9 Women's Yoga Essentials of Summer 2012

Prana Piggyback

Prana’s cotton-webbing Piggyback yoga-mat strap takes the annoying Velcro noise out of the studio. The strap’s loops slip tight around either end of your rolled mat, keeping you quiet when you have to sneak out early.

Nux Dash Union

Dash Union camisole
Dash Union camisole (Courtesy of Nux)

Nux, a small women’s activewear company that manufactures all its products in downtown Los Angeles, designed the Dash Union camisole with comfort in mind. The flowing nylon-spandex tank is softer than your favorite lingerie, and the built-in bra is plenty supportive for up to a C cup.

Isis Henna

Henna sport bra
Henna sport bra (Courtesy of Isis)

If there’s one underthing our testers would sleep in, it’s the nylon-spandex Henna Sport bra by Isis. The lightly stitched design went easily from the studio to the trail and even held fast during light jogging for our C-cup testers—though it wasn’t supportive enough for serious runs or the truly heavy-chested.

Patagonia Elysian

Elysian hoodie
Elysian hoodie (Courtesy of Patagonia)

When layering up for savasana, we loved Patagonia’s shea-butter-soft, mostly organic-cotton Elysian hoodie. Bike-riding testers appreciated the extended range of motion of the extra-long sleeves; everyone liked the splash of stripes in the hood.

Nau Stylus

Stylus pants
Stylus pants (Courtesy of Nau)

Testers couldn’t stop spouting their love for Nau’s organic cotton-spandex Stylus pants. The lounge-y fit was flattering, not frumpy, and the off-center drawstring didn’t get in the way during cobra or locust pose. Plus, “the back pockets make your bum look better,” one tester reported.

Lifefactory Glass Bottle

Glass bottle
Glass bottle (Courtesy of Lifefactory)

We love the leakproof, bombproof, and easy-to-clean 22-ounce Lifefactory glass bottle. The Swiss-cheese-style silicone sleeve not only protects the glass and looks cool, it also makes it easy to grip.

Lululemon Skinny Satin Pirouette

Skinny Satin headband
Skinny Satin headband (Courtesy of Lululemon)

We’ll wager that 80 percent of headbands slide off within just a few minutes. Not so the Lululemon Skinny Satin Pirouette. The line of silicone on the inside of the ballerina-inspired band kept every strand in place, even after an hour-and-a-half-long, fast-paced vinyasa-with-music class.

Kate's Stash Bars

Stash bars
Stash bars (Courtesy of Kate's Real Food)

Kate’s Stash Bars are aptly labeled “real food”: read the ingredients list (oats, sea salt, dark chocolate, peanut butter) and you’ll recognize everything in this mostly organic bar. Testers consistently chose the perfectly sweet and savory, preservative-free snack over bigger brands.

Prana Synergy Towel

(Courtesy of Prana)

Natural rubber on the bottom of Prana’s Synergy Towel mat kept it in place, while the poly-nylon plush face absorbed sweat during a 104-degree Bikram class. The traction was better than traditional rubber; we just wish it didn’t make our hands sweat so much.

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