Beyond Yoga is a Gilt.com office favorite for its flattering cuts and fabulous fabrics. So, when we wanted some advice on picking the perfect activewear and jumpstarting our workout, we knew just where to turn. Beyond Yoga owner and creator Jodi Guber is a true inspiration who knows all there is to know about yoga, so we jumped at the chance to pick her brain. Read on for Guber’s expert tips for novices and experts alike, and then check out the Beyond Yoga picks in our Yoga Essentials sale starting on Sunday, September 16, at 9pm on Gilt.com.
Q: How should a novice approach their first yoga class?
I think it’s important for a beginner to start in a beginner class. It helps to get a referral from a friend. The first experience could make or break the chances of having a good connection with yoga. Remember, yoga is not about comparing yourself to anyone else or how well you do the pose. It’s about remembering to breathe and honoring your body. The healthy yogi will always honor their body.
Q: Is tight or loose better for yoga clothes? How do you find your perfect fit in yoga clothing?
I find that fitted clothing provides the most flexibility and security during a class. It also gives the teacher the opportunity to see your body and your alignment, which is critical to yoga. Loose clothing can get in the way and make you feel overexposed. The last thing you want is a loose t-shirt ending up over your head!
I think fit is a personal preference. Some people like things really tight so it holds them in. Personally, I feel suffocated if my yoga clothing is too tight. My advice is to try it on and make sure that it fits properly and feels good on you (and try to stay away from muffin tops!)
Q: Should you dress differently for different types of yoga classes, like Bikram vs. Hatha?
In general, it all crosses over. However, in Bikram or hot yoga, you will find that people wear less clothing – you are more apt to find a knee length legging or a pair of short shorts.
Q: When you design Beyond Yoga, what is your main focus?
Flattering the female body while maintaining a basic utilitarian simplicity with a little fashion and a little edge thrown in. We also focus on the busy lifestyle of our customer by designing clothes that take them from carpool to yoga to lunch in comfort and style.
Q: As a yoga instructor, are there still certain poses that you struggle with?
Absolutely! And that will never change. Just like in life, one is always looking to better her/himself. Fine-tuning a yoga pose is a continuous journey.
Q: What are the benefits of doing yoga regularly?
My understanding of yoga is that it clears away the confusion, the noise, and the chaos. The more regularly you practice yoga, the more regularly you are able to access that place of present conscious, peacefulness. When you practice yoga regularly, your body functions with a higher efficiency, better flexibility and solidifies your commitment to yoga. The feeling you have when you finish a really good yoga class is the best – why wouldn’t you want to go back for more?
Q: Do you think going to a class at a yoga studio is preferable to doing a tape at home, or can they be equally beneficial?
I think that there is a place for both. Personally, I like the energy of a class. I like the heat that generates in the room and sharing the love for my yoga class with everyone else in it. That said, it can get expensive and it can be inconvenient for your schedule. A DVD with a great yoga teacher can also provide a beneficial experience with great results. And sometimes a video can really show you the poses and break them down, giving you the opportunity to learn it at your own pace. Quite often you won’t get that opportunity in a class that needs to keep moving.