7 Goddess Tips from the Original Yoga-lebrity

Become a more fearless, happier woman during pregnancy and beyond.

7 Goddess Tips from the Original Yoga-lebrity

This article was hand-pick for you from our friends at Well+Good. / It originally appeared over there. Enjoy!

If yoga's been a part of your pregnancy or postpartum journey, you may have Indra Devi to thank for it. You might say Devi was the Madonna of the yoga world in the early 20th century, credited as she was with bringing Hatha yoga to the West.

Born to a teenage mother in 1899 Russia, the beloved teacher’s life was all about reinvention. After debuting as a Berlin cabaret performer in her early twenties, she went on a spiritual pilgrimage to India, starred in a Bollywood film (where she was given her adopted Indian name), learned yoga from one of the master teachers of the day, and went on to instruct socialites in Shanghai, film stars in Los Angeles, and flower children in Mexico.


Clearly, Devi’s tale is the stuff best-sellers are made of, so it’s not surprising that journalist Michelle Goldberg would choose to chronicle it in The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West. While the book is full of rich history and insider anecdotes, Devi’s story is also a guide to living fearlessly and unconventionally—even when, like her, you’re living in a war zone or being investigated by the FBI. (Or, you know, when work is crazy and your apartment is a mess.)

Though she certainly had her flaws (you can read more on that in the book), there are plenty of reasons to be inspired by the original yoga-lebrity. Next time you need a hit of empowerment, consider channeling these seven elements of Devi’s one-of-a-kind character—and send her a mental thank-you note for bringing savasana to our shores.

1. She followed her intuition. When Devi discovered Hatha yoga as a bright-eyed spiritual seeker in India, it was totally unfashionable—disgraceful, even. “It was widely seen as the province of magicians, con men, and sideshow contortionists,” writes Goldberg. Even so, the actress had a hunch that asanas would help with her chronic anxiety attacks, so she pursued the practice anyway.

2. She refused to take “no” for an answer. Devi was intent on studying with Tirumalai Krishnamacharya—brother-in-law and teacher of B.K.S. Iyengar. But when she approached him, he bluntly told her that his shala was dudes-only and showed her the door. That didn’t faze Devi—she just went over his head to the maharaja of Mysore, who ordered Krishnamacharya to admit her as his first foreign, female student.

3. She used movement as medicine. After moving to Shanghai with her husband, Devi opened her first “studio” in a bungalow owned by Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, the then-First Lady of China. Her five daily yoga classes attracted hundreds of students each week, most of them American expats. Many reported relief from chronic conditions like asthma, insomnia, and headaches—so much for sorcery.

4. She was unapologetically kooky. Devi was known to practice a monthly day of silence, but she didn’t use it as an opportunity to chill at home. Instead, writes Goldberg, “she went out and about in the city, shaking her head and placing her finger to her lips mysteriously if some uninitiated person spoke to her.” Some may call it odd; we call it brilliant.

5. She defined #squadgoals. After moving to Los Angeles in the late 1940s, Devi opened a yoga studio on the Sunset Strip, which attracted a crush of film stars such as Greta Garbo, Jennifer Jones, and Gloria Swanson. She became especially tight with Swanson, with whom she joined forces to publish a yoga guide called Forever Young, Forever Healthy in 1953.

6. She never stopped seeking adventure. It wasn’t until Devi hit senior citizen status that life really got interesting; that’s when she was enlisted to serve as a spiritual advisor to a Panamanian dictator and an Argentinian rock star. Her advanced age didn’t stop her from crowd surfing at concerts, playing practical jokes, or doing handstands in airplane aisles. Maybe that’s why she lived to be 102?

7. She wielded her influence to create a major lifestyle movement. As Goldberg wrote, “The lifestyle [Devi] promoted—a mash-up of Hindu practices, Western esotericism, health food, show-business glamour, and back-to-nature femininity—has become nearly ubiquitous in privileged circles.” Looks like Gwyneth was taking notes.

Inspired to take your practice to the next level? Try yoga teacher training—it could change your life. As for modern-day star instructors, take a peek inside the glossy (and lucrative) world of Instagram yogis.

Written by Erin Magner for Well+Good.

Homepage image source. Book cover image by Deckle Edge.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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