As a designer, I'm constantly in tune with some of the most beautiful and functional lifestyle products on the market, especially in Los Angeles. Being an avid yogi, here is my curated list of gift recommendations for the yoga junkie who desires style in all aspects of their practice.
Calila Designs L.A. Yoga Gift Guide 2016
$125In L.A., style is everything. It should be deliberate yet effortless. The beauty is in the details. And yet, recent trends have been favoring athleisure, the sensible blend of street style and comfortable yoga clothes. For me, this is a godsend, as I'm an avid yogi and love the lifestyle and the apparel that comes with it. But initial waves of yoga pants were boring with few details or flair. Alo is a studio that really nails the studio to street style. Not only do their leggings have the comfort you'd expect in yoga pants, but they're battle tested for durability. With the Ripped Warrior, we loved their athleisure style going beyond a comfort/trendy mashup into edgy style territory. It's yoga sensibility with the attitude to match.
Yoga mats are the essential basic to practicing yoga: you've gotta have one right out of the gate. But as we progress past the cheap ones at Target, we discover there is a much wider variety to choose from. One of the things that we love about the Oregon-based company Yeti, beyond their soft, pliable texture, is the daring designs. The range of yoga mats from Yeti have many different aesthetics, from modern to tribal, Eastern Asian, and 80's pop art. Yet hey all have one thing in common: bold colors and balance in expression, a deliberate combination of eye pleasing and mind easing. Yoga Yeti is for the yoga junkie who likes to make a statement when the mats unroll.
I was going to only do one pair of leggings on this list, but I couldn't overlook Glyder. I happen to really love the way they organize their collections; each new line always seems distinguished enough to know that if I like one piece from it, I'm very likely to be interested in the rest. Mesh leggings are super trendy right now, and for one particular reason I love: they breathe incredibly well. This means that I can run in them, hike in them, spin in them, whatever other secondary activities I'm doing to supplement my yoga practice. Glyder's Out of the Smoke line has all of the neutrals I love when putting together my street clothes or athleisure look, with their Limitless Leggings coming in as one of the more unique designs from the line.
For Better Not Worse
I went back and forth on whether to include this tank top from For Better Not Worse on the list since it's not specifically yoga-centric, but a few things from FBNW pushed me over the edge. First, all of their clothing is super soft...I mean SUPER soft. The first time I picked one up at a pop up shop in Los Angeles, my eyes rolled back it was so nice. On top of that, FBNW is an inspirational company: not only do they donate a bag of food for each item purchased, but almost all their other designs just radiate positivity, which is a huge force for change. Sure yoga is only one quarter of this shirt, but honestly, if you don't like the rest, we can't be friends.
For the Los Angeles local, Chado offers arguably one of the best tea experiences in the city. However, the Genmaicha has stood out to me as by far the most unique and relaxing, full of flavor and texture you don't normally find in green tea. The green tea itself in their Genmaicha mix is a relatively neutral profile as far as green goes, not overly bitter, but mildly floral. The boost comes with the toasted hulled rice kernels (the brown bits). These add a rich nutty and earthiness to the tea, as well as adding significant body. Thus, you have a complex green tea that is quite round on the palette, never overly bitter. A great pick for the yogi who enjoys tea as a form of relaxation within their practice.
Earth and Element
Set of 5 for $25
I'd previously been on the fence about incense since I honestly really dislike smoke. However, if your view of incense is the thin little sticks that you bought from a guy with dreads in Venice beach (nope never done that. Definitely not me), give Earth and Element look. Extremely eco-conscious with a focus on precious materials, their entire brand feels like bringing the tranquility of Topanaga Canyon, where they are based, into the home. The smoke from the Palo Santo is light and smells similar to Frankincense, but with an emphasis on pine over the more lemon-y aromas. The wood blocks are carved with the moon phases, which to me was a powerful reminder to focus on natural life cycles within my practice. Depending on the level of spirituality within your yoga habits you may find a sacred meaning to the burning, or just incredibly relaxing aromas. Either way, they make a wonderful gift from Earth and Element.
There is a certain bond that yogis share, this mutual understanding of the work we are doing to better ourselves and our community. When we focus on taking care of ourselves, we are able to do our absolute best work. It was this sentiment that struck me when I discovered Ujjayi Boutique, the way her products took the spirit of the practice and put that energy into her products. Personally, I really love charcoal rubs and face clays, so for a different take on facial skin care, I chose the Blossom and Rose Face Mask. It soaks up impurities and makes skin feel vibrant, even after a long practice. With additions like organic avocado oil, aloe vera, white tea coupling the rose, the smell in and of itself is relaxing aromatherapy. I can definitely recommend this face mask for the yogi that wants to look and feel radiant after Shavasana.
Calila Designs L.A.
The Commuter has been an awesome yoga companion since I started using it for athletic purposes. It's incredibly sturdy, with spongy leather handles and tough canvas that holds my mat, shoes, even sweaty gym clothes if need be. On the outside, I just slip the Swell water bottle right in; it fits like a glove. The remaining outside pocket holds my keys, phone, sunglasses and chapstick, all with quick access due to the magnetic clasp. The Commuter just oozes Downtown L.A. style, with a bold but curated color palette to choose from. It's a tote that definitely holds up to my yoga workout days, going far beyond carrying just my mat, and looks fantastic doing it. Plus, it has the conscious focus to be made in Downtown Los Angeles by hand with American dairy cow leather and milled in America canvas.
Thanks so much for checking out our Yoga Gift Guide for 2016. We hope you found something for the yogi in all of us!
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Cameron & Lindsey