The Yoga Lover Gift Guide

Yoga Gift Guide – Blogmas Day 3

Do you have a yoga lover in your life? Give the gift of om with this yoga gift guide!

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase after following an ad this blog will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you! Things like this keep Wine and Mommy Time up and running.

For years I’ve dabbled back and forth with my love for yoga. Sometimes it’s a solo love but for the past, while it’s been how hubby and I have been connecting. If you haven’t read it already, go check out my post called 6 Yoga Essentials For Your Home Practise. If you don’t have time right now, check out my visual guide below.

The gift of yoga itself is an awesome gift! I highly suggest the gift option through MyYogaWorks, click here to get my discount code.

If you want to know the basics of what any yogi needs for an at-home practice check out this post – 6 Essentials for Yoga at Home.

Yoga gift guide

  1. Mat bag – It can be awkward to carry around a yoga mat. Also, no one wants to be face down on a mat that’s been sitting bare on public transit, or in the trunk of their car that they never clean (you know it’s true!) Mat bags range from simple to complex with pockets and room for other gear.
  2. Yoga wheel – For anyone from beginner to advanced yoga wheels are great for practicing and perfecting backbends. Yoga wheels can also be used for advanced balance poses!
  3. Essential oils – Explore an even more sensory practice by incorporating essential oils. You can diffuse them, or apply them to the skin.
  4. Mat spray – Mats get gross, there’s no doubt about that. However, not all cleaners are made the same. Using a household cleaner may make a mat slippery, or lose its intended stickiness. Trust me, it’s no fun to face plant. Mat sprays range from scented by essential oils to unscented.
  5. Hot yoga towel – Like cleaners, towels are also not all made the same. Hot yoga towels are meant to go on top of your mat during Bikram or hot yoga classes to help you not slip. Usually they have a bit of grip on one side, or they’re microfibre and naturally, don’t slide.
  6. Yoga socks – Do you or a yogi you know travel a lot and not have the ability to take a may? Yoga socks are a good workaround. They give feet the staying power they need to get your namaste on anywhere, any time.

The Ultimate Yoga Gift Guide

6 Yoga essentials for home practice

6 Yoga Essentials for Home Practice

We all know it’s hard to find time as parents to do something together, enter at home date nights for parents. Hubby and I have started practicing yoga every night after little man goes to bed and it’s been amazing! Continue reading to see what our yoga essentials are for home practice.

It’s no secret that our lives are fast moving. Parenthood means trying to find time for yourself, or you as a couple can be really hard. However, we’ve found a common ground in yoga and let me tell you, it’s been the perfect thing for us!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that my hubby is a runner. Marathon training and running, all-consuming runner. I even wrote a post named The Truth About Being A Runner’s wife, go check it out!

With Geoff’s running, it means that he’s pretty hard on his body. On the other hand, it means my time to get out of the house and physical is pretty limited. So, enter yoga.

Over the years I’ve tried to get him into practicing with me but it never really stuck. Until recently that is…

Geoff propositioned me to start practicing together, so naturally, it was a yes!

We’ve also been reaping the benefits of having something to do together that’s physical. We met doing a sport we loved. It meant that we were used to working as a team and working our butts off. Fast forward 10+ years, life happens and we have to find other ways to make time for each other. Because well, parenthood.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase after following an ad this blog will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you! Things like this keep Wine and Mommy Time up and running.

What we love about yoga:

  • It inspires mindfulness
  • There are modifications
  • It’s a great workout
  • You can choose your class length
  • Easy to do at home
  • Great way to connect
  • Self-care time
  • It’s physical
  • Pumps out tons of endorphins
  • Promotes better digestion
  • Prevents sport-related injuries
  • Is for all bodies

The list goes on, literally.

Who is yoga for?

Yoga is for every body. I repeat, every body.

Now, don’t get me wrong, yoga isn’t all hippy-dippy and frankly, if you’ve never done it, the verbiage may leave you feeling a little awkward. But yoga is a lifestyle. The more you focus on the intention behind the words, affirmations, and the practice itself you’ll gain a huge amount of self-awareness, and it will all come together.

Finding the right class or teacher is always step one.

Personally, I like teachers who are humorous but are great communicators. If you’re new to yoga, you especially need a teacher who can really describe proper alignment because it makes all the difference.

It’s not about just flinging your body in abstract ways and contorting your body into some ungodly position. That will come with time. It’s about learning your body’s capabilities and pushing them a bit further each time to improve.

That’s why it’s called a practice!

There is always room to improve and there are always ways to grow and challenge yourself with variations.

Some of their journeys include:

The website we use to practice has made journeys that go from beginner to intermediate to advanced. If you’re not ready to move up to the next level it’s no worries because you can just do a level over again!

What classes do I recommend?

The first series we started with is #growthgoals. It’s a great intro to get you into the flow of yoga. Bringing you from the basics to advanced. Now, if you’re a beginner, but fashion yourself athletic, don’t skip beginner. Don’t let your ego get in the way.

Basics are there as a foundation. We love that the classes in this series are typically 30 minutes, give or take. We’ve even been topping up with core classes since they’re only 10 minutes!

We’ve both been enjoying it so much that I’ve mapped out the next couple of months of which series we will do back to back! In other words, during the cold winter months, you’ll be able to find us on our mats. Wish us luck!

What do you need to start?

Sign up for a free trial of MyYogaWorks.com (using my promo link will get you a discount, so click here!)

A device with a screen, or a TV (we have a Chromecast which allows us to stream from our phones to our TV)

These are our 6 essentials for home yoga practice:

  1. Yoga mat – The choice of mat to make is totally up to you. Some people opt for thin mats, others (like myself) opt for thicker mats. There are rubberized mats, cork mats, and so many others.
  2. Set of yoga blocks – You should purchase a set of two, per person. As you progress, you may not need any at all, however, there are many poses you will need them for. Some you may even need to stack them!
  3. Yoga strap – Not only can you carry your mat with a strap, but they’re also totally necessary. You can deepen, or ease pull on stretches with straps. They come in a few different materials and usually look like a belt that has D-ring buckles on one end to loop through.
  4. Bolster – Typically used in Yin or restorative yoga, blisters offer great support to really melt into deep poses.
  5. Mexican blanket – Not just for keeping warm, blankets can be used under knees when in kneeling poses, or rolled like a bolster.
  6. Water bottle – Staying hydrated is very important if you’re going to me moving and stretching your muscles.

Did this post miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!

6 Yoga essentials for home practice

Beat Cold & Flu Symptoms Naturally - Wine and Mommy Time

Natural Cold Remedies – Beat the bug without the drugs!

It’s cold season. The leaves are falling, the air is crisp and my coworkers are dropping like flies. Time to break out some natural cold remedies!

We were pretty lucky all October to avoid snow. Usually, Halifax can expect to see some sort of a light dusting.

So far Alberta and British Columbia have gotten snow but not Nova Scotia! Yet… Which means we still get a lot of nice stroller walks in!

Beat Cold & Flu Symptoms Naturally - Wine and Mommy Time

However, not having snow didn’t stop the flu bug from hitting my work hard pretty early on. We’ve been having it in swarms. Luckily a couple of weeks ago we had someone in to do flu shots. So now we will have to battle colds, which are much more tolerable.

Don’t get me wrong, this girl will take her NyQuil if it’s to the point I just need to sleep through a cold. But, if I can, I prefer the more natural route. Also, if you’re at work, or at home momming, you can’t have anything sleep-inducing, for obvious reasons.

Fun idea! See how much of one of the new Gilmore girls episodes you can get through before the NyQuil kicks in.

I remember one time when I was managing a hair salon. Cold ridden, looking and feeling miserable. Only one at work that day so I had to be there. I bought a pack of what I thought were daytime Tylenol cold and sinus. Nope. Brought night by accident. It was the generic brand version so night times were yellow and day blue. Stupid if you ask me. Anyway, let me tell you, it was hard as hell to keep myself from falling asleep. Never again. You bet your ass that I check three times before taking cold meds to work now.

Back to work, back to germs

This year, since it’s my first year back to work after maternity leave I got the flu shot. Why? Because I’ve basically been in a bubble of babyland and didn’t leave the house much. I just don’t want to risk taking those germs home to little man. Same as when I was pregnant I got the flu shot for the first time ever. My doctor warned me when I was pregnant that if I got a cold it’d be as bad as an old person getting the flu and I’d need to be hospitalized. No thanks!

As much as you can clean and scrub your house, self and stuff down cold germs happen. When you feel the sniffles coming on ask yourself, do bugs need drugs? The answer is no. Not all of them.

The more prescriptions you take, the more your body builds a tolerance and the harder it is to fight it off next time.

Enough rambling woman, show me the goods!

Beat Cold & Flu Symptoms Naturally - Wine and Mommy Time

Beat Cold & Flu Symptoms Naturally - Wine and Mommy Time

Echinacea Tea

This bad boy is something I’ve been using for years. It’s a herbal tea by Traditional Medicinals that’s main ingredient is a herb called echinacea. This perennial plant helps produce white blood cells. Those are the part of your blood that wards off sickness and infection. You can see why this tea is great for cold and flu-like symptoms now eh? Some people aren’t too keen on the taste but I’ve been drinking this since I was a preteen so I’m used to it. You can add a bit of honey if you need it to be sweetened.

Oil of Oregano

Not for the faint of heart. I consider this nature’s Buckley’s. Considered to be antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral. Also, it has immune system boosting properties. The first time you take this, dilute 6 drops into a glass of water, then drink. It’s going to taste weird, maybe burn a little bit. If that went down okay, try 6 drops at the back of your mouth, avoiding your tongue as much as possible. Why? Because this shit burns. Chase that right away with water. Do one of these 3 times a day for best results.

Lemon & Honey

Get some hot water in a mug, squirt in some honey, then lemon juice and if you’re a lemon lover like me, a few slices. Sip this until the cows come home. Not only is it great for your throat but honey is another antibacterial product to help with your health. This is a really easy way to start easing those symptoms. It will open up your airway and start warding off those pesky germs.

What else?

Rest, lots and lots of rest. Yes, I’m well aware if you’re a parent that’s hardly an option. However, if your other half is well and able-bodied, they are more than capable of giving you the time you need to get back into fighting shape. Don’t be afraid to ask for the help.

Aside from letting sleep cure your cold, lots of fluids. This includes soup, water, Gatorade, Pedialyte, whatever. As long as it’s liquid. No, unfortunately, wine does not count.

Beat Cold & Flu Symptoms Naturally - Wine and Mommy Time

What are your favourite natural cold remedies? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Know someone who is sick right now? Or need to save this for later? Pin it to your Pinterest or share on Facebook with my social buttons!

Beat Cold & Flu Symptoms Naturally - Wine and Mommy Time

Wine and Mommy Time - How to get FREE full-length yoga videos at home!

How to Get FREE Full-Length Yoga Video’s At Home!

Yoga and Sunday’s go together like peanut butter and jelly, but yoga studios and your wallet, not so much. I love yoga for so many reasons. It’s a time to unwind, relax and push yourself physically and mentally, it always leaves me with such a peaceful mindset for the rest of my day or night.

Since our little man came along I haven’t gotten the chance to practice, however, with him getting a bit older now and his naps becoming more scheduled I want to take the opportunity to get some me time back. Being a new mom is wonderful, but man is it stressful. Geoff has his outlet of running which keeps him in check, I however need to get my groove back. Before I got pregnant going to the gym or doing home workouts was my stress relief. Now the thought of leaving the apartment is daunting, all I want to do is just relax and the last thing I want right now is to be out in the hustle and bustle.

If you’ve ever researched yoga in your area I’m sure you’ve come across studios that charge upwards of $100+/month, and that’s only for one form of exercise. Personally, I find being alone with my thoughts rather than a room full of people much more relaxing, regardless of the price. Especially if you are a beginner it can be a bit intimidating, people all around you, so much more advanced and bending like Gumby while you seem to be as flexible as a brick. Plus at home, you can create your own sanctuary, even if that means just dimming the lights and lighting a candle, but I’ll get into that later.

DoYogaWithMe.com Free Yoga Classes

A few years ago, in my searches I came across DoYogaWithMe.com and fell in love. Not only does it have full-length videos, but you can search all sorts of options in different skill levels such as video length, yoga for sports, different muscle groups, pregnancy, you name it! They even have guided and unguided meditation sound clips as well. Anyone who I talk to who mentions yoga I’m always throwing this site at and I’ve never had bad feedback. There are hundreds if not thousands of videos so you never get bored. You can save videos in your profile for future reference or just so you don’t have to have a million bookmarks in your browser. It’s a great way to create a routine of gratitude and mental health and to also a great way to see if you enjoy it. Some people will use this as their main source of practice, others as a gateway to test themselves to see if they wish to pursue that studio yoga life before committing to their memberships.

Signup and membership to DoYogaWithMe.com is free forever, however they do have an option to be a $5/month subscriber to give you, even more access, their site is expanding rapidly so $5/month if you choose to take that option is a drop in the hat, plus it keeps them running, and no I do not get kickback from them or am paid by them. Every year the site also invites it’s members to a yoga retreat, this past year was in Croatia, each year it is a different destination, something that has been on my bucket list for quite some time.

One of the classes I suggest if you are just starting out is Beginner Basics in Flow by Fiji McAlpine. It is a 75-minute class but there are shorter ones out there if you don’t have the time. Fiji is by far my favorite instructor on the site, some are a bit too “hippy” for me if you know what I mean, but to each their own! They have added some new instructors in the past year however and I am very excited to give them a try as well. If you are an early riser or are the type of person who likes to workout in the morning, give Rise and Shine by Fiji a shot, it’s not a beginner class but a great intermediate class with variations to poses if you are a beginner-intermediate. Rise and Shine is only 35 minutes so it can be pretty easy to fit into your morning before starting your day.

A lot of people have a hard time mentally disconnecting from their checklist of chores they need to be doing around the house, or those episodes recorded on their PVR just itching to be watched, but once you get into making yoga at home a habit it becomes really easy to switch your mindset. Some tips I have for creating a relaxing practice environment at home are:

Dim the lights, or turn them off and light a candle if dimming is not an option, it creates a serene atmosphere to unwind, it also helps you focus solely on the video and not the vacuuming you need to do.

If you are a parent, put toys or other kid/baby items out of sight or do it in a room that is adult-ified, again, just to help clear your mind.

A yoga mat, this is a given, however, some people like to just use their floor and that is totally fine! It just may be uncomfortable at times in some positions and you may not be able to fully enjoy it.

Choose a time of day that you know you are 100% distraction free, kids nap time, in the morning before going to work, before bed, choose a time that you don’t normally have scheduled for other things, or simply make the time.

Close your curtains. Funny enough, in our old apartment, even with my lights off, when I thought I was safe from leering eyes I wasn’t, it was a little unnerving and interrupted my practice because I had to go close the blinds.

Make sure you can see the screen of your tv, computer, or whatever you’re using to watch/listen to your class on is easy to look up at.

Check your internet connection, if your internet is shotty you may have a skippy video, so not zen.

In regard to yoga mats, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg, wait until you are ready to invest in a really great mat. If you are just starting out some places to check out are Superstore, Winners, or pretty much any sporting goods store! Remember you really don’t need a lot of space for yoga, just enough space for you, your mat, and whatever you are watching it on. I hope that this post inspires you to move your body and relax. If you have found any other sites or links feel free to share in the comments below!
Namaste