It’s that time of year! I LOVE giving gifts, and I love it even more when I know it’s something the recipient is truly going to love and use.
When it comes to fitness, health, and overall wellness, these are the products I’m loving this year. Some I have, some I’d like to have. I hope you can find the perfect item for the fitness-lover in your life.
I kept the gift guide simple this year, noting mostly my new finds and preferences in yoga, books, snacks, and a whole new category: subscription boxes. When I started looking for high-tech gear and home gym equipment, I found that my favorites were covered in the 2016 and 2015 fitness gift-giving guides. For example, the Go Sport-it Pilates Ring, Core Sliders, Muscle Roller Stick, and leggings; Empact Bars; Vitamix; and the books Yogasana and The Great Work of Your Life are still favorites, so I’ll save some time by directing you to those lists as well as this one. 🙂
I finally tried a Manduka mat this year, and I’m sold. My current mat (unfortunately not Manduka) is on its last legs, and after I get a few more hours out of it I’m getting a Manduka mat, which I’m told is the last mat I’ll need to buy: they’re guaranteed to last a lifetime, to never wear out from yoga practice. The PRO is thick at 6mm, and it comes in standard length and extra long.
This is the Manduka PROLite, which is a bit thinner than the PRO version (making it lighter, easier to tote, and a little less expensive) but it’s still backed for life. It also comes in standard length and long.
The Manduka eKO SuperLite is extra thin and extra light, making it perfect for travel. I probably wouldn’t choose it as an everyday mat, but if you know someone who’s on the go a lot, it would make a great gift.
Okay, this isn’t for the beginner on your list, but for a long-time yogi or dancer who enjoys the many branches on which yoga has diverted might love one of these to hang in their garage or basement. I’ve done aerial yoga (in silks) a couple of times, and it’s a lot of fun. I wouldn’t make it my complete practice, of course, but playing on the yoga trapeze a couple of times a week would be great. (I’m not personally familiar with this brand, but it is Amazon’s Choice. 🙂 )
This yoga wedge is not like a typical block: it’s really handy for use under your hands and feet to change the angle at the joint and how you make contact with the floor. This could be useful for someone with a wrist injury, for example.
These padded yoga gloves and socks are a nice alternative to a mat if you’re traveling (or hiking!) and don’t have space for a mat, or if you need some extra slip-resistant assistance. It says they retain their grip on rough surfaces, in water, on slippery yoga mats, and even after repeated use.
I’m not familiar with this particular company, but mala beads in general are a beautiful gift. Mine were both gifts from my yoga teacher during my teacher trainings, and I gave one made of stones to my sister last year. They’re beautiful, of course, but they’re also a powerful tool for meditation. Since various gemstones are said to have certain powers and influences (whether you believe that or not), it might be fun to choose a mala made of stones that address something your recipient is going through or has asked for help with.
For your running friends: my online Yoga for Runners course! It features numerous yoga practices ranging from four minutes to almost an hour. Each one was designed with runners in mind, not only because of the poses, but also for the mindset we’re practicing. Now through December 24, use code HOLIDAYS for 30% off.
I believe in using a theme during yoga to help you connect more deeply with your practice. My first ebook contains 108 themes to explore. This is a simple gift for someone who loves yoga (maybe for your yoga teacher?) or is just getting started with the practice. Since it’s an ebook, it’s especially easy to deliver it!
Your Top 50 Yoga Questions Answered is a nice gift for the yoga-curious people in your life. Sometimes, getting those initial questions answered gives you the confidence to take that first class. These are 50 of the questions I’ve heard most often over the years, from beginners and frequent students alike.
Pardon the language, but I think the concept is solid. I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s on my list, and it reminds me of a tool I used for myself in college: issues and non-issues. If I started to worry (that is, if I started to give a f*ck), I identified the situation as an issue (something I needed to address) or a non-issue (something that wouldn’t matter in a week or a year). If it was a non-issue, I moved on. Can’t wait to read this.
No Meat Athlete: for the athlete in your life who is wondering how his or her body will function on a plant-based diet. There are lots of vegetarian athletes in the world; it’s absolutely possible to fuel effectively and thrive without eating meat if that’s something you want to try. A great companion gift is The No Meat Athlete Cookbook.
Run Fast. Eat Slow. is by Shalane Flanagan, female winner of the 2017 New York City marathon. From the description: “… proves food can be indulgent and nourishing at the same time. Finally here’s a cookbook for runners that shows fat is essential for flavor and performance and that counting calories, obsessing over protein, and restrictive dieting does more harm than good.” Sounds good to me.
This cookbook was written by a friend of a yoga friend. Vegan cooking made simple and affordable! Another good start if you’re looking to experiment with a vegan lifestyle.
I discovered Sunwarrior products after winning a drawing at the IDEA World Fitness Expo this year. The protein powders are great, but the Sunwarrior Mint Supergreens are my favorite! I mix a scoop with coconut milk, and it’s such a light, refreshing afternoon treat–that happens to be full of good green stuff.
I love keeping a good stock of bars on hand–they’re perfect for a quick pre-workout bite in the early morning or a snack on a road trip. RXBAR Whole Food Protein Bars are a new favorite of mine. They come in great flavors (I love the Chocolate Sea Salt and the Peanut Butter), and they’re made with simple, whole ingredients, plus they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and non-GMO. (They do include egg whites, though, so not vegan.) Go with the variety pack so your recipient can try eight different flavors.
These coconut chips are such a simple snack. They come in a few different flavors and satisfy my sweet tooth in a pretty healthy way. If you have a coconut lover on your gift list, this is a must for his or her stocking.
This Golden Milk Super Blend is one of Sunfood Superfood‘s newest products. It includes turmeric, maca, goji, ginger, cardamom, and more; mix it with coconut milk (or another milk of your choice) and enjoy it this winter.
I found one fun yoga mug, and then it turned into a rabbit hole of yoga mugs, so many of which are fun! I drink coffee, chai, and golden milk, and it wasn’t until my sister got me a Toy Story mug (I love Toy Story) that I realized how much better it is to drink from a mug that really delights you! I think these finds would delight the yoga teachers or students you know.
The How To: Yoga Coffee Mug features poses that activate each of the seven chakras, as well as a sun salutation variation there on the bottom. It’s 12 ounces and comes with the coaster.
What is cuter than elephants doing yoga? This elephant yoga mug comes in an 11-ounce or 15-ounce version. (I like big mugs. I’d go for 15.)
Not that we encourage “best” in yoga, 😉 but this is a fun choice if you’d like to give your yoga teacher a gift this holiday season. It’s only 11 ounces, though. 🙂
I think this set of two stoneware mugs is so beautiful! Even better than a clever saying. Plus, great news: they’re the biggest yet at 16 ounces. 🙂
The subscription model wears thin on me for a few reasons (I don’t need $50 worth of workout clothes every month!), but I love the concept of getting a surprise in the mail every month, and I’ve loved the boxes I’ve tried.
When you send these as gifts, you usually have the option to choose a single box or a subscription for a set number of months.
You can order a single box or a subscription for three, six, or 12 months. Each month you’ll get four to six samples and full-sized fitness, fragrance, and skincare products like jewelry, gemstones, yoga mat straps, nail polish, candles, natural deodorant, and more. One past box even featured my yoga teacher’s book!
This box is geared toward runners with gear, snacks, skincare (think lip balm and anti-chafing), and more. If you’re getting it for yourself, it’s a month-to-month order, so you can cancel any time. If you get it for someone as a gift, you can choose one, three, or six months, and you pay for them all up front.
We got this for my mom for Mother’s Day a couple of years ago, and she loved it. Every month features the food from a different country.
What’s great about Honest as a subscription is that you can change your delivery date at any time. I’ve been signed up as a bundle recipient for more than a year, but I’ve only received a couple of boxes. I just place the order when I need it. They have lots of personal care and cleaning products (I love the all-purpose cleaner and laundry detergent), but what makes this especially gift-worthy is all the stuff they have for babies and mothers. Their diaper prints are adorable.
Who’s on your list this year? Don’t forget to give yourself something, too. 🙂