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Posts tagged ‘alternative’

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My back was turned in all but one of these photos, because the shoulders and the backbone of this top are where the fun is! I was wearing an orange Nike tank underneath straight out of the gym, and that is what you see shining through the see through spine. If I had worn a multicolor tank top underneath this, it would’ve been a perfect chakra representation! This lovely ribbed long sleeved top is from Sammydress. Doesn’t its texture kind of remind you of a toned down Balmain?

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Being open to spirituality is something to be celebrated. Believing in something is better than believing in nothing at all.

Yogis believe that there is a spirit realm, including a creator called Brahma. Similarly, Christians believe in spirits and a Creator as well. However, Christians also believe that the devil and his demons know that there is a God and a spirit realm as well and that any spirit other than an angel is a demon, because according to the Bible, humans go directly to either heaven or hell (Hebrews 9:27). Because of this, many Christians turn their backs on yoga and write everything off about it as demonic, because it is a spiritual practice but not Christian.

However, yogis seem to display “fruits” that are good, loving, kind, peaceful, and self controlled at all times, which is what the Bible teaches Christians to be like (Galatians 5:22). Many of them treat others more highly than or as highly as themselves, believe in non violence, non lying and non stealing, simplicity and generosity, avoidance of lust and displaying purity, and encouraging general positivity, according to yoga’s Eightfold Path. Yogis presence and practice do not display obvious outward signs of evil.

Though the Bible in 2 Corinth 11:14-15 warns Christians not to be deceived by demons, who in their power can pose as “angels of light” and “servants of righteousness,” we do not need to worship these spirits as traditional Hindi yogis worship their gods. We stay true to our own faith.

We must all recognize however our similarities but also understand our differences—which brings me to my next point.

Emphasizing loving others despite differences is a better example of your faith than condemnation

A very young child in  my family passed by a church unlike her own and proclaimed disgust by saying something like “eew.” Members of her family were tickled by her reaction enough to share it with others including me. I was appalled but mostly by the adults’ response to this. How could we be teaching and encouraging our children to hate others? It is okay to express differences, but it is never okay to look down on others and their practices (which are often linked to their culture and upbringing), and never loving to show your superiority by mocking them. It is not on Christ’s mandate or any other spiritual leaders’ advice to mock others.

Not that you’re supposed to water down your own belief, hide it, or change it, but yoga has taught me to be kind to anyone, regardless of background. People of the same faith naturally tend to alienate others who are outside their circle, and this is just not what Christ or any other faith leader would do.

Yoga has given me an opportunity to converse with and learn from others, humbling myself to the realization that my own feelings might’ve been shaping details of my faith that are not of the spirit.

Encourage me to accept my own body and think beyond it, even as I use my body for exercise.

Through yoga, I’ve learned to accept my own body more rather than change it, and changing our bodies is what most exercises push us to do. However the great reward of this acceptance, this self love through yoga postures and movements, asanas and vinyasas, somehow results in the most amazing physique and sensation my body has ever had. It is truly ironic! It could only be mind over matter, and the power of the mind can change your physical limitations. Simply amazing. I’ve never felt and looked better in my entire life.

Treat my body more like a temple of the spirit

This “exercise,” this lifestyle is what I’ve come to embrace yoga as has made me more self controlled. It has made me more disciplined—needing less sleep and food with this new burst of energy, and needing less material possessions, and wanting no junk food or harsh chemicals to enter my body. The Christian church has taught none of this if barely.

How are Christians supposed to give themselves to the Lord if they are consuming addictive substances such as sugar and gluten on a daily basis? The body is literally a temple of the Holy Spirit according to 1 Corinth 6:19-20, which yoga constantly reminds us of. I do not mean to make anyone feel bad, but I wish to share how we’ve been poisoned by commerce to  think that dessert and modern day wheat are okay. Bread during the ancient times was totally biochemically different, and we as children of progress have destroyed that. Perhaps the Christian church should change communion to have something other than today’s wheat.

Solidified my belief in the spirit world and its connection with the physical

Whether sadly or not, practicing yoga has made the spirit world come alive to me again. It’s easy to get stagnant and complacent with the Christian faith at times. We go to church every Sunday, go to at least one Bible study a week, give and receive the same popular scriptures out of context to make yourself or others feel good about themselves, listen to unpalatable CCM (Christian Contemporary Music), and get condemned if you do anything that gives the appearance of evil like read Harry Potter or wear a natural crystal around your neck, etc. Sure, it’s best not to partake in something that clearly looks bad, like having a teacher of the opposite gender hang out with a teenager after school hours.

Crystals were formed by God, came straight from the earth, and do geologically, like all things give off resonance and vibration like humans do. That’s not mumbo jumbo or witch craft. That’s a fact. Whether or not crystals heal or change moods is up to you—that’s partly having faith. The same thing goes for “grounding” or “earthing,” which some Christians have also condemned as a sort of new age practice. This earth was formed and belongs to God, thank you. I will be sitting on it, sleeping on it, and walking barefoot on it, as long as I live on this earth. The land beneath your feet (or hands or head if you’re doing inversions!) scientifically gives off electrons, so if the word “magic” scares you, you can just think of this as electrons. Our bodies need this charge naturally from the earth, that we get so little of now because of modern day living, because of rubber soled shoes for instance.

The connection I’ve drawn between the physical and spiritual from yoga has a lot to do with continually treating my body with care by food and the right kind of exercise our bodies can handle with little complication. Marathons and doing typical cardio exercises for an hour or so are not kind to the body, and a lot of professionals in the scientific field are starting to realize and warn us of that.

This proper maintenance of the body in turn strengthens the mind, upholds the spirit. Part of yoga’s goal is to be able to control the body through awareness in order for the body to be open spiritually. Most of Western yoga has diminished the second part of that equation, which for a Christian is probably the safest thing to do. However, I believe that in order to truly serve our God we must purify the body of its physical addictions from bad food and lifestyles, because these can control your minds and habits. If we are not willing to let go of our wheat based cupcakes at least for a day, then these have become your god. Same goes for the love of money and anything else that you cannot let go of (1 Timothy 6:10). Yoga seems to be of help in these areas through discipline.

There is no end to learning

Being immersed in yoga as both a student and a teacher in its Western derivation has made me want to learn more—not only about asanas but about my own body, how to treat others, the earth, and my awareness of the spirit realm. When I am grounding on the field upside down and with the sun on my face, I think “God, I feel your presence in me and on this earth. Thank you for your creation.”

 

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Some of us don’t wait for Halloween to wear “costumes.” For us, wearing elaborate or theme-inspired clothing is a daily matter. You call it costumes, we call it a way of living! Last year, I wrote about escaping from “Sartorial Stereotypes” for Halloween with just a quick list of ideas.  So, for most people who are just looking for cool and obscure references for their Halloween costumes, how about you take a hint from the lovely Lene Lovich?

Lene Lovich (born Lili-Marlene Premilovich) is an American singer-songwriter New Wave artist from the late 70s-early 80s (my favorite period!). Her most famous hit was “Lucky Number.” This lady, although born in Detroit came from an English mother and an Yugoslavian father. She also went back to her mother’s country for an extensive period to study art. In fact, her iconic hairstyle with scarves came from how she covered her hair to keep it away while sculpting!

Looking at her clothing and hair in plaits,  you can’t help but think of traditional Yugoslavian attire, most likely influenced by her father’s side. Below are a couple of photos of the country’s costume for women:

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Lene Lovich’s “Lucky Number” music video:

 

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I got this pencil skirt from Pinkyee (fyi mostly lingerie site), which is actually a corset skirt. I never knew these things existed. It isn’t steel boned, so it’s very comfortable to wear. It does tighten and/or loosen a bit, both in the front and in the back, to some extent. I like that the skirt is high waisted, which is really the reason why I got this skirt. The lace I just think of as mostly decoration. The quality is fair, but it is only $26!

I believe I now have two pairs of high waisted skirts that go below the knee and two high waisted pants. I think I want to slowly eliminate my low waist jeans and skirts when I can, because 1) it’s hard not to keep my back and undies from showing when I bend over, 2) high waisted bottoms make anyone look taller, and 3) they’re retro!

High waist anything doesn’t necessarily make you slender, so keep that in mind. It can play up existing curves but also make you look much bigger around the tush! Think of SNL’s “mom jeans.” It really is great for any body type, but it will make the pear shaped body look more pear shaped, which is not what most pears want. Although I am a pear myself, I still like high waist pants and skirts for the reasons I mentioned above.

On another note, have you all seen Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the teen choice award this year? It really took me by surprise. Since it didn’t win Video of the Day on Hannity’s show, I will put it up here. Listen and learn, young readers. Sexiness is about being smart.

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As we head for the end of the summer season, many a fashionista will already be looking ahead to autumn and winter. Particularly canny fashion fans will be looking at the predicted trends – or just thinking about what looks appealing to them (like many of us who swear don’t like following trends) – and scouring current stock to see which items they can buy early and use to lead the trend. This is a particularly good idea when it comes to investment items, because mid-season and end-of-season sales can generate some great bargains.

As you can see in the above photo, George Harrison is wearing a kind of boot that is familiar to us today—a variation of the Chelsea Boots called the Beatle Boots. Andy Warhol’s sketch of the iconic boot is shown on the right!

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THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOT

Originating in the Victorian era as a practical female riding or paddock boot, Chelsea boots are distinguished by the elastic sides that run from the welt to the top of the close-fitting ankle seam. This allows them to be slipped on and off easily, which is as useful today as it ever was. Being an ankle boot, Chelsea boots can be worn year-round and this combined with their iconic status makes them an excellent investment piece.

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Traditionally, Chelsea boots have been flat-, or almost flat-, heeled, but today’s designers are playing fast and loose with this rule and have developed stack-heeled, platform and even stiletto versions. Many are also experimenting with materials. The traditional boot is of course leather and this still predominates, but there is everything from floral prints through velvet to leopard-print faux leather out there at the moment. Some designs mix materials, with the toe made distinct from the rest of the boot by use of metal, contrast leather or man-made fibers. It’s well worth checking out the current crop of limited edition Chelsea boots if you want to score a pair.

Then what are Beatle boots? John Lennon and Paul McCartney in ’61 were inspired by the Chelsea boots they found during their nights out in London made by Anello & Davide, and so they had made four pairs for the rest of their band, The Beatles to complement their suit image!

The Chelsea boot being worn today:

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INVESTMENT DRESSING

Chelsea boots can be bought at most price levels, but you will pay more for a very distinctive look. As with most shoes and boots, better quality materials will also be reflected in the price. However, a good pair of Chelsea boots will last you for years, so as long as you do your research and pick a pair that will work with the majority of your wardrobe, any investment is likely to justify itself on a ‘cost per wear’ basis.

Mark McNairy Chelsea Boots (from here)

Never forget that Chelsea boots can be worn with just about anything – baggy trousers being the possible exception – so once you have a pair, have some fun experimenting with your wardrobe. The recent resurgence of grunge means that you can take a pretty retro tea dress and team your boots with that. The monochrome look of skinny black jeans and white top with Chelsea boots is also a classic. Or you could take the look back to its Victorian roots and team the boots with a long steam punk skirt and a adequately layered corset top. The rest, as they say, is up to you.

Melissa Ray is a fashion writer and blogger with long experience of the UK fashion scene. Melissa is particularly interested in customized and limited edition fashion items, such as the current range of limited edition Chelsea boots.

Some notable wearers of Beatle Boots:

  • Roy Orbison
  • The Doors
  • The Kinks
  • The Byrds
  • The Beach Boys
  • Iggy Pop
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Andy Warhol
  • Beetlejuice
  • Riff Raff (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
  • Sid (Hey Arnold)

 

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Take a load at this yoga dork. I have just barely covered my love for yoga in this blog, so here are some goofy photos for proof. I have up a few leg stretching poses here that I kept to a minimum for obvious reasons! The fascinator is from Many Hats Millinery and both skirt and sneakers are from my go-to affordable department store of choice: Target.

I’ve been practicing yoga and Pilates at home for a couple of years now (via Youtube! Yahoo?), and my husband and I rejoined a gym mainly for their fitness classes and sauna. I’ve been going to my gym’s yoga class for about a month now (2x per week), and one of the instructors this week recommended that I audition and train to be an instructor! I was really happy to hear that and excited to take my love for yoga to the next level. However, I learned that I had to be certified in a dozen other things (okay, maybe like 3) to be an instructor. Yikes. I’m still thinking about it! Any Les Mills/Bodyflow/AFAA/ACE certified professionals out there willing to share their experience?

In case you didn’t know who Cammy White is, she is the British character in the retro video game Street Fighter. Despite her sharing exactly my height to the half inch measurement, she also obviously has blonde hair and blue eyes, a way better body, and red accents in her outfit. An approximation of Cammy in an everyday, more feminine outfit would probably look like this, which I happen to be wearing without thinking about the character.

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I’ve seen her wear various colors for her leotard and boots. I think these earthy knee high leather boots below from Gipsy Dharma would work well for a variation to Cammy’s look. I want a pair of these, perhaps with some platform? :) However, I don’t think you could climb trees and kick butt with platforms or heels, like they make it seem like in the movies.

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Disclaimer: The following is a guest post and although have been approved by me, I do not necessarily agree with it 100%.

The wedding day is one of the most unforgettable moments in a person’s life. It is meaningful and quite significant. As a matter of fact, this day is not just important for the ones getting married, but also for close friends and family. It is a life changing situation that affects everybody involved. Since this event is very important, all details should be properly taken into consideration. From the flowers, the reception venue, and accessories such as wedding bands, everything should be best, if not perfect. Wedding bands are considered iconic symbols of marriage and should be chosen accordingly.

One of the most popular options being used nowadays are diamond wedding bands. The classic appeal of diamonds as well as its timeless feel, combined with the durable quality of diamonds is a good representation of love and marriage. However, the use of diamonds in wedding bands is not available for everybody. Of course, there are other options available. Aside from diamonds, there are other gemstones available that can adorn these bands. While women may love diamonds, other gemstones are more personalized and customized. For instance, you can select gemstones that can match the bride’s eye color or perhaps a cheaper, yet elegant gold or platinum band.

Nowadays, more couples are considering the use of matching wedding bands for their wedding day. For this option, the selection is varied. Most of the time, these bands are personalized according to the personalities of the couple. One advantage of choosing matching bands is that both of you can choose the style and design. Thus, it’s a good practice of working well together. After all, you will be spending the rest of your lives together. There are also inexpensive yet lovely looking bands, perfect for your wedding day.

There are a lot of wedding bands available nowadays. Aside from the style and design, it is very important to select a material that is versatile. It is also important to select one which is able to play any type of genre that applies to both young couples, as well as mature ones. In order to achieve the best design, you may do a little research. It may even need appropriate advance booking just to avoid disappointment. Still, at the end of the day, you do not want to be disappointed. Thus, to avoid such unlikely situation, it is very important to find a wedding band that suits your personal requirements.

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Winner of the British Designer of the Year Awards on four occasions and of the International Designer of the Year Award, Alexander Mcqueen’s style has been at times, controversial and shocking— but always intriguing. Perhaps the most memorable of his work was seen in the 2001 Spring/Summer collection, VOSS (video embedded below with non-sexual nudity of a large-framed woman on a couch towards the end of the show). For a whole hour, the audience sits in front of a glass box that, thanks to careful lighting arrangements, reflects back the faces of the people from the audience. The box at this point looks as though it’s completely made of mirrors. Then the lighting changes and the audience sees that the box contains a model reclining on a chaise longue and wearing only a gas mask surrounded by hundreds of live moths fluttering around her. The glass then falls away, smashing to the floor and releasing the moths.


His key pieces have also caused some raised eyebrows, including his famous ‘bumster’ trousers that sparked the trend for low-rise jeans. A signature feature of McQueen’s is skulls, which appear on many of his designs, from scarves to T-shirts (for example, the skull chiffon or wool scarves or even a skull pashmina). His skull scarves are available in the original black and white but also in multicolors. He has also used houndstooth and tartan fabrics throughout his collections, a nod towards his Scottish heritage.

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He is perhaps best known for his diversity: from tailored tuxedo jackets to fun skull print T-shirts.

His collections have been peppered with macabre or dark images, from use of jewellery to shackle a black model (which drew criticism for its apparent references to slavery and bondage) to pictures of Russian Romanov children, ‘golden rain’ (which he wanted to call ‘golden showers’) and a giant ribcage.

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Yet some of his collections have shown fragility and femininity, reflecting a softer side of McQueen and featuring flowers, tulle and a rainbow feather print that became another of McQueen’s signature designs and featured on several of his dresses.

McQueen died suddenly in 2010, leaving his AW10 collection unfinished. It was completed in his absence and was credited as one of the finest and most beautiful of his collections. Since then, celebrities and even royalty continue to wear McQueen, headed up by Sarah Burton who has kept the theme of nature that has recurred throughout Alexander McQueen’s history and coupled it with her own unique style.

Harrods stock a wide range of Alexander McQueen clothing and accessories for men and women, continuing the link between these prestigious and well-known brands.

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