So I just started doing yoga…

I know, I know, what is it 2005? A combination of not having (or making) enough spare time, being intimidated and a habit of neglecting my body has kept me from yoga until about a month ago, but now that I’m in, I am in. I’m not going to try to tell you I’ve achieved inner peace, but it really has helped the aches and pains that accompany sitting at a computer for 8+ hours a day, eased the parts of my body I was holding tense without even realizing it, and has done wonders to quiet my inner monologue in times that I really needed it.

(A slightly related anecdote to prove that you so do not have to be in a great place to begin yoga: My first class was the morning after a friend’s birthday, so naturally I slept in until the last possible moment, unaware that most people arrive 15 minutes early as the classes at my gym start ON TIME, if not a few minutes early. By the time I payed my fee, found the classroom and ditched my shoes, the instructor had of course already began with a calming seated pose to quiet everyone down… but seeing as I hadn’t ever done this before, I had to ask whether I was in the right class, where the mats were and squeeze in between two other beginning yogis in the back row… oh and then find my inner breath or whatever. Nonetheless, when I walked out an hour and a half later, I did feel quieter and stronger inside, plus my body felt like it had just had a deep tissue massage. I still wouldn’t recommend rolling in late… but yoga will be able to work its magic even if you do.)

So anyway, without further adieu, a collection for the yogis!

First up: the pants! I owned three pairs of yoga pants before I ever hit up the studio, (What? They’re comfy!) but this pair, hand silk screened by Nic and the Newfie might just get added to my collection soon.

The varying poses in yoga requires a wide range of motion and the Athena top from Mountain Lotus is perfect! Plus it’s made from a lightweight hemp and organic cotton blend, so you can feel good about the resources you’re using and what you’re putting up against your skin.

A mat to cover your mat? Why yes! Yoga Comfort Co.’s Yoga Mat Runner sits on top of your mat to provide a little extra cushion.

Sure a mat bag is nice, but a mat bag that’s also a purse? Now that’s something to celebrate. Check out this innovative design from LslieArt on etsy.

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Stiksel

Stiksel, a.k.a. Karin Röling, was working as a graphic designer in the Netherlands when she decided to try freelancing. Fast forward two years and now she is the proprietor of a thriving etsy shop filled with creative pieces that showcase her design background.

Karin says, “When I make something, I don’t have a clear vision of how it should look like. I throw my table full of materials and start working and combining. Textures, colours, shapes. Things evolve by starting making them. I mostly get inspired by the material itself.”

I love the way she uses materials with a previous life in new and interesting ways — and of course I love the element of vintage typography!

Shop Local: Madison

Shopping local is probably one of the easiest ways to go green. It also supports and gets you involved with the community in which you live. To that end, I’m starting a new series to highlight artists and craftspeople from communities across the nation. And I thought I’d start with my current residence of Madison, WI.

Projector Journal
Projector Journal

Susan is the woman behind Art Kitten handmade journals. Any of her hard cover, coptic bound journals are perfect for the writer or designer in your life, or for anyone who wants a beautiful place to jot down a note!

Satsuma Luxury Cold-Processed Soap with Shea and Cocoa Butters
Satsuma Luxury Cold-Processed Soap with Shea and Cocoa Butters

Mad City Soaps are made in small batches with olive oil and both shea and cocoa butters. They smell as beautiful as they look! Sue also offers a bevy of parfumes, creams and scrubs if you’re not the bar soap type.

ESEN — Pleat Messenger Bag
ESEN — Pleat Messenger Bag

Known for a clean, modern design sensibility, Pravina Studios creates gorgeous bags perfect for everyday use. Each one is meticulously crafted from high quality textiles, including some limited editions employing vintage fabric. Owner Diana says “Creating things people like and want to use is very gratifying.” I can’t help but agree.

Would you like to see a feature about your hometown or a place you love?  Simply leave a comment and I’ll get right on it!