6 Yoga Brands You Can Trust

April 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Yoga Articles

The yoga market is a crowded place, with new brands popping up all the time hoping to take advantage of yoga’s popularity to part you from your hard-earned cash. Some of these offer great, innovative products and should have staying power, but more than a few will be here today and gone tomorrow. I want to tell you about the most trusted, tried and true yoga brands out there. The ones that aren’t going to be out of business by the time you need customer service and will stand behind the quality of their products. Many of these companies started as small businesses run out of their founders’ garages to meet the needs of a flourishing yoga community. Our favorites have maintained, and even expanded, their commitments to ethical and sustainable methods and products as they have grown. Whether you need a new mat, a pair of pants, or you’re ready to invest in your own set of props for practicing at home, these are our recommended shopping destinations.

1. Manduka

Manduka Black Mat PRO

Photo Courtesy of Manduka

Manduka’s signature product, the Black Mat PRO, was also its first. Founded by architect and yoga teacher Peter Sterios in the late 1990s, Manduka’s offerings now include many different mat styles, as well as mat bags, blocks, straps, mat towels, bolsters, and even a few clothing items. The company prides itself on being eco-conscious, particularly with their eKO line of mats and fully recyclable LiveON collection. 

2. Jade Yoga

Jade Yoga is a pioneer of the natural rubber yoga mat (the Harmony), which they have sold since 2002. The business idea was born from the rubber carpet pads that were used by western yoga students before mats were commercially available, according to founder Dean Jerrehian. Jade produces its mats in the United States and plants a tree for every mat sold. 

3. Hugger Mugger

Hugger Mugger was founded in 1986 by Sarah Chambers in response to the needs of her fellow Iyengar yoga students. The company’s blocks, straps, and bolsters were early industry standards and continue to be favored by many yoga studios. The thigh-gripping shorts that gave the company its name are also still available.

4. Prana

Prana Wonderblock

Photo Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Prana was founded in 1992 by Beaver and Pam Theodosakis to offer comfortable, durable clothing for yoga and rock climbing. They also sell yoga props and casual clothing. As they have grown, Prana has expanded their commitment to sustainability by using organic cotton, recycled paper, and wind power, according to a talk Beaver gave at the Wanderlust festival in 2010. They are also members of the Conservation Alliance, a group of outdoor businesses support the preservation of wild places. 

5. Be Present

Courtesy of be present

Be present’s unique pants have been on the market since 2002, when founder Amy Lopatin Dobrin developed a pant using fabric adapted from ski wear and designed to double as stylish street clothes. The pants are now made in several different cuts and vibrant colors for women and men. Be present clothing is manufactured in the U.S. and shipped without excess packing materials.

6. Gaiam

Gaiam Tree of Life Bag

Photo Courtesy of Pricegrabber

Gaiam (founded in 1988 by Jirka Rysavy) is one-stop shopping for yoga gear, DVDs, and “lifestyle” products like air purifiers and composting bins. Gaiam’s affordable yoga equipment, like their starter yoga mats, are great for new yoga students who are not quite ready to drop $100 on a mat. Gaiam’s gear is readily available in brick-and-mortar stores like Target and grocery stores if you like to see the merchandise before you buy. And Gaiam’s videos, available on DVD and streaming online through Gaiam TV, are preferred by many who like to do yoga at home. 

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