This time of year can be stressful, and I wanted to be able to offer my friends and loved ones a way to slow down, breathe, and stay present. I’ve collected some of my favorite things that I’ll be sharing to make this season a mindful one.
1) Loose Tea, David’s Tea
There’s something about a hot mug of tea that just makes me want to slow things right down. Best served mat-side (or maté) – curl up with a cup, and your journal and reflect on a year well spent. Some of my personal picks include: Read My Lips, Glitter + Gold, Pure Vanilla and Genmaicha.
2) Olive & Sinclair Chocolate at The Bee’s Knees Supply Co.
We can all use a little cocoa-induced pick-me-up from time to time, so why not do it right? Handcrafted in Nashville, Olive & Sinclair, boasts being the best at bean-to-bar chocolate in the South. Slow-roasted in small batches, this is not your average chocolate.
3) Heart Bowl, Breakfast Criminals
A beautiful breakfast makes for a balanced life, so start each and every day with love. Serve up the smoothie bowls of your dreams, with the @breakfastcriminals heart bowl.
4) Handmade Card, Brienne Lim Designs
Sometimes, it’s nice to know that someone is thinking about you. Send your bestie a beautiful handmade card with a thoughtful note. Add a voucher for you two to take a yoga class together to make it extra special.
5) Monogram Mug, (similar), Anthropologie
The holidays are a time to gather, but that can mean misplaced beverages! Sip your sencha in style and keep tabs on your cup with a monogrammed mug – whether you’re in the break room, or socializing after class at the studio.
6) Honey, Bee Raw Colorado Sweet Yellow Clover Raw Honey at Boston General Store
This delicious honey is like none you have ever had. Sweet and buttery, with undertones of cinnamon and nutmeg, it’s sure to be the perfect addition to your holiday pantry. Try serving with chai tea, chevre, and figs, or as a vinaigrette – yum!
7) Glass Water Bottle, bkr
Staying hydrated is always important, and I think that as we enter the winter months we can forget that. ‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and as we indulge, be sure to keep the H20 flowing, so you can keep feeling your best. These bottles are well-designed, come in all of the colors, and leave your water tasting great. Plus, with the purchase of every bottle, bkr donates to the world water crisis.
8) Graphic Racerback, Pyknic
NOMASTE! Work up an appetite with some Power Flow, then get your grub on in this tank. I love a good racerback, and a good/bad pun. Plus, skeleton prayer hands and mala beads (and it’s made in the USA).
9) Candle, P.F. Candle Co at Boston General Store
Set the tone in your home and yoga space with elegant scents from P.F. Candle Co. Conjure up holiday memories with scents like Teakwood + Tobacco, and Spruce. Or if you’re dreaming of California, like me, opt for Golden Coast, and Neroli + Eucalyptus.
Hand poured in small batches in L.A., these candles are crafted from domestically sourced ingredients, and shine in their simplicity.
10) Mini Smudge Sticks, Horai San
White sage is known for its cleansing properties, and smells wonderful in it’s natural state, or when burned as incense. I use sage to clear the energy in any room, but especially before my yoga or meditation practice. Use it throughout the holidays to clear any negative energy that may be stuck around your home.
11) DIY Mala Kit, (Items collected at), The Pear Tree Brookline
Making space in our hectic schedules to find peace + meditate during this time of year is crucial. Why not give the gift of meditation in the form of mala making? Find out what it is you (or your loved one) are trying to manifest, and then choose stones + a mantra accordingly. Make sure you have 108 strand beads, a larger guru bead, a tassel (or embroidery thread to make a tassel), and silk thread. Ask for help at the bead store if you need it, or consult a variety of online resources for more info.
DIY not your thing? Try Tiny Devotions, Mala and Mantra, or Blooming Lotus Jewelry for some beautiful options.
12) Statement Quartz Spike Necklace, Studdly Designs
Finally, a necklace as unique as you are. These dreamy quartz spike necklaces from local sparkle emporium, Studdly Designs, will have you looking pretty at every holiday party. Crystal Quartz promotes calmness for meditation, removes negative energy, brings clarity to the mind, and harmony to the body.
13) Namaste Print, YYZ to BOS
“The divine in me honours the divine in you”. Do you know the meaning of the Sanskirt word, “Namaste”? Well you do now! This 8”x10” print, hand-lettered by yours truly, will make a lovely accent to any space. Let it serve as a constant reminder to stay open and connected, this, and every season.
14) “Yoga Girl” by Rachel Brathen
What does every yoga girl need to read? Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen.
Let Rachel’s words and images inspire you to practice #yogaeverydamnday, to live the best version of your life, and to spread love, always. Tuck a one month subscription to @yoga_girl’s online yoga platform, oneOeight, inside, if you’re feeling extra generous.
15. Journal, Indigo
A new year, a new notebook. Set your intentions and goals for the year ahead. Jot down your thoughts post-meditation, tell your stories, keep a log of your daily asana practice, make to do lists, write anything at all. Write as much and as often as you can, and do it in beautiful notebooks.
16. Jute Yoga Mat, Mello Mae + Mat Strap, Lululemon
Get grounded and feel a deep connection to the earth, with beautiful + eco-friendly jute yoga mats from Boston-based company, Mello Mae. These mats have a textured, non-slip grip, so you’ll stay put during even the most fiery of flows. Mello Mae mats are super-lightweight, without compromising comfort, which is something I look for in a mat. If you’re homeward bound this Christmas, throw a mat strap around that baby, and you’re all ready to brave the airport security lines.
17. Patterned Leggings, Liquido
Are you headed for the sunshine this holiday season? I’m off to Brazil, and I can’t wait to practice on the beach + try to get on a SUP board again. If you’re basking in the sun’s rays, make sure your skin is protected! Quick drying, durable, and armed with 50+ UVA/UVB protection, these pants will take your flow from the shore to the surf and back to the studio again. Liquido leggings are made in Brazil, and are sweatshop-free. Their bright colors, limited edition patterns, and excellent fit are sure to liven up any asana practice.
18. Yoga Tune-Up Therapy Balls at South Boston Yoga
We hold so much tension in our bodies, and with the added stress of the holidays, it’s important to release it. My yoga teacher, David, at South Boston Yoga, introduced me to these Yoga Tune-Up Therapy Balls while I was in Teacher Training this summer, and I haven’t looked back. If you’re in the Boston area, take David’s, “Roll, Realign & Relax” class, 7:30 PM on Wednesday’s @ SBY.
19. Cozy Knit Scarf, Handmade/DIY
As the days get short, and the nights get long, it becomes more than necessary to get cozy. I love to bundle up post-practice all winter long with warm knits. If you’ve got nimble fingers, whip up your own scarf to stuff a loved one’s stocking (handmade gifts are my favorite). If you’re not so skilled with the knitting needles, Boston-based, Shit That I Knit, has got you covered.
20. Organic Beauty Baubles, Organic Bath Co. + Rebels Refinery + Whole Foods
Stuck on stocking stuffers? There are a bevy of natural beauty baubles to gift to your favorite yogi. From essential oils, and face scrubs, to natural deodorants and lip balms (how cool is this Rebels Refinery skull balm), a visit to a local Boston shop, like Organic Bath Co., Follain, or even a stroll through your local Whole Foods beauty aisle, will have you set in no time.
Always remember, while it’s fun to give presents in the spirit of the season – no matter your budget, the greatest gift that you can give to others and yourself, is love.
Wishing you a mindful + happy holiday season.
*This post can also be found on YYZ to BOS