17 Thoughtful Gifts for People with Anxiety (For Every Budget)

Alysia Waters
Do you know someone with anxiety? Here are some amazing and thoughtful gifts for them!

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Benefits of Wearing Crystal Jewelry & Cleansing Crystals

Alysia Waters

Crystal jewelry serves as more than just a beautiful addition to your outfit!

Unlike most other kinds of jewelry, which are selected purely based on appearance, jewelry made with healing crystals is also often chosen for the crystal’s special meaning and properties.

While the scientific evidence of the healing properties of crystals is lacking, crystal healing is a practice that’s been used for centuries and many swear by its benefits.

Hand holding a beautiful blue crystal, using it for its healing properties.

 

At the very least, using healing crystals and wearing crystal jewelry can help us practice mindfulness, introspection, using affirmations, self-care, and intention-setting. The simple act of using your crystals to set intentions and act as helpful reminders can be helpful to anyone, whether or not you believe in the metaphysical properties. 

Getting The Most Out Of Crystal Jewelry

You may notice a positive change after simply wearing a crystal necklace or bracelet. However, there are a few things you can do to really reap the benefits of your crystal jewelry. 

Choosing Your Crystal Jewelry

The first step is choosing the right crystal jewelry for you! 

Crystal jewelry comes in many different shapes and sizes, from polished malas to raw crystals strung on a necklace.

You can research the meaning of various crystals to get a better idea, or even look up which crystals are best for whatever it is you’re hoping to achieve. For example, if you’re looking for crystals to attract love into your life, or strength, or joy...the options are endless! 

Alicia from Seed & Blooms Designs holding a collection of beautiful handmade malas made with healing crystals.

 

If you’re still not sure which crystal is best for you, follow your intuition! While crystals are associated with certain intentions, in the end, you will know best. Whether you’re choosing the perfect mala beads or perusing a selection of handmade crystal jewelry, you might just know the right one when you see it.

Cleansing Crystal Jewelry

Crystals give off energy. They also absorb the energies around them. 

This is why it’s important to start by cleansing your crystal jewelry—to clear it of any current energies and start fresh. 

How can you cleanse your crystals? We recommend doing some research about your specific crystal beforehand to see the best way to cleanse it, but here are some common ways to cleanse your crystal.

Cleanse gemstones with running water. First, be careful as not all crystals are safe to use in water. If your crystals are safe in water, simply hold the crystal under some running water for a few minutes (a faucet works, but a natural stream is better!) or let it sit in a bowl of water for a while. You can even add some sea salt to the bowl of water or hold it in seawater if you’d like, but be sure to rinse and dry your crystal afterward. 

Place your crystal in salt or rice to clear negative energies. Rice and salt are said to absorb negative energies. Simply place your crystals in a bowl of salt or rice overnight and rinse and dry afterward.

Use smoke to cleanse your crystals. You can cleanse your crystals by holding them over smoke while burning special herbs like sage, rosemary, sandalwood and so on. 

Hands held in prayer while holding handmade mala necklaces, meditating to cleanse the crystals.

 

Visualization, meditation, and breathwork. You can cleanse crystals by simply holding them in your hand and visualizing them being cleansed, often by a bright light. You can also cleanse crystal jewelry by using it during your meditation and breathwork. Set an intention while you meditate and breathe on your crystals as your exhale. Try using quick, powerful exhales.


Cleanse your crystals in moonlight or sunlight. Leaving your crystals out in the sunlight or moonlight can cleanse them while also charging them. Double whammy! Certain moon phases are especially powerful, like the full moon or even the new moon (a great time to set intentions!). Placing your gemstone directly on the earth in the moonlight or sunlight is especially cleansing.

Cleansing gemstones with sound. Sounds have vibrations, and those vibrations can help cleanse your crystal jewelry and help to bring them to the same vibration. You can use a singing bowl, chant, or mantra to cleanse your crystals with sound. Different Hertz frequencies carry different cleansing abilities.  

Activating Your Crystal Jewelry

After cleansing your crystal jewelry, it’s important to set a clear intention for it. You may have had an idea for your intention when you bought it, but now is the time to really program and activate it.

Consider meditating while tapping into your intention. You may want to hold your crystal in your hand, or lay down and place it on your third eye or a corresponding chakra to match your crystal and intention. 

A hand holding a large clear quartz crystal, showing how intention can help to activate and cleanse crystals.

 

Not only is it important to infuse the energy of your intention into the gemstone, but doing so will help you come back to your intention regularly. Your crystal jewelry can now serve as a helpful reminder of your intention every time you see it!

Charging Crystal Jewelry

It’s a great idea to charge your crystal jewelry occasionally. You can do this in many similar ways used to cleanse jewelry, some of the most popular being sunlight, moonlight, and the earth (sometimes by burying it). 

Sunlight and moonlight offer different types of energy, which is something to consider when deciding how to cleanse and charge your crystal jewelry. It’s also important to note that some crystals will fade in the sun, so please double check first! 

A collected of pointed crystals charging in the sunlight of a windowsill.

 

Sunlight holds a masculine energy. It is strong, powerful, and uplifting. It’s a great method of charging crystals with intentions for growth or working towards a goal. 

Moonlight has a softer, more feminine energy. The energies of moonlight also change during the lunar cycle, so consider this when deciding when to leave your crystals out to charge at night. For example, the full moon is associated more with release, and the new moon is associated more with creating new goals and intentions. 

How often should you charge your crystal jewelry? 

You can charge your gemstones anytime, but it’s especially important to do so in a few instances. 

After your first cleanse. After you first cleanse your crystal jewelry and activate it with an intention, allow it to charge, especially if you used a cleansing method other than light or earth.

After experiencing negative energy. If you experience an especially negative energy while wearing your crystal jewelry—a traumatic event, illness, confrontation, challenging issue—it’s best to clear it and recharge it afterwards. Cleanse the negative energy absorbed by the crystal and recharge it to refocus on your intention.

A handmade crystal jewelry mala made by Seed + Bloom Designs in Kamloops.

 

When you feel like your crystal needs it (or you need it!). If your crystal jewelry is feeling energetically heavy, or perhaps you feel like you could use some new vibrations in your life, go ahead and charge it!

During certain lunar phases. Depending on your intention and goals, you may want to consider watching the lunar calendar to charge your crystal jewelry during the corresponding moon cycle. 

Handmade Crystal Jewelry

At Seed + Bloom Designs, each of our crystal jewelry pieces is handmade with love and intention! Shop our collection of handmade malas and other accessories to find the perfect addition to your wardrobe and your life. 

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5 Reasons to Buy Handmade Jewelry

Alysia Waters

Why should you buy handmade jewelry? The reasons are plenty! 


Really, the question is what matters to you when you shop. Do you care about quality and how long the item will last? Is uniqueness an important factor? How about the story behind the item?

Alysia from Seed + Bloom Designs hands stringing mala beads as she creates unique handmade jewelry in Kamloops.

On top of that, every dollar you spend makes an impact on others, too! How important is the impact that your actions have on the environment, the economy, and other people’s lives? 


There are many benefits to buying handmade jewelry, both for yourself and the world! Here are a few to consider the next time you’re shopping for the perfect jewelry piece.

1. Handmade jewelry is special and unique

Unlike jewelry that is mass produced in a factory, handmade jewelry is one-of-a-kind! Each item is unique and crafted with attention and care. 


There’s a story behind each handmade necklace, bracelet, or ring—from why the artisan started making jewelry in the first place, to the inspiration behind that particular piece. 

Handmade jewelry maker at Seed + Bloom Designs holding several beautiful handmade malas, crafted with love and intention.

 

On top of that, some artisan jewelers offer options for customization. Buying handmade jewelry opens up opportunities to personalize pieces in ways that mass-produced jewelry never could. From choosing your own materials, to customizing shapes and sizes, to having your piece engraved, handmade jewelry is the way to go if you’re looking for something extra special.


This is also a reason why handmade jewelry makes an amazing gift. If you’re looking for a gift idea for someone important in your life, why not treat them to something totally unique that no one else will ever have?

2. Handmade jewelry is sustainable

If you’re looking for sustainable jewelry, you should definitely consider buying handmade.


The truth is that creating sustainable jewelry is no easy feat. However, handmade accessories typically produce less waste since there are less materials and packaging used. And, bonus points if you’re able to buy locally, or at least from within your country, thanks to the smaller footprint caused by shipping. 

A collection of ethically-sourced mala beads and other jewelry-making tools sits on a table.

 

Mass-produced jewelry typically has a larger environmental footprint due to discarded materials, CO2 emissions, use of harsh chemicals, and so on.

On top of that, many artisan jewelry-makers choose to use sustainable materials. From recycled metals to ethically-sourced mala beads, you’re likely to be able to find beautiful handmade jewelry that has a smaller environmental impact than most mass-produced jewelry. 

3. High quality jewelry

Each pair of handmade earrings or carefully handcrafted mala is made with a keen attention to detail (and a healthy dose of love). That love and attention really shows when it comes to the quality of handcrafted jewelry pieces. 

A beautiful woman wearing a white shirt and handmade Swarovski crystal bracelet and earrings.

 

As well, many jewelry-makers are selective about the materials they use—not only due to their sustainability but their quality, too. And, because most small businesses rely heavily on referrals for continued success, the quality of their products is often a priority. Which brings us to our next point...

4. Great customer service

Because entrepreneurs who sell handmade jewelry often rely heavily on word-of-mouth advertising, they genuinely care about your experience as a customer. They are invested in the product and the business and they will go the extra mile to make sure that you’re satisfied with your purchase.

When you can communicate directly with the person who made the product with their own hands, it’s simply a different level of customer service! Whether you reach out via email or even over Instagram, there’s a good chance that you’re speaking directly with the jewelry-maker, or with someone they trust dearly with their customer service. 

5. Your purchase can make a difference

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly—when you purchase handmade jewelry, your money makes a difference

Alysia from Seed + Bloom Designs in Kamloops holds several handmade malas up in the air.

 

You’re supporting a small business, and behind that small business, a real human being. Every time that you choose to shop at an artisan business, you’re helping someone pursue their dream. And that feels pretty good.

Finding the perfect piece of handmade jewelry

Searching for the perfect piece to add to your collection? We invite you to check out our collection of handmade jewelry, intentionally handcrafted with love in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

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8 Powerful Healing Crystals for Love

Alysia Waters

Healing crystals for love are commonly used to attract and support feelings of (you guessed it!) love in one’s life. 

This love comes in various forms—self love, friendship, romantic love, universal love, or a combination. Crystals for love may be used to attract a partner, heal from a broken heart, open the heart chakra, increase a sense of self-worth, nurture an existing relationship, and so on.

The key to choosing the right gemstone, or healing gemstone jewelry, is to follow your intuition. 

 

When selecting crystal jewelry, such as a mala (mala beads are typically made from various healing stones), make your choice with an intention in mind. Then, the idea is that the healing crystal jewelry serves as a reminder in your day-to-day life, reconnecting you with your intention.

So whether or not you believe in the healing powers of crystals, having something beautiful that helps you connect with the present moment and your desires surely can’t hurt. It’s a step in the right direction, showing that you’re willing to open your heart to love and put in the effort to welcome loving vibrations into your life. 

We’ve listed a few powerful healing crystals for love in this blog to help you get started in your search, as well as some handmade malas for love and other healing jewelry you might like! 

Powerful Crystals for Love

There are many crystals for love out there to choose from. Here are a few of Seed + Bloom Design’s favourites!

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is one of the most popular crystals for love, and with good reason! This beautiful, light pink crystal helps to open the heart, restoring confidence and emotional balance. It is strongly connected to the heart chakra and is often associated with unconditional love, femininity, peace, compassion, and sensuality. 


Rose quartz malas and other rose quartz jewelry can be used to increase the flow of all types of love in one’s life. 

Rose quartz jewelry you may like: Awareness Mala

Amazonite

Amazonite is a healing crystal with a strong feminine energy. This healing crystal opens the heart chakra and is often associated with self-love, emotional balance, good fortune, and calm.

Amazonite also promotes open communication, making it a wonderful healing stone for both self-love and relationships. Wear your Amazonite mala or jewelry to remind yourself to express your love openly and honestly, whether it’s self-love or love for others.

Amazonite malas you may like: Moon Goddess Mala, Shine Mala

Green Aventurine

Green aventurine is another heart chakra crystal. This healing crystal for love aids in releasing emotional obstacles and patterns that may be stopping us from opening our hearts to love. 

Green aventurine is also known as one of the luckiest gemstones, which can’t hurt, right? This beautiful crystal aligns us with opportunity, which can include opportunities for love.

Green aventurine jewelry you may like: Green Aventurine Gemstone Chip Copper Necklace

Amethyst

Amethyst is a very popular healing crystal for many reasons. Linked to the crown chakra, amethyst is often associated with clarity, spirituality, purpose, and intuition.


Amethyst can help cleanse us of negative thoughts and connect with our own self-worth; something that is crucial to building healthy relationships with ourselves and others. If your heart is in need of healing, wearing amethyst jewelry can help you find the calm and clarity that you need.

Amethyst jewelry you may like: Chakra Mala

Carnelian

Carnelian is a sacral chakra crystal used for motivation, creativity, and courage. While it’s often associated with chasing goals, carnelian is also a wonderful crystal for love as it promotes honesty, positive life choices, and confidence.

Who couldn’t use a little extra dose of courage and confidence when it comes to love, anyway?

Carnelian jewelry you may like: Chakra Mala

Malachite

Malachite is another great healing crystal for unblocking and opening the heart chakra. It attracts positivity and protects the heart from negativity. It’s associated with intention, manifestation, and balance. 

 

Malachite encourages change, risk-taking, and growth, which are all often important aspects of increasing the flow of love in one’s life. 

Malachite jewelry you may like: Heart Chakra Mala

Black Obsidian

Black obsidian isn’t associated as directly with love. However, it is a powerful protective gemstone, helping to release negative emotions and protect from other negative energies. It is a spiritually cleansing and grounding crystal, helping to set a strong foundation for letting love in. 


Wearing black obsidian jewelry protects the wearer and strengthens them from within, allowing them to see more clearly. 

Black obsidian malas you may like: I am Grounded Mala, Chakra Mala, Shine Mala, I am Strong Mala

Howlite

Howlite is a peaceful gemstone that connects us with our spiritual self. It reduces stress levels and enhances emotional expression, patience, and rationality.

Wearing howlite jewelry can help to balance strong emotions and increase understanding, making it helpful in communicating. 

Howlite jewelry you may like: Awareness Mala

How to Use Gemstones for Love

Choosing your healing crystal for love is just the first step. Now, how can you use your crystal or crystal jewelry to attract the flow of love into your life?

Choosing Crystals for Love with Intention

When choosing your crystal or crystal jewelry, do so with intention. For example, your intention may be to increase your sense of self-worth and self-love, or it may be to open your heart to accepting love in hopes of finding a partner.

 

Place your healing stone somewhere where you will see it often, using it as a reminder to connect with your intention. When you connect with your intention on a regular basis, you will begin to send those vibrations out into the universe, which will then attract similar energies back into your life.

Purchase a piece of jewelry, such as a necklace for love or healing crystal bracelet, so that it’s easy to take with you wherever you go.

Use Affirmations for Love

Affirmations are short, positive phrases that are meant to be repeated to ourselves regularly. The idea is that by repeating the affirmation, we begin to attract these things into our lives. 

Choose a love affirmation to associate with your healing crystal. Hold it while repeating your affirmation every day. If you have a mala, you can use the beads to count as you repeat your positive mantra.


Some examples of affirmations for love include:

  • I give and receive love freely
  • I am worthy of love
  • Love follows me everywhere I go
  • I radiate love
  • I am learning to fall in love with myself
  • I receive love in abundance

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out this list of 100+ positive affirmations to raise your vibration.

Using Crystals for Love in Meditation and Mindfulness Practices

There are many easy mindfulness practices which, when incorporated regularly, can improve your life in so many ways.

Love is a very all-encompassing and powerful energy, which also impacts our lives in many ways. 

 

By practicing mindfulness, we make it easier to open ourselves up to and attract the things we want in life—including love. 

There are several ways that healing crystals and malas are used to practice mindfulness, from reminding us of our mantras and goals, to helping us dedicate time to our self-development, to bring us back to the present moment.

If you’re looking for the perfect healing crystal, check out our selection of beautiful handmade malas and other handmade jewelry

Wishing you an abundance of love!

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What Are Mala Beads & How Are Malas Used?

Alysia Waters

Mala beads have been used in spiritual and religious practices for centuries. These days, they hold various symbolic meanings and are used in several ways. 

From being worn as a trendy accessory to being used in yoga practices and meditation, mala necklaces and bracelets are more popular than ever! But what are mala beads, how do you choose the right mala beads for you, and how is mala jewelry used?

What are mala beads?

Mala beads are used to create mala jewelry, typically in the form of necklaces and bracelets. They’re usually made from a variety of gemstones, with different gemstones holding different special meanings. Sandalwood mala beads are also quite popular.

Mala beads made with different gemstones sit on a table alongside beautiful handmade malas.

 

The first mala beads came from India, thousands of years ago. The word “mala” is sanskrit for “meditation garland”, which is fitting, as the use of malas is rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism— used by monks for meditation and prayer.

Traditionally, malas are made with 108 beads. There are different theories as to the significance of the number 108, but a common one is that the number 1 represents God, 0 represents humility and emptiness, and 8 represents infinity. 

There is also a 109th bead—the guru bead, which attaches to the tassel. The guru bead is a very important and sacred part of your mala. When using your mala in your meditation practice, the guru bead is where you stop, and reverse your count if you’d like to continue.

Types of mala beads and choosing your mala

When it comes to choosing the right mala for you, it’s best to follow your intuition. If a certain bead or piece is calling to you, trust that it’s for a reason!

That being said, if you’re looking for additional guidance, there are certain intentions and energies associated with certain gemstones that are used to make mala beads. 

A woman's hand adds mala beads to a string, creating beautiful handmade malas by Seed + Bloom Designs in Kamloops, BC.

Common mala bead gemstones and their meaning:

Howlite symbolism: Howlite is a calming gemstone and is often associated with peace of mind, improved sleep, memory, knowledge, patience, communication, awareness, and emotional expression.

Black obsidian symbolism: Black obsidian is a protective gemstone and is associated with protection against negativity, cleansing the aura, grounding, and spiritual connection.

Green aventurine symbolism: Green aventurine is a comforting gemstone associated with manifestation, prosperity, opportunity, healing the heart, well-being, and calm. 

Sodalite symbolism: Sodalite is a calming gemstone that is associated with objectivity, truth, intuition, rationality, self-esteem, emotional balance, and self-acceptance.

Rose quartz symbolism: Rose quartz is a loving gemstone associated with universal love, healthy relationships, opening the heart, self-love, friendship, and inner healing.

Angelite symbolism: Angelite is a mind-opening gemstone associated with spirituality, peace, calm, self-expression, communication, connection, and healing.

Amazonite symbolism: Amazonite is a soothing gemstone associated with prosperity, success, good fortune, luck, calm, and balance.

Yellow jade symbolism: Yellow jade is an energetic gemstone associated with identity, optimism, intellect, personal power, fulfillment, wisdom, and good fortune.

Magnesite symbolism: Magnesite is a peaceful gemstone associated with the third eye, visualization, ideation, calm, clarity, creativity, and imagination.

Malachite symbolism: Malachite is a healing gemstone associated with spirituality, love, change, breaking old patterns, transformation, and growth.

Amethyst symbolism: Amethyst is a calming stone associated with peace, dreams, clarity, tranquility, balance, intuition, creativity, and expansion of the mind.

Jasper symbolism: Jasper is a healing stone associated with well-being, protection, balance, being present, reflection, spiritual connection, grounding, stability, and comfort.

Carnelian symbolism: Carnelian is a stimulating gemstone associated with motivation, creativity, courage, positivity, vitality, success, health, and strength.

Riverstone symbolism: Riverstone is an energetic gemstone associated with change, initiative, acceptance, growth, willpower, luck, and abundance. 

Snow quartz symbolism: Snow quartz is a clarifying gemstone associated with mental clarity, understanding, balance, emotional control, perspective, and patience.

Tiger’s eye symbolism: Tiger’s eye is a protective gemstone associated with good fortune, wealth, balance, releasing fear, mental clarity, focus, and objectivity.

Lavender stone symbolism: Lavender stone, or lavender quartz, is a healing gemstone associated with joy, love, self-worth, self-esteem, and appreciation.

This is just a small glimpse into the materials used to create mala beads. If there is a certain part of your life you want to improve, try researching which types of gemstones can help you in those areas. You can also choose your mala beads based on your personality, or simply allow your intuition to guide you.

How to use a mala in your everyday life

Using your mala consistently can improve your everyday life! 

The general idea is that your mala is associated with an intention. For example, all of Seed + Bloom Designs’ handmade malas are created with an intention in mind, based on the types of gemstones used. However, you are free to choose your own intention based on how the mala makes you feel, or what you need at that time.

Hands held in prayer position are drapped in multiple handmade malas, made with ethically-sourced mala beads.

The mala then serves as a reminder to help you reconnect with your intention throughout your day. 

Malas are often used in mindfulness practices, breathwork, and meditation. Hold your mala in one of your hands, and move your fingers along the beads, taking a deep breath with each one. This is a great practice to help you slow down and enter a more meditative state. 

You can also use a mala to practice mantras or positive affirmations. Similar to with breathwork, move your fingers along the beads, and repeat your chosen mantra with each bead. Learn more about the benefits of positive affirmations (and view our list of 100+ that you can use) here!

Alysia from Seed + Bloom Designs strings mala beads onto a handmade mala.

 

You can use a mala to practice mindfulness, incorporate a mala into your yoga practice, or simply wear it to help remind you to live intentionally. 

Find Your Handmade Mala

If you’re looking for a mala, we invite you to browse our collection of beautiful handmade malas. Seed + Bloom Designs uses ethically-sourced mala beads and each piece is created thoughtfully with intention and care.


Follow Seed + Bloom Designs on Instagram for more insights and to stay up-to-date on our handmade jewelry offerings! 

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Gifts For Yogis From Small Businesses

Alysia Waters

There are so many great gifts for yogis out there! Whether it’s something to help take their practice to the next level, or to help them incorporate yoga values off the mat, the options are endless.

There’s also more emphasis now on supporting local and small businesses than ever before. As a small business based out of Kamloops, British Columbia, we understand that each and every purchase from a small business has a powerful impact. 

Luckily, it’s easy to support small businesses while shopping for the perfect gift for the yoga-lover in your life!

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of awesome gifts for yogis that you can find at small businesses in Kamloops and surrounding areas throughout the British Columbia Interior. 

Wearable Art Yoga Leggings from Kristina Benson Art

Are yoga leggings your giftee’s favourite attire? Why not add a new pair to their wardrobe! A good pair of leggings is one of the best gifts for yogis who live for the athleisure look. 

But not just any old pair of yoga leggings—Kristina Benson is a local artist in Kamloops who creates wearable art in the form of comfortable and beautiful yoga leggings

 Kristina Benson completed her degree at Emily Carr University. She decided to combine two of her favourite things—design and being active—and so her Wearable Art was born! These yoga leggings are super soft, made with eco fabric, and are perfect to wear both on and off the mat.

Honest Elixirs Superfood Drink Blends

Add a spring to your loved one’s step with Honest Elixirs Drink Blends

Created by a Holistic Nutritionist in Kamloops, these drink blends are full of healthy fats, superfoods, protein, grass-fed collagen, organic MCT oil, and coconut butter. Simply mix with hot water or add it to your coffee or smoothie for a nutritious boost. 

 Plus, they come in tasty flavours like Turmeric Latte, Salted Hot Chocolate, and Coconut Creamer. It’s the perfect, unique gift idea for yogis! 

Cork Yoga Mat from Lush Valley Lifestyle

The right yoga mat can make a huge difference! Lush Valley Lifestyle is a Kelowna-based small business that sells all-natural, cork yoga mats.

 

These plant-based mats are naturally antimicrobial, antibacterial, and hypoallergenic. You can order online or find Lush Valley Lifestyle cork yoga mats at various locations around the Okanagan.

Great Gifts for Yogis from Lush Ocean 

From scented candles to light during your practice, to essential oil rollers and bath salts perfect for sore muscles, Lush Ocean in Kamloops has you covered!

 

Made with natural, botanical ingredients, Lush Ocean products are vegan, cruelty free, and handmade. Lovely scents and self-care goodies are somes of those gifts for yogis that you just can’t go wrong with.

Thoughtful Books for Yogis

Check out your local bookstore or novelty shop for some good yoga reads.

For example, Far + Wide in Kamloops currently has some great options like Cards Against Anxiety and Heavily Meditated

 

Some other popular books for yogis that we recommend include:

A Pass to a Local Yoga Studio

There are tons of incredible yoga studios in Kamloops and elsewhere in the British Columbia Interior. Whether you’re on the hunt for a gift for a hot yoga lover, expert yogi, or total beginner, you’ll find a studio that suits them perfectly. 

The Perfect Cup of Tea

When it comes to gifts for yogis, you can’t go wrong with a comforting tea! There’s nothing like enjoying a nice hot cup of herbal tea after a yoga practice.

 

Shuswap Infusions makes lovely loose tea blends for all tastes, including black teas, green teas, herbal teas, and rooibos. ChaiBaba in Kelowna is another great local tea shop, which sells organically grown teas and spices and fosters a great sense of community amongst its patrons.

Yoga Mat Spray

Yoga mat spray is a terrific gift for yogis! Yoga mat sprays typically help to keep mats clean while also invigorating the senses with wonderful smells. 

Based out of Kamloops, Naturally Luminous Yoga Mat Spray smells amazing and is available at multiple retail locations, including Far + Wide and ESTRS’s Market

 

Another great yoga mat freshener is created by Back to Earth, based out of Coldstream, BC. This citrus-scented, odour-neutralizing spray can be found in several stores across Canada.

Malas from Seed + Bloom Designs

Malas are wonderfully thoughtful gifts for yogis. Malas can be used both on and off the mat to help yogis connect with their intentions and practice mindfulness

 

At Seed + Bloom Designs, our malas are all handmade with love and intention. We use ethically-sourced materials to create beautiful mala bracelets and necklaces in a variety of styles. 

You can either choose the mala that you think would resonate most with your loved one, or purchase a gift card and let them choose their own!

We hope you find this guide helpful while shopping for the perfect gift for the yogi in your life!

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100+ Positive Affirmations to Raise Your Vibration

Alysia Waters
100 positive affirmations (mantras) to raise your vibes and some of our handmade Malas to help with setting them in place.

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8 Easy Mindfulness Practices To Improve Your Life

Alysia Waters

Mindfulness is a lot more than just a buzzword. 

Mindfulness is a way of living and being, and it’s catching on quickly. Why? Because of the countless benefits experienced by people who practice mindfulness regularly—reduced stress and anxiety, increased memory and focus, improved relationships, and better sleep to name a few. Who doesn’t want a bit more of that in their lives?

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being that involves being truly present in the moment.

With so many things running through our minds every day—all those worries and distractions—achieving mindfulness is easier said than done. Luckily, there are plenty of mindfulness practices that can help declutter your mind and engage in the present.

The word 'mindfulness' written on a piece of paper sitting on a ledge in front of a window.

 

Most mindfulness exercises involve focusing on a specific task. This focus is what prevents our minds from wandering and allows us to achieve a state of awareness. This can take some practice, so don’t feel discouraged if random thoughts happen to intrude on your mindfulness practices. It’s all part of the process! The important thing is to stick with it.

That being said, something that I love most about mindful living is that it’s accessible to anyone and everyone. All you need is yourself (and maybe some stuff you already have at home), no fancy gimmicks required! There are also some great free tools available online to help guide you in your mindfulness practice, a few of which are mentioned below.

8 Easy Mindfulness Practices

Here are a few simple mindfulness tips and exercises that you can start implementing right away.

Guided Mindfulness Meditations

You’re probably already aware that meditation is a major gateway to mindfulness. But for most of us, just sitting there with a clear mind is about as easy as waiting for your pizza to cool down before taking the first bite (impossible). 

Using a guided mindfulness meditation can help. Guided meditations give you more to focus on than just, well...your thoughts. It’s a great way to dip your toe into the world of meditation, and there are tons out there to try! 

A hand in a meditation position, with the thumb and pointer finger touching, while wearing a black mala bracelet.

 

Purely Being has plenty of free guided meditations, and you can find them on the website or wherever you listen to podcasts (like Spotify). Calm and Headspace are both popular meditation apps which you can try for free. You can also try listening to meditation music to get you in the zone.

These are just a few options to help you get started. Different types of guided meditations work for different people, so don’t be afraid to explore and see what else is out there! 

Body Scans

This is a super easy mindfulness practice that you can try right here and now. 

A body scan involves mentally scanning each part of your body, one at a time, from one extremity to the next. The point is to bring you into the present moment, as well as to relax physically. You might be surprised how much tension you’re holding in your body without realizing it—for example, in this moment, is your jaw clenched? How about your brow, is it furrowed? Are your shoulders tense?

A woman sitting in a meditation pose on her yoga mat, practicing mindfulness at home.

 

To do a body scan, start by sitting or laying in a comfortable position. Take a few deep breaths. Next, pay attention to any sensations you feel in your body. Warmth, coolness, tingling, tightness. Start focusing on a specific part of your body—preferably your head or feet. Focus on how that part of your body feels. Continue on, scanning your whole body. 

Listening to a guided body scan can be helpful. You can try a 3-minute body scan here, a 5-minute body scan here, or a 30-minute body scan here.

Mindful Breathing Techniques

Mindful breathing can be as simple as focusing on your breath as you take deep inhales and exhales, but there are some other methods you can try as well:

    • Belly breathing. One hand on your stomach, one over your heart. Fill first at your abdomen, then your belly, then your lungs. Exhale in the opposite direction.
    • The Wim Hof Method. You might have heard about Wim Hof before. His nickname is “The Iceman” and his body is capable of some pretty crazy stuff, which he claims is all thanks to his dopamine-activation breathing techniques. You can try one here
    • Alternate nostril breathing. This involves closing one nostril at a time as you breathe to alternate the airflow. Use your left thumb to gently block your left nostril. Inhale slowly through the right nostril. Now, close your right nostril with your left ring finger and exhale through your left nostril. In through the right, out through the left. Repeat.
  • Hand tracing breathing. Open your hand. With your other hand, trace along the outside of all your fingers while deep breathing, in while you trace up a finger, and out while you trace down. Switch hands and repeat.

  • Along with body scans, mindful breathing can be a great way to calm your mind and body in moments where you feel overwhelmed or anxious. Just breathe, friends! You got this.

    Yoga

    Yoga and mindfulness go hand-in-hand (breathing and meditation often join the party, too!). Yoga is all about focusing on your body and breath in the present moment. And the idea that you have to be super stretchy or athletic to do yoga is pish posh.

    Alysia Waters of Seed + Bloom Designs holds a yoga pose while practicing mindfulness with handmade malas.

     

    Yoga is an inclusive practice that can be modified for all skill levels. Plus, you can do it right at home. For some guidance, check out yoga apps like Down Dog or popular free yoga videos like Yoga with Adriene

    Mindful Colouring 

    Sometimes, mindfulness looks a lot like playing. Mindful colouring brings our attention to the present moment by focusing on a specific, somewhat repetitive task—but don’t worry, you don’t have to be artsy to give it a try! 

    A mindful colouring page being filled in by a hand holding an orange pencil.

     

    There are plenty of mindful colouring pages that you can print off from online, and all you have to do is grab some crayons and get to work. You can also try zendoodling if you want to get a bit fancier with it.

    Journaling Prompts for Mindfulness

    Journaling is a great place to get started on a mindfulness journey. It’s simple and there are tons of prompts out there to help you get in the swing of things. 

    Here are a few mindfulness journaling prompt ideas:

    • List 5 things that you’re grateful for in this moment
    • What are you feeling right now? 
    • What affirmation or intention would you like to focus on today?
    • What makes you proud of yourself?
    • Look around you. What is beautiful? What makes it beautiful?
    • What inspires you lately?
    • What do you need to hear right now?
    • List 3 great things that happened today.
    • What do you need to get off your chest?

    Mindful Eating

    That’s right! You can nom your way to mindfulness, one bite at a time.

    Mindful eating is often used to encourage a healthy relationship with food. But because eating is something that we do every day, it can also serve as a great daily reminder to be mindful. 

    A woman holds up a bite of cake on a fork.

    We’re a generation of multi-taskers. Eating is usually paired with another activity like chatting with family, watching a show, scrolling through Instagram, reading, or even working. 

    When was the last time that you just sat down and really savoured your meal? Paid attention to every bite, every sensation, with a full appreciation for the food you’re eating? Taking slow bites, chewing thoroughly, and just making that moment ALL about your meal? If you said never, you’re not alone. It might feel a bit strange at first, but give it a try!

    Use a Mala for Mindfulness

    A mala is a piece of jewelry, usually a necklace or a bracelet, that is used in yoga and meditation. However, it can easily bring some mindfulness to your everyday life

    Typically, malas are purchased with a certain intention or mantra in mind. Some malas are even created with a specific intention, and may incorporate materials (like gemstones or crystals) that speak to that intention.

    For example, our “I am Strong” Mala is meant to help ground and strengthen. You are enough. You are beautiful. You are strong.

    A woman holding a collection of beautiful handmade malas, often used during meditation or yoga.

     

    Our Mindful Mala and Awareness Mala are designed to help inspire the wearer to be present and mindful of the positive vibrations around them.

    Our Open Heart Mala is meant to serve as a reminder to spend time with your inner child. It allows us to be vulnerable and open to joy and play, while still feeling protected.

    Of course, you can also purchase a mala that calls to you with your own intention in mind, and that intention can evolve over time. Either way, the mala serves as a reminder to reconnect with your intention. You can also use it to count your breaths or repeat a mantra as you touch each bead.

    Every mala created at Seed + Bloom Designs is created with an intention and energy. You can browse our entire handmade mala collection here.

    We hope these tips help you find some balance and harmony in your life, and we wish you well with your mindfulness journey! 

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