I know that yoga isn't about what you wear and I have personally practiced in my pajamas as well as jeans (although that was a bit tricky!) at home. However, when I first started practicing, I wasn't ready to invest in crazy, expensive yoga clothing and tried the "thai" pants instead. It was the most awkward yoga practices I have ever experience. From the initial holding up of the pants and thinking "how the eff am I supposed to work this?" right up to actually practicing and getting caught in the "flaps" of the open legs, the ties coming undone (ack!) and bunching. (camel... Andrew took FOREVER to take this one... my face is turning red!!)
Nope, my first pair of lulu pants and top (which I still have in perfect condition five years later) was like night and day. Something about wearing "yoga" clothing helps me transition to that internal space. Weird? Sure. It's like a costume where I become "Lisa- Super Yogini"... lol- kidding!
In all seriousness, due to other body-type issues, I am also not one for being able to wear a regular t-shirt with a sports bra. These same "boobed challenges" (sorry guys!) have resulted in certain tops being...shall we say... not very appropriate. Which unfortunately is only discovered during a class, whereas a couple of postures in the store really didn't prepare me for the true performance. Awkward. (my downdog, heals SO CLOSE!! 5 years in the making!)
Needless to say, Lululemon may be great for pants, but not so great for other area-challenged. Also, the whole "consciously formulated in Vancouver, made in China" crap really really irks me. Further, they have a very small collected of organic materials (I have a pair of organic cotton pants... not so great). Not made in Canada and not sustainable equals... well not ideal.
Enter Bhavana Yoga Boutique and my recent discovery of such Canadian yoga companies as Tonic and Skyler Clothing (Lululemon is now majority American owned). A few months ago I bought a gorgeous black wrap made from bamboo and I adore it. I've worn it to practice outside and wear it as an everyday top all the time. Seriously so soft and comfy, I heart that wrap. While at Bhavana I was telling Krista how I find the current Tonic tops she had there weren't ideal for my body type.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and Krista sends me a message via blog comment asking me to come stop by the shop- Tonic had sent a little surprise! SURPRISE?? I LOVE surprises!! Expecting a cute head band or something I was super pumped to find a ridiculously perfect yoga top. Made JUST for yoginis like moi! In a small, biodegradable bag I found a note from Aleksa of Tonic wishing me a happy belated birthday! And it fit like a dream... YES! (upward dog... guess my shoulders are pretty darn tight! lol)
I officially tested it out with yogaglo on Sunday (see pictures!). Verdict? Absolutely no awkward moments, opening, slipping or pulling. It's long and just snug enough to stay down during inversions and at no point needed adjustments. Tonic makes all their clothing in Canada (woot!) and it was very cool that it came in a biodegradable bag. Unfortunately, as we know that Halifax doesn't accept bio-plastic, I won't be able to compost it, but upon emailing (to say THANK YOU!) Aleksa suggested using it as a doggy-poo bag... which I think I'll use it to wrap our chicken-ends in...
I did have a few questions for Aleksa, one of which included the packaging. She responded saying that they are working on phasing out the plastic packaging completely. I also asked about more sustainable fabrics (beyond bamboo) and she indicated that they are testing modal, lyocell and soy/organic cotton blends now and should have new options available for Spring 2011. Supplex, however (the fabric of this top) is extremely durable and made to LAST through frequent washing and wear. Not as awesome as non-petrochemical fabrics (plastic is forever) but at least it will mean no more top shopping!
What I did notice was there were a whole bunch of tags...which although neat to read about Libra (name of the tank) seemed a bit excessive. There were two exact same tags.... I'll be recycling them, but really would have been ok with one or none even.
I am now good to go for yoga clothing for quite some time (perhaps another five years?) which is great for my wallet and for the Earth. I have a feeling that should I perhaps "outgrow" or as we age "change" my yoga clothing will still be in fantastic condition for another yogi at a local woman's shelter or transition house to enjoy. (ps- yogaglo update- fantastic!! Actually feels like you're in a class! Definitely has helped boost my home practice three-fold!)
Article and photos copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com