I was always the kind of girl who showed up to yoga class in old spandex from high school and an awkwardly oversized Star Wars t-shirt.
As I would shift into downward-facing dog, my cotton shirt would quickly drop toward my face, revealing a large slice of my midriff. I was stuck pulling down my t-shirt with one hand, while my other palm slipped against the cheap mat under my hands. It was a bit awkward—and not just because I’m awkward. The more I dedicate myself to a bi-weekly yoga practice, the more I appreciate the simple support of good yoga gear in bolstering my efforts at yogic bliss.
After reviewing these products, I realized that I love yoga gear almost as much as I love yoga. I cut to the chase below and offered a few of my favorite products—the ones that are especially beautiful, durable and practical in supporting you on the path to enlightenment.
1. Jade Yoga Harmony Professional Mat is my favorite mat to practice on. It cushions and grips at the same time, leaving my sweaty hands in place with natural friction. In child’s pose, this mat helps my knees to feel supported. Sustainably made from natural rubber, the Harmony Mat is the best one out there. Be aware that because of its excellent cushion, it is a bit heavy.
2. Bompa Blocks are crafted from soft wood—their length and width are perfect in supporting a half-moon pose. This partnership between Ashley James and her architect grandfather resulted in an elegant blocks that echo the beauty of your practice. I keep mine out when I’m not using it—it’s just that pretty.
3. bkr’s 500 ML Water Bottles solve a small dilemma for me. I like glass bottles, but their size and my clumsiness means that I drop them regularly. I love bkr because the design is solidly break proof and their 500 ML bottle is small enough that I don’t feel like I’m carrying big jug.
I have a few favorite yoga pants, all of which bring their own awesomeness to my daily life. I have to admit that I do not just use these as yoga pants. They are my everything pants — I do yoga in them; I walk in them; I lounge in them. They work well, not only for your practice, but for those I-don’t-feel-like-putting-on-real-pants days.
4. Gaiam’s PolyEco Printed Leggings in Swirl are fabulous. They are made from recycled plastic bottles, combined with a bit of spandex for extra stretch. I love the high waist and whimsical pattern. And they’re on sale!
5. I have been a big fan of Lucy Activewear since one of their shops opened up near my hometown. Their Lotus Pant is comfortable and durable—it will last you through your yoga classes and whatever else you have in store for them. The waistband is low but still gives full-coverage for all of the necessary bending and stretching.
6. Soybu’s Killer Caboose Leggings are just that—killer. They are comfortable, moisture wicking and hug you in all the right places. In addition to wearing them for yoga, I have even paired them with some nice boots.
My Favorite Top:
7. This year I learned that my favorite yoga tops are fitted at the waist but loose around the middle. I like having the freedom of movement while knowing that my waistband is not going anywhere. The Pima Flow Tank from Gaiam is the perfect fit. The elastic band sits on my waist—and no matter the pretzels I try to move into, my top stays in place. The fabric is light and especially good for hot yoga classes.
Warm Up and Cool Down:
8. Lucy’s Cool Down Pullover is the best way to stay cozy before and after a yoga class. It offers just enough warmth, with moisture-wicking properties that can help you after a sweaty class. I like to keep this next to me so that I can slip it on during shavasana or corpse pose.