HealthStyle

Are You A Yoga Ma?

Here are some of the things I know about yoga: it improves flexibility, strength and balance, strengthens the immune system, it can boost “good” cholesterol levels, and improve memory and and learning. It’s too bad I hate it. Okay, maybe hate is too strong of a word. It’s just that when I’m supposed to be going through sun salutation focusing on my breath, I find my mind wandering. I think about the pile of laundry that’s been on the sofa for two days. Or I wonder how loudly my kids will complain about the leftover steak chili we’re having for dinner (hey, they liked it last night!). Then I remember that if I forget to pick up the dry cleaning my husband will not have a clean shirt to wear to work tomorrow. But I digress.

I do yoga anyway because it helps me sleep better (it’s true, there is research showing that yoga is a drug-free way to combat insomnia), it keeps my back healthy, and even gives me more energy. And I confess: There are many days when I put on my yoga clothes even though I have no intention of going to a class. My favorite yoga pants are just so comfortable, and I swear, they make my butt look firmer. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who dresses for exercise even though I might not actually do any that day. Workout clothes have become wardrobe staples for lots of busy moms. Maybe this one reason that sales of yoga clothing are through the roof — $30 billion a year or something like that. There was a news story a couple of weeks ago about how even though the economy is still in rough shape, women are buying workout clothes like crazy. Sales are so strong in fact that online retailer Athleta — which makes workout clothing for every activity under the sun — is opening brick-and-mortar stores, even in this still recession-ish economy.

So back to yoga. I took a class last week and got to try out a line of clothing that I’d never heard of before. LOLE — it stands for Live Out Loud Everyday (love the name!) — is a Canadian company that makes all kinds of yoga apparel. I wore one top that I just loved. The Stamina top (www.lolewomen.com) has a drawstring at the bottom that cinches snugly enough that it doesn’t ride up and expose my tummy when I’m in downward facing dog. Brilliant.

Do you like yoga? Or loathe it? Do you prefer videos or an actual class? Most important, what do you wear so that when you’re doing down dog your belly stays covered and when you’re in Tree pose your foot doesn’t slide down your leg?

Written by Dana Sullivan Kilroy

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Vera
Vera Sweeney, mom, blogger, social media influencer and New York resident, is the founder of LadyAndTheBlog.com. She is considered one of the top female digital influencers in today’s social media space. Her lifestyle and parenting brand helps busy women stay on top of the latest trends in fashion, food, family and travel.

13 Comments

  1. I fear yoga…or should I say I’m intimidated by it. But honestly…from everything I hear it sounds amazing and if I had cute apparel I would be even more excited about it. I’ll have to try Lole! Thanks!

  2. I just recently started yoga. The gym my husband goes to offers yoga three times a week. I’m still having trouble clearing my mind…especially the end when we lay still for five whole minutes…I can’t do that!!! I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one out there thinking about everything else when I’m supposed to be breathing. Thanks!!

  3. I ADORE yoga! Found it my senior year of college when i need 2 electives and have a total of 7 classes already. It’s been a true life saver. I love to wear my yoga pants around the house, they make great lounging pieces. I usually wear cotton yoga pants (the cheap o’ones from forever 21 that wash o so well) and a fitted v neck (so no belly air during down dog!) lol

  4. Yeah-I tried a yoga class once that was taught by a 70-year-old woman who kicked my butt!! It’s like going to the dentist: You know it’s good for you but it’s hard to take the plunge. I’m so glad to hear that Athleta is opening stores. LOVE their clothing!!

  5. After three days of Bikram yoga, my marathon injury (a tight hamstring) disappeared for 5 months. This alone is worth the dedication, but I can never get myself on a mat. Not to mention it does wonders for my lower back after sitting all day…

    P.S. I heart Lole.

  6. I take yoga twice a week and wear a watch. I play this game with myself where I try to see how long I can make it through the class before looking at my watch. I think the longest is like 17 minutes. I always feel great after class b/c I know I would never stretch or do balance exercises otherwise, but yeesh, it’s boring. I go to yoga in my running tights and an extra-long tank top I got int he pajama section at Target. I love yoga clothes but they are too expensive!

  7. I started doing yoga about 6 – 7 years ago. I had a back problem that kept getting worse. I never thought I’d like yoga, I didn’t think it was “active” enough for me. Long story short, after several months, my back problem was gone. I still try to do yoga 1 – 2 times a week.

    At the time I started, I was going through a rough patch in my life and wondered if I’d get to the point of feeling the Zen mind-body connection you are supposed to get. Eventually, I did, but it took some time. What I find with yoga is this: the more I do it, the more I WANT to do it. And if I’m not doing it regularly, my mind wanders like crazy.

  8. Right there with you, Dana: I *know* yoga is good for me and that a ton of folks love it…but I find it d-u-l-l. I swear time stands still in class–and I should know as I check my watch about 20x/class. I wish I could get into a “flow” with it like I do with running, but so far it hasn’t happened. And I have the way-too-tight hamstrings to prove it. Sigh.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts. Great addition to the site “:>)

  9. Yoga has been my New Year’s resolution since 2007. Every year for the past four, I’ve mentally decided to make it part of my lifestyle. But I can’t get myself to physically commit for the same reason that you, Dana (and others), list above. I’m just not that into it. But I’m starting to think, it’s not that I don’t like yoga, but rather I haven’t found the right practice for me. For example, is there a yoga class that flows to the tunes of Lady Gaga or the soundtrack of Glee? Or maybe a yoga class outdoors that ends with a cup of coffee instead of green tea? I don’t know all my options, so I’m keeping my mind open. Or as yogis would say “heart open.”

    OH and nice yoga top, Dana! LOLE is a fantastic brand. I own one of these and love to wear it around the house 😉

    1. There are definitely yoga classes to suit everyone!! My gym has two offerings, one is more traditional, with the Pure Moods-esque music and talk of flow and concentration on the breath. The other, however, is taught to R&B that is mixed with a mellow hip-hop, something I’ve never experienced before, and is strange, but refreshing all the same. I’ve also taken classes from a certified yogi, a college class taught by a woman in her 70’s, Bikram yoga, rec department yoga, yoga on TV, and even the wii, and they are all different, yet can ultimately offer the same feel great benefits… I personally love yoga, even though I have not loved some of the settings, but I think you should keep looking. You’ll find a group that loves their Starbucks for sure, and maybe even a class that stretches to Lady Gaga before going to the Bux!

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