Holidays are here and we’ve got some gifting to do! The custom of giving and receiving thoughtful gifts exists in almost every culture across the world, and I for one LOVE IT! And to me, Christmas, Hanukah and New Years time period is just another opportunity to show your care and love to your friends and family. You might wonder, however, if you need a special gift guide for Yogis!
If you know someone obsessed with yoga, or are a yogi yourself with tons of friends at your local studio to gift this season, do not fear, I got you covered. Knowing your audience and their passions, hobbies and interests is a perfect tool to find them an appropriate gift!
Before we get into all the fabulous shopping opportunities, I would like to acknowledge this is also a great season to be thankful for all we have and not waste our resources and get caught in the shopping fever if we can avoid it. Yogis in particular know there is more to life than just material things in life, and always seek for deeper meaning in everything. So wether you want to drop an item in the basket to feed the homeless this season, or donate to a good cause, it is always very rewarding to do something nice for those that truly need it, people you may not even know. Being grateful and conscious of your actions is a reward in itself, and you can apply it in many different ways this season.
Here are a few simple tips on staying grounded, grateful and conscious this season:
Keep an ECO-CONSCIOUS attitude when shopping and wrapping gifts! Use reusable bags, recycled materials, and avoid unnecessary wrapping that will become garbage as soon as Christmas day comes. From purchasing recycled paper wrapping, to using textile materials (think bandanas and scarves) to wrap presents, to skipping fancy wrapping if you are gifting someone very familiar who you know doesn’t care for it much - there are tons of ways to stay eco friendly this season. If you want to take it a step further, take a moment to consider how eco-conscious the brand or product you are gifting is! From reading the label (search for Made locally, Not tested on animals, No artificial ingredients) to shopping locally and from a small company as opposed to a retail giant, the more conscious your gift the better it is for the planet, for the economy, for our future. And know that there is a good chance the yogi you are gifting will appreciate your mindful attitude very much!
Stay PRACTICAL. I love gifts I can use, gifts that mean something, gifts that are edible (hint hint). I have been on a receiving end of a gift that was given just for the sake of social customs and the situation we were in, and I could not only tell, but I unfortunately did not appreciate it as much. Refrain from giving meaningless items from the gift shop just because you think you have to. Either put some practical thought into your gift, or skip it if the person you are gifting actually doesn’t mean much to you. I’m not saying give someone a box of garbage bags because, you know, everyone needs that. But there are plenty of gifts out there that can be pretty, thoughtful and useful!
Become a crafter or find one and gift HANDMADE items. From hitting up the Etsy search, to visiting local fares and markets, to getting down and dirty yourself, you are guaranteed to give a unique, memorable gift! Nothing speaks care and love more to me than a handmade gift, honestly. Just putting your own creativity, time and effort into it is priceless. If you are not too creative yourself, finding a handmade item is the next best thing. You are supporting a local business or a cause and making someone’s holidays worth while by purchasing the product of their hard work (I am speaking from personal experience as a crafter of Yogi jewelry).
Give the GIFT OF YOU. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people in your life that appreciate you more than any material item you can gift them with. Give your time, energy and emotions to those you feel deserve it, and those you want to spend it with. Also know to conserve the same when needed. This is the season to be busy and stressful as well, so keep your own health and sanity in mind. Giving HUGS, KISSES and KIND WORDS is free, yet priceless. Increase your lovey dovey attitude and share care and affection with others this season. It may be a cliche, but we all get a bit more emotional, maybe a bit more nostalgic, even lonely around the holidays. A hug and a smile can brighten someone’s day - and make you happy as well!
Taking all that in mind, it’s always nice to drop a gift under the Christmas tree that will make someone’s face light up with a smile!
If your yogi loves their yoga so much they look like they are going to class all the time, they will probably enjoy a beautiful yoga jewelry piece that can remind them of their favorite pastime - at all times! Etsy is a good marketplace for these products - and you will be supporting a local business or an individual with a passion.
How can I not mention my own product? I make unique handmade Yoga Malas and Bracelets. Malas were originally Hindu and Buddhist prayer beads, consisting of 108 sacred beads used to meditate and chant mantras on. They were also worn by devotees of yogi cultures to show their preference and represent their culture or practices. Today they have grown to be a very recognizable fashion item amongst yogis all over the world. A boho or hippie style fashionista can be caught wearing them as well! I use materials from India and South America, and offer various collections (Chakra, Shiva, Aura to name a few). You will find a pice of jewelry for a Yoga dude in your life as well!
I would be lying if I said that I have enough yoga pants. It is by all means true - if I don’t buy a pair for the next two years, and practice yoga every day, I will still have enough yoga pants to survive the period. But yoga pants are just awesome! They come in cool, colorful, comfortable styles and fits! You can (and will) wear them outside of the yoga studio. They will become the most comfortable pair you will ever try in your life. Yes, I am wearing yoga pants as I am typing this (and this is not the first blog post I have admitted this in). Brands: Lululemon, Athleta, Alo Yoga.
Product spotlight: Wunder Under Pants
They come in long and crop. These are the most common yoga pants you will find, they always carry the model regardless of the season. However, besides the regular black they come in fun patterns and colors, with an option of luon (cottony) and luxtreme (more sweat wicking) fabric. I definitely advise you to get creative! We yogis love colorful funky pants. Price: $82.00+ Capris. $92.00-102.00 Tights.
Product spotlight: Chaturanga Tight
Athleta has a whole section on their website for printed pants, so you can feast your eyes on all but the basic black styles in one place. The Chanturaga thight (notice the yogi name) is your basic yoga pant - easy to move in, comfortable mid rise waist, decent quality. Comes in capri and long. Price: $64.00 and up capri. $74.00 and up tight.
Product Spotlight: Goddess Leggings
These definitely earn the originality contest - when I first saw them, I thought they were socks on top of pants I did! They come in all kinds of funky colors and patters, and color blocking never seemed more in style. Price: $92.00.
- Bonus: H&M Sport Tights
Don’t feel like lashing out a $100 for a pair of yoga pants (either for yourself or someone else)? I totally get it! H&M was a dream when I was a teenager, and they are still raging strong all over the world today. These tights will cost you a fraction of the price, and still deliver the cool wow factor. Price $30.
Since we are talking about yoga fashion - we can’t have bottoms without tops! You can gift your yogi friend with a whole outfit if you will, and they will surely be beyond grateful. The previously mentioned brands carry all the products for yoga you can imagine, from socks to headbands, and while you are browsing for yoga pants, you can check out tank tops and shits as well. You are sure to find a matching set from the same brand as well.
Lauren, the girl behind Vegan Yogi Unicorn, is a yoga instructor, a vegan and an adventurer! She’s a friend of mine via the all powerful Instagram, we have hosted a couple of yoga challenges together. I just love her Goddess Tank, it’s a great piece to wear with yoga pants or jeans, and your yogi will feed inspired to strike a pose no matter the time and place - just like me here! You will be supporting a small business, and know that all your pieces are made ahimsa (non-violence) style - no animal products or abuse involved! Check http://www.veganyogiunicorn.com/. Price: $20+.
Another business that started small and is steadily growing, that makes yogi fashion their priority. Comfortable tanks, shirts, pants, bags and even door mats from this company. I am an ambassador for Funky yoga, and love their tanks because they are colorful, soft and comfy, and I definitely wear them off-duty as well. Check out www.funkyyoga.com. Price: $30+.
Now we are getting deep and meaningful. A ‘gift that keeps on giving’ as they say, is the gift of knowledge. Depending on how committed your yogi friend is, they might be bringing their yoga off the mat and into their every day lives by practicing some of it’s principles and teachings. Yoga promotes patience, balance, non-violence and many more noble values. The culture and practice has existed for thousands of years, and throughout history many books have been written on the subject.
By far my favorite yoga book, basically the ‘Bible’ of yoga, is the Bhagavad Gita. It has many editions and translations (it’s originally written in Sanskrit, the same language those weird yoga pose names are in), and I find this version by Swami Prabhupada the most profound one. The gem of yoga philosophy, this book has a recommendation quote by Einstein himself on the back. This is a deep and thoughtful book, for those yogis that seem to take their practice to the next level.
Another yogi ‘Bible’, but this time focusing on the physical practice and the asanas or poses, is the Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar, the master of modern yoga himself. Mister Iyengar passed away just this year (2014), and was practicing till the very last breath in his ripe age of 96. If you know a yogi that’s embarking on a teacher training journey to become an instructor, know that this book is the basics in any yoga training I know of. You will be completing their handbook requirements with this one for sure.
Yoga Journal is the magazine of yoga, and they have been stronger than ever. From advice by the teaching elite of yoga today, to detailed descriptions of poses in every issue, to articles on how to live a yogi life, this magazine has it all. Whether you want to pick up an issue or gift a subscription, I’m sure your yogi friend will love it. Price: about $14.00 for a subscription.
- Yoga Journal Conference
If you want to get real fancy, know that this magazine throws a handful of yearly conferences all over the US. Conferences usually last a long weekend (Thursday - Sunday), and are a gathering of yogis from not only this nation but all over the world, coming together to learn and practice from the masters. Besides classes, they also hold a market place with yogi products, kirtan concerts with famous yogi musicians (MC Yogi, Dj Drez, Mayapuris), talks by important persons of today (such as Marianne Williams or Deepak Chopra) and much more. You can get your yogi a day pass or a whole conference (starting at about $150 per day). More info: http://www.yjevents.com/.
I love a special yoga event, and if it contains live music, even better! Getting your yogi a ticket to a special yoga event in their neighborhood is a good way to give an experience as opposed to a product. A bonus feature is that you can attend the event with them! Bonding experience: check!
I love this guy! I just saw him in a concert in San Francisco (he has a lot of holiday events planned, including a retreat over New Years) with Ben Leinbach, another great musician. Live kirtan devotional music with rock elements. Check www.jaiuttal.com for events. Price: $25.00 and up for 1 night event.
Another great and well known musician, his concerts will be fun for newbies and seasoned yogis alike! Check: www.krishnadas.com. Price: $25.00 and up.
If you can’t give a live music experience, a CD will do! Yogis have their own taste in music, and if you are gifting a Yoga Instructor know they will appreciate a nice melody even more so! We instructors always run out of ideas what to play in class, or just need to switch it up once in a while. The more I teach, the more music I need for mu classes and I like to mix it up and keep it fresh as much as possible. If you are not sure about their taste in music, an iTunes card is a great gift for anyone really!
Wonderful Yogi Musicians: Besides the aforementioned Jai Uttal and Krsna Das, I really like Deva Pramal, Snatam Kaur, Mayapuris, Gaura Vani, Yoga Pop Ups (famous musicians reinvented as relaxing yoga music), MC Yogi, DJ Drez.
Well duh! - who wouldn’t like a yoga retreat?! Considering the median price for a retreat would be $1500 without the plane ticket, this is obviously a fancy gift that few yogis have even given themselves. But if you have a burning desire to take your yoga BFF for an exotic adventure, this is always a great option. (OK, so I know this probably won’t happen. But a yogi can dream, right?).
This is a great option next to a full blown yoga retreat, specially if you live in or close to one of the Wunderlust locations! They are 4 day celebrations of yoga, music, food and all over fun. Held at wonderful locations all over the US, Canada, Hawaii and with an addition of Australia, they combine love of outdoors, fun activities (hiking, stand up paddle boarding) and yoga. You can get a 1 day pass at about $100, 4 days at $400+.
Whether you want to introduce your friend to a new yoga studio in town, invite them to practice at your joint, or just upgrade their pass at the studio they have known and loved for some time, a yoga class pass is always a great deal! Check out the local yoga studios on Om Finder App, Yelp, or just Google. Visit their websites - they should all have class package menus online. You can call or visit to get more information, and a feel for the place. You will be gifting your yogi with an experience, saved them money, and keep them healthy all in one! A true practical gift. Price: $10-20 per single class. $60+ per monthly package.
Can’t decide on just one gift? Have too many yogis on your list? Head out and pick up a few cool items as stocking stuffers for all your yogi friends and the girls from the studio! These products are practical, versatile and all over fun!
Check out any yoga or sports brand, like the aforementioned Lululemon or Athleta. They come in fun styles and colors, and you can pick up a pack of few for a fun gift with style options depending on the yoga outfit.
This is a gift everyone should get in their stocking this year if you ask me! Not only should we conserve the planet by eliminating single plastic bottle usage, but we should all always carry a bottle of water to keep hydrated and healthy! I love glass or aluminium, but if going for plastic make sure its BPA free.
Even if they have one already, these easily get lost or misplaced. I like to have an extra mat carrier in the car just in case.
Gaiam, Manduka, Lululemon, all major mat brands carry these. Wether its a small towel to whip the face or a full on mat towel for a hot yoga class, these are awesome practical gifts.
For the shy, busy, stay-at-home-mom yogi, having the opportunity to practice in the comfort of their own home is a gift in it’s own. If you are not sure which DVD to choose, check a local yoga studio, they sell them. Rodney Lee is a pretty popular guy, Sean Corn and Shiva Rea are a few of my favorites. YogaGlo.com, YogaVibes.com, GaiamTV.com are a few respectable online yoga resources that sell memberships and packages.
For those hard core yogis that want to show their love for the practice on the rear end of a car! From Namaste to funny yoga puns, this is the ultimate stocking stuffer.