June 27, 2011

It's Time to Grant Some Wishes!

Last year Team Cupcake Mafia competed in the Merrell Denver Urban Oyster Race. It was an amazing day of racing  with two astounding women, Lynn and Mary! It was also such a great way to see my hometown in a different light.

In addition to being a day I will never forget we were also racing for a good cause. Each team is encouraged to raise at least $100 for the local chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation. Our team raised over $2,500!  With our donations and those of the other teams we were able to grant four wishes for local children facing life-threatening illnesses.

This year, we're doing it all again! On August 27, Team Cupcake Mafia will compete in the Women's Full Course race, last year we took fourth and our goal is to make it into the top three, however, we won't consider it a win unless we can beat our fundraising efforts for last year so we're offering some incentives.

Click to View Larger Image
If you're a knitter you will love this one! My friend Lynn's friends with Laura from the Knit Girlls and she has designed the beautiful My Wish Shawl pattern. If you make a donation of $5 or more you will received this shawl pattern. Just include a note in the comment field of the donation form indicating you would like the pattern.

If knitting is not your thing, there is still another great incentive to donate, other than helping the kids out. For every donation of $20 or more, donors will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards. This is great for any of my readers and friends who love to read, do yoga, climb, or cycle. As you know you can get just about anything at Amazon.

To make a donation just click here visit the Denver Oyster donation site. 
Select City: Denver
Select Team: Cupcake Mafia
Team Member: Tali Koziol

Then complete the rest of the form with your donation amount and contact information. We are automatically notified and you will receive your pattern shortly and/or be entered for the drawing. 

If you would like to make a donation of physical item that could be placed in the prize drawing or gear that could be used for our team of three please email me at tali@mycupcakemafia.com and we will update and get the word out. All Sponsors not only receive recognition on our blogs but also signage at the event and recognition on our race day shirts. 

June 23, 2011

Yoginis Love Layers: Me Sheeky's Stevie Skirt!

Stevie Skirt in Jade
Okay, maybe not all yoginis love layers but many that I know do. I think that's one of the reasons I get so many compliments when I wear my Stevie skirt from Me Sheeky. It's such a simple layer but so cute and functional. I also feel a little like a saucy super hero in it.

I chose the Stevie for it's asymmetrical hemline. It looks great with full-length pants and even better with capris. I love how the sizing is true to your regular size, you don't have to size-up because it's an over layer. The fabric is also quite then, but doesn't feel flimsy. The skirt stayed true to original sizing after a trip through the laundry and the color has stayed strong after a few wash cycles.  

The beauty of the skirts from Me Sheeky is the dual purpose. You can easily wear them for fashionista reasons alone. However, the skirt works well in Vinyasa practice. I wore it during a 10 hour day assisting at a teacher training and it fit beautifully the whole time. Even if you're not a yogini the skirt is great to go over bike shorts or for chasing toddlers around a playground.

Even better Me Sheeky is offering my readers a limited time discount! Order between today and July 7th and you'll get 20% off! Just use the code: SHEEKYCUPCAKE at the time of your order! I think once you try them you'll be hooked. I can't wait to get another!

June 22, 2011

108 Beautiful Beads: My review of Tiny Devotions' Malas.

108. It's a sacred number in many cultures and the number of beads found in a mala. Some use them for prayer, some for setting intentions, others for guidance while chanting their private mantra 108 times. No mater how you use them, many will agree, the mala is a powerful object. Not merely a necklace but a tool that brings luck and protects us. 

My newest mala is the Black Onyx Mala from Tiny Devotion. It is a beautiful blend of a Black Onyx Guru bead with Rudraksha seeds and semi-precious gems and pearls. The Black Onyx stone has been thought of to repel negativity and bring the wearer strength and focus. The Rudraksha seeds are known as the eyes or tears of Shiva and bring protective qualities. The combination together definitely does something for my soul. When I wear the mala I feel a spike in my energy and ready to conquer new challenges. 

I find when I meditate with my mala and work through my mantra the beads pass easily yet purposefully through my fingertips. Each bead holding a sacred moment in time for me. The Guru bead always warms with my wear and touch, reminiscent of how your cheeks feels after someone sneaks a kiss. 

The Tiny Devotions malas are beautifully crafted in Canada and arrive in a small silk bag, perfect for gifting. Tiny Devotions as a variety of beautiful malas with sacred stones as well as simpler malas, perfect for men or women who want a little less bling in their prayer beads. 

June 8, 2011

Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture

I love, love, LOVE teaching yoga. I have met some amazing students and I love watching their faces light up when a pose is unlocked for the first time. So amazing!

What makes me sad about teaching is how many times I hear "Sorry", "I'm sorry", "I suck at balancing". It breaks my heart that people think that some how not being able to balance on one foot while twisting and lengthening and contracting is something that should be apologized for. Our cells are constantly moving, blood is always moving through our bodies, and being wobbly or trembling is absolutely necessary.

Yoga is not the only place that I have seen this apologetic phenomenon, it happens in climbing too. As we work through a route hands, legs, feet may tremble from time to time. This happens so often that it's been named "Elvis Leg" or "Sewing Machine Leg".

Often times it's easy to think this only happens because we're either new to the activity, scared, or unprepared. Yes, in some cases those are a factor but the wobbling, trembling, shaking place comes to us at all times of life. I have seen veteran climbers tremble and yoga teachers who topple. People tend to shake it off as "they've got something going on". Yeah, maybe they do, maybe you do when you tremble too.

But how about this? How about we don't assume that the "something going on" is bad. How about we welcome the wobble as a sign that our bodies are so excited about our life that we have butterflies all over! After all, nobody ever tells a dog, "Stop wagging your tail, you're too old/mature/experienced to do that!"

I say wag it, shake it, move it, rock it. TAKE BACK THE WOBBLE! It's not a bad thing, it's your beautiful life force at work.

June 3, 2011

Chakara Love: PrAna's Victoria Top and Lolita Pant

No, not those Chakaras, I am talking about the new technical fabric from prAna. When I first found out that prAna was unveiling a new "technical fabric" I wasn't sure what to expect. While their clothing has always been performance oriented it's been soft and comfortable. Somehow in my mind I equated technical with abrassive textures and uncomfortable compression. I am happy to say prAna surprised me.

The new Chakara fabric is very soft and comfy. The Chakara fabric is available in over a dozen products in the prAna women's collection. I was able to test out two pieces, the Victoria Top and the Lolita Pant.

The Victoria Top arrived in white, a color I don't usually wear, and in a halter top, a style I usually don't practice in. I will be honest, I sat there and stared at it awhile and had to work up the courage to wear it out. I worry about white because of issues like transparency and clumsiness (aka: spilled chai).  I found a bit of bravery and wore the top to Advanced Vinyasa Yoga class and I again was pleasantly surprised the top was very comfortable. I felt quite confident in the white fabric and the style. Through many Downward Dogs and Forward Bends the cupcakes always stayed in place. The halter is sewn, rather than tied and the perfect design for support without that feeling you're being strangled. The top also has a double layer of fabric throughout the bust area, my fears of transparency were dismissed. In addition the fabric performed beautifully, wicking moisture from the skin and drying quickly.

As far as the Lolita Pants, well I will just say it, they made my butt look great! While not the only reason of value that is certainly worth mentioning. The Chakara fabric works beautifully in the pants. While thin and lighter in weight it still allows for a bit of compression.. This creates very nice lines and support. I know a lot of people say you shouldn't care about what you're wearing in yoga, but I think the clothing has to make you feel good. When you're not adjusting your pants or top and just able to feel good, you can focus on the flow.

I love prAna's traditional collection and the new Chakara items are a great addition. They're excellent for times you may need more support and moisture-wicking properties. To check out these and other items in the Chakra Collection visit prAna.com.