You come for yoga, ready to head straight for class only to be bombarded with brilliant colors and beautiful arrangements of clothing, jewelry and all products yoga. Where do you start? Is it worth spending $100 on a pair of cotton yoga pants? Should you buy items only if it’s for a cause? Only organic? Or do you put on blinders as you walk by the vendors, going straight for your event and your intentions and skip the shopping all together?
I’ve been to many festivals and yoga conferences where I didn’t even bring any money or cards on purpose in order to stop myself from spending money unnecessarily. I feel good about it on one hand, but on the other I also always find a reason why bringing money would have been the better choice. I say to myself something to the effect of…those toe separator sandals are so unique and not that expensive AND all proceeds go to a great charity, I should have had money! Reflecting on this, I think the more appropriate question to ask ourselves when we are trying to shop “yogically” is if we decide to shop, where is our money best spent?
After spending the evening perusing all of the vendors (excluding food vendors), checking out their displays and what they stand for, I thought I could give you my recommendations in this Wanderlust world where your senses are over stimulated and your eyes are feasting for all stuff yoga.
DollyMoo- (www.dollymoo.com) Hand mixed and jarred, these body scrubs and oils are made of all organic and natural ingredients. The packaging is simple and elegant and most important they smelled awesome! For more of a draw, the prices are extremely reasonable (scrubs, oils & salts $20 to $28, lip balm $6, etc.). And the owners are 2 sisters! Who doesn’t like a family run business?
Andrea Gallo- (www.andreagallo108.com) If you are as passionate about yoga products as I am, you must own some mala beads! I could never get enough colors or styles of mala beads. The bracelets immediately caught my eye with painted OMs on each bead. Andrea travels to India every year to design different collections of mala beads. Very beautiful and priced VERY well (IE bracelet I wanted was $10!)
Heartfire Henna- (www.heartfirehenna.com) Henna is so beautiful and it’s almost unfair to call her a vendor because it’s more like a performance because you are watching someone create art. What I found different than the typical henna booth’s I have seen in the past, is the products she had to sell as Henna, off the body. Particularly candle votives with beautifully designed Henna art. Prices are comparable to other Henna booths I have come across in my life. Remember, if you decide to purchase Henna body art, that you are purchasing an experience- one that lasts a couple of weeks!
Eden’s Rose Foundation- (www.edenrosefoundation.org) This booth had the most visually appealing display of any of vendors. Even if you have no intention to purchase, you should walk by the booth and take a look. Colorful adorned umbrellas from India, stone art work, incense, handbags, and my favorite product, these thick handmade bracelets with a stone in the center. Everything is handmade and while the prices are not on the low end- you can rest easy knowing that your money is going to a fantastic cause as this non profit organization works to relieve the suffering of impoverished children.
Hyde- (www.yogahyde.com) For clothing, I have to go with Hyde yoga clothing for a few reasons. I just love the material and the way it moves with your body. It is smooth cotton and even when it clings to you it feels soft and light like a clean cotton sheet on your naked body. The designs are simple and flattering to the body. Also, many of their yoga pants can be cut across the bottom and will roll into its seam so for short people like myself this is awesome because it means no alterations. Lastly, the price! Compared to other brand name stuff, it is very reasonable and the high quality designs make them worth it.
So, when you take your journey weaving in and out of vendors this weekend, think of me when you pass these! And if you aren’t at Wanderlust this weekend in VT, check out the websites I listed. When you need gifts for people, don’t go to the mall. Instead, shop from these people who are creative, who have a purpose and who are yogis just like you and me.
Tosia is both a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, hold a masters degree in Creative Writing and writes a successful yoga blog. She has appeared on numerous yoga and Pilates DVDs for the fitness company Regeneration from 2007 to 2011 which she held part ownership along with her support system: her sister and mother (also certified instructors) whom share her passion for fitness. A bit of a renaissance woman, she was also a featured singer on the Grammy award winning children's album Songs From The Neighborhood: A Tribute to Mr. Rogers in 2006, and my EP of original music was featured in Brazil's popular magazine: SPEAK UP in 2011. She is truly grateful to be able to merge her passion for yoga and creative writing into her blog: YogabyTosia: Experience. Evaluate. Evolve.