25 green vacations that are just right for summer!

unnamed“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.  -Henry David Thoreau

At Stretchery we believe that being green and sustainable can be a part of every aspect of your life from what you cook and consume, to what you wear to even your vacations! As we all roll into summer we wanted to give you some ideas for trips that are not only fun but support you and your family’s and friends’ lifestyle.

The perfect place to start is with the Rainforest Alliance. If you want to feel certain about the hotel you will be staying in, look for hotels that are Rainforest Alliance Certified. Not only do all certified hotels have minimal impact on the environment they go the extra mile to ensure that their business supports the local community and benefits the ecosystem and wildlife that surrounds the location. The Rainforest Alliance can also guide you towards outdoor adventures and tours that are based on green business practices.

Listed below are 25 green vacations waiting for you to explore!

  • Rancho La Puerta, Mexico
  • Blue Lagoon, Iceland
  • Stanford Inn, Mendocino Coast, California
  • The Kasbah du Toubkal, Morocco
  • Nimmo Bay Resort, British Columbia
  • Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Costa Rica
  • Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos Islands
  • Singita Lebombo Lodge in South Africa
  • Arctic Kingdom
  • Treebones Resort, California
  • Assiniboine Lodge, Canada
  • Cunucu Arubiano, Aruba
  • Mahali Mzuri, Africa
  • Sundance Resort, Utah
  • The Colony Hotel, Maine
  • The Woodstock Inn, Vermont
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Fregate Island, Seychelles
  • Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort
  • Heron Island Resort, Australia
  • Movenpick Resort Bangtao Beach, Phuket
  • Milia Mountain Retreat, Greece
  • Wolwedans in NamibRand Nature Reserve

If you’re not in a place where you have the financial capability or time to get away from work or family for a long vacation, there are still options! Day trips to nearby parks, campgrounds, rivers and lakes can make for a wonderful getaway! Pack a picnic with all of your favorites (remember to bring a trash bag to clean up after yourself!) and spend some time outdoors with a book, meditate to the sounds of nature, and give yourself a break from the constant hustle and bustle to be at one with yourself and the beauty around you.

At Stretchery we want what is best for you and our environment and a green getaway or vacation is just the right thing for summer, enjoy!

Let’s declutter this EARTH DAY!

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“Your body is the temporary temple of your Spirit. What you keep around you in the extended temple of your home needs to change as you change and grow, so that it reflects who you are. So get into the habit of leaving a trail of discarded clutter in your wake, and start to think of it as a sign of your progression!”  – Karen Kingston

We’ve all been guilty of it…hanging on to something for so long that we don’t know why we have it anymore. As we make our way to Earth Day this year, I want to remind you that decluttering your closet can be one of the ways you work towards developing a green closet. There are many personal and societal benefits to decluttering and sustainable fashion, something that we feel strongly about at Stretchery as we have made it our mission to provide socially responsible and sustainable active wear.

Benefits of Decluttering:

  • The more you have the more energy you have to put towards maintaining ALL those things, keeping you from putting energy into relationships and what you are passionate about.
  • Cleaning out your closet gives you the opportunity to give back to your community. Set a pile aside for items you can donate to community organizations, homeless shelters or the Salvation Army.
  • Decluttering allows you to focus on the most current version of yourself. Make an active decision to let go of things that no longer represent who you are and who you want to be.

Benefits of Sustainable Fashion:

  • When you buy organic, sustainable and eco-friendly fashion items you know that you’re not only buying a quality product, but it was made in a way that is better for the environment.
  • Buying fair trade products also supports smaller and local businesses that share the same passion for quality products as you.
  • It’s better for you! Standard dyes have high levels of carcinogens, that’s why at Stretchery we only use eco-friendly dyes on our products.

We know that taking the first steps towards decluttering and cleaning out your closet can be hard, so make it fun! Find friends to declutter with and when you find those gems in your closet that you don’t wear anymore but know your friends would love set up a trade night!

Starting with your closet is also a good way to set goals for other areas of decluttering in your life. View this as an opportunity to start making the changes you’ve always wanted to make!

At Stretchery, we support clean lifestyles and sustainable clothing and we want to help you work towards your goal of establishing a green closet so we are making a special offer that can be found just on this blog post! Please use SPECIAL OFFER CODE GREEN when you check out to receive 10% discount. Enjoy!

A balanced life

“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls – family, health, friends, and integrity – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” – Gary Keller

Now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays and new year are over and we are settling back into our routine, some of us may be finding ourselves a bit overwhelmed. Getting back to work or the daily grind of a normalized schedule and spending less time with our families can seem a bit much right now. It is important in these moments to find balance in our lives. Whether it be a work-life balance or balance between your needs and those who need you and are meaningful to you. Being the best version of yourself, for you and for those you love, requires balance.

It is important to remember that if you’re going to be the best at work, the best partner in a relationship, the best mother or father, the best friend, the best yogi, or the best worker that you can be, you have to take care of yourself and ensure your wants and needs are met. If we put too much pressure on ourselves to be the best at everything, we will inevitably leave ourselves behind and all aspects of our life will begin to suffer.

There are a couple things I want you to do:

Think about something that is important to you and write it down on a post-it note and place it somewhere visible. Whatever you have written down on the post-it, I want you to dedicate at least 20 minutes of each day to it with no interruptions. If this means meditating or a form of reflection, spending time with your kids, having “me” time…I want you to do it every day for one week. Once the week is done, reflect on how you feel. Are you gaining a sense of balance? Are there more things you want to dedicate yourself to?

Another thing I want you to do during this week is practice awareness. During a lunch break at work or a moment alone at home or out running errands, take the time to slow down and really SEE the world around you. For 10 minutes I want you to focus on your surroundings. Not only see, but notice all the different colors around you; see the things you may have missed before because you were too busy focusing on the next meeting or getting your errands done; listen to the sounds around you and how the make you feel. Take these 10 minutes every day for one week and see how more mindful and self-aware you have become.

At Stretchery, balance is a part of what we do. Our goal is to create products that balance our passion for sustainability and products that fit the daily grind. Products that can move with us and allow us to feel good about wearing them as much as we love wearing them. Let your Stretchery products be a reminder to seek and maintain balance in your life!

Why Stretchery Crop Pants?

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Action is the difference maker. Remember that. If you’re ready to take a big step forward, seek an open door. When you find it, go in bold and make it count.   -Simon Black

Tugging, pulling and adjusting is the last thing you want to be doing while exercising, trying to hold a pose or moving through your busy day. We’ve all been there… you finally get into that pose or stride you’ve been reaching for and instead of being able to focus you are distracted by the shirt that won’t stay still or the pants that ride up. At Stretchery we understand the importance of being able to move comfortably and breathe in your activewear. Our activewear has natural, organic fibers that allow for ease of movement and helps to wick away sweat when you’re working hard. The natural cotton we use is such a great fabric, you will never feel itchy or have to worry about the smell associated with working and playing hard. You will feel comfortable and confident all day!

The Tally to Trim line is a contemporary stylization of the ancient method of counting-Tally Marks! We love the message of our tally marks and the reminder that counting is essential in all physical practices. The one-two of breathing in and out, the seven seconds of conscious breathing, the counting of reps as we grow stronger. It is all about making each move COUNT!

One of our favorite items from the Tally to Trim line is our crop pant! The mid-rise crop hugs your hips and sides without being too constraining around the belly, allowing for a comfortable fit. The lean fit around your calves and organic material will move with you and never against you, we shape our products to move with you! The crop pant is the perfect addition to your collection of breathable, movable and confidence-building fitness gear with a beautiful and abstract design that reminds you to make it count!

At Stretchery we want to be with you along the way, providing you activewear that advocates a lifestyle of breath, movement, continued improvement and self-love. Let us be a part of what really counts to you!

Setting intentions for this winter

Intentions lead to behavior which leads to habits which leads to personality development which leads to destiny – Jack Kornfield

The holidays are such an exciting time of year. Spending time with our families, closing out projects at work, cooking big beautiful meals and taking time to get away with the ones we love. The holidays signal a closing of one year and excitement for the next and what is yet to come,  with many reflecting on their goals for the following year. Here at Stretchery, we want to help you set your intentions and be the best version of you! Intentions are similar to goals, but rather than seeking an outcome you set intentions to bring alignment between your mind and heart.

To help you set your intentions, we want you to think about certain areas of your life:

  • What matters most to you?
  • What would you like to nurture in your life?
  • What would you like to let go of?
  • Who would you like to forgive in your life?
  • What fears would you like to release?

When setting your intentions remember to keep it positive! Even when facing forgiveness or areas of fear, shape your intention with positivity. Rather than saying, “My intention is to forgive that jerk who ruined our friendship”, frame the intention positively: “My intention is to allow forgiveness in my heart and open myself to rebuilding past friendships”. Framing your intentions in this manner aligns with objective of setting intentions to better ourselves.

Our intention here at Stretchery is to have a clothing line for consumers who seek connections with the things they do. To make fashion meet fitness and to make fashion meet sustainability. When you wear our products we want you to remember our intention with the company and to remember yours!

Power of Hugs!

diwali1016_103016_0023“You know that moment when you hug somebody, when your heart feels warm and high in your chest and tingly? When you feel just for a second like a baby in a womb… that nothing matters? That’s how I want you to feel.”  – Jake Vander Ark

Hugging can help people feel more connected to one another and has an emotional power that you can feel when a loved one hugs you. BUT – it also has the power to actually make you healthier, less susceptible to common colds and reduce stress!

The power of hugs derives from Oxytocin, which is released when people embrace one another. This Oxytocin is also known as “the bonding hormone”, as it is also released when a mother embraces her child for the first time. This powerful hormone can make people feel socially supported, allowing for immune systems to increase and fight off common colds. So just think, every time you hug a friend or loved one, you are making them healthier!

This natural release of the bonding hormone helps to reduce a person’s heart rate and lower blood pressure, which can positively influence the body and decrease stress. Who knew you could be so influential and powerful over the mental and physical health of your loved ones!

In moments of increased stressed, discomfort and depression our bodies react by increasing energy and molecular interaction in order to manage the overwhelming feelings being released. Touch, in the form of hugs or rubbing someone’s back, helps to calm the body, reducing the levels of anxiety and sadness. If you are uncomfortable with hugs, just know that holding hands or stroking someone’s back has just as much power and it can be a great gift to a person in need.

At Stretchery, we believe in the power of hugs and design our clothes to hug your body just right! We want to make pieces that make you feel supported and comfortable in your day to day tasks and when you’re working hard! We believe that social support is a critical aspect of a happy and fulfilled life, and if our clothing can remind you of that-than our job is done!

My challenge to you is this: every time you wear a piece from Stretchery, make it a point to hug someone that day. Let our collection remind you of this powerful gift you hold and how much it can positively affect those you love!

Seven seconds of conscious breathing.

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” Thich Nhat Hanh

I want you to take a moment to breathe in for a count of three, hold your breath for one count and breathe out for a count of three….didn’t that feel good? How you feel now from seven seconds of conscious breathing.

In what can feel like a hectic and time-consuming world, we often forget to just breathe sometimes. We work hard, we devote ourselves to family and friends, and we strive to better ourselves. There’s always emails to send, texts to reply to and phone calls to make and take. It can all be overwhelming at times, but just remember to not leave yourself behind and allow the stresses of the world to consume you.

All those moments in life when you feel so overwhelmed by work, your home life, or school just stop and breathe. Close your eyes and take the time for yourself. Don’t focus on the stress, you’ve earned this moment so take it! Be calm and let your breath restore you. If you need to take a few sets of breaths that’s okay! Our hearts beating and our lungs taking air are the basic physical functions that give of us life. So remember that every time you take those few seconds to focus on breath you are restoring yourself.

Sometimes taking a restorative moment, even if it is just for seven seconds, can change everything and give you new perspective. Seven seconds and you can gain clarity on a problem you’ve had a hard time solving, have that “Aha!” moment in those seven seconds! Seven seconds and you can feel anger or stress fade away. Seven seconds and you can find the best way to deliver a message. Seven seconds and you can feel like yourself again. All you need is those seven seconds to just make things better sometimes.

At Stretchery, we understand the importance of conscious breathing and make it a part of all of our products. Our organic cotton allows your body to breathe as you work hard throughout the day and through your workout. Let us be your anchor and reminder for conscious breath when you’re working and playing hard.

5 fun facts you didn’t know about YOGA

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  1. Largest Yoga Lesson – New Delhi was the first city to host the largest yoga lesson in the world. Involving 35,985 participants, the event was organized by the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India (India) on the occasion of the first International Day of Yoga, at Rajpath, New Delhi, India, on 21 June 2015. The event was organized on a 1.4 km segment of the iconic Rajpath in the centre of New Delhi with LED screens streaming live images of four instructors on the main stage. The event included about 5000 school children, 5000 national cadet corps, 5000 central army forces, 1200 women police officers, 5000 union ministers, diplomats and foreign nationals and 15000 people from yoga institutions.
  2. DOGA – “Doga” is a type of yoga in which people use yoga to achieve harmony with their pets. Dogs can either be used as props for their owners or they can do the stretches themselves. It reportedly started in New York in 2002 when Suzi Teitelman started “Yoga for Dogs.”
  3. Yoga Keeps You Young – Yoga is your answer to looking more youthful. A consistent yoga practice helps reverse processes that happen as our body ages, such as increased oxidation and acidity, cell damage and inflamed tissues, which can all lead to illness and disease over time. Research has shown that a consistent yoga practice helps decrease all these conditions for better long-term health, not to mention younger-looking skin.
  4. Yoga Promotes Mindful Eating – The regular practice of yoga can reduce food cravings, and subsequently, the habit of overeating. A University of Washington study claims that this happens because yoga increases the awareness of the physical and emotional sensations associated with eating.
  5. People Do It Nude – “Hot nude yoga” is a thing. And while it’s a little too racy, lots of people are jumping on the bare-it-all bandwagon and raving about the experience. Some yogis claim these classes “deepen their yoga practice, encourage ultimate appreciation, acceptance and love for their bodies, and also build intimate bonds with people in their yoga community.”

Ways to wear workout gear

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I read this quote the other day – Don’t let anyone tell you that leggings aren’t pants – you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.

Look around you and tell me what people are wearing around you. Think about how high heels have become passé and people have adopted sneakers and high tops for footwear and swapped expensive jeans for leggings. Workout gear has evolved a lot since the 70’s with moisture wicking fabrics, sweat proof technology built into fabrics and fit wear that actually claims to sculpt that derriere into shape while you wear it. It is no longer synonymous with boring tees, yoga pants, shorts ands strictly functional sportswear.

This trend was born out of functionality and necessity but also because people the world over are looking after their bodies now more than ever and want to focus on leading healthier lives. It is convenient and makes sense because you no longer need to lug an extra outfit to work when all you need to do is style your work wardrobe into a gym wardrobe with a few tweaks.

For some of us, athleisure is a trend that we hope will grow in leaps and bounds because there’s absolutely nothing comfier than wearing yoga pants or workout leggings. What exactly is athleisure, you might ask?

Since brands like Lululemon Athletica, Under Armour, Victoria’s Secret become wardrobe staples in and out of the gym, athleisure has become serious business even among high end designers with everyone embracing the trend. Retailers all over the world teamed up with well-known designers to create functional fitwear that you could wear outside our gym or workout class. Athleisure is an all encompassing trend that describes ‘apres sport’ or ‘gym to office’ clothes. Well, if social media and fashion blogs are anything to go by – we’ve got Victoria Secret models, Gigi Hadid, Gwen Stefani, Kendal and Kylie Jenner and just about any fashionista sporting the sports meets street style look. You would’ve seen influencers sport sneakers and high tops to the runway, evening soirees as they team it up with coats and blazers. Net-a-porter launched a clever Net-a-Sporter division last year to cater to this growing need of fitwear and outerwear everywhere. India has also seen an increase in homegrown brands adopting the idea of athleisure and eco conscious fit wear. Ethical clothing brands such as Stretchery make working out exciting, while you are doing your bit for the environment too.

To me, athleisure is a trend where balance is extremely crucial. There are several ways you can wear workout wear this year.

  • You can wear leggings with crop tops or bralettes for yoga.
  • Leggings and pair it with a nice jacket and high tops to work and meetings.
  • Add sneakers like Adidas Originals with a sexy black dress and a well tailored, fitted overcoat
  • Wear a dress with high tops and a fitted workout jacket
  • When in doubt, pick black leggings with white high tops and a crop top or a nice top and a well tailored jacket
  • Layering is extremely crucial and stick to neutrals like black, white and grey that are easy to pair and accessorize.
  • Wear a Stretchery racerback with fitted leggings or leggings and a nice cover up or jacket

I think that it’s absolutely fabulous that athleisure is becoming more and more mainstream. If you invest in quality workout clothes, fitness accessories, high tops and expensive sneakers – it’s great to be able to wear it to work or an evening out with friends. So long skinny jeans and fitted trousers, I am happy to lounge around in a yoga shirt and leggings. Grab a few of these online and you’ll a new shirt for every day of the week and you get to play around with looks and combinations. Head over to stretchery.com and pick a style that works for you. I personally love their racerbacks. Staying fit has never been so much fun.

12 pre and post workout snacks

20140530Strechery Campaign461-EditHave you ever had weeks where you have trained consistently and been your absolute best but you are unable to see the results and you still have that muscle soreness that should have disappeared a while ago? Well, we’ve all been there. In an attempt to look our best in a short span of time we have all tried to skimp on our calories and our carbs hoping that it will deliver results faster. However, this is a terrible mistake that ends up wreaking havoc on your metabolism and does more harm than good. Your body is like a well oiled machine and it needs to be serviced at regular intervals in order to work optimally. Without food or fuel, the body is unable to perform and deliver the results you’ve been waiting for.

I have always maintained that diet is extremely crucial in promoting longevity, staying fit and maintain a lean body. No amount of exercise can outweigh the benefits of a healthy diet and I know some of you might disagree for now but you can’t outrun a bad diet. It will show on you one day or another in your skin, face and eventually on your body.

Our bodies expend a lot of calories during exercise whether it is resistance training, cardio, body weight training or a sport like football. You lose a lot of fluid, valuable electrolytes and end up tearing muscle fiber that needs time and nutrition to heal and recover to yield results. A solid pre and post nutrition plan that is balanced can alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), fatigue and prevent injury.

Pre workout snack options shouldn’t be too heavy because it becomes too difficult to workout when you are too full. If you are lactose intolerant, avoid any milk or dairy based whey protein or anything with a dairy derivative as it will cause cramping, gas and gastric distress. Ideally, a pre workout snack should be consumed 30-60 minutes prior to workout to yield good results. A good pre workout snack should be able to serve multiple purposes of hydrating the body, boost metabolism, speed up muscle recovery and provide sustained energy release like slow digesting carbs. They should be ideally a mix of slow digesting carbohydrates (low GI) with a good protein source. Some people recommend caffeine very highly as they believe that a cup of joe helps promote alertness and boost their metabolism. If you are otherwise jittery or prone to palpitations, avoid the coffee right before a cardio workout. Here are six pre-workout snack solutions:

  1. Almond butter and apple slices
  2. Boiled eggs
  3. Smoothie
  4. Oats with peanut or almond butter
  5. A banana with a tbsp of nut butter
  6. A fruit and some cheese or cottage cheese

Post workout snack options are easier because your body needs to refuel and you need a calorific snack to help with muscle growth and recovery and prevent muscle soreness. You should ideally consume a high protein source with some healthy fats and carbs within two hours of your workout to see results. Here are six post-workout snack solutions:

  1. Protein shake
  2. Boiled eggs on a toast
  3. Oatmeal and milk
  4. Tuna and rice crackers
  5. Chocolate milk or a banana milkshake
  6. A banana and a cup of coffee

Disclaimer – these snack solutions are samples for an otherwise fit individual but the quantity and your macros depend on the intensity of your workout and your goals.