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Yoga tips from Villager Yoga

Annie-Damsky

The first day of spring is less than a month away… How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions? Get out that list –there it is, #9, Start Doing Yoga. If it’s still there, not checked off the list, why not let spring be the time to grow your yoga practice! Annie Damsky, Owner of Villager Yoga, shares her top tips for getting to yoga for the first time.

Call the studio to find out about the style of specific classes. This will give you an idea of which class will be a good fit for your personal needs. Yoga comes in many different styles. Some are more gentle and therapeutic, some are more powerful and sweaty and many options in between. Studios tend to offer introductory series for beginners; ours is a 6-week series on Wednesday evenings, 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Get a yoga buddy. Call up that friend who has been telling you to get into yoga and ask her to come with you to your first class. Just make sure to refer to tip #1 so you don’t wind up in a class that’s not a fit for a first timer!

Don’t over think it. Most studios have mats to borrow. Bring a water bottle, dress comfortably and be prepared to go barefoot. Don’t wear your shoes into the actual yoga room and turn off your cell phone. Our goal at Villager Yoga, is to make yoga and the studio itself approachable, accessible and relatable to everyone, so don’t be surprised if the teacher or another student simply introduce himself or herself to you!

Go back for second class! Your first class is always a little discombobulating. You are doing something that you have never done before, after all. No matter how chaotic or challenging it felt to move into the poses or to rest in stillness (svasana) at the end of class, if you felt a strand of peace, calm, strength, joy, release, healing… anything rewarding, go back for a second class. You will feel those sensations deepen!

One of my favorite sentiments to hear from students after his or her first class is, “I didn’t know that I could feel that relaxed.” Challenge yourself try something new and you may be surprised with what else will open up to you!

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ABOUT ANNIE
Birmingham native Annie Damsky is the owner and operator of Villager Yoga. Prior to opening Villager Yoga, Annie spent 10 years as a marketing professional with experience in retail, real estate, branded and promotional marketing. Annie’s path to entrepreneurship began at Indian Springs School and continued with her education at The University of Texas at Austin, and includes experiences in marketing and advertising for Saks Incorporated, Parisian and Bayer Properties.

After laughing her way through her first yoga class in 2001, Annie began practicing yoga regularly a few years later and achieved her 200-hour yoga instructor certification in 2009. Identifying a void in the market for kids and family yoga, she opened Villager Yoga in 2012, combining her passions for yoga, idea creation and marketing. Annie enjoys advocating for Birmingham through various organizations and encouraging people to get out and explore our city!

ABOUT VILLAGER YOGA
Villager Yoga
on Overton Road is a studio for the whole family that specializes in classes for all ages and stages of life. They have classes for growing families, like prenatal, yoga for new moms and kids & family yoga, in addition to offering “everybody” classes in varying paces, from gentle to active. Most of the classes are vinyasa (flow) based, however they also offer an alignment based class and a yin based class.

Their boutique features yoga mats, gifts and of course, yoga clothes. They also offer yoga parties for special occasions like birthdays, baby showers and bridal showers and teach private lessons in the studio and on- site at your home or office.

 

Thanks for sharing these tips with us, Annie! If you’re interested in taking yoga, check out the schedule of Annie’s upcoming classes below!

Family Yoga • February 28, 2015 • 9:00 am – 9:45 am
Prenatal • February 28, 2015 • 10:00 am- 11:15 am
Yoga for New Moms • February 28, 2015 • 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Sunrise Vinyasa • March 1, 2015 • 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Prenatal • March 3, 2015 • 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm

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Outfit of the Week / 06

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Karlie Aztec Tank // $54
Bella Dahl Shorts // $92.50
Botkier Logan Convertible Wristlet // $128
Necklace // $22.50
Free People Sandals // $68
Bracelets 
// $16

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What’s Pinteresting

This month we’ve been inspired by white ensembles and interiors, messy braids, top knots, and fresh florals! Check out our favorite pins of the moment below.

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OUR FAVORITE BOARDS!

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Wheelhouse Salon hair tutorial // fishtail braid

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Every girl should be able to master a fishtail braid, so we asked our friends at Wheelhouse Salon to share this fun tutorial with us! This textured braid is the perfect look for spring. For a more polished look, check out the braided updo below!

Once you’ve finished fishtail braiding your hair, you’re ready to turn it into an updo! Simply twist the braid around itself like a bun. Tuck any loose hairs underneath. Use a large clear bobby pin to secure the bun. Embrace whispy hairs and flyaways — they give the look more texture!

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Thanks, Courtney, for sharing these two easy looks with us! Wheelhouse Salon is located in Downtown Homewood. Call to schedule an appointment with Courtney (or any of the other great stylists) at (205) 582-2083!

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Outfit of the week / 05

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Show Me Your Mumu Animal Print Top // $124
Free People Bralette // $38
Floppy Hat // $36
Skinny by Jessica Elliot Necklace // $72
Lauren Merkin Leather Clutch // on sale for $99.99

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Alabama Native: Graham Yelton

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A Nashville native, now Birmingham resident, Graham graduated in 2003 with a degree in Graphic Design from Samford University. After six years in the agency world, she decided to step out on her own and focus on freelance graphic design & photography. She delights in branding new businesses and photographing food, fashion, products & homes. She loves all things clever, surprising, simple and colorful. Graham and her husband Jay live in the West Homewood suburb of Birmingham where they spent 8 years renovating their home. They live with their three dogs, Mister, Maggie and Mezi, and spend most (warm) weekends tending to their small garden.

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT ALABAMA?
Two things:
There are endless opportunities here. There’s still a need for creatives and thoughtful business owners to step up and create something really special here. Through photography and graphic design, I’ve loved getting to know some of these entrepreneurs and leaders. I guess you could say that I love the potential of Alabama. It already has so much to offer, but I’m really excited for things to come.

Secondly, I love our Farmers. Jay (my husband) and I make a habit of going to the Pepper Place Market every Saturday morning. We love getting to know the good people who have dedicated their lives to growing quality produce and raising happy animals. We have a small garden of our own, so we’re always asking them for wisdom.

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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT IN ALABAMA?
My neighbor’s house. We renovated a home in West Homewood and we really lucked out by moving in near Kathy & Kyle D’agostino (of D’Agostino’s Sausage Empire). They’re great cooks, but mostly we just love the casualness of getting together on a weeknight and collectively throwing together a quick meal. Honestly, that brings me so much joy.

But if we’re eating out… let’s just say that the staff of Brick & Tin know us by name…

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IF SOMEONE WAS COMING TO VISIT YOU FROM OUT OF TOWN, WHERE IS THE ONE PLACE YOU WOULD TAKE THEM?
A perfect Alabama day would somehow include Smith Lake, cocktails at Carrigan’s, dinner at Bottega, and end with blue’s music at Gip’s Place.

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IN ONE WORD, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ALABAMA?
Cozy.

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WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST KEPT SECRETS?
The food scene.

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Thanks for sharing with us, Graham! Check out more of her work over on her website.

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Trend: white on white

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Head-to-toe white is our go-to look for spring. This monochromatic trend will instantly elongate your look. With spring approaching, now is the perfect time to add some new white pieces to your wardrobe. This trend is super easy to execute. Layer multiple white layers, mix different textures, and voilà!

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Valentine’s Day Guide!

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You might think Valentine’s Day is overrated, but there’s no denying that it’s the perfect excuse to throw on a new outfit and hit the town! Whether you plan on having a fancy dinner, going out with girlfriends, or staying in, one of these outfits will fit the bill.

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We love the idea of a date night in for Valentine’s Day. Sometimes it’s just more fun to curl up on the couch with some takeout and a good movie!

WHAT TO DO AND WEAR
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Order Chinese food. 2. Throw on a graphic sweatshirt over a comfy bralette. 3. Pull on some cute leggings. 4. If you don’t feel like doing your hair, a cute beanie will do the trick. 5. Keep a cosmetics pouch nearby for instant lipgloss touch ups. 6. Find a good movie and get cozy!

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If you and your date are keeping things casual, or you’re going out with your best friends, this date is for you!

WHAT TO DO AND WEAR
1. Throw on a white jacket over a colorful blouse. 2. Pull on some gray jeans with zipper details. 3. Accessorize with dainty jewelry and a cute pouch for carrying beauty essentials. 4. Start with drinks at your favorite bar and then out for sweet treats!

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If you and your Valentine want to make the night a little fancier, here are some tips!

WHAT TO DO AND WEAR
1. Throw on your nicest blouse (bonus points if it’s pink, because it is Valentine’s Day after all). 2. Pull on some sleek black jeans. 3. Spritz on some perfume (we love this one by Joie). 4. Grab a black purse for stuffing any and all essentials you need! 5. Go to a nice restaurant, and end the night with some dancing!

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You can find all of these great gifts in our Birmingham store. While you’re there, stop by Soca Girl across the street to buy something special for your Little Valentine!

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Soca Style Tips // Pre-Spring Wear!

It’s February, and that means we’re approaching the end of winter — finally! While you’re patiently awaiting spring, watch our video with style tips on bridging the seasons.

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