Friday, January 30, 2015

Halftime Hoopla at the Roller Derby

A Quick Hooping Back-story:

"Last summer I started hula hooping to get into shape. After about a month I started taking hoop dance classes to help me stay motivated and meet other beginner hoopers. In November I started going to the weekly hoop jams with the Hoop Twin Cities group.

In January our group was asked to do the Half the halftime show for the North Star Roller Girls. This wasn't an organized performance by any means. It was just whoever wanted to show up for an extra jam. We all brought extra hoops so that people from the audience could come join us, but we underestimated how popular it would be. It was a full-on party with people dancing and hooping. At one point we were surrounded by a huge conga line!

The theme of the derby bout was Space Jams. We were all encouraged to dress up for the space theme. I dressed up as Leela from Futurama. I’m easy to spot in our group picture because I was the only Cyclops.

I think the best part was after the half time when I hung out with some young girls in the hallway. They were waiting to give high fives to the skaters as the teams left the stadium. These girls were really excited to interact with their derby heroes. I thought it was great that they had these tough female role models to look up to. "

This story, by a employee, shows us that working out or being active doesn't have to be what everyone else is doing or the same old boring thing you did last year. If just thinking of running on the treadmill again is enough to make you want to eat a box of pastries, then why torture yourself? Find something that works. Think outside the box. Surround yourself with other strong, positive female role models when doing it, which allow you to be your best self. Confidence is contagious, and like attracts like. What did Gandhi say???? Oh yes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you are positive, you’ll find yourself attracting people that are also positive. So what events are in your area that just might be kind of fun after all? Give something new a try this week and let us know all about it! Better yet, share a picture of what you did while wearing your JunoActive Clothing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

National Diabetes Month - Spinal Twist at Your Desk

November is National Diabetes Month 

 Hopefully, you don’t have diabetes, but with National Diabetes Month on my mind, I wanted to chat you up about how yoga can help you improve your chances of never having to deal with diabetes.

One of the reasons I fell in love with yoga is that it’s scientific! How they knew, thousands of years ago, that a simple twist could help tone the pancreas, lower the insulin levels, and aid digestion is a mind-blower! It wasn’t discovered by western civilization until the 3rd century BC.

Science has been studying these ancient yoga practices and proving that the Yoga asanas, or poses, help to increase flexibility, tone the muscles, lower the stress hormones, and a bunch of other important stuff-- Yoga’s in the news all the time these days, with one study after another giving voice to the potency of Yoga.

One profound benefit of yoga that doesn’t usually get in the news—how yoga helps to tone the glands of the subtle endocrine system. The pancreas is actually an organ AND a gland! It’s located behind the stomach, so it’s on the back-side of the body. When we do spinal twists, we give a nice massage to this organ, squeezing out old blood, like wringing out a sponge. When we release the twist, fresh blood rushes into the organ and refreshes it. This helps to encourage the hormones—think insulin—to stay balanced.

Spinal twists also have other benefits, such as toning the muscles that support the spine, and massaging the adrenals and kidneys, which are also located toward the back-side of the body. If you sit very long at a desk, you can practice an easy twist right there on your chair. Here’s how:

Sitting comfortably on your chair, inhale as you feel your spine getting long and shoulders getting nice and wide.   Then as you exhale, begin to turn your left shoulder  toward the back of the chair, bringing your left hand behind you and use it to take hold of the chair.  Bring your right hand across the body to take hold of the opposite knee.  Keep your chin parallel to the floor. Continue to breathe deeply as you focus your attention all along your spine, and notice how it feels.  Try to imagine what your pancreas looks like, and where it’s located.  Begin to unwind, and do the other side.  

If you want to learn more about this wonderful organ, look it up on

Usually, we think of the physical benefits of yoga, but there are also tremendous benefits to the mind and psyche.  It’s a wonderful anti-dote for depression and a powerful stress management tool.  We’ll learn more about that in our next blog.  In the meantime, if you can come to Yogaville, Virginia for a workshop titled Big Yoga for Less Stress, which is also the title of my new book coming out in the New Year.

Meera Patricia Kerr
Author: BigYoga:  A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Getting Started at The Gym - Again

It is so hard to get started going to the gym. I had gone to a gym for years in the past, I even had personal trainers to motivate me. After I got started, my mom and I would go 3 times a week. It was so much easier to go when I had a gym buddy. Then she got very ill and wasn’t able to go. Then I got injured and could hardly walk. So, I made myself go 3 times a week to aqua class. I loved it! After my surgeries, I didn’t feel comfortable going back to anything but aqua class. Then I started working full time again and my gym routine fell apart. 

"Find a friend with a similar schedule and motivation"

After a while, I met a friend who is very fitness oriented. He has diabetes and regulates it with diet and exercise. He has to work out in order to help control his disease. He encouraged me to start back at the gym. So we started meeting after work at the gym. He helped me with the weights, introducing me to different routines and exercises. We made it a regular activity-meeting at the gym. Now I go with him or by myself. I make it to the gym 3-4 times per week. It has been a part of my routine now for almost a whole year! 

I feel better and eat better when I work out regularly.  I have even lost some weight. I can tell because my clothes fit differently. My body has become sculpted from my weight training. Weight lifting is a big part of my routine and I feel it gives me more energy. The more I go to the gym the more I move easier and with greater flexibility. I have made it a priority to give myself gym time for my health.

For me, a gym partner is very important. It doesn’t have to be the gym-walk, play tennis, hike-choose an activity that you both like to do. Find a friend with a similar schedule and motivation such as yourself.  Make a commitment to each other that you will go 3 times per week.  Schedule a day & time that works for both of you. Then if one of you starts to slide you are each other’s motivator. You can tell them, “No we made plans to go to the gym at that time.” If something comes up, then reschedule a day/time to make up for the missed session. I have found it is very helpful to make the commitment to a friend so that you don’t just say to yourself---ahhh not today!

Andrea S.
Director of Mechandising
Junonia Ltd.

Find plus size gym clothes at
Like this plus size sports bra and capri leggings.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Plus Size Instagram Shutting Down

After almost two years we say farewell to an inspiring community of plus size fashion enthusiasts. The instagram-like mobile photo sharing social media is closing its virtual doors on August 31st, 2014 due to lack of funding. For those of you unfamiliar with the site, BeauCoo inspired plus sized women to share fashion finds from all over the world in a body positive, judgement free environment.

The best thing about BeauCoo was the lack of pictures of your friend's breakfast burrito they "made themselves," and no pictures of babies and puppies that are a constant spam on Instagram. I'm not saying that I hate the irreplaceable mundane pictures of my friend's lives, but my mind is already full of garbage. BeauCoo provided a comprehensive shopping experience with real pictures of real people.

We all know that the mass amount of published media is edited, airbrushed, and altogether fake. The unrealistic standards demanded for women's body image is almost kitsch. While most of us understand that models are glorified for perfection, the constant spam of imagery can have a lasting impression on women. BeauCoo will be missed for the uncensored real models that willingly shared their size in order to make finding fashionable clothing easier for the plus size woman. I can only hope that the contributing members of will remember the real. Maybe, someday, another bopo fashion community will arise for the fabulous plus girl.

Ally P.
Graphic Designer & Social Media Supervisor

Thursday, July 31, 2014

New Softwik™ Heather Plus Size Shirts

plus size shirts
We just got in our new Softwik™ Heather plus size shirts, and I must say they are the bee’s knees! This is the same shirt that I was testing in last month’s blog when I was hula hooping. This shirt is soft, breathable, and wicks away sweat wonderfully. In fact, I couldn’t tell if I was sweating until my bra felt clammy. After washing the shirt, I decided to test it while napping. I was so comfortable I ended up wearing the shirt all weekend under the guise of fabric testing, but really I just didn’t want to take it off.
How would I describe the feel of the fabric? The softness is like a rose petal, or a baby’s chin. It’s a medium weight fabric that is lighter than our current QuikWik,™ but would be perfect for any season.  It has a lovely drape and it stretches without being clingy. I would even challenge our cotton lovers to try this shirt. You won’t be disappointed!

Our New Softwik™ Heather plus size shirts are a great addition to your favorites!

Renae R.
Technical Designer

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sun Salutation That’s for Every-Body

We’ve all seen the pictures of people doing Yoga—super thin models, wearing expensive outfits, doing extreme yoga poses.  Not very encouraging to the average American woman who is 5’4” and wears a size 14 or larger.  Meera Patricia Kerr, author of Big Yoga, gives us step by step instructions on a yoga pose that has been reinvented for the plus size woman. No more excuses!
"I had been teaching Yoga for over 25 years when I began to adapt my own poses to accommodate my bigger, older body.  My experiments with my own body give rise to Big Yoga-- an adapted practice that is accessible to anyone challenged by extra weight, stiffness, injury or even couch-potato-ism.  The Big Yoga book offers over 40 poses that are adapted to various body types, to help get the body in good shape.  Other, more meditative, practices are also offered to help calm the mind.  The overall effect is to harmonize all the systems of the body, creating more vitality, less stress, and jois de vivre!"
Here is a simple vinyasa or flow practice, the Salute to the Sun, that we can do at the wall.  Traditionally, it’s done on the yoga mat, and it can be quite strenuous.  This adapted version is a great way to tone and strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility. 

 Begin standing, feet parallel and about a foot apart.  Bring the palms together at the heart center to help get the mind focused.

Next, bring the arms out to sides and raise them up overhead on an inhalation. 

  Interlace the fingers as you stretch upwards.

Exhale as you take a gentle back bend, feeling the squeeze across the shoulder blades.  Stretch up again on an inhale, and begin to bend from the hips as you exhale--

  Bending forward and down until you come into a comfortable forward bend.  Keep the knees soft if you like, and don’t go beyond your capacity.  Soften the back of the neck and relax.

  Inhale as you come up into Wall Dog, and continue to feel the breath expanding and contracting the side ribs as you hold the pose.
  On an inhalation, bring the left knee to the wall, with the toes touching the wall also.  Support yourself with the knee, and place the forearms on the wall with the elbows in line with the shoulders or a bit lower.  As you continue to breathe, sink the pelvis toward the earth.  Repeat on the other side:  Step the left leg back, bringing the right foot and knee to the wall.

   Step back with the right foot and walk the hands down the wall to hip level, coming back into the Wall Dog.  Breathe.

  Push away from the wall on an exhale and hang like a rag doll.

  To come up out of the forward bend, begin with a squat. Let the arms come alongside the ears, palms facing each other.  Have the eyes gazing toward the floor, softening the back of the neck.

  Push off with strong legs, inhaling, until you’re all the way up, clasping hands overhead

  Have a gentle back bend, exhaling as you go.

Inhale out of your backbend and bring the palms together at the heart center.  Pause here, closing eyes, adjusting feet, and finally dropping the arms to the sides of the body.  Take a moment to feel the effect of your practice.

Give yourself a little pat on the back for practicing Yoga!  Do it again!

This sequence is online at my website,  Under “Sample Pose”.  Let me know how it works for you—I’d love to hear from you!

Meera Patricia Kerr
Author: BigYoga:  A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies

Thursday, June 12, 2014

JunoActive Wear Test While HulaHooping

At JunoActive we think it’s important to personally wear test any new fabrics we consider.  We do this to not only check the feel and function of a fabric, but to make sure that it still looks good after repeated washes and wears. 
Recently I decided to do a wear test to answer two questions:
  1.  Does this great feeling new SoftWik™ fabric we are testing perform as nicely as fabrics we are already using?
  2. If I hula hoop in front of our office building, will I get chased away by geese?

I went outside the front office door to do my wear test.  Just outside the door, there were two geese.  We sized each other up for a few moments to assess the situation. When I finally felt safe, I started hula hooping.  I’ll admit to feeling awkward, but the geese just looked confused.  After watching me for a few tense minutes, they slowly wandered away. Although I came out the victor in this battle of wills, I would not try this if I saw baby geese around.
As for the SoftWik™fabric, I was very impressed with how comfortable it felt when worn and how well it wicked my sweat away.  Although I’m happy with the fabric so far, I will need to do more wear and wash testing to make sure it meets our high quality standards. 

What will be my next test?  Maybe I’ll go running with the bulls…then again, maybe I’ll just go for a brisk walk with the squirrels.

Renae R.
Technical Designer

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