Balance

A Holiday Gift Guide Inspired by the Five Elements

Tap the power of the five elements to offer energetic harmony to everyone on your list.

Just as balancing your doshas in Ayurveda can improve your health, having the right mix of the five elements—ether, air, fire, water, and earth—in your home can elevate how you live, says Kathleen Cox, a renowned expert of Vastu (an Indian system of design) and author of Space Matters. People with a lot of airy qualities, for instance, might benefit from a grounding, earthy gift that eases frenetic energy; fiery folks who work and play hard might love a dose of soothing water energy. With Cox’s expert advice, we gathered creative gift ideas for each element that can be offered as medicine for the spirit. Tap into intuition, harness intention, and surprise loved ones with these attentive offerings.

Ether

Mandala by Jamie Locke Art

None

Mandalas represent a sacred geometry designed to trigger a connection between the self and cosmic totality. Place Jamie Locke Art’s Invoke Mandala in any room and stare with abandon.

$375, jamielockeart.com

See also Mandalas and Meditations for Everyday Living

Tea Tumbler by Sacred Lotus Love

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Help a loved one wake up and smell the oolong. The Sacred Lotus Love Tea Tumbler comes with a stainless-steel infuser and is made of double-walled glass, so no plastic chemicals interfere with cozy, morning tea ceremonies.

$30, sacredlotuslove.com

See also Rethink Hydration: 6 Myths About Drinking Water

Magnetic Sand Hourglass by MoMA Design Store

None

Find eternity in the grains of time with MoMA Design Store Magnetic Sand Hourglass. A hidden magnet at the base creates hypnotizing, stalagmitelike formations as you watch the minutes dissolve.

$20, store.moma.org

See also Elemental Yoga: An Airy Asana Sequence to Balance Kapha

Palo Santo by Skeem Design

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Incense, with its ghostly upward pull, serves as the perfect reminder of the etheric realms. Infuse any room with the citrusy wood scent of Skeem Design’s Palo Santo.

$20–$30, skeemshop.com

See also Addressing Scent and Sensitivity in Class

Gold Lotus Teardrop Necklace by Satya Jewelry

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Even the woman who has everything will appreciate the Satya Jewelry Gold Lotus Teardrop Necklace. The lotus signifies new beginnings and infinite potential, and gold is believed to connect you back to your true essence.

$139, satyajewelry.com

See also A Yogi’s Guide to Finding the Perfect Mala Beads

Buddha Meditation Bell by Sivana

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Bells, always used in Hindu temples to awaken the deity, are also said to rouse your soul. Help a loved one get centered with the resonant Sivana Buddha Meditation Bell.

$39, sivanaspirit.com

See also Trend to Try: Sound Off Yoga

Speaker by Ultimate Ears

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Wireless and delightfully compact, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom speaker in lilac (a color signifying cosmic consciousness) will be music to someone’s ears.

$100, ultimateears.com

See also Wake Up and Flow: A 60-Minute Yoga Playlist to Slay the Day

Air

Nectar by Roy Barloga

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For those in need of an instant lift, try Nectar Roy Barloga Dotted Feather Print Study 5, a photo printed on handmade Nepalese paper.

$90, shopnectar.com

See also Yoga Gifts $25 and Under

Big Art Set by Xonex

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Get creative juices stirring with the Xonex Big Art Set.

$30, dickblick.com

See also Mary Beth LaRue’s Favorite Poses to Trigger Creative Thinking

Ylang 49 by Le Labo

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Handcrafted Le Labo Ylang 49 will help a loved one leave wafts of intoxicating patchouli, sandalwood, and ylang ylang in her wake.

$180, lelabofragrances.com

See also Make Your Home Smell Like the Holidays with Essential Oils

Tetraxis bronze star by KO Sticks

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The KO Sticks Tetraxis bronze star is a celestially inspired toy that folds and expands.

$24-$40, kosticks.com

See also The Holiday Meditation Gift Guide

Play House Art Blocks by Wee Gallery

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Made from durable paper, the Wee Gallery Play House Art Blocks offer six combinations of interactive fun for babies and toddlers.

$19, weegallery.com

See also Good Morning Yoga: A 3-Minute Flow to Jumpstart Your Kids’ Day

Overnighter bag by Birdling

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Perfect for the traveler on your list, the cotton Birdling Overnighter bag is spacious with plenty of pockets.

$175, birdling.com

See also 5 Trendy, Functional Yoga Bags for Class and Après

“Am I Blue” mobile by Mark Leary

None

Bring an airy quality to any room or practice space with the Hanging Mobile Gallery Mark Leary “Am I Blue” mobile.

$99, hangingmobilegallery.com

See also A Room of One’s OM: Create Space for Home Practice

Fire

Heng Balance Lamp by MoMA Design Store

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See the light with this clever MoMA Design Store Heng Balance Lamp, which turns on through wooden balls embedded with magnets.

$59, store.moma.org

See also Elemental Yoga: A Fire-Moving Yoga Practice for Pitta

Alchemy Fireplace Match Bottle by Skeem Design

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Skeem Design Alchemy Fireplace Match Bottle has a strike-on-bottle design and is silk-screened with a vibrant take on the elemental symbol
for fire.

$44, skeemshop.com

See also Inclusivity Training: Power Up Your Third Chakra to Stoke Your Inner Fire and Strength

Cast-iron Fry Pan by Staub

None

Exceptional heat retention is one of the hallmarks of the cast-iron Staub Fry Pan, along with durability and rugged beauty.

$99–$199, food52.com

See also Cook a Holiday Feast: Ayurvedic Recipes and Flavors for the Season

Bamboo kids’ dinnerware by Love Mae

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Made of eco-friendly material with entrancing tableaus, the five-piece Love Mae bamboo kids’ dinnerware in Forest Feast is a win-win for finicky kids and the planet.

$34, alpinemodern.com

See also Yoga for Kids

Salt Rock Candleholders by Hygge Life

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Shine a light on a radiant friend with the Hygge Life Salt Rock Candleholders, which provide an almost molten glow.

$30–$140, hyggelife.com

See also 5 Self-Care Strategies to Outsmart Holiday Stress

Marigold Pillow by Block Shop

None

Infuse any room with a burst of warmth with a Block Shop Marigold Pillow, inspired by the late designer Alexander Girard’s stylized sun faces.

$85, blockshoptextiles.com

See also Cushion Comfort

Indian Spice Sampler by The Kitchen Imp

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Help rekindle your near and dear’s agni—an Ayurvedic term for the fire of digestion—with The Kitchen Imp’s organic Indian Spice Sampler.

$20, thekitchenimp.com

See also 5 Healing Spices from Indian Cuisine to Put into Regular Rotation

Water

Yoga for Healthy Aging by Baxter Bell and Nina Zolotow

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Help make a yogi’s practice sustainable—and lifelong—with the book Yoga for Healthy Aging by respected yoga teachers Baxter Bell and Nina Zolotow. With humor, insight, and maturity, they’ll guide you through a foundational program that’s easy to combine with other practices.

$25, shambhala.com

See also Study Up: The Best Yoga Videos and Books

Eau Good Glass water bottle by Box Appetit

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Encourage hydration with the Box Appetit Eau Good Glass water bottle, which has a charcoal filter to remove tap water’s chemical aftertaste.

$35, alpinemodern.com

See also 4 Tips for Getting (and Staying) Hydrated Before and After Yoga Class

Mod Zafu by Halfmoon

None

In Vastu, the water element is associated with Shiva, the lord of meditation and yoga. For friends in need of an island of sanity amidst life’s constant churn, this Halfmoon Mod Zafu in shibori becomes the best seat in the house.

$90, shophalfmoon.com

See also Use Vastu To Create a More Soulful Home

Sea Glass Necklace by VivaTerra

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The VivaTerra Sea Glass Necklace, with its delicate aquatic palette, becomes a touchstone for beachcombers and water babies alike.

$159, vivaterra.com

See also Homemade Sea Salts

Bath Bomb Gift Set by Beauty by Earth

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Beauty By Earth Bath Bomb Gift Set will transform a bath into a sacred soak. Made from Dead Sea salts, organic butters, and essential oils, this fragrant set will defuse even the most harried.

$30, beautybyearth.com

See also Bathe in the Elements

Wooden Wave Stacking Puzzle by Imagination Kids

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Handcrafted from sustainably harvested wood, the Imagination Kids Wooden Wave Stacking Puzzle offers a glimpse of the ocean for the landlocked.

$15, imaginationkidstoys.com

See also Ocean Yoga Meditation

Cascading Tabletop Fountain by Serenity

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Bring the soothing murmur of water into a home or office with the Serenity Health & Home Décor Sunnydaze Cascading Pyramid Copper Tabletop Fountain.

$209, serenityhealth.com

See also Bringing Happiness Home

Earth

Pocket book by Shambhala Publications

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Shambhala Publications pocket books offer inspirational messages on every page to help ground you in the present moment.

$13, shambhala.com

See also Need a Good Read? Start with these Yoga Books

Herringbone Flag cutting board by American Heirloom

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A tactile, fine-grained wooden cutting board like American Heirloom’s Herringbone Flag is rustic and enduring.

$38, aheirloom.com

See also Cooking from the Soul

Knit dolls by Blabla

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Most kids have the intuitive sense that a stuffed animal can help them feel safe and grounded. Adorable Blabla knit dolls Machu the Alpaca and Hercule the Elephant work particularly well as down-to-earth spirit animals.

$58, blablakids.com

See also Child’s Play: Kickstart Your Imagination By Teaching Yoga To Kids

Zen Rock Triple Plant Terrarium by Buddha Groove

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The stone, metal, and plant trifecta found in the Buddha Groove Zen Rock Triple Plant Terrarium brings an earthy quality to any room.

$36, buddhagroove.com

See also Elemental Yoga: An Earthy Sequence to Ground Vata

Corona gray/moss blanket by Lapuan Kankurit

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Help a friend enjoy hygge (coziness) with a Lapuan Kankurit Corona gray/moss blanket that’s made from 100 percent lamb’s wool.

$125, alpinemodern.com

See also Comfort with Discomfort

Deeply Rooted Chai by Marble & Milkweed

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Marble & Milkweed’s Deeply Rooted Chai is an organic blend of pu-erh tea, quality spices, and adaptogenic herbs (they enhance the ability to adapt to stress) like ginger, turmeric, and ashwagandha.

$18, marbleandmilkweed.com

See also Chai Time

The Wooden Owl by Paul Anker Hansen

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The Wooden Owl designed by Paul Anker Hansen has a magnetically revolving head and is a charming totem of the reservoir of wisdom that lives in each one of us.

$84, canoe.design

See also The Mudra You Need to Tap Into Your Inner Wisdom

See also The Connection Between Nature’s Five Elements and Yoga