If you're looking for the best gifts for yoga lovers, you've come to the right place. We've curated a list of ten yoga gifts that are bound to make the yoga enthusiast in your life smile. Whether it's your mom, your friend, or just yourself (there's nothing wrong with getting yourself a little something!), we think you'll enjoy these ideas that range from apparel to accessories to essentials that are a must-have for stepping into the studio.
Before determining what gift makes sense for your yoga lover, let's take a look at some of the most popular styles that they might be focusing their practice on. Whether their practice is something casual to fit into their busy schedule or a more comprehensive part of their daily routine, a style will cater to their specific needs.
One of the oldest disciplines being taught today, Ashtanga is a style of Yoga that emphasizes the types of poses that are held and in what order. This gives it some similarities to Vinyasa, where breathing plays a vital role in each movement from posture to posture. What makes Ashtanga unique is that you move from one pose to the next in the same sequence every time. Whereas other styles allow you to change up the poses and the order in which they are practiced, this style does not permit such a loose approach.
The brainchild of John Finger, Anusara yoga has been popular over the past thirty years. Each class is planned and taught in order to correlate with the Universal Principles of Alignment that incorporate grace, spirituality, muscle strength, and energy, making this one of the more rugged and demanding styles out there. Every class's goal is to get students to open up their hearts and let their internal goodness shine through. Since Anusara is based on grace and organic energy through proper alignment of the body, the postures and movements concentrate on lining up the mind and heart with the spirit.
This style of Yoga is best suited for those who have not yet taken a yoga class or have felt like their previous attempt at taking one was less than successful. What makes Hatha so appealing to the beginner is that it's a discipline that brings students through many of the fundamental postures seen in various styles. This is a low-impact discipline that won't have you wiping off the sweat from your brow every ten minutes while still giving you a rigorous challenge.
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Two things differentiate Bikram from other styles: the heat and the poses. There are 26 specific postures and, much the same as Ashtanga, they are taught in the exact same sequence in every class. Even if the Bikram routine is a lot different from an Ashtanga routine, there is no question about the sequence of poses that must be part of the class. These are so specific and unchanging that Bikram Choudhury, the creator of the style that bears his name, has taken out a trademark on the exact sequence. But it's the studio classroom's intensely warm condition that also plays a vital role in shaping this unique form of Yoga.
Another style that emphasizes alignment, Iyengar, is a discipline that one might consider "detail-oriented." That attention to detail is designed to help every student achieve proper alignment throughout each posture. In order to accomplish this, Iyengar yoga employs a series of accessories and props that make it a lot easier to achieve those poses. These include items such as blocks, straps, bolsters, and even chairs and blankets. As a result, Iyengar is a less strenuous style of Yoga that doesn't offer exhausting physical challenges. This makes it a good choice for anyone who is dealing with an injury or some other ongoing physical condition that might make it harder to do other styles of Yoga.
6. Hot Yoga
Wait, didn't we just cover this up above? It's called Bikram, right? Well, yes and no. Hot Yoga is the official moniker for the style taught in studios that deviates from Bikram's specific 26 pose sequence in any way. Since he's targeted studios who call their style Bikram but fail to lead students through the 26 postures in a precise manner that he has trademarked, those studios are not legally permitted to market any class with an elevated temperature in the classroom as a Bikram class. So, the general consensus was to call it something generic instead and, thus, Hot Yoga was born.
Much like with Iyengar, Restorative Yoga relies on blocks, bolsters, and other yoga accessories to help students get into the postures that are being taught. This is another low-impact style because the class's purpose isn't to challenge the body but let it rest even while you are moving from one pose to the next. You're not putting in a lot of effort in this class, and these poses are intended to allow the body to rejuvenate itself.
We end with a similar style to that which started this list. We compared Ashtanga to Vinyasa in the way it relies on fluid motion as students move from one pose to the next. Breathing through these motions is vital, and the poses can change from one teacher to the next. This is one of the biggest appeals of a Vinyasa class - you never know exactly what you're going to get. Much like with other styles on our list, Vinyasa can be a physical challenge that builds strength and muscle.
Looking for that special present? Take a look at these ten gift ideas for yoga lovers.
Let's face it; any yoga lover in your life will most likely have a yoga mat already. But getting that yoga enthusiast a brand new mat can be a welcome offering because it's also more than likely their current mat has seen better days. A new yoga mat provides that sticky yet firm foundation for a safe and effective practice session. We recommend the Mexicana Combo Yoga Mat because of its dual purpose as a mat and towel.
One of the best gifts for people who like Yoga is a yoga mat bag. You might be surprised how many students show up to a class with their mat rolled up under an arm instead of carried in a protective bag. The great thing about a yoga mat bag is that it keeps the mat clean and maintains the important properties that make a mat such an essential item for a yoga class. The mat's sticky surface is preserved much better in a yoga mat, and the material is kept safe from harm. This bag's tie-dye aesthetic is unique and eye-catching and bound to be the subject of compliments from fellow students.
If your yoga-loving loved one is a teacher, this oil diffuser might be the perfect gift. The wooden aesthetic is modern and comes with multiple settings. Aromatherapy can be an essential component of many different styles of Yoga, though some teachers prefer to use it as a part of a private practice more than in a class setting.
Sometimes the body needs to relax in a nice warm bath, and this bath bomb soaks can help you de-stress and soothe those aches and pains after a long day. They come in a variety of pleasant scents and aromas designed to put you at ease and allow the body to rest. Relaxation is the key to healing.
The perfect combination of form and function, this crocodile gloss bra is the ideal top for taking on any yoga class style. Made from a mix of nylon and spandex, this sporty bra stretches with you instead of restricting movement and provides plenty of ventilation, so you're not moving from pose to pose covered in a layer of sweat.
Related: How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn
Every good sports bra deserves a matching pair of leggings! A good pair of reliable leggings is the yoga enthusiast's best friend. Wearing this form of apparel provides full-body motion for total comfort when practicing any style of Yoga.
Many yoga students bring a pair of yoga socks to their class or private sessions since they provide grip and support on slippery surfaces like hardwood. These socks are equipped with rubber grips along the soles, and you can find them in various styles. These socks give you the feeling of being barefoot while staying adequately protected from injury due to a slip and fall.
Candles can play a prominent role in any yoga practice as the different scents, and smells can help promote feelings of calm, inspiration, and even focus. This candle from Bath and Body Works provides a clean, crisp scent of eucalyptus and spearmint. These aromas work to center the mind and prepare your mental and physical well-being for a strong and effective practice. The candle is made from vegetable wax, and three wicks disperse the scent evenly throughout any room.
For those yoga students who can't always get to their favorite Ashtanga or Vinyasa flow class, this set of sequencing cards can be a fun and effective alternative. The set contains a variety of cards for all skill levels so you can make any sequence of postures to provide you with a relaxing or challenging practice anywhere you might be. The cards are organized into Asana categories so you can build a sequence from the start or work towards a specific posture at the peak.
10. Apple Watch Nike
First, you should determine whether or not your gift recipient has an Apple phone. If so, this Apple compatible watch from Nike brings a full roster of useful and innovative features that are ideal to use with just about any type of workout. With multiple available band styles and colors, this Nike watch can measure blood oxygen, monitor heart rhythm, and track all kinds of workouts from running to swimming to bicycling, and of course, Yoga. It can help you get better sleep by analyzing your sleep data and identifying what's preventing you from getting the rest you need.
Just getting into Yoga and looking for the right activewear? Head over to the Yoga Society Activewear collection.