The Yogi’s Guide to Giving

If you love yoga, you’re probably eager to share the gifts of healthy living, delicious food, spiritual wisdom, and joyful practice with your family and friends. Here are creative gift ideas for yoga/wellness newbies and seasoned practitioners alike.

For spiritual seekers, make a satsanga date. Often translated as “company of the wise,” satsanga refers to the act of sitting in the presence of a spiritual teacher, absorbing their energy and listening closely to their words. A true teacher helps you see beyond your everyday fears, grudges, and to-do lists, and invites you to experience a higher state of awareness, so it’s easier to rethink your priorities, contemplate the deeper meaning of life, and move forward on the spiritual path. Here are a few ways to give a satsanga-themed gift:

  • Send your loved one to a spiritual workshop or retreat—or make it a special experience for both of you. Kripalu gift certificates can be used for day visits, R&R retreats, programs, and Healing Arts. They arrive via email with links to our online catalog and Kripalu Healing Arts offerings. Browse our calendar of programs.
  • Find out when a spiritual teacher like Sharon Salzberg or Guru Singh is coming to your city or town, and write a handmade gift certificate to your loved one, promising to drive them there, listen together to the teacher’s words of wisdom, and process what you learned on your way home.
  • Share a favorite spiritual book, film, or audio lecture.
  • Sign your friend up for an e-course or a Skype session with a favorite teacher (yours or theirs).

For everyone and anyone, give a gift certificate for a massage, facial, or private yoga, life-coaching, or Ayurveda consultation. Bodywork and wellness sessions provide space and time for healing and relaxation that our loved ones often don't pause to give themselves. Find out how to give the gift of a Kripalu Healing Arts session.

For foodies, bake seasonal sweets. For the people in your life who would enjoy a healthy, home-cooked gift, bake a recipe from your favorite cookbook or from the Kripalu Kitchen, featuring seasonal ingredients, healthy sweeteners, and vegan alternatives.

For kids, share a special yoga book. Children (and the adults who care for them) will enjoy books like the Disneyesque Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Pixar illustrator Sanjay Patel, which explains in colorful detail how Ganesha began writing the Indian epic known as The Mahabharata. Another option is Little Gurus: A Yoga Discovery Book, by celebrated German illustrator Olaf Hajek, which features lush illustrations of yoga postures, along with the myths and art of India.

For health-conscious folks, ring in a (healthy) new year. After your loved ones enjoy the holiday festivities (and, perhaps, the gluttony!) why not support them on their quest for healthy living by signing them up for a supervised detox or cleanse or a healthy cooking class.

For those who have everything, make a donation in their name. Think about what matters to them—if they're a nature lover, choose an environmental fund; if they're passionate about music or art, give to a museum or a fund for arts education. Here's why to give to Kripalu.

For bhakti yogis, celebrate their devotion. Here are a few fun gift ideas for bhakti yogis this year.

  • Kirtan lovers may enjoy Kundalini Yoga teacher Krishna Kaur’s kirtan album One Creator, which sets sacred chants that she learned from her teacher, Yogi Bhajan, against a soulful backdrop of gospel, jazz and blues. Or, if you’re a musician, schedule a kirtan at your house and celebrate the holidays by chanting with your family and friends.
  • Anyone who enjoys Krishna Das’s chanting and/or teachings on bhakti yoga will appreciate the 2013 documentary One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, which chronicles the Grammy-nominated chant master’s transformation from a depressed addict to a world-renowned musician and spiritual teacher.
  • Bhakti yogis who enjoy adorning their home with devotional objects might enjoy a reusable wall decal to decorate their living room, yoga room, or altar space, like this one from Etsy, or some “bhakti pop art” throw pillows featuring images of spiritual teachers such as Gandhi, Neem Karoli Baba, and Ram Dass.

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