Yoga is not at all about materialism, gadgets and accessories. Still, as a fairly recent newbie, I was quite at a loss what to bring with me to my Bikram Yoga class. Although not about the materials, having good gear makes it easier to focus on the poses. So, check out the promising results of the yoga hardware research I performed. At 6′ 5″ ft (196 cm), I found out that for starters, my mat is a little too short. Especially for some intense poses that require complete length stretching of the body, things can get pretty uncomfortable without a mat beneath the feet. Also, I wanted to make sure I had some reliable shorts to wear.
I decided to scour the internet hoping to find the answers. Here are some of my findings.
Starting with the towels, I found two solutions:
- A Manduka towel, extra long, size 85′ ft. This towel made a lot of sense up front as it not only completely covers my mat, but even overlaps it generously. This way, I noticed, my fellow classmates immediately realize I am taller than the average person, which made them keep extra distance. Good, as that prevents me accidentally hitting them over the head while doing poses with my long arms. 😉
The towel (I got a dark grey one) is very soft and looks pretty as well. I have washed it a couple of times and the quality has not decreased: it stays soft and it does not wrinkle or lose color. Also, the towel rolls up into a very small bundle, which makes it fit into my bag easily. Great product, all in all I would give it 8,5 out of 10.
- A second Maduka towel, this time not extra long, but the Hot Yoga version. Special-made for Hot (or Bikram) Yoga, this towel should turn out a great fit for my needs. I got a deep dark blue one, very nice color. This towel is even softer than the first one, mainly because it’s thicker. The extra thickness allows for 50% more absorption of sweat, which comes in very handy in Bikram class…As it turned out, I love this towel! I can’t wait for it to come out of the dryer so I can throw it in my bag and ride off to class. The towel, like the first one, stays in great shape after washing and drying. It covers my complete mat, no extra overlapping like the first one, but that’s the only downside to it. Most people don’t have the length issue, so I guess it makes sense they don’t come in extra long. All in all, the Hot Yoga Manduka scores a 9 out of 10.
On to the shorts! I am happy to report I made a good choice buying the Zamkara Bihar shorts. Buying apparel on the internet sometimes provides challenges, as you’re never sure of the size. Not a problem with everyday items, but for Yoga shorts, it’s a new game for me. I selected a pair of shorts that are neither too short nor too long. The Bihar almost look like cycling shorts, and apparently, they can also be used for that purpose. But, as these are yoga shorts, they don’t come with a leather patch in the crotch. Which is a good thing :). I have many pairs of cycling shorts and wouldn’t dream of wearing these to Bikram class… A leather patch…
A little more on the Bihar shorts: they come with an inner draw string. Logo embroidery at the left upper thigh. The description on the website claims:
Fitting, flexibility and quality convinces also the most demanding customers. Our yoga pants are born from regular yoga practise and had been designed by a yogateacher together with a ladies tailor. This is not only obvious while testing the fitting, but also in asanas like lotus, butterfly, downward dog and other poses, which are challenging the capabilities of a yoga pant.
At yoga pants it is important, that they are very flexible in the area of knee and crotch. Also the waistband must be super soft, but not slipping downwards. Here we are using extra soft rubber band, but also cords, which are placed either in or outside the waistband.
For comfort we from ZAMKARA are using most often a high-quality materialmix from organic cotton and a small portion of elasthan.
Each item is wellthought, it is possible to combine most of the articles and they are so comfortable, that you don’t want to change them after the lessons. While fitting you should do some simple stretching, bending or twisting exercises – you will feel immediately, what a good yoga pant is like.
This proved to be quite true. The shorts look and feel very simple, basic and humble, yet reliable and durable. Just what you want from good yoga shorts. And, I must say, having washed them a number of times, they stay in good shape too. All in all, I would grade the Bihar shorts a solid 8,5 out of 10.