recycled-rice-bag-yoga-mat-bagIf you need a bag for your yoga or pilates mat, here’s another unique and eco-friendly option:

Made by Etsy seller, Empower Daughters, the pink yoga bag is made from a mix of denim and rice bag material, both recycled for their new use. Vietnamese words and images on the side relate to the sale of rice and remind you of the material’s origins. Since each bag is individually made, the images vary a bit. If you pick one up, you’ll know you’re getting a unique mat covering.

Large enough to hold mats and yoga clothing, the bags also come with cargo pockets, so you’ve got a place to stash your keys, wallet, phone, etc.

Available for $45 on Etsy.

yoga-back-arch-blockIf you’ve got $80 burning a hole in your skin-tight yoga capris, then here’s a gadget to add to your arsenal:

The Arches Back Arch support “allows the shoulders to roll down, expanding the chest and abdomen while supporting the entire spine. Arches’ unique design provides two different curves-a gradual arch at one end and a steeper arch at the opposite end for more flexible people.”

The foam ‘pillow’ seems a little pricey for such a simple thing, but if you have back problems and it helps, maybe it’s not a bad deal.


handmade-yoga-pilates-mat-bag-carrierMy cheap Target yoga mat came with a carrier/bag-ish thing, but the string broke after three trips to the gym. If you find yourself in a similar quandary, or you’re just looking for a stylish bag to match your yoga mat, you could check out the carriers made by Etsy artist, Leisa Stanton.

Perfect for slinging one yoga or pilates mat over your shoulder, the bags let you keep your hands free while ambling to the studio.

Leisa has several colors and patterns of fabric available (with custom orders an option as well), so browse her store if you’re interested:

Etsy: Lesia Stanton

She donates 5% of her profits to Habitat for Humanity.

yogitoes-no-skid-yoga-mat-towelI admit it: I sweat. Especially when I’m exercising. During yoga? Check.

I can’t do a downward-facing dog without my hands slipping. Not all at once, mind you (I’ve yet to face plant in yoga class), but they gradually inch outward during those long poses. Yup, the feet sometimes head south too. So, I guess I’m just the customer for the Yogitoes Skidless Groovy Mat Towel.

Unlike regular yoga mats, this one has some groves and texture, so it’s supposed to help keep you anchored. The $60 price tag (and the fact that I have a yoga mat and my gym provides towels for free) is going to keep me from trying it, but if your pockets are deep and you’re looking for a gift for a yoga-friend (or yourself) for Christmas, then you might want to check it out.

Yogitoes Skidless Yoga Towel Mat

Available in colors such as SpringBurst and SeaBurst (hey, they sound cheerful and zen at least)!

If you’ve ever gone to yoga, you probably felt good afterward. All that stretching warms up all those muscles and makes you feel like you’ve had a good workout (especially if you have one those instructors who believes it’s not yoga until the first drop of sweat hits the mat!).

Well, I’m not sure these yoga sandals can make you feel like that all day, but they are supposed to improve your balance, flexibility, and alignment. To do this, they separate each toe, so you’re walking around with the “spread your toes” style that many teachers ask for when you’re in your poses.

Made from 32% recycled LDPE, the yoga sandals can be worn around the house or on errands, or just slip them on after your yoga class.

They come in small, medium, large, and extra larges sizes, and you can pick them up at Gaiam for $30.

I don’t suppose there’s anything gadget-y about a yoga brick, but this one’s supposed to be environmentally friendly, so I’m giving it a post. I’m not sure what regular yoga bricks are made from, but they do tend to feel a bit plastic-y, and who knows what chemicals are used to create all the color options you can choose from…

This Gaiam brick is made with cork from a “certified sustainably harvested resource,” and it’s supposed to work just as well as the regular ones, offering good texture and traction (important for when you’re squeezing it between your feet and doing those torturous legs-in-the-air ab exercises). The brick is available from Amazon for $14:

Gaiam Organic Cork Yoga Brick

Okay, a yoga bag isn’t terribly gadget-y, but I thought I’d write about this one in case you know a yoga guru (or someone just getting started) who needs a place to store his or her yoga mat. The bag is made in Guatemala by the Adimat women’s cooperative, and your purchase would help economically-disadvantaged workers. Also a portion of the proceeds is used to send orphans to school and to organize a monthly litter clean-up in the community.

The bag itself is made from woven berries and bark, so it’s definitely something for the back-to-nature Zen yoga enthusiast. Even the dye used to color the material is made from all-natural pigments. The price is $40 at World of Good, and the bag is available in red, green, or brown.

World of Good