It can be difficult to discern where yoga fits into the larger scheme of the holiday season. Is it here to provide relief from the stress of shopping, travel, family visits, and deadlines in school or work?

Is it here to help people relieve their perhaps overly-filled tummies and help them recommit to health and wellness?

Or here to remind people of generosity in a time of intense consumerism?

My belief: all three! Stress management, wellness, and spiritual fulfillment will always keep drawing people back to the mat, and inspire yoga teachers to keep offering their knowledge to their students, even more so during this time of year.

But let’s face it, we live in the 21st century and the current tradition says that we give our loved ones gifts this time of year.

As modern yogis, I say we embrace the times, but I also say that we do it mindfully and use our gift-giving to impart not only our love, but also the gifts mentioned above: stress-management, wellness and health, and greater spiritual interconnection.

So here’s my (totally biased!) holiday gift guide for the giving yogi, or for those of you looking to give something to your favorite yogi or yoga teacher!

  • Adopt an Elephant! A small $50 annual fee protects and fosters one orphaned elephant through the Sheldrick Elephant Trust. A meaningful gift to nourish someone’s animal loving side. Watch the video on their page - you will melt from the cuteness.
  • A Membership to YogaGlo! For those who want to begin a yoga practice or find a way to practice more, a monthly membership of $18 opens up a huge array of classes from myself and other world-class teachers! I love YogaGlo’s creative approach to organizing classes - take a look through their class collections for specific lessons on managing stress, optimizing wellness, and nurturing your soul!
  • An online course for your favorite Yoga Teacher - A great gift for the yoga teachers in your life is an online course from 90 Monkeys! From anatomy to professional development, 90 Monkeys’ library of courses will get any teacher fired up and excited to serve their students in the New Year. 90 Monkeys donates a percentage of all sales to a curated group of non-profit organizations helping to make the world a better place.
  • Gift Card to Boulder Cycle Sport, Boulder’s premier bike shop! Yoga students and teachers can get overwhelmed with yoga gifts. Do something different and help support their other physical activities.  Perfect if you’re local in Boulder but they also have an online store if you're out of town. For yogis, I particularly love the Roll Recovery, the Swiftwick socks (best winter socks ever!! I reach for them every time), and of course a gift card is always appreciated.
  • Gift Card to prAna - the perfect gift that never goes out of style. prAna's gift cards be used either online or at many of their convenient retail stores. prAna goes out of their way to use sustainable materials and partner with companies and factories that adhere to strict guidelines for safety and efficacy, so that they are able to make the beautiful and functional products in a way that we can all feel good about.
  • The Movie, Racing Extinction -  this film was recently released by documentary academy award winning filmmaker and local Boulder friend, Louie Psihoyos. It also features our dear friend and ocean hero, Shawn Heinrichs. I loved this movie and it majorly sparked my spirit and desire to fight for our planet!
  • Give them ToeSox! A sweet gift for any person looking to get into or to return to the fitness game and their yoga practice: ToeSox! Start your health from the toes up with their socks or sandals - they’ll go nuts for the awesome colors! Spreading toes and love...
  • A Donation to WildAid. Many of you may know that I wholeheartedly support this organization’s passionate and effective efforts to save the planet. A donation goes a long way, and is a great gift for your eco-minded loved ones.
  • Handmade gifts and experiences - Gifting your own hand made baked goods, DIY sugar scrubs, and IOU cards for various experiences such as theater outings, spa days, outdoor adventures and trips are what life is all about!