July 08, 2014
June 30, 2014
June 04, 2014 1 Comment
Replacing my normal desk chair with a yoga ball was probably the best thing I ever did for my posture and balance, well besides yoga itself! I was introduced to my yoga ball by my doula who recommended I use it as a birthing ball. Little did I know how useful my ball would be in regaining my pre-pregnancy figure! Aside from the exercises, my ball kept me posture-perfect while nursing and when baby #2 came along, well, the only way to get her to sleep was to bounce her on the yoga ball........for hours.
While I was completely sold on my very versatile solve-it-all yoga ball, I wasn't quite sold on its aesthetic value. So you see, we had a very real love-hate relationship. Because that thing is just downright hideously ugly.... and it's plastic..... and it picked up every cheerio crumb and cat hair from my beautiful hard wood floors! And well, I kinda, sorta have this thing about my house coordinating! Something just had to be done.
That's when I started designing and developing yoga ball covers. The first covers the Global Groove Fair Trade artisan team made here in Thailand are a luxurious investment, retailing at $299. Considering it takes four eight-hour days and 10 yards of fabric to make just one, it's a pretty good deal for such unique sculptural opulence.
However after five years of producing the “royal” yoga ball covers, and five years of my friends asking for a more affordable version, Global Groove designs for life has developed again, the only fair trade yoga ball cover on the market. All-natural, 100% cotton, machine washable---you can cover up that plastic and get fancy for just 42 bucks.
April 18, 2014
Happy New Year! Chiang Mai's Songkran Festival—9 years and counting.
After three days of celebrating the new year in modern Songkran style, which is three days of non-stop smiles and laughter (and a huge water fight), I began the less exhilarating tasks of bringing in the new year: scrubbing the house and cleaning out everyone's closet. Which considering the current heat here in Thailand, is quite a bit of work. But feel-good work, nonetheless.
A bit of background on this Thai New Year tradition.....Songkran, a sanskrit word meaning ascending or moving on, was traditionally celebrated on the lunar calendar when the moon, sun and other planets pass into the zodiac sign of Aries.
The ancient Brahmins of India considered this to be the start of a new astrological year. The dates have since been fixed to April 13-15 and festivities of renewal are celebrated all over South and Southeast Asia.
Most of what foreigners see of Songkran is a giant city-wide water fight in extreme summer heat. However this “sprinkling” of water is steeped in religious tradition. Buddha images are bathed in temples at the onset of Songkran. The water used to bathe the Buddha (now sacred) is then sprinkled on family members as a blessing of respect representing renewal and good luck.
This background, in my opinion, is why the Songkran festival continues to work here. Culture. Culture is why it works. Nine years ago at my first Songkran I stood aghast, toddlers in tow, completely baffled that giant crowds, loud music, extreme heat, very wet people and beer not only could be, but was a family celebration.
Where else does an entire city come out and play with strangers?
Nine years later, my kids don't want me hanging around too much (except when they need money for french fries and pizza). So I took the opportunity to hang back a bit and observe the differences in culture to figure out why this can work here. What are the Thais doing differently?
They play differently. You can see it just in the way they hold their water guns. Farangs (foreigners) hold their water guns ready for attack. Thais barely have their finger on the trigger. No rush. No need to “nail” the next guy.
This is of course a generalization, but if you stand back and take the time to look, you can see the difference. Which really makes one think. About its culture. And how much that culture influences ones behavior. Unwittingly.
So please do come to Thailand and experience the spirit of Songkran. Try playing the Thai way....gently & respectfully.
Pay attention. Don't shoot driver's in the face. They're driving. And kids are playing. Keep your shirts on. This beautiful festival couldn't happen in your country. Respect that it can here. Here, in the Land of Smiles. Happy New Year!
February 27, 2014
Gina's take on Global Groove's journey through Hope and how we stumbled on the beginning again:
I actually have no idea how we got back to the start. Some folks might say that we never got off the journey and that would be true and false in the pretense of a big 'ole fork, I suppose. I get that selling the house and packing up our then one-&-three-year-olds for destination exotica must have seemed like a pretty gosh-darn Globally Groovy lifestyle. And well, I probably thought so myself at the time. But the Hope did eventually set in. As it does, I think when the babies come: I hope they are okay, I hope they stop crying, I hope I get some sleep tonight, I hope I get my yoga in today, I hope her fever doesn't get higher, I hope he'll eat his green beans, I hope I can take a bath in peace. Etcetera. So with a Fair Trade business and the last name Hope, what chance did we have but to wither in hope? I know, I know. I know. It's not exactly what you think of when you hear hope, but me and hope, we've had quite an interesting relationship over the past 9 Chiang Mai years. And I really have no idea what prompted me one day to want to kick the shit out of hope. But I did. You see, one can't simply hold onto hope. Hope is something you clutch to, sometimes desperately. Hope kept food in the fridge. Really, it did. But it was a bit confining for me. And now to get all Buddha on you--Hope is always in the future. And Global Groove is now. It's a different vibration altogether. I have plenty of hope, just not enough Global Groove.