Yoga Braids on my Magic Carpet Yoga Mat

7U6A9302Raise your hand if you have a yoga mat that you love? ( My hand is raised high. ) I have a beautiful Magic Carpet Yoga Mat that has helped me commit to carving out the time to do a little yoga once a week.

Some times, I do 5 of my favorite poses in 10 minutes and call it good. Other times, I flow through 45 minutes of deep stretching and holding poses as I try and keep my mind from wandering off my beautiful mat, to my nasty carpet that needs cleaning. Meet my mind, the constant monkey. I do what I can as far as trying to calm and soothe it but it is a constant journey.

Why am I telling you this? Because I love my yoga mat so much that I felt inspired to reach out to Sophie, the owner of Magic Carpet Yoga Mats and see how she felt about me featuring a mat in a blog post about yoga and braids. Thanks Sophie for obliging!

Why do I love my yoga mat so much? Because it is so lovely to behold that I feel invited to do yoga every time I look at it. And then, when I hop onto it, I feel supported and strong. And the moments I spend on my mat, though infrequent and hasty, hugely help me function better in life. Taking the time to stretch, breath, and bring awareness back into my physical body is necessary to my wellbeing, I am finding. And practicing things that engage both sides of my brain, as yoga does, brings focus and major mindfulness into my daily life.

Something else that I do to engage both sides is braid hair. Which is another reason why this post came about…….Because hair braiding can be a lovely practice which engages both sides of the brain, and is the perfect opportunity to work a little meditation practice into life.

Read here on the importance of synchronizing both sides of the brain with meditation.

Some feedback that I get very often when teaching people to braid is that it is hard on their body to sit still and keep their arms up, let alone coordinate their fingers behind their own head and stick to the braiding rhythm. That is so many things to do at once!

I tell every person who I teach how to braid this……For best results, think of your body positioning while you are braiding like a yoga posture. Body aligned, breath moving, mind focused, intuition strong. Close your eyes. Feel it in your body. Here. Let me show you what I mean.

Jules is going to demonstrate a braid, using the correct posture and breath that is used in her regular yoga practice. She sits in a grounded pose on the sacred space of her Magic Carpet yoga mat, and what better place to braid your hair than the place that you spend peaceful time integrating your body and mind in a yoga practice?7U6A9321

Begin by sitting cross legged, or on your knees if you prefer. Rest your hands on your abdomen and gently engage your abs, as you tilt your pelvis forwards a bit, rounding out your lower back without forcing it, grounding your tailbone and aligning your back. Feel the gentle strength in your belly. Take a few deep breaths into your abdomen.

Now roll your shoulders backwards, and around in slow circles, working out kinks and loosening them up. Roll them down your back, opening your chest. Let your arms hang loose at your sides. Roll your hands around at the wrist, working out the kinks. Roll your head from side to side, stopping and breathing through the tense areas.

Continue to breath. Bring this feeling of relaxed alignment into your braid practice, breathing into your arms and shoulders, keeping the energy flowing and allowing your hands and brain to speak to each other without the interruption of your tense physical body. NOW you are ready to braid your hair.


Yoga Braids7U6A9333

Begin by making a center part. Bring the hair from both sides of the part in front of your shoulders.7U6A9343

Now make a part that bisects your center part, going straight across the top of your head from one ear to the other. This will create 4 sections of hair.

Take the left front section and make a 3 strand braid with it. Secure the end with a clear elastic.  7U6A9361Repeat on the right front section.

Make a small french braid down one of your back sections. Hold it in place at the base with a hairclip while you do the other side. ( Are you still breathing and keeping your body in alignment? Take a minute to get back in position if you need to)7U6A9420

 

Now pull the front braid from the opposite side across the back of the head and braid it right into your french braid, adding it to one of your 3 braid sections, and braiding all the way to the ends of the hair. Secure with an elastic. 7U6A9428

Repeat on the other side, criss crossing your braids7U6A9436 and integrating your braid into your french braid. Secure the ends, and take a second to appreciate what you just accomplished.

Consider yourself in great shape to strike up your usual asanas, hair braided and energy focused and contained within your body. Did you know that some cultures do not engage in ceremony without braids in their hair?

7U6A9638Here is a different Yoga Braid from that same sunny Sunday at the park. After our Yoga+Braids session, Jules played me a tune on her fiddle then we walked and got burritos down the street.

Thanks for reading, and a special thanks to Sophie from Magic Carpet Yoga Mats for sharing her beautiful mats with us.

If you enjoyed this post and are seeking more ways to be more mindful in creating rituals of self-care, I invite you to check out this post on the Ritual of Hairbrushing.

xo HTHG

 

 

Foil Setting Texture Trick!

IMG_0702Hey babes. I have a challenge for you. Grab a friend, some aluminum foil and a flat iron and play around with wadding up foil in different ways, wrapping hair around it, clamping it with a flatiron, allowing it to cool, and taking the foil out. It is super fun!

IMG_0704IMG_0718IMG_0693IMG_0696For this experiment, I made long, thin foil rods with my hands and basically doing a rag curl set with foil rods and heat. The results were just wonderful.

Have fun, and post your photos and tag me!

xo, HTHG

Raspberries and Vintage Denim. 3 DIY Hairstyles for Crimped Hair.

IMG_1731Hi Babes! Today I have some hair candy to share, this color scheme that I did a few weeks back which is inspired by rasberry jam smeared on vintage denim, and a general celebration of Color Texture Form which started HERE.


I used a cool magenta for her roots, (custom blended Manic Panic) then lighter pink in her ends, which marbled into blues and some dark greens and ended with streaks of denim blue over everything. Was truly a color bomb that kept getting better and better the more I added to it.

I wanted to share some quick stying tricks I did on her once her hair was dry and crimped. Crimped hair, if you don’t already know, is very fun to style because it acts more like wool and stays where you put it. Also, it is thicker and has much more volume and loft to it. It is very similar to natural/kinky textured hair so If you have that sort of hair or if you are very curly, try these hairstyles too!

I’m making it my goal to bring back crimped hair and encourage all different kinds of crimping, using heat, braids, foil, wire, etc. I love it because crimped hair looks great for days and days on end and is a fun way to break you out of a hair rut.

Okay also, a general question: Does anyone know of a solar powered hair crimper? If not, can someone get on making one?


IMG_1728Our first hairstyle today goes like this:

A braid on each side, two french braids down the back. Wrap the loose ends of each french braid and pin them into two buns.

Now take your two side braids and wrap them across the top of your buns, overlapping each other. Tuck the ends around your buns and pin them into place. Voila!raspberry

Next one starts off with a center part, and then 2 high twisted buns which leave the bottom half of the hair still hanging down.

Split the hair on the bottom vertically through the center, and do a tight braid on each side. Wrap each braid up and around the opposite bun, criss-crossing them across the back. Tuck the ends around your buns and pin them into place.denim

Next one is the same, except instead of braids, do twists. Twisting crimped hair is such a dream. Doesn’t it look cool?

 

Enjoy!

xo, HTHG

 

Hair Weaving Part 2

IMG_9510Hi dears. I wanted to post this little simple video that was shot on my iPhone about a month ago which demonstrates a hair weaving technique, one that I am hellbent on perfecting. This video is going viral from my Instagram, so I thought I would share it here on the blog too, in case any of you missed it.

Here it is, please enjoy!

xo, HTHG

Cherry Abundance Braids

IMG_9184Hello and Happy Fruit Season from the abundantly fruity Pacific Northwest. This time of year feels very special because for a few short weeks, we can eat berries straight off the bush without feeling the need to hoard them or share them, because their are simply so many of them around.

On my daily run ( okay runwalk ) I can be found actually just eating the berries directly off the tree hands free. I call it mouthpicking. It sounds maybe a little strange but when there is this much abundance it just seems right to go all in. Also, the birds are so happy that when they do their business, bright pink bombs fall from the sky. Onto my windsheild.

This time of year is about simply relishing the abundance of the berry world, and being open to receive from the fruits of nature, and having deep gratitude for the opportunity to fully just embrace the berry juice on your face. And, maybe wearing berries in your hair as a prayer to keep that abundance flowing, far after the berries have dried on the vine.  IMG_9252

Here is a shot from last weekend, when a dear old friend showed up on my doorstep in her wedding dress, with a bouquet of lavender and an amethyst, ready to elope to her man who she met in firefighter training school. I of course added a raspberry in there for good measure and a prayer for abundance for their new life together.

IMG_9162I shot a little braid tutorial to celebrate the berry harvest and share with you all…..here, have a berry while you check it out. These should still be warm from the sun.

Cherry Abundance Braids

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cherry braidsHere is how I did these braids…..

I sectioned off both sides, and did a braid in each side section, securing the ends with a clear elastic.

I did two diagonal french braids across the back, then braided all the way down the ends and secured them with clear elastics.

Then, I took the ends of the top french braid and wrapped them into a tight bun, pinning them into place.

Then I took the ends of the lower french braid, and wrapped them tightly around the bun, tucking the tail underneath and pinning it into place.

Then, I pulled one side braid up and around the bun, tucking the tail in and pinning the braid into place, and I did the same with the other side braid.

Then, I decorated her hair with fresh cherries, pinning them with small hair pins by their stems.

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Braid Meditation

 

Oh, and before you begin, while you braid ( or brush your hair) , say a little prayer to the universe for abundance, and express gratitude for what is already abundant in your life. May you be fruitful and juicy in all of your pursuits!

xo, HTHG

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