized by minimalism and freedom, leaving most of the body unhindered by apparel.

2.) Bikram Choudhury

Another Indian master of yoga, Bikram is the founder of Bikram Yoga, or hot yoga as many Westerners know it. Bikram’s fashion style is definitely a riff on older masters such as B.K.S. Iyengar—for his classes, he typically wears no more than a pair of breathable yoga underwear.

While these styles are minimalist to be sure, there’s a lot to be learned from these masters. Especially for styles like Bikram, less really is more! Yoga is all about freeing our bodies and getting in touch with our physicality, and while practicing in the nude isn’t up everyone’s alley, paring down the amount of clothing you wear during practice can be a great option.

3.) Ali Kamenova

Ali Kamenova is an L.A. based teacher who instructs classes all over the world. Her style is characterized by bright colors, self-expression, and fun. Her wardrobe includes ankle bangles, American flag patterned leggings, colorful head scarves, and leg warmers.

Ali is a great inspiration for female yogis who want to look in the mirror and feel their unique selves reflected back. She doesn’t follow any rules when it comes to apparel, and a scroll through her Instagram page displays her love for all kinds of yoga apparel. She is great inspiration for the fun-loving, youthful yogis out there.

4.) Sianna Sherman

Finally, Sianna Sherman is a great inspiration for minimalist female yogis. She has a pretty basic approach to yoga apparel—you can typically find her wearing block colors, and she sticks to short-sleeved, loose-fitting tanks and snug leggings. For the yogi who doesn’t want to put too much thought into her looks, while still feeling confident and beautiful on the mat, Sianna is the icon for you.

What we wear on the mat makes such a difference in how we feel and experience yoga. Even more, it can make or break our self-confidence, especially for those who practice in front of the mirror. Find your inspiration—there’s no shame in splurging on makes you most content.