Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Not to Wear: Yoga Mamas

Note: I thought I had scheduled this post to be published the day before I went into labor. I guess it still might be relevant to any pregnant yoga students everywhere. :)

I promise. I'm ALMOST through with the pregnancy yoga posts. But I couldn't let such an amazing opportunity to speak to yoga fashionistas out there about their pregnancy yoga wardrobes, now could I? Obviously not.

Here's my two-cents on prenatal yoga fashion, and how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls pregnant yoga students make when they try to dress their new, ever-changing bodies.

1. Baggy tops. You're not fooling anyone, lady. We know that little bump isn't a beer gut--so you might as well show it off. I was actually amazed that most all of my pre-pregnancy yoga tops worked just as well for pregnancy yoga. Since yoga tops are longer anyway (to accommodate for riding up in Down Dogs and inversions) and are made of stretchy fabric that holds its shape--I didn't buy even one maternity yoga top. Of course, I have a feeling they might be less forgiving when I've reached the "postnatal" phase ... I'll keep you posted on that one.

2. Tops that are too revealing for your new, awesome boobs. There are yoga tops that are great at keeping boobs in place and then there are those that are made for bodies that don't really have boobs. Luckily, I had a few of the later in my yoga wardrobe because when my girls started growing ... they became a lot harder to contain. (And it was just luck, because I didn't have to worry about that so much before, if you know what I mean.) So here's my advice to anyone who finds themselves with a little more boob than they once had--make sure you do a few Down Dogs at home before you head to the studio just to be sure you don't have any potential embarrassing slips. And opt for fuller coverage tops with high neck lines and high back lines (because when boobs grow, they are more likely to fall out the sides of your top, too... Who knew?).

3. All black. This one isn't SUCH a fashion no-no.. but a lot of people think that just because they're carrying a few extra pounds they need to try to hide in the back row of class in thinning head-to-toe black. Ladies, your pot belly is adorable. And, trust me, people want to see that. They also want to touch it. And ask you when your due date is (I hate due dates...) If you wear all black because you like the way it looks--fine. But don't do it because you're trying to hide--We see you, and we think you look radiant!

4. High-waisted yoga pants or leggings. I'm not talking about those stretchy maternity yoga pants--which are actually way more comfortable than the non-yoga variety maternity pants. I'm talking about squeezing your new belly into leggings or yoga pants that were meant for stick-thin yogis who like that "skinny pants" look. This is more of a comfort issue than anything, because while I'm sure the fabric still stretches with you unless the waistband is low enough to sit BELOW your belly, it can't possibly be comfortable. And there are just too many options that roll down or sit low to wear anything even slightly uncomfortable.

5. Maternity yoga clothes. Again, this is more of a personal preference than a fashion don't. But I couldn't bring myself to buy one garment of maternity athletic wear. (Admittedly a couple of the pieces I borrowed from friends are quite comfy.) It turns out, most of my normal yoga clothes continued to be comfy throughout my 40 + weeks of pregnancy so it just wasn't necessary for me to buy more. My advice? Pull out your high neckline tops and low-waist and roll down variety yoga pants and wear them as long as you feel comfortable in them. If you get tired of wearing the same pieces over and over, rock the accessories so you feel like the yoga goddess you are.

Whatever you do celebrate your new curves, rock that baby bump (because you know it looks good on you!), and never EVER let yourself think that your new body can't look just as fierce in that stretchy Spandex-like material as it did pre-pregnancy. Your body is growing a PERSON )which is freaking amazing!) and you should feel great, confident, and yes, even sexy, while you do it--whether you're at the yoga studio or the grocery store.

P.S. Specific pieces that I loved throughout pregnancy are:
No Limits Tank by Lululemon -- The mesh fabric let my belly breathe, but band at the hip kept me covered up
Ava Skirt by MeSheeky -- Soft jersey fabric and a low waist band are comfy for daily wear and as a pre- and post-yoga cover up
Jala Tank by Devi -- You'd think this fitted top wouldn't be comfortable when you're big and pregnant, but the fabric is supportive with just enough stretch -- and it keeps its shape.