12 Days of Giveaways: Laura Ahrens Yoga + Manduka + Kira Grace

Friends! You know what’s difficult? Writing this post THREE times due to a WordPress glitch. You know what else is more difficult? Writing this post slightly tipsy (it’s the holidays, y’all, and I’ve had a few Chardonnays. What of it…?). But, you know what? Mama Fox promised you 12 Days of Giveaways, and by golly if I’m not true to my word. And holy moly, am I good to that word. BEHOLD the treasures I have for you.

What Is This 12 Days of Giveaways?

It’s pretty self-explanatory and embarrassingly unoriginal, but what can I say? I love doing giveaways because you love them and I get to shine the spotlight on rad people (see: Laura Ahrens) and great companies (see: Manduka and Kira Grace).

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What’s Going On Here?

As if I needed to tell you, the holidays, while intentionally joyous, are fraught with stress and hassle. Enter Laura Ahrens Yoga. This miracle lady, Laura Ahrens (famed for her breathtaking poses in yoga and art books and one of the best teachers out there), has come to our rescue with this relaxing, restful series of postures created just for The Little Foxes (hurrah!) that will ease stress and bring you relief during a crazed holiday season (and beyond). Seriously, make time for these. They’re simple, can be done anywhere and with little equipment, and make the days more enjoyable.

And because she’s just that fucking amazing (seriously, how grateful am I to have this yogic powerhouse and incredible person share her time and expertise with all of us? VERY.), she’s also included a Yoga Starter Pack giveaway (see below, eager beavers), that includes her favorite top from amazingly conscious company, Kira Grace (winner’s choice) and a selection of her favorite Manduka Pro Lite Mat (in the winner’s choice of limited edition print color). Boy, not only are you relaxed, but you just might get a gift for yourself or someone you fancy quite a bit.

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What. A. Babe. Photo credit: Kaitlyn Ferris Photography

About Ahrens Yoga

If you haven’t heard of master yogi, Laura Ahrens by now, well, you’ve prob been sleeping in the Hunger Games cave. This gal is the teacher in Boston and the east coast, and also just happens to be the sista of my gal, Julia Ahrens who runs Miakoda (can you tell I heart this fam hardcore?). Her approach is compassionate (see: Ahimsa), tailored to clients of all ages, sizes, and situations, and completely badass. And she’s a beautiful (see pic above and duh) and fun-as-fuck person, to boot. Need I say more? Check out the series she created for you (with the photographic artistry of Amber Elise Photography – who’s a bad bitch in her own right) to survive the holidays and enter the giveaway to get her pro-favorite gear. Yes, we should all be so darn lucky. When the holidays (or any times) get too hectic, stop, drop, and give in to this relaxing and effortless series that will set things right and retool your perspective back to what matters most – joy, the people around you, and the abundant love in the universe. Ah, that’s better.

The Series That Will Help You Survive the Holidays With Grace

Posture 1:  Supported Tarasana (Star Pose)

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What Am I Doing?  Bring the soles of the feet together, knees apart a generous distance from the pelvis. Round the spine forward, with an option to settle the forehead down to a block. Breathe into the back of the body and soften the neck.

Posture 2: Dolphin Prep, Stage 1

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What Am I Doing? Come to a tabletop position with knees under hips, elbows under shoulders. Clasp under the roundest part of the shoulder to find the appropriate distance for the arm bones, slightly narrower than shoulder distance. Come to a tabletop position with knees under hips, elbows under shoulders. Clasp under the roundest part of the shoulder to find the appropriate distance for the arm bones, slightly narrower than shoulder distance. Do not hold, this is a transition to Dolphin Prep, Stage 2.

Posture 3: Dolphin Prep, Stage 2

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What Am I Doing? Unclasp the arm bones and place your forearms on the mat, parallel to one another. Hang the head, shrug the shoulders away from the ears, dome the upper back towards the ceiling. To up level, tuck toes under and straighten the legs for dolphin pose.

Posture 4: Child’s Pose (Balasana)

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What Am I Doing? Rest the seat to the heels, chest to the thighs, forehead to the floor. If this pose feels uncomfortable for the knees, either place a blanket under the knees or rolled up between the thighs and calves, depending on the cause of discomfort. Breathe deeply into low belly and low back.

Posture 5:  Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana Variation)

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What Am I Doing? Extend the legs and cross the right foot over the left thigh, bending the knee. keep the left leg extended. Tent the right fingertips behind your back. Cross the left elbow over the right thigh. Inhale to lengthen the spine upwards, exhale to increase the twist while keeping length. This pose can also be detoxifying and can help ease digestion. Switch sides.

Posture 6:  Supported Bridge (Salamba Setu Bandhasana Variation)

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What Am I Doing? Lie flat on the back with the knees bent. Slightly tilt the pelvis and press the low back down into the floor. Keep that length as you lift the pelvis and set a block underneath the sacrum (avoid the lumbar vertebrae). Cross one foot over the opposite leg. Flex the foot and feel for muscularly sending the lifted knee slightly forward away from the pelvis. Breathe into the low belly and low back. Switch legs.

Posture 7:  Supported Legs Up A Aall (Salamba Viparita Karani)

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What Am I Doing? From supported bridge, lift the legs straight up towards the ceiling. Relax the neck and shoulders.

Posture 8:  Legs Up A Wall (Viparita Karani)

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What Am I Doing? To get situated, sit one hip towards the wall and lay the torso down as you slide the legs up the wall. Rest the torso against the ground. Sit bones as close to the wall as is comfortable. Use a blanket to cover the belly for a deeper grounding sensation. Face the palms towards the ceiling or one hand on the belly, one on the heart. This pose can be held for 15 minutes (or as long as you have time for) during the day to energize or before bed to help aid in sleep.

Man, I’m Relaxed. Wanna Win Stuff?

Not only did Laura create that totally sedating (in a good way) session for you, but she also wanted you to have a chance at winning her favorite yoga gear so you can really get in the spirit.  That’s right: One lucky winner will receive a Kira Grace top of her choice and a limited edition (I can’t stress to you how rad this mat is) Manduka ProLite mat, made from recycled materials (whatta gal!). As in, this mat is ZERO WASTE and non-slip with just the right amount of cushion and stability. Perfect for hot and non-heated yoga devotees.

12daysofgiveaways, ashleepiper, ahrens yoga, giveaways, vegan, eco friendly, crueltyfree, mandukaAnd the Kira Grace tops? Don’t even get me started (but do). Dozens of hot styles of tops to choose from, hot colors, differing levels of support (yes, I’m looking at you, my sisters in double-digit bosoms). And because they’re so hot damn rad and amazing, they wanted to winner to choose her perfect top, because Kira Grace acknowledges that we’re all unique and hot as all get out. And 100% of sales of selected items go to Off The Mat, Into The World, which is a fantastic charity bringing yoga to peeps who need it most. Love.

 

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Enter Here

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Laura of Ahrens Yoga, Manduka, and Kira Grace for making this incredible post and giveaway possible. Open to U.S. entrants only (but the series is for everyone, everywhere). I hope you enter and share this post with anyone who could use some relaxation and perspective this season and beyond. And this is only the beginning. We have 11 more days!

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  • Sydney85

    Love the style of this yoga and a lean body

  • Katherine B

    I LOOVE legs up the wall (vitiparita karani) and I’ll admit when I’m stressed/short for time/don’t feel like doin’ anything, this pose could be my yoga for the day!! The entire sequence looks like it would be fabulous for my upper back and shoulders, which sometimes get tight when I’m stressed and sitting at a desk a lot.

    Also… I WANT THAT YOGA MAT. Have had my eye on that exact type, that or a Jade, since I learned that lots of yoga mats have PVC (including the cheap one I got when I joined my college’s yoga club, I’m sure.)

  • Yemie Sonuga

    This is amazing. Iv been wanting a Manduka Yoga mat for ages. Fingers crossed. Can’t afford one and this wild be dream.

  • http://www.girlgoneveg.com/ Kelly Lynn

    I JUST signed up for Nature Yoga in Wicker Park so, a new yoga mat would be AWESOME!!!!!!!!

  • Jesse Baker

    Everything looks amazing! I am just now trying to get into yoga so I am just now learning about everything

  • Michelle

    I love that Laura is based in Boston! Hometown represent! Also her photographs are gorgeous.

  • KC Immler

    love that you’re giving away from these eco friendly and compassionate brands!

  • DeanneO

    I love that there is a series of poses to help get me through the holidays

  • http://www.theveganchickpea.com theveganchickpea

    her handstands are amazing!

    • Laura Ahrens

      thank you love, you’re the best.

  • Julie

    so needed right now, thank you!

  • Rachel

    Legs up the wall is my go-to pose to rejuvenate. Plus I just love all the companies featured in the giveaway!

  • http://theseasonaldiet.com Sarah O’Toole

    Ekk! I must have been living in a cave! I’m doing Laura’s series tonight…and probs while I’m at my in laws all week:) Thank’s for these awesome giveaways!

  • Cheryl Schiels

    Thanks for giving great directions on how to do the pose. Love the great pictures, as well.

  • Lynsi

    I just bought myself a few yoga DVDs to up my frequency. This is perfect!

  • Jessica

    Seated Twist is an amazing stretch for the back, yet so gentle on the body. It feels amazing to do after a long day at work!

  • ammauceri

    The photos on her site are beautiful!

    • Laura Ahrens

      thank you thank you, beauty :)

  • Leslie Richman

    Love that legs up a wall pose!

  • Diana

    Seated twist! So great after a long day sitting in front of a computer!

  • Alison Kinsey

    Ahh I am so excited about this giveaway Ashlee! Ironically, earlier today I was researching yoga mats because I am ready to step up my game and start going more regularly :) I’d love one of these beautiful Manduka mats.

  • http://sacredsourceyoga.com Ariele Foster

    beautiful, Laura! I love this joyful description of you and your beautiful asana pics. Thank you for being a light in my life and for sharing this sequence. Treasure!

    • Laura Ahrens

      YOU are a light in mine. so happy we’re in each other’s lives.

  • Molly

    Fabulous sequence- really enjoyed this in the mayhem of the holiday season!!!

  • http://batman-news.com Nicollette D

    I love that I could actually do this sequence! I’m not much of a yogini.

  • Lola P

    I LOVE Laura and I could use these stress relieving poses right now. It is easy to forget that it is important to take time to relax during this crazy holiday season. This sequence is perfect for that. Can’t wait to get started! xoxo Lauren

    • Laura Ahrens

      I love you too, Lauren, and miss you!

  • http://www.bubblesdeux.com BubblesDeux

    I love that I found this right as I was trying to think about ways I can be better at even attempting to add yoga to my life on a more regular basis (one day, I’ll say daily, but first need to start!).

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  • Debra Denniston

    Great mats! Inspirational post!

  • Sarah Fleming-Diaz

    Gosh, her inversions are so impressive! I’m very happy to see that this sequence is simple enough for beginners like me. 😀

    • Laura Ahrens

      thank you so much! keep at it, and yours will be too. it’s all about practice and consistency and progress will happen naturally :)

  • Sarah Felder bentoriffic

    I love the series to get us through the stress of the holidays. I try to do viparita karani a few times a week to take a break and meditate.

  • Gigi

    Lovely sequence: forward bend, backward bend, twist, and legs up the wall–so restorative.

  • Danielle Aran

    I love seated twist, but my favorite part of this series is the beautiful Laura Ahrens. I am very close to her sister, and Laura has made me feel like a part of the Ahrens family. she has a beautiful soul and looks amazing in Kira Grace gear on an AMAZING mat. i love Manduka, Kira, Laura, and The Little Foxes!!!

    • Laura Ahrens

      love you too, sweetness.

  • Toni Marie Caravello
    • Laura Ahrens

      thank you so much, beauty.