Luckily, I thought ahead and brought back an entire Indian bazaar in two frame packs from India to give away as presents (I still can’t believe the deal I got on meditation bowls and bells)! However, I have seen some fantastic ideas for gifts for the conscientious gift-giver this season.
I put together a couple ideas of gifts for the girl or guy that is trying to detach from material gifts, but would secretly love some holiday spoils! (Just Click on the linked titles for more details on each product)
I just got the Chopra Center Catalog in the mail and it’s full of some great ideas for the health conscious yogi or chef in your life…If you know your recipients “Dosha” (you can figure it out through the catalogs Dosha Index) you can get them a corresponding Surya Dosha Spice Blend!
At $9 a piece they decrease the stree of trying to cook appropriately for your physical, emotional makeup. Such a great idea!
Also, for the one who loves to eat…check out these adorable homemade yoga gingerbreadmen from Patti Paige.
I also found a Yoga Cookie Cutter in Tree Pose for $12 if you want to make your own!
Chakra soaps from Etsy.com are a perfect Yoga-inspired bath gift. Each soap is scented in accordance to the properties of each chakra! You get the 7 major chakras for $20 at Etsy.com.
A gorgeous handmade sterling silver necklace of a Lotus flower made by “gomegan” at from Etsy.com for only $21!
One of my favorite things to give during the holidays is the gift of a charitable donation. Oxfam has some great packages for the holidays. Packages range from around $18 to give a set of books to a classroom of children, or mosquito nets or even a goat, to $1,500 with which you can rebuild an ENTIRE primary school in Africa! Check out their options under “Oxfam Unwrapped” in the “Gift Catalog” section. Unicef.org also does something similar, as do many other charities, so just explore on the net!
For the Traveler in your life: a pair of Tom’s shoes is the perfect gift! They are Comfy, durable, packable into any carryon, and for each pair, Tom will donate a pair of shoes to a child in need. They come in all different styles and will run you around $40 (but it’s two shoes for the price of one).
I bought mine three years ago just when the company started and they are still my favorite thing to wear on my feet to this day! (Are you listening, family?)
Tom’s even has gift packs that include a $50 dollar gift card and a DVD about the charity and how it works. They even have baby shoes!
Check out these yummy faux fur throws from West Elm starting at $79…
Also, for the well-traveled one in your life: at Sustainable Travel International you can purchase a biodegradable gift card through “snail mail” for as little as $20 and the recipient can choose which sustainable travel project they can donate to, or they can start their own! You can also contribute to your own Carbon footprint offset portfolio with the gift card.
I saw these little earphone/earmuffs and immediately a need was created for it in my life. As a runner, fiddling with my ear phones under my winter hat/fleece headband is such a pain. These are a perfect gift for a cold city dweller or winter outdoorsy athlete! $34 at hammacher.com
Along the music theme…for me, my iPod is an indispensible part of my practice and teaching. Two years ago my brother bought me the (PRODUCT) RED ipod nano which they still make and keep updating today. When you buy a RED nano, which is literally the color red, 50 percent of the gross products go to help fund AIDS programs in Africa. It was a very appropriate gift considering I was on my way to South Africa for the semester and it reminded me of the more important things in life every time I looked/listened to it.
For the self-proclaimed Asana Addict in your life:
Yoga classes do not come cheap, so if you are a teacher, offering a free class may be part of your Karma Yoga for the season, like my class I’m holding next Sunday on the Solstice.
If you are the DIY-type, making the yogi in your life a knitted yoga blanket or a handmade yoga bag (so much easier than you think) is personal, inexpensive and extremely useful!
I found a great yoga mat bag tutorial here!
I love love love these recycled Silk Yoga mat bags made from Indian sari fabric…from Everythingyoga.com…on sale for $29 (love that they are discounted!) They come in a variety of patterns and brilliant colors.
I also love these completely recycled Rice Bag yoga mat bags from globalgirlfriend.com for only $18.
After testing a lot of incense…and i mean A LOT…my standard favorite that I keep returning to is Nag Champa. I luckily brought back about 20 boxes from India because it is SOOOO GOOOD (and so cheap over there as well). The sticks are handrolled, last the longest (45 minutes) and smell so pure. Just a great standard scent for meditating and yoga and just in general. A great gift may be an incense gift set like this one from NagChampa.com
You can also put together an essential oil and incense kit, make a scented eye pillow, or make a CD of your favorite relaxation/meditation tunes.
I love these modern and luxurious eye pillows from “Naturalhome” on ETSY (above).
For the Yoga Fashionista who wants to keep warm before and after class…I found these adorable hoodies lined with sherpa. Each one is customized with one of the yamas (yoga social contracts) on the back, such as “Ahimsa”, or ‘non-violence’. find them at Zazzle.com.
I’m in love with this (above) Bamboo wrap thrower from ahpeele at Etsy.com. It’s stylish and would keep any yogini warm and toasty while meditating.
I am in great “need” of a mediation alarm clock that doesn’t sound like a firetruck approaching my mat at full speed…usually the really nice zen clocks are pretty pricey but I found this Sound Oasis clock on sale for $79 (down from $100). Still a little pricey, but it would make a great gift!
For the Yogi in who live in Moderation...this Yoga wine bottle holder is a perfect host/hostess gift…$49
Fill it with one of my favorite organic wines such as Frey, or a local vineyard’s wine.
Also, as a gift you can give a friend a gift certificate to their favorite yoga studio or to a new studio that you’ve been dying to try together!
For me, my ideal presents are always experiences rather than actual material things…such as:
A Rest and Relaxation weekend, a day gift certificate, or full program at Kripalu Yoga Center in Western Massachusets. Such a Yoga Utopia out there! There’s a great New Year’s Detox program “for Health and Healing” for three days in January that I would die to go to!
simultaneously support the arts and have an entertaining evening at a night out at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston…Every Third Thursday of the month they host an “Isabella Stewart Gardner After Hours” cocktail event complete with live music. A Great romantic event during the holiday season!
And for some of my favorite Yoga Cd’s and Book recommendations as holiday gifts….
Krishna Das ‘Heart Full of Soul’...I may be a little obsessed…just a little…
Deva Premal in Concert: She has an INCREDIBLE voice…amazing to practice to
Tibetan Incantations is an incredible CD of Tibetans monks chanting Om Mani PAdme Om…heard this in every Tibetan shop playing on the CD players while in India and every time I listen to it, it brings back the magic of India.
Autobiography of a Yogi: a classic, along with The Yoga Sutras, and Light on Yoga, it’s a must have!
For the Yogi Chef: Eat Taste Heal is a wonderful cookbook on Ayurvedic cooking for the modern chef.
The Yoga of Caring: usually hard to find book from the YOga Institute…but well worth the find, and a great gift!
Half the Sky is a wonderful new book by NYTimes columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn. The book argues for the empowerment of women across the globe through their accounts of the oppression they have witnessed. A wonderfully written, inspiring call to arms for all of humanity.
One of my mom’s favorite yoga books is Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. It’s a visually and spirutally beautiful book and gift.