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National Lollipop Day Celebration

Happy National Lollipop Day! Yes, that’s right, it’s a whole day reserved to celebrating candy on a stick. In honor of this yumminess, we’re celebrating with the following six new flavors:

We’ve also created this fun Summertime cherry nettle soda with a candy swizzle stick made with the same ingredients used in our Bing Balance Lollipops:

Cherry Nettle Fizzy Pop Recipe
(Yield: 4 cups)

Simple Syrup:
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup nettle tea
1 1/2 cups tart cherry juice
1 cup palm vinegar (substitute with another mild vinegar)

1 TBSP Black cherry puree per glass
Seltzer
Bing Balance lollipops

Instructions
Bring the sugar, nettle tea, tart cherry juice and palm vinegar to a boil.
Turn down the heat and allow the mix to simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from heat. Allow to fully cool. Mix in black cherry puree.

When ready to serve, stir in one part syrup, six parts seltzer, and 1 TBSP black cherry puree into glasses of seltzer. Store in the refrigerator.

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Don’t forget to use Dosha Pops as swizzle sticks. So go out, have fun and remember: a lollipop a day helps the good vibes stay!

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Tapping into Greatness with The Adventure Project

At Dosha Pops, our mission is to not only create yummy candy and inspire our customers to have a balanced life, but to support charitable organizations that promote healthier lifestyles.

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Co-founder Becky Straw

We especially have a soft spot for local NYC nonprofits who are making our world healthier and more sustainable. Our current crush? The Adventure Project (TAP), founded by Becky Straw and Jody Landers, which works to help alleviate extreme poverty by creating sustainable jobs in developing countries.

TAP creates jobs by giving people the tools, education, and resources to become entrepreneurs. Their focus is to redirect charity toward jobs that lift people out of poverty while transforming local communities with improved health, decreased hunger, a safer environment, and clean water. TAP says, “Much like venture capital firms analyzing and investing in the most promising companies, we analyze the most effective interventions to end extreme poverty. Plus, we are helping entrepreneurs thrive. Specifically, entrepreneurs who “add” something positive to the world.”

Launched in 2010, TAP has raised more than $1 million by mobilizing 7,500 donors helping create 862 jobs and impacting 1 million people in India, Kenya, Uganda and Haiti. Those entrepreneurs will go on to serve over 650,000 people to assist with better health care, food, and water.

We’re not the only ones who think this nonprofit is quite awesome. Last year, they won the coveted DVF People’s Voice Awards that honors and support extraordinary women who have transformed the lives of others through their commitment, resources, and visibility.

This summer when TAP reached out to us to participate in their fundraising event highlighting local businesses committed to innovative entrepreneurship and sustainability, we happily accepted the invitation! TAP highlighted us as a great example of an innovative NYC-based enterprise promoting a healthy lifestyle!

TAP hosted the fundraising event at the 14,800 square foot Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard – the world’s first commercially viable urban rooftop vineyard. Talk about a sweet view!

The fun-filled evening included Rooftop Reds’ small batch wines from the Finger Lakes region of New York, a selection of local craft beers, appetizers from a local sustainable catering company and desserts by a local bakery. Our candy was raffled off in their silent auction. One lucky winner got a preview of one of our newest flavors, Sarsapari-ahh, made with sarsaparilla root tea.

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Performance by Falls

We had the pleasure of enjoying a special music performance by the adorable Sydney Indie Folk Pop Duo, Falls. If you haven’t seen them perform at major music festivals, check out the song they sang to us called When We Were Young.” Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown create music to soothe the soul.

We had a great time meeting attendees interested in learning more about socially-conscious ventures in NYC and overseas. The funds raised from the event will support TAP’s mission to create sustainable jobs and to empower entrepreneurs to serve their communities.

TAP firmly believes that our generation has the ability to alleviate extreme poverty in our lifetime and they want to be part of it. They have a big vision of creating one million jobs in the next ten years. If successful, those jobs will be serving half a billion people living in poverty. We’re glad we could help them raise funds to support their vision.

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Q&A with “Times Square Mind Over Madness” Co-founder Douglass Stewart

June is a great month for yogis because the warm weather encourages the outdoor practice. It’s an especially fun month for NYC yogis because we get to do yoga on scenic rooftops, parks, and Times Square. Yes, we do yoga in Times Square! For the past twelve years, when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky and daylight is the longest day of the year we celebrate the first day of summer as a yoga community for a few hours in Times Square. Thousands of us unroll our gifted mats and do downward dog at this free yoga fest at Crossroads of the World. We can all give a collective Namaste to Douglass Stewart, who co-founded Solstice Times Square: Athleta Mind over Madness Yoga.

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Photo by Alan Finger

We were able to catch up with Douglass to ask him the follow questions:

What was it that first drew you to yoga? I was injured as a dancer and started doing yoga to support my alignment.

When did you start to consider yoga as a career path? I can’t really remember the first moment I decided to be a yoga teacher, it didn’t seem like a deliberate choice I mean.

How did you get started as a yoga teacher? I was going to yoga classes at Yoga Zone. I ended up taking the training and about a year later I was teaching an early morning class.

What would you say are some of the biggest rewards about what you do? I’m inspired when I see in myself and in others the many benefits of yoga influencing my choices, consequently my life in general.

You co-founded Solstice Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga with Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance. Where did that idea come from and why did you decide to put it together?
I could see how yoga had become such a great support for me as I transitioned from dance to the “real” world. It provided me with a structure and discipline, something steady and sure. I felt that if people could open their office doors or put down what they’re doing for an hour and practice anywhere; Times Square, the Brooklyn bridge, or a park…, it might help change the direction of things for a moment or two. Anxiety just might give way to peace.

I read that Tim Tompkins was a yoga instructor. Did you already know him before you came up with the idea?
I met Tim Tompkins just after I finished my yoga certification at Yoga Zone. We practiced yoga together and I was grateful that he allowed me to practice my new yoga skills on him. He has gone on to receive his yoga teachers certification. We hatched the idea about 14 years ago. I think Tim had just become president of the Times Square Alliance and I had just finished filming quite a few episodes of yoga for the Yoga Zone TV show. As the show ended its final season, I wanted to continue offering yoga, even if the setting was not as pristine as the beaches of Jamaica where the show was shot. Tim saw an opportunity to bring yoga into Times Square to promote business and especially yoga studios. I imagined people would open their offices in Times Square, do a simple sun salutation and return to work inspired.

How long did it take from idea to fruition for this yoga fest?
There were just 3 people that attended the first event. Tim, Caesarina and me! It was during the most dramatic rainy weather NYC had experienced at the time. The whole city was under weather watch and everyone was  instructed not to go out unless it was absolutely necessary. So much for our idea of capturing the rising sun on the Summer Solstice! The New York Times arrived, however, and they published our story with a picture. We have grown exponentially since.

How do you go about selecting the charities you partner with?
We’ve partnered so far with those charities that are in some way inspired by the process of yoga and who incorporate that in their outreach.

What does your own diet and fitness regimen look like?
I love good food. I eat a simple diet consisting of fruits, nuts, rice, lentils and seasonal veggies. The joy of living in New York, of course, is all the many various cuisines. So when I’m out I’m more likely to explore…

How do you balance a busy schedule with a healthy lifestyle?
I practice yoga every day. I have since my mid-twenties. Without my practice, I feel less generous with myself and others. My yoga practice is the foundation for the day as it unfolds, often supported and inspired.

What would you consider “your mantra?” Only the Highest Good.

How did you discover Ayurveda?
Through my yoga certification training, we were introduced to it as being a major tenet of ISHTA Yoga founded by Alan Finger.

What’s your dosha? Pita leading and Vata, Kapha following almost evenly…

The Center is the NYC LGBT community center serving 6,000 visitors each week, providing groundbreaking social service, public policy, educational, cultural and recreational programs designed to nurture and empower LGBT people. Tell us about your involvement with The Center.
My friends and family have been very generous to me and I wanted to be able to offer something too. I imagined the LGBT Center as a sanctuary or a safe place to find peace. I thought yoga would be a great addition in that setting and so I’ve volunteered a yoga class there for nearly 15 years.

What’s your favorite Dosha Pops Flavor?
I haven’t tried them all yet but when I do I’m sure I’ll be balanced.

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Photo by Amy Hart

Many thanks to Douglass Stewart for sharing his passion with us. We’ll see you on the mat!