There is something about a handmade gift that is extra special. Unique, thoughtful and creative gifts are always winners. With Christmas holidays fast approaching check out these handmade & unusual gifts for yogis.
Whether you are a crafter yourself or you just love to support crafting communities, this selection of gifts are perfect for your yoga loving friend or family member.
Colorful Yoga Straps
Why does a yoga strap need to be one color? These straps in funky color combos are strong and functional and sure to brighten any yogi’s practice and yoga space! Take a look at all of the wonderful colors.
Funky Upcycled Yoga Skirts
Yogi’s love easy to wear and comfortable yoga clothes. Check out this Etsy crafter who makes these wonderful skirts – perfect for layering over yoga leggings on the way to and from class.
There is something about a handmade gift that is extra special. Check out these handmade & unusual gifts for yogis
Handcrafted Wooden Yoga Blocks
Popular with the Iyengar yoga community, the wooden block is a yoga practice must have. These blocks are available in the standard size along with other sizes for every yogic application. Made from reclaimed lumber, these beautifully crafted props are a gift to the environment too.
Super Roomy Yoga Tote Bags
Roomy and full of useful pockets and zippers for all the class essentials. Phone, keys, wallet, towel and yoga mat all fit in this soft, reversible oversized tote bag. Fabrics are sourced from items such as tablecloths and curtains and upcycled in to these unique bags. Win – Win!!
Upcycled Braided Baskets
These colorful, hand woven baskets are perfect for storing a yoga strap, eye pillow and incense in a yogi’s yoga space. Made from the leftover fabric scraps from other projects. How awesome is that?!
Sari Silk Bookmarks
And if you are a crafter yourself, these beautiful sari silk bookmarks are a quick craft I like to make and give myself.
Easy to create using sari silk, thread and upcycled beads this is a unique gift for any avid yoga reader! For details on how to make your own, check out yogaskinny’s sister website maycontainpaper here.
All of these gift ideas are perfect for the dedicated yogi on your gift list and all crafted from upcycled materials too.
Please know that, as a member of the Etsy crafting community myself, I am an Etsy affiliate and will make a small commission from any purchase you make via yogaskinny.
So……..are you a writer or a sketcher? For me, as a yoga teacher sketch planning yoga classes using yoga stick figures is one of the most useful and fun things to do in preparation for a class.
Who Could Use Yoga Stick Figures
But it’s not just for yoga teachers. Teacher trainees & all yoga students can work with visuals to really help with understanding sequencing, asana mechanics and yoga practice flow.
I have always been a yoga class plan sketcher and my yoga stick figure has evolved over time. It started with your typical kindergarten kinda look. Disproportioned with straight limbs and a circle head but still illustrating the form of the pose and idea of the sequence.
Over time my yoga stick figure has evolved into more of a character with a round belly and pony tail.
The pony tail became a feature as I always wear a ponytail myself. The belly feature is getting there too 😉
Eventually she became the inspiration for my blog logo.
Creating your Yoga Stick Figure
You don’t need to be an amazing artist to create your yogi and classes with sketches.
Eva shows you how to sketch your own simple yoga stick figure and illustrates a bunch of yoga poses and sequences.
Her little yogi characters are so adorable that just flicking through them is inspiring enough on its own.
In my own sketches the orientation of the pose and gaze is shown by the position of the ponytail. ie. if the ponytail is facing upwards then she is facing forward eg tadasana. Or to the left or the right if she is facing to the side eg virabhadrasana 2
Eva includes a nose on her yogi to demonstrate the position of the head and gaze.
Anatomical perfection is not critical as long as your sketches show the ‘essence of an asana’ Eva says. Simplicity is the best place to start and then you can embellish and make your yogi your own as you continue to sketch more.
How to Create your Sequence
Whether you are planning classes or taking practice notes here’s how to start.
Grab paper and your favorite pen. You can use index cards, a dedicated journal or a yoga class planner that has been devised specifically for the sketching purpose of creating your own yoga class plans.
I devised a planner specifically to create an organized approach to my yoga class planning. It’s an instantly downloadable 3 page PDF which you can see in my online store yogaskinnystudio here.
You can sketch, create a written plan and list all of the details of your class such as class focus, props needed and blessing/reading.
How to take your notes
Practice simple stick yoga figures. Approach with an open mind and no concern for artistic perfection! Take a look at Eva’s yoganotes blog for inspiration
Start creating your sketch sequences with your stick figure.
Add written notes as you go (if you need to)
Ta-da! Enjoy sketching and have fun with your yoga character!
You can find out more about Eva’s adorable yoga sketches and her book yoganotes here
September is the month to stop buying new and try out secondhand. Check it out on Instagram – #secondhandseptember
So how can you embrace the challenge as a yogi. What can you do to embrace secondhand this month? Nobody needs more stuff and you will be helping the planet too!
First off. Don’t buy it whatever it is you’ve seen whether it be the cute yoga pants or the top of the range yoga mat that’s on sale. Take a breath, walk away and forget .
Do you really need yet another pair of yoga pants? Take a rummage through your closet. Declutter as you go and then you may discover that great pair of pants that you’d long forgotten about.
Get yourself to a thrift store or charity shop. I’ve found three branded yoga tops in thrift stores that I wear regularly. All of them lightly used but still in great condition and just a few dollars each (win-win!)
Try online secondhand markets for yoga clothes on Thredup or eBay.
Look out for secondhand before you commit to brand new.
I’ve always found that yoga is similar to camping. Meaning, newbies are raring to go and in their enthusiasm they buy every conceivable product available. When they realize yoga, or camping, is not for them they’re left with a pile of barely used stuff. Expensive mats, blocks, bolsters and meditation cushions are all redundant. Take a look at eBay and Craigslist to see what barely used (and sometimes never used) yoga props are available on the secondhand market.
The same applies to books. If you love to buy yoga books then go to the secondhand markets of Amazon and eBay. I can’t remember the last time I paid full price for a yoga book. Yoga teacher trainees buy a bunch of classic textbooks for trainings but may not go on to teach or study in more depth. Look out for secondhand before you commit to brand new.
If you are a yogi with lots of stuff then have a declutter session and try swapping out with other yogis.
If your yoga studio has a notice board it may be worth pinning a card to sell or donate those excess things you own.
So, take the challenge. Save money and reuse the stuff you have or give a second life to something secondhand. Save resources, rescue stuff from landfill and help to save our suffering planet.
The time has come for those Summer yoga retreats. Whether your trip is by bus, train or plane there are a number of easy to pack items you need to include in your travel tote alongside that yoga mat.
Essential oil is a great way to ease headaches or tension. I love this calming aromatherapy rollerball oil in lavender to ease tension.
This Origins product packs a minty punch but a tiny amount rubbed in to the temples helps to soothe headaches and relieve travel grogginess.
Make your own tiny travel altar to transport some sage, meditation cards and crystals. This tiny tin is a great way of taking your yoga & meditation practice with you on the go. (or maybe a candle but buy your matches at your destination!)
Don’t Forget your Yoga Retreat Journal
Journal to note down your travel information as well as journal your yoga retreat. This handmade yoga retreat journal is made specifically for a retreat or yoga workshop trip. Dedicated pages for you to note down your itinerary, packing list, contacts and schedule as well as a bunch of separate pages for your notes and thoughts. Totally expandable using a disc system binding it also includes pockets for your receipts & tickets and dedicated envelopes to tuck away your favorite teabag and business cards. Also included is a coordinating bookmark, tags and clips for personal customization. Take a look at this one here on yogaskinny’s sister Etsy store – maycontainpaper.
A turkish towel makes a great, soft scarf/ blanket for traveling. Perfect for chilly planes and folds up super small for toting around! (It’s also very quick drying if used as a beach towel 😉
As well as your digital gadgets, you’re going to need a great paperback to absorb you on your travels. Warrior Won by Meryl Davis Landau is a fiction novel with a spiritual edge. It centers around the main character, Lorna Crawford, facing challenges during pregancy when she learns that there may be something wrong with her baby. Filled with references to authors and practices that many a yogi will be familiar this is a captivating read. It ticks the box as a must read, Summer read for those of us looking for a mindful, contemporary womens novel.
You’ll need to stay hydrated during the course of your trip. Water bottle or tea mug are critical.
Throw in your favorite herbal teas. Choose ginger to settle your stomach and chamomile to aid with sleep (but only if you’re not driving!)
Finally, don’t get so comfortable with your travel goodies that you forget to move! Do some simple twists in your chair, get up to stretch and find a moment to focus on some smooth & deep breathing.
Go gather up your goodies and get set for your yogi travels. Bon voyage!
Please know that I am an affiliate which means that I may make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, from any items you may buy through a link from my website 🙂
The yoga text book of the Gods! If this isn’t on your teaching training book list you probably need to find out why. This. Instant!
Amazing to think that it was first published in 1966 and yet it is still one of the most popular and relevant yoga texts. I bought my copy many years ago when I started teaching and refer to it regularly!
Filled with photographs of a young Mr Iyengar in the yoga poses. Each photographed pose is accompanied by a breakdown of the pose’s sanskrit meaning, a detailed, step by step description of the pose technique and a conclusion describing the effects of the pose.
There are also separate chapters discussing bandhas, pranayama & therapies along with other aspects of yoga. I review Light on Yoga in more detail here.
It’s amazing to think that Light on Yoga was first published in 1966
If you are keen to understand yoga in all its depth then this is a book for you. Not an asana book but a study of the whole of yoga philosophy in the words of Mr Iyengar.
It is a small book of small chapters but it packs a punch with its meaning and insight. Yoga is a vast topic but this book manages to break down and explore those topics with clarity in just a few pages.
It’s the kind of book that you can dip in and out of and use as reference. I love those sort of books!
The Tree of Yoga is broken down into five parts exploring the following:
Part 1 – yoga & life. Covering aspects of love, family, faith & death
If you’re a yogi you’ll love this book. If you’re a yoga teacher you’ll need this book.
This is one Iyengar book that is more of a manual than a yoga text (although there is a section on yoga philosophy). This is a great book describing poses and sequences using the props that Iyengar yoga is synonymous with.
If you are a visual person like me you will find this book to be worth it’s weight in gold. (And that’s a lot because this book is heavy!)
Individual poses are broken down in to there sanskrit meanings, instructions on the one and necessary cautions.
There is a large chapter on the topic of ‘yoga for stress’ which also incorporates a number of restorative yoga poses.
The chapter ‘yoga for ailments’ incorporates pages of yoga sequences to address specific ailments and conditions.
Ok, so not by BKS but, nevertheless, an invaluable book for practitioners and teachers alike which is why I’m including it in this list of Iyengar books.
Written by BKS Iyengar’s daughter, Geeta, this is the classic yoga book for women.
Wherever you are on your female journey, Geeta discusses the milestones in a woman’s life – menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Separate chapters are dedicated to the poses, breathing techniques and meditation to support a woman through these milestones.
Another great book for teachers as there are lots of variations and special instructions for using props and adapting poses for all levels of practitioner.