Friday, November 5, 2010

How to Find the Perfect Yoga Top

Pictured: Benita Tank by Devi (Beebliss.com)
A great yoga top will offer style and support in the yoga studio and in your life. When you have the right top, you can wear it for all kinds of athletic pursuits from running to dancing. Wear your top as a layering piece under a sweater, with dangly earrings and a great pair of jeans, and you're ready for a trip to the coffee shop or even a night on the town. The possibilities are endless!

But with so many yoga clothing brands and styles out there, choosing just one new yoga top can be a daunting task. Here are a few things to think about before you begin your search.

1. Know Your Body. When you're in the market for a new yoga top, you can save yourself a lot of time by knowing which parts of your body you want to emphasize and de-emphasize.
  • Big chest. Look for supportive styles with thick straps and full coverage. If you're busty, it's important to take your top for a test drive in Downward Facing Dog and Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). If the top holds you in and makes you feel comfortable in these poses it will probably work for you!
  • Bigger in the middle. If you feel self-conscious about your tummy area, choose a style that emphasizes your smallest part (usually the ribcage underneath your bust) and floats away from the body as it approaches your waist.
  • Small chest. If you have a small chest you've got an advantage in shopping for yoga tops. You can probably pull off light to medium supportive tops like spaghetti strap tanks or halter tops. But if you want your top and bottom half to look more balanced, try wearing a brighter colored top with a darker colored pair of pants, capris, or shorts.
No matter what your body type, look for a yoga top that will be long enough that you won't feel exposed when you're poses like Downward Facing Dog or Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend). There's nothing more distracting than having to constantly tug at your top to make sure you're not mooning the person on the mat behind you!

2. Know Your Colors. Yoga tops come in many different colors from basic to bright, so it's important to find colors that match your skin tone and your personality. If you have a larger-than-life personality and love being the center of attention, you might feel comfortable in a bold color or print. However, if you want to get the most bang out of your buck, choosing a solid or neutral color might allow you wear your top more often or mix and match it in more ways.

3. Know Your Lifestyle. Are you planning to use your top just for yoga? Or do you want a piece you can use for other activities, too? If you want your top to double as a running top, you'll want to find one with wide straps and a supportive built-in bra. If you want to wear it out on the town, to the grocery store, or other day-to-day tasks the appearance of your top might be as important as the functionality.

What are your tips for finding the perfect yoga top? Comment below!