August
26

Yoga Teacher Training Guide – Yandara Yoga Institute

Born and raised in Northern California, MI OLA brand ambassador Briana (@openheartadventure) is no stranger to the outdoors. She loves to hike up mountains, practice yoga in the beautiful outdoors, ski fresh powder, and mountain bike challenging trails. After practicing yoga for years, Briana took a month-long yoga teacher training in Mexico to deepen her yoga practice. With countless options for yoga teacher trainings, we caught up with Briana to get an in-depth perspective on a month long course.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Yoga Teacher Training Guide – Yandara Yoga Institute – by Briana Valorosi
Yoga presented itself in my life at a time when I was experiencing a significant amount of personal growth. About seven years ago I started attended yoga classes across a broad spectrum – beach yoga, exercise-oriented yoga, meditation, and traditional asana practices at local studios. The physical aspect of non-competitive flow resonated with me. I’ve never really been excited about competitive sports, often finding myself engaged in an active lifestyle in the outdoors with individualized forms of recreation. Yoga offered a spiritual aspect which had been lacking in my life, a physical aspect that was non-competitive and really felt good in my body, and a meditation practice that calmed my anxieties. Through yoga, I developed an awareness of self-love, self-respect, and strength. I’ve been hooked ever since.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Yandara Yoga Institute:
Three close friends of mine attended Yandara Yoga Institute over the past ten years, which initially sparked my interest. It had been a planted seed for many years before it aligned for me. I knew that I wanted an intensive program, as opposed to one weekend each month for example, and I was pretty set on a warm climate. Mexico for a month in the spring was the main enticement, and  then knowing three women who already attended, brought it all together. Honestly, I wasn’t as focused on the teachers or the style so much as the whole package, including the mission statement of the school.

Small community of yoga loving people on the beach, growing their food, truly connecting, and instructing from their place of personal and community connection.

The Yandara property is a beautiful off-grid gathering of yoga pavilions, partially enclosed bathrooms, and tent living. It’s simple living at its best. The sound of the waves soothed me to sleep each night. A diverse range of birds singing were my alarm clock. All of the food is vegetarian, local and organic if possible, with the option for fresh, local fish 1-2 times a week. They offered gluten free/ dairy free options upon request.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Type of yoga teacher training:
Yandara Yoga Institute is a Hatha school that is heavily influenced by Iyengar. Hatha yoga is a broad categorization which pretty much umbrellas over all physical asana practices.  The program focused on asana as taught by Iyengar and his students, although we also learned about, vinyasa flows, Yin, Restorative, Bhakti, meditation, and philosophy. The program I did at Yandara was 26 days (200 Hour Yoga Alliance Certified), not including travel days. It was nearly a full month!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

The Daily Routine:
Our days began at 7:30 AM with an hour and a half asana and meditation practice. I personally had a karma job to make tea before the sun rose, so my days began at 6:15 AM or earlier. Following our practice, we had a silent meditation breakfast, then two hours of class where we broke down each pose, the sequencing of poses, how to assist others in the pose, and how to support or modify it. We learned about philosophies of yoga during this morning class as well. Then we had lunch for a couple hours- the food was amazing! And there was plenty of time to hand wash laundry or lay on the beach- only a five-minute walk from my tent. The afternoons were packed with workshops, bhakti yoga, dinner, and counseling type circles. Each night ended around 9pm. The days were long but truly enjoyable and inspiring. The curriculum is presented in a way that is absorbable and tangible. The days were organized by chakra- moving from the root chakra to the crown chakra- with three days on each. During each set of chakra days, we learned about the poses that corresponded, meditations, and philosophies. It was incredibly well presented.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

How to Get There:
Yandara Yoga Institute is located in Baja Mexico, about 15 minutes south of Todos Santos on the Pacific Ocean. Travel was very simple with the organization of private shuttles to and from the San Jose Del Cabo airport. It is an hour drive from the airport- a beautiful road winding through the desert landscape, overlooking the ocean, crossing over river beds and washes.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. The simple living aligned with my personal goals of leading a sustainable lifestyle (as much as possible). All of the teachers became family, offering so much light and love toward their teachings and their connection to each of us. It is a beautiful community – the Yandara community and the yoga community at large. The yoga was taught in a comprehensible way that wasn’t overwhelming. The love that grew between each of us inspires me, to this very moment. We all supported each other through personal growth as well as through the process of becoming yoga teachers. I am eternally grateful for each and every individual at Yandara and in my group of trainees. The food was spectacularly nutritious and delicious. The landscape was humbling and beautiful. All in all, I wouldn’t trade that experience for any other. It was magical and perfect.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

July
29

Yoga Teacher Training – Tips from our brand ambassadors

If you want to become a certified yoga teacher or just want to deepen your yoga practice, you can find “yoga teacher trainings” available around the world: India, tropical escapes, your home town and possibly your home studio.

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Photo by MI OLA Influencer – @yoga_lovely

With so many choices, choosing one can be tough.  Should you pick the five-month module based training at your local studio or is a one-month intensive course in Mexico a better fit?  We can help.  Our awesome yogi brand ambassadors have some great advice to make the most out of your yoga teacher training experience.  Read on, brave yogi!

You can go to yoga teacher training whether you want to be a yoga teacher, or not.  If you want to deepen your yoga practice and nothing more, teacher training is a great way to do so!

I have had many students in my teacher trainings over the years that simply want to immerse themselves in the practice. Sometimes half-way through they decide they want to teach and that is awesome. The great thing about a teacher training program is that it allows you to dive in much deeper to the practice of yoga than a couple of 75 min yoga class a few days a week. – Jessica B., @jessicabellofatto

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

Consider your time commitment, availability and learning style? Some people thrive in intense training programs and others need more time to absorb information. 

What are your time constraints? Do you need to work around a work schedule and only can go to courses on weekends? Can you take two sets of weeklong vacations to do a module style training? Can you commit to a month or more away? This will be the main factor in narrowing down training options, as well as reflects your personal learning style. – Briana, @openheartadventure

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Do you want to focus on one style of yoga, or all? 

I loved my program because it was incredibly open to ALL styles of Yoga. We were taught to teach what felt right to us. – Lauren, @rock3roll

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

What is a good way to “test” out teaching yoga before making the financial and time commitment to a teacher training?

Try out teaching your friends first (with caution – every body is different and moves in different ways).  If you like teaching your friends and family, and it makes you happy and feel fulfilled, then start researching teacher trainings to see what fits best for you. – Lauren, @rock3roll

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

Keep in mind, your first teacher training (200 hours) is only a start.

Many people will start teaching right out of a 200 hr program which is great!  However, first and foremost you should be a student for life. Take as many trainings as you can.  Study with as many teachers as you can who inspire you. Read books on yoga philosophy & anatomy.  Take a Sanskrit course! If you LOVE Yoga, immerse yourself, stay open, and maintain a beginner’s mind. The practice is so endless and so vast that it will only serve you as well as your students! – Jessica B., @jessicabellofatto

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

Before you start training, start practicing yoga at home:

Your home practice will be a vital part in integrating what you are learning and really being to know and understand it in your own body. Start cultivating a daily home practice, including an early morning pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation, along with asana practice. – Jessica B, @jessicabellofatto

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

It’s not just about what you will learn, it is also about the experience.

Commit and enjoy the process! An awesome part of teacher training is the experience. – Briana, Amanda, Jessica and Lauren

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Then shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

 

 

February
12

Bienvenidas New Ambassadors

Stoked? We sure are! Two years ago we started the MI OLA Brand Ambassador Program for women who lead healthy, active lifestyles and #GetOutThere. We are so proud of how the program has expanded to create the MI OLA WORLD.

We love our ambassadors as much as they love us. So let’s give a huge sun salute to the latest ambassadors to join the program and continue the movement! Follow our sirens around the world for epic journeys and winning ideas. Be sure to check them out at @miolasurf  and in our blog.

 

BOOM! Our latest MI OLA Ambassadors.

Jen Panetta – @flentil
Jen lives in the western suburbs of Philadelphia.  Although she is pretty landlocked, she loves to SUP at a nearby lake. A competitive runner for the past 20 years, currently, Jen races for a local store which has a highly respected team at local and national levels.  She loves being on her toes! As long as she’s outdoors, she’s happy. Jen looks awesome in her MI OLA Thong Tha Thong Bottom!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

 

Danielle “Rima” Jomaa – @costarima
Rima is a lifestyle and health blogger, traveling the world. Currently residing in Southern California, Rima will be moving to Costa Rica in April with her husband. She recently left for a three month trip in Southeast Asia. She teaches yoga and is an avid surfer.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Rima – @costarima

 

Sharleen Gonnet – @sharleen_yoga_moorea
Sharleen lives in French Polynesia, a surfer’s and mermaid’s paradise. She is a yoga teacher, surfer, mermaid, SUP lover, swimmer, body boarder, and healthy cook. Sharleen often travels to Bali for vacation. Are you jealous yet?

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Sharleen – @sharleen_yoga_moorea

 

Verena Gratz – @laa_sirenaa
MI OLA ambassadors love to travel the world, but newbie Verena really travels all of the world! A flight attendant based in Munich, when Verena is not surfing the Eisbach River, she loves surfing in the ocean, playing beach volleyball and running.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

 

Caroline Carlson – @carolinegcarlson
Located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado (most of the time), Caroline loves to travel to Utah, California, and the Caribbean.  She lives a very healthy and active lifestyle. Having a MI OLA BIKINI that can keep up with her SUPing, swimming, climbing or plunging into an alpine lake is vital. During colder months you can find her rock climbing and backcountry ski touring.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Caroline C – @carolinegcarlson

 

Andrea Maria Vitiello – @mermaid.drea
From Puerto Rico, this Boricua is studying in Florida. Naturally, Andrea has a passion for all things ocean. Her favorite activities include free-diving (40 feet), surfing, fishing, lobstering, yoga and playing in the waves. Her passion for daybreak has her chasing sunrises on Florida’s East Coast in her MI OLA Casita Boythong.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

 

Rebecca Foss – @roamwildandfree
A full-time self-described “nomad”, Becca and her husband are currently traveling Peru and Ecuador for the next 3-5 months. She lives to breathe in the salty ocean air and being on top of the water riding a wave. Becca loves to climb (boulder and sport), surf, hike, ski, summit peaks, longboard, practice yoga.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca – @roamwildandfree

 

Leslie Norberg – @lesnorberg
Leslie grew up in Minnesota – which means lots of lakes and water sports! At 18, she got the opportunity to do a life-changing trip in the Canadian Arctic. She paddled with six other women roughly 500 miles in 50 days. Leslie now is a canoe trip leader. She also enjoys rock climbing, skiing, cycling, SUPing, wakeboard, running, hiking, playing and exploring. Leslie currently is spending the next six months in New Zealand. Good thing she is packing her MI OLA Pin Up Top and Casita Boythong.

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Photo by MI OLA  Ambassador Leslie – @lesnorberg

 

Victoria Burgess – @aquaholicv
Victoria is from Florida, where she lives in bikinis as one of South Florida’s elite SUP racers and SUP surfers. Always on the move and very involved in her community, Victoria hosts one of the biggest SUP race series in the Southeast, the RK Sunshine SUP Series. She is also on the board of the South Florida Longboard Association,  the longest run longboard club that is still together in Florida. She also head coaches the Broward County Special Olympics SUP team.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Victoria – @aquaholicv

 

 

Interested in joining the MI OLA Ambassador Program?

Know of anyone who should #GetOutThere with us?

Shoot us an email at info@MI-OLA.com

 

January
22

PREGNANCY: TO SURF OR NOT!

Can I surf when pregnant?  We’ve heard it asked many times.

Any extreme activity when pregnant can be controversial. It’s a personal decision on how active you want to be and how much risk you can handle while you’re pregnant.

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Photo by Dan Evans

Over the past couple of years, amazing women such as Bethany Hamilton and Holly Beck have been good examples of women surfing while pregnant. These mermaids are an inspiration to women who want to keep active while pregnant.

Bethany and Holly are professional surfers and know their bodies and limits. They consulted with their doctors and MI OLA highly recommend you do the same before hitting the waves with your bump.

MI OLA Ambassador, Elise is 5 months into her pregnancy and still surfing! We caught up with Elise to get her valuable tips on this questionable subject.

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MI OLA Ambassador Elise, @babeinthewaves

 

Surfing When Pregnant by Elise Fennollan

Bethany Hamilton is such an inspiration for me! I am not a pro like her but I will continue to surf if it doesn’t put my baby in danger and as long as I feel comfortable.

Surfing pregnant is a very special feeling. It’s like sharing the wave and my pleasure with my baby. I think he feels everything inside my belly and that’s awesome! Moreover, it brings me confidence and serenity.

Now that I am five months pregnant, I feel better and better,  but my surf sessions are shorter. I get tired much faster than before I was pregnant.

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MI OLA Ambassador, Elise @babeinthewaves

1. Always Consult with your doctor. My doctor said, I can surf if I feel ok! He said also no big or powerful waves, no shore break, no big wipeout and beware of the reef. For the moment I continue with my shortboard because I can paddle on my belly, but if I start to feel pain I will stop. I think very soon I am going to need a longboard to paddle on the knees because of my growing belly!!

2. Surf waves that are gentle and easy to catch. I am much more selective with waves – I only paddle for waves I know I will not fall off of. If I am not sure I’ll catch the wave just right, I don’t paddle as I don’t want to risk it. Avoid wipeouts and try to limit falls and any contact with the ground or with the board!

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MI OLA Ambassador, Elise @babeinthewaves

3.  Work on your breath. An important thing for me is to practice breathing. I have less breath because the baby is taking a lot of my oxygen. Practicing yoga is helping me out a lot here.

4.  Only surf if you feel like it. If you are too tired or if you feel any pain, don’t go. Listen to your body! I am very thankful to be able to surf thus far in my pregnancy! It’s really a special feeling to surf with my baby. My core /sense of balance is not the same so I don’t try any tricks. I am just searching the good vibes and to follow the rhythm of the wave.

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MI OLA Ambassador, Elise @babeinthewaves with her babe in the waves.

5. Choose a board that is comfortable to surf with. I can still lay on my belly but not for a long time because it isn’t that comfortable. I try to do my best to keep paddling to a minimum. My 5’5″ shortboard is now too small for me. The waves I am surfing now are not as powerful and it is tiring to paddle. I am surfing on a 6’2″ Epoxy fish shape and it’s perfect for me. It floats me a lot and it is easy to catch waves. My husband and I also bought a longboard so that I can knee paddle in the future months when my belly is bigger.

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6’2″ Epoxy fish shape, Photo by MI OLA

 

MI OLA is not providing medical advice or suggesting that you get out there and rip while pregnant…this is your choice.  However, if we see you out there, we’ll definitely give a shaka to you and your belly!

MI OLA

Photo by MI OLA

January
15

10 TIPS TO STAY FIT DURING YOUR VACATION

We survived the holiday season! With all those festive parties, Christmas cookie tins and savory meals, staying fit and healthy was quite the challenge.

Although our goal is to lead an active, healthy, #GetOutThere lifestyle, sometimes we need a little kickstart. So we turn to our MI OLA Brand Ambassadors for inspiration.

This month we sat down with one of our Ambassadors, Catherine Marquis.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

I have always been active and involved in lots of sports. I was a personal trainer and kinesiologist, for 15 years in Montreal. After a surf trip to Costa Rica, I decided to move here.

I now live in Tamarindo and work as a personal trainer and Surfset instructor. Being active is my life!  Every day I wear my MI OLA bikini and I #GetOutThere to either surf, swim, hike, run, bike, do yoga, pilates or functional training.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

It’s Summer all year long here, so it’s no surprise Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination. So, for my first blog contribution, I thought it would be great to share tips for a keep fit holiday.

 

10 TIPS TO STAY FIT DURING YOUR VACATION

By Catherine Marquis, B.Sc.kinesiology

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Photo by MI OLA

1.  Staying at a resort or all inclusive hotel? Take advantage of all the sports and activities included in your package. Beware of the inviting buffet. Try having 3 small meals and 1-2 healthy snacks during the day. Remember, it takes 3500 extra calories to gain 1 pound.

2.  Most of us will indulge in a ‘Big Night Out’ when on vacation. Prep for this by eating lighter during the day or maybe having a snack before dinner. Try a good ceviche. You will avoid the starving sensation that makes you eat like there is no tomorrow! When mañana comes, cut on calories and try to eat only veggies and protein.

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Photo by MI OLA

3.  Drink water! And I mean a lot. You sweat more in a warm weather, so you need to drink more. Dehydration will result in water retention, which can then cause a bloated sensation making you feel heavy and uncomfortable. The last thing you want when wearing your MI OLA bikini!

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

4.  Smoothies can be very tempting on hot, sweaty afternoons. I say yes to a smoothie, but pay attention to what it’s made with. They can be very high on calories. Ask for fresh fruits only, mixed with water or coconut water – delicious! Specify no sugar or honey and try adding ginger.

5.  Enjoy happy hour with your friends but stick to low sugar drinks. Sweet drinks can easily contain more than 350 calories. Good options are light beers or Micheladas – lemon juice, ice, spices or fruit mixed with light beer.  It’s delicious and will last you longer. A vodka or tequila with seltzer and a splash of fruit juice is nice too.

Happy Hour

Photo by MI OLA

6.  Get out of your comfort zone and move! Try new sports and enjoy being challenged. Surf, hike, rent a stand-up paddle board, play volleyball, do yoga! It’s a great way to meet new people and to improve your physical skills through other activities you would not normally do at home.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

7.  Get up early. Early mornings are the best times to do a workout on the beach or to go for a run. Exercising outside is also a great way to explore the place you are visiting and to see the sights when it’s not too busy.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

8.  For an even tan, walk on the beach instead of lying down with a drink.  You’ll be more active and you’ll avoid flipping around on a sandy towel.

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MI OLA Ambassador @kathmarquis

9.  Sleep! Enjoy it and don’t feel guilty or lazy about it. You are on vacation, so please your body by getting the rest you need. A good nights of sleep and a little “siesta” (20-30 min.) will decrease your body stress and will help you avoid weight gain. It’s also a great way to cool the body and recharge your batteries to enjoy any other activity you might want to try!

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Photo by MI OLA

10.  Short workouts are the best. Try to fit in a 20 min. metabolic circuit workout every day. You will get a boost of energy out of it and you will burn calories all day long! Do this workout outside and get ready to sweat!

 THE METABOLIC WORKOUT

Perform each exercise for 60 sec. with no rest between.  Follow the circuit with a 10 sec. sprint and take a 60 sec. rest. Repeat 4 times.  Total time: 25 min

1.  AIR SQUATS

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2. BURPS

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3. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS

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4. ALTERNATED BACK LUNGES

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5. PIKE PUSH-UPS

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6. SPRINT FOR 10 sec. RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

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Photo by @kirstenrinck

Now repeat 4 times!

 

 

November
20

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving – a time when families across the US gather to feast and reflect on what is important in their lives. Over the past few year’s this holiday has become more and more about consumerism and shopping with countless “Black Friday” sales. While we certainly love a good bargain, MI OLA loves Thanksgiving because it is a holiday about being with family and friends and giving thanks. This year MI OLA mermaids are giving their thanks from all around the world.

And Paris, sweet Paris, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Helena, @helenamania, Costa Rica and New York, New York
I am thankful for every day.  It sounds corny, I know, but every day I think about how lucky I am to be alive and have a great 4-year-old daughter and be leading MI OLA.  I am also thankful for all the little annoyances.  If I’m complaining about being a bit chilly, that means that I’m lucky enough to be in NYC.  And if I’m annoyed that I’m sweaty all the time, I’m lucky to be in Costa Rica.  If we’re able to get annoyed, that means that most of our most important needs, food, shelter, safety, are being met.   So we should be thankful that we are lucky enough to get to wait in line… at Starbucks, at the bank, … at the store when we’re buying holiday gifts – because so many people don’t get to do those things.
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Myra, @myragonzalez, London and New York, New York
I am most thankful for my husband, our good health and the family and friends that love and support us. I have a job I love, that allows me to help provide for our needs. I am grateful to have traveled around the globe with my work. I cherish I am able to live in London and still keep my feet firmly rooted to Brooklyn / NYC with a yearly dip or two into Costa Rica. I acknowledge how fortunate I have been (and still am) to experience all I do when I #Getoutthere. I am super thankful to be working with Helena and to be part of the awesome MI OLA team, where goals and aspirations continue to grow and flourish. Of course, let’s not forget Mandu and Alley – my 2 cats – their laziness inspires me to DO MORE. Finally, I am thankful my friends in Paris are safe and coping well. I am in awe of their courage. Vive Le Monde – Vive l’Humanité.
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 Kristen, @sambatothesea, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving – when I lived in New York City I used to go to the Thanksgiving Day Parade before heading out of the city for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I have lived in Costa Rica for three years now and have missed celebrating Thanksgiving in the US. This year my family is bringing Thanksgiving to me, turkey and all the fixings. I can’t wait to see them here in Costa Rica and I am so thankful that I am able to spend this beautiful holiday with them this year!
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Adrienne, @yokeens, Outer Banks, North Carolina 
I wake up every day thankful…. I walk across the street to the beach and thank the ocean for being so amazing. The great force that is ever changing with each day, yet has a presence that is always the same magnetizing pull. This alluring ocean can be angry, unforgiving and eat you up one day then calm, nurturing and playful the next. And, I thank myself for always trying to be a similar pull…. being open to new experiences: being patient, eager and willing yet aggressive while staying attentive and welcoming to new ways of doing things. I have accepted I am an ever changing being that gets better and better with time. That admitting mistakes and learning from them, and listening to others is the ultimate way of living…..
“Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity?
Why would you refuse to give
this joy to anyone?
Fish don’t hold the sacred liquid in cups!
They swim the huge fluid freedom.” – Rumi
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Catherine, @kathmarquis, Tamarindo, Costa Rica and Montreal, Canada
This year, I am thankful for all the positives changes in my life and for all the support I get from my family and my friends. I am blessed to be surrounded by beauty, love and friends from around the world.
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Susi, @insta_susi, Norway
I am thankful to the handful of people who love me from the bottom of their heart and to all the support I get from my family. 
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Kate, @chucktownoceangal, Charleston, SC
I am thankful for a healthy body that allows me to dive into life and enjoy each and every moment, whether it be surfing fun waves, going to a live show with friends, or spending quality time with family and furry friends. I am also thankful for having the ability to make change happen. Be it helping someone in need, or helping protect the environment. I am grateful for any part I can play to make a difference.
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Ashley A, @theviewfrom6ft, Texas
I’m thankful for the opportunities I have to travel and connect with people this upcoming holiday season. For meals cooked by caring friends in Houston. For spontaneous days spent exploring with new friends in India. For scuba diving the Mexican reef that first captured my heart with my brother. For the heartfelt reunions in the Florida sand. For the giddiness of planning Brazilian carnival adventures with like-minded coworkers. For the sweet words from my Instagram family and other lovely MI OLA girls across the world.
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Jessica B, @jessicabellofatto, Long Island, NY
I am thankful for the body, the breath, my yoga practice, long paddles, clean green head high waves at my home break in Montauk New York.  I am thankful for my amazing family, especially my boyfriend Adam and my three kids – Jack, Uma, and Jahya.
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Katie, @westbutt, Florida
This year, I am thankful for my healthy mind and body, my new (and old) friends who stick by me and my new job! As always, thankful for the beautiful Sunshine State I live in and for another chance to finish out a year!
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Briana, @bvalorosi, Lake Tahoe
I am thankful for my MI OLA bikinis!!!
I’m thankful for the sunshine and moon. Grateful for all the water that pulses in and around our bodies. Thankful for the mountains that present challenge and a shifted perspective. I’m thankful for the humbling ocean and the way it makes me feel small. I’m especially thankful for my healthy body that allows me to play, stretch, bend, hike, surf, climb and practice yoga. Love.Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 4.36.35 PM

Elena, @findmeoutside, Oregon
I am thankful for good health, friends and family, as I am every year. This year in particular, I am thankful for being so close to finishing my radiology technologist program! I have worked towards earning this degree for 3 years now, and come the spring, I will be done! I am thankful for all the opportunity social media has brought into my life. So much debate lately about whats real or fake, but in the end, does it really matter? If what you are doing is making you happy, you’re doing it right… just keep doing that! I have been lucky enough to have made so many great connections over the last year through social media, and I am looking forward to the new year and what I will learn and new connections I will make! Cheers!Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 4.38.59 PM

Gigi, @surfearnegra, Tamarindo, Costa Rica
I am thankful for my husband’s chocolate chip cookies, my doggie “West”, the opportunity to choose simplicity in everything. Thankful for functional family relationships (even though every family has that one crazy uncle) and for hope: because it makes everything in life possible!!Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 12.50.49 PM

Elise, @babeinthewaves, Tahiti
I am thankful for the most beautiful gift of life – to be pregnant and to found a family with the man I love!Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 10.40.28 AM

Ashley B, @ayeboulet, Lake Tahoe, California
Each day I am thankful for love, inspiration, support, health, and opportunity.Being in love means seeing the beloved all around me. I am so blessed to be surrounded by a constant state of love and for that I am so thankful.
I am motivated and inspired by beautiful people. I constantly see inspiration in the people I love as well as complete strangers. There is so much beauty in the world if we choose to acknowledge it. We are changing the world at every moment, we are so deeply interconnected.
I receive support and guidance from those I cherish. With their support, I have become more confident and successful in my endeavors.
Health! I am so blessed to live and enjoy the active life I do. I love playing in the outdoors and my adventurous spirit is fueled by a lifestyle only possible with good health. I am blessed not only for my good health but also for the good health of those I love.
Opportunity has provided various avenues throughout my life. Saying yes to these opportunities has helped to shape the person I am today. The people I have met, befriended, and loved have provided me with ample opportunities and experiences that I will forever be grateful for.
I believe it is important to BE.HERE.NOW as Ram Dass would say. Living in the moment and appreciating your current place in life is of the utmost importance. I believe that time is precious and it is important to live in the moment and be grateful for who you are and what you have at each moment of every day. For the days that pass are a memory and our lives are a collection of these experiences. I hope to constantly practice a life of gratitude.
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October
30

What makes us get up and #getoutthere?

We created MI OLA with 2 goals.

1) To revolutionize swimwear by making dreamy, quality bikinis that look fabulous and stay on, and

2) To make a positive impact on the world.

While working hard, listening to our consumers and sweating bullets to make this happen we’ve achieved something even more exciting.  We’ve energized a movement of radical  women, who get out there every day, who are more comfortable in the water than out, and who want positivity…at  all costs. This is our tribe… and this is our Manifesto.

Some of our Tribe.

A few of our tribe.

We jump, dive, run in. No inching in for us or using the stairs.

100% committed.

NO    P L A N    B.

We create waves in the water, kick up the sand, run up hills, climb mountains, hike across valleys and sparkle in cities around the world alike.

Our mermaids and sirens sing with joy as they Chase more. Do more. Be more. Our goal is for all women to embrace a more confident day and self wearing MI OLA

Always dreaming, thinking, imagining. But WE never sit still. Each day WE rise to ‘Get Out There’.

More Disruption.    More Influence.        More Action.

We design our products using innovative materials that last. No tugging. No yanking. No adjusting. No pulling. Everything we make is appealing and functional.  If you can’t use it WE lose it.

We are revolutionizing, re-inventing the swimwear game, so you can do more of what you love.  Less stress. Less fuss. More FUN!

This isn’t a dress rehearsal.  It’s a MOVEMENT.

A lifestyle for women who seek adventure.

A voice for women that fight for freedom.  A vehicle for women to embrace transparency & honesty.

Think for 1 moment how much power you have, and what you can do with it.

Now go and inspire us.

You think we’re not afraid? You bet we are.

We embrace the fear and jump anyway.

WE ARE

June
19

How Do You Summer?!

When I met you in the summer
To my heartbeat sound
We fell in love
When I met you in the summer

For the MI OLA mermaids in the USA, Summer kicked off with Memorial Day weekend. But, since we LOVE Summer, we are celebrating one more time with the official start of Summer this Sunday, June 21.  Can we get a heck yes!!!

The MI OLA brand ambassadors are up to some pretty #MIOLAwesome things this month. (When are our ambassadors not out rocking it?) Longer days means more time to get outside and #getoutthere. Like Briana @bvalorosi in French Polynesia.

@bvalorosi

@bvalorosi

The MI OLA mermaids are participating in Time Magazine’s “#howisummer”. Check out Amanda’s @mermanda_.  She just got back to Florida from India after completing a 200 hour Yoga teacher training and is jumping for joy.
@mermanda_

@mermanda_

How do you Summer?  Show us!  Post a photo using hashtags #MIOLAwesome and #howisummer  and tag @miolasurf.   When we use your photo on Instagram and Facebook, you get a 10%  discount at MI-OLA.com

 

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@insta_susi

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@chucktownoceangal

@ayeboulet

@ayeboulet

@jazzywazzy898

@jazzywazzy898

@urbanoceansup

@urbanoceansup

@babeinthewaves

@babeinthewaves

@meredithdrangin

@meredithdrangin

@barefoot_farmer

@barefoot_farmer



May
1

Mother Approved

“World’s Greatest Mom!” 

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It seems like we all have the world’s greatest mother, because we all really do! From infancy to adulthood, a mother’s job is never really done. Here at MI OLA we have some pretty RAD mom’s that #GetOutThere, like our very own Chief Bikini Officer Helena, Brand Ambassador Susi, and team rider Kristina.

They jump, swim, surf, cannon ball, and chase after their beautiful little children, all while never having to worry about their bikini coming off. Yes, mother’s can wear bikinis too…and ROCK them! Given that Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away, what better present to give to your mom or wife than a suit that keeps up and works as hard as she does??? Because a bikini that is functional and stylish will win you lots of Brownie points, trust us!

Just your luck, we have some new items in stock from our 2015 line, like our Lorelei Maillot One-Piece! Can we say VA-VA-VOOM! Click here to shop.

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April
17

We <3 Mother Nature

We said it last year, and we are gonna say it again. Nature makes us happy. We surf in Her oceans, play on Her beaches, swim in Her rivers, salute Her breathtaking sunsets, and paddle Her lakes. We #GetOutThere and play with Mother Nature. That is why it is ever so important that we take care of Her natural beauties, not only as a company, but as individuals.

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At MI OLA, we try to be as eco-conscious as possible. We are creating high quality swimwear that won’t wear out and is not made to be thrown away after a season of use. We source all of our materials in the US, including our hardware (rings) which are cast in Rhode Island. We print our patterned fabrics in North Carolina.

And all of the trims we can literally pick up two blocks away from our factory in the garment district in Manhattan, where our suits are made. We work closely with our factory and know the people who make our garments. They are all paid a living wage and have a comfortable working environment (we know, because we spend a lot of time there too!). Even our hang tags are made out of recycled paper and and we package our suits in biodegradable ziploc bags – so they can be reused, and when they make it to the trash, they will decompose.  AND… when we do marketing give-aways or promotions, we do things that can be used right away… like Coffee, temporary tattoos that we apply, or a great tote.

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As individuals, we recycle when we can, pack-in and pack-out on hikes, help to clean up our beaches, and try to limit the use of our cars. BUT we can do more. This Earth Day, we pledge to do more of the little things, because it all adds up. Like using re-usable shopping bags at the grocery store, carrying a BPA free water bottle for refilling, unplugging appliances when not in use, and donating old clothing. We invite you to participate.

Check out how our Brand Ambassadors do their part and what they pledge to do more of:

Kate D.

  1. I’m the chair for the Charleston Chapter of the Surfrider foundation so I work with the community to lessen their impact on the lowcountry environment including land, rivers, marshes and the ocean. We do that through several campaigns including litter sweeps, Rise Above Plastics, water quality testing, ocean friendly gardening and education.
    On a more day-to-day personal level I always pick up trash when I’m out and about whether paddling the creeks, walking the beach with my dog or running around the neighborhood. I’m a firm believer that every little bit makes a difference. I also recycle, stay away from single-use plastics like plastic bags, try to minimize my water use and walk/bike/skate when I can.
  2. Definitely stop relying on my car as much. While I do walk/bike/skate when  I can, I don’t think it’s enough and I find myself making excuses to use my car. I have no excuse since I live in downtown Charleston and can get practically anywhere with my own two feet! Plus it’s more fun when you are out and about in nature, getting fresh air and enjoying the beautiful sunshine!Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.19.43 AM

Silvia

  1. Being environmentally friendly means having a lifestyle that are better for the environment.It’s all about taking small steps Towards Mother earth so as to make this Planet a better place for our communities and generations to come.
    A good way would be to start with conserving water , driving less and Walking more consuming less energy,buying recycled products,eating locally grown vegetables,joining environmental groups to combat air pollution,creating less waste,planting more Trees and Many more. Turn off the light whenever you leave the room,Even if you’re going to go back in a couple of minutes. This is what I do everyday,this is what my parents taught me and I’m so grateful!! CHANGE EVERYTHING YOU DO IN YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE!!  SMALL THINGS CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE!! We can all Help to save our planet, our loved OCEANS and its Many awesome creatures of the World .Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.15.41 AM

 

Amanda

  1. I hang dry my clothes – cuts down on energy from the dryer and also makes my clothes last longer. No shrinkage or wear and tear from the heated tumbling. I buy local. Most of the time local products cut out over packaging (like a bottle inside of a box) and they don’t use excessive manufacturing or shipping efforts.I have become VERY cautious about plastic bags. Even if I forget my own bag; I never use a plastic bag when leaving a store.
  2. I could certain be more diligent about brining my own coffee mug when I get coffees to go.
    That’s a new resolution. Thank you for brining it to my attention. We can always try harder!Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 12.34.58 PM

 

Katherine

  1. Something I try to do is limit my plastic and paper consumption. I always use a stainless steel or glass jug for water, and I always use washable dishes, cups, and utensils when eating.
  2. Something I would like to be better at is conserving water. When my camping trip is over I want to try to continue using less amounts of water for things like showering and washing dishes. Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 7.23.40 AM

 

Adrienne

  1. I always use reusable bags, it’s a simple and effective way to lower plastic consumption. I’m also diligent on shutting lights off and keeping the heat low, put on an extra sweater and socks!
  2. I could pledge to eat less meat since a lot of energy consumption goes into feeding, housing, slaughtering and transporting animals. Also, doing my part in picking up litter that I see on my daily walks around town.Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.16.48 AM

 

Briana

  1. I currently buy foods in glass jars so I may reuse them. I am also choosing to bike across the southwest instead of road tripping. I volunteer at a local farm on a regular basis. I walk or ride my bike around town instead of driving. I support companies that are environmentally conscious.
  2. I pledge to use less water while washing dishes and showering. Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.14.21 AM

 

Ashley A.

  1. I try to limit the amount of animal based products in my diet and focus on filling it up with delicious locally grown fruits and veggies. I recently got my first share of local produce from a Co-op, everything in it was picked in season and grown less than 75 miles from my house.
  2. With the sun rising earlier and the mild temperatures this is the perfect time of year to try walking to work. Even if I can’t commit to walking it 100% of the time, smaller infrequent efforts still help the earth.food CSA Ashley A

 

Susi

  1. I am big on recycling. I always walk or take the bike if possible, don’t leave electric devices on standby, watch my energy consumption, and sometimes pick up plastic bottles or cans along the way if go for a walk.
  2. I have to get better so there is less food wastage, grow my own fruit & vegetables, and need to be more prepared when I go to the beach & pick up a plastic bag full of rubbish each time before I surf! The beaches could be so nice and clean if everyone would do it!984216_713250858723496_3355941037595785675_n

 

Jessie

  1. Unfortunately we are not nearly as good as we should be with being earth friendly, however we do make a point to recycle everything that we can. :) We are fortunate to have a trash company and a recycling company to come by our house twice a week to pick up items for us.We also try as hard as we can to eat organic foods, no chemicals.
  2. We would like to eat less and use less chemicals and use more environmentally friendly products.Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 11.25.49 AM

 

Marianne

  1. REDUCE – minimize buying packaged products, don’t use plastic bags, water usage, shorter showers, and less loads of laundry/energy efficient appliances and only FULL loads of dishes to run dishwasher.
    REUSE – resuse bags, cardboard, anything in the house that can be before being recycled or thrown out, plastic bottles for gardening or starting growing seeds etc. use glass pasta jars as my cups in my home.
    RECYCLE – plastic, cardboard, cans, glass, compost veggies, anything that doesn’t need to be thrown out DOESN’T!!! image-11

Ellen

  1. I live in the Northern Rivers, NSW, Australia, which is one of the most eco-conscious places in Australia (Byron Bay is our most famous town). The local council does a huge amount – they will recycle pretty much anything for us, but I do my bit by using solar panels to generate my hot water and electricity at home, growing some of my own fruits and vegetables and trying to be energy conscious – turning off lights/appliances when they’re not being used, putting on more clothes rather than using the heating!
  2. One thing I could definitely do better is cutting down on single-use plastics – not buying bottled water, not using plastic bags at the store etc.10557191_685615094820406_23748732223050826_n

Jasmine

  1. To be earth friendly I make sure to always be mindful of trash on the beach! I always throw away my trash, remind people to do the same, and pick up trash that I see so no animals are harmed!
  2. One thing I want to do more of is conserve water! I want to use more reusable water bottles and recycle recycle recycle! Happy Earth Day!10556353_587587374679811_4134839586968496380_n

Jaylen

  1. I always keep a reusable water bottle in my car and on my person and avoid buying plastic whenever possible!
  2. Use less paper product (napkins and paper towel) and switch to washable options.image-4

Kaitlyn

  1. I am currently driving less and choosing to walk or bike around my campus whether it be to class or practice or the beach. My school does a very cool program called yellow bikes. It is where there are about 100 bright yellow bikes put out around campus and anyone can pick one up and use it to ride to class or to your dorm. After you are finished, you just leave the bike wherever. This has greatly reduced car usage!
  2. I could work on using less plastic water bottles! I need to carry around a reusable bottle to refill and diminish the amount of plastic I use!

Ashley B.

  1. In my opinion every day is Earth Day. It’s important to conserve and appreciate the environment we live in. I practice sustainable living by recycling, riding my bike whenever possible, participating in Keep Tahoe Blue events, and educating others on what they can do to help preserve the place we love. As a teacher I plan science lessons where students learn about natural and global awareness. I always have a class garden consisting of various fruits and vegetables. I think these gardening units are life long practices in which students explore growing their own food. I also host beach clean ups whenever possible around the shores of Lake Tahoe. By being an environmentally conscious individual I understand the importance and difference each individual can make. As the wise Dr. Seuss once said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
  2. I hope to participate in more volunteer programs locally. I also hope to spread the word about fundraisers regionally and locally. I think students should be educated on the issues that directly influence their environment and lives. I hope to devote more time to green practices and participating in events outside of my community.Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 11.47.38 AM
April
10

#GetOutThere Guide: Kalalau Hike

Hawaii. Just saying the name makes us think about palm trees, waves, sandy beaches, sunsets, and beautiful hula girls. Ahhhhh, paradise….

Hawaii is often on many people’s bucket lists because these beautiful islands cater to pretty much every type of tourist, from families to the super adventurous outdoor women.  One of those adventurous females just so happens to be our very own Brand Ambassador, Ashley Boulet. She recently completed the Kalalau hike, a rigorous trail on the island of Kauaʻi. Check out her #GetOutThere Guide below!

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#GetOutThere Guide with Ashley Boulet

SUP from the Sierra Nevada Mountains! My name is Ashley (@ayeboulet). I grew up in the mountains and I currently reside in North Lake Tahoe.  I embrace a healthy lifestyle while enjoying all that Tahoe’s playground has to offer.  I am an outdoor enthusiast with an adventurous heart.  The mountains are my home, but I love to travel and backpack as often as possible.  On many of my previous backpacking missions I have needed to pack lightly, and the perfect swimsuit is most always a key component!   I am a 1st grade teacher in Truckee, CA and in my free time I enjoy yoga, art, and music.  I go to many concerts and festivals throughout the year, and I spend a week in the desert at Burningman .  I also enjoy fire spinning, painting, and ceramics as my own artistic mediums.  In the summer I backpack, hike, paddleboard, and kayak.  In the winter you’ll find me on the mountain, as I love to ski.  I practice an active happy lifestyle, one that comes from within.

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Kalalau Hike, Kauaʻi:

Aloha from Kalalau Valley! This trail is a backpackers and adventure enthusiasts dream. The trail offers pristine views of the Na Pali Coast that are unlike any other coastal hike.  This trail is considered strenuous and I would advise making this a multiple night and day mission.  The total distance for this hike is approximately 24 miles round trip.  The trail leads to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Kalalau Valley.  This desolate beach is only accessible by backpacking or kayaking.

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How to get there:

For this backpacking mission we flew into the Lihue Airport and then hitched a ride to Ke’e Beach on the northern part of the Island. There are also shuttle services which will take you to the trailhead. A taxi service will be priced around $60 one way. Island Cars is a great rental car service, which offers older style vehicles for a cheap daily/weekly rate.  The closest town to the trail head, and last place to stock up on supplies is Hanalei.

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The trail begins at Ke’e beach, from there hikers will follow the rugged rocky trail to Hanakapi`ai beach and waterfall.  The first few miles of the hike are heavy in foot traffic as this is a popular day hike for travelers.  The remaining portion of the trail is strenuous with increasing elevation and vertical climb.  The trail is not maintained in many sections, so make every step count.  There is a portion of the trail that scales an ocean cliff bluff, the shale rock makes for a dangerous terrain.  Each year there are fatalities on this trail.

Camping is easy, and water is plentiful. I would advise filtering the water however.  If camping in the lush forest areas be sure to wear bug spray, as there are many mosquitos.  Once in Kalalau valley, there are various camping options.  In the valley there are ample amounts of fruit and vegetables growing at different times of the year. The valley is home to many diverse travelers who have a profound love for this one of a kind valley.  Overnight permits can be obtained online.

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I spent 6 days in Kalalau Valley, eating only foods that I was able to carry in my backpack.  The trail has a pack in and pack out policy when it comes to trash.  This considered, I consumed mostly canned foods, protein bars, granola, and fruits during this backpacking mission.

Apres Hike:

After returning to Ke’e beach after hiking for 6 days, I was craving some food of hearty substance! Some friends had recommended the notorious Bubba’s Burgers as a must stop.  So we were able to hitch a ride back to Hanalei where we scarfed down one of the best cheeseburgers I have ever had! Next to Bubba’s Burgers is a snow cone/ice cream shack called Shave Ice Paradise.  If you’re feeling a sweet treat to satisfy your taste buds, this is the place. The homemade Macadamia Nut ice cream at the bottom of the shave ice is especially delicious.

 

March
13

Bienvenidos

Bienvenidos! Willkommen! Benvenuto! Bem-vindos! WELCOME to the MI OLA team!

We are so stoked.  As MI OLA grows, you are growing with us. What started with a handful of adventurous women, our Brand Ambassador program has grown to over twenty AMAZING ambassadors from all around the world. From the United States, Canada, Moorea, Australia, Spain, to Norway, our Ambassadors #GetOutThere. Check out the newest members to the MI OLA Brand Ambassadors!

 

Kayla @barefoot_farmer

Raised in South Florida and now residing on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kayla is a garden teacher at an elementary school.Shea works outdoors in a garden with her students teaching them about healthy food, nutrition, and how to care for the land and themselves. When she is not working you can find her outdoors either swimming at the beach, hiking a mountain, doing yoga on a paddle board, playing with her dog, or dancing.

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Shantal @shantalcachela

A super awesome surfer girl from the Canary Islands in Spain, Shantal also loves to climb, swim, run, and SUP. Shantal plans to move to Bali for a year and travel around Indonesia working with NGOs.

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Ashley @ayeboulet

Growing up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Ashley is no stranger to the outdoors. Currently residing in North Lake Tahoe, Ashley enjoys yoga, art, music, concerts and festivals, fire spinning, painting, ceramics, backpacking, hiking, paddle boarding, skiing and kayaking.

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Melissa @missmelissaaa, @peconicwatersports

Melissa spends her summers working in the Hamptons teaching wake boarding, water skiing, surfing and more. During the off season, she loves to travel to destinations such as Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic.

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Katherine @katizmc

Katherine not only is a super awesome surfer girl, but also she is from our very own Chief Bikini Officer Helena’s hometown, Breezy Point, NY!!! Katherine surfs New York City year round (yes, there is surf in NYC!) She recently graduated summa cum laude from the Fashion Institute of Technology where she majored in Fine Arts, with minors in Spanish and Art History.

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