Welcome to the first annual laurasana Holiday Gift Guide! While I recognize that many of you are (admirably) not retail-driven, and that one could practice yoga anywhere, without accessories, and that ideally, one should not be attached to temporary pleasures… well, sometimes shopping’s just fun.
My goal for this year’s list was to share some of my favorite products with you- I’ve tested and approved all of the following products (except for the Teeki pants, they’re just cool) and can confidently say that any of these would make a fun gift for a yogi. Please feel free to share YOUR favorite gift ideas in the comments below. Happy Holidays, yogi friends!
When money is less of an object:
laurasana’s #1 gift pick for 2012: Actual yoga. It doesn’t matter how many accessories you have if you’re not doing the practice. The yogi in your life will absolutely appreciate the gift of studio time from your favorite studio, or even better, a gift certificate for a private class so that they can get individualized instruction. Your teachers (myself included) would be thrilled to talk to you about pricing and gift certificates for that special someone. Interested? Let’s talk.
laurasana’s pick for “green” Yoga Mat: Jade Harmony. Price varies depending on options, plan to spend at least $70. Available online or locally at geoYoga in Stuart. Jade mats are made of natural rubber, a renewable resource tapped from rubber trees. I have a Jade mat and it’s one of my favorites- utterly grippy surface, light to carry, and darned if they don’t plant a tree for every one that you buy. As a disclaimer: because they are all-natural, they will biodegrade at some point. I have many committed yogi friends who have used them several times a week for several years, but this mat will not last forever (allowing you a great opportunity to practice aparigraha!)
laurasana’s pick for haute couture “green” yoga pants: Hot Pants from Teeki. Starting at $60 online. “Fashion made from plastic bottles.” Each pair of pants saves 25 water bottles from a landfill, so you can feel good about how cute you’re looking. If you’re into yogarazzi-name-dropping, you’ll probably already know that these pants are being worn by Briohny Smith and Kathryn Budig. The downside is that these pants are, well, skin-tight. For those who prefer a little more coverage and a little less glitz (and who could care less about Briohny whoever), read on:
laurasana’s pick for ethically-made “don’t-look-like-yoga-pants” yoga pants: Pants by Be Present. Prices vary- plan to spend at least $60. Available online or locally at geoYoga in Stuart. I know it seems silly to have two pairs of pants on this list, but I had to offer an alternative for those who are rolling their eyes at the Teekis. These Be Present pants are my absolute favorite for just about everything. They’re super light, they move with you, and the quality is excellent. Tons of fun colors. Each pair is made in the US- so no worries about Asian sweatshops. My favorites are the Agility- they have the slit in the back- but I wear all the styles happily. A small “design flaw”: Because of the slits at the bottom, they can flop around a bit when you go all the way upside-down. However, the versatility of this pant more than makes up for that in my book.
laurasana’s pick for a thoughtful yoga magazine: Yoga International. $15 for one year (4 issues).Yoga International is the publication of the Himalayan Institute, a not-for-profit organization “dedicated to serving humanity through educational, spiritual, and humanitarian programs.” You’ll find less mainstream ads than in some other yoga magazines… and a lot of well-written articles on more than just asana.
laurasana’s “just for fun” yoga gift pick: “Bella” ToeSox. $16, online or locally at Sutra Yoga in St Lucie West, FL. I picked up a pair of these this week and they fit great, breathe surprisingly well, and are just plain adorable. Check out the sparkly red color for special holiday flair! The website suggests that they are “ballet-inspired,” but I think they’re kind of a cute Mary Jane look.
laurasana’s “cheapest thing you can buy for your yogi friend” gift pick: hBand by YogiToes. $4, online or at Sutra Yoga in St Lucie West. ‘Oh,’ you’re thinking. ‘It’s a $4 headband.’ Yes, but it’s a darned good headband. It stays flat. It wicks sweat away from your face. It doesn’t get all pilled up after washing. It doubles as an pillow during Savasana (disclaimer- I tried this and found it gross, but you go ahead and see how it works for you). Best of all: YogiToes has committed to converting their entire yoga line to recycled, repurposed materials by 2013. Read about their ethics here. If you’re going to pay $4 for a hair accessory, by God, let it be this one.
And finally, ditch this guide completely:
laurasana’s pick for non-commercial gift: Find a local merchant who makes artisanal food, soaps, or dog biscuits and give them your business. Be creative- a friend with dogs might really appreciate a dog-walking gift certificate. How about a gift certificate for massage, or acupuncture? Many of these will also be fellow yogis- ask around at your studio.