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  • My Life | Me, a Yogi?

    We all have New Year's resolutions year after year - to lose weight, eat more veggies, spend less time on social media, walk our dogs more, eat fewer cheeseburgers. Some of my resolutions this year were to spend more time in prayer and solitude, exercise more frequently, and to spend more time for myself and by myself (I rarely spend time alone). Even as I type that, I feel slightly embarrassed. My nature tells me that that is selfish - I should do more, achieve more, spend more time and energy with others and for others. But for me, that's my default. Those are my strengths - I empathize, I relate, I develop, I adapt, I listen. My tendency is to say "yes" to any social invitation, to fill my schedule, to neglect having margin in my life. If I don't take intentional time to step back, to be alone, to pray, to just be, it becomes an unhealthy imbalance and I lose myself. 

    So how have I begun to remedy this imbalance? For starters, I'm trying to say "no" when I should. I'm trying to question my motivation for saying "yes". Is it because it's something I want to do? Is it because it's beneficial? Is it something that I am doing just to please the other person?

    I've also started practicing yoga 3-4 times per week. No, it's not weird chanting or meditation to some eastern religious god. I'm doing yoga sculpt (trust me, it's SUCH a good workout!), hot yoga and other variations of each. (Side note: The amount you sweat in these classes is actually rather mind-boggling, as the room temperatures - with added humity, might I add - reach between 92-103 degrees.) I'm taking time to take care of my body, to calm my mind... to just breathe. Whether I can't resist my extroverted nature and I attend a class with a friend, or whether I go alone and take some time for prayerful solitude in a room full of strangers, yoga is starting to literally change my life for the better. I feel stronger, healthier, more patient (!) and more like ME. I allowed myself to neglect myself for too long. And now, I just breathe - inhale through the nose, open mouth exhale - and take the hour I carve out each day for yoga and enjoy every minute of it. Ahhhhh. I feel more relaxed just thinking about it! 

    Taking time for yourself resting, vacationing, exercising - these are spiritual, not selfish, practices. I'm working on believing that myself. The more I take my own advice, the most the voices (a.k.a. lies) in my head disappear and in their absence comes silence, margin and more room for good things and God things. So take my advice - be counter cultural - relax, breathe deep and create margin. 

    So I'm a Yogi now I guess, and I love it. Namaste :)

    “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” -Psalm 62:1-2

    #restisspiritual

    You can't get your sweat on without the proper gear. Here are my must-haves for a hot yoga class:

    headband / tank top / wrap / tumbler / yoga mat / strap / pants / towel / bra / sandals

    xo Cait

  • My Picks | The Best of Athleta

    If I could shop at only one clothing store for the rest of my life, it would probably be Athleta, with TJ Maxx and Madewell coming in at a close second and third. It's owned by the GAP/Banana Republic/Old Navy conglomerate, which means you can use your rewards points, gift cards, etc. at Athleta too! Unlike it's snootier counterpart (Lululemon), Athleta has fantastic sales (often and for more than $5 off), offers an array of sizes (XXS-XL, regular, petite, tall, plus), uses quality material that isn't see-through when you bend over, offers a "Give-it-a-Workout Guarantee", and is made for real women with real bodies, not just teeny tiny middle school girl bodies :) (I will say, Lulu's headbands are amazing and their yoga mats are the best in the world, so I'll give them that. I don't think they're the worst, I just like Athleta better.)

    So in honor of my love for Athleta, here's my must-have list of favorite items (some that I own personally, others that I've tried on and are on my wishlist) for my yoga-practicing, trail-jogging, weight-lifting, errand-running, couch-sitting buddies:

    1. Movement BraletteWhy I like it: This bra has great support for higher intensity workouts without feeling bulky. I also like the way it hugs you since it comes down a little further below your chest. What they say: "We're bringing the bralette into the aerobic world with mesh ventilation, high compression support and everything else a run-loving, burpee-loving girl needs.(shown in Black, $49)
    2. Fastest Track Tank: Why I like it: This is my favorite workout tank - it has the perfect amount of stretch. I love the rouching detail on the front, which is super flattering, and the bottom has little grippy things on the inside so it stays in place for your workout - no more tugging! What they say: "We improved our favorite, go-to training tank with our REGUL8 technology (customized cooling increases or decreases to adapt to your body's needs so you're never too hot or too cool) and seamless design fabric that stretches with your every move, pulling sweat away from the body.(shown in Flint Grey Heather $44)
    3. Kettlebella TankWhy I like it: It's loose enough to feel comfortable but not too loose for downward dog and it's semi-sheer, which keeps you cool during a heated workout. Featuring Athleta's trademark unstinkable technology (natural silver salts give the fabric antimicrobial protection that lasts wash after wash)... need I say more! What they say: "A new favorite for our gym workouts, this wicking, breathable top features Unstinkable technology and a semi-sheer factor for the ultimate in layering." (shown in Iron Blue, $49)
    4. Fastest Track TopWhy I like it: This long-sleeve has the same feel and technology as the Fastest Track Tank, but I love pairing this with a vest for a casual, comfy Saturday outfit or for runs outside. It's the perfect tightness, feeling cozy, not constricted. What they say: "We improved our favorite, go-to training tank with our REGUL8 technology (customized cooling increases or decreases to adapt to your body's needs so you're never too hot or too cool) and seamless design fabric that stretches with your every move, pulling sweat away from the body." (shown in Flint Grey Heather $64)
    5. CYA Hope Jacket 2Why I like it: I have this jacket in a similar pattern and it's my fav "to-fro" jacket to wear to the gym or studio. It's very flattering in its design, as it contours to your body's natural hourglass shape without clinging. I love it for weekend wear as well - the fabric is amazing. What they say: "This jacket's sheer versatility and detailing make it perfect for everything from yoga to-fro to lifestyle to even running (reflective back trim brightens up your way home in the dark after your workout).(shown in Black Heather, $138)
    6. Techie Sweat HoodieWhy I like it: This is currently on my wish-list. The material is to die for - it's SO soft, you'll never want to take it off. I also LOVE the green color, cowl-neck and longer length to pair with leggings. I'm drooling... What they say: "Beyond-soft Techie Sweat fabric (super soft, breathable fabric with a retro-sweatpants vibe) with a cozy cowl hood and cover-your-assets length is your new hoodie standby.(shown in Jasper Green, $89)
    7. Downalicious Deluxe VestWhy I like it: I recently got this vest on sale in the gorgeous "Evergreen" color and must restrain myself from wearing it everyday. It's the perfect blend of sporty yet casual and is so cozy and warm, without feeling bulky. I'm obsessed. What they say: "800-fill FeatherDry down gives you water-resistant warmth in this cozy vest with such flattering style lines, we find ourselves reaching for it again and again.(shown in Black, $148)
    8. Reptile Relay CapriWhy I like it: I have these capris in black and in this fun reptile print and love each of them. The banded bottoms add a sporty touch, while the mesh ventilation behind the knees is perfect for a sweaty yoga sculpt session. Despite these being considered "mid-rise," they stay up nicely and fit me more like high rise. LOVE! What they say: "Our customer-favorite, ultra-flattering, performance-fitted tight for running, training and basically everything else. "Reptile" patterned capris are made from RECYCLED POLY, a supremely sleek fabric made from post-consumer plastic bottles. (Fun fact: that's approximately 8 bottles saved per garment!)(shown in Flint Grey, $74)
    9. High Rise Chaturanga CapriWhy I like it: These are the perfect, no-nonsense capris. High waist, so they suck you in and keep everything locked and loaded, and sleek fabric that goes with everything. There's nothing not to like here! What they say: "Our go-to tight for all things yoga and everything else comes in a high-rise fit for a triple dose of performance: keeps everything tucked in, offers a secure, stay-put fit, and creates the longest, leggiest look. Made from our exclusive PILAYO® fabric, our go-to for every workout.(shown in Navy, $64)
    10. Aspire Ankle PantWhy I like it: These pants are so comfy and breezy. Another item on my wishlist, they are a great alternative to leggings or jeans on a casual day. They can be worn scrunched for a capri length or worn down as an ankle pant - it's a win-win! What they say: "The Featherweight Stretch™ (silky sleek fabric that's so lightweight, it feels weightless) pant that goes from studio to street thanks to a sporty chic tapered leg that scrunches up for more breathing room.(shown in Jasper Green, $79)
    11. Quest Metro Slouch PantWhy I like it: Another wishlist item - these pants are a great casual alternative to sloppy sweatpants or joggers. I wouldn't feel embarrassed running errands in these babies! I also love the zipper pockets and "fully adjustable NeverEnd drawstrings at the hem that let you cinch and tie to the fit of your liking." What they say: "The yoga-pant-comfy METRO style made to give your jeans a day off with handy pockets, sweet seam lines and super stretchy fabric that supports your love of adventure.(shown in Black, $89)
    12. High Rise Chaturanga TightWhy I like it: These are the same style and feel as the High Rise Chaturanga Capri, just in a full-length tight. These are my go-to for everyday wear, workouts, lazy Saturdays... you name it! These are a must-have. What they say: "Our go-to tight for all things yoga and everything else comes in a high-rise fit for a triple dose of performance: keeps everything tucked in, offers a secure, stay-put fit, and creates the longest, leggiest look. Made from our exclusive PILAYO® fabric, our go-to for every workout.(shown in Black, $74)

    There you have it! Did I miss one of your favorites? Where's your favorite place to shop? SHARE your thoughts below and leave a COMMENT! :)

    xo Cait