10 Great Gift Ideas for the Yoga, Barre, Pilates or Dance Lover

Mind-body workouts, such as barre, yoga, Pilates and dance, are quickly taking over boutique fitness studios all over the country. These workouts range from traditional, vinyasa flow yoga routines to more unusual dance-inspired resistance band workouts, and home-based SUP yoga practices. If your best friend or partner has embraced the pseudo-spiritual (or actually spiritual) approach to whole-body fitness, there's no doubt they'll appreciate gifts that encourage their practice and commitment to health. Read on for a selection below.


Start With Affordable, Streaming Classes


One of the best ways to show your support for fitness-enthusiast friends is to provide a resource for affordable, do-anywhere classes. YogaGlo offers unlimited, on-demand yoga classes taught by excellent instructors available 24/7 on any laptop, tablet, or smartphone, all for just $18 a month. It's a good deal and a great gift, particularly for the yogi who likes the flexibility of occasionally (or always) practicing at home. 

If your best friend is more into barre and Pilates than traditional yoga, Booya Fitness is the way to go. The monthly subscription service features full-length boutique-style classes, including barre, yoga, Pilates, boot camps, strength training, and trampolining, all available to stream from any device. Plus, it costs just $9.99 per month, so it's a great option for the on-the-go fitness enthusiast. 


Help Set the Mood

mood setting gifts

Art Naturals/Luci Candle

Essential oils have developed a cult-like following, particularly among those pursuing healthy, natural lifestyles. If you have a friend that fits the bill, consider purchasing an oil diffuser set, like the Art Naturals Top 8 Oils and Oil Diffuser. The oils in this set include rosemary, sweet orange, lemongrass, frankincense, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender, while the diffuser's sleek lines help set the mood. This is a particularly nice gift for yoga instructors who want to use essential oils to set a specific tone for each of their classes.

Candles can also set the mood for a contemplative practice, but they tend to be messy and hard to transport, while battery-operated candles are frequently clunky. Enter: the Luci Candle. This completely solar-powered, flameless candle packs away into a lightweight, easily transportable cylinder you can take with you anywhere (just throw it in your gym bag!).

To set it up, inflate the cylinder into its larger size (a few puffs of air do the trick), and allow the natural-looking flicker to set the mood. This gift is particularly nice for those with a home-based yoga practice, or for yoga instructors who offer classes at multiple locations.


Elevate the Practice

yoga mat socks gloves and pilates loops
Collage by Laura Williams

Every die-hard yogi or Pilates buff is bound to love a gift that takes her practice to the next level. From a fancy new yoga mat to a set of personal Pilates loops, it never hurts to splurge a little on a few nice tools.

For instance, you can keep your friend's feet and hands safe from other people's germs by springing for a set of Good Citizen Pilates Loops. These loops are made of 100% cotton fabric that's naturally resistant to dust and dust mites and naturally repels water and sweat. The Nylon webbing provides comfort, flexibility, and support, and the water-proof foam offers additional comfort. In other words, your friend is going to love you for getting them for her.

For the person who loves to break out a few sun salutations or handstands wherever she happens to be, a pair of ​yoga gloves or non-slip yoga socks is a great way to keep her protected when she doesn't have her mat. The socks are also a good option for barre or Pilates lovers who prefer to wear socks during classes but need the added slip-resistant protection. 

And last, but certainly not least, a yoga mat can make or break a practice, and a new mat can amplify an already solid experience. Take, for instance, Sugarmat. This brand features an all-natural tree rubber mat covered in synthetic suede so it actually becomes more slip-resistant as you get sweatier. Plus, the founder of the brand has a background in the fashion industry, so each mat features beautiful, on-trend designs you won't find anywhere else. You can even custom-monogram your gift for your bestie.


Don't Forget the Leggings

yoga pants
Collage by Laura Williams

Leggings are every fit chick's best friend, and chances are the girl you're gifting to can never get enough of them. But if you're going to buy your bud a pair, don't stick with boring, basic black. Choose products with a pop of color or fun design to add life to her workout wardrobe. For instance:

  • Elephant Pants Yoga Pants: These aren't a legging, per se, but they're designed to be worn during yoga, and they're about the most comfortable thing you could ever move in. With soft elastic around the waistband and ankles, these pants will stay put through every handstand and namaste. They also feature an elephant-print pocket as an added point of interest.
  • 2(x)ist Women's Mesh Capri Leggings: These leggings from 2(x)ist are incredibly well made with a comfortable, double-lined waistband and mesh inlays along the leg. Not to mention, they stand out, coming in two bold patterns—a bright, floral motif or a geometric black and white option. They'll function well in yoga, but they'll be a particular hit in barre or dance classes.

Give a Fun and Functional Top

yoga tops
Collage by Laura Williams

Leggings tend to get all the attention, but it's hard to enjoy a workout without the right top. Look for wicking, high-tech fabrics that will keep your favorite athlete cool while she moves in style.

  • Ibex Balance Tank: The Ibex Balance Tank may look simple, but it's surprisingly high tech. Made of a merino wool blend, it's naturally wicking and anti-microbial, and it can keep your core warm, making it the perfect piece to layer with during cooler weather. Plus, the form-fitting cut and built-in shelf bra will keep you covered and "the girls" steady, even during more vigorous practices.
  • 2XU Plyometric Pro Support Tank: This close-fitting tank will stay put during downward dogs and help keep you dry when you're breaking a sweat. Plus, it's hard to argue that the pattern and color scheme is anything but flattering and on-trend.

Accessorize With Inspiration

yoga accessories
Collage by Laura Williams

Feed your friend's favorite habit by buying jewelry or accessories that can be carried with her and worn all day between sweat sessions. A few great options:

  • Headsweats Lotus Trucker Hat: Trucker hats are all the rage, and this lotus version offers a feminine and fun way to enjoy the great outdoors.
  • Buff Headbands: These soft and wide headbands from Buff come in a variety of colors and patterns, and they can easily be worn inside and outside of the studio. Best of all, they stay put without putting much pressure on your head, so they're less likely to cause headaches. And, in a pinch, you can use them as a hair tie or as a face guard on a windy day.

Assist With the Post-Class Transition

after class transition
Collage by Laura Williams

Yoga pants and tank tops are largely accepted as appropriate apparel for casual situations, but just because you can enjoy a post-workout brunch in your workout clothes, that doesn't mean you should. The good news is, it's easy to transition between studio and street. For instance, you can opt for a quick change, throwing your sweaty clothes in a bag and throwing on a casual romper in their place.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with simply wrapping yourself in a drapey cardigan or coverup. Just add a necklace or a great pair of earrings, and no one will know you've come straight from the studio.

To finish off the sporty look, carry your gear with you in a great gym bag. Skip the obvious duffle and go for something understated and sleek.


Encourage Ongoing Goal-Setting

fitness journaling
Collage by Laura Williams

To continue seeing results, goal-setting is an essential part of an active lifestyle. If your favorite fitness lover is a fan of journaling, look no further than the three-month fitlosophy fitspiration books. Each journal features space to set daily goals, journal about the journey, and track fitness and nutrition. Plus, the journals feature motivational quotes and wellness tips to keep the user on track.

If your favorite yogi already has her own system for journaling and planning, don't try to change her ways. Instead, feed the beast with fun yoga-inspired stencils and stamps designed to help yogis schedule and plan their own practices.

And if traditional journaling and planning aren't your favorite friend's cup of tea, encourage contemplative doodling. The UncommonGoods Zen Wishing Stone is designed to be used with water, so your friend can find her zen by painting on the stone with water, only to have the markings disappear as the water dries. Best of all? It can be used over and over again, indefinitely.


Support Post-Workout Relaxation

post-workout relaxation
Collage by Laura Williams

Chances are your favorite fit chick is a "work hard, play hard, relax hard" kind of woman. If she's got the "work hard, play hard" part already covered, you know that means you need to help her relax hard. The best ways to start? A good cocktail, a hot cup of tea, or a deliciously warm bath.

Any yogi with an appreciation for a good cocktail will love the Zen and Tonic book by Jules Aron (The Countryman Press 2016). This book provides "fresh and savory cocktails for the enlightened drinker" featuring fresh, organic ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The result is a slew of recipes for balanced drinking, with exciting flavors, a little buzz, and good-for-you nutrients, to boot. And if your friend is a wine girl, consider adding these beautiful stemless wine glasses engraved with yoga poses to her gift—she's practically guaranteed to love them.

And finally, there's not a yogi in the world who wouldn't appreciate the Chakra Bath Salts Set. The set of seven different salts come in colors and aromatic oils, each designed to address one of your seven chakras, encouraging balance and calm after a tough practice or day at the office.


Send a Surprise Care Package

yoga subscriptions
Collage by Laura Williams

If picking out specific gifts just isn't your thing, or if all the options just confuse you, let the experts do the picking. There are lots of monthly or quarterly subscription boxes geared specifically to yogis and fitness enthusiasts, and you're bound to find one that's perfect for your giftee. For instance, here are a few great options:

  • Buddhi Box: These boxes are filled with four to six organic, humanely-sourced products designed for people who love yoga. What's in the box is always a surprise and varies from month to month, but often includes items like jewelry, essential oils, teas, and beauty products.
  • Yoga Club: Just because the name is "Yoga Club," that doesn't mean this fitness apparel box is limited just to yogis. Subscriptions start at $45 per month and include one to three apparel items valued at a minimum retail price of $100, with items from name brands like Onzie, Free People, and Teeki. It's a great deal if your favorite fit friend is a bit of a clotheshorse.

By Laura Williams, MSEd, ASCM-CEP
Laura Williams is a fitness expert and advocate with certifications from the American Council on Exercise and the American College of Sports Medicine.