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By Valeria Hinojosa, Features Editor

VALERIA YOGA 3We’ve all heard the saying “Yoga is 99% practice, and 1% theory” but it’s not until we place our feet on our mats that we begin to truly grasp the truth behind it. I was introduced to the world of yoga over seven years ago. To be honest, it wasn’t until three years ago that I actually began to enjoy it. Before that, it always felt as if time went by too slow and I even remember getting frustrated because my muscles were stiff and my spine had no idea what elasticity meant. That changed once I started working in the corporate world and suddenly my health began to beg for yoga. Sitting on a chair for hours every day puts a lot of pressure on your hips and spine, and within a few months my back screamed for help. That right there was my tipping point. I immediately signed up at the nearest yoga studio and my yoga journey came to life: From taking two yoga classes per week, to becoming a certified yoga instructor, practicing every single day. My recommendation to all of you yogis and yogis-in-the-making, try to practice at least for ten minutes every day. It doesn’t have to be the whole hour or 90 minutes (of course, if you have the time, by all means practice an entire sequence) but whatever length of time you can dedicate yourself to, do so fully. By practicing every day you build a discipline and that’s extremely important in yoga. And lastly, BREATHE! Breathing is everything! Through every asana on your mat, and in life off your mat. Breathing calms your nerves, calms your body and calms your mind.

While practicing your Asanas, you’ll want to be kitted out head-to -toe in eco-friendly but stylish yoga gear. Here are a few planet-loving brands that will make your practice a little smoother while also making a difference in our world

Yoloha Yoga: A brand that designs yoga mats and props from cork and recycled tires. Cork is a renewable natural source that comes from cork oak trees. The process this brand uses is focused on stripping the bark of trees by hand every nine years. Not a single tree is cut down. This process also helps trees absorb up to five times more carbon dioxide helping trees regenerate their bark faster. Lastly, Yoloha also uses recycled rubber tires to make the backing of the yoga mats. It doesn’t get more eco than this, and the cork material makes all products non-slippery and more durable! Our favorite products: The Mendhi Yoga Mat ($119), the wheel ($149. Great for back bending!) and the flask ($54).

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InnerFire Yoga: Yoga pants are known for being comfy and looking great but this brand is taking them to the next level by designing beautiful yoga wear from recycled plastic bottles (BPA free) and other eco-friendly fibers and materials. They are also all sweatshop-free and InnerFire donates a portion of the sales to the School Fund- an organization that helps facilitate micro-financed educational scholarships for youth in developing countries. Our faves: The lotus legging and the goddess legging. ($88)

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Gurus: An eco brand that makes yogi flip-flops from renewable natural rubber, and plants a tree for each pair purchased. Our faves: All of them! Pick your color. ($30-$35)

PortdeBras: This brand has just opened its online doors to the world. Elegant, colorful, comfortable and eco-friendly yoga wear. Our Faves: Emilie bra ($68) and the Letitia Bra ($78).

VALERIA_YOGAWEAR_COCO_ECONamaste, Friends!