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Yoga Show Contest - Friday, March 31, 2017
Sign up for our newsletter and enter our sweepstakes

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Everybody Bends Sweepstakes - Wednesday, March 15, 2017

EVERYBODY BENDS CANADA SWEEPSTAKES

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Who needs yoga? Honestly, we all do. Teachers, doctors, car mechanics, CEOs, athletes, farmers – every last one of us can benefit from building strength, gaining flexibility, and finding a bit of calm in the day.

So let’s make that happen.

Join us the month of January for a special sweepstakes to celebrate Gaiam’s personal mantra of Everybody Bends: that yoga is accessible to everyone — every age, shape, size, gender and ethnicity.

SWEEPS DATES

March 15, 2017 – April 30, 2017

HOW IT WORKS

Get on your mat

Snap a photo of your favorite yoga pose

Upload your photo to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook

Share with us what yoga means to you in your body

Use the hashtag #EverybodyBendsCanada and tag @GaiamCA

Sign up to our newsletter for an extra entry.  


THE PRIZES

2 x $200 gift card to Gaiam Canada 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Contest begins 7:00am MST on 3/15/17 and ends 11:59pm MT 4/30/17. Open to legal residents of Canada 18+. For more information, please contact us at: info@gaiam.ca.



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Go Canada! Yoga, meditation & the Olympic games. - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

As of today Canada has 4 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals in the 2014 Winter Olympics. An incredible accomplishment that athletes have been training years (or in some cases) their whole lives to achieve. Aside from obvious dedication and incredible workout routines many athletes also practice yoga and meditation. Yoga is an excellent way to loosen tight muscles, increase body awareness and to calm nerves during competition. Through meditation one can learn to be more focused - in competition this mental focus and ability to block out distractions can make all the difference.

 

Even if we aren’t Olympic athletes we can use yoga and meditation in our own lives to improve our health and achieve our goals. Check out this great article on 4 mental exercises Olympic athletes use to gain that extra edge. If you need some inspiration check out this article on how two of our fellow Canadians (Ryan Fry and Mercedes Nicoll) train and catch a glimpse of some workout photos from Sochi (Wow! Look at how much weight Kaillie Humphries is squatting!)

 

What a great Olympic games this has been for Canada! Keep fit and finish strong! And keep up the yoga!



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February is Heart Month - Valentine's Sale - Thursday, February 06, 2014


Here at Gaiam.ca the month of February reminds us how much we LOVE YOGA… It’s Heart Month and yoga helps keep our hearts healthy. In addition to being a great physical activity yoga benefits the heart by helping to reduce stress and inflammation. Yoga can also help lower blood pressure. Find out what Yoga Journal has to say about Yoga and Heart Health and LOVE your yoga practice!

To celebrate Heart Month we are putting all of our heart themed items on sale. We are also featuring our Mayo Clinic heart health DVD as part of our sale this week.

With Valentine’s day also approaching, we thought we’d sweeten your yoga practice and discount all of our red and pink items! Our top-selling Red Sol mat is only $60! 

Sale prices vary by item and are for a limited time only – order now through Feb 14thDon’t forget – orders over $75 (before tax) qualify for free shipping.

We leave you with some Valentine's Day inspired articles you may find interesting:

Can eating chocolate help you lose weight? 

20 Simple Ways to Get Happy

Be happy, healthy and fit and enjoy some chocolate!




 

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Workout Wednesdays! Goodbye January... - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Only a few days left in the challenge (and January) so mix it up and find more time in your day to squeeze fitness and healthy habits into your life.


Day 28 - If you want an efficient workout try interval training. Try sitting on a ball chair at your desk, it will help you engage your core muscles and improve your posture. Get some free weights to lift while you watch TV. Add in stairs or extra walking distance whenever you can. Take time to get up and stretch at your desk. Fit in a quick workout at lunch. It all adds up. Here are 10 easy suggestions from Fitness magazine.

Day 29 - If you've been working out for the past few weeks (or longer) look at your current routine and increase it. Add a few minutes per week. Add a few more reps or another set. Hold your yoga poses a little longer and move into them a little deeper. If you have hit an exercise plateau or things are starting to feel easy there is room to keep improving. Here are 13 smart ways to increase your intensity.

Day 30 - Make a list of healthy swaps you can do and start acting on them until they become automatic for you. Here are a few we love: spinach for iceberg lettuce, airpopped popcorn for chips or the microwave kind, stairs instead of escalators, water instead of juice, herbal tea instead of another cup of coffee, a workout and meditation instead of TV... you get it. Now make your own list!

Day 31 - Stop, reflect and relax today! Whether you've been a superstar this month or just started to look for ways to improve yourself you are moving in the right direction. If you have had some setbacks don't give up. 

As you start/continue your exercise routine always make sure to keep in touch with how you are feeling.  Don't ignore injuries and make sure you consult with your physician and other health experts for advice and support.

Stay healthy, motivated and fit! Keep in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know what's working for you! We love success stories!
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Week #3 - January challenge & healthy living tips - Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Hope you are all feeling inspired today. If you are new to what's been going on with the January challenge you can catch up on the other blog entries here

Day 21 - Adopt more green habits in your life. Make a conscious choice to buy enviromentally friendly products and create less waste. Invest in house plants that will clean the air you breathe. Studies suggest that being more in tune and respectful of the environment actually makes you happier. Find 10 helpful and easy tips here.


Day 22 - If you don't already have a morning exercise/meditation routine try it. Set your alarm 30 minutes to an hour early and hop out of bed before you can convince yourself otherwise. If you get your workout done first thing in the morning you won't have all day to come up with excuses not to do it. Dr. Oz does a 7 minute morning routine combining yoga and strength training. You can find 7 minutes!

Day 23 - Make green your favourite colour. Add a healthy salad or lightly steamed greens to your diet every day.

Day 24 - Set up a home workout area for days when you can't make it out. No more excuses. A basic starting kit would include a mat and a few hand weights.  Yoga straps and videos are also great tools for home workouts. You may find this works so well that you don't need a gym membership!

Day 25 - Plan a fitness or healthy reward for yourself to keep your eyes on the goal. A new pair of runners, a cooking class, a healthy getaway, a pedicure to show off your toes in yoga class or a dinner at your favourite healthy restaurant.

Day 26 - To reach your reward assign a monetary value  or work with a points system to track your progress. You can add a marble to a jar each time you work out, brown bag a healthy lunch, find time to meditate, etc. A friend of mine keeps a gratitude jar filled with notes about what she is grateful for. The visual of a jar full of marbles showing your accomplishments or papers showing how much you have to be grateful for sends a strong message.

Day 27 - Even if you aren't a vegetarian plan one meat free day a week. You may have heard of Meat Free Monday? Eating vegetarian you're more likely to meet your daily vegetable/fruit requirements and you'll benefit from the healthy fiber and nutrients provided by the extra veggies in your diet. You may also find some extra money in your wallet.

Hope you have found some helpful tips in our blog this January ... We would love to hear from you and share ideas!

Have a great week! Be healthy!


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Workout Wednesdays & Week 3 of our January Challenge! - Wednesday, January 15, 2014


We're already halfway through January and 15 days into the New Year’s Challenge! On average it takes about 4 weeks of consistent exercise for people to start seeing changes in their shape. What are you finding challenging or inspiring? Make sure you connect with us on Facebook or Twitter to share.


Day 15 – Get outdoors this winter and do some exercise. Breathing recycled indoor air isn’t healthy and helps explain why colds and the flu thrive during the winter season. Getting outside benefits your immune system. 


Day 16 – Find the balance in your exercise routine through cross-training. This is specific to YOU. If you run or do weight training adding yoga and stretching will benefit you immensely. If you already do yoga and meditate why not add some cardio and strength training? Even if you don’t like these other activities (yet) – try them.


Day 16 – Maybe you tried yoga once upon a time and thought it wasn’t for you? It’s not a one size fits all sport, there are different kinds of yoga. Explore until you find your happy and peaceful place. 


Day 17 – In addition to keeping a food journal, keeping a journal of gratitude has been proven to make you happier and healthier. This powerful yet simple practice will cost nothing except a few minutes of your time. 


Day 18 – Speaking of food journals… did you keep one for a week? Did it offer insight into areas you can improve upon? Today’s challenge is to think about food differently. Food is fuel. If you do not nourish your body regularly with vitamins and nutrients you will run out of energy. Do some research on raw foods and superfoods, then work to incorporate more of these into your diet. 


Day 19 – Today’s task is to learn something new. Read some articles on yoga and fitness or watch some good health related documentaries. Do whatever motivates you to keep moving and improving. No matter how much you already know you can always learn more.


Day 20 – Work with visuals… whether you’ve been working out for a while and are proud of your progress or you are new to exercise, taking a photo of yourself NOW is a good reference point. In 6 months, after you’ve continued to work hard, you can look back and see the result of your efforts.  You can find other helpful progress tracking hints to keep you accountable and on course in this article.


Okay, you are working hard to make positive changes… Now here’s the fun stuff. Gaiam Canada will be having a Facebook party at the end of the month - Jan 29th to be exact. We will be giving away a Hot Yoga Kit valued at $120. More details to follow as we get closer to the date. Until then keep working at it. You are worth it!


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January 2014 - Week #2! - Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Hope everyone is off to a good start this New Year and on this sunny (but cold) Workout Wednesday! Have you set your goals and intentions for 2014?

Here are this week's tips and challenges:

Day 8 - Drink more water. Don't underestimate the
benefits of drinking water. If you have recently started working out you need to increase your intake to account for excess fluids you are sweating out. If you have started eating healthier or have done a cleanse water will help flush toxins from your system.

Day 9 - Keep a food diary for at least 1 week. This will help you identify areas you need to improve upon and keep you accountable.
Keeping a daily food log could be your secret weapon to weight loss success

Day 10 - Find some music to motivate you. Watching TV in the background or reading a book may help distract you but a good playlist can help you focus and work harder. Do a search and you will find someone out there has
compiled a list you will enjoy working out to.

Day 11 - Flash back to the past... when you were younger what activities did you enjoy? If you loved skiing, snowboarding, skipping or hula hooping revisit those activities... working out doesn't always have to feel like work.

Day 12 - Okay, you've visited the past now try something new. Last week it was a new vegetable or food, this week find a new exercise. Try a new class or rent some snowshoes or skis and get outdoors. Variety will keep you motivated.

Day 13 - Change your perspective. Think of yourself as an athlete and a role model for others.
Read why this is important and how it works.

Day 14 - Replace a bad habit with a good one. If you skip breakfast add a healthy juice or shake. If you snack at night eat cut up veggies. When you've mastered one positive change keep improving.

Have a healthy and successful week! 


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Happy New Year! - Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Did you wake up this morning and make a list of resolutions for 2014? If so, you're not alone... it's estimated up to 40% of Americans make resolutions each year. But without permanent change in your behaviour and lifestyle you're setting yourself up for failure.

So, instead of making resolutions why not take a new approach? To kick off 2014 we'll be doing a challenge on
Facebook with realistic weekly challenges, no matter what your current exercise level is or what your goals are, you can benefit from our helpful tips.

Here's what week one looks like:

Day 1 - Acknowledge and accept where you are at this very moment. Don't focus on negative feelings but look for the positives in your life. Think of all the things you have accomplished over the past year.

Day 2 - Take immediate achievable steps to better your health. Schedule check-ups with your Doctor, Dentist, Optometrist... Think about what you're eating. Rather than dieting focus on unprocessed foods. If you're new to exercise it's as easy as taking a walk in the park.

Day 3 - Set measurable goals that don't involve the
scale. If you are doing weight training you may actually see a slight increase in your body weight, as you start to gain lean muscle mass and loss body fat... so the scale is not a good indicator of your success.
 
Day 4 - Make a game plan. Look into classes you would like to join.
Recruit a friend to work out with you, this will improve your chances of sticking with exercise. Buy some DVDs so you can work out in the comfort of your home.

Day 5 - If you're not already practicing add meditation and yoga to your routine. Yoga will immediately start to change you from the day you begin. Not convinced? Read this
article

Day 6 - Try a new vegetable or fruit today. If you enjoy cooking find a recipe that incorporates this new food. 

Day 7 - Celebrate the changes you are making. Remember that change is a process that is very individual and
habit formation is not immediate. 

Wishing you a happy, healthy and fit 2014! Stay tuned for next week's tips on Workout Wednesday. 




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Exercise consistency matters - Thursday, December 12, 2013

If you're feeling exhausted and overbooked this December you're not alone. It can be difficult to fit exercise into your calendar and getting off course can leave you feeling discouraged. 

 

Remember prioritizing exercise will benefit you throughout the day. You'll have more energy, feel positive (thanks to endorphins) and less guilty about festive meals (you'll also be less inclined to overindulge). Exercise consistency is important for your physical and mental health. Cardiovascular endurance, flexibility and muscular strength all increase gradually. We do not become athletes overnight, it is only through effort and consistency that we achieve optimal health.

 

So, find a few minutes, even on your busiest day... a morning yoga practice in your PJs, a brisk walk with family or short 5-10 bursts of exercise wherever you can find them.

 

Wishing you a healthy, happy and fit holiday season. 


Namaste

 

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