When you’re looking for the best gift for a yoga lover it’s a safe bet that a “green” product will be most appreciated. Green products are those that are manufactured with the least impact on the environment; they’re also referred to as “eco-friendly.” Green products may be made from a large percentage of recycled materials, or from materials that are fast-growing and easily sustainable like hemp or bamboo. Fibers, like organic cotton, that are grown without the use of harmful pesticides are also considered eco-friendly.
Part of the appeal of yoga is that it doesn’t require much in the way of special equipment and can be done most anywhere there’s room to stretch. However, there is one piece of equipment that’s essential to most yoga practitioners: the yoga mat. A mat provides a non-slip surface for bare feet and makes it easier to stay balanced and hold challenging yoga postures. They also provide a small amount of cushion for kneeling postures. Mats are made from a variety of materials, and not all of them are eco-friendly. Look for mats made from jute – a sustainable and biodegradable fiber– or post-consumer recycled material.
Yoga is designed to eliminate toxins from the body and drinking adequate amounts of water before and after a yoga session is an important part of that cleansing process, but no eco-friendly yogi wants to waste resources by using plastic water bottles. Reusable metal sports bottles are lightweight, durable and naturally insulating so they keep water cool longer.
People who practice yoga need layers of lightweight, stretchable clothing that allows them to move freely and wicks away moisture. And if the clothes highlight that yoga body they’re working so hard for, even better. People who appreciate eco-friendly fashion will enjoy workout clothes made from organic cotton, bamboo fibers, recycled polyester and recycled spandex. Look for leggings, tanks, classic yoga pants, tunics and cover-ups. If you’re not sure what colors to buy, go with basic black, it’s always yoga-chic.
Sure, a regular gym bag works fine for carrying a couple of straps extra blocks and a bottle of water, but the average gym bag probably isn’t made from green materials. Shop for a bag made from hemp, organic cotton, bamboo or recycled materials. A tall sack-style bag doubles as a tote for a yoga mat. A sling bag made from recycled material makes it easy for a yoga lover to carry everything they need while remaining ergonomically and environmentally correct.
The ultimate green gift is one you make yourself from eco-friendly materials. Knit a yoga mat bag out of organic cotton yarn or mix together a selection of organic bath salts, scented with muscle-relaxing essential oils for that after-yoga soak. If your yogi friend includes meditation in her practice, make a handmade mandala out of recycled materials to place in her meditation space.