My New Obsession: Athleta

February 18th, 2015 Posted in Fashion, Yoga | No Comments »

Between Black Friday, Cyber Friday, to Christmas 2014, I gladly took advantage of the generous sales and used eBates where I could (wish all stores participate in eBates).  Anyone who is aware of Athleta’s regular prices especially would understand why I did.  Athleta creates great quality fitwear, but most of the prices are really steep… I guess that could be said of designer sportswear in general.  Remember that you don’t have to necessarily pay full price for good clothing or to build your wardrobe.  I feel no shame to admit that I have accumulated some great casual pieces at Target too; many I wear for yoga or to the gym.  Yayyy to double discounts and free shipping; I was able to purchase the awesome hooded sweater featured below at a much better price than I could have imagined!

*Photocredit: Athleta

athleta soma sweater mocha

FitwearUSA

November 29th, 2013 Posted in Yoga | No Comments »

I’m a big fan of discount vouchers e.g. Groupon, Deal Chicken, Amazon Local, Living Social, and the like.  Recently I discovered that one of my vouchers had long expired =(…  Naturally I was upset and had no one to blame but myself.  I was determined to at least get in contact with Deal Chicken or FitwearUSA (formerly known as Athletica and not to be confused with Athleta) to see if my $29 wasn’t a total loss.  Usually, while a promotion may expire, the value of the voucher is normally honored by many of these discount centers (understandably so, I was hoping this was the case for my predicament).  I must applaud FitwearUSA and their rep. Amanda, for not only honoring the value of my voucher but also for upholding the original promo (which they didn’t have to do).  The process also didn’t go without a hitch since the discount code had expired (again, I’m solely to blame) and there was some necessary computer re-programming on the company’s part to allow for the code to finally go through.  I must have called Amanda a few times but she was always very pleasant, patient, and willing to help.  So a big thanks to Amanda for being so kind to me =)!  My two pairs of organic cotton yoga leggings are currently on their way and I can’t wait! =).  For now, I can only speak of their customer service and in this respect they receive 5 gold stars.  I’ll let you know about how I like their leggings in an addendum to this post.

*Addendum on February 15, 2014:  By the way, hope everyone had a delightful St. Valentine’s Day =)!  This is the update I promised regarding my FitwearUSA leggings/stretchy pants… love them!  Thick, warm, comfy… overall great quality and what a steal thanks to my Deal Chicken voucher!  They are well worth even regular price!

*Photocredit: FitwearUSA

 

 

Yoga

May 12th, 2011 Posted in Yoga | No Comments »

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I’ve been doing yoga for the past couple of months.  After completing a beginner level yoga DVD at home, I enrolled in a local beginner’s workshop at a pilates & yoga studio which specializes in Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga.  My instructor is really great to work with too (kind, patient, generous with her time).  I just signed up for 1 session of Kripalu Yoga at another nearby studio.  So excited!  Can’t wait!  After this, I will probably decide to get a 10 class card.  The classes are affordable e.g. $17-$25 for 1.5 hours.

I have also wondered about the difference between Pilates and Yoga.  If you are wondering too, please read on (I’ve found a nice reference comparing both):

Pilates vs. Yoga: Which One is Right for You?

Depending on your fitness goals, you may choose to practice yoga or Pilates exclusively, or include them both in your workout regimen. While there are certainly differences between yoga and Pilates, they complement each other well and are both low impact workouts that can be practiced either in a class setting or in the comfort of your own home.

What is Pilates?
Derived from ancient yoga asanas, the Pilates exercise system was developed by Joseph Pilates over 80 years ago. Practiced for decades by dancers, Pilates has become very popular in recent years. Although Pilates works the entire body, the primary focus is on the core muscles (abs, lower back, and stabilizing muscles). Pilates exercise machines (such as the “Reformer”) can add a weight training element to the workout, with very precise and fluid movements, making it safer than most weight training.

But expensive Pilates machines are by no means required to get an effective workout. All you need is a yoga and Pilates mat (which is thicker than a standard yoga mat) and some basic resistance tools.

Why practice Pilates?
Pilates is very beneficial for strengthening muscles without shortening them or bulking up. In fact, dedicated Pilates practitioners are known for their long, lean look. Furthermore, the core strength you develop can be applied to many other activities to achieve “effort with ease” (a Pilates slogan). Pilates improves balance and overall strength, stabilizes and lengthens the spine, improves posture, and can help prevent injuries and aid in injury rehabilitation.

What is yoga?
While some people think of yoga simply as physical exercise, it is actually a complete, holistic system for overall health and well-being. Having been practiced for thousands of years, yoga includes everything from physical postures (asanas), personal hygiene, and a healthy diet to premeditation, breathing, and relaxation techniques. The most advanced forms of meditation and self-realization are also a part of yoga.

Why practice yoga exercises?
When it comes to achieving both physical and mental well-being, yoga exercises are by far the most effective and time-tested practices known to mankind. Yoga asanas effectively strengthen and tone the body, increase flexibility, improve balance, and relieve stress. However, the most significant benefits of yoga asanas come from their profound effects on the internal systems of the body.

By bending, stretching, twisting, and flexing in the various postures, you bathe your internal organs with oxygenated blood and prana, also known as “life force energy” or “chi.” Yoga asanas soothe and tone the nerves and regulate the endocrine system, which is responsible for the production of hormones—one of the keys to both physical and mental health. They also improve digestion and elimination, strengthen the respiratory system, and tone the reproductive organs.”

*Reference: Wai Lana