Hello, friends! My, it has been awhile, hasn’t it? I could go on and on about the other things occupying my time (work, work, more work, occasionally enjoying the sorta spring weather in Chicago, lots of travel), but I will spare you the details and get straight to why we’re gathered here today. Why are we gathered here today? TO WIN COOL VEGAN STUFF, THAT’S WHY.
Get to Know: GUNAS
Okay, if you’re into ethical style, vegan fashion, or style and fashion generally, you likely already know GUNAS. Ethically made from eco- and animal-friendly materials, this brand recently underwent a complete redesign (website and bag line) and it could not be more gorgeous. Sugandh, the lovely human (and new mom and all-around superwoman) is the mastermind behind the brand and I’m always blown away when she shows me her latest designs. But this particular instance, a few weeks ago, when she showed me the new line of “Hermit” bags, well, I fell out of my freaking chair.
A photo of my boyfriend. Ain’t he gorgeous?
Why the “Hermit” Bag is my New Boyfriend
Sugandh’s email went a little like this: “Hey, what do you think of this new bag I’ve come out with? Would you like to see it?” UM, WOULD I? Yeah, I would, times a bajillion.
The concept behind the Hermit line is genius – all the style and functionality of an Hermes Birkin Bag, minus the cruelty, environmental degradation (sorry, Hermes lovers, if you think those bags are easy on the Earth to manufacture, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…), and eye-blazing price tag ($25K for a handbag? Bitch, you trippin). The bag is 100% animal- and sweatshop-free (as are all GUNAS bags – isn’t that lovely?!). And the inspiration behind the style is so so sweet. In Sugandh’s words:
“The name is dedicated to the highly abused Hermit crab that is native to the tropical climates like the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Australia. Most of the hermit crabs are sold as pets in the U.S. They are packaged and transported thousands of miles away for resale to live behind the plastic walls of an aquarium tank. Thousands of hermit crabs die during transport. This beautiful species is nearing extinction as its being taken away from its natural environment. Avoid purchasing exotic pets and share their story with others.”
And the look is pure POWER [insert punch emoji here]. Like, “I’m-Hillary-Motherfuckin-Clinton-and-I’m-Running-for-Prez” Power. So, it’s logical to assume that if you get this bag (seriously, get it), you will acquire enough power and respect to write the great American novel, run for high political office, and/or swim the English Channel. I mean, really, is there anything you can’t do when you’re carrying a badass tote? And so many color combos, yo’ head will spin.
So, let me break this down – my love for this bag knows no bounds because:
It looks amazing
Gorgeous color combos to choose from
Vegan, cruelty-free, and fair-labor
Polished and powerful
Loads of room for your everyday stuff (I was able to shove my laptop, work files, workout gear, lunch, water bottle, makeup bag, and a book for the train ride in this badboy)
Versatile: Can be carried cross-body or as a tote
The ad campaign features jaw-droppingly beautiful model, who happens to be both vegan and transgender. Check out the beauty:
Enter to Win a GUNAS Hermit Bag
GUNAS is an amazing brand, so I want you to mosey over to their site and check out the collections, wipe the drool from your chin, and then come back here to show Sugandh some love and support, and enter this generous giveaway for a Hermit bag ($149 value). Open to US entrants only, please.
The sun is shining. Snow is melting. And, I was delighted to be asked by Humane Society Internationaland the Humane Society of the United States to participate in their #BlogForBunnies campaign for #BeCrueltyFree Week (March 9th – 13th). The week is intended to raise awareness about animal testing in cosmetics and also creates a world-wide collective of badass animal-loving bloggers from around the globe who will be posting about the importance of pushing for legislation that will eradicate animal testing FUREVER. Needless to say, I’m very grateful to be part of this campaign, and to incentivize you lovelies to take to social media using the hashtags #becrueltyfree and #blogforbunnies, I’m doing a giveaway. Woot.
How It All Began
As many of you know, I’ve been passionate about animal testing long before I was even vegan. I found a PETA pamphlet on animal testing at my local grocery store (in Texas, yo) when I was 11 years old, and ever since, I’ve only used products that are cruelty-free (to the best of my abilities, at least). And check it out, I’m still alive and am able to groom with confidence. Heck, I even did a two-part series for Refinery29 on animal testing.
Sure, choosing cruelty-free might mean telling those Department store perfume gals or bright Sephora end caps with the latest prestige lipstick no, but the peace of mind you get knowing you’re not contributing to the suffering of animals is truly priceless. I mean, what exactly is beautiful about using products that are a result of animals suffering a lifetime in labs? Nothing. We’re better than that. And thankfully, we can all make a change right now.
Allow Me To Drop Some Knowledge
While dogs, monkeys, cats, and other animals are used in pharmaceutical and other research testing, cosmetics tests in the United States primarily involve rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters, and rats. I don’t care how much you don’t dig on rats – they don’t deserve the kinds of gruesome and unnecessary testing that takes place in the hell holes they call “labs.”
Globally, around 100,000 animals per year suffer and die because of animal testing.
Disappointingly, animal testing remains legal in the United States. It has since been banned by the European Union, Israel, and India, with other countries postured to (hopefully) follow suit. You can read more at Humane Society International.
Let’s Out Some Brands, Shall We?
Outing people is completely uncool, but outing brands that conduct dastardly animal tests is my life’s joy. I’m sure I’ll get some sort of legal bitchslap for this, but the truth is the truth. And I get so frustrated when I see well-intentioned peeps say, “Oh, I love animals!” and then watch them buy a L’Oreal or Unilever product (some of the biggest animal testers on the planet), or worse, pimp these brands on their blogs. You’re not buying cruelty-free if you’re rocking products from L’Oreal, Stila, Chanel, Maybelline, Cover Girl, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancome, Unilever, and many, many more.
It’s not cute anymore and I’m calling this shit on the carpet. We can all do better.
Want to know who good-guy companies are? Check out this list. There are thousands of ethical companies that make high-performance makeup that harms no one. And speaking of good guys, check out Root Science.
Get to Know Root Science
So, I adore Gigja, the Icelandic-California babe whose skincare company, Root Science, makes incredible vegan, cruelty-free, and organic goodies to heal and repair skin to its healthiest. Inspired by Iceland’s natural beauty, only the finest, hand-selected, skin-loving ingredients make it into Root Science’s gorgeous glass bottles – no fillers, preservatives, water, or chemicals.
I adore the masks and serums, which have helped to keep my skin sane through the long, cold Chicago winters. Check out the products here.
Win Root Science and #BeCrueltyFree
In honor of #BeCrueltyFree Week and as a way to help you clean up your act when it comes to compassionate beauty, I’m giving away a Root Science Organic Detox Kit, which is completely customizable and an $85 value. Giveaway is open to US and Canadian entrants only, please.
News Flash: It’s cold in Chicago. Not like “oh, that’s chilly” cold. Not “colder than a witch’s titty” cold. Like, end-of-civilization-and-we’re-all-gonna-lose-our-minds frigid. And what’s sensitive skin to do when shit gets real like that? Well, you oil up, kids. And the golden elixir I’m chatting about today is what I’ve been slathering on my skin lately. It’s so dang good that I had to share.
Photo Courtesy of Raw Beauty Talks
A little awhile back, a little babe by the name of Annie Tevelin contacted me via Instagram. “I’ve got some really pure products I’d love for you to try.” Given that I have tried pretty much everything out there, I was eager to add her products to my roster (once an addict, always an addict). And when they arrived in my hot little hands, I was beyond impressed.
Minimal ingredients that provide immediate (often overnight) results
A name that boasts one of the coolest creatures on the planet (owls rule)
Why SkinOwl’s Mangosteen Oil Will Rock Your Socks
There’s a new addition to this fab skincare family and dayum, this baby owl rocks. I’m talking about SkinOwl’s Beauty Drops PM with Mangosteen Oil, baes. This peerless blend is just two ingredients: Cold-pressed Baobab and Mangosteen oils. But the benefits of a simple slather are whoa-worthy:
Powerful Xanthones heal cells damaged by free radicals and slow down the aging process.
Baobab oil plumps parched skin, softens fine lines and wrinkles, and comforts sensitive skin.
Mangosteen’s natural antibacterial properties and antimicrobial compounds visibly correct skin blemishes, oily skin, and chronic dry skin.
So, basically this golden potion is good for e’rryone. And SkinOwl is pairing this luscious elixir with an unbelievably gorg 14K gold druzy Marrin Costello pendant in their “Golden Rule” Duo bundle. Hot shit do I love that necklace.
Win SkinOwl’s Mangosteen Oil
I like to share what I love, so I’d urge you to check out SkinOwl and enter below for a chance to win your own bottle of this magical, precious oil (an $85 USD value) Open to entrants everywhere, but international entrants will need to pay special shipping if selected.
While I, like most people, have a love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day, man oh man, do I adore flowers. And I come by this love honestly, because my first and perhaps most formative job ever was at a flower shop where my 15-year-old self sold desperate-to-get-out-of-the-dog-house and hope-to-impress-so-there’s-some-panty-droppin’ peeps on just the right arrangements.
All gorgeous photos you see here by John Towner
Get to Know: Flowers for Dreams
Fast-forward just a few (cough, cough) years later when good fortune brings me in contact with Flowers for Dreams. This Chicago-based company gives me all the feels. The aesthetic is gorgeous (think: Kinfolk-meets-Anthropologie), the mission is philanthropic, the sourcing and execution are eco-friendly and sustainable, and the people who run the company are cool as fuck.
No cookie-cutter limp tulips in a glass vase here, guys. Instead, Flowers for Dreams serves up artisan-crafted bouquets with responsibly-harvested flowers, charmingly wrapped in repurposed coffee sacks and delivered BY HAND (how often does that happen anymore?!) for free by equally-charming peeps on bikes. How cute is that? And every bouquet benefits a charity like the badasses below. And they really mean it – so far, they’ve raised $58K for Chicago charities.
The whole operation is eco-friendly and guaranteed to make even the biggest Valentine’s curmudgeon smile. So, when F4D asked me to preview their Valentine’s bouquets, WHO AM I TO SAY NO TO FLOWERS, FLOWERS E’RRYWHERE? I said yes. This beauty is what they sent me. All blush and untamed and gorgeous-like:
How Cute Is This?!
You can check out their assortment for Valentine’s by perusing these ingenious “Love Stories” featuring real Chicago couples. Can I be you guys? I’m bananas about all of these cute hipster couples and their shoes with no socks in the winter looks.
1. Use the code LILFOXES to get 10% off any order before 2/14.
2. Get laid. Thank me later.
Win a Flowers for Dreams Bouquet
Live in Chicago or want to send someone special in Chi-town a Flowers for Dreams bouquet? Enter to win one (1) medium bouquet, a $45 value, here:
Howdy, Holiday Foxes! I’m really excited about today’s post. And yes, we’re (meaning me) a bit behind on the Giveaway schedule, but the 12 giveaways are happening. Some may just carry you happily into the new year. And much like anything rad, I promise these are all well worth the wait.
If you have explored the realm of green and eco-chic beauty as of recent, the name Lina Hanson probably sends shivers of glee down your spine. That’s right – Lina’s the gorgeous, Swedish-born (and you know I love that) celebrity makeup artist and author behind the famous Lina Hanson | Global Beauty line (Ewan McGregor, Christina Ricci, Kristin Davis, and Lykke Li (!!!!) are reportedly mega fans).
In addition to being one of the warmest and coolest gals to chat with and learn from, Lina was kind enough to share some of her tried-and-true tips for keeping celebrities’ skin gorgeous and glowing throughout the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Thankfully, you don’t need to be a celeb to rock these tips that will have you sashaying to your New Year’s Eve fete like a muthafuckin’ diva.
Morena Baccarin with makeup by Lina Hanson, Courtesy of VOGUE
Lina Hanson’s Tips for a Healthy Holiday Glow
1. EXFOLIATE: One of the most important steps to gorgeous holiday makeup is your skin. If you are going to an event, or want glowing skin instantly, I always recommend exfoliating your face before applying your facial oil and makeup. Exfoliating allows your face oil to absorb into the skin faster and foundation and blush will go on much smoother, and last longer. Choose a gentle scrub that won’t irritate your skin. You can also make your own exfoliating scrub by using ingredients from the kitchen. I like mixing olive oil, with lemon, and sugar. Gently scrub your face using circular motions. This scrub works wonders and your skin feels and looks more clear in minutes.
2. HYDRATE: I’m a huge believer in beauty from the inside out. By staying hydrated, your skin will feel and look healthy and glowing. Alkaline water is great because it has antioxidant properties that help detoxify the skin and keep it rejuvenated and hydrated quicker than regular water. I like Essentia water because it not only tastes great, I can see a marked improvement in my skin.
3. OIL CLEANSE: During winter months, your skin tends to be more dry and flaky. Avoid anything that contains alcohol, and instead of using a regular face wash, I recommend cleansing your face with a cleansing oil or balm. An oil will cleanse your skin from grease or dirt while keeping it moisturized and soft, and without stripping the skin from its natural oils.
4. DRY BRUSH: Dry brushing for about 5-10 minutes before a shower is a great to keep your skin healthy, removes dead skin and increases your circulation. Beautiful winter skin is all about moisture, so avoid taking a very hot shower, as hot water robs the skin of that precious moisture. Try to keep your bath and showers short. Moisturize your body with a body oil while the skin is still damp. The oils will absorb into the skin faster than a body lotion and will leave your skin soft and nourished from the inside.
5. EAT YOUR GREENS: Eating a lot of leafy greens in your diet is crucial for healthy, glowing skin as they are super rich in minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients. To ensure you are getting enough greens, you can incorporate a spirulina or chlorella supplement into your diet. Spirulina and chlorella ward off free radicals, eliminate toxins, and increase skin metabolism.
Lina Hanson Global Face Serum
As if those tips weren’t enough, Lina is giving away her best-selling, celeb-fav Global Face Serum (Retail $85). I’ve been fortunate enough to use this serum and let me just start by saying that the scent is CRAZY FREAKING GOOD. Here’s the 411 on this beautiful elixir:
Completely vegan and cruelty-free.
Toxin-Free: Completely free of parabens, artificial fragrance, silicone, petrochemicals, synthetic fragrances, or any other chemical ingredient.
Reduces irritation and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The natural essential oil scent uplifts mood and banishes anxiety.
Don’t believe me? This magical serum has received quite a bit of press. So, I’ll just leave this right here…
Win a Global Face Serum
You’ve got the tips, now nab the face oil to complete your regimen. One lucky winner will receive a full-size Global Face Serum, an $85 value. Open to all entrants, but entrants outside the U.S. must pay shipping.
Welp. It’s official: I am no good at posting every single day, so these giveaways will come to you in daily clusters. But hey, as long as you’re able to enter for awhile and as many as you like, who gives a hoot? Hold on to your hats, guys. This giveaway is a stunner.
About Viva Creatures!
I pride myself in having a bit of a leg up when it comes to finding rad cruelty-free fashion and boy, has Viva Creatures! put a smile on my face. Not only were their bags new to me, but the gal who runs the company, Nora Baldwin, is the biggest sweetheart (and babe). We share a similar story that goes a little something like this: Big corporate career —-> revelation that we could be doing something bigger for animals —-> doing our own thing to help animals. I have mad respect for someone with moxie like that, and I also adore the aesthetic of these bags.
The pared-down style of these bags is classic, enduring, and completely swoon-worthy. The faux leather gets more supple with use, but is significantly more durable and lighter weight (your shoulders will thank you) than leather. Let us talk about more of the virtues of this incredible brand, shall we?
Intentionally vegan and cruelty-free: Is there anything else on this blog? Hell. No. Never.
Made in the USA: Because keeping jobs at home and showing that domestically- and ethically-made products can be seriously quality and luxurious is boss.
Limited Edition: Viva Creatures! makes a “purposeful number” of each bag because it’s nice to have something that’s unique and rare.
Eco-Conscious: The opening collection is made from a nylon microfiber produced in the USA. The spring line (seen here) includes bags made from polyurethane and recycled materials.
Good Looking: I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but really, these bags are as Scandinavian streamlined and chic as all get out.
Interest piqued? You can mosey over to the site to get some last-minute gifties for yourself or someone you fancy.
But How Do They Look?
Take a peek and be sure to wipe the drool from your chin…
Let’s take the one I have: The Valkyrie. I can’t get over how supple the faux suede is and love how this bag has two compartments (so your wallet isn’t spilling out when you’re reaching for lipgloss, as one does). The most striking thing is the quality: The hardware is heavy and gorgeously gilded. The zippers zip smoothly. The pebbled faux leather feels supple and soft. It’s a remarkable bag and I will have it for years to come.
And the dreamy Voodoo Clutch…And the belle of our giveaway ball: The Victor. Which you’ll certainly feel like when you carry this badboy around. The two-tone sides MAKE ME CRAZY THEY’RE SO GOOD.
Win a Viva Creatures Bag
Nora’s a major doll and she wants one lucky reader to win a Viva Creatures! much-loved Victor Bag. It’s pretty much the only clutch you’ll ever need, and it retails at $305. And everyone will want to know where you got it. Open to U.S. entrants only, please.
Oh, my sweet little foxes! The giveaways just keep rolling in and this one is extra cozy! If you haven’t already, there’s still time to enter the Ahrens Yoga + Manduka + Kira Grace (a Manduka ProLite Mat and Kira Grace top of your choice are up for grabs) and Petit Vour Luxury Limited-Edition Box Giveaways! No limit to entries, since I want you to have the best shot possible to get these goodies!
About Under the Canopy
If you’ve been around these parts before, you know I’m committed to the pursuit of finding the finest eco-friendly, cruelty-free goods. Why? Because those values matter and what are we without values we hold fast to? Enter Under the Canopy, a premiere purveyor of organic and sustainable home goods and apparel.
We all know that organic cotton is dope, but there’s something very special about Under the Canopy’s duds. The cotton has a smooth-as-silk hand feel (almost like pima cotton) and is truly luxe. I have this robe and the moment I tried it on, I reached out to see if they’d want to run a giveaway so one of you could experience the same cool, cozy elegance.
Win an Under the Canopy Organic Cotton Robe
Want to win the best robe out there for yourself or to gift to a loved one? Enter below for your chance! Open to U.S. entrants only, please.
Oh, hi there. I see you guys have been enjoying that amazing Ahrens Yoga + Manduka + Kira Grace Giveaway! Hooray! And you can still enter until Dec 23rd, so please enter as many giveaways as you want. It’s the holidays, after all! Without further ado, let’s get to our second giveaway!
About Petit Vour
Now, if you know me, you know that I love me some Petit Vour. I mean, where else can you get luxury, cruelty-free, vegan, small-batch indie beauty goodies delivered right to your door? And while I love the Monthly Box (so affordable! so luxe!), I teamed up with Petit Vour to create something tres special for the holidays.
The Petit Vour Holiday Beauty Box – Limited Edition
Think of this Holiday Luxury Beauty Box as the Monthly Box on steroids. Madeline and I sat down and mapped out my favorite signature beauty goodies and included them in a gorgeous limited-edition box. What are these beauty goodies, you might ask? Well, there’s pretty much everything you need to get party pampered and ready, and look show-stopping. Allow me to enumerate (with some help from Petit Vour, of course):
ASTER & BAYDandelion Face Grains Mini($9.50 retail value)
These detoxifying grains can be added to any facial oil to form a mask or a gentle scrub. Made with clays, resins, roots, flowers, and grains—each chosen for their unique anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. This is one of my desert island products. A scrub and masque in one, and the results are soft, soothed skin.
GEORGIE BEAUTY ‘Bon Ton’ Faux Lashes & Clear Adhesive | $18 + $8
Wispy half lashes designed to accentuate and lift the outer corners of eyes for a bright-eyed look. Inspired by the popular demi lashes of the sixties. Because the holidays are for flirting, so be wink-ready under the mistletoe. HOW: Follow this link for a step-by-step on how to apply your luxe faux lashes.
GRESSA Lip Boost, Aux Rouge | $26
Oh, favorite much? If you know me, you know I rock a signature red lip as often as possible. And why not? Red makes every woman confident and siren-esque. I adore GRESSA’s kind and nourishing formulations, so we included a full-size of her holiday red. Feels like a balm, looks like a gloss, and can be used on lips or dabbed on cheeks for a rosy flush. Glam your pout with this non-sticky, buildable, matte color.
JING AI Sierra Glow Duo in Piccadilly & Kabuki Brush | $28 + $22
Infused with organic wild rose oil, sunflower seed oil and grape seed oil that help nourish your skin and set it aglow. Because slightly flushed cheeks are in all year round. You can even use this as a soft eyeshadow duo!
ONE LOVE ORGANICS Vitamin C Body Oil Sample ($7.50 retail value)
An ultra-concentrated combination of Vitamin C Ester, papaya enzymes, and organic shea oil deeply hydrate and gently exfoliate for smooth, dewy, even-toned skin. If you don’t know One Love Organics yet, you best get on the train. This body oil exfoliates, smoothes, and softens with the most addictive coconut and pineapple scent. Like a vacation for your bod.
R.L. LINDEN & CO. Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist Mini ($16 retail value)
Abundant with beautifying flowers, this mist tones and hydrates all skin types, offers anti-anxiety aromatherapy benefits and encourages you to feel radiant as your most gorgeous self! One of my hands-down favorite products on the planet. I feel like a Medieval queen whenever I use this and the benefits are incredible.
If you’re good at math, that’s nearly a $125+ value, folks. But the box can be had here for a cool $45 (cue infomercial Ashlee). Believe, this is going to nearly every gal on my Christmas list. Imagine the squeals of delight! Buy yours here.
Win the Petit Vour Limited Edition Beauty Box
Because this is 12 Days of Giveaways, one lucky winner is going to nab a so-hot-they’re-going-fast Limited Edition box. Open to all entrants, but if you’re outside the U.S., you’ll need to pay shipping.
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).
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.
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)
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
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
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)
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.
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.
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)
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)
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.
And 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.
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!
I was busy curating the November monthly box for Petit Vour and a second, Luxury Holiday Box, that’s on sale now. And lemme tell ya, it’s an awesome one. These are the artisinal, non-toxic, 100% vegan and cruelty-free products I use on the daily, true story. And they’re made with love by some of my favorite people on the planet: Gressa Lip Boost for that signature red lip, peachy blush for a natural flush, fluttery lashes, my FAVORITE Aster + Bay Dandelion Facial Cleansing Grains (which doubles as a masque), R. L. Linden & Co. Thousand Petals Beautifying Mist for a porcelain complexion, and a dreamy body oil from Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics. The philosophy was minimalist glamour – just toss in your bag and you’re ready to primp for a party. This box could only be more me if I threw in some oversized Harry Caray glasses, a shelter dog, and a Morrissey LP.
I’m co-hosting this event at Essentia Chicago on Thursday, December 4th from 6-8pm (that’s when I’ll be there) and it’s gonna be mondo fun. Chair massages, free booze, lounging on the world’s only non-toxic, vegan, eco-friendly mattresses, and TWO chances to win a $125 memory foam pillow (Can you even imagine what sleeping on a $125 pillow would be like. Me neither.). It’ll be great fun and I hope you can make it.
What is Essentia, you ask? Only the most beautiful, environmentally-friendly, non-toxic mattress on the planet. Let’s take a nap now, k?
Oh, and I’ll be doing a 12 Days of Giveaways this December, as well. And I’ve already lined up some seriously amazing shit you’re going to want to get your paws on. Really. I’m talking bags, makeup, skincare, fashion goodies, detox kits, home goods (maybe one of those Essentia pillows, bae…), and helpful tips from experts like green beauty maven, Lina Hanson and yoga guru, Laura Ahrens. Basically everything you need to get your holidays humming.
I want to also say that I’m really freaking grateful for you all. For your support and interest. For keeping me honest and challenging me. For sharing your friendship and knowledge. What a gift you all are. Let’s hug.
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