Ommm my

WORLD PIECE - Donna Cuna-Pita () - June 26, 2009 - 12:00am

Okay, I have been planning (operative word is planning) to try yoga for, umm, over a year now. This plan hasn’t jumped out of my brain to the yoga mat yet, but, really, I’m getting there. It has always intrigued me as I have a good friend who really lives the lifestyle of a yogi, and doesn’t just practice it in studios. He goes to India for a yearly pilgrimage and he has that calm, all-is-well vibe that true practitioners have. I want to be like that, too. But I know that before I plop my flabby self onto the mat, I should have the mindset that I’m in it for the long haul — and that practicing yoga isn’t just about the time I spend on the mat, but about the time I spend on this planet. I don’t plan to go vegan, yet, but the healthy eating aspect attracts me and the connection to all things makes sense to me.

Before trying it out, I had to do research and check out what kind of gear I might need. I visited Certified Calm (third level, Shangri-La Plaza) and checked out the paraphernalia. Easycalm is an English brand catering mostly to the Japanese market.  You can see from the colors and sizing that it has that funky Japanese vibe. They have yoga accessories ranging from different kinds and sizes of mats, titanium towels, apparel (performance/fitness), blocks, straps, socks, bags and others. Their Sofit fabric is cotton-like yet has dry fit functions.  They infuse bamboo charcoal, as well, which is anti-bacterial and helps prevent body odor from profuse sweating. Zobha, an American brand, is designed by a yoga teacher.  Their designs are unique, different, functional, yet feminine. Another American brand is Prana, which can be found in the soscious Nordstroms in the US.  They offer products made of recycled materials in response to all the problems in the environment, making them a very responsible company. Their products are wide ranged as well. 

These brands can only be found in Certified Calm. For yoga mats, I had no idea that towels could get so high-tech! Yogitoes Skidless Towels have silicone nubs underneath which prevent slipping and sliding while doing yoga moves. Manduka Mats from the US are touted as the “Rolls Royce of all mats.” They offer a lifetime warranty on some of their mats!  Matching mat carriers are available, too. Meanwhile, the uber high-tech Easyoga Titanium Mat towels are made with their patented titanium dots. They call them “energy” dots and they are supposed to help relieve stress. If doing yoga and having these titanium dots don’t relax me, I don’t know what will. To complete the gear round-up, they also carry Karma (Canada), Shakti (Brazil), Harajuku (USA), Chakras by Didi (USA), and Be Present (USA).  Harajuku and Shakti caters to the hot yoga/Bikram practitioners. Harajuku can be used both for swimming and hot yoga.  Their design, support, fit, and function are incomparable.  Their fabric may seem thin, but they are very durable and they don’t snag.

Certified Calm also carries local products like Dharma facial mists and sprays, Seva mat sprays, and My Story which specializes in after yoga wear.  Local bags are being carried as well.  To make yogis look cute and glamorous, they offer Healing Jewelry, too, made of crystals and semi-precious stones. These pieces are so nice that even if they didn’t have healing properties, I would still wear them!  

Now, for my omni-present concern: cost. The prices in Certified Calm are cheaper than in other countries and even the Internet. And as I have noticed from chic yoga-practitioners, you can use these clothes while doing errands and while traveling because they’re super comfy, and they look good, too. Add to that how they are resistant to deforming/stretching, color-fading and rips and tears (they’re usually made of four-way stretch fabrics), then I can wear them until I give up on them, not the other way around.

So now I know what I need to truly enjoy the yoga experience. I was planning on just using plain tank tops and sweat/tights, but my yoga-addict friend, Darcy, told me that regular clothes make it very hard to do the moves correctly. She says that I will find myself tugging on plain cotton tanks, and feel the fabric twisting on my body if I use regular sweat pants. I can see the logic in that. Now, on to the next move: stepping on that titanium-studded mat.

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