Jean Marie Hackett

Dear Hyde,

Most of us have them: Shirts you teach in, sleep in, do pretty much anything but actually practice in.

And while you no doubt bought the shirt with asanas in mind—and of course because it was also beautiful and in a hot color that got you out of boring black—but once on the mat, you quickly discovered you’re one up-dog away from a wardrobe malfunction.

Let’s also not forget the shirt that, should you actually move, bunches and collects at your middle, widening your midsection in a way that is quite unfair given all those navasanas and jump backs you are doing.

Welcome to my pile of “not for yoga” yoga shirts.

This is where I expected the Taryn to fall in the hierarchy of my yoga clothes drawer. Yeah, you probably have seen the Taryn around. It’s such a pretty looking halter top that it gets a lot of press. You’ve likely seen a beautiful model on the cover of Yoga Journal smiling in her Taryn as she gracefully looks taller and more flexible than you can ever hope to be. Given the press and “halter” aspect of the Taryn, I had it pegged to be my adorable “teaching only” shirt, and I was totally ok with that. I had just started teaching in Washington, D.C. and I wanted to look good, just like all those cover model yogis do.

I was wrong. By a lot.

Not about it’s flattering lines or suitability as a teaching top. I was wrong about how I would unexpectedly discover it to be my favorite top for actually practicing in. Over and over and over again. I’ve started doing laundry more often just so I can wear it again. I want to wear it every time I touch my mat; I want to wear it out; I want to live in it.

I wear the Taryn for my home practice when I am all alone; I wear it when I practice at a studio; I wear it when I teach, too. And I am telling you, the Taryn is so good, that when I went away to Philly for a week long intensive, I did laundry in the hotel twice to be able to wear my Taryns only! (and not wear half the other shirts I brought with me). Sometimes I worry that the people I practice with must think I have no other clothes. Let them!

To re-cap, where is why I love the Taryn:

1. It looks really, really good on. Did I mention I was vain?

2. It functions. It stays in place. I am not constantly tugging down a shirt that is rolling up or falling to low on the chest. It’s a halter for chrissakes, and it’s still the shirt least likely to cause a wardrobe malfunction.

3. It feels amazing. It doesn’t have that technological, rough, synthetic feel all the other workout/yoga clothes in my closet seem to have. It feels like a second skin. I want to sleep in it. Here’s an idea for Hyde: please make pajamas. Please. Pretty please!

4. It helps me to align my body when I practice. This was a really unexpected benefit. The Taryn has a vertical line running down the middle of the fabric on my torso. This is a helpful visual reminder of the “central axis” of the body my teacher likes to talk about. Once he even gave us sticks to attach to the backs of our bodies. I imagine the line of the Taryn running down the entire length of my body. When I gaze towards my navel in down dog, I am reminded to keep my ribs stacked over my pelvis. Also, bare, sweaty upper shoulders (made possible with the halter style) make getting my leg behind my head a little easier. Wait, that’s not cheating, is it?

5. Did I mention it looks really, really good? 😉

Jean Marie Hackett