YOGA: By the Browns, for the Browns.

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This is Aly, a 20 year old self-taught yogini!

Since I turned twenty-two this year, i’ve really been paying attention to all of my habits. As a birthday resolution I decided to rid myself of 1 bad habit and create 3 new positive ones: workout six days a week, learn how to play the guitar, and learn four new yoga poses per week. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about yoga when I first started, but since I’ve been getting my stretch-on. I feel better than ever! Thus, I decided to dive deeper into the practice and learn about the roots. What I found really surprised me!

History of Yoga:
For those of you who have never heard of Yoga, or for those of you who want to know more, it is defined as a physical, mental, and spiritual practice linked with Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain schools. Yoga presumably began in South India and has been mentioned in various vedic texts, the Hindu Upinishads, and the Pali Canon.



Yoga is popular among both men and women, and across all ages. It can be done outside, indoors, in a car, with weights or without.
Yoga has clearly been around for milleniums, even in the western world. Yoga gurus (instructors of the yoga practice) from India introduced their skills in the 19th and 20th centuries and is now a popular and effective form of physical exercise.
(For more info on the history of yoga, check out YogaJournal)


Benefits of Yoga:
The American Osteopathic Association (AOA)  says yoga is a “healing system of theory and practice”. Dr. Natalie Nevins (DO, board-certified osteopathic family physician) lists several benefits of yoga:

1. Increased flexibility, muscle strength, and tone
2. Improved respiration, energy, and vitality
3. A more balanced metabolism leading to weight loss
4. more

Goal of Yoga: 
People do yoga for a multitude of reasons: to lose weight, to achieve peace, to stretch after a workout, or just to try something new. The origins of yoga stem from the need to achieve “moksha“, the Sanskrit word for “liberation”. The way one applies moksha to the practice of yoga really depends on your own philosophy, be it religious or not.  All I know is, practicing yoga every day has allowed me to feel more free than I ever have before.

Yoga Resources:

1. YogaJournal - the #1 authority on Yoga and the Yoga Lifestyle; It is helpful for all kinds of practicers, beginners and advanced. They have their own magazine too!

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2. Yoga U Online – Yoga “University” for aches and pains, chronic diseases, emotional health, wellness, and longevity.


3. Instagram – surprisingly, Instagram is the social media home to real-life yogis all over the world! My favorite page is one by a 20 year old self-taught yogi, Aly. She completed the famous Kayla Itsines workout regimen and decided to teach herself the art of yoga. I love following Aly because not only is she a brown babe with some amazing moves, her leggings and sports bras are cuter than ever. Some of her photos are below!

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France likely to ban super skinny models

According to Reuters on March 16th 2015,  France’s government is likely to back a bill banning excessively thin fashion models as well as potentially fining the modelling agency or fashion house that hires them and sending the agents to jail, the health minister said on Monday. Italy, Spain and Israel had already adopted these measures in 2013.

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Isabelle Caro, an anorexic former French fashion model, died after posing for an awareness campaign

This is a measure that been taken to battle anorexia among teens and young adults.

The bill’s amendments also propose penalties for anything made public that could be seen as encouraging extreme thinness, notably pro-anorexia websites that glorify unhealthy lifestyles.

There has been an explosion in advertising and viral media in the last 30 years that has caused negative body image to be a problem in many parts of the world. Although there maybe those who are against government legislation in private sector, sometimes we need rules to protect us from ourselves.

Thanks to Reuters and The Tribune for details.

We need more dark brown men modeling!

During one of those nights, doing some research on content for Cinnamon Spirit, I wanted to blog about the variety of shades of women on the web. So my search criteria was “Asian Women” filtered by the color black.  This is what it returned …. So many different faces of women from Asia.


Doing the same for “Asian Men”… this is what it returned …Do you see where I am going with this?men

Know that you are beautiful, just the way you are.

The new face of Dark is Beautiful – Sharon Muthu

Sharon Muthu is an American actress, voice over artist and singer. In February she also became the ambassador to Hollywood for India’s “Dark is Beautiful” campaign.

sharon muthu 2Dark is beautiful is a campaign that was started in 2009 by the founder of Women of Worth, Kavitha Emmanuel. This campaign has been highly successful in effectively changing social practices, providing outreach programs and even changing literature and content  of advertising.

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Sharon Muthu has been part of TV shows such as Glee, Desperate House Wives and recently Blackish. You can also listen to her album Muse here …

It is very exciting to see more and more people getting involved in this movement to showcase the beauty of being you. In Sharon’s words…

“Know that you are beautiful, just the way you are.”