December
15

What the Male Gaze Means for Women Who Rock Bikinis

You’re on morning run on the beach, or doing a little yoga, or collecting shells with your toddler. And you’re rockin’ your MI OLA bikini – it fits, feels great, and stays put, just what you need because it’s summertime, you’re at the shore, and you’re on the move. You’re enjoying the sunshine and warm breezes.  Basically completely blissed out and in the moment.

Two men jog past. You see – no, you feel, the male gaze. We’ve all been there.

Although it’s a popular topic in today’s media, the idea of the male gaze was introduced in 1975 by filmmaker Laura Mulvey, a scholar, and filmmaker. She wrote an essay exploring how visual arts, especially films, sometimes frame women in provocative and sexualized situations. This perspective defines the woman as an object of desire – not only for the other characters in the film – but also for the viewer watching the scenes with a ‘male gaze.’

And today, while making memories on a beautiful summer day, you’ve been hit with the male gaze. What do you do?


Caption - Soaking us the sun at Grinnell Lake

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Remember why you’re wearing a bikini. You may have heard the phrase ‘clothes make the man (or woman).’ Your fashion choices give clues about who you are as a person and what you see as your role.

So why are you wearing a bikini?

  • Well, you are at the beach. What else are you going to wear, a snowsuit?
  • You’re confident in your skin. You feel good about you. You’re living your truth with power and purpose. You’ve created your own path and are making your way, head up and looking forward.

    keri-in-langosta

    Kerri in Tamarindo.

  • With confidence comes ambition. You’re determined and committed to your health, your family, and a life lived fully. This includes meeting your seven-minute mile time, or just running the first mile.
  • And you respect yourself. You like the choices you’ve made, the plans you have, and yes, the clothes you wear to express your strength and your spirit.
screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-9-31-56-am

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen- @flentil

Your bikini may show your style, but it doesn’t tell your whole story. You are more than what you wear, and the male gaze doesn’t see it. Remind yourself of this.

  • You’re passionate about life. Always curious, on-the-go, and focused optimistically on what you can become.
  • You enjoy new experiences. Whether it’s traveling the world, going on the school camping trip, or finally tackling a paddle board, you’re eager to try and learn and grow – either on your own or with family and friends.
  • You have your own views about the world. You listen and watch and discuss. You don’t take social media, or any media at face value and go along, just because everyone else does. You form your own opinions and have reasons to back them up.

 

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ellen- @artemis_eleven

You can find your voice in these strengths. You know what you know. You know what’s important to you. You know who you are today and where you want to go next. The male gaze may still be part of how some men interact with you, but we’re well past 1975.

Stereotypes are being challenged more frequently, and some changes are happening. Here’s how to be part of the change.

  • Talk about it. You are sexy, beautiful and delightful – and you’re also an athlete, an adventurer and a human being. It’s okay to be all of those and to tell people those truths.
  • Be a spark. Staying true to yourself makes you an example to other women. Seeing you confidently wearing a chic MI OLA bikini and moving forward on your adventures may inspire others to step up, think for themselves, and embrace their life.

Meet the male gaze with a direct look. Keep going. Your life awaits and you’re not going to be held back by anything.

Invest in the best swimsuit ever made.

 

miola

Luanna in Avellanas.

 

 

 

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.

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 10.43.48 AM

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.

Screen-Shot-2015-02-18-at-11.10.50-AM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.30.56 AM

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!

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.31.19 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.31.56 AM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.31.34 AM

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

August
12

Surf Guide: Surf Road Trip – Southern Europe

Chasing Waves on the European Atlantic Coast

Our MI OLA Brand Ambassadors are always planning their next adventure.  Ambassador Verena (@laa_sirenaa) is no exception. When she is not flying as a flight attendant for Lufthansa, she is exploring the world. We first met Verena in our tropical home base of Tamarindo.  Now we follow her adventures around the world as a brand ambassador. We caught up with Verena this month to hear all about her recent surf road trip to southern Europe she took this past April and May.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.19.32 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Surf Roadtrip – Southern Europe:

Since it is hard to get a lot of nice waves in Germany, my friend Nico and I planned a two-week surf trip to the Atlantic coast of Europe. The plan was to do a 14-15 hour drive from Munich to France and stay in the well-known surf region around Biarritz, or go even further South to catch some waves in the beautiful Spanish Basque country, close to San Sebastian. In general, the best time of year for big waves is during the winter, and the summer offers much smaller waves, but a lot of sunshine!

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

The first challenge was to decide which board to take!

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

 

After a one day drive across France, we stayed our first night in Biarritz and had a lot of fun with the locals at a nice Bar called Cafe Miguel. We were really excited to get wet and desperate to catch some nice waves! It was small, but we had at least a few little waves for our first surf at a reef break in Guethary.

Biarritz! Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Travel Info: Biarritz is located in the French Basque Country, about 35 kilometers from Spain. The city has one of Europe’s longest surfing cultures, which began in 1957 after a Californian surfer visited Biarritz and left some surfboards with the locals. Now the town is known throughout the world for its strong surfing scene.

Surf: My favorite spot is Guethary. It is best with a southwest or west swell and southeast or east wind. It breaks on all tides and is a reef break, a right and a left. Recommended for experienced surfers. Make sure to check the water temperatures for the time of year to make sure you bring the right wetsuit, or even better, your MI OLA bikini in the summer!

Eat and Drink: Go to Cafe Miguel for dinner and really good cocktails. It is located close to plage du port vieux.

Sleep: We stayed at Hotel de la plage, a nice, clean, hotel right that has a sea view and is in the city center.

 

After surfing Guethary, the same day we went further down the coast to San Sebastian. But, unfortunately it was completely flat! And according to the forecast it was not going to get any better, because there was no north swell at all!

Travel Info: San Sebastian is located in the Basque Autonomous Community of Spain.  It is also called Donostia in Basque. It was chosen the European Capital of Culture in 2016 and San Sebastian claims to have more Michelin Star Restaurants per square meter than any other city in the world.

Surf: One of the most consistent spots around San Sebastian is Zarautz, which is a nice, little beach town close to San Sebastian. It breaks best with a northwest or west swell. It is beach break suitable for all levels of surf and is best at mid to high tide.Make sure to check the water temperatures for the time of year to make sure you bring the right wetsuit, or even better, your MI OLA bikini in the summer!

Eat and Drink: Go to the old town (parte vieja) for bar hopping and have a lot of tapas (pintxos) and beers (cañas)!

Sleep: We arrived in San Sebastian on the weekend without a hotel reservation, so everything was booked out. We went to the tourist info in town and they knew which hotel still has some space. Unfortunately, we did not get the best deal out of it and stayed at a hotel called Hotel Terminus, right next to the train station. Let’s say it was O.K. for one night, but the people were really nice.

San Sebastian! Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Instead of hanging around and watch the ocean acting like a lake, we spontaneously decided to drive all the way through the north of Spain to its west coast, where we could also catch some west swell. After another day of driving through the beautiful countryside, we arrived in Valdoviño, a lovely little fishing town in Galicia, somewhere at the most northeastern tip of Europe!

One guy told us, “‘You will have empty perfection” Instead we saw empty flatness!
 We had to wait twoooooo mooooore days until some west swell arrived. So, we chilled, went running, did yoga, checked every beach in the area, and had some food while waiting for waves. Eventually, we spotted some swell arriving and jumped into the water at a really nice bay called Doniños. We were so happy to just get wet!

Waves at Doninos! Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Travel Info: Valdoviño is a sleepy village with just 7,000 inhabitants. It has a stunning beach and a large lagoon.Make sure to check the water temperatures for the time of year to make sure you bring the right wetsuit, or even better, your MI OLA bikini!

Surf: Doniños breaks best with a northwest, west, or southwest swell. Best winds are from the southwest, south, or southeast wind. It is beach break suitable for all levels of surf and is best at mid to high tide.

Eat and Drink: Eat at Restaurante El Gitano and order one of the weirdest seafood dishes I have ever hear of, called gooseneck barnacles (percebes)!

Percebes. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Sleep: We camped at Camping Valdoviño. It was a fantastic campsite. You can rent tents, apartments or bungalows with terraces if you don’t have a big van to sleep in. It has great view of the beach.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Valvodino! Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

In the end, both of us had some really fun waves at Doniños, which was not crowded at all! We were the only tourists in the water, surfing with some locals. Galicia is the place to be if you are in search of quiet, stunning nature and surf some spots on your own.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

 

After a few days we headed back to Mimizan Plage, near Hossegor, France, to stay for our last week. Finally, we were lucky with the swell; the waves in Hossegor were pumping and in perfect shape!

Travel Info: Mimizan Plage is a popular beach spot for tourists during the summer, but during the winter and spring it is a quiet and nice village located directly on the long and wild Atlantic beach breaks.

Waves at Mimizan Page.Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

Surf: Mimizan Plage breaks best with a northwest, west, or southwest swell;It is beach break suitable for all levels of surf and is best at mid to high tide.Make sure to check the water temperatures for the time of year to make sure you bring the right wetsuit, or even better, your MI OLA bikini in the summer!

Eat and Drink: Pura Vida Surf Camp, where we stayed, has delicious and healthy food, from homemade bread and marmalade, to mint leaves from their garden for your tea! At night, you could also check out the Pura Vida Bar in town for good drinks and dancing music.  It has the same name, but a different owner.

Sleep: We stayed at Pura Vida Surf Camp
. It has a pool and a really lovely garden to hang out. You can get bikes with surf racks to drive down to the beach (just 5 min.)
 They also rent surfboards.

 

All in all, it was such a fun road trip! To travel along the Atlantic coastline wherever and whenever we wanted made me feel so free! Exploring new places, enjoying empty beaches, getting to know different cultures, and talking to local people is so rewarding to me. This is one of the reasons why I love surfing! And as far as the swell is concerned, sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are not, and sometimes you have to chase it!

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Verena – @laa_sirenaa

MI OLA has got you covered, literally and figuratively!  To learn more about surf science, check out our blog posts on swellhow waves are formed, how wind affects waves or what makes a wave a left or a right.  We also have super handy surf guides from all around the world, written by our local ambassadors, so if you are headed on a surf trip be sure to check them out!

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

 

 

August
5

#GetOutThere Guide: Rio de Janeiro

Sun, Samba, surf, Caipirinhas, Carnival, Copacabana, bikinis, beach, football, Havaianas, sophisticated beach city, amazing landscapes, and a massive urban forest are just a few of the wonderful things that come to mind when you think about Rio de Janiero.  This city is amazing to visit anytime.  And now- starting today – it’s hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics.

MI OLA Brand Ambassador Ashley Averill(@theviewfrom6ft), visited Brazil for Carnival earlier this year.  Here is her scoop on Rio and its outdoor adventures  just in time for the opening ceremony of the 2016 summer games. If you are in Rio for the Olympics, or just planning a trip anytime, check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Rio de Janeiro.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

#GetOutThere Guide: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ashley grew up in the beach town of Clearwater, Florida with a love of all things water-related and shopping. She now lives in Texas working as an engineer and takes every opportunity she gets to travel, with her most recent adventure to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro sits on the Atlantic coast of Brazil and is the country’s second-largest city. The city is home to over 6 million locals, known as “Cariocas”. The year-round temperature averages  70-80 Fahrenheit, which means you can grab an Uber (equipped with a surfboard rack) and head the beach, hike from the city streets up to rain forest covered mountains, or if you dare, get a running start and jump off these same mountains to hang glide.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

Hike:

While New York has Central Park, Rio has Tijuca National Park. Framing the city opposite of the Atlantic Ocean, this urban rain forest is home to miles of trails, waterfalls, monkeys, and most famously, the Christ the Redeemer statue. Most visitors get to Christ the Redeemer by train or bus, but MI OLA girls believe hiking beats hours spent waiting on transportation.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

To find the trail head, enter the forest behind the old mansion at Parque Lage, a property owned by the city’s botanical gardens, and follow signs to Corcovado, the name of the mountain the famous statue sits on (translates to “Hunchback”). Most of the 6km uphill hike is a natural staircase formed from tree roots. There is one scramble up a rock face, and the final stretch of hike is along the road. There are many online blog posts and guides for the hike, but it definitely is worth a Google search and a read to ensure you know where you are going.

As always, please go with friends, and let others know of your planned hike.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

Paraglide and Hang Glide:

Farther south in the park, the lush peak of Pedro Bonita (literally “beatific rock”) offers year round paragliding and hang gliding! Both involve trustfully running off a cliff strapped to a tandem master.  Paragliding uses a soft parasail with the flyers in a seated position, while hang gliding uses a triangle-shaped wing supported by a rigid frame with the flyers in a horizontal position. Paragliding can offer longer flight times for heavier passengers, but doesn’t get as close to the “I’m a bird” feeling as hang gliding.

To take part in either, head to Voo Livre in the Sao Conrado neighborhood. At the end of the road on the right-hand side there is a small hut that’s crowded with people early in the day. You’ll know it’s the right place if the sky above is speckled with the small multicolored silhouettes of the other flyers. In the small hut a demo video plays on loop to get future flyer’s adrenaline going and their hands reaching for their Brazilian Reals (currency in Brazil) – cash payments will get a better deal.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

Before each flight there’s some quick paperwork to fill out. It helps to have your passport number and an introduction to your tandem master. Before ever getting to the beach hut in Sao Conrado, most tourists are offered a hang gliding or paragliding excursion from hotels or friendly Cariocas on the street. It is advised to avoid these offers, booking through these middle-men takes more time, costs more money, and most aren’t official tourist bookers, but rather locals who leverage speaking English and Portuguese to earn a profit.

Go early in the day. Each tandem master has a limited number of flights they are permitted to do a day. After lunch many of the guides will have already exhausted their flights.

Hop in the car with your tandem master behind the wheel and the wings or parasail in the back.  You’ll get a quick briefing during the drive into the forest. Once on top of Pedro Bonita, you’ll meet the other flyers and tandem masters. Each flyer/tandem master pair practices running in sync for take-off a few times, making sure to maintain speed and not look down. Once confident with your running off a cliff skills it’s time to get strapped into the paraglider/hang glider and wait for the right wind.

While you might be nervous, rest assured.  The tandem masters do this a few times a day, every day.  Many of them compete or hold records in the sport.  So trust them. For instance, my tandem master held the South American record for longest flight time- 8.5 hrs! Our flight was breathtaking, but much shorter at around 5 minutes.  (Flight time can vary a lot depending on weight and wind conditions.) The flight offered bird’s-eye views of Christ the Redeemer in the distance, the clear teal ocean, and Rio’s many neighborhoods below. The flights land at Pepino Beach, not far from the hut where flyers fill out paperwork.

The key to landing is the same as take-off: run as fast possible and look straight ahead. Try to avoid tripping and face planting into to the sand as I did!

Beach:

Once you’re back at the beach, swim or paddle out to cool off and then dry off on the sand! To blend in don’t bring a towel to the beach as Cariocas either sit on sarongs, rent chairs along the beach, or just enjoy sandy cheeks. In Rio, the less bikini the better – pack your MI OLA Casita Boythong or Thong Tha Thong and you will fit right in!

Drink:

As you sit on the beach, a wandering Caipirinha salesman will pass. Buy one! The Caipirinha is made out of Cachaça (similar to rum), limes and sugar. It is the national cocktail of Brazil and a perfect anytime drink, but is especially good freshly muddled under the hot sun. All sorts of flavors of Cachaça and Caipirinhas can be found all around Rio, with the most memorable flavor being Cachaça de Jambu. Jambu is a Brazilian leafy green herb that causes the tongue and throat to tingle and go numb. Taking a shot Cachaça de Jambu had my life flashing before my eyes way more than hang-gliding did.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

Eat:

Most mornings in Brazil begin with an acai smoothie from a local juice shop. (Acai is a small red-purple berry from a palm which is high in antioxidants and is said to boost energy- beyond being flat out delicious.) Almost every street has a small open aired juice shop, with a few stools along the counter and pile of fresh fruit behind the counter. Common tropical fruits such as mango, papaya, guava are offered, as well as amazonian fruits such as cashew fruit, guarana, pitanga and the most famous, acai. Grab and go pasteis (fried meat and cheese-filled pockets) and Pao de Queijo (cheese bread) will also tempt you from the glass display boxes at the juice shops. For more sustainable food to fuel adventures, look for flavorful stews, hearty rice and beans (black beans and rice, or Feijao, is a Brazilian staple), and authentic sushi (Brazil has more Japanese immigrants than any other country).

Where to Stay:

The best places to stay in town are along the beach. In particular, Ipanema blends tourists, trendy locals, and the LGTB party crowd. It offers options from hostels to luxury hotels. Bonus points to any lodging in the east side of Ipanema that is positioned walking distance to the General Osório subway station.

Copacabana is a good plan B, although it has become more commercially touristy. While in town check out the slightly inland neighborhoods of Botafogo for brunch, Santa Teresa for an art gallery walk, and Lapa for nightlife.

The business focused Centero, the true downtown of Rio, doesn’t offer much for tourists. It is best to avoid on weekends and nights when it is empty and possibly seedy.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

Transportation:

The best tip for getting around Rio de Janerio is Uber. Uber is great because the same app that works at home in the US will work in Rio. The digital interface allows users to enter the destination and have confidence that the driver is going to the right place without putting their Portuguese skills to a test.

Rio even has UberEnglish and UberSurf for those willing to pay a few extra Reals for an English speaking driver or a surfboard rack. When out of Wi-fi range, the city also offers taxis (though not too many taxi drivers speak English so be prepared with a written address), two subway lines and buses (the most cost effective option).

For transportation to Rio the city has two airports: Santos Dumont for domestic connections and Galeao-Antonio Carlos (GRU) for international flights.

Tchau and enjoy your travels MI OLA babes!

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley A.- @theviewfrom6ft

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.

Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 6.53.17 AM

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.38.04 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.34.22 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.49.21 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.48.43 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.42.05 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 5.40.09 PM

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

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 6.04.12 PM

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
22

What’s it like to win a trip to Costa Rica?

Have you dreamed of getting away… on a free vacation to Costa Rica?  Sound too good to be true?   It’s not, if you win the MI OLA Grind TV sweepstakes!  Enter here.

Last July we were excited to give away a trip to one lucky winner and her guest to our tropical home base of Tamarindo, Costa Rica. There is nothing like sharing the stoke of our awesome surf town to new people. The lucky winner, Andrea, fell in love with Tamarindo just like we did ten years ago! We caught up with Andrea after her trip to get all the awesome details. This mermaid not only found the best spots in town to not only eat, but also went on some pretty awesome adventures. Check out her Tamarindo adventure below!

AND – if you missed it – we are giving away another trip to Tamarindo, Costa Rica. That’s right, a free trip to Costa Rica.  You’ll stay on the beach in paradise at the gorgeous Tamarindo Beach Diria Resort, travel with an airfare voucher up $750 per person, learn to surf, get $500 in the best swimwear for adventure from MI OLA, and 2 ultra-plush luxury beach towels from TIDE & POOL. Enter now!

 

Andrea MI OLA Sweepstakes 4

Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

My name is Andrea and I am from Boise, Idaho. I grew up in a small town 30 minutes outside of Boise called Emmett. I am a huge outdoors person; I snowboard, raft, hike, backpack, camp and just love to travel and see new places with my boyfriend Austin. We spend a lot of time seeking new adventures and learning new things. Last year, I won an amazing vacation to Tamarindo, Costa Rica from MI OLA. They flew us to Tamarindo, Costa Rica where we stayed at Cala Luna Boutique Hotel, our home base during the trip for all of our adventures.

Andrea MI OLA Sweepstakes 2

Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

Our adventures were endless; every day was something new and amazing. There was never a dull moment!

Austin and I went on some pretty amazing adventures. We rented a moped scooter and rode it everywhere all around Tamarindo – the back roads, beaches, anywhere we could manage to get the scooter! We even made it to the top of a mountain with an amazing view. We took surf lessons through Cala Luna, and also rented a board from Iguana Surf (they have super cheap rentals and awesome staff). We went on the Tamarindo Estuary Tour and got to see a lot of Howler Monkeys and Crocodiles! MI OLA also hooked us up with a catamaran sunset cruise, which was out of this world. The Marlin del Rey Catamaran was beautiful, the food was awesome, and drinks were never ending. Last, but not least of our adventures, was an ATV tour, where we went to a beautiful beach called Playa Grande.

Andrea MI OLA Sweepstakes 1

Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel was absolutely beautiful.

Cala Luna had so many great amenities! Our favorite part was their AMAZING daiquiris which they made with real fruit. Cala Luna also offers cocktails on the beach at sunset- YOU CAN’T BEAT THAT! The hotel had very romantic dinners every night in the restaurant, as well as the option to privately dine on the beach if you want to spice it up. The employees were always there to help us with anything we needed. The next time we go back to Costa Rica, we most definitely will stay there again.

Andrea MI OLA Sweepstakes 3

Photo by Andrea @andybabe88

 

COSTA RICA HAS AMAZING FOOD BOTTOM LINE!!!

We loved the food every place we ate at. It was just unbelievable and all so different. On top of that, the hospitality made our experience even better.  Shrimp Hole is a tiny little place that only seats around 12 people, but has such great food. Dragon Fly – holy wow, the best steak I have ever eaten! Witch’s Rock had a cool environment, very laid back, and also has a cool brewery and store. Roof Top Bar & Grill had an amazing view, awesome live bands, and a very low key restaurant. Patagonia was very romantic, with awesome argentine food and great service. Sprout had very healthy, light food and you get a lot of it! Bamboo Sushi Club was a really beautiful and open restaurant; it looks like it is indoors, but it’s completely open and you can look up to see the stars.

 

Everything about Tamarindo, Costa Rica is perfect – the people, beaches, tours, restaurants, hotels, bars, surfing, and night life. I fell in love with the town and I think about it every day. I truly feel like I left a piece of my heart there – it felt like home. I for sure will be returning very soon!! Thanks MI OLA for such a great trip!

July
8

#GetOutThere Guide: Southern Utah

Our MI OLA brand ambassadors know how to #GetOutThere and ambassador Becca (@roamwildandfree) raises the bar with her outdoor adventures. Becca and her husband are on an eight-month road trip across the United States. They recently spent a couple of weeks exploring Southern Utah. We were so inspired by her photos of picturesque landscapes, so we caught up with Becca to get the insider tips on how to #GetOutThere in Southern Utah.

#GetOutThere Guide: Southern Utah

Greetings from our 4-wheeled adventure mobile! My husband, beloved pup and I are on an 8 month road trip all around the American and Canadian West hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and summiting peaks. We fill our days with the activities that we love the most and I’m here sharing one of my favorite areas of our journey – Southern Utah.

Rappelling from Looking Glass Arch outside Moab, UT. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Imagine you’re wading through a crystal clear emerald river with massive, red canyon walls on either side. A few days ago, you were camping out under the stars surrounded by nothing but desert and a few cacti scattered about. In another few days, you’ll find yourself mountain biking across some of the best slick rock in the world. Where is this paradise? None other but Southern Utah. Southern Utah is home to some of the best hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, rock climbing and canyoneering in the world. Read on to plan your own epic road trip.

Your treasure road trip map to paradise! Map courtesy MoabAdventureCenter.com

Your treasure road trip map to paradise! Map courtesy MoabAdventureCenter.com

Starting your Journey – How to Get There:

Geographically, it makes the most sense to start your adventure either in Springdale, UT and head east, or begin in Moab, UT and work your way west. In the effort to streamline your road trip planning, this guide will be broken up into three geographical areas – Moab, UT (Arches and Canyonlands National Parks), Capital Reef National Park, and Springdale, UT (Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks). Since most of your journey will be in a desert climate, plan your road trip for Autumn- Spring. Avoid the summer unless you enjoy roasting away in the sweltering heat. 

 

What to Bring:

For the outdoor lover, bring your camping gear because I’m about to tell you about some of my all-time favorite camping spots! Pack clothing accordingly. You’ll be in the desert and it may be hot during the day and chilly at night. Don’t forget a trusty pair of hiking shoes and a reusable water bottle!

Overlooking Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park.

Overlooking Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Moab, UT (Arches and Canyonlands National Parks)

Moab is the home for all things adventure. Hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, sky diving… It’s all there! Moab is your “one stop shop” for a wide variety of landscapes and awe-inspiring views around every bend.

Where to Hike
– Devils Garden Loop in Arches National Park – 7.2 miles round trip offering a variety of views including eight arches, a relatively flat trail, steep ledges and rock scrambling.
– Gooseberry Canyon in Canyonlands National Park – 5.4 miles round trip descending (and ascending) into the Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands providing hikers with Grade A panorama views.
– Negro Bill Canyon off Scenic Byway 128 – 4 miles round trip along an easy going stream winding through steep canyon walls to an underground spring and Morning Glory Natural Bridge.

Where to Mountain Bike
– For beginner riders, check out the Bar M Loops. It’s a great spot to test out your skills and jump on more intermediate trails as you progress.
– For intermediate to advanced riders, look into THE Slickrock trail in Sand Flats Rec Area.

Where to Rock Climb
– Wall Street off Potash Road – Belay from the comfort of the top of your car! Famous for the “park and climb” day, Wall Street offers top rope routes for beginners to advanced.  Be aware, you will have road noise and the area is quite popular.
– Indian Creek – The mecca for crack climbing, any rock climbing enthusiast will be happy here for days and weeks on end!

Where to Camp

– Goose Island – A BLM managed campground right on the river just minutes outside Moab.
– Jaycee Park Campground – Another great BLM managed campground less than 10 minutes outside Moab with great access to rock climbing.
– Sand Flats Recreation Area – Boasting over 120 private campsites, Sand Flats is the place to camp for those interested in mountain biking the infamous Slick Rock Trail.

Where to Eat
– Moab Coffee Roasters for your morning brew.
– Eklecticafe to load up on fuel for the day.
– Milt’s has the best burgers and milkshakes in town.
– Zak’s pizza has an impressive all you can eat buffet to reward yourself after that grueling hike.

Plan for at least 3-4 days in the Moab area, there will be so much you’ll want to do without near enough time! We spent a full 3 weeks in Moab and still have a list of things to do when we return.

Exploring the never ending canyons around Capital Reef & Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Exploring the never ending canyons around Capital Reef & Grand Staircase-Escalante. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Capital Reef National Park

Capital Reef National Park, as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, will leave you inspired for years to come with giant sandstone formations, impressive arches and an ever-changing horizon for the wander-lusting soul.

Where to Hike
– Chimney Rock Loop in Capital Reef National Park – 3.6 miles round trip best suited for sunset views.
– Coyote Gulch in Grand Staircase-Escalante – 11.5 miles round trip winding through a slot canyon as well as passing numerous arches.
– Calf Creek Falls in Grand Staircase-Escalante – 5.8 miles round trip rewarding hikers with a 130 foot waterfall with a swimming hole underneath!

Where to Camp
– Fruita Campground is the only developed campground inside Capital Reef National Park. Fill up on water here for your hikes.
– Calf Creek Campground is inside Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park with sites filling up on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Where to Eat
– Kiva Koffeehouse in Escalante for your morning coffee and bodily fuel.
– Escalante Outfitters Café in Escalante will feed your hungry belly after an arduous hike.

Capital Reef National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument are a bit off the grid and the “beaten trail”. Many folks plan 1-2 days but the opportunities for the outdoor lover are endless in this vast area.

Enjoying the view on Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park.

Enjoying the view on Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

 

Springdale, UT (Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks)

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are some of the most picturesque landscapes in the entire world. Springdale, a cute little trendy town located just outside Zion National Park, offers visitors a plethora of restaurants and local art.

Where to Hike
– Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park – 4.8 miles roundtrip of strenuous, exposed hiking leading up to one of the best views in Zion. Be aware, this hike is extremely popular (with good reason). To avoid crowds, plan for a sunrise or sunset hike.
– The Narrows in Zion National Park – The Narrows are not necessarily a hike, but rather a thrilling experience wading through the Virgin River with steep walls on either side.
– Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park – 8 miles roundtrip offering hikers impeccable views of Bryce Canyon.

Where to Camp
– North Campground in Bryce Canyon National Park.
– Watchman Campground in Zion National Park.
– South Campground in Zion National Park.

Where to Eat
– Cafe Soleil provides a great breakfast and friendly baristas ready to prepare you for your day.
– Oscar’s Café is a perfect spot for a lunch complete with outdoor seating at with canyon views all around.
– Bit and Spur can’t be missed for dinner, the prices and experience are well worth it.

Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks provide excellent opportunities for the outdoor lover. Plan for at least 3-4 days here to enjoy the minimum that this pristine area has to offer!

Happy Trails! Stay tuned for more #GetOutThere guides coming your way from our 8-month journey around the American and Canadian West!

Happy Travels!

Happy Trails! Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

July
1

Surf Guide: Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

This month, we are back in Costa Rica in Nosara.  Nosara was recently named as one of the 20 best surf towns around the world by National Geographic, and it’s also rated by Trip Advisor as on of the top beach destinations in Costa Rica.  It’s located centrally in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica, on the Pacific.  Playa Guiones, in Nosara, is a long stretch of beach, with good waves all year.  When you add in warm tropical water, and a charming town filled with yoga studios, boutiques and restaurants, it’s a great place to get away from it all.

Team Rider Kristen @sambatothesea loves surfing this beach break and she recently got back from a weekend work-cation in Nosara, photographing a beautiful wedding AND surfing perfect waves in Playa Guiones.

Wave in Playa Guiones

Photo courtesy Wave Tribe Company.

SURF GUIDE: Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica by Kristen Brown – @sambatothesea

Where and when to surf: 

Playa Guiones is a beach break. There are the waves up and down the long stretch of beach, so you can walk as far as you wish to find a nice, uncrowded wave.  Playa Guiones is exposed to swells coming from all directions, so it is rarely flat.

Best Tide: All tides.
Best Wind: Offshore, from the East.
Best Swell: All swells.
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
Season: For offshore winds all day, January – April. But there is surf year round.
Crowd Factor: Some peaks can get crowded, but there are plenty of waves to be found.

Surfer at Playa Guines, Costa Rica. Photoraphed by Samba to the Sea Photography.

Surfer at sunset in Playa Guiones. Photographed by MI OLA team rider Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography (@sambatothesea).

Water Temperature:

Water temperatures in Costa Rica are almost always tropically warm (MI OLA Bikini temp!), except for when there are strong offshore winds.  So before you head out, check it out.  If there are strong offshore winds, the water temperature can drop, and you’ll want a spring jacket or spring suit.  You don’t want to paddle out to perfect waves and be too cold to surf!

Lifestyle photo shoot for Kim (@_thesunnyside_) at The Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica. Kim is wearing a MI OLA surf bikini. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography.

Kim (@_thesunnyside_) wearing the Pin Up top and Striped Boyshort. Photographed by MI OLA team rider Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography (@sambatothesea).

Where to Stay:

There are many options for all budgets.  If you are looking to surf, surf, surf AND improve, I have several friends that highly recommend Surf Simply Surf Camp.

Check out Harmony Hotel, Olas Verdes, and Casa Romantica for a higher budget. Great lower budget options are Beach Dog Hostel, steps away from the beach and serving up great food, and The Gilded Iguana.

Lifestyle photo shoot for Kim (@_thesunnyside_) at The Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica. Kim is wearing a MI OLA surf bikini. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography.

Kim (@_thesunnyside_) wearing the Pin Up top and Striped Boyshort. Photographed by MI OLA team rider Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography (@sambatothesea).

Apres Surf:

I don’t think you can get a bad meal in Nosara. A couple of my favorite places to eat are Harmony Hotel, El Chivo, Beach Dog Hostel, Gilded Iguana, Go Juice Nosara, and Nosara Pura Vida. Although the food is great, the bill will tend to be a little higher than you are expecting – about $10-$20 per meal without alcohol.

Lifestyle photo shoot for Kim (@_thesunnyside_) at The Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica. Kim is wearing a MI OLA surf bikini. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography.

Kim (@_thesunnyside_) wearing the Ring Halter top and Striped Boyshort. Photographed by MI OLA team rider Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography (@sambatothesea).

Other Activities:

Nosara is also known as a yoga town. From yoga retreats, teacher trainings, to yoga classes, you can spend the whole week surfing and practicing yoga! Check out Nosara Yoga Institute and Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort.

In addition to yoga, there are zip lining tours, ATV tours, horseback riding, and more.

How to #GetOutThere:

From Liberia Airport, Playa Guiones is about a two hour drive. The last half hour of the drive is on dirt road, so depending on the road conditions, it can get quite bumpy. We recommend renting a 4×4 SUV for higher clearance, especially if you plan on visiting and surfing nearby towns and surf breaks, OR if you’re coming during rainy season. You can also arrange a shuttle van from the airport via your accommodations.

Lifestyle photo shoot for Kim (@_thesunnyside_) at The Harmony Hotel in Nosara, Costa Rica. Kim is wearing a MI OLA surf bikini. Photographed by Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography.

Kim (@_thesunnyside_) wearing the Pin Up top and Striped Boyshort. Photographed by MI OLA team rider Kristen M. Brown, Samba to the Sea Photography (@sambatothesea).

MI OLA has got you covered, literally and figuratively. To learn more about surf science, check out our blog posts on swellhow waves are formed, how wind affects waves or what makes a wave a left or a right.  We also have super handy surf guides from all around the world, written by our local ambassadors, so if you are headed on a surf trip be sure to check them out!

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

June
24

#GetOutThere on July 4th!

Don’t you just love when a holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, making your weekend a three-day weekend? Even better is when the three-day weekend is during the summer. Extra long days = more time to #GetOutThere! Can we get a heck yes?! Just in case you haven’t made plans yet for the long July 4th holiday next weekend, here are some great last minute ideas on how to #GetOutThere before your July 4th weekend BBQs.

Get up early and surf! If it’s flat or you are not close to waves, grab a stand up paddle boarde and SUP or do SUP yoga at your local lake, pond, river, or ocean. Not only will you get your water time in, you also have motivation not to overdo it the night before. Our Brand Ambassadors have written some pretty awesome Surf Guides to waves right here in the USA, like Montauk, La Jolla, Rockaway, Deerfield Beach, Tybee IslandLong Beach, and Folly Beach.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 4.33.12 PM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

Wave

Photo by MI OLA Influencer Lex Weinstein – @lexweinstein_

Plan a 1/2 day hike. Research options within an hour of you, and make a hiking date with your best friend or significant other. We love the conversations you have when out on the trails with friends! Check out our Ambassador #GetOutThere Guides to the Shawangunks and White Mountain.

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 12.56.50 PM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Ashley.- @ayeboulet e

A long weekend is the perfect time to plan an all day adventure. There is still time to book a long weekend getaway adventure, from diving, skydiving, learning to kite board, etc. Why not turn a three-day weekend into a four-day weekend by taking an extra day off and get there early?  Our ambassadors love to #GetOutThere in The Outer Banks, Naples, Marathon in the Florida Keys, and Lake Tahoe!

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 10.03.33 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Becca.- @roamwildandfree

Plan your own surf and/or yoga retreat with friends. Are all the flights booked to the retreat you have had your eye on? Why not plan your own surf and/or yoga retreat with your friends? Be sure to plan your surf time around the tides and swell, and then your down time with a good yoga flow. Head to your local farmer’s market to make some healthy meals with fresh summer produce.

catherine 3

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Catherine.- @kathmarquis

Salute the sun @bvalorosi

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

June
17

MI OLA Yoga Challenge

For the past 14 days our yogi-mermaids have been leading the #MIOLAYogaChallenge.  Now it is time to put the whole sequence together. Thank you for all the amazing photos and people posing along!   Let’s do this!

Susi Tree Pose

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Susi – @insta_susi”

**It is always important to consult your physician before starting an exercise program. If you’re already a practicing yogi, jump into this. If not, we strongly recommend taking a yoga beginner course at your local studio so that you understand the basics, and proper alignment.  In other words, this yoga sequence is recommended for this that already have an established yoga practice – you understand proper alignment and know your limits.

#MiOlaYogaChallenge

Begin in a comfortable, seated position. Start to deepen your breath, bringing your awareness to the current moment. Once you feel grounded, and present, walk your hands forward coming into a Downward Dog position. Stay here for five rounds of breath, creating space in between your shoulder blades. Use your next inhale to step in between your hands. Slowly roll up with an exhale to stand.

Begin your first of four rounds of Sun Salutations A.

Once you’ve completed four rounds, take a moment in Tadasana to ground down through all four corners of your feet, breathing into the arches of your feet, and tips of your toes. Begin your first of two rounds of Sun Salutations B.

Now that you’re all nice and warmed up, let’ begin to flow from pose to pose (squeezing in both sides if a pose calls for it, back-to-back) for our full 14-day sequence from the #MiOlaYogaChallenge!

Day 1: Chair Pose

Day 1 MiOlaChallenge

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

– With your feet together, align your knees over your ankles, and sit back.

– Lifting your arms overhead, focus on dropping your shoulders away from your ears and arching your UPPER back, but keep your ribs in (you can do it!)

– Lift your toes putting all of your weight in your heels – now spread em’ and reground your toes.

– Navel draws to spine, and then hang out for 10 rounds of breath. Your booty will thank you!

 

Day 2: UTTANASANA (STANDING FORWARD BEND)

miola_uttanasa

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

– Move your feet to inner hip width distance apart. This will allow for more internal rotation of your legs to release your upper inner thighs (groin) back, move the sitting bones back and apart, and maintain a neutral, concave, lower back curve for a safe and awesome pose.

– To balance the action of the release of the groin, LIGHTLY scoop your tailbone to hollow your belly.

– Press down through the feet as you simultaneously engage and draw UP through the legs, hugging skin to muscle and muscle to bone all along your legs to protect your joints and create stability. Then from the strong pillars of your legs you can release your upper body down.

– Rather than allowing your whole upper body to ‘sag’ downwards, come up onto the fingertips of your hands and bend your elbows out to the sides, pulling your shoulder blades onto your back as your spine and torso release down.

 

DAY 3: PLANK (OPTIONAL: KNEE TO NOSE VARIATION)

miola_mermandplank

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @mermanda_

– Align your hands under your shoulders & firmly press the Earth away. With your arms straight and stable move that sensation down to your core.

– Strengthen the low belly (hint: engage your bandhas); hips stay low!

– Activate your legs! Extend energy out through your heels & breathe

 

DAY 4: KING COBRA:

Day 4 MiOla Challenge

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

– Palms placed under shoulders

– Press into Cobra. If that feels good – stay there!

– To keep going, draw your navel into spine, lifting your chest and bending your knees simultaneously as you straighten through your arms.

– Reach your head high and then start to drop it back as you reach your toes towards you head (or in my case…hair.)

– Drop out of it incredibly slow. Like slow mo. So. Slow. Slow. Slow. Sllloooooww.

– Take a moment laying on your belly for your back to re-stabilize, then push back into child’s pose

 

DAY 5: ARDHA BHEKASANA (HALF FROG):

miola_halffrog

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

– This is a tricky one for those of us with tight shoulders. Warm up with lots of quad opening, low lunges, and backbends such as cobra and bow pose. Practice seated and supine hero’s pose (Virasana) is also a great way to open up the front of the thighs and as you can see here the bent leg is in a prone version of reclining hero pose (Supta Virasana).

– Turn your upper body towards the leg that you are bending and reach back with that arm as if you were hitchhiking (palm facing up and thumb facing out).

– Grab for the big toe side of the foot and then as you spin the hand over the top of the foot so that your fingers are in the same direction as your toes (with the arm resembling chaturanga) turn your belly, ribs, and chest forward again.

– Curl your shoulder blades into your back and lift your face and chest skyward.

– Breathe and Enjoy!

 

DAY 6: DHANURASANA (BOW POSE):

unnamed-25

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @mermanda_

– Lay on your belly, reach for your feet.

– Breathe into the front of your body and begin pressing your feet back while lifting your chest up.

– Breath, press, lift.

 

DAY 7: PUPPY POSE TIPS:

Day 7 Puppy Pose

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

– Start in table top; with your hips stacked over your knees, begin to walk your hands out in front of you.

– Keep a Downward Dog upper back formation in mind as you lower your forehead to the ground (Check for ants. Ants? Hover your forehead. No ants? Gucci.)

– Stay in the pose for two breaths. Allow yourself to breathe out any thoughts about how sexual this pose looks. Once those have passed, remain in the pose for 5 more rounds of breath.

 

DAY 8: BALANCING TABLE TOP:

miola_balancingtabletop

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

– Start on all fours and extend opposite arm and leg.

– Bend the lifted leg and reach back with the opposite hand to turn it into a balancing half bow.

– Open the chest and press the foot up to the sky.

– Use the core to stabilize and not topple over!

– Breathe and enjoy

 

DAY 9: CAMEL TIPS:

miola_mermandbowpose

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @mermanda_

– Start by standing on your knees, toes tucked.

– Bring you hands to your low back and press your hips forward. At the same time lengthen your chest up towards the sky. (please don’t collapse your back!)

– If that feels good, begin to reach for your heels, one hand at a time.

– Want more? Untuck those toes, drop your head back to open your throat. Keep pressing those hips forward and opening the heart UP.

 

DAY 10: KAPOTASANA / VIRASANA (PIGEON / HERO POSE):

Virasana

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

– Start in tabletop with your knees under hips.

– Sit up to the top of your shins and start to lower your booty in between your calves. If it starts to hurt your knees, BACK UP. Roll or fold a blanket and place it in between your knees and sit back.

– If you want more: Lower yourself back by propping yourself up 1st with your hands, then move to forearms, then all the way down.

– Stop where you feel right, and breathe.

 

DAY 11: WHEEL (URDHVA DHANURASANA)

miola_wheel

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

– Warm up your quads, hip flexors, psoas, shoulders, and upper back before this pose. This pose is as much about flexibility as it is about strength.

– Maintain parallel feet and good internal rotation of the thighs to create space in the lower back. Start in bridge pose and then place the hands alongside the ears.

– Inhale press through the hands and come up to the top of the head and pause.

– Now suck the arm bones into the sockets (plug in!) and on your next inhalation straighten your arms to rise into the full pose.

– This is an amazing liberating and powerful backbend, opening up all the chakras and of course, backbends open up our hearts in a way that is so beautifully liberating and profound

 

DAY 12: SIDE PLANK (OPTIONAL: FOOT GRAB):

miola_mermandside

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Amanda – @mermanda_

– Begin in plank.

– Use your core strength to begin stacking the hips, bringing one leg on top of the other and the shoulders to be in line. Your top hand is active at it reaches up to the sky.

– Press the bottom hand firmly into the ground, as if you’re pressing the earth away.

– Lift the hips with every breath – more energy, but not more tension. Eventually begin looking up to the sky, maybe even lift that top leg!

 

DAY 13: FIREFLY TIPS

IMG_8976

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

– Begin in a forward fold. Bend your knees and being to walk your hands between your legs and behind you.

– Use your thighs to grip your triceps as you sit your bottom back, slowly lifting one leg and then the other.

– Straighten through your arms, elongate your neck and breathe!

 

DAY 14: HEADSTAND / HANDSTAND

Jessica_supHeadstand

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jessica – @jessicabellofatto

– Before attempting headstand you should have a solid handstand. This means that you can support your full body weight in your arms. I practice what I call the ‘headless headstand’/ meaning that you should be able to push down so much through the forearms that the head lifts off the floor.

– Lift your shoulder blades and don’t forget to use your legs! Squeeze the midline and reach your tailbone up to your heels creating a support in your belly, a length in your lower back, and a feeling of driving the feet up to the sky!

 

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the #MiOlaYogaChallenge! Congrats to our three winners of the challenge, @yogaandjoy, @daisyfasy, @yogafitwithbritt !

 

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

June
10

You’re not too old to learn how to surf!

Our MI OLA Brand Ambassadors are pretty amazing. They inspire us to get up and #getouthere EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. They are not only passionate about what they do, but they also are always open to try new things. Brand Ambassador Jen P, loves running marathons, is an avid SUPer, and took her first surf lesson at the awesome age of 41.

Learning to surf at ANY age is hard, so we chatted with Jen to get the insider tips on learning to surf at 40 and beyond.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.27.08 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.28.46 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

I took my first surf lesson at the ripe old age of 41 at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. We won’t even talk about when that was. It was all because a runner pal of mine with a keen sense of adventure called me up.  She was organizing a girls trip to learn how to surf. Honestly, I didn’t even know if I would survive my first lesson.  I assumed I might be the one floating out the back in a big ole inner tube with a drink in my hand, cheering on everyone else! Of course, you know that isn’t what happened – I had a great time the entire week!

Being in beautiful, warm water with a really fun atmosphere didn’t hurt, either. I will say, it was very helpful to go with a group of like-minded women. We were all about the same age, and we were all pretty fit. I only mention the fitness part because I think it really helped us succeed and enjoy the lessons. Surfing definitely goes better when you have some strength and endurance already under your belt.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.28.59 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

Tips:

– You are never too old to learn something new! Seriously, that type of thinking ages you more than any physical passage of time.

– Learn with a group so you feel less self-conscious about being a total beginner. As adults, we haven’t had to be beginners at much of anything in a very long time. It is humbling, especially if you are active and used to being pretty competent in other sports. Learn with a group of friends so you can encourage each other and laugh at the learning process together! If you can’t find a group of people to travel with, don’t be afraid to travel solo and either stay in a women’s single-traveler room (like WRSC) or join up with a women’s only surf retreat. You will be amazed how everyone welcomes everyone!

– At some point, you may realize that you are never going to be surfing 10 foot waves. This is ok. There will always be someone surfing better, or surfing bigger waves. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, but don’t apologize if the conditions are beyond your limit. It’s supposed to be fun! No one cares but you!

– The real reason I love surfing (even though I’m not very good at it, and continue to work on it) is because I love the water.  It is one more way to have fun in the ocean! And it seems like a sport I can do for a very long time. I’ve been a runner my whole life, but I’ve always said that if something happens where I can’t run because of injury or something else, I don’t want to be left feeling sorry for myself or lost without any activity or sport.  Surfing (and SUP) seem like lifelong activities that I can continue to enjoy forever!

My goal is to be a somewhat competent surfer by the time I’m 50. I don’t even really know what that means, but I’m having fun in the pursuit of this nebulous decade-long goal!

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.11.48 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.27.58 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.29.26 AM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Jen – @flentil

MI OLA has got you covered, literally and figuratively!  To learn more about surf science, check out our blog posts on swellhow waves are formed, how wind affects waves or what makes a wave a left or a right.  We also have super handy surf guides from all around the world, written by our local ambassadors, so if you are headed on a surf trip be sure to check them out!

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

June
3

#GetOutThere Guide: El Yunque Rainforest Hike, Puerto Rico

For this month’s #GetOutThereGuide, we’re catching up with MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @vitiviti . Her favorite activities include free-diving (40 feet), surfing, fishing, lobstering and playing in the waves. On the turf, she is doing yoga and exploring the outdoors.

One of her favorite hikes is to La Roca in El Yunque rainforest in Puerto Rico.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 2.08.37 PM

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @vitiviti in our Pin Up Top and Striped  Boyshort

#GetOutThere Guide: El Yunque Rainforest Hike

I love the ocean. I can spend an entire day lounging on the warm sand, snorkeling a reef, or surfing the day away. Unfortunately, spring time in Puerto Rico usually means it rains a lot. Almost every single day.

One of my favorite rainy day activities, is hiking up the “El Yunque Rainforest” in search of La Roca, known to have the most amazing views. You feel as if you are literally on top of the world.

View from La Roca El Yunque

Photo by Marfeus Murf

The Hike:
From the parking lot, the trail takes you to Mt. Britton, which you should definitely check out if you have the energy and time. It is a very steep, slippery trail so it’s important non-slip hiking shoes are worn.

Hiking El Yunque

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @vitiviti

The first part of this trail will end on Forest Service Road 10. Once you get to this road you can follow the signs to Mt. Britton, which will lead you to “El Yunque Trail”. From here you can then find your way to La Roca.

El Yunque Hike Map

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @mermaid.drea

Look out for signs for “Los Picachos” and “El Yunque Peak,”. If you have time, check out these spots too.

The overall hike is a bit challenging since as it’s a steep uphill climb, but many have done it. The goal of this hike is to reach the clouds.

Roundtrip the hike will take about four hours. When you finally reach the top you’ll enjoy the cold air from the mountains to cool you off! And on the way down, you get another refreshing reward:  ice cold waterfalls to cool off in.

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea - @mermaid.drea

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @vitiviti

Waterfalls:
After you’ve finished your hike, be sure to check out La Mina waterfall. It is very easy to get to as there are marked signs. There is a stairway that takes you down and the walk is about 30 minutes.

Waterfalls El Yunque

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Andrea – @vitiviti in our Casita Boythong and Pin Up Top

What to bring:
Good non-slip hiking shoes, and athletic gear.  Pack your MI OLA BIKINI – you’re gonna need it. Also pack a bag with drinks, snacks, a towel, and a light jacket. Bring water and more water. But if you don’t want to lug about heavy bottles, El Yunque has mini waterfalls everywhere, where you can get a refill.
Bring something dry and comfortable you can change into after your play day in El Yunque.

Hike El Yunque

Photo by MI OLA Ambassador – @vitiviti

Where to stay:
Although you are able to camp in the rainforest itself, I don’t recommend staying there. Tourists are better off going back to their hotel.

Apres Hike:
Eat at “La Parilla” located in the Luquillo Kiosks (it is kiosk #2). Relax in front of the beach with an ice-cold Medalla (our local beer) and and hot plate of deliciousness. A parade of food and drink kiosks, you have tons of options to sample local delicacies. You will not be disappointed.

How to #GetOutThere:
El Yunque is about a 45 min drive from San Juan. Take PR-26 until you see the exit for PR-66. Follow signs to get on road #3 South. Keep right to continue on #3 S and then on the third cross street you will make a right onto PR-191.

Once you get into the Rainforest the drive up the mountain becomes very windy with blind bends, so drive with extreme caution.

It is customary to honk your horn when driving up a bend to let other drivers know you are there. After driving for about 20 minutes you will come to a one-way roundabout. Bear to the right (road 930), where you will find a parking lot.

There is only one trail into the forest from here.

 

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