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.




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?



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…, have a berry while you check it out. These should still be warm from the sun.

Cherry Abundance Braids


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.


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

When Curly Friends do Each Others Wedding Hair

IMG_7021Hi dears! Today I am sharing a little fun and heartwarming project that I did last month in Arkansas with some dear lady friends at the river. Here is the story-

Christina was getting married in the Ozarks, to an Ozark man who she loves dearly and I was leaving town 3 days before the wedding (Cry!) so I wouldn’t be able to make it to do her hair and celebrate in the union of their sweet family.

So, we decided it would be a good move to teach her best friend Audrey how to do her hair for her. We met at the West Fork of the White River, near a lone goose who was clearly offended that we were around.

We set up our picnic blanket, and stripped down to our swim suits and set up shop. The goose hopped into the river to find a new place to hang.

Both Christina and Audrey are naturally curly women, with wild golden curls. We chatted a bit about what kind of hairstyle Christina wanted, and I gave her my bride hair shpeal which goes like this

For your wedding the most important thing is that you feel like yourself but at your very best and most elegant. So, let’s take your ‘usual’ hairstyle (a low loose bun on one side.) and fancy it up a bit. Can’t go wrong that way.

She was down with that. We decided which side to put her hairstyle on, knowing that we wanted it low and slightly off center. I

Now, for curly haired babes who are getting married, I generally like to leave the hair in it’s most natural texture without disturbing the curl pattern as I style it. Christina had a deep side part, and her heavy side falls naturally into a really lovely sort of fingerwave pattern when left to it’s own devises, so I planned the hairstyle to work around that, preserving that gorgeous natural feature of her hair that she loves.

I began by sectioning (gently) her sides, from the top of her head to behind both ears, pushing all the side hair forward of her shoulders and out of the way so I could build from the center of the back.

With all the hair in the back, I began a braid down the back, pulling the braid slightly to the side as I braided.

Halfway through the braid, I started at the top on one side of the braid, pulling the edges out to widen that side and create petal-like shapes on one side of the braid.  These ‘petals’ will run along the outer edge of the bun, creating a floral design.

I didn’t braid too tight, but also not too loose. I continued braiding to the end, then pulled the rest of the petals out all the way to the ends of the braid. I secured the end.

IMG_6915Then, holding the braid flat against her head, I wound the braid into a bun, pinning as I went, securing the braid to the head discreetely, with the ends tucked out of the way.

Next step, I created another braid on the light side of her part, pulling the petals out on the outer edge of the braid as I worked my way to the ends.IMG_6919

I secured the ends, and then wound that braid below and then up and around the bun, pinning it into place as I went. This made the bun bigger and more intricate.IMG_6925

Then, I created a third braid on the other (heavy) side of her hair in the same way, pulling the petals out of the outter edge as I braided. I secured the ends, then wound that braid into another small bun (flower) pinning it discreetly nestled up against the first bun. (Braided Rosebud:)IMG_6927IMG_6929

Then, I did my favorite little trick that adds volume to the back of the head…….Holding the buns tightly to her head with one hand, I used a bobby pin in the other hand to lift up the hair at her crown, threading it in underneath the hair at her crown and then lifting it towards me to create a bit of space, but without pulling too hard. I did this a few times around the back of her head to add a bit of oomf.IMG_6930

Then, she got flowered. Peony flowers and leaves and Queen Anne’s lace.

The whole while, Audry watched and asked questions to clarify……..Making sure she understood the directions so that she would be ready when the big day came.IMG_6960IMG_6958

Then, Audrey got a haircut in the wind (my favorite sort of challenge). All the while, the goose watched us from the river.

Hair Friends for Life.

The End.

xo, HTHG


IMG_7815Here is a photo from Audrey of the finished hairstyle the day of the wedding, complete with succulents. SO beautiful. Nice job ladies.



Intuition and No Basic Witch Pentagram Braids

IMG_4632Witches are quite en vogue these days, in style, in theory and in practice. I think it is part of a massive uprising in feminine power and awareness and I am sure grateful to feel it happening around us.

IMG_6877Quilt of Divine Feminine Connection by Ozark Fiber Artist Sage Billig;

Witchcraft is a term that is difficult to define with precision. In this post, I use the term witch to refer to a woman who believes and explores her sources of inner intuitive strength which can be used to heal, transform, and get big, important shit done. The all powerful and connective/collective forces of unseen strength and energy infused with intention.

Witchery is a value that was first instilled in me by my amazing kindergarten teacher Judy Beerman, who had a girlfriend, a black mullet with a pink tail, and a guitar. She sang most of our lessons to us. It was Seattle Public Schools in the late 80’s and I lucked out with a radical, truth speaking role model.

Judy’s songs have stuck with me and shaped me in a huge way…..Lessons from the songs she sang about the Civil Rights Movement, our right to love, and the importance of Witches instilled deeply into my heart a need to understand and accept peoples differences while always questioning mainstream thought and building and trusting in my own intuition……..These were things that Judy’s songs taught me.

‘Who were the witches,

where did they come from?

Maybe your great, great grandmother was one.

Witches were wise, wise women they say, there’s a little witch in every woman today’

And the song goes on and on. This song was originally written and sung by Bay Area children’s songwriter, activist and pagan Bonnie Lockhart. Judy played this song a lot.

Digging into Intuition a bit, I recently read this, from the Power Path, and really loved it…..

‘Another potent and exciting aspect of this month is acknowledging the power of your intuition as a guiding principal in setting your intentions and trusting in a new direction.

Intuition is non-intellectual and helps us to feel into things, instead of rationalize them. Remember that rationalization uses language from the past and past experiences, where intuition feels into the future.

Your intuition knows your true values, and your values are important building blocks to the foundation of your future.

IMG_6204Knotted Magic Eye Necklace by Spanish Fiber Artist Nayra Del Bosc.

These words are very affirming to me. There is a lot of pressure on us to be rational and methodical in our decision making, but sometimes that can really be stifling to our connection to our own inner voice, which is always speaking. Trusting our intuition can take practice but it is so necessary to our souls to do that work.

IMG_6187In Honor of the exploration of the divinely Witchy ways in each of us, and in persuit of a healthy intuitive life, I present you this DIY braided representation of the sacred symbol of the Pentagram.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 10.25.50 AMA little history on the Pentagram.

The Pentagram is an ancient symbol of divine knowledge, a sacred symbol used commonly in Celtic tradition and Paganism, with origins dating back to Pythagoras, ancient Egypt, India, Persia and Greece.

It represents our connection to each other, and the sacred geometry of nature and all life, and our connection to forces unseen. Please read up more on the Pentagram to familiarize yourself with it’s roots and meanings, and then braid your hair into a Pentagram and divine that inner wisdom and connection.

IMG_4730No Basic Witch Pentagram Braids, DIY


  • The idea behind this is that we are using tiny braids to draw the picture of a 5 pointed star.
  • Beginning with the lower left hand point, use a hair pin or something pointy to section off a tiny circle of hair, and start a nice tight tiny braid within that circle section. Continue the braid until it is long enough to stretch across the back of the head, upwards to the top center point of the star.
  • Now, create another tiny circle section where the top center point is, and divide it into three to create your second braid, braiding the ends of your first braid tightly in with the second braid. (The ends get added right into one of your 3 braid sections from braid 2.)
  • Now continue braid two until it is long enough to meet braid 3, in the bottom right point of the star. Add the ends of braid 2 into braid 3 in the same way, and create that bottom right point.
  • Now continue this same method to create braid 4 on the upper left point, straight across to braid 5 on the upper right, and back home to bottom left point at braid 1.
  • Add a tiny bit more hair into braid 5 at the base of braid one, to secure the star. Braid all the way to the ends if you want, just to be sure your star wont unravel.
  • To finish the Pentagram Braid, I hid the ends of the last braid underneath her hair, then braided all her hair down her back, secured the ends, and wrapped the braid into a bun, securing it with pins. Then, naturally, I added some flowers:)

I really believe that when we infuse our small daily rituals with intention, like brushing our hair and thinking about letting go of negative thoughts, or braiding our hair while thinking about strengthening our intuition, or wearing and adorning ourselves with items that were made with love, we really up our game on manifesting those positive thoughts into truths.

IMG_6863I wish this for all of us. Please stay tuned for more Witch Thoughts and Musings, and tell us how you feel about your own inner witch.

xo, HTHG


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