Ok… so the that last thing you should be concerned about as you sweat and breathe in your yoga class is what you look like. But walk around any mall, grocery store or Starbucks and you’ll quickly see that yoga-inspired attire is not just for the yoga studio.
From flared pants to soft and sporty camisoles, scores of fashion-wear lines have added yoga clothing to their traditional lines while many companies, like Nuala and Lululemon don’t do anything but produce yoga clothing, accessories and props.
One of the biggest names in the yoga attire business is Prana. Prana is best known for its comfortable fabrics and precise cuts that are as perfect for tree pose as they are for shopping at a Saturday farmer’s market.
As a devoted yoga practitioner myself, my favorite practice yoga attire are Nike’s low-rise workout shorts. They allow me to move and they feel and look great. But when you want to catch a yoga class and then have lunch with a friend or get caught up on some errands, you can’t go wrong with Lululemon. Their complete line of yoga attire is perfect for downward-dogging and then carrying on with the rest of your day without having to lug a tote bag with a change of clothes after your yoga class. I’m a huge fan of their cropped boogie pant. It’s comfy and fashionable. Lululemon stores are popping out more and more in cities across the country.
In addition, Shiva Shakti yoga wear, which is inspired by Shiva Rea, a well-known yoga and dynamic yoga instructor, has fun clothing line full of funky prints, sleek cuts and organic fabrics. And you can’t talk about yoga clothing without mentioning Hard Tail Forever. Hard Tail were some of the first clothing designers to perfect the flared, rolldown yoga pants. In my opinion, no yoga pant comes close to the magic of a pair of Hard Tails. Hard Tail does not have an online store, but you can locate a local retailer who carries their products from their website, or shop on Amazon.
You can easily get carried away with buying a whole new wardrobe to feed your love of yoga. (I’m guilty: I have 15 pairs of my favorite Nike yoga shorts.) But here are a few things to keep in mind before you plunk down your credit card to buy that sweet pair of red flare Hard Tail yoga pants.
1) Yoga clothing is expensive, so really think about whether you need another pair of yoga pants or another yoga shirt before you spend the $60.
2) You need to feel comfortable in your new yoga outfit. If you have the slightest bit of fear that you may show too much cleavage when you fold forward or that your thong underwear will stick out as you extend back into a downward dog, put it back on the rack or hit “continue shopping” with your mouse. There is nothing worse than wearing an outfit that you’re afraid to move in.
3) Think about the style of yoga you are practicing. If you are Bikram yoga devotee, opting for breathable and very sweatable clothing is better than thick yoga pants that drag near your ankles. If your yoga practice is highly acrobatic, like Ashtanga yoga, then consider wearing yoga shorts or some sort of shorter pant so that you have more freedom to move and so that you can see the alignment of your muscles. Comfort plus functionality equals more focus on your yoga practice.
Happy shopping and Happy yoga-ing!
September 14th, 2008