Zero Waste. Green. Fair Trade. Cruelty Free. Life Giving!

That’s how we run our retreats, products and company at Yoga Soule, and that’s how we give ‘dem holiday presents! I don’t want to gift an item made by the oppression of other humans, of animals, or the Earth, and I am dedicated to giving gifts with meaning that won’t cause needless clutter. But, it can be dishearteningly difficult to find gift material with all of these qualifications. This year I’ve been gathering resources and product ideas to share with you, like-minded soule kindred, maybe for your loved ones or maybe for yourself!


Be Girl is a social enterprise that sells washable menstrual underwear (yes, you read that right), and donates each pair purchased to a needy girl in East Africa. Their mission is bomb, their design is genius, and their impact already deep.  They also sell a regular pair of undies if the idea of period panties would freak the recipient out, and the sales still go towards their great cause. Hear the full inspirational story of their creation on Acumen’s interview with the creator to really get on board.



"It’s the gift that keeps on givin’, Clark!" (Name that Christmas movie line… ok it’s Christmas Vacation). An annual subscription to Spotify keeps your . Also great for yoga teachers who can save their playlist offline for their classes and find new music inspo through following other teachers.



I love this company because they are based in Seattle, dedicated to paying all of their workers (who are local to the US) high wages, and  each pair of leggings uses recycled material from 25 water bottles. Plus, right now they’re giving them away for only the cost of shipping- just $20! I got one for me too.



Squeeze in a home practice at nap time . My favorites are: 

  • Namastream for your favorite local teacher.
  • One O Eight for its class length and style variety and recipe section.
  • Cody App for my fave yoga teacher influencers (think Meghan Currie, Briohny Smith, Yoga Girl).
  • Meditate 4ever for comprehensive but approachable meditation classes.



It’s really a gift for the whole family, but . I find the best bets are Netflix or Amazon Prime or their great new original series, documentary selections, and access worldwide. Plus, you can get free trials on both platforms, and leverage that to get a better deal for an annual subscription later.



charity: water addresses a need that is the foundation of health, education, and economic development—access to clean water. They received the highest rating an NGO can receive on impact and transparency, and raise all of their operating costs from corporate sponsors so that donations from people like us can go directly to their well work. Donations to important and impactful philanthropic organizations like this one contribute to Grandparents' legacy. Learn more about Charity:Water's work through founder Scott Harrison’s interview on the Liturgists podcast.



What’s sexier than a gently used book on self-love and sensuality with a sweet inscription (and maybe even a spritz of perfume)? This year, my top 3 faves for both men and women have been: 



Gigi Guides from our friends over at Italian Fix has digital travel guides to all of the hottest visiting spots in Italy-- Rome, Florence, Venice and our neighboring Cinque Terre. They cover all of the basics on where to stay, sleep, eat, and play, plus provide unique tips from locals and expat sin the region. If anyone you care about is planning on visiting Italy in 2017, these beautiful downloadable booklets, audio, and video are a perfect pick that won't take up suitcase space or lead you to the tourist traps.


Happiest of holidays to you and all of your famiglia from Yoga Soule! 


  1. Eating a whole pizza margherita by yourself. 
  2. Wandering for hours in circles in the piazza without a plan.
  3. Skipping the historic church tour for a trip to the gelateria.
  4. Greeting the shop owner, cashier, dog walker, everyone with a warm "Ciao!" like you're a local and have known them your whole life.
  5. Reading the dinner menu out loud to yourself, pretending to be fluent in Italian.
  6. Ignoring your email for days at a time.
  7. Practicing the hand gestures you've observed Italians using to yourself in the mirror.
  8. Enjoying a glass or two of wine for lunch, with your pasta. And with your gelato after.
  9. Channeling your inner Audrey Hepburn and finding romance on a Vespa.
  10. Buying needless amounts of dried pasta in all shapes, sizes, and colors for "gifts."
  11. Trying to get yourself adopted by the family who owns the trattoria down the street.
  12. Sunbathing topless shamelessly by the sea among the other bare-chested ragazze.
  13. Stealing the lunch table's packaged breadsticks to crunch on later (and snagging the sparkling water in the glass bottle too). 
  14. Flirting with the young barista serving you your espresso.
  15. Taking unnecessary amounts of glamorous selfies in front of monuments, side streets, bridges, churches, and restaurants. 


My true confession: I am kinda tired of the prettily posed, slimmed and trimmed insta-famous yoga feeds out there. I like a little visual play, a true representation of humanity's yoga community, and a little giggle every once in awhile. I don't want to see another handstand silhouette on a sunset beach as I'm scrolling through my feed. So, here are my favorite 7 that are definitely not that.

8. YOGA213 - @yoga213

Self-proclaimed Hip Hop Yoga studio in Australia, their studio features a painting of Notorious BIG in the lobby, hanging ferns in the class, and a glowing pineapple in the doorway. They celebrate all bodies and people in their gallery.

7. INNER SPACE YOGA - @innerspaceyoga

Unique, trippy, artsy yogic-inspired images from this Kansas City-based yoga studio, their tagline is "High fives for high vibes." And if New Age Friday is there, you know it's a good gallery.


Ok so the Aussie yoga studios are kind of winning at the Insta game, and these guys are another example. Mother-daughter love, ocean fun, and all-around happy faces and bodies are the main features of this gorgeous gallery.

5. BAHA YOGA CLUB - @bahayogaclub

I love how this yogi finds yoga in the most unique of history, fashion, and art photography. I follow along for laughs and deep quotes and interesting inspiration for my classes.

4. TUTTI DEL MONTE - @tuttidelmonte

Tutti is a Puerto Rican yogi-photographer-writer, and her color-coded gallery is a celebration of femininity, movement, and authenticity. Her captions express her vulnerable heart, her subjects are women of all sizes, shapes and colors, and her softly faded images feel alive.

3. MEDITATE FOREVER - @meditate4ever

This adorable London-based couple host digital meditation and yoga classes and workshops all about making meditation approachable and fun. Their gallery is visually poppy with captions that are all about teaching and growing a meditation practice. And how doesn't love founder Lacey's bright yellow hair? Grab their free intro classes with the link in their bio.

2. THAT YOGA WORD - @thatyogaword

These guys are color-coded to the max, flowing from funky designs to inspirational words, to kickass yogis, all in rainbow order.

1. Y7 YOGA STUDIO - @y7studio

Their tagline is "A tribe called sweat," they've got "We flow hard" on the studio wall, and post visual peeks at their featured artists in their weekly Vinyasa classes. Their digital store linked in their bio features super hip hop yoga rad shirts, bags and leggings. After hanging out in their black and white gallery, all I want to do is put on some Kanye and rock out hard.

BONUS: Us - @yogasoule

Our real-life yoga practices are filled with sweat, smiles, and imperfect postures, so our Insta gallery celebrates this! Also, we are suckers for delicious Italian backgrounds, which you'll get plenty of.


Sometimes you need a little glitter of magic in your Instagram gallery to spruce up the cat memes, baby photos, and endless array of over-saturated sunsets (hashtag blessed). These galleries are all about Italy, and the spirit of wonder, delight and deliciousness that the country offers. No touristy shots here, all special and intimate looks at Italian local's dreamy lives.

 8. ELENA CIPRIETTI - @elenaciprietti

An Italian-New Yorker social media manager for a brand of luxe hotels, Elena travels all around Italy and has a killer eye for the perfect shot. She'll make you dream of booking your next hotel in Italy with Belmond.

7. NOT MY NONNI - @notmynonni

Humorous and adorable little feed literally meaning "not my grandparents," featuring the great signori of Italia in all their senior glory.

6. WHAT ITALY IS - @whatitalyis

Classic and interesting professional images of la bella Italia, capturing its famous golden light with awe-inducing magic.

5. CUCINA DIGITALE - @cucinadigitale

Nicolee Drake is a gallivanting professional photographer, who delights with photos of Rome, her home, and beyond. Follow for interesting intimate angles of the detailed day-to-day.

4. THE BRAND - @thebrand79

Hunky, stylish, and Roman- that is what you'll get from The Brand's sexy Instagram. The author is a beautiful bearded model, and professional photographer with a sweet spot for Italian design.

3. GIGI GUIDES - @gigiguides

These Italian travel guides are created by Yoga Soule's friends and Cinque Terre neighbors over at Italian Fix, and their Instagram is equal parts eye candy, equal parts useful travel info. Check out their blog for abridged travel tips, featured in their bio link.

2. ILENIA MODICA - @lulamae_yleny

A young architecture student in Sicily, Ilenia's pastel-hued feed is a work of art. Her attention to architectural details outlined in captions are in Italian, but translation isn't even necessary, as her perspective so captures Italian building's beauty.

1. IDONI - @idoniveneto

This shoe company designs and produces their shoes in Venice, and their gallery is a perfect marriage of modern and historic Venetian-inspired images. In my opinion, Idoni has the #1 most creative and delicious Instagram galleries on the market, ragazze, and you can grab some for yourself for free in wallpaper downloads from the link in their bio.

BONUS: Ours! - @yogasoule

As Riviera locals, we highlight our hometown today and in its Golden Era heyday, our favorite local hot spots in Cinque Terre and Portofino, behind-the-scenes tours, and tons of pizza. Dive into the dolce vita and explore with us!

iMovie for Yogis

Yoga Soule didn’t start as just another yoga retreat thing, or yet another instructor putting out videos online, or just a fun place for yogis who like pizza to conspire to take over the world (or did it…). Yoga Soule came from a vision to serve fellow yoga instructors and yogis. First this was through creating a platform for co-hosting easy-peasy wellness retreats. Then came the yoga videos and Italian recipes and travel guide snippets to enrich the day-to-day lives of like-minded human beings. And now, iMovie for Yogis is an educational tool to help upgrade yoga professionals' online businesses. 

No big news that yoga online is a huge thang.

Whether it’s an impressive full scorpion flow on Instagram, your favorite yoga instructor leading a 30 minute sequence on YouTube, or an online membership site that lets you access full classes, you’ve no doubt stumbled across some pretty rad yogic content. It’s now known that of 20.4 million people in the US that practice yoga, 47% of them practice at home. That’s like 10 million people down dogging in their living rooms. And most of these 10 million yogis are being lead, inspired and coached by someone behind a screen. And maybe that time that someone is now you.

It’s now known that of 20.4 million people in the US that practice yoga, 47% of them practice at home. That’s like 10 million people down dogging in their living rooms.

Entering into this wild world of online yoga can be just about as scary as entering into a studio to teach a live class, except all your words and movements can be downloaded, shared, and repeated a million times over.

And you know what does end up getting downloaded, shared, and repeated a million times over? A great message, an excellent sequence, and an incredible style are all part of the success, but poor sound, scratchy film, and sloppy quality hinder any of this from showing through. What is a yogi to do then, with just a phone and a laptop and a dream? Become a post-production rock star, that’s what.

For this free webinar, you don’t need to run out and purchase fancy sound equipment or a brand new camera.

You don’t need massive technical abilities. Come exactly as you are.* We’ll leverage all things free and low budget for high budget, professional results. 

*Well, come as you are + with iMovie, if you don’t have it. It’s totally free for Mac and PC, just check the App Store or google “free iMovie download.” 

Join us March 3rd at 5pm PST for a live demonstration of how easy iMovie is and how you can start making your yoga videos better than what you thought possible. Without fancy software, a professional editor, or hours of trial and error.

And follow us on Instagram for glimpses into some of the best iMovie hacks you can put into practice right away. See you soon amici, ciao namaste! 



We are now well into pumpkin and persimmon season here in the Italian Riviera, and we've been delighting ourselves silly in various versions of pumpkin ravioli (Cappellacci) and the big, raw, slimy kaki fruit. Fresh persimmon has a buttery taste and subtle sweetness, an excellent pair to pumpkin's deep, nutty flavor. Or so I ventured to believe when I set out to perfect fall biscotto. 

This truly autumn creation is a moist, chewy round of maple-y goodness, perfect for popping in your mouth with your espresso. If you don't often bake without butter, milk or eggs, the texture might be a surprise, but to those accustomed, you'll recognize the result.



Porcini Mushrooms are a-flourish in all of Italia! It is mushroom season, when farmers harvest the wild breed from the forests of the nearby hills. The trunks are 1-2 inches in diameter, average about 5 inches in height, and entice you to take a bite out of their raw, glossy tops (maybe that's just me). All the best markets feature them prominently for about 2 Euro a pop, and all the best restaurants have a special menu dedicated to all things porcini. Our favorite of all the combinations are Pasta + Porcini, the best pair locally to known as Spaghetti + Porcini. Let us share our secrets of our vegan (butter and dairy free!) version, brought to you by your very own chef, Erik. 

I recommend first watching this enlightening tutorial to wash and clean your porcini before you cook.



If you’re from Milan, color blocking might be a bit passé, a bit “so 2 years ago.” But for the most of us, pairing complimentary-colored tops and bottoms has been a fun, warm weather look that we’ve “dared” to wear since neon shorts became a thang. But, even more than its upscale visitors and their fashion-forward frocks, Portofino has out-trended us all once again. This former fishing village mixes and matches their pinks and oranges better than even Beyoncé recently did.

Portofino has famously sported vivid, warm hues for centuries. The town was founded by the Ligurians, conquered by the Romans, frequented by the English (Bryon and Shelley were fans), and then made popular with golden age Hollywood stars by Rex Harrison. As writer Rory Ross puts it, “Were you to photograph Portofino today and compare it to a photograph taken when Rex Harrison ‘discovered’ the place in the Fifties, the pictures would almost be identical.”



They're everywhere these days: on swimsuits, on gift wrap, on shoes, on Instagram next to tanned legs hanging in the pool... it's like they grow on trees these days!* The pineapple is the cute fruit/design/print/meme of the moment. But despite with S/S 2015 will have us think, we're about 400 years behind the Italians. 

Cristoforo Colombo, or Christopher Columbus if you learned history in English, was the first recorded Westerner to taste the fruit during his second voyage across the ocean blue to the Caribbean in 1493. Originally from Genova (just 30 minutes from Portofino), Colombo returned to a Europe devoid of dolce, where refined sugar was rare and fresh fruit limited its seasonal harvest, and introduced the pineapple for the first time. This New World Fruit, with hard exterior protection and sweet, juicy pulp, caused a great sensation, with royalty coveting its delicious taste, and horticulturalists attempting unsuccessfully to grow it locally. As an exotic, physically extravagant, and thoroughly tasty treat, by the 1600’s the pineapple was a symbol of wealth, prestige, and subsequently, hospitality.


Italian summers have their own unique sound: waves splish-splashing, bike bells ring-a-dinging, espresso machines huffing and puffing... the music of summer is brisk and bright, and in Italy, it's full of mandolin. Stroll down the promenade and get into summer spirit with our selection of the best Italian classics to welcome l'state.  

See the whole playlist on Spotify.




Italians famously use their hands to communicate. Yogis famously use their hands to mediate. Italians have been using them since Imperial Roman times, yogis since early civilization in India. Italians use about 250 gestures in their day-to-day, Yogis can chose from around 108 mudras to use in their day-to-day practice. Yogis use their hands to adjust the flow of prana, and Italians use their hands to move energy too-- usually from one speaker to another, to ask them dramatically, "What's your problem!" We can find deeper clarity by learning from Italians and Yogis and putting them to application in our personal lives.



Bunting. That string of triangle/square flags you’ve seen lately, colored per party theme, draped above the gift table. It seems you cannot have an officially cute shower/party/brunch without bunting (extra points if your flags are burlap or maps). If you’re super dedicated, your event might even feature meta bunting: a mini bunting cake toper, on cake decorated with bunting, sitting on a table with bunting. Win!

Well, Portofino wins. Probably before any of us thought to painstakingly create these decorations by hand, Portofino had nautical bunting bordering it’s marina. Liguria, the region of Portofino, has always been a strong seaport and trading hub, and was it was the most powerful maritime republic in the Mediterranean from the 12th to 14th centuries. Portofino itself was a quiet fishing village before tourism became it's #1 industry, so it's long had a history of boats. Today, the picturesque flags sway in the wind, setting the seaside scene. But upon investigating their meanings, the International Maritime Signals are not quite as romantically nostalgic as they look.