With the Christmas season upon us, everyone is searching for that perfect gift to give to someone special. Your obvious choices would be jewelry, perfume, or gift vouchers—which are all lovely, but...oftentimes, they don’t really say, “I’ve put lots of thought into this.”
So when you want to give something to a Yogalati (yes, I’ve made up a name for someone who enjoys doing Yoga and Pilates!), there are loads of great ideas, including stocking fillers for you to choose from. (Note to self…send this list to my family!)
So if you're wondering what the Christmas wish list of a yoga and Pilates lover could be like, this should give you a *general* idea.
Every single person who does Pilates or yoga will have or need a mat, and with so many different types and price ranges on the market, it’s hard to know what to get.
Here’s what you need to know first: if your loved one does or will ever do Pilates, they will need a slightly thicker mat than most yoga mats for all of the laying and rolling exercises. A minimum of 1cm thickness is recommended.
However, most Pilates or fitness mats that are thicker also have a tendency to stretch when doing positions like Downward Dog in yoga, so opt for one that's not made of rubber or NBR. Closed (or dense) cell or TPE eco-friendly materials are best. Watch out for latex or PVC materials in case of allergies or sensitivities.
My top pick: Pilates Mat Pro by Yogistar.
When shopping for a pair of tights, there are 2 very important things to keep in mind: Thickness and zips. Do not go to the running section in a sports store and buy a pair of tights there. Why? Thickness and zips.
These tights are thin because they are designed to be sweat-wicking and keep you cool. What this means is, as soon as you stretch the material—as when bending over even a little bit—the material becomes see-through. If you know anything about yoga or Pilates, you know there is plenty of bending and stretching. And I don't know about you, but I personally don’t really want everyone seeing my underwear!
Also, most running tights have zip pockets on the back or sides to keep keys, money, or a phone. These zips become very uncomfortable to lay and roll on when doing Pilates or yoga. Black, printed, bold-colored tights…you can’t go wrong with a great pair. She will definitely use them and probably wear them for more than just doing class.
Tip: Stretch and press the material a little bit with your finger and check if you can see your skin. That’s a pretty good indicator if they will be see-through or not when you wear them as you practice or work out.
My Top Pick: Reversible Leggings from Sweaty Betty. They have lots of different styles and colors and have two looks in one.
I know that socks are usually only reserved for Dad’s gift when you really don’t know what else to give him. But Pilates socks (also very useful for yoga, by the way) are not your average socks. They have sticky pads on the soles to prevent slipping. It's a fantastic invention and a great Christmas stocking filler.
Tip: Get the ones that look like secret socks but with a thin band over the arch of the foot. That way they can also be used like secret socks for some shoes.
Resistance bands have so many uses in Pilates, fitness training, and yoga. They are great to use as a stretching aid and for muscle strengthening. Plus, they are lightweight, don’t take up any space at home, and are an inexpensive gift.
There are different resistances to the bands so it’s always good to get a few variations. Most bands are made of latex, but it is possible to get latex-free ones if that’s important to you.
If you want to know more about how resistance bands can be used in Pilates and exercises, click here.
If you buy the foam roller as a gift for someone that you live with, there is a chance you will be using it too on a regular basis.
The foam roller has a couple of different uses; the one you might be most interested in is for self-massage (fascia release). Upper back, IT band (outer side of the thigh), shins, hamstrings, front of the thigh and more...the foam roller will help to release the tension in all of those places, just by rolling up and down on it a few times. Yes, sometimes it’s rather painful like a deep massage, but it’s absolutely worth it.
The other use is for balance/core exercises (laying down on it) in Pilates and other exercises laying over it. The foam roller is lightweight and available in different densities. The more dense it is, the harder it is. This makes a difference particularly when using it for self-massage.
The harder ones will get into the muscles deeper and be more effective at relieving muscle tightness. Basically, they will hurt more! If you’re someone who doesn’t like a hard massage, go for a softer one.
The foam roller also comes in different lengths. The shorter ones are used mostly for self-massage whereas the longer ones can also be used for the other Pilates exercises.
Whatever your choice of Christmas gift for a Yogalati, I’m sure they will love it and find lots of ways to use it. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Image credit: Andrea Taylor