Yes, it’s Black Friday and there simply are not enough articles on where to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Not only are we supposed to boost the economy by buying, but it probably gives many of us a distraction from having to continue entertaining friends and relatives.
As a yogic shopper, the mantra is “less is more”. Do you really need to buy things in order to achieve greater happiness? Probably not. If you’re a shop-a-holic, meditating on the roots of the desire can be of great help or at least you can consult a Yoga Grump here on the topic.
So if you can’t resist shopping today, here are some holiday gifts you may want to consider that have a “lower impact” on the environment and will make others feel good too. How Yogic of you!!! Here are 3 categories of shoppers reading this blog:
- Buy nontangibles.
This could be a yoga, dance or music class from a favorite instructor (good for kids and adults) where you give a gift that lasts while giving a freelancer a job, a donation to a favorite cause (hello Hurricane Sandy relief), or my favorite, a massage with a certified practitioner. If you’re reading this blog because you’re into yoga, you can even send one of our amazing teachers to a local public school to give an afterschool class—we’ll take a photo and send a thank you to the recipient.
- Buy almost nontangible.
You need the necessary equipment in order for these to work, but purchasing music online is another way to cut down on unnecessary packaging. Browse local bands on Bandcamp.com. For children, we of course recommend Asana Alphabet’s Yoga Songs for Kids.
3. I MUST give a tangle gift. If you’re in this category, at least consider buying from a local artist or from somewhere that will not over-package your gift. Though it’s a “thrift store”, The Angel Thrift Store in Chelsea (NYC) often has fashionable, brand new items that anyone with fashion sense will love. Our favorite kid items include Annika Jermyn’s beautifully designed teddy bears (great for leading a children’s savasana or incorporating into a family yoga class), the yoga book Yogi and Yogette Learn the Asana Alphabet, or cool yoga cookie cutters designed by Karen La Du.
Well, if you just don’t want to give anything material, you can spread the word of yoga, starting by hugging yourself and twisting from side to side. Inhale left, exhale right. 3 minutes. You’ll open your spine, your heart and make yourself feel good!