First of all, happy early Fourth of July, everyone! We’re celebrating both the holiday and our three-year anniversary, and we’re doing so with our usual method of celebration: eating. Mmmm. I’m looking forward to trying out Shucks in Brookhaven. They have a happy hour special in which you can get a dozen oysters for $6. Sign. Me. Up.
I can’t believe it’s been three years since our wedding, and six years since I moved to Atlanta. My time in Georgia has been full of wonderful things, but I must admit, after a long period of drastic change, I find myself wanting to get back to my roots. You know, the things that have made me historically happy. Playing my guitar is one of those things. Yoga is another.
Brad and I have tried a couple generic yoga classes at the various gyms we’ve belonged to since moving to Atlanta, but ashtanga is my true love. Brad likes it, too. So, when we saw that an ashtanga-focused studio called onlYoga was offering a fantastic Groupon deal, we jumped at the chance to sign up. It’s only been a couple weeks, but we’re loving it so far, and I have optimistic dreams of making it my home studio.
Since I’ve got yoga on the brain, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things. Of course, yoga and materialism aren’t really supposed to go together, but this is me we’re talking about, so clearly, I’ve gotta have the best gear. I have issues.
- Manduka PROlite Mat in Quest: When I started yoga in 2006-ish, I had no idea what I was doing, so I bought a super-thin Nike pilates mat. It worked out OK for a while, but now, my bones are getting older, I guess, and the cushioning just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. So, I recently upgraded to a big girl mat by Manduka. I did a lot of research, and I narrowed my choices down to the Manduka Pro (too heavy for walking to class from work), the Jade Harmony (not durable enough), Lululemon’s The Mat (Lulu has enough of my money), and the aforementioned PROlite (the winner!). I read a lot of reviews that said the PROlite could be quite slippery, but I prefer to use a non-slip towel on top of my mat anyway, so stickiness wasn’t a big factor for me. So far, I love it! It wasn’t cheap, but it has a lifetime guarantee, so hopefully, I’ll never have to buy another yoga mat again.
- BKR 500mL bottle in Cupcake: I totally fell prey to the marketing of this little guy. It’s all over the internet, and I’ll be honest: I wanted one because of the pretty factor. I got one for my birthday, and thankfully, it totally lives up to the hype! It’s pretty amazing how much better water tastes in a glass bottle, and the BKR has the perfect size and shape. Mine goes with me everywhere – it’s become like a security blanket. If you’re considering getting one, DO IT. You will love it forever and ever.
- Lululemon Swiftly Racerback in Heathered Black: As I mentioned before, I don’t love supporting Lululemon. But I have to admit: the products in their Swiftly line are great. You can sweat for hours, and they really do stay dry. And they don’t get smelly! It’s like magic. This particular top is a little too see-through for me to wear by itself, but I love it as my first layer. It’s nice and long, too.
- Yogitoes Mat Towel in Lapis: Mat towels are an absolute must for me. There are allegedly mats that keep you from slipping when you sweat, but I feel that I sweat an inordinate amount. We’re talking puddles underneath me (sorry, TMI?). Even if a mat could keep me from slipping in those conditions, I’d still have puddles on my mat, and that’s gross. I have to have a towel to soak up the sweat, and this one is the very best. It has little nubbins on the underside that keep it from moving around. Sadly, I actually don’t have this beautiful tie-dye one – my plain blue and orange towel is on its eighth year and still going strong. But if I ever replace it, you can bet I’ll be going for something with a little more pizazz.
- Athleta Relay Capri in Bora Bora Blue: These are technically running capris, which means they have a little zippered pocket on the back that might bother you during yoga. It can’t even feel it, though, and I prefer thicker bottoms – yoga pants tend to be on the thinner side – so these are perfection. They’re super slimming, and so comfortable!
- Manduka GO Roam bag in Pewter: When I upgraded my mat, I discovered that it no longer fit in my old Gaiam bag. Oops. Since I’ve been walking to class from the office, I figured another upgrade was in order. I just ordered this, so I can’t really review it quite yet, but I’ll check back in when it’s gotten some use. It has a large compartment in back for the mat, and two separate organized pockets in front for cell phones, keys, wallets, sunglasses, towels, etc. I think my water bottle will fit nicely in the mat compartment, too. I’m so excited! PS: All of Manduka’s yoga mat bags are on sale right now with free shipping, and you can get 15% off with the promo code INDULGE15. Shhh. You didn’t hear it from me.
- Lululemon Bang Buster Headband: As much as I want to, I just can’t seem to quit Lulu. This headband is amazing because nobody wants to wear bobby pins or hair clips during yoga. They stab you in the head! Not good. The extra-wide band on top keeps my bangs completely off my face, but the slimmer part underneath means I can still wear a low braid. I can’t find the one I have – “Wamo Camo” in pink and slate – on the site anymore, but I think they still have it in stores. It’s so damn cute, too. Ugh.
- Athleta Chi Tank Extra Long in Grey Heather: These are SO GOOD. They’re not too thick and not too thin. They’re not skin-tight (important for those of us who aren’t skinny minnies), but they’re fitted enough that they don’t fall down when you’re doing inversions. They’re the perfect length (make sure you get the Extra Long!). They come in beautiful colors (though they all appear to be sold out in my size), plus a few other patterns on the site. I only have one now, but as soon as my size in back in stock, I plan to stock up. Love ‘em.
So, those are my current favorite items! I already owned a few pieces, but many of them were birthday purchases. Happy birthday to me!
What’s on your favorite workout gear list? Link me – I want to see!