The 6 Yoga Brands I Can’t Live Without
I have bought an embarrassing amount of yoga gear over the years. I loved having a brand new pair of leggings, and matching them with different bras, and buying them in slightly different colours and patterns again and again. While all the while getting the latest hot yoga prop and then another in the belief that each of them would magically bestow their strength or flexibility magic on me without ever having to do the actual work in my practice.
But over the past few months, I have had the urge to simplify on quite a radical scale. Something about having a baby and the tidal wave of stuff that comes into your life along with them no doubt.
I wanted to have a clear out, and keep only the gear I LOVED. As Marie Kondo would say, things that “sparked joy” in me, and therefore my yoga practice. As shallow as it might seem, the better you feel in your yoga gear, the more you are going to practice.
And on top of that, I am firmly of the belief that ALL of your yoga gear should have a dual purpose. It should be stylish enough to wear as everyday clothes. Yep, #athleisure at it’s best. Except I don’t want to look like I am wearing sports clothes: just classic, comfy, clothing that when I take off a layer or two has all the functionality of proper yoga-wear.
And every one of the below brands ticks that box. I wear it when I practice at home, I wear it when I practice at a studio, and I wear it pretty exclusively when I am not in the office, just with a nice top/jumper/jacket thrown on top.
THE YOGA MAT
Liforme: ok, not a clothing company. But the one thing in my yoga arsenal that I actually cannot live without. I will practice in ANYTHING ELSE apart from proper yoga gear if I have to, but I will NOT practice on anything that isn’t a Liforme Yoga mat.
It is extra-long and wide, beautifully cushioned, and the grippiest, stickiest mat ever. No matter how sweaty I get – and I am a yogi of the sweaty palmed variety! On top of all that, the feature that singlehandedly transformed my practice is the alignment lines, or what they call their AlignForMe system. Actually being able to see that your left hand is always an inch ahead in your down dog, or that you need to step further in to get heel-arch alignment in Warrior 2 is like having a personal teacher with you every single practice. It’s a total gamechanger.
(Psst: this is the ONLY link on this list which is an affiliate link. I get a small percentage if/when you purchase using this link. As you can see from my Instagram feed, I have exclusively bought/used/loved these mats for the past 4 years, and couldn’t recommend them more highly).
Electric & Rose: super cool Venice, California vibes, all made in the US with love and respect. I adore their sets, especially in their signature sunset print: the wide high waist band sits just so, eliminating any muffin top or squeezing. And their sweats are so soft and perfectly proportioned that they are now the only ones I own.
Emily Hsu Designs: these were the very first leggings I bought of Instagram, and I continue to do so to this day. Loads of fun prints, a really really high-waist (that you can roll down, but who does that?!), and a lightweight fabric that still holds everything in, all at a really reasonable price. These are the bargain choice on the list, but you would never know once you are wearing them. I am particularly obsessed with their shorts which I managed to continue wearing all the way through and after my pregnancy – that is true comfort and stretch for you!
K.Deer: lightweight, high-waist, great plain colours and stripy prints. But my favourite feature is the crotch: no centre seam makes their leggings and shorts incredibly flattering and comfortable. Why anyone still makes women’s sports-gear with a centre seam is something I will never understand after wearing these. I have had some shipping issues with these guys in the past though, so watch for that though.
Alo Yoga: I’ve um’ed and ah’ed about including this mega-brand here. They haven’t always behaved in a way that aligns with the some of the values that are most important to me: diversity, inclusivity and transparency in particular. However, I have been impressed with the efforts they have made in the past year to address these issues. There is A LOT more they could be doing of course: to use their amazing platform to show that yoga is a practice for all body types, for all races, and that your practice is still valid and worthy irrespective of whether you can pike press into one-armed handstand. But there has been progress.
And I just really like a lot of their clothing. Their airbrush leggings are the perfect weight for winter here in London, and their alo-soft fabric is so comfy I never want to take it off. Their high waist is actually high-waist, and stays put as well. Their bras are on the low-coverage side, so all of mine are on sabbatical at the moment while I continue breastfeeding. But I am currently living in their big fluffy Norte Sherpa Coat so you will still find me head-to-toe in Alo some days.
Satya Yogawear: makers of my all-time favourite overalls. I generally prefer to practice in tight-fitting clothes so I don’t have to worry about anything moving or getting distracted by what I am wearing, but I make an exception for these.
Pics below from all the different clothing brands – the mat is always Liforme of course. Strangely, and sadly, Liforme is the only British (and European!) brand on this list. Do tell me what I am missing on this front!
As ever, hope this is all helpful. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.