Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: Yoga Toes

Yoga Toes  http://www.yogapro.com/products/YogaToes.html

Take some medical grade gel, shape it to fit around your toes, and lo and behold, you have Yoga Toes.  While these may seem like a cheap informercial product, they really do work.

So many of us live stressful lives, but even those who regularly practice yoga or relaxing meditation, are quite capable of over looking the stress we put on our feet  - particularly if you are a woman who wears heels on any type of regular basis. We may often complain that our feet hurt, ache, are killing us – but how often do we actually DO anything about it?  What really has there been to do?

I’ve tried some of the foot cushions out there, but they really do nothing for the entire foot.  They add some cushion to the bottom of the foot, true, but that’s really about it.  Cramped toes are cramped toes no matter how much cushioning you have.

Yoga Toes are designed to help battle and prevent bunions, hammertoes, fatigue, poor circulation and even varicose veins.

To use Yoga Toes, you simply slip your toes into them.  The instructions recommend starting out at about 10 – 15 minutes a day, and work your way up to an hour a day.  Do not walk while you are wearing your Yoga Toes.  Simply relax.  The Yoga Toes design, separates and lifts your toes, stretching out the ball and arch of your foot, which helps to strengthen the muscles in your foot and to bring your foot into proper alignment.

The instructions recommend wetting them with water or with Aloe Breeze spray to help slip them on or to cool them in the fridge or freezer for hot days or warm them up in warm water for cold days.  I have found that I enjoy wearing them while in the hot tub or bath, which encourages the relaxation process even more.

The next time you are sitting around rubbing your feet or soaking them because they hurt so bad, remember Yoga Toes, and then try them out for yourself. You’ll feel the difference after just one use.

Yoga Toes are available in a variety of colors and sizes.

Mermade Magickal Arts Incense

Mermade Magickal Arts Incense

The incense made by Mermade Magickal Arts Incense will take you to a whole new level of incense. Not your ordinary run of the mill incense sticks, these incense products take you back in time when convenience was not the most important aspect – quality, scent, and the spiritual fulfillment that came along with it was.

Incense has for generations been an offering to the Gods. The incense of Mermade Magickal Arts, reminds you of why this as been a practice for thousands of years.

This very woodsy scent consists of combined Aloeswood powder, aged Patchouli, Rhu Khus vetivert, Hougary frankincense, juniper, and Port Orford cedar. It comes in a triangle shape, similar to a cone, but a bit different – as do many of the incense products offered by Mermade Magickal Arts. This scent is mystical, heady, and rich.  It produces a strong, spiritual, and seductive scent.

Kyphi http://www.mermadearts.com/product_info.php?products_id=7561
Even reading about this incense is an experience – and an educational one at that. The webpage explains how Kyphi was used for in ancient Egyptian temples and gives some information on the process used to create it.  This incense contains: Hougary frankincense, Yemeni myrrh, labdanum, Persian galbanum, Turkish storax, Chios mastic, African omumbiri resin, , juniper berries, honey, wine and other sacred spices, woods and resins. The website describes this incense as “dark, sweet and resinous”, and that is extremely accurate. Earthy and spicey, Kyphi was used to restore the sexuality of the Gods.  If this aphrodisiac was good enough for the Gods, perhaps it can add some spice to your own love life.

This is a lighter scent designed for creating sacred space, prayer and meditation, and bringing joy to the spirit. This uplifting and clean smelling scent is created from: Eastern Aromatics (Tokusen blend), Hinoki and Atlas cedar essential oil,  aloeswood,  sandalwood, Hougary frankincense, and raw Borneol camphor from Japan.

This frankincense is said to be the purist frankincense in the world. Once only allowed to be used by royals, it can now be owned and used by anyone who wants it and is willing to pay the price – it runs just over $8.00 for an ounce. This frankincense is has a white to light honey color and the tears are generally larger than most other types of frankincense.
It has a very rich scent and sweeter smelling than most other types as well. The Hougary frankincense will add considerably to any incense you wish to create, or you can also burn it on it’s own.

Balm of Isis (“In Sense Balms”)
Each In Sense Balm is blended into a base of Organic Leatherwood Beeswax. Along with frankincense, myrrh, labdanum and Kyphi, this blend includes three types of essential rose oils and absolutes: Rosa Bourbonia, Rose de Mai, and Rose Otto.  This sensual, spicy blend, pays homage to Isis – a Goddess of life and magic who never gave up the search for the man she loved.  The seductiveness of this scent, will most certainly draw your love to you.

Mermade Magickal Arts recommends using this incense outdoors in a meditation for peace.  This celebration of earth consists of Balm of Gilead, fir needles, Port Orford cedar, juniper, Oman frankincense, pine resin, Salu pati, rose petals, bay laurel, cedar, labdanum, and ylang ylang. Each of these ingredients were chosen not only for its scent, but for its energy and use in spiritual matters as well. These ingredients come from all corners of the world to combine together in one beautiful incense stick – though this is a thick short stick – not the typical dipped stick incense. You can break off pieces to use if you do not want to burn the entire stick at once.

Out of all of the scents I received, this one is definitely the lightest. The packaging even is quite cool, as this (and most of the loose packed incenses) is packed in a corked glass vial type bottle, which helps add to the feel of authenticity of these incense blends.
This combination includes Hougary frankincense, myrrh, Nile spice resin blend, sparkling copal oro, juniper, cinnamon bark, and clove.  It’s earthy and spicy, with a kick of sweetness.

Deep, rich and sweet – this blend of Black Etheopian resin, Hougary frankincense, Yemeni myrrh, black copal, aloeswood, vetiver, patchouli and Turkish storax bark – is so sweet you only need a little bit of the incense at a time to surround you in its luscious scent.

These incense products are definitely the finest I have experienced. The scents are so rich and powerful, they don’t just scent the air – they create a mood, they build a setting, they honor the Gods, the Goddesses, the very Earth herself.  You can feel the intent behind these incenses because they really are THAT good. I am extremely impressed with Mermade Magickal Arts.  The owner obviously knows her craft quite well and takes the time to perfect her work.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Review: Om Shanti clothing for yoga and meditation

Om Shanti Clothing

While Pagans worldwide have known about the benefits of yoga for a very long time, the rest of the Western world is just now experiencing a surge in learning about these benefits. 

With the explosion of the popularity of yoga, comes the explosion of yoga accessories and clothing. People not only want to look good, they want to feel good, and be comfortable while delving into the spiritual and physical world of a yoga practice.

Om Shanti is a small business with a unique approach to clothing. Their clothing comes in bold, vibrant colors, and provide a clean, comfortable fit.

Unfortunately, and like most yoga clothing companies, the sizes cut off at XL (14-16) which is disappointing since the average size woman in America is a 14. 

It would be great to see companies realize that women over a size 16 also practice and enjoy yoga. 

Though not actually designed for yoga the gauze pants with rollover waist are incredibly comfortable.  They provide warmth in cooler temperatures, but are also airy enough to help keep you cool in warmer temperatures. These pants are available in an assortment of colors and can’t help but uplift your spirits.  While use for yoga is not recommended for these pants, they are perfect for meditation.  The only problem with these pants is the length does tend to run a bit long.  You may want to check measurements before ordering. These pants are priced at $50 - $58 depending on color.

The Kabuki top is also available in many bright colors, many of them new.  This shirt is priced at $49.50.  This airy, flowy top goes great with the gauze pants, in both style and usage.  Comfort is utmost with this lightweight top.  This top can be used for many basic yoga moves (moves like downward dog may give you a problem), but would also be ideal for your meditation practices.

This shirt and the gauze pants combine together to create a comfortable, yet sexy and functional look.  Be sure to check out this great little clothing company, you will likely find something you will enjoy.

Wholesale accounts are also available.

Friday, June 1, 2012

An Introductory Guide to Crystals

An Introductory Guide to Crystals by Llewellyn  Paradise Music. 2011.

Paradise Music is extending their product line to include mini gift books, which are both beautiful and informative.

The first in the line is An Introductory Guide to Crystals. 

This little book contains stunning photographs and covers information such as:

  • how crystals are formed
  • how to choose a crystal
  • how crystals feel
  • how to cleanse a crystal
  • how to program a crystal
  • chakras and colors
  • crystals and colors
  • pendulums and crystals
  • crystal treatment
  • meditating with crystals
  • crystal healing water
  • protection
  • music and crystals

While this book is only 43 pages long, it is packed with useful information and will definitely give you a starting point to find where your interests lie.

This book also comes with a code that allows you to download an album for free from the Paradise Music website! You get a great book, and a free album besides! 

I am looking forward to Paradise Music adding to this new line.


The Rama Meditation Chair

The Rama Meditation Chair

While researching products and ideas for a current Pagan book project, I came across the website Zen by Design.  Specifically, I was looking for meditation chairs that would offer the user complete support and comfort while practicing meditation. 

The practice of meditation is growing rapidly, in both Pagan and non-Pagan environments, and comfort is becoming a large concern – especially in the beginner population. Beginners who lie down to meditate often fall asleep.  Meditators who practice in chairs or on couches in common rooms are often interrupted.  Meditators need a seating arrangement that provides them support, comfort and the mobility to be able to move the chair to a quiet, uninterrupted space.

I had found some chairs that while interesting and mobile, comfort and support did not seem to be a part of their description at all. 

Sure a “ball chair” might look like fun, but for someone meditating, especially if they are a beginner, do you want to have to constantly worry about balancing yourself while performing your meditation, or do you want to actually be able to focus on the meditation?  While a chair woven from water hyacinth sounds great, the comfort level is severely lacking. Wicker and caned chairs simple do not last very long and are not ideal for people who are either on the heavier side, or who have a sudden temporary weight gain such as from pregnancy.

The Rama Meditation Chair from Zen by Design is a solid, sturdy, and easy to assemble, extremely comfortable chair for your meditation practices. 

This chair arrived well packaged so it did not sustain any dents or scratches. I was able to put it together in just a matter of minutes, and was astounded by how sturdy and comfortable this chair is.

You can also choose your own colors with the chair, wood colors are one choice, and then cushion color is the second choice giving you several different possible combinations to personalize this chair to your own liking.

While you are going to pay more for this chair than you would a weaved or rattan chair, it is well worth it.  This chair will easy last through many years of wear, while that simply can not be said for the other types discussed here. 

This is the ultimate chair for meditation.  It is a beautiful design, built for comfort, security, and balance.  It even makes a beautiful show piece.  When people see this unusually designed chair in your home, they are sure to ask about it, and you will have the opportunity to share your love of meditation with others.  Perhaps you can get them hooked too.  Don’t be surprised when anyone who sees it wants to sit it in!  I don’t think I’ve had someone look at it yet, and not ask if they could try it out!