Ladies who visit breathe frequently ask for my opinion on Lululemon. I believe this is a direct result of their recent negative publicity. Some would argue that any publicity is good, and therefore intended, however in this instance I don't think it is true.
I have in the past used Lulu's products, before they took production offshore, and found them very good. These early products are what established Lulu in BC as a brand. Following Lulu's move offshore their products have certainly changed and the general consensus from their orignal devotees, that I meet, is that the changes are for the worse.
Credit were credit is due Lulu have done wonders to raise the awareness of ladies workout wear globally, getting us out of the grungy tees and into apparel with function and form. But they have never been the only show in town. That is where my journey begins, with choice.
Living in BC people are very much on the go and the lifestyle wear works extremely well. In fact generally people all over are making excercise an important part of their life. At breathe we aspire to find you the very best in lifestyle apparel that enhances you while respecting social and environmental values in a sustainable way. We are very fortunate to collaborate with fantastic creators, locally in Vancouver like http://www.karmawear.com and http://mytonic.ca who have been creating wonderful styles for years and south on the US pacific coast, http://teeki.com who are relatively new to the business. This gives us an amazing collection to choose from and help you select the right pieces for each and every occasion.
Breathe's appeal has been to the adventurous ladies who do not need to follow the crowd, they can discern, select and appreciate tailoring that suits their individual needs working with their bodies to create a personal and uniquely flattering style. We have made many special relationships with beautiful people who we cherish as friends and loyal clientele.
How Luluemon Athletica Inc. go forward is open to speculation. At Breathe Athletic we set out clear values and have and will remained true to them guiding us forward with your continued support. Thank you.
http://www.karmawear.com is another well known Vancouver based company who reinvented themselves last year & created a unique look that distinguished them from the rest. Their inspiration comes from "fashion & movement" & their collections are designed to honour & empower women both on & off the mat.
"Manufacturing jobs in the apparel industry have dwindled with the rise of overseas production. This is no more apparent than in our backyard of Vancouver. Karma is a Canadian apparel company that manufactures in Canada and the United States. We are committed to using local factories, investing in our community, and keeping local women employed.
We hope to inspire other local companies, in more than just apparel, to rethink their own practices and bring production back home. It is our core belief that if we practice good karma, others will follow"
I have been selling Karma for three years now & have built up a very loyal clientele. Customers are delighted with the quality & fit of the product & come back each season to see what exciting pieces are new. Wear their pieces for all activities, dance, Bikram hot yoga, Moksha yoga, yoga, pilates or for going from street to studio for a unique look.
http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/karma-jacket-san-suu is a favourite of mine, a stylish approach to a sports jacket, adding lines & ruffles for a more tailored look.
http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/karma-pullover-milla is made from eucalyptus jersey fabric, eco & very soft to the skin, the perfect layering piece.
Lots of people are discovering us because they are looking for "an alternative to Lululemon" - something unique & individual that is still "made in Canada". We definitely have that alternative!
One of our main lines is based in Vancouver, & have maintained their manufacturing process in Canada, despite a global recession. Here's the scoop on a couple of my favourite pieces.
http://mytonic.ca produce a range of products that look great & fit beautifully. Their fabric has a reputation for 'not pilling' & the durability of it is second to none. They design several collections each year that include brand new pieces as well as some classic pieces. A favourite of mine is the Gather Short http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/tonicshortelemgather our best selling hot yoga/pole dance short. It appears 'skimpy' but offers ample coverage in a minimal unrestrictive way. The small gathers at the sides add style & comfort & the discreet embroidered logo is visible yet tasteful. We always carry an array of seasonal colours.
The Balance Tank http://www.breatheathletic.com/products/tonictank-balance is another favourite of mine. I get lots of requests for tanks that are not tight around the middle & this tank has the answer. It has a built in bra with removeable pads. The waistband sits on the hip and the body of the tank has a very loose relaxed fit, camouflaging any 'problem areas' around the middle.
I'll chat about another Vancouver based company http://www.karmawear.com in my next blog. I'm going to yoga now :)
Until setting out on this blogging adventure I had never done hot yoga. I had avoided it simply because the idea of anything in a hot room did not sound like fun to me. But part of me felt that I should try it in order to give a more educated response to anyone who asks me about my thoughts on hot yoga. I'm glad I did. I started with Moksha Yoga Victoria.
I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive; a bit nervous and a very self-conscious. But when I took a look at the classes offered I was a bit shocked. There was quite the variety; Moksha in 60, 75 and 90 minute classes, Moksha Flow, Moksha Music, Yin, Yin Yang, Hot Flow, Hot Moksha Flow and my favourite - Boarders (I love surfing and snowboarding). So where do you start?
Well, I am a big fan of yin yoga, so that’s where I started - something familiar. I also figured that since Yin is predominantly seated postures this could be a good way of testing the waters of yoga in a warmer room. While Yin is taught in a warm not hot class the temperature is still higher than traditional yoga studios. The temperature reminded me of doing yoga on the beach on a warm summer day.
Still a bit nervous I mustered up my courage and tried a 60 minute Moksha class. I gave myself permission to take Child’s pose or Savasana at any point necessary. Part of my nervousness was due to not knowing what the 40 postures practiced in Moksha. It didn’t really seem to matter. The instructor, Heather, gave easy to follow instructions on how to get in and out of postures and walked around helping people get the most of the posture. Most of the postures are similar to postures taught in Hatha yoga, the oldest form of yoga.
Apart for the need to wipe sweat off my face and being grateful I had a towel, the heat did not increase the difficulty of the class. I struggled with the same aspects of postures I usually do (I have weak arms that tire easily and a not so strong core).I also began to understand the addiction people have to hot yoga. I had the same exhilaration and endorphin high that I got from running. My lungs felt clearer; my spirit uplifted and an overall sense of accomplishment of doing good for my body swept over me. Not to mention the benefit of sweating assists the body in ridding itself from toxins.
For those new to Moksha yoga I highly recommend starting with the 60 minute Moksha class and work up to the 90 minute. Once comfortable with the 90 minute Moksha classes test the waters of the hot Moksha Flow or other classes offered.
What to WearI will admit that part of my aversion to hot yoga was the clothing; or lack of clothing to be more accurate. I normally practice yoga in a tank top and yoga tights or pants. Wearing nothing but short shorts and a sports bra was not appealing to me but I did it anyway. However other people did not. I was shocked that some women wore capris and tank tops. In my first three classes I tried a variety of clothing options Teeki leggings, Karma bras, and shorts. What I discovered was the less clothing that could stick to my sweaty body the better.
Some of my favourite options are:
Karma Charlotte Bra Karma Kelly Bandeau Tonic Moon Ray Tank
Teeki Mickey June Sun Short
K. Deere Bum Bum Short Tonic Pursuit Capri
For more suggestions on what to wear check out the Hot Yoga section of the online catalog
Our first feature studio is Moksha Yoga Victoria. Part of the Moksha Yoga International family, the Victoria studio offers a unique twist to the hot yoga scene. Their mission is simple, "We are a group of independent hot yoga studios committed to ethical, compassionate and environmentally conscious living, and believe that the benefits of yoga are limitless and accessible to all."
Moksha Yoga was founded by Ted Grand and Jessica Robertson and is built on the "7 pillars":
- Be healthy.
- Be accessible.
- Live Green.
- Sangha Support
- Reach Out.
- Live to Learn.
- Be Peace.
While most of the 7 pillars are fairly self-explanatory "Sangha Support", for me, needs a little more explanation. Sangha Support is about building community. Helping people step out of the busyness of their lives and connect with others in a meaningful way.
Similar to Bikram and Asthanga yoga, Moksha follows a set series of poses. That said, no two classes are exactly the same, each instructor brings their own flare and can chose to include or skip a pose or two. The basic format remains the same in each class:
- intention setting,
- standing series,
- seated series, and
- final savanasana.
The intention setting is where the instructors' personalities can really shine through as they impart words of inspiration to use on and off the mat. For example, one class I went to the intention was strength. Pilar, the instructor, spoke of finding our inner strength to not only face the challenges of the postures in class but taking that inner strength with us to face the challenges of our daily lives. A good reminder that yoga can be lived on and off the mat.
As with any style of yoga the instructors undergo specific training. The Moksha teacher training includes a one month intensive followed by an 11 month correspondence component giving instructors a total of 500 hours of training. At Moksha Yoga Victoria there are Moksha instructors and non-Moksha instructors. Only Moksha instructors can teach the classes designated as Moksha however there are other classes offered, such as Hot Flow, Yin, Boarders, that may or may not be taught by non-Moksha instructors.
So what should you wear?
Depends on your comfort level but keep in mind this is hot yoga so less is best. A few good options are:
For more options check out the Hot Yoga section of our website.