A tête-à-tête with Erika Lundberg


Erika is a yogini living in San Francisco, working in the Silicon Valley tech scene.  A lover SF Bay Area and its laid-back West coast vibe; her family moved to the valley when she was a kid and her parents are still nearby, which makes this home to her. Oldest of three girls and she is very close with her family, which also currently includes three family dogs.  Her background is Swedish and she visits her family there each summer, in addition to other various travel excursions as she loves exploring new parts of the world. She’s lived in four different countries and speaks three languages fluently, with the goal to learn more.  She both practices and teaches yoga, which keeps her young, limber and ready for anything life throws at her! 


What keeps you ‘Active’?

Most recently, my new dog Liesl has kept me up and running.  We live in an apartment in San Francisco, so it’s two flights of stairs and down the street to the park every 4 hours for a potty break!  That plus twice daily walks and play time basically makes her my personal cardio trainer, so I think we’re a great match for each other.

 It’s always important to me to be active no matter what though – I feel my best when I’ve had at least an hour of some kind of activity each day whether that’s yoga, another exercise class or even just a brisk walk.  Just knowing that I’ll feel my best afterward is enough to keep me moving.


What is one thing that you wish everyone would remind themselves every day?

Gratitude is a very powerful sentiment.  It’s something I try to remind myself of each day: how many blessings I have in my life, and how lucky I am for all the little things.  As we get caught up in our daily stressors and life’s hurdles, it’s easy to forget that having a roof over our heads, food on the table, and loved ones to hug makes us much more fortunate than a large portion of the world’s population.  Whenever things seem tough, I try to remind myself that all things shall pass, it could always be so much worse, and that I’m thankful for everything that HAS gone right – these are life’s blessings


Guilty Pleasure?

I hate to admit this, but I’m a big fan of dumb reality TV shows.  It’s just the perfect form of brainless entertainment after a long day!  I like to catch up on episodes of the Kardashians, the Bachelor/Bachelorette and 90-Day Fiancée with my roommates.  However, I think it’s important to realize that these shows are not actual “reality” and to only take them at face value for entertainment purposes. 

Would you call yourself a teacher or a student?

Both, but first and foremost I am a student – a student of yoga, a student of life, and so much more.  I believe we are all students, and I think it’s really important that our teachers never stop striving to acquire higher knowledge.  We always have so much more to learn from other people and their diverse experiences, and it’s through this learning process that we are best enabled to guide others, and even still ourselves. 


What inspires you?

Amazing human beings inspire me, and there are tons of them on this planet.  I’m inspired by those who overcome incredible odds; single mothers starting their own businesses, people with disabilities working to achieve what they were told they never could, and anyone else who pushes to thrive despite life’s hurdles.  I’m inspired by those who go out of their way to help others in times of need, and often those they don’t even know, like all the volunteers who have mobilized to help people and animals alike in the recent hurricane aftermaths.  It all comes back to gratitude and seeking light and opportunity when all seems dark.

Three items on your work desk?

1) Aloe plant: it was a birthday gift from my mom, and gives off the perfect calming vibe.

2) My “Fika” mug (Swedish word for an afternoon snack break) used as a pen holder: it reminds me of my roots and my family.

3) S’well water bottle: I drink tons of water throughout the day and am a big fan of the reusable bottle my sisters got for me.  I probably have to refill it 4-5 times per day!


What current fitness trend is your favorite?

I’ve been really into barre class lately!  It’s a great strength-training workout, and I’ve found it complements my yoga practice very nicely.  I think barre resonates with me so much because of the borrowed elements from ballet, which I danced for 13 years.  To me, any fitness regimen should be enjoyable and fit your style.  I’m still pulling for aerobics to make a comeback, it’s one of my all-time favorites!

Sustainability and You (II) A beginners guide to living with awareness


After our last post on why living sustain-ably is as good for you as it is for the planet, we felt like we should follow it up with a little note on simple ways to make sustainability a part of your daily life. Contrary to popular perception being sustainable is not about giving up on the things we love, it is about being aware of what is it that we love and how we can have healthier and more ecologically friendly versions of the same things. So here goes our piece on how living sustain-ably can be both fun and surprisingly easier than imagined.

Go back to the old days…and old ways
If you truly believe that people from your parents and grandparent’s generation were healthier, take a leaf out of their lifestyles. Add turmeric to your food instead of taking it in a capsule. Instead of buying expensive skin care products make your own from active ingredients in the kitchen. Ditch colas and fizzies for naturally cooling drinks like tender coconut water and aam panna in the summer and warm bowls of soup and lentils in the winter.
Living in tune with the seasons and making small adjustments to what you eat and drink helps us live with a greater sense of connect our environment and ultimately our bodies. What’s more, this is fun too. With a little bit of planning and the acquisition of simple skills like making preserves out of summer fruits and pickles out of winter vegetables, we can reduce our consumption of preservative laden packaged food and eat both healthier and lighter. Too busy to do this? Locate the closest organic store and browse their shelves or visit a farmer’s market or an artisanal fair and buy produce made by small businesses. Carry your own cloth bags when you go. Once you start thinking along these lines you will find ways to include it in your daily lives seamlessly.

Learn where it comes from and where it goes when you are done with it

So few us do know where the things we buy and consume, come from. But do you know where they land up in? Start by reading labels on things you are buying. Buying clothes? Opt for ethically sourced natural fibre. As an organic clothing label, we understand the impact of fast fashion on our wallets, bodies and the environment. Educate yourself. We have a host of blogs for you to know more. There are a host of videos online on the price of fast fashion and unaware consumerism. It is easier than ever today to make conscious choices in our consumption. Unlike what is commonly believed, it is not significantly more expensive and in the long run is probably more cost effective. Just like reading the label before buying spare a thought for what happens to products before trashing them. Donate, recycle and upcycle things instead of blindly tossing them into a bin. If you must

trash them, separate your trash. Kitchen waste can be put to organic manure for your garden by composting them in your own balcony.
Clothes, toys, books and linen can be given away in good condition to charities and NGOs. The longer you can keep products you have used – away from a landfill, the smaller you can keep your consumption footprint.

Shopping? – go local

Shop as locally as possible. Buy vegetables that are grown around a 100 km radius of where you live or within your state. Plan menus based on what is fresh and seasonal. Doing this not only helps you think more innovatively but makes you more aware of what you are eating making this an exercise for your brain as well as your body. Produce grown locally is low on carbon footprint with lesser fuel being consumed to transport it from the farm to your kitchen. Seasonal or organic vegetables mean lesser preservatives and local vegetables mean lesser packaging. The same goes for meat and grains. Buy that local fish instead of something flown across a continent or ocean. Try indigenous varieties of millet and grains. If you eat fast food or packaged food, try cutting back on one weekend a month for starters and see how you feel.

Wellness that is inclusive

While buying beauty and wellness products, remember we can be only as healthy as that of our immediate environment. The same goes for apparel, cosmetics or skincare. Buy, support, use and recommend products that are ethical and sustainable. Small steps towards educating yourself about brands that are cruelty free will open the doors to a whole plethora of brands that care for you as well as the planet. Stretchery for example not only promotes ethical sourcing but is also transparent about its process and the people it engages with. Very few indian brands can boast of that, but we hope there are many to come.

When it comes to beauty and wellness, no matter what promises are made on ads and labels, anything that is authentic and beneficial will take longer and works best when used consistently and with awareness. We are lucky to be living in a country with a tremendous bounty of natural herbs and ingredients that work like miracles for our skin & hair. Like rare saffron oil for skin or gooseberry for hair. All locally available. Some of them from Kama Ayurveda, Kottakal Arya vaidya sala, Juicy chemistry, Soul tree.

Get acquainted with brands that practice fair trade, give fair wages and work with local communities . The sense of satisfaction would be immense.

Travel responsibly

Extend the idea of living sustain-ably to travel too. Let’s not generate waste even when we travel. Pause a minute and consider the amount of plastic that you might inadvertently contribute to a place in the hills or you might see when you return to your

favorite beach. Setting out on a walk on your holiday, consider carrying a bag and gathering your own or any trash that you might see on your trail. Don’t leave behind tell tale signs of a picnic lunch or bottles after a night spent around a campfire. Skip the supermarkets and chainstores and support local craft, trade and artisans while traveling.

Eco Tourism

What’s more, eco-tourism is not just another fancy word but surely a trend to look out for. India has several heritage properties & national parks with incredibly organized safari’s and itineraries. Do take advantage of those. Did you know, many are opting for trips with health and fitness as an active part of their schedule, which are locally available. Yoga, hikes, rafting and locally exclusive sports are a fun way to unwind, over an extravagant one.

Sustainability might sound like a big word, but can often be brought down to something as simple as thinking about what we put out in our air, water, spaces in the process of living our lives. Understanding our consumption better helps us live with a greater degree of awareness. And the beginning to living sustainably can be something as small as choosing what we wear or what we gift – Perhaps will go a long way in defining our choices & our-selves.


Sustainability and You

Blog post

From keeping our showers shorter to refusing a plastic straw, the case for sustainability has become a stronger voice over time. Often perceived as something we should do in the interest of the greater good, not enough is said about how a sustainable approach to daily living actually benefits us first.

We are a consumption crazed culture, but it won’t be long before those choices come to question us, up close .
So here we bring you the first of two posts on why sustainability is good for both, the planet and YOU!

Ever wondered what does the word even mean?

Sustain means to strengthen or support.
To cause or allow something to continue for a period of time. To keep alive!
But one of our favourite definitions of the word sustainable, by far, is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising on the ability to meet the needs of the future.

Applying this simple understanding to our lives will lead to the idea that to live the life we want to, tomorrow, we need to make more conscious choices today! Carefully considered decisions about what we eat and a gentle rigour manifests us into stronger, fitter and healthier versions of ourselves. Now, If we extend that thought just a little outside of ourselves, it is but logical that we can only be as healthy as the air ,water and spaces around us.

A daily approach to sustainability involves feeling a deeper connect to our environments. Hard as this might be to practice in the daily rush of every day lives, it is possible to remember that just like our bodies and minds, we cannot introduce into our environment ,things that will in a few months turn toxic.

How to ? – Take stock

1. Watch what you discard every day as waste. Ever notice how much waste we generate when we have a party or order food in, on a weekend or after a round of shopping?

2. Pay attention to the composition of the things you consume. Start reading labels and find out what goes into the things you buy, the food you eat, the clothes you wear.

3. Observe your consumption patterns. Do you buy things for the long term focusing on quality and longevity or for the short term gratifications? How much do you recycle, reuse and repair ? And why not?

Just doing any or all of these three things will create a quantum shift in how you think & your approach to daily living.

How will it help?

Firstly, it will save you a tonne of money. We promise!
Once we become aware of what goes into the things we use, we automatically become wiser about our choices. Fast food and fast fashion are some of the biggest contributors to trash generated from packaging and deliberately short product lives. Cutting back on both of these will save you a lot of money, a lot of trash & a lot more of peace of mind.

It will make you smarter, practical and broaden your skills. Trust us!

Applying yourself to recycling, up-cycling and reusing things is a compelling way to improve your DIY skills, innovative thinking and living with greater engagement to your immediate environment.

What’s more, you’ll be healthier too!

Walking, cycling and using your muscles instead of your car will make you healthier. Eating more consciously will just add to that already positive looking picture.

Return to a slower pace of life.
One of the best things conscious living cultivates, is a way of life that we often think about nostalgically but don’t live anymore. So, if you yearn for a slower pace of life, make small changes and they will significantly contribute to living more in tune with your body and your habitat.

Get started

1. Separate your waste. Don’t wait for it to become mandatory in your apartment or city. Use wet waste as manure for your plants.

2. Consciously opt for ecological, sustainable and earth friendly brands in all that you buy and consume.

3. Broaden your horizons. Read, follow and support individuals and resources that practice ecologically friendly lifestyles and teach you how to do the same.

Stay tuned for our next post on why sustainability should over time become our default way of thinking and living – considering it has always been part of our culture. Remember, how our baby clothes were given to younger cousins and bournvita bottles were used as masala dabbas. More on that, in our next post. Until then, stay green!

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!


“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!

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

PET Stretchery yoga

  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.”