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Sarah Pitman: Practicing Yoga During Anorexia Recovery

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Where I’ve been…

Perfection. Control. Two concepts that I struggle with more than anything. I am a perfectionist. I am a control freak. In so many senses of the words. I set impossibly high expectations for myself and for my life. I have an almost impossible time dealing with anything that I classify as “failure”. I am obsessive-compulsive and anxious to no end. Yoga and meditation have given me the ability and the knowledge to deal with these feelings.

Unfortunately, how I also deal and have dealt with these emotions in the past is through controlling my food. I am anorexic. I am in recovery, but I have a hard time accepting or seeing how one could ever be “cured” of this. For me, it is not about body image or body dysmorphia. It is about control. It’s a mind game for me: where are the limits of my body’s ability to survive? Since I am “failing,” I do not deserve nourishment and food. For a long time, these thoughts ruled my everyday living. I spent time in an eating disorder treatment center (some of the most inspiring times of my life) and I have been off and on in therapy and groups.

Ups and downs are a way of life. And through everything we face, we have those around us that will support us and love us no matter what. Probably the single most important influence in my recovery has been my yoga practice. It has allowed me to learn to love my body, it has allowed me to meet a community of souls that inspire me and motivate me every second of every day, it has given me a life focus and I have found my passion.

So where am I now??

The past few months have been harder than I’d like to admit. After a lot of back and forth, I made the decision to quit my full-time job in online marketing. I loved the work, but I was not able to balance my life and I realized that I was using the stress and pressures of work to ignore my eating issues and control. I had lost a significant amount of weight, didn’t want to eat, and my body was suffering. Some days, I couldn’t find the strength or desire to do my usual yoga practice. My body was shutting down. So. It is time for me to face it. Here I am, freaked out, taking time, however selfish I feel it is, out of the corporate world, struggling with how to convince myself that I am doing what I need to be doing right now–taking care of myself–and jumping in. If I do want to spread my love and my passion, it’s only fair that I must first be in the right place and “practice what I preach”, right?

I have often felt sort of like a nomad--no real "home base," always seeking adventure and travel. The only constant in my life that I have found I need is my yoga practice. I don't need much to get by in terms of belongings, but I do need enough space to practice and my yoga mat for grip, which isn't the most portable thing. That was before I found Tucketts. I love Tucketts yoga socks because they give me ultimate freedom: flexibility to truly take my yoga practice wherever I go, whenever I go! I don't have to worry about sliding everywhere. Plus, my feet are always cold, and I am a sock and leg warmers addict--the crazier and brighter, the better. Tucketts are just that! Unique, fun, eco-friendly, and impactful!

I encourage all of us in recovery and those on our journeys to push forward and stay strong. There is help, and often it is in the places you least expect it. I resisted Instagram and social media completely, but then it has given me life again. Thank you all. I love you. You all are MY heroes. Keep shining!  

 

 

Entrepreneur Hilary Star de Roy Finds Peace Through Yoga

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Life is not a constant. It is always changing, like nature.

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My instructor Regina of Gritty Buddha always reminds me of this; of how yoga teaches us to roll with the changes and be fluid. The tighter we hold onto things, the less happy we will be. Not everyday will be a “good day” and that is okay. The days that I practice are the days it is easier to remember these truths.

I feel that everyone could benefit from practicing yoga, but this is a recent revelation for me. I used to be anti-yoga, thinking it was a waste of my valuable time. If I had an hour to spare, I was at the gym, sweating on the treadmill or taking a high impact class like Zumba. I first tried a Vinyasa yoga class 6 months ago when my dear friend opened a studio close to my house in Glen Cove, NY. It left me in a puddle on the floor, in the best way possible!

It didn’t take long before I was hooked. I started breathing deeper, staying calmer when dealing with my kids, husband, and business. I felt more in control of the fact that I really had no control of external sources.

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I spent my career in fashion and left the industry to raise my children. When I started my own clothing and accessories business, Royal Native, I struggled with feeling overwhelmed and would get overly stressed out over the fact that it wasn’t growing fast enough and I didn’t have enough time. Yoga has really put things in perspective for me. If I take an hour to myself and practice yoga and breathe, I am able to focus better and work efficiently. The things that don’t really matter fall to the wayside. I have come to realize (although it’s still a struggle sometimes) that what needs to get done will get done. And if I slow down and breathe, life becomes clearer.

One thing that always distracted me while practicing yoga was the fact that my feet slipped when I was in certain poses. Tucketts made me so much more comfortable and therefore able to stay in the moment and remember to breathe. I love the cute stripes too! As a fellow female entrepreneur and business owner, I love supporting small sustainable women-run companies as much as possible.

My advice to those new to the practice is: Keep with it when you are starting out! Even if it is 5 minutes a day, stretch and breathe and do it again the next day. Also find a teacher that you connect with, it makes all the difference!

 

Shree Vella: Inspiring Instagram's Yoga Community

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Shree Vella has been practicing yoga for the past 7 years. One year ago, she made it part of her daily routine and started to practice with full determination and dedication.

“Yoga has changed my life for the better. I feel excited and motivated everyday, and just love doing and studying yoga all the time! Being a yoga instructor is so rewarding and awesome!”

Armed with experience from the photography world, having worked as a freelance wedding and portrait photographer for the past 7 years, she has created a beautiful instagram account called @shreeyoga where she posts pictures of her progress and practice, inspiring yogis and people from all around the world.
 

She also uses the community platform to graciously accept the support that the Instagram yoga community can offer. Hosting yoga challenges keeps her very busy and creative, and inspires a community of individuals to practice particular poses all together!

She often poses in her Tucketts yoga socks and proclaims, “They are just the best socks!” Most recently, we sponsored her #SocksandTeesYogis yoga challenge and loved seeing beautiful yoginis pose in our gorgeous knee highs while hundreds of community members played along.

Her advice for others about finding inner peace through barefoot workouts is: “Keep trying and working on your goals. Practice and all is coming.” There are no limits!


“After I had my daughter in 2008, I felt like I needed to get into fitness to regain my body and confidence.” It made perfect sense to her that she should undertake yoga teacher training and start to teach immediately, and that’s exactly what she did! She teaches yoga at a local Australian high school and teaches her own class twice a week at a beautiful, breezy venue. With a year of teaching experience and fully insured and certified, there is nothing stopping her from completing her dream of becoming a full time yoga instructor!

 
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How Yoga helped me to be off antidepressants and in tune with my body

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MABEL BUTLER

As an outsider looking in, even as a child I was always looking for my niche. I was born and raised in Southern California till the age of 9 before my family packed us up and moved us near Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. Although it was beautiful here, I didn't really fit in. I was athletic and boyish and not very socially experienced. I struggled through my childhood and barely graduated high school. I didn't even begin college till the age of 30. By then I had been divorced with two children and a niece to care for. Growing up as a single mother was not easy.

I've been a nursing assistant since the age of 18 and felt that at age 30 it was time to further my career and become a Registered Nurse. Little did I know that school was only going to progressively make me worse. I was depressed and had been taking medication for it. I also spent 2 years in college taking prerequisites. By the time I made it through my classes required for nursing, I discovered through time that this is not what I wanted. I couldn't fathom the thought of continuing to pursue something that was not going to make me happy. I still wanted to be a nursing assistant at the hospital where I worked and  I was fine with that. However I was really disappointed I had accrued school debt with no diploma to show for it. I fell into a further depression. 

It wasn't till September of 2015 that I had started to finally succumb to the yoga pictures and videos I saw on Instagram. When I first came across these beautiful pictures, I never thought I'd ever be able to even come close to being able to do some of the poses like crow, headstands and such. I began my home practice by November and had spent hours online researching tips to begin my own practice at home. The start of December I was lucky enough to meet a few yogis who were able to help me hands on with some techniques for arm balances and inversions. By February I was completely obsessed with my practice.  I felt like my soul was slapping me in the face telling me "HEY, you found your niche in life!" I spent 4-5 hours daily on my home practice learning yoga flows, inversions, asanas, Hatha yoga and recently Pranayama. Eager to learn Sanskrit and more about the science and benefits of yoga I purchased all books need for Yoga Teacher Training. 

In April I had spent many hours online researching schools for YTT and what it would take to practice around the world as a yoga instructor. I found Three Trees Yoga in Washington state as a perfect fit for my learning needs. I have been off anti depressants since January of 2016 and have been more in tune with my body than I have my whole life. I begin YTT in January of 2017. I am chasing my dreams to become a nationally known as a yoga instructor. I want to continue to help heal people the same way I was able to heal myself. I have joined the yoga community on Instagram to extend my outreach and offer any help or tips to anyone who seeks help. I am excited to announce that I hosted my first two challenges on Instagram in August and September and plan to keep hosting more, and Love Tucketts has so graciously agreed to sponsor us and help me chase my dreams. 

Fitness is more than something I do, but something I am.

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     MEGAN DENSMORE

 

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it” [Paulo Coelho] This is exactly what happened for me in my life. 

When I was 13, I was diagnosed with a condition called fibromyalgia, which is basically a full body, chronic, system shutdown. My body, muscles, joints didn’t like to work. I was prescribed heavy painkillers, but didn’t want to take a pharmaceutical route and tried things my own way. It took a long time, but after many years I was able to live a fit lifestyle once again through natural supplements, dietary changes, Pilates, kettlebell sport, yoga, and running, all of which I believe has brought me back up from my chronic pain and keeps me in a pain free, manageable, fit, and healthy lifestyle.