My yoga teacher often ends her class with the closing phrase “May the light in me see the light in you.” For many of us who practice yoga, the hour and a half we spend in a moving meditation transfers from our mat into our world. We try to create peace, light and love in the spaces that surround us and we do our best to support those we care for and even sometimes those we don’t.
These five items are not only instruments that can aid us in our practice, but the products also support businesses that are giving back or deeply educating yogis to find the peaceful power within. Supporting these businesses is just another way to spread light and awareness in a sometimes dim world – Namaste.
Photo via 5th Element Yoga
This handmade bracelet by 5th element yoga is crafted from crystal quartz, and said to “bring the energy of the stars into the soul.” It represents purity, patience, perseverance, and infinite space. Shakti translates in Sanskrit as “to be able,” meaning sacred force or empowerment, the primordial cosmic energy, and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe.
The owner is a devotional yogini who draws mindful meditation, self awareness, and strength from mala making. This small business promises to donate 10 percent of it’s profits to the Save The Children Foundation.
Photo via Putumayo
This soothing collection of songs for yoga, meditation and relaxation features renown artists from around the globe such as South Indian artist SusheelaRaman; Kenyan singer Ayub Ogada; Krishna Das; and Costa Rican group Amounsulu.
Putumayo World Music was established in 1993 to introduce people to the music of the world’s cultures. The company’s commitment to helping communities in the countries where the music originates has led to the label contributing more than one million dollars to worthwhile non-profit organizations around the world.
Often referred to as the “definitive guide to the practice of Yoga,” this classic work by the world’s best known teacher of yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar includes an introduction to the philosophy and practice of yoga. The book contains detailed descriptions of more than 200 postures; techniques for stilling the mind through breathing exercises; over 600 photographs illustrating postures and breathing techniques; and a 300-week yoga course progressing from beginner to advanced level.
Photo via Manduka
Part of Manduka’s Reflections of the Yoga Practice limited edition line, the Om tank top is breathable, sustainable, inspirational, and functional, and locally made in Los Angeles from 100 percent natural tencel. Tencel is a natural fiber made from cellulose found in wood pulp. The fiber is fully biodegradable and has a minimal impact on the environment in the manufacturing process.
Photo via I AM.
The Maya yoga bag represents the future of both design and economic development. It is designed with innovative features to compliment your practice and is created from durable textile woven by hand in the highlands of Guatemala.
For Maya women, backstrap weaving is an integral part of daily life and an important symbol of cultural heritage & identity. The women already work hard and need only a helping hand to establish a more sustainable market. This is exactly what the I AM. model offers them ““ the ability, through their own work, to escape the poverty they find themselves in, and secure a future for their children by earning high wages. The women continue to work from home and the time they spend weaving per week is completely up to them. To promote an entrepreneurial spirit, I AM. also encourages the weavers to spend one day a week working on their own designs.
BONUS: RECYCLE YOUR MAT
Photo via Recycle Your Mat
If your mat is no longer keeping you steady in your downward dog, why not recycle it instead of throwing it in the trash? Recycle Your Mat collects mat waste from most yoga mat companies. You can simply ship your old mat to Recycle Your Mat and they will either recycle or upcycle it as a new product or reuse it through donation. When you donate your old mat, the company provides a 20% discount towards a product at Manduka.