Stretch Crystals: A Gift With Deeper Meaning Carefully crafted by Mother Nature, a crystal is a sacred and empowering gift. By Kara Fujita Jovic Photo courtesty of Bahgsu Jewels As yogis we understand the power of intention. How our asana practice can help us face life’s challenges and tune into what’s most important to us. Yet many of us leave class wanting to keep that sense of peace and strength with us, perhaps through use of a mantra or mala. This desire to carry reminders of our intentions is not new. For centuries around the world, people have used talismans to focus and bring mindfulness to qualities they want to express. Made from crystals, stones, and metal, such jewelry has long held powerful meaning. Amber was once thought to be sunshine made solid and ancient Sumerians used crystals in magic formulas. In ancient Egypt, lapis lazuli, carnelian, and clear quartz were used in amulet jewelry, with certain stones believed to provide health and protection. Even the Hindu Vedas speak of crystals as healing tools. Everything from moonstone, which represents calm reflection, to pyrite, that’s said to strengthen one’s will, can be worn to remind us of the deeper meaning and intention we want to bring to the world. As Madgi Del Moro, founder of Bahgsu Jewels says, “You have the power to choose a jewel that helps you to identify an element in yourself that maybe sometimes gets pushed to the way side. This conscious decision is a powerful step in allowing for what you taught yourself on the mat to have an actual shape and form. For example, I wear my chrysoprase ring for it reminds me to go with the flow and remain flexible no matter how twisted the road is.” Photo by Carole Smile Being Mindful of Origins But beyond choosing the right type of crystal or stone for yourself or a friend, it’s important to be mindful of its origin. Bahgsu Jewels is one of many purveyors of crystals, but they’re worth looking into: Madgi is dedicated to using only responsibly-mined crystals, carefully choosing who she works with to bring to life jewelry made with crystals and sacred symbols. This is important step, as “The mining industry as a whole does some pretty terrible acts,” says Madgi, “I choose to work with people who are conscious and who respect the Earth.” She and her husband travel far and wide to source only the purest stones and they are handled with utmost care. So take the time to find the perfect talisman, created and handled with attentiveness from the very start. Understanding the Deeper Meaning When responsibly sourced, crystals can be very significant and mystical gifts, and if they are combined with sacred geometry, they take on even greater meaning. Sacred geometry is the idea that mathematical principles such as the “sacred mean” or golden ratio of Phi can be found in everything in the natural world—from the molecules of our DNA to snowflakes. Sacred geometry has inspired everything from labyrinths and sacred sites to spirals, mandalas, yantras, and the pyramids of Egypt. As Madgi explains, “When I look down and see a stone that took millions of years to create under immense pressure I know that all is good, all is beautiful. Life is short, potent, and birth equals death … Mother Earth is sacred and everything we connect to and harness from her is alive. Energy is all around us. There is no separation.” And without separation, we often see the patterns and connections in our lives—from a friend who has helped us when we needed it most, to a time when we were able to help others. Choosing the Right Crystal Crystals and stones can make powerful gifts because they reflect the intimate knowledge you have of a friend’s life and your understanding of their innermost needs and desires. For the person who feels stuck or confused, clear quartz is an excellent all-purpose stone, said to energize your mind, body, and spirit while bringing clarity and awakening your intuition. It amplifies connection to your higher self, and shines a light on your spiritual path. For the friend who has been looking for love in all the wrong places? Rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love. It opens up the heart, increasing self-love, friendship, healing, and inner peace—establishing greater compassion, trust, and harmony in oneself and relationships. Agate can be the perfect gift for someone going through a difficult time. Known as the stone of strength and courage, it was used in ancient times on breastplates of armor to bring strength and victory to warriors in battle. Protective stones, they’ve long been used as potent amulets that bring courage, instilling confidence and promoting stability and balance. Larimar is often called the crystal of serenity, as it promotes relaxation and calm. It’s the perfect gift for new mothers or those going through stress or life transitions, especially as it’s known to uplift the heart and soothe tension. Even its light blue, ocean-like quality can be peaceful when gazed upon. As reminders of the deeper expression of life and the way we want to live, style can be sacred, especially when intention is involved. “By adorning yourself with products that support the goodness inside you, you’re in turn helping to manifest a brighter existence,” says Madgi. And what could be more powerful than that? — Kara Fujita Jovic believes in the power of the breath to center the soul…that love is a super power—for it always speaks the loudest…and that dancing in the kitchen while singing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” may just infuse a meal with magical powers. When she’s not getting caffeinated on fresh air, sunshine, or the sea, you can find her creating, exploring, writing, and helping people find their own personal om.