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  • Six Steps to Developing a Unique Sense of Style: Self Evaluation

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    Welcome to Part 1: Self Evaluation.

    Thank you, Tracy Gnojek of Seattle, for letting us use your photo. We ran into Tracy in the Ballard neighborhood, shopping at Couch, and were super impressed with her unique sense of style.

    Let's begin the process of defining our style . . .

    Step 1: Take Stock of Who You Are (A.K.A Self Evaluation)

    First, we need to separate out what is true about ourselves from what we assume people think about us. What makes us unique from those around us? In an effort to identify the true self and self image, ask yourself the following questions, physically writing down the answers in a journal or notebook:

    Describe "you." What unique qualities do you bring to the world?
    What do I love to do?
    What does the outer me look like (appearance, clothes, speaking voice, mannerisms, and posture)?
    What does the inner me look like (personality, disposition, goals, and values)?
    Is the outer me consistent with the inner me?
    How do I want people to see me?
    When I look in the mirror, what do I say to myself?
    What are my best features?
    When I feel my best, I am wearing . . .. Think of the outfit you feel most confident in. Describe it. What is it that makes this outfit work for you?
    What I need to become is the real me, in the real world, making a real difference. What does this look like?
    Who do I admire most? If this person reflects something good in myself, what is it about this other person that I see in myself?
    I am complemented most for my . . .

    Keep these answers handy so you can refer back to them when you are choosing your clothing or having a tough day. After this personal evaluation, spend some time visualizing this real self and what that looks like. Write down five words you would like people to use when they describe you. Here are some possibilities:

    Eclectic
    Hip
    Grungy
    Appropriate
    Spunky
    Wealthy
    Intellectual
    Cultured
    Lavish
    Extravagant
    Trendsetting
    Thrifty
    Unique
    Girly
    Androgynous
    Consistent

    Rebellious
    Powerful
    Flashy
    Colorful
    Sophisticated
    Authoritative
    Down-to-earth
    Eco-friendly
    Playful
    Hippy
    Stylish
    Old-school
    Vintage
    Classy
    Eccentric
    All business

    Remember the goal is to develop your own sense of style. Know that your style changes and evolves as you do. You may actually want to look rebellious as a young person because that is exactly how you feel. Eventually, your look evolves into something vintage and eclectic, reflecting a new state of being. Thankfully, we have the opportunity to change it up as often as we want.

    Watch for Part 2: Take Inventory coming next week. We will begin by doing some spring cleaning, going through our closets to determine what we have, what we love, what no longer represents who we are and what we can do without.

  • The Benefit of Asking for Advice

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    While on a recent trip to visit my daughter in Seattle, I came across this hilarious plaque. It struck me as funny because my daughter's boyfriend had just talked about how frustrating it is when people ask advice and then do not take it. Here is my opinion on advice:

    People ask for advice to help identify their true answer. Personally, I have a panel of experts (close friends and family that I respect completely), who I bounce things off of. Each presents back to me their idea of what I should do, based on personal experiences and filters. Through this input, I receive the information and listen to my internal reaction. Depending on how it sits with me, I make an authentic decision based on my truth. Some people's advice makes me think, "Nope, I will definitely not do that." Another's advice might make me react, "Something like that." Yet another's might result in a, "That's it!" All are important to the process.

    Your advice may not be followed but it is just as important to the recipient as a tool to reach his or her own decision. Give it freely and without expectation.

  • What to Wear for Yoga: depending on the type yoga

    banner for special considerations blogWe hope you have found the previous posts about what to wear for yoga helpful. Missed them? Click here: bottoms, tops, accessories, fabrics. Today we are talking about what to wear based on the type of yoga you are doing, specifically Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini Yoga.

    What we wear for yoga depends a bit on what type of yoga we are going to do. While the basic requirements of maximum comfort, complete freedom of movement, not too loose, and wearing layers hold for all types of yoga, a few special considerations need to be taken into account depending on the style of yoga you are practicing.

    Determine the type of yoga you are doing

    Check the schedule to find out what type of yoga class you're attending. While there are many different styles of yoga, we will talk about the most common.

    Hatha Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga: Many beginner-level classes will either be Hatha or Vinyasa. Both are focused on coordinating movement with breath. Vinyasa, the most common type in America, is a little faster-paced and will involve more intense stretching, leg lifting and inversions.

    Iyengar Yoga: focuses on holding poses for longer periods of time giving you a chance to find your balance and appreciate the benefit of the stretch.

    What to wear: In the previous three types of yoga, the level of workout depends on how much effort you put into it. You may or may not sweat a lot. If you do not, then I would recommend wearing natural fibers like cotton or rayon from bamboo. They are supremely soft and enable maximum breathability of the skin. Having a bit of lycra or spandex in the fabric will enable the fabric to retain its shape and increase freedom of movement, while maintaining the unique benefits of the natural fiber.

    Love Yoga CaprisAshtanga or Power Yoga: These classes focus more on power and strength and involve constant movement between poses. Practitioners get a good cardio workout performing these poses.

    Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga class: The rooms are heated to approximately 105 degrees (40.6ºC) in order to induce detoxifying sweating. The heat encourages relaxing of muscles, which leads to deeper stretches.

    What to wear: For these high intensity forms of yoga, look for sweat-wicking fabrics to aid moisture management and keep the body dry. Most athletic clothing these days are made from nylon or polyester that has moisture management functionality. When you purchase these items, check the hangtag for details. With these types of yoga, less is more. Sports bras, crop tops or supportive bikinis along with small shorts are ideal for hot yoga. It is just too hot to wear long pants made of cotton.

    Kundalini yoga is one of the more spiritual types of yoga. It goes beyond the physical performance of poses by emphasizing breathing, meditation, and chanting. The Kundalini sequences can be very physically intense.

    What to wear: Tradition dictates that students practicing Kundalini yoga wear white, like the Wisdom yoga Pants and top to the right, representing light and divine energy. According to Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini Yoga, "A teacher wears white cotton clothing while teaching. White clothing makes you as a teacher look divine and represent light. The colour white represents the seven colours. Cotton is the flower of the Earth. It is good for your psyche, for your energy, and for your nervous system. Your way of dressing should be saintly and make you glow with grace."

    In summary, what to wear for yoga depends somewhat on what type of yoga you are doing. At Beckons, we believe it is important to wear organic cotton clothing for yoga because it allows for maximum breathability and comfort. If you are doing hot yoga choose our skimpier pieces. No matter what you wear to hot yoga you are going to remove it immediately and wash it. Remember, organic cotton is good for our planet and our bodies!

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