Products

 

Altar Ego Apparel: Yoga Clothing for Real People

 

I love finding great yoga products.  I was recently connected with Altar Ego Apparel.  They are a company out of the United States run all by women.  They have lots of great products (clothing and accessories) for yogis.  I am officially an Ambassador for Altar Ego Apparel, not only because I love what they do and how they run their company but also because their clothing is really comfortable for yoga practice and beyond.  

I seem to experience two big problems when looking at yoga clothing companies.  The first one is that I check them out on social media and their feed is full of super skinny women wearing their clothes in the most extreme conditions (on a snow covered mountain or deep in the jungle but still looking beautiful and fresh).  Where are all the regular sized women doing regular yoga in regular sized pants?  This was not the case when I went to check out Altar Ego Apparel on Instagram. They embrace and encourage everyone to be active and healthy and share their yoga pictures.  Then I usually end up checking their sizing chart.  I am average.  I have hips and thighs and a booty that needs a little extra fabric.  I don't like it when I look at the sizing chart and I have to buy an XXL in order to get enough fabric to cover my caboose.  It seems extreme that there are more and more yoga companies that have so many XXS and XXXS but they don't get larger than L!!  What about all of us regular women?  What about the XXL ladies out there who do yoga like a boss and need cute leggings to wear?   I'm sorry but I have such a hard time supporting those companies.  

Ladies, I can assure you that Altar Ego Apparel is not like those other companies.  I looked at the size chart and ordered a medium and when it arrived.... it fit perfectly!  It made me feel so happy to order a size from their size chart based on my current measurements and they fit.  Some of you might read this and think wow, she is really passionate about this.  Truth is that I am.  I am a medium so I ordered a medium and when they arrived, the medium FIT my medium body!  How hard is that for so many other yoga companies to figure out?  I am loving these ombre pants from Altar Ego Apparel.  

Please check them out.  They are a great company with a group of wonderful women running everything behind the scenes.  If you aren't sure of sizing, email them.  They will help you out.  And don't forget to use coupon code YOGASLOTH at checkout to get 15% off your order!!!!!  

Use coupon code YOGASLOTH at checkout to get 15% off your orders at Altar Ego Apparel!!

Use coupon code YOGASLOTH at checkout to get 15% off your orders at Altar Ego Apparel!!


 

Painted Leggings: Try just buying one pair.  You will fail.  I promise.

Have you heard of them?  Have you seen them?  I really like my Painted Leggings.  First off, I have to say that I love supporting Canadian companies, partially because I have one myself and partially because I feel like there are not a lot of Canadian companies out there offering great yoga products for us. When I find a good one, I tend to latch on.  I first met Nicki from Painted Leggings probably a couple of years ago.  She actually used to live near my place of work so I went over to her place one day to see what she had.  I came home with a bag full of stuff (and had to try and cut the tags off and throw them in my yoga pant draw before my husband noticed - are you guilty of that too?).  She has two sizes, regular and plus size and the pants have lots of stretch in them so they really are accommodating.  I do have to say that these have a different, very soft feel to them.  They are not like the sweat wicking pants I get from other companies.  The cool to the touch sweat wicking kind definitely have their place in my yoga drawer but these are different.  These are like wearing warm butter.  Is that even possible?  Yes, yes it is.  These don't have that chilled feeling and are great for wearing all year round.  Now that I wear yoga pants all the time (because who wants to wear anything else), these give  me some affordable options to change things up a bit.  Retailing for $25 Canadian, you can't go wrong with buying one in every style!  They have many fun styles to choose from.  I dare you to go and check them out and see what you find. 

Love me some Painted Leggings.  Do you have your pair yet>

Love me some Painted Leggings.  Do you have your pair yet>

The Manduka Pro is my main practicing yoga mat at this time.  I got it last year at the Yoga Show in Toronto.  I did all this research and was content on paying the high cost to get this mat.  I read absolutely everything on the internet about Manduka and their mats.  I knew about the cost, the lifetime warranty and the film that is on the mat when you buy it.  Finally, the Yoga Show came and there was a retailer with Manduka mats.  I must have stood there touching them for about an hour, maybe more.  I'm sure people thought I was nuts.  They had some broken in mats there and they felt amazing, but would they be enough to provide a safe and grippy practice for me?  I don't know.  After an hour, I walked away and touched the other mats from other vendors.  Then I came back yet again to the Manduka retailer.  There was something about that periwinkle mat that I couldn't quite  turn away from.  It had been sitting there when I arrived and I kept being drawn to it.  After asking some questions, it turns out that it was in fact the Manduka Pro.  I didn't want to get the Pro lite version or some other cheaper, smaller or less amazing mat.  I wanted a mat that would last me for years and that would make me happy.  I was looking for a partnership with a yoga mat.  

I ended up buying it and it's been about 11 or 12 months now.  I don't use it all the time for teaching because sometimes I have to travel a bit with it and it can get heavy.  I do, however, use it all the time at home and I've started bringing it to my local studio when I teach hot yoga as well.  I would call what I do moderate use.  I sweat on it and I practice on it frequently throughout the week.  So far, it's still a bit slippery but I can slowly feel that the coating is wearing off.  It doesn't have quite the same shine on it that it did when I first got it.  I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the colour.  I don't want to practice on a black mat or on a mat that makes me feel like I'm going to fall down or hurt my knees when I'm kneeling.

I feel that deep down, I need to stick with this mat because of how highly people speak of it.  I also had the privilege recently of touching someone else's Manduka Pro mat (thank you so much for touching your yoga mat, you know who you are).  Hers was a few years old and it looked fantastic, except for the fact that it was black.  I don't like black but for her, the colour was great.  Her mat felt textured and grippy like how I want mine to feel like.  After asking about hers, it turns out that it took around a year for her to really fall in love with her Manduka Pro too.  I found that interesting.  What I gather from that is that Manduka Pro mats like to take their time when they court their new owners and that it can take some time to really fall in love; but once you do, you'll fall head over heels.  I can't wait.  I need this mat to be my life yoga partner.  

Handstanding in my Painted Leggings

Handstanding in my Painted Leggings

Here we are (myself and Beamer) as we break on my Manduka Pro in Periwinkle.  I really want this to be my forever mat.  It's so beautiful and supportive.  Hopefully it breaks in soon.

Here we are (myself and Beamer) as we break on my Manduka Pro in Periwinkle.  I really want this to be my forever mat.  It's so beautiful and supportive.  Hopefully it breaks in soon.


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Have you heard of Ekaminhale?  Yea, I know, neither had I, until very recently.  I had always wondered what yogi traditionally practiced yoga on.  I figured that maybe they just didn't use anything at all.  That made sense to me, but it was incorrect.  Apparently, many yogis have traditionally practiced yoga on a rug.  Yup, you heard me, on a rug.  It's funny because this whole time I have been on a mission to find a yoga mat that wouldn't slip and when I found the Ekaminhale yoga rugs, I thought maybe I had been searching for the wrong product.  I've done some yoga poses on my carpets at home and never felt very safe so I wasn't sure that this would be anything special or of value to me.  

As this product was new to me, I decided to take a closer look to learn more about these yoga rugs and what they were all about.  What I have learned is that yoga rugs are very popular to practice on in India.  I read a lot of great things about grip once the sweating started.  Then some of my research came to Ashtanga yoga and how these are often used over mats in Ashtanga practice in Mysore!  It turns out that yoga rugs are quite popular for yoga practice in India.  Upon reading this, I knew there had to be something really great about them if so many people were using them.  I was a little intrigued at how they don't seem to be used here from what I have seen in my Canadian yoga practice and no one had ever really heard of them.  This made it more exciting to find out about them and see if, perhaps this might be the product for me.  


Here's my Ekaminhale Yoga Rug in blue.  Its stiff and firm but I love it.  You can get your own from Ekaminhale or if you are in Canada, you can get them from Amazon.

Here's my Ekaminhale Yoga Rug in blue.  Its stiff and firm but I love it.  You can get your own from Ekaminhale or if you are in Canada, you can get them from Amazon.

The Ekaminhale website is amazing.  They even have videos of tours the owner of the company had to India where these rugs are made.  They show people using traditional looms to weave the fabric.  It's amazing that with all the technology that we have, that there are still companies that value the dying traditions that should be very valuable to us.  It is really neat to see the people who make these rugs.  

The best part is, they work.  I see why people love them.  The day it arrived, I was very excited to have a little piece of India and yoga tradition in my home.  It felt good to support the people who make these but I was cautiously optimistic that this might be the answer to my slippery when sweaty problems I've been experiencing with every single mat that I own.  I unrolled it at home and tried a few poses, almost giddy with the excitement that my mat might even have some (magical) India dirt or dust in it still.  I went into a downward dog and whoa, it was slippery.  Well, of course it was.  I had read that these rugs need to be a little damp to really get good grip so I was not discouraged.  I decided to take it to my next hot vinyasa class and really see how it works.  

At first, my opening savasana felt really comfortable on the rug.  It's so nice to lie down on something other than rubber yoga mat.  My rubber mat was underneath so I had some cushion but it was nice to be on something a bit softer.  For the first few minutes, I felt like it was slippery but once my hands started sweating, that's when I began to feel the magic of this yoga rug really start to flow.  First, it's stiff and heavy so you won't catch it on your body like you do a towel which is one of my biggest complaints about using a towel on my mat for practice.  I can't stand the thought of stopping my practice to constantly fix my towel.  And the grip, I still have to hold my pose and be strong but this was much less slippery once it got a little sweaty.  I have been using my Ekaminhale yoga rug every since....

I have to say that I wouldn't use this in a cooler class without spraying it lightly with some water but it's more in those hot classes that I feel like I need the extra grippiness when wet.  This finally solves that problem.  It also solves the problem of the rubber mats degrading very quickly because of all the sweat they are exposed to during my yoga practice.  The great part about these rugs is that you don't need to wash them after every sweaty practice.  Let them dry out and just wash them every few uses.  They do dry fairly quickly so it shouldn't be a burden to keep it fairly clean.  I've been looking for a solution to my sweaty hands - slipper mat problem for years and I think I finally have it.  If you are looking for a way to find more grip and you've tried all the greatest mats out there (which trust me, I have), why not give this one a try?  You still need a mat underneath it but you could really get by with a less expensive mat and it will last longer because the rug is there to protect it.  The rug is bigger than my yoga mats so you won't run into problems with it being too small.  And know what when you buy this from Ekaminhale, you're supporting a family in India who does the for a living.  you are encouraging traditional values of handmade items.  Know that you are buying a good product that come with a little bit of yoga nostalgia directly from India.  What else could we ask for? 

I have aways been curious about the Vitamix blender, have you?  I've always heard all these amazing things about them from my yoga friends.  They rave and rave about how wonderful they are and about how they can do or make anything under the sun with them.  For a few years now, I've been using a Nutribullet.  When my husband and I wanted smoothies, we would make two of them, one at a time.  My Nutribullet was under $100 and 20% off but the Vitamix blenders range from $500 and up in Canada.  What was the big deal?   With our recent change to healthier eating habits, we got into eating almond butter.  And not just a little bit of almond butter, but a LOT of almond butter.  We have it every morning in our oatmeal.  If you haven't tried a spoonful of almond butter in your hot oatmeal, you really should.  It makes for a very creamy and delicious oatmeal with lots of protein and staying power.  The only problem with all this almond butter is the cost.  I was spending $11 every other week for a jar from Costco.  It tasted created but the cost adds up quickly.  I figured that there had to be another way.  My husband said that his friend told him to just make the almond butter.  That's when I started really researching the Vitamix even more.  I had an old Kitchen Aid blender that I never really used so I pulled it out and got some fresh almonds.  Well, that was a disaster.  I don't mean any disrespect to the Kitchen Aid blender.  For a long time I used that blender and it was great for smoothies.  But it is not meant for making almond butter.  It took me about seven hours to make 2 cups of almond butter because I had to keep turning the machine off to let it cool down because it kept shutting off from getting too hot.  I made sure my husband watched as I went back to the blender each time to work at it some more.  I was already convinced that a Vitamix would be awesome but the cost was a huge deterrent and my husband was not convinced.  Seven hours later, after I was finally finished making the almond butter, I caught him researching Vitamix online (and here's where the happy danced starts).   We looked around and went back and forth on what model we would need and what pitchers we would want.  He also asked some of his friends who also have them and say wonderful things about their Vitamix experiences.  And then the magic happened.  We found out that Vitamix offers reconditioned machines for a fraction of the price of the new ones with the same five year warranty.  We also found out that most of the reconditioned models haven't even been used.  Often times they are returned quickly after purchase and haven't even been taken out of the box.  Upon reading more about the reconditioning process, we also found out that Vitamix reviews each machine that comes back, makes sure they're amazing and working well and also packages them with brand new pitchers.   Then we had to decide on whether or not to get the presets.  Well, let me tell you, I was not keen on paying for the preset functions.  I thought they were a waste of time.  The blender doesn't ever run for a long time so I figured I might as well just stand there anyways.  Wrong!  Get the presets!  The newer machines have more presets than mine does but I am very happy with mine.  Before I get into that, let me just say that I lucked out and the one with three presets was on sale for $369.  It sounds like a lot but this one retails for $700!  So I just ordered it.  I could return it if I didn't want it but I knew that I wouldn't need to do that... okay so back to the presets.  I have three: soup, smoothie and frozen dessert.  They're amazing.  The soup feature runs for 6 and a half minutes so I'm glad now that there is no guessing when the soup is ready.  I have yet to make a soup in it but I used the soup feature to make some tomato cream sauce for pasta and that worked out amazing to just dump in all the ingredients and not have to worry about cooking anything else for the sauce outside of the blender.   Then I tried to make nut butter.  Remember my previous experience in my Kitchen Aid blender?  Well in the Vitamix it took.... TWO MINUTES!!! How does that even happen?  My Vitamix is a workhorse.  The tamper helps but damn, that bender can blend.  Honestly, I think it would blend spoons if I threw in some spoons.  I don't recommend that because it could void the warranty, but I believe that this would turn spoons into a liquid if I tried. There are a lot of amazing things to say about the Vitamix.  My ability to have homemade, fresh and delicious almond milk has really been wonderful.  The ability to make the smoothest smoothies I've ever had is great.  I'm going to buy the smaller 23 ox wet pitcher for making smaller batches and salad dressings but once I get that I think my Vitamix will be complete.  If you're hesitating or are unsure because of the cost, my advice would be to go the reconditioned route to pay a little less, but really, just do it.  It comes with a recipe book that has lots of good tips and recipes in it.  I also got a second book that was written by the CEO of Vitamix.  It was a great book that also talked about the history of the company and how Vitamix has been around almost as long as blenders have been.  Really a nice story to read and lots of great recipes in that book as well.   The long and short of this is, if you have ever thought about getting a Vitamix or if you currently use a Nutribullet or another brand of smaller, cheaper blender, do yourself a favour and buy a Vitamix.  It will be worth the upgrade.  I will never again have raspberry seeds or chunks in my smoothies.  If you have any great Vitamix recipes for those of you who have your own blender already, please share!!!

I have aways been curious about the Vitamix blender, have you?  I've always heard all these amazing things about them from my yoga friends.  They rave and rave about how wonderful they are and about how they can do or make anything under the sun with them.  For a few years now, I've been using a Nutribullet.  When my husband and I wanted smoothies, we would make two of them, one at a time.  My Nutribullet was under $100 and 20% off but the Vitamix blenders range from $500 and up in Canada.  What was the big deal?  

With our recent change to healthier eating habits, we got into eating almond butter.  And not just a little bit of almond butter, but a LOT of almond butter.  We have it every morning in our oatmeal.  If you haven't tried a spoonful of almond butter in your hot oatmeal, you really should.  It makes for a very creamy and delicious oatmeal with lots of protein and staying power.  The only problem with all this almond butter is the cost.  I was spending $11 every other week for a jar from Costco.  It tasted created but the cost adds up quickly.  I figured that there had to be another way.  My husband said that his friend told him to just make the almond butter.  That's when I started really researching the Vitamix even more.  I had an old Kitchen Aid blender that I never really used so I pulled it out and got some fresh almonds.  Well, that was a disaster.  I don't mean any disrespect to the Kitchen Aid blender.  For a long time I used that blender and it was great for smoothies.  But it is not meant for making almond butter.  It took me about seven hours to make 2 cups of almond butter because I had to keep turning the machine off to let it cool down because it kept shutting off from getting too hot.  I made sure my husband watched as I went back to the blender each time to work at it some more.  I was already convinced that a Vitamix would be awesome but the cost was a huge deterrent and my husband was not convinced.  Seven hours later, after I was finally finished making the almond butter, I caught him researching Vitamix online (and here's where the happy danced starts).  

We looked around and went back and forth on what model we would need and what pitchers we would want.  He also asked some of his friends who also have them and say wonderful things about their Vitamix experiences.  And then the magic happened.  We found out that Vitamix offers reconditioned machines for a fraction of the price of the new ones with the same five year warranty.  We also found out that most of the reconditioned models haven't even been used.  Often times they are returned quickly after purchase and haven't even been taken out of the box.  Upon reading more about the reconditioning process, we also found out that Vitamix reviews each machine that comes back, makes sure they're amazing and working well and also packages them with brand new pitchers.  

Then we had to decide on whether or not to get the presets.  Well, let me tell you, I was not keen on paying for the preset functions.  I thought they were a waste of time.  The blender doesn't ever run for a long time so I figured I might as well just stand there anyways.  Wrong!  Get the presets!  The newer machines have more presets than mine does but I am very happy with mine.  Before I get into that, let me just say that I lucked out and the one with three presets was on sale for $369.  It sounds like a lot but this one retails for $700!  So I just ordered it.  I could return it if I didn't want it but I knew that I wouldn't need to do that... okay so back to the presets.  I have three: soup, smoothie and frozen dessert.  They're amazing.  The soup feature runs for 6 and a half minutes so I'm glad now that there is no guessing when the soup is ready.  I have yet to make a soup in it but I used the soup feature to make some tomato cream sauce for pasta and that worked out amazing to just dump in all the ingredients and not have to worry about cooking anything else for the sauce outside of the blender.  

Then I tried to make nut butter.  Remember my previous experience in my Kitchen Aid blender?  Well in the Vitamix it took.... TWO MINUTES!!! How does that even happen?  My Vitamix is a workhorse.  The tamper helps but damn, that bender can blend.  Honestly, I think it would blend spoons if I threw in some spoons.  I don't recommend that because it could void the warranty, but I believe that this would turn spoons into a liquid if I tried.

There are a lot of amazing things to say about the Vitamix.  My ability to have homemade, fresh and delicious almond milk has really been wonderful.  The ability to make the smoothest smoothies I've ever had is great.  I'm going to buy the smaller 23 ox wet pitcher for making smaller batches and salad dressings but once I get that I think my Vitamix will be complete.  If you're hesitating or are unsure because of the cost, my advice would be to go the reconditioned route to pay a little less, but really, just do it.  It comes with a recipe book that has lots of good tips and recipes in it.  I also got a second book that was written by the CEO of Vitamix.  It was a great book that also talked about the history of the company and how Vitamix has been around almost as long as blenders have been.  Really a nice story to read and lots of great recipes in that book as well.  

The long and short of this is, if you have ever thought about getting a Vitamix or if you currently use a Nutribullet or another brand of smaller, cheaper blender, do yourself a favour and buy a Vitamix.  It will be worth the upgrade.  I will never again have raspberry seeds or chunks in my smoothies.  If you have any great Vitamix recipes for those of you who have your own blender already, please share!!!