Accessories

Yoga Gifts For The Holidays

Unsure of what to get the yogi in your life for Christmas? Fret-not, we’ve rounded up some of the best presents any yoga enthusiast would adore. (Click on photos for information on how to purchase):

Sustainably constructed Adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Performance 7/8 Recycled Polyester Tights are luxuriously soft while sweeping away heat and sweat:

Yoga Performance 7/8 Recyc. Poly Tights


Pre-shrunk, extra soft, bamboo/organic cotton, fair trade, and eco-friendly – “Practice Kindness” t-shirt:

Practice Kindness Eco Tee Shirts - Cherry Red

Eco Yoga Kit includes Stirlen Chi Yoga Mat Spray all natural cleaner, 5mm mat, blanket and blocks:

Eco Yoga Kit

Silk Eye Pillows with Lavender, come in a variety of colors and have removable covers – perfect to relax during savasana:

Small Silk Eye Pillow Lavender

A personal favorite of mine, and made in Canada, Yoga Jeans by Second Denim Co. come in a variety of styles.  I love their dark, skinny jeans as they really do feel like a second skin. And yes, you could practice yoga in them! I ordered mine online from Montreal company, Yoga-à-Porter:

DIY: How To Make Your Own Yoga Mat Bag

I love my lululemon velcro mat strap – it also doubles as a yoga strap for stretching. However, when I’m trekking around Vancouver, it would be more practical to have an actual yoga mat bag to keep my mat free of dust, dirt and grime.

If you’re relatively crafty, there’s a fantastic eco-friendly DIY project that can be done in a short amount of time: Fitsugar’s step-by-step guide to making your own yoga mat bag with an old pair of jeans.

You’ll need:

  • old jeans
  • yoga mat, for measuring
  • scissors
  • thread
  • sewing machine (you could do it all by hand, but it will take a lot longer)
  • drawstring or ribbon
  • cloth belt or scarf or tie, for the strap

This would also make an excellent gift for the holidays, for a yogi in your life. Not very crafty but like the jean-yoga-mat-bag look? Here, you can purchase a new Gaiam denim yoga bag.

Happy sewing!

Round Yoga Mats

I love the idea of a round yoga mat. A circular mat would allow for, and inspire a fluid 360 degree range of movement during your practice.

The idea of stretching out all around yourself and still being on a 6-feet-in-diameter mat would be so very comfortable.

As an added benefit, a round mat would be the perfect size for ”mommy and me” yoga classes and activities, without the need for multiple mats or having to place your child on the bare floor.

I also think circular mats would be a fantastic option for other types of fitness, like pilates.

Mandala Round Yoga Mat

However, I could see large round yoga mats being a disadvantage to the classes I attend in Vancouver, as they would take up too much space. Also, my classes are normally quite busy, so studios wouldn’t be able to accommodate as many students in each class.

Mandala, who ships to Canada, claims they are the original 6-foot round yoga mat creators.

What do you think about round yoga mats? Do you think you’d adopt this shape into your practice?

Horsing Around!

Yoga has certainly become a billion dollar plus industry and for sure will continue to stay that way, from the countless brands of mats & accessories available, to the countless ends of yoga clothing from all different ends of the perspective. I suppose with all of these options on the table, the traditional schools of yoga are no longer enough.

The latest, I just overheard on the radio the other day, horseback yoga! Perhaps the union between the horse & the rider is important to ensure boths safety, not so sure about actually practicing yoga on a horse though which of course, is not to be confused with yoga FOR horses.

Taken from the www.dailycamera.com, “Yoga with Horses Can Make for a Deeper Connection” by Aimee Heckel;

“After a few minutes with their equine partners, even people who are scared of horses quickly realize: yoga must have been created by horses.”

“It was such a strange and amazing sensation,” she says. “You just sit there and you feel your butt on the horse’s back, balancing and aligning yourself with the breathing, and his own posture, too. If you can sink into that, you can just click in. It made the yoga experience a lot more potent, and the horses were a huge guide.”

Read the full article at Boulder Daily Camera; Yoga With Horses Can Make for A Deeper Connection or check out the video on YouTube, Horsing Around!

After doing some digging around on the internet, yoga with horses is not a new thing. You can even be certified to teach yoga with horses, of course some is more specific to equestrians and some is more exercises for the actual horse but hey, certainly gives a whole new meaning to partner yoga! Too bad I couldn’t find anything local in order to go & check it out!

Yoga Wear Profit for Vancouver’s Lululemon

During the early 2000’s, I was working my way through university and could only justify paying $100 for a pair of yoga pants because they were made in Canada, and I was supporting local workers.

However, around 2004 I discovered that Lululemon had just expanded their production to China. Opening up shop in China and charging the same price, for the same product and obviously paying these workers lower wages, I didn’t just think it was right.

Therefore, I wrote a disgruntled email to Lululemon headquarters and received a generic email response thanking me for my business and explaining the growth of their company, etc. How are they now any different from Nike, I thought? Well…at least they continue operate their main factory in Vancouver, I rationalized.

Lululemon has even infiltrated the Hollywood crowd, as seen purchased by Cameron Diaz.

[Source: popsugar]

Recently, the company’s profits have tripled in the last quarter.

According the the Vancouver Sun:

For the 13 weeks in the quarter, sales were $138 million US, up from $81.7 million US during the 13 weeks ending May 3, 2009. At the same time, costs of the goods sold increased only 37 per cent, from $46.7 million US to $63.9 US. As a result, profits jumped from $6.5 million to $19.6 million during the quarter, or 28 cents US a share compared to nine cents US a share a year earlier.

I like the description written on Wikipedia regarding what Lululemon Athletica has now become:

Originally marketed as yogawear, today the brand is best known by fans as very-well-fitting workout clothing that is more likely to be worn to and from the gym, on airplanes, and at home.

It’s so true! I never travel on international long-haul flights without my black Groove Pants, which I’ve had for over 7 years and they still look great. Seriously. I attribute my pants’ longevity to the fact they were actually manufactured in Vancouver! And I never put them in the dryer 😉

What do YOU think about Lululemon attire and their business practices?

Must Have Yoga Props and Accessories

Yoga props are used to achieve proper body alignment in each yoga posture. Each type of prop can be used for different yoga poses. Here is a list of the most common yoga props:

YogaBolster

YOGA BOLSTERS

A yoga bolster is like a giant, firm pillow used to alleviate pressure. It’s generally used under the knees for support, when lying on your back. Yoga bolsters are especially handy for prenatal yoga classes and to relieve any tension in the spine.

yoga_block1

YOGA BLOCKS

A yoga block can be used during seated positions to make the poses more comfortable. The yoga block supports the sacrum and lifts the pelvis off the ground.

yoga blanket

YOGA BLANKETS

A blanket can be a versatile yoga prop. The yoga blanket can be used to keep you warm during savasana (final relaxation), raise hips above knees while seated, or support the back in reclined positions.

yogastrap

YOGA STRAPS

A yoga strap is used to deepen yoga stretches.  It can be used during pigeon pose to stretch the legs and groin muscles. Or, if you can’t reach the ground on a forward bend, stand on a yoga strap and then hold on to each end – using the strap to pull yourself closer to the ground and deepen the stretch.

yogaball-main_Full

YOGA BALL

A yoga ball can provide much needed support during backbends or wheel pose and aid in flexibility. For upward facing dog pose, the yoga ball can also be used as a support between your body and the ground.

What yoga props do you use to enhance your practice?

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