January Future Self Yogi Surprise box!

I think this January Yogi Surprise box has won my heart! The jewelry box to be specific… why you may ask? Well, this box contained the most yummiest organic Vegan truffles from Missionary Chocolates I have ever had. I would buy this box over and over again just to have these truffles! Seriously that worth it!

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One was a salted caramel truffle, and the other dark chocolate. The point is, they were both so tasty I almost forgot there was jewelry in this box too and not just chocolate treats! I received a beautiful rose quartz pendant and matching bracelet. This bracelet was one of the most beautiful and delicate pieces I have got in the box. It was so pretty I put it on immediately and even forgot to take it off before bed, haha! SO pretty!

This months box theme focused on “Future Self” providing the tools to refresh our spirit by detoxifying, purifying, healing, and renewing both the body and mind. What a perfect start to the new year! Especially with BATH STUFFZ! Loved this Pacifica ‘Lotus garden’ soap! It is all natural and look at how gorgeous the bar is! It looks like little sparkle flakes embedded into this clear bar.

I also found some Pacifica Detox wipes, in such a lovely scent. Kale, cucumber & mangosteen infused! Now that is a scent I have never heard of before, but it is so refreshing! these will come in handy for yoga classes and traveling! I also got a wrist compression sleeve which is great for when you do handstand or arm balances a lot. If you find you have weak wrist and have to warm them up a lot before doing arm balances then this sleeve is probably a good idea. It keeps your wrist in place and almost ‘together’ while you practice!

Next up is from one of my favourite skin care brands DERMA-E <3 I discovered this brand through Yogi Surprise actually when I received an amazing eye cream. These products are incredible and 100% vegan! All natural stuff goes into this face cream and it smells so yummy too, like cucumbers. FRESH! I have been using this every night and it has a unique tightening feeling. It is very thin which I like but VERY hydrating. I know it says night time cream but I have actually been using this DAY & NIGHT because it is just that thin and hydrating. It really does pull your skin and make it tighter too! My dry, fine wrinkles are already disappearing, it’s like magic, really! SUPER RECOMMEND THIS CREAM TO EVERYONE!!!

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I have been building up my yogi books collection and so far Yogi Surprise has given me two wonderful books! My first from them was “The Little Red Book Of Yoga Wisdom” which was such a cute and fast read. The Book I received in Januarys box is more informative – “The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea”. I’m not much of a tea drinker but this book actually focuses on more than just the benefits of herbs for tea. You really get to know more about each plant and the benefits it has to the body, a lot of these herbs are things you can cook with too so it is always good to know just what you are putting in your body and how amazing it is for you!

Always love my Yogi Surprise box! I heard February is going to be exceptional too! 😉

Use the code YOGILOVE to get 15% off a purple Yogi Surprise box at yogisurprise.com !!! You won’t regret it!

 

My Inner Fire around Toronto!

As January comes to an end I realize I didn’t do much of a recap to the last year, so here is a mini one featuring one of my fave Canadian brands My Inner Fire! I am so proud to be an Inner Fire luminary and have the chance to rock the coolest prints around Toronto! We usually head out for a full day long boarding, walking , picnicking and of course some yoga snap and these leggings withstand the entire day or working out. Here are some of my favourite moments:

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This was when I first got my Nocturne Inner Fire leggings! I LOVED all the new collection prints but had to have these Nocturne leggings first because they are totally my style. We took it to one of the most beautiful places in Toronto, High Park.

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Not only was I wearing comfy leggings but this day was also a breakthrough day for me! I love to backbend and contort my body and I have been trying to reach my hands up further to my knees in this standing backbend shown above. This day was miraculous, not only did I reach my legs but I walked my hands all the way up to my knees and held it comfortably. I realized after that I was even doing this on a downward slope! Truly a cool moment for me! For all of you wondering how to get into this pose, it requires a lot of warming up. I usually warm up with a ton of pigeon variations and also I have to stretch my shoulders for a good 10 minutes.

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I get so many compliments on these Bella leggings, they remind me of a warm Greek day with white buildings and this print on the tiled grounds. This was also a breakthrough day for me as it was the furthest I had ever gotten my splits in a dancer pose! It felt like a moment you understand a pose and what was holding you back at first. For me, I wasn’t able to reach my hands far down enough my shin to really lift my leg. I also focused more on backbends and less on my hamstring stretches. Now that I have incorporated splits into my practice, this pose feels much more natural to me and I’m proud to say I can do a full split now!!

On a sunny day like below we couldn’t resist long boarding around the city. I brought my travel Yogo mat (just incase yoga pics happened hehe) and of course they did when we arrived to this point on the lakeshore. It looks like you can see for miles, but it’s only a lake and it is pretty smoggy too!

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I tried this variation of a backbend called Alien Backbend, where you drop your butt a bit lower, almost creating a chair like shape. I really wanted to jazz it up by doing it in a forearm wheel, but also hugging both my hands to my elbows once I was in a good position. It looks and felt great!

Classic Upward Bow pose below! I will admit I did tip over just after this, you can kind of tell I am leaning a bit too far back but I swear I held it straight for a a few breaths before!

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We were headed home from a morning at the beach and we walked by this abandoned old train track. I had always wanted to try this pose where you extend your whole body over the track and do somewhat of a plank from one side to the other. I added a backbend of course and plopped my foot onto my head.

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But then the funniest thing happened… these guys drove by and were so impressed they paid me to be in their music video! I seriously asked them a million times – “Are you sure? I do yoga… it’s a hip hop video right? And you want yoga?” 😛 – and they kept saying yes! So I did a mini flow on the hood of their car. HAHAHHA

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This was possibly the best part of my yoga journey so far. getting to backbend on the hood of a rappers car for their video. Now I don’t know if the video ever made it out, and I honestly can’t remember their names. And who knows if they even liked the yoga hood girl in the end anyway, but I still LOVED this moment and will remember it for ever. It’s amazing how yoga has opened up so many doors of opportunity! Can’t wait for more!!

Check out @myinnerfire on Instagram – and you can use the code VanessaB for a discount at myinnerfire.com or on Amazon

 

Phair : BROGA at PeterPan Bistro

Of course when my friends Jonathan and Queenie Phair said they were teaching a YOGA + BRUNCH at a restaurant I had been dying to go to, I said YES immediately. Mostly because… food – but also mostly because I had done an hour of the Phair’s yoga sesh before and it was intense and a new experience for me! Anyone who has taken this class will know what I’m talking about. This one was the same, from the first ten minutes, they had us warming up our wrists in the hardest ways possible! We fully just jumped right into it doing high planks on the flip side of our hands, a warm up I will be using from now on because even though in the moment it hurt, they feel so much stronger the day after already and feel like they can handle a lot more impact!

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We flowed to some amazing music, a more chill electronic style. It was amazing because there were a lot of familiar faces there including lovely Su and Mike, and also THE Brian bchanwarrior and lovely Arin who I had the chance to meet at the BYOGA community collective event! I brought my B-Mat which was perfect for this practice because it was a sweaty one. So many warrior flows, I sure felt the burn.

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We did a little partner work too, supporting the others ankles while they are in a plank, teaching them to lift up into a handstand. My wrist were beat by this point to be honest but we all pushed through it because there was too much to learn and absorb in such little time! Also I just need to mention that Queenie and Jonathan are beasts and can do crow pushups – they just effortlessly float into handstand – GOALS for real!

We took a little savasana at the end and Su explained a little about her KEY Education project which is incredible and I will have to write more about it in another post but for now you can learn about it here

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Then the smell of food started to waft in as the doors opened. I smelled potatoes. There were potatoes. And also the most amazing assortment of unique dishes like Shakshuka, Lebneh, Frittata, Latkes, French Toast – it just goes on – scones, quinoa salad – SO GOOD! I also had to have a Mimosa with Brunch because it was well deserved! We all sat down and ate, chatted, learned more about each other until it was time to go home!

Most people went home but I stayed behind with a few to take some photos in the beautiful PeterPan space. To say I wish this was my apartment couldn’t be more true. I would live there in a heart beat. My bf martin stopped by to say hi to everyone and snap a few pics of some extra stuffed yoga bellies before we all walked home together.

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What a lovely event, I love when I get to connect with so many amazing people and we can all flow and eat in the same room! Can’t wait for the next!!!

Eleuthera 2016 – Surreal Beach Yoga Experience

So we didn’t really go on this trip so I could do yoga on the beach, but squeezing it in to our relaxing time in Eleuthera, Bahamas was not so bad, especially since it felt just so RIGHT! The warmth of the sun on your skin followed by that sweet salty breeze is the most wonderful experience. Especially when the beach is at low tide and the sand banks appear – yoga right in the middle of all that water, where you can walk for miles before it reaches your knees.

Mala pictured above is from Seed of Intention where you can use the code ASANAVANESSA10 for 10% off. I am also wearing HEAT Swimwear in the above photos. We had this idea that we would explore the entire island, and see every single beach. Well, we didn’t see the whole island, no matter how deceivingly small it may seem – we would need months to discover every beach this beautiful island holds. We did manage to see the top beaches on the island, with the above photos being from Alabaster Bay – one of the highest rated beaches on the island. Gaulding Cay was also one of the nicest beaches we went to (pictured below), but only because it gave us an awesome first time snorkelling experience to the island. I would highly recommend making the treck out to this beach just for that alone.

Bikini by @wetchic_beachwear

Speaking of top rated beaches, one of the top in the world belongs to this tiny island – famed for its coral coloured sand. We had to see this beach. So we woke up early and made the hour long car journey to the docks to take a small ferry boat over to harbour island. We had to rent a golf cart once we got to this tiny little island to make it to the famous beach, but that was so much fun as it is how the locals ride around. Every golf cart to themselves riding around in the sun on narrow roads, where you have to remember to drive to the left! Feet in the sand below, can you see the hues of pink in this sand?

I was wearing all JVRNEY swimwear on this day. So comfortable and I loved the white top with the green palms and floral on it. Felt perfect for this setting and practicing on the softest sand ever. We even had some of the best conch on the whole island in a salad as we watched the sun start to set. It was perfect. Conch is not my favourite but the way it was prepared for this salad was divine.

We did a lot more beach exploring after this, of course. Beach after beach after beach… but I’m not complaining. memorable moments include eating food, snorkelling, tanning, floating, eating food, drinking, tanning, snorkelling, eating food. So ya know, it was awesome.

We visited the Marker bars by Schooner Cays in the first photo above. just miles and miles of sand banks in the middle of the ocean between Eleuthera and Exuma Sounds. We stayed close to the small town of James Cistern where I had to strike a pose on the dock (the locals loved that haha). And one of our personal favourite beaches in the last photo above called Ten Bay beach. Such an awesome spot where the water is like a big clear pool at high tide.

I had to do some underwater yoga at South Palmetto Beach as well. We saw a shark soon after this so that was the last photo taken before moving it on to the beach for the rest of the day!

What is amazing about the beaches of Eleuthera is how private they are. We rarely bumped into anyone on these beaches so if thats your thing then this place is for you. You have an entire beach to yourself every day – all day. It truly is magical and breathtaking place. Since it is so empty all the time and the roads are hard to drive without a 4×4, if you get trapped at a beach, then you have to wait and hope someone drives by 😀 That’s why we always packed enough food and drinks in this AMAZING Sol & Selene bag that came so handy for this trip. We stuffed it full of everything we needed to last throughout the day – I am so happy we brought it.

Bag by @solandsolene 😍 Use the code ASANAVANESSA15 for a discount at solandsolene.com

Bag by @solandsolene 😍 Use the code ASANAVANESSA15 for a discount at solandsolene.com

Other than beaches we visited the Cliffs in James Cistern – just for a little adventuring. The pools behind me in the first photo below were full of crabs and sea urchins. It is also where the Atlantic ocean crashed against the edge of the cliffside. The second photo below was a rainy day where we visited Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve and learned about the various insects and plants of the Bahamas and Eleuthera. We also got stuck in the pouring rain but made it to this lovely tower within the park, so it wasnt so bad.

Last photo is one of my favourites. From the land of pineapples we had the juiciest little ones in Eleuthera. The most delicious pineapples live here and you need to sample these babies.

We had to visit Spanish wells as well, noted as one of the most beautiful beaches. As it was super beautiful but our taste had grown quite high after Harbour Island and Ten Bay beach – this one was beautiful, but very windy and full of larger bigger fish which we couldn’t see because of murky water. That freaked me out a bit so not too much snorkelling happened. It is home to Lobster island though so we had to sample the local cuisine – SO YUMMY.

Of course I had to do some underwater yoga, taken at our most favourite beach – Lighthouse Point beach. I think if we had seen this beach from the beginning and not save dit to last, we probably would have just come here every day. WOW. It is so incredibly breathtaking. The sand is soft and pink, there is adventuring to be done with the hike up the the Lighthouse and around, and plenty of amazing snorkelling spots in deep water close to shore. this was by far my favourite spot on the entire island. You can see how clear of a pool it is below.

The white bikini pictured is from Bikini CN which I loved for cheeky tanning 😉 The top also felt like a rash guard so it was great for snorkelling. We spent the entire day from morning to night on this beach, we came prepared to do just that because this one was the hardest road to drive to get to this beach. Super bumpy for 20 minutes on a slow ride in. But so worth it.

Thank you Lighthouse beach for a last magical perfect day in Eleuthera. I had my mermaid moment here too, pictured above in my fave dress from Red Carter Swim. You can see how crystal blue the water is – I will remember this moment forever. 

Extra special thank you to my main muffin photographer for documenting some of my yoga experience on the island. love chu!