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It’s true, on any given day I spend most of my time in workout wear…whether am I eventually headed to the gym for a weight raining session after dropping off my youngest daughter at kindergarten, running after my toddler son, or planning to attend a yoga class or walk with a friend later on in the day. I like to be comfortable and ready for anything active…and the stylish, sustainable clothing brand prAna is the perfect blend of function, fashion, and eco-conscious apparel!

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As a Mom Ambassador for MomsMeet.com, I recently had the awesome opportunity to try out a few new pieces in the prAna line of apparel! Wow – was I in for a treat! I received the versatile, comfortable Filament Tank in a gorgeous North Sea color, as well as the stretchy Kara Jeans. The jeans are the next best thing to yoga pants or leggings, offering just as much stretch and flexibility, but way more style!

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From swimwear to stylish sweaters and yoga tanks to accessories such as scarves and beanies, prAna is a one-stop shop for all your activities! Whether you are a marathon runner or yoga enthusiast, or just enjoy hikes during the Fall weather as the leaves change, prAna has something for everyone. You can learn more about their company here.

Love prAna too? You can save 15% off your entire order using the code MMTAF17, which is good for your entire order at prana.com. The only items excluded are sale items. This code can be used an unlimited amount of times.

*The company generously provided samples and images for this review through MomsMeet.com. All thoughts expressed herein are my own.*

Bravado Desigs Pink Yoga BraMom” is expecting her third little bundle of joy, so you can imagine her delight when trying out this new nursing bra from Bravado Designs! Throughout each pregnancy and afterwards when nursing, the Bravado Designs line of bras has been “Mom’s” top pick. The bras are seamless, incredibly soft and made to change with your ever-changing and shifting shape without discomfort. Now, they have brought this level of comfort to your yoga practice or workout routine! And yes, to answer your question, “Mom” has been practically living in this “pretty in pink” bra above since it arrived for review in her home!
Bravado Desigs Charcoal Yoga Bra

About the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra
With convertible criss-cross straps and four-way stretch fabric that molds to a woman’s changing shape, whether in the third trimester or throughout breastfeeding, the Body Silk Seamless Yoga nursing bra is luxuriously soft, seamless and wire-free for added comfort. It also features removable foam inserts for shape and discretion, as well as easy open and close clips and full drop-away bra cups for skin-to-skin contact. The bra also comes with a conversion kit for extended usage. Now moms can indulge in their favorite yoga practice or activity, in total comfort and style.

The Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra also features patented Silverbreeze™ technology, an antimicrobial finish that is applied to the fabric which prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold and mildew that can cause unpleasant odors, premature decay of the fabric and discoloration. The active ingredient, silver ions, control the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the fabric surface, keeping it fresh through the most rigorous Vinyasa class, power walks and Pilates routine.

Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Yoga Nursing Bra is currently available in Charcoal Heather and Pink Heather for $55.00 in the US and Canada at www.BravadoDesigns.com and National and Specialty retailers including Diapers.com, Breakout Bras.com, Figure 8 Maternity.com, Bosom Buddies, The Pump Station, Yummy Mummy, and in Canada at West Coast Kids, Snuggle Bugz, andWell.ca.

*Company generously provided a sample and images for this piece.*

Yoga For Busy Moms

Since yoga has migrated to the West from the East over fifty years ago, the research has shown that it can improve ones health drastically. Now that the trend has caught on, you can see studios opening up everywhere like a Starbucks. But for busy moms, it can be quite challenging trying to balance home life and personal time. So is there a way for busy moms to still gain benefits from the power of yoga?

Making It To A Yoga Class Can Be Tough

While in an ideal world you would be able to make your way to a yoga class, the truth is that you just may not be able to find that time. Depending on where you live the travel time can drastically reduce your ability to make it there. For those living in major cities, one yoga class can take up to three hours of their day when you consider all the time spent. So are there any alternatives to having to physically go to a yoga class?

Online Yoga Videos

With our Internet technology constantly improving, more companies are now offering their yoga classes online. This is a great way to be able to take a guided class without having to deal with all the traffic of getting to the physical studio. Many of the world-renowned teachers are now using the Internet as a way to connect with students and because it has become less expensive to film these classes, they now offer high quality programs online. If you just do a search for “online yoga classes” you can find a plethora available there.

15 Minutes A Day

Because yoga is generally a one-hour class (or longer) mentally speaking it can get you to think that you just can’t squeeze it in to the day. Most busy parents will have the intention of doing it and then all of a sudden the day goes by and you will think to yourself “I just can’t fit an hour of it into my schedule”. But the truth is that even 15-minutes of yoga can literally change your life.

Stress is the accumulation of improper short breathing and when you take 15-minutes to just stop and do a few asanas with proper breathing, it can break the pattern of your stress building up and is enough to at least reduce the amount you take on. While of course it would be ideal to take a full class, something is better then nothing.

Yoga Is More Then Just Asana Practice

Here in the West people associate yoga with just the actual physical practice and poses. They see someone in a “pretzel” and think, “this is yoga.” But the truth is that it is a philosophy and lifestyle. It’s about proper breathing, nutrition, and thinking which translates into a better state of health and well-being. You can still practice it without doing any of the physical asana practice just by eating properly, thinking positive, and focusing on your breathing.

The Truth About Stress

Busy moms run around with so many items on their to-do list while taking care of their child and subsequently forget to breathe! We take it for granted that we breathe automatically but when you do not breathe correctly, this is what causes stress. As noted above, short breathing is one of the major reasons we take on stress because it does not allow the oxygen to fill our lungs. If you feel stress coming on you can do a yoga technique called “fire breath” which is where you breathe deep into your diaphragm and exhale rapidly. This will help to bring oxygen back into your body and into your blood stream so that it can work its magic.

Unfortunately there is no magic bullet for busy moms who want to practice yoga. Just remember that being conscious of your breath and doing a few poses and stretches for a mere 15 minutes a day can make all the difference in the world.

About The Author

Sergio Diazgranados is the founder of Yoga Training Guide that supports students interested in taking a yoga teacher training course. The site offers aspiring teachers all the tools they need to delve deeper into their practice and become successful instructors.

*Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Looking to create a home yoga sanctuary – a place to slip away for meditation or a few minutes to practice a favorite pose? “Mom’s” most recent article on SheKnows.com outlines some simple ideas to design your own Zen Den in the New Year! You can read the entire article here.

*Image: Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*

Yoga for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is an illness that causes widespread pain in the muscles and soft tissue of the body. Its symptoms, in addition to pain throughout the body, can include specific tender points on the body, extreme fatigue, stiffness when waking, sleep problems, depression and memory problems. Doctors have not been able to pinpoint any specific trigger for the disease.

In the past, some doctors told patients that the symptoms they were experiencing were imaginary, while others used the illness as a diagnosis when they could not find a cause for a patient’s symptoms. Research has now shown that both of these ideas were wrong.

Recent studies have shown that many of those diagnosed with fibromyalgia have lower than normal levels of the hormone cortisol in their bodies. Scientists believe that the processes that cause fibromyalgia, including the lower levels of cortisol, affect the way that the brain receives and perceives pain signals. In those with this illness, the sensation of pain is greatly increased from what is considered normal. Current treatments for fibromyalgia include pain medications, management of stress and, if needed, lifestyle changes. However, doctors are starting to include alternative treatments such as yoga, tai chi and acupuncture. Many doctors now advise their patients to incorporate yoga as a part of their overall treatment plan.

Those new to yoga will find that it is a purposely slow form of exercise consisting of three main components. The first of these components are the poses or postures (asanas in Sanskrit). There are many poses used in yoga, making its use appropriate for many different reasons. These postures help the body by allowing it to stretch gently while relieving stress and helping to strengthen the muscles. Using these postures also increases blood flow throughout the body.

The next vital part of yoga is breathing. The practitioner is encouraged to use deep breathing techniques in order to get the greatest amount of oxygen to his/her body and brain. Deep breathing is also used to relieve stress and aid in the release of tension throughout the body.

The final component of yoga is meditation. Those taking part in meditation typically report a sense of calm and awareness. This soothing energy aids the body in its natural healing process. The practitioner is usually reminded to concentrate on their breathing and to let thoughts come and go without any particular attachment to them. Meditation provides a great opportunity to become aware of the mind and body connection, to listen to the needs of the body and respond with love and healing energy.

Most fibromyalgia patients are encouraged to take part in some type of exercise, but many find that just a small amount of exercise leaves them in a great amount of pain. Unlike regular exercise, such as running on a treadmill, a stepper or using weights, yoga allows the patient to perform slow stretches and gradually develop more complex routines if desired. Most practitioners advise those with fibromyalgia to begin with basic styles of yoga such as Hatha yoga.

No matter which way a patient decides to practice yoga, through yoga videos or with an instructor in a class setting, it should become part of the daily routine. Once yoga becomes habitual fibromyalgia patients may notice changes in their pain levels, their sleep and their fatigue. When used in conjunction with a treatment plan set up by their doctor, the fibromyalgia patient may find that yoga makes that plan more effective, allowing them to gain control over their life again, without the severe pain they had previously endured.

Green Health and Fitness Tips

Attending to your health and fitness needs can be a difficult undertaking, especially if you’ve never really worried about it in the past. There’s definitely a learning curve associated with adopting healthy eating habits and working an exercise regimen into your daily routine. You’ll have a lot of frustrations and setbacks to contend with throughout the process and it’s all too easy to lose motivation and return to your old ways, even if you have health reasons for wanting to make a change. But the process can be even harder when you bring green sensibilities into the equation.

Luckily, the market for eco-friendly products that suit the active lifestyle has expanded in recent years, so that there are now many options to help you see to your health and fitness needs without doing more harm to the environment. You can start by choosing organic clothing options for your workout gear, and you might be surprised to find that some come with the same options as the regular fare (wick-away features and so on), but sans the chemicals, waste, and pollution that normally accompany textiles. You may also want to opt for a shoe brand that embraces eco-friendly practices, such as Nike, which offers their Reuse-a-Shoe recycling program to turn your old trainers into playground turf (amongst other things).

When it comes to equipment, you might be at something of a loss as to how to proceed, but even here there are green options. You’ll have no trouble finding items like yoga mats and Pilates balls that are made from recycled or less harmful materials, since these types of exercise are associated with a holistic kind of lifestyle. But what about weights and workout machines? Is there any way to make these items greener? As a matter of fact, there are improvements already out there (and more on the way).

You can actually find hand weights made from partially recycled materials, and if you want 100% recycled, buy them used! As for the machines at the gym that suck up power day and night, you may be surprised to learn that there are now machines that run on kinetic energy. In short, they are powered by your movement. And there are even green gym facilities (more are opening every day) that do less harm to the environment on every level by incorporating these machines, conserving energy, and using eco-friendly building materials.

As for dieting to go along with your new fitness routine, you may want to look into organic food options. Certainly it can be a bit more expensive than your average shopping trip, but if you decide to go this route there’s nothing to stop you from growing your own organic fruit and vegetable garden to help reduce costs. You may also want to include vitamins, weight loss supplements, and the like in order to meet certain health and fitness goals. This is fine as long as you consult with your doctor first and try to avoid any supplements that are chemical in nature or could have adverse effects on your overall health.

About the Author

Sarah Danielson writes for www.getprograde.com where you can find great products and advice to help you lose weight.

“Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is excited to announce that the Winner of the Storyland Yoga DVD Giveaway is Natalie! We hope that your family enjoys this DVD, and yoga becomes an important practice for all! Thanks to everyone who entered this eco-fabulous giveaway!

*Image provided by Storyland Yoga DVD Giveaway.*

Get the kids off the couch and moving this summer with Storyland Yoga, an engaging DVD presented by Playful Planet. Incorporating fun animal poses and featuring kids of all ages enjoying the benefits of yoga, this DVD is great for the whole family to incorporate fitness into their day in a fun and playful way. From June 2nd – June 10th, you can enter to win the Storyland Yoga DVD Giveaway daily on Tiny Green Mom!

First, leave a comment below to let us know why you would love to win the Storyland Yoga DVD for your family this summer.

To obtain extra entries:

Follow Tiny Green Mom on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Leave a comment on another Tiny Green Mom post. Leave a comment below with the name of the post you commented on. This is only valid for one entry.

Visit Playful Planet on Facebook. Please leave a comment below to let us know you have stopped by their page to learn something new! This is only valid for one entry.

Follow Playful Planet on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Blog about this giveaway. You must have a link to this giveaway in your blog post. Please leave a comment with the link to your blog post. This is only valid for one entry.

The Storyland Yoga DVD Giveaway ends on June 10th, 2011 and is open to the US only. Please leave your email address in each comment, and make sure to leave a separate comment for every each and every entry that you make so that they will count for you!

Thank you! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom can’t wait to announce the winner of this fabulous giveaway!

Practice your asanas in eco-friendly style with the new Zen Garden Yoga Mat from Gaiam! This peaceful & inspiring mat is latex-free, and does not contain six of the most harmful phthalates, making it an excellent choice for those choosing to adopt a greener and healthier lifestyle. The mat is extremely lightweight, which is perfect for carrying it to the gym or nearest yoga studio, but it is also well-cushioned, so that you can practice your yoga poses in comfort.

The yoga mat is easy to care for, as well! To clean, simply use a very mild detergent and water placed on a soft cloth, and spot clean. The mat can be laid flat to dry.

In addition to the Zen Garden Yoga Mat, Gaiam also offers several eco-friendly choices, such as the Chakra Yoga Mat or Peace on Earth Eco Yoga Mat. Plus, you can now design your own custom yoga mat by selecting your color, artwork, favorite graphic and personalized text!

To learn more about Gaiam, to locate a retailer near you, or to order a yoga mat online, please visit Gaiam.com. They are currently offering 20% off Gaiam Yoga and Gaiam Fitness!

*Company generously provided images and samples for this review.*

Celebrate Yoga Month by saving a generous 20% off your purchase at Prancing Leopard Organics! Stretchy, stylish and comfortable (and one of “Mom’s” all-time favorites!) – Prancing Leopard Organics goes from the yoga studio to dinner with ease and flair! Visit www.prancingleopard.com.

*Image provided by Prancing Leopard Organics. This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*