When what to wear while doing yoga, my number one concern is comfort. If yoga pants or shorts grip my gut too tightly, they limit my range of motion in forward folds, and if they are riding up my crotch or straining against my thighs, it impedes my extension in lunges and splits. Breathability of the material is my second big concern. When I flow through a very active yoga practice, I definitely don’t want to be trapped in with my sweat—let my skin breathe! Texture is concern number three. Does the fabric feel good on my skin? While I am meditating on my movement and breath, the last thing I want to disrupt my expression of a pose is itchiness; nor do I want my clothes to feel like I’m trying to wrestle with an eel. Can my foot easily grip to a legging-covered thigh without slipping while in tree, chair or eagle pose? Finally, feeling stylish and fashionably fit is always fun—even better when I can contribute to a clothing line with a conscience, which positively supports community. That’s why I was so thrilled to try out the new line of fashionably fit clothing line launched by Yoga Medicine founder and internationally renowned yoga teacher Tiffany Cruikshank’s with Liquido.
The “Kindred Spirit” pattern legging by Tiffany Cruikshank beautifully addresses all my active wear concerns, and then some. More designs from this fashion line can be found on LiquidoActive.com. You can choose from four pattern leggings or a Lean on Me tank.
Q&A With Tiffany Cruikshank On Liquido
The Mind-Body Shift was fortunate enough to have Tiffany Cruikshank take time to talk about her latest fashion line and her exciting holistic health educational initiative Yoga Medicine, as well as explain what clothing with a conscience means to her.
Q: What made you decide to collaborate with Liquido on a fashion line?
I used to live down the street from Renata Facchini, the owner and Global Distributor of Liquido, and we became good friends. Renata and I have long supported each other’s journeys in business and life. We created this collection together in response to a growing demand for robust and functional fitness wear with beautiful and stylish design.
Ever since I was in 5th grade, I remember loving fashion! Then, when I moved to Sydney, I fell in love with the Liquido Active line—the fit, the material, the prints—I loved it all. When I mentioned designing a line with Renata she instantly agreed. It was really gratifying for me to get to play with my more creative side and design some clothes that I loved and now to see other people loving them too!
My collaboration with Renata was to conceptualize and design an exclusive range of limited edition prints that would inspire and change the lives of women around the world. We created this collection specifically for women who like to integrate fashion and fitness into their lifestyle, so that they can feel confident and bold while wearing it.
Q: What does “Clothes with a Conscience” mean?
Yoga Medicine and Liquido both advocate for socially conscious fashion, and not only is this line functional; it is also making such a positive impact on the world. Simply put, our goal in creating this line together was to not only make women feel confident and self-assured, but also to give back to others who are limited by their surroundings. By using my background and expertise, along with Liquido’s fashion-forward attitude and quality, second-skin apparel, we are making a true and real difference in the lives of others.
Yoga Medicine is doing a service project with children in Calcutta to educate them and prevent them from being trafficked into the sex industry there. It’s a project I feel very passionately about. When we designed the line, Liquido wanted to give a portion of the proceeds from the Liquido by Tiffany Cruikshank line to this project.
I used to do a lot of work with the Girl Effect when I worked at Nike and I loved that they were trying to break the cycle by empowering young girls with education. So when I heard about this project with Liquido, it was an instant yes!
Each pair of leggings sold will support one girl’s education for two months. It’s a very sweet deal. Feel great, look great and empower women on the other side of the world to be powerful in their own way, through education.
Q: Can you tell me more about Yoga Medicine initiatives within India?
A percentage of all sales from Liquido will go towards funding Yoga Medicine initiatives within India. This humanitarian project, The Nabadisha Education Project, is with the Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF), to address education and support issues for street and working children in the heart of Kolkata.
The Nabadisha Education Project will operate 15 street kids shelters for more than 525 children living in the slums and red light districts of Kolkata. It will target kids between the ages of 4-15 to prevent them being trafficked into the sex industry. The centers provide healthcare, education, nutritional meals, tutoring, job coaching, yoga classes, and sports and recreational activities. One year of operational support for the 15 shelters includes educational materials, transportation, teacher’s salaries, supervisor’s salaries, accounting and office support for the Women’s Interlink Foundation.
Q: Yoga Medicine is set to hold a Seva (service) teacher-training module in India in December. What makes this teacher training so unique?
To further support this initiative, Yoga Medicine will host a very special Seva (service) teacher-training module in support of this humanitarian project. This Seva will take place from December 7, 2015 through December 16, 2015, at the Vedic Village Spa Resort in Kolkata. The teacher-training component will be all about selfless and compassionate service work.
This is very unique, as usually Yoga Medicine retreats are open only to those in teacher training. This retreat, however, is open to the public. It will include daily yoga, meditation and education on issues relating to human trafficking, rehabilitation, and economic empowerment. Additionally, the tour will visit significant spiritual and cultural sites of Kolkata.
The overall mission of this retreat is to travel to India and make a direct and lasting impact on the lives of women and children struggling for a better life on the streets of Kolkata.
Q: Can you tell us more about yoga as medicine?
I have studied yoga & holistic medicine since I was 14 years old. I apprenticed with an herbalist and then an acupuncturist while I was in high school and college, then went on to Chinese Medicine school and continued on to complete a specialty in sports medicine. For me, Yoga Medicine is the culmination of my life’s study.
It is really exciting to be able to bring together both of my passions in one place with Yoga Medicine. My main purpose was to create a connection with yoga in our medical system. Our teacher trainings are 1000-hours and it is meant to be like medical school for yoga teachers, in order for those studying to understand the fusion of holistic health and yoga with western medicine & anatomy/physiology to create a more powerful system of treatment.
My greatest passion now is training teachers. I’m so intrigued by the intersection of yoga & medicine. I’ve used it with my patients for over a decade with over 25,000 patients and I’ve seen over and over firsthand the potential for yoga to be used as a form of medicine.
Yoga can be so many things and it’s really incredible. You can go to almost any yoga class and experience the positive effects, but when a teacher understands how to apply it to the individual like a prescription, it has the potential to be a game-changer. It’s powerful, potent, and effective.
I love that my yoga practice and be used in so many ways to heal or strengthen to inspire or transform on so many levels. That it can be whatever you need that day physically, mentally and spiritually, just by being mindful to how we approach our practice and being open to continuing to learn & grow in the process.
Top 5 Health & Wellness Tips from Tiffany
- Never forget how important something simple like water is to your health. Check out the book, You’re Not Sick, You’re Just Thirsty.
- Be conscious of everything you put into your body as a tool to feed your performance, healthy & vitality. Think of your body as a machine. What are you using to fuel it?
- Be conscious of everything with which you feed your mind. Our perspective is shaped by everything we do and see and experience. Try ending your day by reflecting on three great things that happened each day for week, and notice how your perspective changes.
- Keep an ongoing list of goals as a recurring event in your phone to keep you on track and to remind you of your purpose so you don’t get lost in the details along the way. Keep clarifying your purpose in work, family and life as you go to keep you inspired. Reflecting on what is your unique contribution to your community.
- Notice the things you don’t do and how they affect your health & wellness. We spend so much time focusing on our goals & to do lists but it’s also really important to take time to rest and relax. As you get clearer in your purpose it becomes easier to say no to the things that aren’t as important to prioritize your time. In Chinese Medicine this is an essential component of our health & longevity, even though it’s difficult to put a value on the time we spend not doing things. Start noticing the value of the time you take for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. Do less in order to give your body and mind a break to restore and repair yourself—whether that’s a relaxing bath, time to meditate or spending time with someone you love, without an agenda.