May 2009: What's New

May 2009: What's New

Download dog

Tired of shelling out $15 a pop for yoga classes? If you like having the guidance of a teacher, but need to economize, here’s the Middle Way: downloadable yoga classes from You can save cash and feel good about supporting a local company (iHanuman is based in Nelson County).

Sara Pope, iHanuman co-founder, had a vision of preserving great yoga classes in audio form.

Site co-founder Sara Pope explains that, while going through yoga teacher training in 2004, she was “attending lots of yoga workshops with incredible teachers from around the world, and I would leave the workshop thinking, ‘I wish I had a recording of that.’” Voila: an online library of first-rate instruction.

I tried it out by buying a $17 download: an hour-long beginner’s Anusara class taught by Suzie Hurley. It came in the form of a series of mp3s which I stored on my computer. Whenever I’m home and want a yoga boost, I just boot up my machine, play the mp3s and enjoy the sensation of a private yoga class right there in my living room.

Of course, it’s not quite the same as a live teacher, but after getting five or six “classes” for my money, I feel justi-fied in buying another. And iHanuman has classes for as little as $8—plus some that are free!—Erika Howsare

Hotter than a shot

Take one tumble and call us in the morning.

Forget that flu shot and echinacea regimen: If recent research is correct, getting frisky may be the best (or at least, the most entertaining) way to fight off those sniffles.

While it may not cure the swine flu, regular sex is a proven immuno-booster: In a recent Wilkes University study, researchers found that men and women who got busy one or two times a week had a 30 percent increase in IgA, an antigen and the body’s first line of cold and flu defense. Those who had less sex showed a much smaller increase, while sex more than three times a week also meant lower bumps in IgA.

While the connection between the two isn’t clear, we figure that getting an extra tumble or two in your day couldn’t hurt. Just be sure to exercise moderation and enjoy the opportunity to roll back in bed—doctor’s orders.—Lucy Zhou


Low-stress breakfasts

Got a big presentation, interview or test? A little adrenaline can be helpful, but you don’t want to be too anxious to stutter out a sentence or recall what you’ve studied. What you put in your stomach before the big moment can make all the difference. Here are three breakfasts for days you need to stay calm.

Grapefruit: part of this low-stress breakfast.

1. Oatmeal with honey; a fresh sliced peach

2. Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter; a hard-boiled egg; half a grapefruit

3. Whole-grain cereal with chopped walnuts and sliced banana

With any of these, orange juice or herbal tea is a better beverage choice than a huge cup of coffee or a dairy-laden latte.

Avoid too much caffeine (of course), nicotine, high-fat foods like cheesy omelets, and high-sugar foods like chocolate pastries. Still feeling jittery? Try some lemon balm tea or Rescue Remedy.—E.H.

How many is too many?

Sip, don’t gulp. One drink a day is the healthy limit for women.

Overdoing it on booze is obviously not healthy, but where exactly is that fine line between “too much” and “part of this complete diet”? Life might be simpler if we could declare that any alcohol is a detriment to your health, but for most people that’s not the case.

Actually, a number of studies have found that moderate drinking has a surprisingly long list of health benefits. Moderate drinkers live longer than those who abstain completely; they have fewer heart attacks, fewer strokes, and a lower risk of hypertension. Drinking—again, of the moderate variety—also helps reduce or prevent a host of health problems from diabetes to hearing loss to Alzheimer’s to stress (that last one, at least, is no surprise).

Great, you say, but what does “moderate” mean? The consensus, for women, is that moderate drinking means one drink per day. Staying within that guideline is important for all those health benefits. (Of course, as you know, stick to juice or soda if you’re pregnant or driving.) So raise a glass—but just one.—E.H. 

Clear correction

Invisalign is a low-profile way to straighten out your mouth.

Goodbye braceface, hello, smile? Instead of a mouthful of barbed wire, Invisalign offers an alternative: a series of clear aligners, switched every two weeks and custom-fit for your grin. Marketed to adults, they’re essentially invisible and removable, sidestepping some of the adolescent awkwardness and dental hygiene snags associated with braces and making it easier to go about business as usual—meaning there’s no need to spend Happy Hour close-lipped and covering your mouth.

What’s the catch, you ask? Invisalign is a good bit more expensive than traditional metal braces, ranging anywhere from $3,000 to upwards of $6,000 depending on the complexity of the shifts you need. Although said to fix any number of problems, from under- and overbites to gaps and crowding, Invisalign can’t address more serious orthodontic issues as effectively as braces can, and generally takes longer to produce results. The consensus seems to be, do your homework and consult an orthodontist. Drs. Hamer & Hamer do the procedure locally: see or call 296-0188 for the deets.—L.Z.

Straighten out!

The antidote to pointy-toed shoes: YogaToes.

If YogaToes sound like something to make your feet go “om,” that’s the idea: These sets of plastic toe aligners advertise the ability to work wonders to strengthen feet, reverse damage from pointy-toed heels, and recover from stress and strain. The rubber devices make your feet look like they’re in the stocks, with each toe separated from its neighbor, but are said to be soothing, even wearable during sleep.

YogaToers are instructed to dampen the apparatus with water before slipping it on, toe by toe, and taking a seat—these Toes aren’t made for walking, pal. Wear in the tub or the pool! Refrigerate! Keep cool! When there’s years of abuse to your poor piggly wigglys to be undone, you’re advised to take it slow.

At $49.95 (see, this is not an impulse buy. Perhaps it’s best to ask your doctor’s opinion before you take the big step.—L.Z.


May 2009: What's New

May 2009: What's New

New shopping stops

Vintage fab at June & Ruby.

In this economy, new places to shop? You bet. Downtown has two new stores to liven up your lunch break. Jean Theory is in the former Novel spot on Fourth Street NE, and its owner, Laura Van Camp, is a NoVa native whose family made trips down to Charlottesville to help her get the space ready. (Check out the dressing rooms, her dad’s pride and joy.) She’s offering new and secondhand clothes Downtown at a notably affordable price point—$12.50 for a gently used handbag, for example—and she’s got tank tops, scarves, jewelry, and (of course) jeans. Drop in and browse, or see her when you’re thinning out your own closet.

Meanwhile, over on Second Street SW near Bang, Jann White has opened June & Ruby, a boutique stocked with cool retro items (think ‘50s TV dinner tray), fab jewels, and personal effects. White (full disclosure: She’s the mom of our stylist, Caite White) makes some of her own items (pocket mirrors, for example) and collects others with an unerring eye. You’ll be surprised how badly you suddenly want to purchase a vintage hanky.—Erika Howsare


Scentless suds

Getting lathered up is about getting clean, right? Trouble is, when your typical morning preen includes cucum-ber-citrus scrub, a slather of shea butter and a spritz or two of eau de parfum, before you know it, you’ve gone from smelling clean to confused.

Local soap that won’t drive your nose crazy.

With spring in the air, the last thing you need is to turn into a walking bouquet. One solution: Marie’s Chef’s Soap, which is odorless and comes in huge two-pound hunks which should last you a full year with daily use.
Designed for professional chefs who don’t want their paws floral-y and fruity while handling food, Marie’s synthetic-free, Palmyra-made soap works just as well outside of the kitchen—try it in the tub, for instance. Take our word on this: At a suggested retail of $28.95, it’ll last eons longer than that bar of Dove. It’s great for simplifying your scent profile and getting clean—really clean—without chemicals or artificial odors. Click on or look for the soap at The Happy Cook or Whole Foods Market.—Lucy Zhou



Down-under on your skin

If you’re browsing the camis and thongs at Derriere de Soie, don’t neglect the skin they’ll show off: Help yourself to a sample of Jurlique, a skin care line made from herbs and flowers “gently tended,” as the packaging says, in southern Australia. All the products are organic: i.e., the ingredients (stuff like chamomile, licorice root and dandelion) are grown without pesticides.
The line was founded by a chemist and horticulturist based on biodynamic farming techniques, which focus on maximizing energy and a healthy growing environment that Jurlique says becomes fused into the products.

Jurlique includes lotion and age-preventing creams (about $40), aromatherapy products with pure essential oils ($17-50), and herbal shampoos and conditioners ($22). There are baby products too: bubble bath, shampoo, cream and oil. We especially like the Herbal Recovery Gel, an easy-to-apply fix for a tired face.—Julia Linden

What women want—from surgery

Breast augmentation is now Americans’ favorite cosmetic surgery.

We’re sure you wouldn’t be so shallow as to choose a cosmetic surgery pro-cedure based simply on how popular it is. But you may still be curious to know what the trends are. Well, here’s the short version: liposuction out, Botox and boob jobs in.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction has long been the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure for women, but in 2008 it dropped to the No. 2 slot, replaced by breast augmentation (355,671 performed last year!). Interestingly, breast reduction was No. 5. On the non-surgical side, Botox rules. A staggering 2.2 million women had Botox procedures last year.

Overall, fewer women had any procedures at all in 2008. Though cosmetic surgery has gotten more common since 1997, when ASAPS started keeping stats, surgical and non-surgical procedures declined by 11 percent last year. Is it the bum economy, or has the natural look returned?—E.H.



Pocket this

Are product labels giving you the creeps? A downloadable guide can help.

1,4-Dioxane won’t show up on ingredients labels, but that doesn’t mean you should let it slip off your radar. This cancer-causing contaminant is a byproduct of a process which makes harsh topicals more mild, so it pops up with alarming frequency in products that go right on your skin—think sunscreens, shampoo, and all sorts of soaps.

Luckily, the Organic Consumers Association has come up with a way to keep you on your toes while still keeping clean. It’s offering a downloadable pocket guide for savvy green shoppers which uses the stoplight system to sort out the safe from the scary. “Safe” products are completely 1,4-Dioxane free; products marked “avoid” contain more than 5 parts per million, while those marked “caution” float somewhere in between.

Available at, the two page guide is a quick download and folds up neatly for easy, on-the-go reference and smart shopping.—L.Z.

Energy exploration

Abby Arnold’s new wellness center, Ananda, serves eclectic interests.

“For people interested in conscious living and holistic healing, there are a gazillion things to choose from,” says Abby Arnold. The onetime owner of a New Age retail store on Kauai recognizes the wealth of services already available in Char-lottesville, from Reiki to psychics to shamans, but aims to offer a cen-tralized place where you can explore various classes and treatments knowing they’ve been screened.

The result is Ananda Community Center for Conscious Living (, which opened May 5 next to Vinegar Hill Theatre. You can visit Ananda for chakra balancing, an astrological reading or hot stone massage. The center will also facilitate a Full Spectrum Wellness program: six months of support from a naturopath who can help you make long-term changes in your lifestyle.

Arnold is a Master Reiki practitioner and will offer several Reiki modalities, and she hopes to foster a hangout atmosphere, where folks can sip tea and thumb used books. “I wanted a place where people can come and try things,” she says. One thing to try first: Ananda’s free lunchtime meditation classes, every Wednesday and Friday.—E.H.

May 2009: What's New

May 2009: What's New

From the top: Green leather belt from Mazi’s ($29.99), red skinny belt from Eloise ($125), Jenna Rose belt from O’Suzannah ($38), secondhand Abercrombie & Fitch brown leather belt from Jean Theory ($14.50), Ivan & Mary Milly belt from Novel ($44), Barrons-Hunter leather belt from Caspari ($44), Linea Pelle gold/brown belt from Eloise ($186).

Where to buy:

Caspari 100 W. Main St. 817-7880

Eloise 219 W. Water St. 295-3905

Jean Theory 110 Fourth St. NE 296-5326

Mazi’s 505 E. Main St. 295-8600

Novel North Wing, Barracks Road Shopping Center 984-9783

O’Suzannah 108 Second St. NW 979-7467