SIMPLY OM: Our Signature Candle Collection

Our Simply Om candle collection is one of the most highly requested items at The Green Yogi.

They are made with a clear vision for sustainability in mind + crafted to be boldly eco-friendly + globally conscious. People buy them as gifts for friends or use them to infuse the peaceful vibe of the studio into their homes or offices. We thought you might like to know a little bit more about our signature candle line, why Founder Mary Strong created it, and how you are helping to make a difference every time you buy one.

Our Candles Are: non GMO food grade coconut wax, paraben free, sustainable wax base, essential oil blends, lead free cotton wick, clean burning, hand poured in small batches, made with love in California.

Our Commitment to Serving Others through our Simply Om Candle Collection: We are more than a yoga studio, we believe in giving back whenever we can, and touching as many lives as possible in a positive way. That includes giving to charities and causes we believe in both locally and globally. Proceeds from the sale of our signature “Om Candle” go directly to our favorite causes.

Our Charities: The Simply Om candle supports the following global charities with monthly donations, as well as various local charities in our community:

The Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund

Women for Women International

World Wildlife Fund

Families at The Dump

The Humane Society

The Jane Goodall Foundation

+ Monthly urgent care and disaster relief for various charities

Donation Facts:Through the sale of our Simply Om candle we have been able to donate more than $35,000 to our charities.

How Our Candles Are Made:Wax is the largest component of candles, so it’s worth looking into; particularly considering that you burn candles in your home and/or work space. While paraffin has been the cheap wax of choice for many years, it contains a highly toxic chemicals called benzene and toluene, soy wax has recently moved into second place due to its “natural” credentials. However, if you do some research, you’ll discover that there’s a much better choice for candles: coconut wax, which is what we use in our OM candles, let’s look at why:

*Coconuts are considered a sustainable crop (high yield and crop renewal per acre).

*Coconut oil is organic and more eco-friendly to harvest

*Coconut wax burns slower and cleaner than any other wax on the market

*Coconut wax has been overlooked by the candle industry because it is more expensive per pound. We don’t care: it’s well worth it!

Along with our food-grade certified coconut oil wax, we use lead-free cotton wicks for a safe, clean burn as well as fragrance oils which are RIFM and IFRA approved for safety and purity. We also use pure essential oils in our candles so they are safe to use on your body. You can use them to massage yourself, your lover or rock it as your new perfume or cologne!

Empowering People with Disabilities: Our candle manufacturer believes in giving back just as much as much as we do. Each candle is hand-poured by an adult with disabilities. We are happy to support and empower individuals with disabilities in the workforce through the production of our candle.

Fragrance Allergies: While we understand that scented candles are not for everyone, they are part of The Green Yogi brand and our way of going beyond our daily yoga offering in our small boutique studio, and giving back to our global community. The sale of our Simply Om candle helps us keep our monthly commitments to our various charities without having to rely on the ups and downs of monthly revenue. If you are sensitive to fragrance, we have outdoor seating where you are welcome to wait prior to the start of class and we are happy to work with you to set you up in a part of the studio that is furthest away from our reception area, where we burn our candle. We apologize if this causes any discomfort for you and understand your concerns. We really value you as part of our yoga family always look to make you happy. We hope this has given you some insight into why we created our candle. Giving back to our community is something we are very proud of and hope to continue for many years to come.

Founded + Designed by Mary Strong  learn more about Mary here!

Why Yoga and Meditation Are Important Forms of Self-Care

by Cassie Steele
In a 2017 stress survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 75% of American adults reported feeling “at least one symptom of stress in the past month.” Additionally, it is estimated that “one in five American adults [have] experienced a mental health issue.” With so many people suffering from stress and mental health issues, self-care is a must for emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Almost every list of suggested ways to take care of yourself include yoga and meditation. While there are many other exceptional suggestions on these lists, yoga and meditation provide a unique, holistic self-care experience that cannot be found elsewhere. Whether practicing self-care at home or in the yoga studio, explore the ways that yoga and meditation are important forms of self-care.
Spiritual awareness
Although there are many definitions of what “spiritual” can mean, one of the most
precise is the following: “of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit.” Your self-care routine should include ways to connect to your spiritual side. Both meditation and yoga provide this opportunity, unlike many other self-care methods. Each of these activities give you an outlet to practice focused gratitude, and help you feel the presence of something more than yourself. Research has even confirmed that regular meditation (even for a few minutes each day) can help you feel happy and stress less.
Gives your body an opportunity to rest
When it comes to sleep, research reports that “men average 5 hours, 45 minutes [of sleep per night], while women average 6
hours, 9 minutes.” These figures fall far below the seven to nine hours of sleep recommended by most health professionals. Rest is essential for the mind and body. Getting adequate rest produces a positive mood, enhanced work performance, and healthy relationships. While you may not always be able to get the sleep you need, yoga and meditation provide a wonderful way to rest during the day. These self-care activities help you to turn off your racing, stressful thoughts and to restore your mind and body.
Science says yoga and meditation are good for you
Scientific research on yoga and meditation proves the strength of each activity as an effective self-care method. Yoga has been shown to be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression, reducing chronic pain, and lowering blood pressure. Meditation offers similar benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, enhanced concentration, and slowing of the aging process.
When it comes to self-care, there are many activities that you can choose. Among the ways you take care of yourself, however, it is crucial to include yoga and meditation for the many benefits that can be yours each day.

About the Author: Cassie Steele is a freelance writer + editor. Inspired by her own journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening, she is motivated to share information that will hopefully help other people embark on a similar path. Several years ago, she reached a significant crossroads in her life when she became severely depressed and felt her life had no direction. She began to search desperately in outside sources for guidance, but soon realized that the answer was there within her all the time. So, she started a long journey which transformed the way she looked at herself and the world.

Practice Yoga + Become a Better Writer: 3 Lessons from Author Helena Echlin

One of our beloved TGY Berkeley yogis, Helena Echlin, just recently published a supernatural thriller “Sparked“. Discover how her journey through her yoga practice has influenced her writing in her article below.

I recently published a novel, Sparked. It’s the story of Laurel Goodwin, whose sister Ivy is kidnapped – and the only people who can help Laurel save Ivy are the mean girls at school, who just happen to have developed superpowers. What does my supernatural thriller have to do with sun salutations? Well, here’s something that writing and yoga have in common: at times they can both feel like torture. Seriously, though, my practice at the wonderful Green Yogi and at home (um, when I have the willpower), has taught me three lessons that have made me a better writer.
Practice regularly. It doesn’t have to be daily, but it does have to be a few times a w
eek. Practice makes you better, but it’s not this end goal that matters. It’s the practice itself that matters. It might seem that in writing, unlike with yoga, you are working towards a specific outcome—finishing and publishing your book. But my experience and talking with other writers have taught me that the best part is the time you spend at your desk, writing the book—just as yoga is about the time
you spend on the mat, not about whether you ever get into Firefly Pose.
Slow down and notice. In yoga, you learn to pay attention to the present, to the nuances of your physical and emotional sensations. You learn to observe your own thoughts, like where did my neighbor get those cool yoga pants, and why am I the only person sweating in this class? (And in doing so, you learn to let those thoughts go.) This skill helps me enter a character—to be present in someone else’s mind and body. I’m better able to take the time to imagine how that character’s body is feeling, and pay attention to their unfolding emotions.
Get comfortable with discomfort. When I’m stuck on a plot question and wondering whether I should just trash the entire book, I’ll just sit with that discomfort, the same way I’ll hold Warrior Two even though my shoulders are aching. I’ll even tell myself that not knowing the answer to a question is a good thing, a sign I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone—just like falling over in a balancing pose. I suffer from insecurity too, just like every other writer I’ve ever met: am I good enough? Is this the right project? Is this worth it?  My writing students often ask me how I overcome these doubts and my answer is: you don’t, you learn to live with them. But yoga helps.

Buy Helena’s book on Amazon today + support your community yogi – available in paperback, kindle + audiobook!  

Be Inspired,

Our hero for October, Nikki Roy

Our hero for October: Nikki Roy
Number of classes taken since the beginning of the year: 91
Occupation: Court reporter
Fun fact about me: Love to cook and golf!
Charity name: Planned Parenthood.
Why did you choose this charity: Planned Parenthood is a safe place for teens to get fair-minded exploration of sexual issues.
What keeps you committed to your practice: The dedication of wonderful instructors and inspirational fellow yoga students.
Why do you love coming to The Green Yogi: The great community of yoga practitioners that the studio has created.
What inspires you: The yoga spirit that I feel in each and every class.
Who’s your favorite instructor and why: Oh, that’s a hard one as I love them all!  I’d have to say Julie Rader holds a very special place in my heart as she is the teacher that made my practice change from a fitness-based one to a spiritual one.  Honorable mention (in no particular order) to: Danielle, Heather, Anne, Wendy, Amy, Linda & Matt.
What’s your intention for your yoga practice: Hope to be practicing into my 80s.
What song should be on every yoga playlist: Breathe by Telepopmusik.
How long have you been practicing and how has yoga improved your life: I started with Julie at her studio Mukti and then I’ve been at Green Yogi since 2010. Yoga helps me with balance and flexibility off the mat.

Our Hero for August, Lauren Coniglio

Lauren Coniglio.OCCUPATION: Former executive turned homemaker…loving my adult gap year.
FUN FACT ABOUT YOU: I started practicing at The Green Yogi the first week the studio opened in October 2009.
WHAT KEEPS YOU COMMITED TO YOUR PRACTICE? Yoga keeps me strong both physically and mentally. A good workout combined with lots of deep breaths and positive affirmations leaves me feeling more balanced throughout the day.
WHY DO YOU LOVE COMING TO THE GREEN YOGI? The teachers at The Green Yogi are truly special and inspiring. 
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? The smile on my dog’s face and hearing the thump of her happy tail. My husband requested that I note he can be quite inspirational too ☺
WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR AND WHY? I look forward to Jamie’s energetic flow every Saturday morning. Her sequencing is amazing. Julie Rader says the words of encouragement she shares reflect what she needs…but I often leave class feeling that she intuitively knew that her message was exactly what I needed. 
WHAT’S YOUR INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE? I am healthy, happy, present, and kind. 
WHAT SONG SHOULD BE ON EVERY YOGA PLAYLIST? I’ll defer to Jamie Horgan. Her playlists are great.  
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING AND HOW HAS YOGA IMPROVED YOUR LIFE? I’ve been practicing for over 15 years. I’ve always enjoyed the physical aspects of yoga. Incorporating meditation and deep breathing into my yoga practice has helped me learn to go with the flow, embrace change, and focus on life’s many blessings.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE ROVER RESCUE AS YOUR CHARITY? In honor of my beloved pooch Jet. As the saying goes, “Who rescued who?”

Our Hero for July: Kevin Blair

Nickname: KB
Classes Taken: 96 since the beginning of the year
Occupation: Capital Markets/Trading for Liquid Venture Partners
Charity: National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
FUN FACT: I commute weekly from the Bay Area to Manhattan Beach.
FAVORITE INSTRUCTOR & WHY: I love Anne Spinner’s class- what I like is that I get my butt kicked every class, but to different sequences weekly which keeps each class fresh and lively.
INTENTION FOR YOUR YOGA PRACTICE: “Live and practice on the mat that which you want to manifest in life.” My intention is to stay healthy and strong, and hope to offset the stress of the fast-paced lifestyle of my career.
FAVORITE POSE: I love Warrior ll. It is such a strong and fierce pose, giving me strength, power and self confidence. 
FAVORITE SONG FOR YOGA: I really enjoy the song Sahastrara-Crown Chakra by Energi, I first heard while in shabassana taking a class taught by Ali Owens. I find it the perfect song/chant to end my practice.
WHAT INSPIRES ME: My family– I have three kids: Dillon 21, Kayla 18 and Sam 15, along with being married for almost 23 years. It is my inspiration to stay strong and healthy for them, along with using the breath to stay calm in some of the trying situations of life.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN PRACTICING YOGA AND HOW HAS IT IMPROVE YOUR LIFE: I have been practicing for over 15 years, Yoga brought me not only greater physical strength and health, but the ability to operate from a place of deeper truth and authenticity. I’ve also learned to soften, slow down and deepen my relationships with others and with myself.”

Our Hero for June: Marisa Landsberg


Class taken: 80

Occupation: Mom, Activist (animals & environment)

Fun Fact: I am a vegan

Favorite Instructor & Why: Sesa O’Connor & Heather Archer because they are the perfect balance of Asana & Yoga philosophy
Intention for Yoga Practice: To quiet my mind & focus on the breath
Favorite Pose: Headstand – I love being upside down and creating space in my body by stretching my feet to the sky and grounding through my arms
Favorite Song for Yoga: For What It’s Worth (India Dub) by DJ Drez – Perfect balance of classic rock and Indian music
What Inspires Me: People who work everyday to make the world a better place for all beings (people and animals)
How long practice yoga and how improved life: I have been practicing yoga for 16 years. It has improved my life by allowing me to slow down and feel grateful and at peace.
I would like the donation to be made to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. They were one of only a few who were willing to take in the dogs who were victims of Michael Vick and the terrible torture he inflicted on them. Best Friends showed the dogs there are good people in the world who cared about them and loved them. They also take in all types of animals in need of love and care.

6 Tips to Spring Clean the GREEN Way!

In honor of one of our favorite holidays (Earth Day, of course!) we’re encouraging all of you eco-friendly yogis to donate or give away 31 items – one for each day of April + an extra for Earth Day on April 22nd.
As you’re looking for items to donate, remember that some items need to disposed of in a special way. Here are some tips to declutter the GREEN way!

  1. Do not throw hazardous waste in the trash. Batteries should be taken to a battery recycling collection location. Here’s a list of locations in Manhattan Beach!
  2. Ink cartridges are 100% recyclable. Get discounts when you take them to Office Depot!
  3. Do not throw away large items, electronics including televisions and computers. These should be taken to an e-waste site. Manhattan Beach Waste Management can help!
  4. Before throwing away furniture, consider placing it in your yard for one day with a “FREE!” sign. You might be surprised!
  5. Donate clothing, books and gently used furniture. Places like (who then donates items to veterans!) and the Salvation Army will come pick most items up from your house! Schedule a pickup rather than throwing them away. Minimal effort so you can use that energy for more yoga 😉
  6. Consider repurposing something you’re thinking about tossing. Buying new items not only wastes more in the manufacturing process, it also requires packaging that can generate a tremendous amount of unneeded garbage. Give yourself a fun weekend project! (Don’ worry, you can still count it in your 31 items.)

Consider yourself challenged! Donate or recycle 31 items this month. Go above and beyond (as all Green Yogis tend to do!) and don’t throw anything in the trash…upcycle! Snap a photo of your items and post it on Instagram (don’t forget to tag us so we see it). We’ll give one free class to anyone who posts! 
To help you with proper recycling and disposal, the city of Manhattan Beach has an Earth Day celebration at Polliwog Park and will be collecting gently used, clean, professional and casual clothes as well as used prescription glasses. They’ll also have battery and printer toner cartridge recycling. Clothing will be collected and available to swap at the new Earth Day Exchange booth this year. Any remaining items will be donated to a local charity!

Stressed? There's a breath for that.

Have a big presentation at work? Taking a test? Blind date? Trying something new?
Whatever induces anxiety and stress in your life, we all need ways to cope with our emotions. Surprise, surprise, yoga has a cure for us!
quotes about breathing and breath
Watch The Green Yogi’s Matt Rothert demonstrate Anuloma Viloma, or alternate nostril breathing, an effective breathing exercise that calms the mind, brings balance to the left and right brain hemispheres, and truly melts away stress.

How do you find time for breath work each day?