Meditating on Mavericks
By: Kyle Thiermann
This winter in particular I’ve become slightly obsessed with Mavericks. It is a relatively new goal of mine to eventually make it into the Mavericks contest, and it’s quite an undertaking to do so in a responsible way.
Sometimes it feels like big wave surfing is an entirely different sport from regular surfing. I’m learning so much. It’s even inspired me to pick up free diving, which is a sport I’ve wanted to try for a while but never pulled the trigger on. By the way, did you know that free divers, people who go deep underwater with only the air in their lungs, are more likely to have girl babies because of the pressure on their sperm?! I didn’t find that out until this year. Crazy.
The main thing that I’m learning is breath control, and the biggest way I’m practicing breath control is by going to the 7:00AM classes at PPY. I’ve done yoga sporadically for the past few years, but as I’m taking big wave surfing more seriously, I’m congruently taking yoga very seriously as well. In the past, I practiced yoga to get more flexible. If I wasn’t becoming flexible as quickly as I expected to, I would get frustrated, ‘try harder,’ and get even more frustrated: obviously not a very safe or sustainable way to do yoga.
Now, however, with my intention to practice breath control in the studio, it’s allowed me to soften around the whole experience because, all of the sudden, I’m not trying to control something external, my flexibility, but rather, turn my focus inward on my breath. This, ironically, actually increases my flexibility… whew, exhale!
Caps of Love
By: Ashley Domsic
Hey there ppy
My name is Ashley Domsic.
I want to tell you all a little bit about the idea behind my creation, Caps of Love.
After working for years in the restaurant industry, my eyes were opened to the amount of waste that is created on a daily basis. While standing at the bar waiting for my drinks I would hear the clink of bottle caps hitting the metal garbage tin and at the end of the shift they would have a waterfall of caps that would all be thrown away.
I thought “But why?! They are so colorful and awesome. I must be able to do something with them.” So I began to collect these beautiful bottle caps. At first I was just filling small plastic containers. Little by little the collection grew and I would come to work to find my name on gallon bags full. Before I knew it I had bottle caps from China, New Zealand, Australia, India( thanks Aimee) Europe, Central and South America. Now I could take a bath in bottle caps…not that it sounds pleasant but you get the idea of how many bottle caps I have saved over the years and how my co-workers, family and friends have had fun collecting and been excited about being apart of the process.
I first started making bottle cap earrings for my coworkers with their favorite sports team logos and, of course, they loved them. So I kept making more and sharing them. I loved giving them as spontaneous gifts and before I knew it customers were asking for certain designs and for me to use their favorite bottle caps they had saved so they could give them as gifts as well.
I started to fine tune my process, working out the kinks so that the earrings would be of good quality and made with love. I spent countless hours hammering each cap flat, cleaning, gluing, cutting and hooking them. My hard work paid off and it felt awesome when I made my first sales. But I never felt right taking money for something that was recycled that I had fun making. So I looked around for an organization that I could donate some of my profits to.
I found the Homeless Garden Project, an incredible non-profit organization that works to provide job training education and support to homeless in Santa Cruz. I have stocked Caps of Love in their downtown retail store for the past two years and I have donated more than $3,000 to the project. Half of the profit from the sale of each pair of earrings goes toward helping someone in need and that feels great!
One thing that I love about having the earrings in the HGP store is that I know they are flying off my display. I am constantly adding new inventory, but I never see who is purchasing the earrings. For me there is no greater joy than seeing friends and strangers wearing these earrings. I usually don’t say anything but I can tell you I have a huge smile on my face and an exploding heart when I am dancing at a concert in front of my favorite artist and I see a perfect stranger in front of me wearing the earrings I made. That is the best part for me. It makes me so happy to get little glimpses of like-minded people who love the earrings and, even better, who purchased them to support such a great cause.
The one thing that I am most grateful for is people who support local art and give the creators an opportunity to showcase their art. Aimee is such a huge support of bringing art to life, which was one of the reasons we had the art fair at PPY this past holiday season. It was a fun mix of music, paintings, drawings, jewelry, salves and an overall nice way for each of us to connect, shop local and enjoy our yoga community off the mat. PPY is such a beautiful space. Each wall is filled with so much love from artists and teachers in this yoga community. Aimee is the perfect example of a person who artfully guides us through our yoga practice and helps us open more space in the body and mind to be inspired and create. No wonder why there are always so many great things on the horizon at the studio.
I am so excited to finally be sharing my earrings with you at the studio. Enjoy.