Mind + Body: July 2016
Yoga for Life – A new yoga tour stops in New Orleans to explore how yoga has affected the people in our community.
The Live Be Yoga Tour, presented by Yoga Journal and Gaia, is a six-month cross-country tour that is documenting yoga in America. A recent study conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance showed that there are more than 35 million yoga practitioners in the United States. On the heels of that study, Yoga Journal and Gaia decided to start the Live Be Yoga Tour to explore how yoga is transforming lives across multiple platforms.
“As we looked toward releasing our 2016 Yoga in America study, we saw a continued explosion of people in the U.S. practicing yoga (more than 36 million, up from 20 million just a few years ago), with another 80 million or one-third of the population saying they are likely to try yoga this year,” says Melissa Strome, publisher of Yoga Journal. “Our goal was to highlight the culture and transformative effects of yoga and mindfulness in the myriad ways the practice is being integrated into everyday life.”
The tour includes stops not only at yoga studios, but also at festivals, farms, prisons, healthcare facilities and events in more than 20 major cities across the country. In addition to seeking out standout yoga teachers at popular studios, the tour is focused on how yoga can touch all walks of life. The Live Be Yoga Tour stopped in New Orleans May 28 for a special yoga session at Shanti Yoga Shala on Magazine Street, followed by a juice reception hosted by Raw Republic.
“We wanted the tour to be community-driven, and from the outset we wanted to provide an opportunity for practitioners around the country to join us at each tour stop,” Strome says. “New Orleans was a must-stop for us because of the culture the city brings to so many aspects, from food, to music, to architecture, to attitude. Nathalie Croix and Shanti Yoga Shala was a great fit for our NOLA host studio because the space is beautifully unique and representative of New Orleans style, and Nathalie came highly recommended from the Yoga Journal team because of the strength of her practice, teaching style and leadership within the yoga community in New Orleans.”
in the coming months, the Live Be Yoga Tour will be traveling to additional cities, such as Los Angeles; Squaw Valley, California; Portland, Oregon; Vancouver; Seattle; Chicago; and Denver. “We’ll be visiting San Quentin prison and profiling their prison yoga program; we’re visiting with yoga and mental strength coaches for professional sports teams; and much more,” Strome says. We also are looking forward to meeting each community along the way and seeing/hearing how yoga is taking shape in each city.” livebeyoga.com
Summer Camping – A new campground web app makes getting outdoors easier for everyone.
Known as The Dyrt (thedyrt.com), a new search platform, is a great tool for finding the perfect campsite thanks to a vast library of crowdsourced photos, videos and reviews (along the lines of a sleek Yelp for camping). This year, the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so it’s a great time to get out and explore some national parks.
The Dyrt is kicking off the summer with the goal of collecting user-generated content of every campground in the United States. The company has also launched the Great Camping Giveaway games with more than $100,000 in prizes, notably the Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi regional game. Campers will earn points and compete for prizes as they post and share useful campsite photos, videos and reviews. The Dyrt will reward leaderboard winners in the region throughout the summer months with quality outdoor goods from brand partner, Wind Warrior. The Dyrt features a real-time Alabama/Louisiana/Mississippi leaderboard and will reward 10 high-ranking reviewers who contribute and share the most useful campground reviews and content in the months of June, July, August, and September. thedyrt.com
Maria’s Pick: Cherry on Top – Get your hands on a brand new variety of oh-so-sweet cherries.
Summer is fully upon us, and that means it’s time for wonderful, sweet and succulent fruit. Cherries are known for their powerful health benefits: they contain powerful antioxidants and cancer-preventing compounds. They also reduce inflammation and risk of gout; they support healthy sleep; they lower your risk of stroke; and they provide arthritis pain relief. And good news for summer: They also help reduce belly fat. Bikinis anyone?
A major West Coast cherry grower, Stemlit, is offering a brand new type of cherry on the market called Skylar Rae. It is one of only three commercial varieties in the world. It’s also the sweetest cherry on the market, with a beautiful blush color and firm skin. Once you take a bite, you’ll notice the bright yellow flesh inside. The Skylar Rae cherry is highly sought after during its short five-week season from early June through early July. And it’s no wonder, as they are great as a snack, a gourmet salad topper and as garnish for summertime drinks.
The story behind the cherry is also cherry very sweet. After suffering the unimaginable loss of their infant daughter, the Toftness family — longtime Washington State cherry farmers — discovered the never-before-seen cherry on a single tree growing in their orchard. They felt it was a gift from nature meant to honor their beautiful daughter, whom they chose to name the cherry after.
Skylar Rae cherries are available in New Orleans for a short time only at Rouses ($6-$7 per pound). “These exclusive cherries are delicacies that you just have to try,” says Maria Muro, publisher of New Orleans Living. “And the sweet story behind them just warms my heart.”