I am so excited to kick off a new series on Galbraith that's all about yoga and you, and how incorporating a few easy stretches into your routine can help ease stress (which we all need, especially this time of year!). I'm thrilled to be working with expert and friend Gabrielle Stratton (above) on the series. Gab is based in Brooklyn, where she's a full-time instructor at Goodyoga. In this kickoff post, before we get to the stretches, Gab's sharing her five luxe gift ideas for the yoga lover in your life, no matter what level they're at.
1. The Travel Mat: Jade Voyager Yoga Mat (above), $35.
"I love how I can literally fold up my travel Jade mat and throw it in my bag. As somebody who commutes regularly, it's so important to find something that's not only durable but lightweight and has great grip. The Jade travel mat fits all of that."
2. The Essential Oil: New Directions Aromatics Organic Lavendar Oil, $29 for 3.3 oz.
"New Directions Aromatics has fantastic standards for their oils; they have a line that is certified organic, kosher, and vegan. The lavender scent is my absolute favorite. It has so many intrinsic health benefits, from alleviating headaches to helping aid in sleep. I always have some fresh lavender hanging above my bed and I give it a little sniff before I go to sleep. If I'm looking for a pick-me-up or if my muscles are feeling tight, I lean toward basil—which almost burns at the touch, think Tiger Balm—or peppermint for a midday energy boost."
3. The Mat Bag: Ama Chronicles Cerulean Blue Yoga Bag (above), $45.
"The Ama Chronicles has amazing yoga bags. One of my students is a flight attendant and so she travels internationally quite often. She collects fabrics from around the world and designs these incredible yoga bags."'
4. The Pants: KiraGrace Fleur De Lys Yoga Tight, $98.
"KiraGrace is one of my favorite brands for yoga tops and pants. I love the fit of the pants, and they always last through a ton of washings, which is really important. I also love their outlook on business practices and encouragement of seva, or community service."
5. The Tools: Gaiam Yoga Essentials Block, $11, and YogaAccessories Deluxe Rectangular Cotton Yoga Bolster, $38.
"If you're trying to develop a home practice, having a block or two is a great place to start. You can explore lots of variations and modifications with blocks. My personal favorite is my bolster. I use it as my meditation cushion in the morning and to unwind after a long day of teaching. A bolster is a great prop for sinking deeper into a restorative practice."
You can find Gab at @gabstratton on Instagram.
More about Gabrielle Stratton:
Gabrielle began her yoga practice over 10 years ago. It was five years into her practice that she fully realized the benefits of yoga beyond the physical practice, which she says she owes fully to the discipline of meditation. Since becoming a certified 200-hour registered yoga teacher (RYT), she has been studying yoga medicine to earn her 500-hour teacher training, with an emphasis on anatomy and the integration of therapeutics in a regular vinyasa practice.
Photograph of Gabrielle (top) by Tom Schelling.