I’m all for shopping local, but how about putting a different spin on that and shopping goddess! Yeah, support a business that is owned and operated by a goddess, or a product that has been created by a goddess. I count myself blessed to know and work with so many incredible women,so here for your holiday gift shopping pleasure I’ve compiled a list of  some of my favorite yoga products produced by strong, smart, and talented yogini goddesses!



A Yoga DVD that Transports You to a

Bright Summer Day of Yoga in the Park.

Alie McManusQuite a few people have asked me if I have a yoga DVD that I sell. Not yet, but until I do, I highly recommend Freedom Yoga in Millenium Park with Alie McManus, an international yoga teacher who shares my enthusiasm and love of teaching outdoors. Alie teaches yoga in Chicago and during the summer she offers awesome yoga classes in Millenium Park. Last year she recorded three full (50-minute) classes that she taught there and you can just feel the sun shining down on you as you flow through sun salutations listening to her joyful cues.

If you are missing yoga on the beach, this DVD is for you. You can tell Alie is having fun leading the classes and her energy is contagious. If you are new to yoga she provides excellent instructions and these classes are accessible to all levels.

I first met Alie in Yellow Springs when I went there to study with Erich Schiffmann, who she has studied with extensively. I was thrilled when our paths crossed recently when we both attended a yoga class taught by Tao Porchon Lynch in Chicago. Next time you are in Chicago, check out a class with her at either Yogaview or Moksha.


Alie and Maria

Alie and Maria at Yogaview in Chicago

Give yourself the gift of yoga with an extra dosh of sunshine delivered by a beautiful goddess. You can purchase Alie’s DVD here!

How to Have The Best Day of Your Life

Jennifer S. WhiteToday is going to be the best day of my life is one of my personal mantas, so you can imagine my delight when one of my yogini friends wrote a book with that title! In The Best Day of Your Life, Jennifer White, a fellow yoga teacher has penned a straight forward guide on how to have truly awesome days. In the 35 short chapters she provides great advice on topics like how to let things go, deal with jerks, become your own hero, deal with anger, and even how to own your inner bitch.

I’ve got this book on my night stand and I read it for inspiration. I love Jennifer’s no nonsense approach to the topics and the tools she provides to help tackle them. This is a great book for yoga teachers, and I’m sure it is going to inspire a yoga class theme or two in my future.

Woo hoo Jennifer – congratulations on getting your first book in print, and I’m sure there will be more to come! You can pick up your own copy of this book on Amazon.



It’s time to feel the yoga, not the floor, with a Kind Mat from VerniceVita. The yoga mat of all mats, which offers great grip with its a non-slip surface, is loaded with the comfort of memory foam to embrace every part of your asana practice. I started using my Kind Mat three years ago, and now my knees, wrists, and joints won’t let me practice on any other mat.

be kind to yourself

Stop the painful yoga routine associated with thin rubber mats and bring a new level of enjoyment and comfort to your yoga practice. Read my review of these mats, and then purchase your very own Vernice Vita right here on the Daily Downward Dog with a special $10 discount offer. Or, use code MARIA10 to save $10 at thekindmat.com.

The Kind Mat is the genius idea of Racheal Ennis, who I have the distinct pleasure of working with!

Hang Out at The Beach With Goddesses

Once the holidays are over, don’t let yourself settle into a funk. Kick the New Year off by giving yourself the gift of a yoga retreat. We’ll be setting intentions and saluting the sun each morning on my Beach Yoga Bliss retreat in Aruba in April 2015! The last two years Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa proved to be the perfect place for a beach yoga retreat, so why mess with a good thing? Enjoy seven days of yoga overlooking the crystal blue water and white sand beaches of Aruba from April 11-18, 2015. For more details on this retreat and to book your spot, contact The Travel Yogi,  a company that is run by another yogini goddess in my life, Jennifer Hoddevick!

yogini goddesses

Buy Handmade and Change Women’s Lives

I love gifts that allow you to give in more ways than one. Each time you purchase a gift from Global Goods Partners, you are purchasing a handmade fair-trade product that is improving the economic status of women in marginalized communities around the world. From the comfort of your home, you get to shop for goods from 40 artisan groups from 20 different countries helping to employ over 3,000 women. journal fb

Global Goods Partners has beautiful handmade gifts like these journals (which I gave to the participants in my Beach Yoga Bliss retreat last year) and a wide variety of jewelry, bags, scarves, and accessories. Please check out this site to help improve women’s lives around the world, shop responsibly through their online store, and donate to their fundraising programs.


Holiday Sandman on the Beach

Happy Holidays from The Daily Downward Dog!