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December 16, 2013

3 Great Homemade Yoga & Ayurveda Inspired Gifts. ~ Kate Schwabacher

Need inspiration for fresh, useful, inexpensive gifts for all your loved ones?

Look no further. These are simple and are be loved by yogis and lay people alike!

1. A Personalized Yoga Practice for the Non-Yogi

One year I made my husband (a self-proclaimed not-yogi) a page that had little stick figures doing yoga poses that created a sequence I had made up just for him. He liked it, and I only just learned, he continues to use it to this day: 2 years later! When you make yours it doesn’t need to be fancy—simpler is better! And don’t worry if your stick figures look more like spiders than people—it’ll give your loved one a great laugh! When putting together your sequence six or seven poses is a good maximum.

Here are some ideas:

Include something easy at the start (cat-cows for example or neck and shoulder rolls). A few standing poses (lunges, forward bends, balances are all good). A seated or reclined pose or two (a cross legged forward fold & a reclined twist are great). Finish with legs-up-the-wall or legs-over-a-couch-cushion. Include how many breaths in each shape, five is a good number if you’re not sure. Sprinkle the page with love notes (“love you!” “ommmm” “final pose: hug from me! five-forever breaths”), then watch your yogi blossom!

2. A Delicious Spice Blend for the Busy Friend

For the last three years my sister asks for the same thing: “Just give me more spices please.” Spice Blends are a huge hit! They help your loved ones feel really good, and they make the simplest food (like steamed veggies with olive oil) taste gourmet. Make a big batch and share the love, just be warned: you’ll be making it every year they’ll be so popular!

Kate’s Spice Blend

3 t fennel
1 t cumin
1 t dry ginger
1 t black pepper
1 t cardamom
1 t fenugreek
1 t turmeric
1/2 t salt
1/2 t coconut sugar

Mix & keep in a glass jar. Sprinkle on everything: cooked grains, in soups, with ghee or coconut oil on veggies. It’s a miracle for making things, tasty and easy to digest!

3. Inspiring Quote Art for the Yoga Lover

Everyone loves a good quote, and who doesn’t love a homemade piece of art (especially when it’s small enough to just set on a dresser or near your yoga mat). Even if you don’t identify with being an artist, you can make art! Purchase some good quality paper from an art store along with colored pencils or watercolors. Cut the paper into a 4×6” rectangle. Pick your chosen quote, and with a good quality black pen, write the quote on the card, maybe even with fun or fancy handwriting. Then take your pencils or paints and start coloring and blending around the quote, so the quote is left in the white space. Have fun with it and remember, your friend will be so touched you took the time to make it for her/him.

Here are some great quotes for inspiration:

“Practice and all is coming.” ~ Sri K Pattabhi Jois

“The future depends on what we do in the present.” ~ Gandhi

“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams & you will always look lovely.” ~ Roald Dahl

“Ayurveda is about choosing to live life with awareness.” ~ Dr Claudia Welch

“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” ~ Hippocrates

“Loka samasta sukino bhavantu – May the entire universe be filled with peace and joy, love and light.”

Wishing you all a beautiful holiday and end to 2013!

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Assistant Editor: Renee Picard

Photo Credit: flickr

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