30 Days of Yoga

Some of you might know that this month is National Novel Writing Month where a writer takes on the challenge of banging out a 50,000 word draft by the end of November. I am not partaking, as I don't need the stress since I'm starting my fourth book, like, today and have the luxury of working on it until March 2008.

That being said (typed) I feel I should commit to something for at least 30 days. As things are a little icky right now for various reasons (both personal and professional) I decided that what I need is yoga. My usual workouts consist of alternating days of cardio (on my most favorite Spinner Elite bike) and strength training (made up of combined snippets of routines from itrain.com using mp3 wave editor). I've slacked off in the being centered and flexible department and that's what yoga is all about. And it's also all about what you wear while doing it.

The Pants:
Yoga pants have to be many things all at once. They have to fit snugly but not cut off circulation or dig into nature's creases. The legs should be roomy but not billowy so when you do leg lifts they down fall over too much down the calf. They also have to be passable enough so that if you have to be out in public before or after your workout, you won't feel like a sqeeze wearing them off the confines of your yoga mat.

For the last few years (at least two so maybe it should more accurately be for the last couple of years) I've worked out in yoga pants (for all exercise activities) from Victoria's Secret. I have several (more than six) in black, charcoal and dark blue, the last batch having been ordered via the website in 2005. What I like about the VS yoga pant is that you can order them in lengths, in my case a 32" inseam, which makes a huge difference in the dorky factor. Too short yoga pants just look funny. At $30 a pop, they're affordable, last a long time (obviously!) but the shipping charge is a bitch at VS and one of the reasons I don't order there that often only when desperate or I've come across a free shipping coupon.

I used to wear Old Navy yoga pants and am considering giving them another shot. At $16.50 for the full length, which to be honest is on the short side, and a buck fifty less for the cropped, the best thing they have going for them is I can swing by the store near my house and pick them up today. Since the length tends to be a little off, I could compare individual pants and pick out the longest pairs and wash them in cold water and pull them out of the dryer a little damp. That sounds like a lot of trouble for $16. I could for the crop and solve the length issue, but eh...

Way on the other end of the yoga pant spectrum is lululemon . The husband has a boner for these for some reason. He would come back from the gym (when he went to the gym. He now rides a bike resplendent in dicky bike fashion) and mention these terrific pants he'd seen on some woman's ass. So, in the spirit of keeping the boner alive, I walked into the lululemon store in Santa Monica, took a look around and walked right out. First of all, a pair of pants would set me back $100 (not including tax). What would cost more would be having to face the cruelly accurate sizings. I'm an S in Old Navy and Victoria Secret pants. I picked up a small at lululemon and I thought I was looking at a floor sample size like department stores have in the bedding department with the tiny fully made up beds? They're beds, but shrunk in size so that no normal sized adult can fit comfortably in them. When I picked up the x-small, I knew lululemon was not for me. Even if I turned all anorexic I'd still be too fat for lululemon.

The Tops:
Yoga is the only area of my life where I allow my self to wear tank tops with built-in shelf bras. I've worn the same gap tops since about 2000 when I happened by a table of them marked down to the happy heart dancing price of $6.98. Since then I haven't been able to duplicate the love for this type of top even though I've purchased a few different brands. These gap tops, which I treat with great care since I know they don't make them anymore, have the right amount of length, give and support. They're as close to perfect as I can expect. Unfortunately, they won't last forever and I'm convinced the husband is pilfering them from my drawers in hopes that I won't wear them anymore.

This Victoria's Secret top has three things going for it. It comes in packs of three with three different colors and it currently priced at $30 for the set. The description also claims its longer than it looks in the picture (I've heard that one before). Now I'm not going to accuse the lady on the left of having a fake rack, but it looks supportive in the knocker area and the straps are wide so they won't cut into the shoulders. But still, I resent the shipping charge so much that I don't feel compelled to order them any time soon.

One thing I do need, since I fully admit to walking around outside in my yoga clothes, is a long sleeved top to feel decent. And since I see t-shirts as motivators, I go for something that exercise specific ts differentiates them from my everyday long sleeved ts. So when I clicked through Old Navy and came upon their toile-graphic t-shirts I knew immediately they'd liven up my yoga wardrobe. At $16.50 I can pick up the Pink Glamour (right) and the Dark Sea Blue and maybe the greenish Wet Leaf, but not the Chastity Pink. Not only for the name but because of the overall print which is, like, all over.

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