7 Super Cool Yoga Brands You’ve Never Heard Of

7 Awesome Yoga Brands That Aren’t LuluLemon

Trends & Tribulations

While we are forever grateful to Lululemon for being the pioneers of fashionable yoga gear (because, obviously, it needed to happen…), there are so many new and exciting yoga apparel brands popping up every day.  Considering the last year’s market where sales of athletic pants equaled the sales of denim, it is really not a surprise that more and more companies are banking on the athleisure trend.  In honor of the recent article I wrote for MNYoga, here’s the skinny on the coolest yoga gear that’s (ahem) not LuluLemon.  Enjoy, loves!

( 1 )

The Upside

The Upside

The Upside

( 2 )

Sweaty Betty

sweaty betty

This British retailer was founded in 1998 to “inspire women to find empowerment through fitness“.  They combine innovative, feminine designs with technical fabrics.  Plus, they give super cute reusable bags adorned with their geometric logo and motivational quotes with purchase.

( 3 )

Lucas Hugh

Lucas Hugh

Lucas Hugh has an emphasis on futuristic prints and high-quality, technical fabrics that feature reinforced stitching and streamlined fused seams for unrestricted movement.  The designer, Anjhe Mules, uses her fashion and swimwear expertise to cut and craft yoga wear that flatters a women’s physique, while feeling comfortable and able to stretch freely.

lucas hugh

( 4 )

Alo Yoga

alo yoga

This retailer is inspired by life in the fashion and healthy-lifestyle mecca Los Angeles.  They test out all their gear on real yogi’s before putting it to market to ensure a slim and functional fit.  Plus, their color blocking is so perfect to mix and match tops and pants together.  Who knew you could feel so put together in yoga clothing?

( 5 )

WearGrace

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.46.40 PM

WearGrace is yoga clothing designed for both on and off the mat.  Its creator is former art director, graphic designer, and then Director of Image for the Gucci group (creative agency for all the brands: Gucci, YSL, Mcqueen, Balenciaga, and Sergio Rossi, among others) who found yoga after a few incidences happened simultaneously, and she found herself unable to walk and lost her father and husband.  The founder, Karen Joyce, explains that her yoga practice became an analogy for her life.

weargrace is a message, a belief and an emotion.

weargrace is a message, a belief and an emotion.

( 6 )

Onzie

Onzie

Onzie

Onzie was created by a 20-year Bikram yoga practician to create affordably-priced clothing that is functional, flexible, and flattering.  Their lightweight, fast-drying fabric allows you to move freely whether you are doing yoga, pilates, spinning, swimming, surfing, or running.

( 7 )

Teeki

Teeki

Teeki

Clothing made from recycled plastic bottles?  This LA-based retailer creates yoga pants and tops using fabric that is spun from fibers made out of recycled plastic water bottles, then cut, printed, and hand sewn using environmentally friendly practices.  Plus, everything is manufactured in the U.S., which provides jobs to Americans and reduces their carbon footprint.  Considering it takes over 400 years for plastic bottles to biodegrade, this is such an amazing way to help out the environment and offsets the need to produce new raw materials.  All that aside, I can personally attest to how unbelievably soft and lightweight their material is, as I own at least a few pairs of their pants (just doing my part for the environment….), and oh, my, are they just daaaarling.

Teeki

Teeki

What are your favorite athletic brands?  Do you shop at any of labels featured above?

xo

The Essential Guide: Everything You Need to Know Before Doing Hot Yoga

For all of you with a desire to try hot yoga, I highly recommend it.  It adds an element to yoga that helps you to stretch your muscles further, with a multitude of various other benefits.  So many people are nervous or afraid to try yoga because they are intimidated and have no idea what to expect.  However, it’s so worth taking that risk, as there are so many benefits of yoga, from physical to emotional to psychological.  In lieu of my certification to teach yoga in 2014 & my new(ish) blog Trends & Trikonasanas (oh yes, I went there…) dedicated to all things related to health & wellness, I felt inspired to try to take some worrisome aspect out of attending a yoga class by providing a simple template on what to wear (and some other good-to-know tidbits).  Oh, and if you’re in the Minnesota area, be sure to check out MNYoga Magazine– it’s free!- where in this month’s issue, I highlight tips for what to wear to and from the studio (or you can read the online version here)!

Hot Yoga
Hot yoga was one of those things that were on my perpetual bucket list, along with skydiving and traveling the world.  Finally, one day I just went.  And fell in love, completely.
aesthetics
Before you go, you should be aware of a few things:
Wear spandex.
There are a lot of positions where you are either folding forward or back, and trying to hold your baggy shirt from coming over your head isn’t fun (not to mention dangerous).  Many women choose to wear a sports bra and yoga capris or shorts.  Baggy pants will get weighed down by your sweat and add a lot of weight, not to mention will cause the same problem as with a baggy shirt.
Bring a towel.
Many studios will have mats to rent (which is convenient for your first couple times), and some may have yoga towels.  If not, you can use a regular towel, however, the dimensions are different than a yoga mat, making it much shorter and wider.  Again, it is fine to do this for your first time, but you’ll want to get a towel as you continue your yoga practice.  I swear by my Yogi Toes towel.
No shoes.
The rules that apply in daily life are totally different in yoga studios.  No shoes, no shirt, no problem (of course, this means women should wear a sports bra…).  When you enter, you’ll most likely remove your shoes in a designated place near the door.  I’ve never had any shoes taken or misplaced, as most studios lock the doors when class begins, but if you are worried, you can remove your shoes and leave them in your locker (on that note, most studios have locks you can use, but if you’re worried, bring your own to err on the cautious side).  Some people bring a pair of flip flops to walk around the lobby and locker rooms in so that they don’t have to be barefoot.  Either way, shoes and socks are basically not allowed in the yoga studio because they will make you slip.  If this totally freaks you out, you can get a pair of yoga socks, like these Gaiam ones, that have slip-resistant grips on the bottom.
Stay hydrated.
Many people make the mistake of not drinking any water until they get to class.  The key is to stay hydrated beforehand, which will make the heat much more comfortable.  In addition to drinking water, eat foods with a high water content to replenish electrolytes, especially after, such as grapes, pineapple, watermelon, and spinach.  If you’re really nervous, I recommend buying one of those big bottles of water that have electrolytes added, such as Smart Water.
Eat before, but not within 1-2 hours.
Eat lightly before to give your body energy, but give your digestive system at least an hour, preferably two, to rest after eating a large meal before moving your body in yoga.  If you need a pick me up within two hours before, choose a potassium-rich banana, an avocado, or a light and healthy smoothie.
The smell.
There’s a bunch of people within close proximity of one another sweating in a 105 degrees Ferinheight room.  It’s just one of those things that happen.  Some studios are worse (ahem, Bikram carpeted floors…) and some aren’t even noticeable.
The heat.
As mentioned, most hot yoga studios are set to 105 degrees Ferinheight with around 40% humidity.  For your first class, I would recommend taking a place closer to the back near the door or windows, as it is usually much cooler there.
The sweat.
You will sweat, some more than others- especially if you use body lotion.  Trying to fight it is futile…  You’ll only sweat more.  Nonetheless, the sweat acts as an amazing detoxifier for your skin, and makes the poses easier to get into, as there’s no friction as there tends to be with dry skin.
Workout Wear: Yoga Edition #2
Now that I’ve totally freaked you out, just remember: you’ll be totally fine.  Seriously.  In fact, you will wake up the next day a new person.  And you’ll want to come back for more.  Trust me.
Workout Wear: Yoga Edition

The Perfect Post-Yoga Outfit

Let me know how it goes for you, or if you have any questions at all!  And be sure to check out Trends & Trikonasanas for tips on all things health & wellness!
xo