Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surprise! Tonic Canadian Yoga Wear!

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


  1. Hooray for new exciting yoga clothes!!

  2. I wear quite a bit of Tonic!

    But I'm wondering if I should wear much nylon at all. Unbiodegradable, right? I do own a pair of lululemon organic cotton leggings (those cropped Wonder Unders, if you know the line). But because I use my yoga clothes also to work out, I prefer nylon for spinning/cycling because it dries immediately and lasts forever (literally).


    PS Also try Be Present, based in Boulder, CO. I believe that they manufacture in the USA. I thought lululemon was made only in Vancouver, where the company originated. Do they really manufacture in China?!

  3. Real Canadian yoga clothing?????!!!!

    Is that what Celine Dion wore to do locust pose to get limber for curling (y'know, before she moved to the states)??????!!!!!

    Seriously, do they really say "consciously formulated in Canada, made in China"? That's like a whole new definition of bullshit...

  4. Jamie: YEP :)

    YogaSpy: Well- nylon is plastic, and plastic takes thousands of years to degrade... currently every single bit of plastic that was ever created still exists... (since recycling just downgrades the plastic and most new plastics we buy are made from virgin plastic).

    Tonic is looking into more sustainable options that would wick dry and be a good nylon replacement. I'm waiting for that.

    and YES Lululemon is made in china. It says that little BS ditty on their tags that you rip out.

    Dr. Jay- YES that is what she wore!!! LMAO. While she sang that Titantic song. So we kicked her out. hah!

  5. Wheeee, lovely new yoga clothes! What a cool company. I currently buy my yoga/workout clothes at...ahem...Target. I am rather modest of bust, so I don't have issues with tops fitting--it's more finding ones that are long enough and stay put!

  6. Great clothing recommendations!!! Such is the struggle...the perfect top that won't spill the boobs. THERE--I said it.

    So Yogaglo huh?

    I checked 'em out and may try a monthly membership!

    Thank you...

  7. Tina and VeganB: actually... ummm, well I guess I wasn't super clear lol as I was a bit nervous about doing so publically- but my issue is more that tops are usually made for bigger boobed people.... so they either float on me, or if they are those cut low ones from lulu, a twist and they open right up...


    OH- and I meant to say- Yogaspy- thank you very much for the Be Active recommendation! I will look into them :)

  8. oops- Be Present I meant! (sorry I'm checking from work- BAD SLP)

  9. Thanks for the yogaglo tip. This looks great! One of the most difficult parts of teaching is making time to TAKE a class and this looks perfect!

  10. That's funny! Now that we've thrown you from the boob-closet, I'm small too but two kids later and I need duct-tape-like support in order to stay modest.

    BTW--I can vouch for Be Present too. Awesome! I own three pair of their pants and though I have other yoga pants I COULD wear, I find that I stay w/these.

  11. That's funny that your experience tells you those tops are made for bigger boobs. My experience tells me the opposite: mine never fit into them--size small and the girls won't fit, size Large and it's too big everywhere else. I don't even bother trying them on anymore.

  12. Awesome! I've been struggling with yoga clothes for a while. I still wear cotton-y type drawstring pants that are basically skintight sweatpants minus the elastic at both ends. I love the pants, but they ALWAYS inch down during practice and I find myself hiking them up every few poses to keep them from falling down to my knees.

    And I usually wear Tshirts - and some of them have too big of a neck opening, so the fabric poofs out in my face when I'm doing Down Dog, or other such poses.

    I am saving up for a good yoga outfit, but am reluctant, as I'm never sure what will be the right fit until I've purchased and practiced! ;)

  13. Yoga helps a person a lot concerning his health. Just enjoy and keep your mind from anxiety and problems. Learn Yoga and feel life naturally.

  14. Great post, very informative. I think a lot of people will find this very useful. Keep post in coming future as well!!!


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