10 Best Gifts for Yoga Lovers

When the next gift occasion arises, take advantage of yoga’s ever-increasing popularity for a fresh take on traditional gift giving. In addition to the millions of yoga devotees already practicing in the U.S., another eighty million people (34% of the population!)  will give yoga their first try this year. So, why not consider a yoga-themed gift?

Chances are high that one of your friends, family members, or co-workers are enjoying the benefits of the mat. Maybe you know someone with a committed daily practice, or have a friend that’s musing with an intention to start.

Of course, finding the perfect gift for yoga lovers can be challenging, but you already have a leg up – or a down-dog split – knowing their interest. So, you’re on the right track but still stumped on what you should get the yoga lover in your life?  You’ve got this. Take a deep, controlled breath and get inspired by our choices for the top ten best gifts for yoga lovers.

#1. Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and Room Diffusers
Essential oils are a simple, wonderful gift to enhance a yoga or meditation practice by helping yogis connect with an intention. Often essential oils can help capture the spirit of certain qualities. For instance, Lemon is associated with mental clarity and attention. Peppermint, a joyful exuberance and energy. Lavender, relaxation and peaceful communication. They can also make a room smell pretty!

Two or three different essential oils with an ultrasonic room diffuser are great gifts for yoga lovers. Just a few drops of an essential oil combined with water in it’s base can instantly create a soothing or stimulating atmosphere. Yogi’s choice.

I’m particularly fond of the exceptionally high-quality DoTerra brand of pure, cold-pressed essential oils, and for a tasteful, modern ultrasonic diffuser that would unobtrusively work with a decor, Muji’s is the best.

#2. Water Bottle
Gifting a water bottle for a yoga lover is a no-brainer, but it can be a struggle to find one that’s kind to the earth, has style for days, and is light enough for the gym bag. We picked this one for our line of yoga gifts because it satisfies all three of those requirements. Designed by LAB[O] in Montreal, CA, our water bottle is actually made of glass, but don’t worry, it’s protected by a zippered silicone sleeve. BPA and phthalates-free to boot. How refreshing!

Yoga Water Bottle

#3. Yoga Travel Mat
Gifting a yoga mat to a yoga lover can be tricky. With different types of mats suited for different yoga practices, where do you start?  A thicker mat is a great choice for a yogi who enjoys a more restorative practice. Look for a mat that will have a stickier grip for those who enjoy a higher energy vinyasa or bikram class to help them avoid slipping and sliding out of their poses.

So, you know they love yoga, but what if you aren’t sure which kind? Trust that most yogis already have a mat they like. What they probably don’t have and where you can help them the most is by giving them a Yoga Travel Mat.

Oftentimes, a vacation can wreak havoc with even the most dedicated yoga practitioner. Even standard-size mats can be awkward, heavy and prohibitive to carry. A travel mat can easily fold or roll into a carry-on bag or backpack to bring their practice with them wherever they go. My personal favorite is the Manduka eko superlite.

One of the most valuable lessons yoga students first learn is the importance of “just showing up”. It’s a lot easier when the mat can come with you!

#4. Headband
Stylish and sweaty doesn’t have to be an oxymoron if you work it right. A great, affordable gift for a yoga lover is a headband that can absorb the side effects of a vigorous yoga workout, while keeping their hair suitable for any before or after class errands. Ponytails and barrettes are great, but a headband can keep distractions like pesky flyaway hairs and perspiration out of their eyes so they can focus on the important stuff, like breath and alignment.

Choose a wide headband that can serve a dual purpose. A headband like this can be easily pulled down over the eyes for a blissed-out savasana.

#5. Organic Fruits and Snacks
The revered yoga master, B.K.S. Iyengar, who is credited with bringing the ancient practice of yoga to the West said “Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.”

Making the right food choices plays an incredibly important role in any yoga student’s well-rounded practice. Nourishing the body with wholesome foods lays a foundation for nourishing the mind.

Organic Bounty

Help the yogi take their practice from the mat to the dining table with healthy snacks to nourish the body.

We believe one of the best gifts for yoga lovers is one that extends their practice from the mat to the dining table. Our Organic Bounty gift basket does just that. Filled with certified-organic fruits, both fresh and dried, and organic nuts, cheese, crackers and jam, it’s a universally appealing gift for yoga lovers of any age or gender, beginners or advanced.



 
#6. Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner Sprays
How lovely to craft a yoga gift yourself and have it be a gift they actually need! Every yoga lover can benefit from a yoga mat cleaner and making one is not as hard as you’d think! Here is a super-simple 3-ingredient recipe (distilled water, witch hazel, and essential oils) you can make in minutes that will keep yoga lover’s mats fresh and clean for many vinyasa classes to come. Rather than one big bottle, this recipe makes a trio of 2 oz. spray bottles, each with a different scent, for easy, everyday travels back and forth to yoga class.
Simple Steps and Ingredients for a Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner Spray:

– Fill each 2oz. spray bottle (found at any beauty supply store or Amazon) three-quarters of the way full with Distilled Water.

– Shake three drops of either tea tree, eucalyptus, or peppermint essential oil (all known for their antibacterial and antifungal properties) into each spray bottle.

– Fill the bottles the rest of the way up to the top with witch hazel, close tight and give them a gentle shake. Give them a quick spray. Do they have enough scent? Go ahead and add another drop until it’s to your liking.

– Last step, the fun part. Find some adhesive labels and get creative with a signature design and brand for each bottle.

#7. Yoga Bolster
Every yoga enthusiast has a mat at home for their practice, but most yogis only take advantage of a bolster when they are at a yoga studio. One of our top gifts for yoga lovers is a bolster for home use.  A bolster is an important tool or prop used in a wide range of restorative yoga poses that can have the added bonus of being used as a meditation cushion.

Meditation and yoga are so closely intertwined that people who practice one are really also practicing the other in one form or another. Both practices explore the mind/body connection and having the proper tools within reach makes achieving a daily dedication to one’s practice so much more attainable. When choosing the perfect bolster as a gift for yoga lovers, choose a rectangular bolster with exceptional firmness and support with an upholstery-grade fabric covering. This bolster is my favorite.

#8. Yoga Blocks
In addition to bolsters, another yoga prop most people only access at their local studio is yoga blocks. These are an integral part of any yoga practice, no matter what experience level. Lightweight cork or recycled-foam yoga blocks are a great gift for yoga lovers who appreciate the tools that get them closer to good alignment, balance and stretch!

Yogis and non-yogis alike would all benefit from a Supported Fish Pose for a few minutes a day. This pose, supported by yoga blocks, expands the chest and throat, which is a great counteraction to the inevitable afternoon slump.

#9. Yoga Gift Baskets
Our absolute favorite gift for yoga lovers has to be our collection of Yoga Baskets. A woven bamboo basket combines organic fresh apples, organic maple glazed mixed nuts, and organic banana and mango slices, and, of course, essential yoga accessories. In addition to a thick, cotton strap for reaching those deeper stretches, and a silky eye pillow for a restful savasana, we’ve added our unique and so very chic water bottle designed by LAB[O] in Montreal, CA to the healthy mix. So good!

Yoga Gift Basket

#10. Gift Certificate to their favorite Yoga Studio or Retreat
When you are thinking about a gift for a yoga lover, perhaps the most appreciated gift you can give them is a gift certificate to a local yoga studio of their choice.

While a lot of practicing yogis are already enrolled in a monthly membership to a yoga studio or gym that has yoga classes, most yoga studios have special workshops or events that are not included in a rolling membership and are outside of this monthly payment. That’s where a gift certificate can really come in handy.

I have a monthly membership to a yoga studio in Brooklyn that covers unlimited classes, but my mother just treated me to a gift certificate at the same studio which I used for a four-part tai chi workshop. Thanks Mom!

Whatever gifts you end up choosing for the yoga lover in your life, know that picking a gift that is closely connected to a practice that brings health and happiness to their life will make you feel great too!

5 Tips for Sending Business Gifts

A successful business gift both matches the occasion and the taste of your gift recipient.  Since gifts reflect your sentiment, it’s important to send a gift that will be appreciated.

Here are 5 tips for sending business gifts:

1. The more you know about the tastes of the person receiving the gift, the better gift choice you can make. Is the gift recipient a cheese lover, a chocolate lover, on a special diet, or into organic foods? If you can choose a gift that has particular appeal to your recipient, you will make the biggest impact.

2. Saying “thank you” will never go out of style. In the business context, saying thank you may be an end in itself as well as a benefit to you in the future. Gifts that expressly say thank you, like our line of Thank You gifts, will be understood and appreciated.

3. You want to make sure that the gift fits the sentiment. A small thank you can be a smaller gift with a message that says, “Just a small token of my appreciation.” A bigger thank you, as in “Thanks for being instrumental in closing the deal. It wouldn’t have happened without you!” is probably best communicated with a more substantial gift.

4. For a business gift to an office, you want choose a gift that’s the right size. You want everyone to enjoy the gift. A small office with a couple of people can enjoy a smaller gift. A larger office probably calls for a larger gift. Our line of Office Gifts features five levels of gifts so you can choose the right size and the right variety of ingredients.

5. The greeting card should clearly express your sentiment. Sometimes it might be easier to just say, “Thanks from Bill Johnson,” but it’s always better to be specific about the reason for the gift. Something like, “I really appreciate all your hard work in bringing the project to fruition” is going to make the gift even more meaningful.

8 Signs of a Good Day at Manhattan Fruitier

As part of our Maker of the Month profiles, where we interview Manhattan Fruitier food makers to learn more about what makes them tick, we always ask, “What’s a good day at your company?”

I thought I’d pose that question to myself:  What is a good day at Manhattan Fruitier?

A good day at Manhattan Fruitier includes these things, in no particular order:

ORDERS IN THE BOX

All gift orders start with a paper work order placed in a sorting box at the beginning of our assembly line. I like to see David, our Head of Customer Service, placing a large stack of orders in the box at the start of each day. More orders come in across the day, of course, but it feels good to start the day strong.

customer service orders

CUSTOMER LOVE

We keep careful track of customer feedback. A good day definitely includes hearing from a customer who takes the time to let us know that we have exceeded their expectations with our products and our service.

NEW PRODUCT IN THE PIPELINE

I love developing new gifts. A good day would include working with Drew, our Creative Director, and Sarah, our Head of Product Development, on a new gift. Spoiler alert: we’re putting the finishing touches on a gift of a traditional Jewish breakfast (smoked salmon, bagels and cream cheese).

TASTING IS BELIEVING

Before we add a product to our gift line we taste it and many others in the category. It involves really thinking about what you like and why. We use a scale for taste, quality, uniqueness and appearance. I really enjoy this process. We’ve just finished tasting fruit jams from 12 different companies. Someone has to do the hard work!

jam tasting

DOING ANOTHER THING WELL

We describe our approach to marketing as doing 1,000 things well. Sara Nakash, our Head of Online Marketing, is always working on doing yet another thing well. On a good day I might see a mention of Manhattan Fruitier in a third party blog, a redesign of our order confirmation emails, or the implementation of a new ad campaign.

MOVING AHEAD WITH PARTNERSHIPS

Lauren, our Head of Keeping Us Going in the Right Direction, and I devote a lot of our time and energy to developing marketing and product partnerships. On a good day, I see positive results from this work, maybe in the form of a new partner or ongoing work with an existing partner.

CONSTANT IMPROVEMENT

Every member of our staff is charged with trying to improve our processes and materials in order to get the best gift delivered in the most efficient way possible. On a good day, I’ll hear that someone came up with a better way to do something – a refrigerator gets moved, a box size gets changed, paper shred for cushioning fruit gets filtered an extra time to eliminate dust, etc.

GAMES

We just set up a ping-pong table (admittedly we are late to the game). I get a lot of pleasure from seeing people here take a few minutes out of their day to have some fun. Currently, Charles, our Head of Expediting and Plant, is the one to beat!

pingpong

 

I’d say it’s a good day when five of these things happen. It’s a GREAT day when they all do.

 

 

The “Un-Fruit Basket”

Fruit-Basket-Lexington

We met with our friend Elise this morning to talk about how we might update the words we use to describe what we do at Manhattan Fruitier. The issue always comes up when someone asks us what we do. We answer, “We own a company that makes fruit baskets and fine food gifts.” Then we stumble all over ourselves with caveats that describe what we are not as opposed to what we are, such as: “But they are really beautiful!”; “No cellophane! No sytrofoam! No towers!”; “Not your Grandmother’s fruit basket!”; “You won’t see gifts with soup and nuts and the kitchen sink thrown in!”

We feel compelled to find a way to communicate that our gifts are not what you first think of when you hear the words “fruit basket” or “gift basket.” Similar to how 7-Up positioned itself as the “un-cola” (if anyone remembers the TV commercial for 7-Up back in the 70s), we need to communicate our “un-fruit basket-ness,” if you will, to separate ourselves from an old and tired image.

We are working on it. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

- Lauren & Jehv, Owners

“Not Your Grandmother’s Fruit Basket” and the Question of Relevance

Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about our relevance as a gift company. As time passes there’s inevitable change in how we view objects: The definition of beauty evolves. Our need for things changes based on necessity and functionality. Social conventions, style and taste change. The issue of relevance for any company determines success or failure.

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