Disclosure: I received an outfit from Manifesta in return for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Lora here. (Duh, that’s who usually writes these posts.)
But I mean. Really Lora here. And this post is going to get into some vulnerable stuff. I’m revealing some truths about what makes me ME and how I love myself.
Because I want you all to love yourselves more.
So let’s get this started, yeah?
WARNING: This post discusses self-esteem and body image y’all!
I’ve often discussed my lack of self-love many years ago. I was thin, but had terrible body image. I remember being under 100 pounds, looking at myself in the mirror, and thinking “I look fat.” I was unhealthy and it didn’t matter how I looked, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin. For more on that story, check out my interview on Yogaudacious.
Not a good way to be.
Thanks to yoga, true self-esteem, and lots of love, I am proud to say that I have had a healthy body image for the past five years. That takes a lot of discipline, compassion, and self-love. You have to constantly remember that, well, YOU are awesome!! And it isn’t easy, but the results are amazing. I’m happy, healthier, more successful, and just plain more present and aware for all the amazing things that life has in store–because I’m just groovy being me. It’s pretty swell y’all!
As a result, I want everyone else to feel amazing in their own bodies, as well.
It drives me crazy to hear friends complain about how they look in fitness clothes. I’ve had yoga students come up to me and say that they don’t feel comfortable coming to my group flow classes because they don’t want to wear the clothes. Also, because they can’t find the clothes that fit them properly. Not to mention how the health and wellness industry continually tells us all that we need to look a certain way in order to be “fit.”
It drives me crazy y’all.
We all have different body types. That’s what makes us unique.
I’m 5’2″. I weigh 125 pounds and have for the past several years. I have super long legs. I have a super short torso. I have scoliosis and have one rib that juts out a little more than the rest as a result. I have decent sized natural breasts (that can be hard to squeeze into some athletic tops and sports bras). I have skinny arms but some muscular definition (thanks for the triceps chaturanga!) and my legs and quads definitely have muscle tone. I get freckles on my face and sometimes my hair takes on a life of it’s own. But I love it all. Because everything adds up to be a super awesome, super perfect, happy version of me.
Here is a great photo of me that reveals my scoliosis curves from my last shoot with Ashlee Hamon photography:
Photo by Ashlee Hamon Photography, NESHNYC Peek-A-Boo Leggings and bralette, Juil Hawa Ballet Flats, Sacred Charms bracelet and chakra necklace
There’s some curves (not just from my hips) and I am TOTALLY 100% okay with that. In fact, I love that. Because I am not some cookie cutter person. I’m authentically me. I have some scoliosis, some arm muscle, some baby fat that just won’t go away, and you know what? It’s awesome. I love it. I embrace it.
And I dress for it.
When I put on ANY outfit from yoga pants to a little black dress, I want it to feel good. To be fashionable, to flaunt what I can flaunt (and help hide what needs to hide), and to feel comfortable the entire time I’m wearing it. I don’t want to be worried about breasts popping over a top, the way my stomach looks in a pair of jeans, or shoulders on a blouse that are just a LITTLE too tight, so don’t make any sudden movements.
I love clothes that make me feel free and feel me. And I want the same for all of my family member, friends, yoga students, readers, etc.
Because life is short. We deserve to look good AND feel good along the way.
Manifesta supports my belief that fashion should make us feel confident, feel sexy, and feel just plain good.
“We believe that every woman deserves to feel sexy.
We believe that every woman deserves to look amazing.
We believe that every woman deserves the chance to achieve greatness.
We believe that every woman deserves the opportunity to improve herself and her fitness.
We believe that the only valid judge of a woman is herself.”
That’s good stuff, yeah?
Manifesta is a new fitness brand dedicated to fit every woman, including the curvy woman. And you may think, skinny little Lora doesn’t have curves. You betcha I do! Plus, I’m strong for someone my size! (As Shakespeare’s Helena said “though she be but little, she is fierce.”)
Leave your mark crop ($79.00) (photo provided by Manifesta)
These capri pants were recommended for my short stature (they run slightly shorter than the other bottoms by Manifesta) and warm Florida climate. They were super comfortable, have the built-in pantie triangle (such a key factor in good workout leggings), and the higher waist was perfect for the fit of my body. (And perfect to wear on those days when maybe we’re PMS-ing or have indulged in one to many glasses of wine or cookies.) The lines slimmed and the higher waist further slimmed. Plus, I wore these babies to a hot hot hot yoga class and did not feel remotely uncomfortable. (READ: no chafing or suddenly clinging in awkward places when met with sweat! I am definitely glad that I was told to get these shorter capris, they JUST fit right. I’m pretty sure the longer ones would be hard for my shorter body. If you are taller or like to have your capris fit long, you may want to check out some of the other bottom styles.
Ladies first tank ($59.00) (photo provided by Manifesta)
Let me just say, I LOVE this top. Not just because it’s a beautiful color (but it is) but because it is the FIRST EVER fitness top with a built in bra that I could wear as-is (i.e. not adding an extra bra) and not having my breasts fly all over the place OR feeling like it was too tight or awkward in either the ribcage or stomach. I tried it in several fast vinyasa flow class and let me say, even going upside down in handstands, this top did not move around! There was no danger of flashing my fellow yogis as I peered out in handstand, nor was there any awkward shuffling in backbends as I try to keep the breasts in place (i.e. not having a Jayne Mansfield/Sophia Loren moment.) Two thumbs way up!
Here I am sharing Manifesta with one of my girlfriends before I taught a group yoga class! We actually all had a great pre-class discussion about Manifesta. One of my friends (not pictured) is pregnant and wanted to know about better activewear that my stretch and grow with her during her pregnancy, but not be useless afterwards (she is an Ironwoman!), another just wanted to know about the pretty color of my top, and several yogis inquired about the movement of the capris and flattering lines. I’d say those are good endorsements, wouldn’t you?
Manifesta comes in sizing for women size 2-24. Right now they sport three different style of tops (in many beautiful colors) and four different variety of bottoms. Plus, they have great sizing explanations, including a policy where if you lose weight and need new clothes you can participate in a size exchange program! How inspiring for those who drop a few pounds! (Not that I am saying you need to, it’s just nice to know that if you were to suddenly, say, have more muscle tone in your legs you could switch capri sizes, etc.)
What do you think? Do you love the idea of clothes for every women, embracing curves, muscle, and more? Have you heard of Manifesta before today? Do you feel comfortable and happy in your fitness clothes?
Lastly, remember that curvy is a shape. We all have different curves, different body “thangs” going on, different emotional hurdles we have jumped through. Never assume anything about another person just based on a quick glance. (I recently read a beautiful piece by a recovering anorexic who was criticized for her thin runner’s body type, going to show that curvy is a shape, thin is a shape and we all have our own crazy body stuff going on!) Love yourself, just as you are right now. Because you are perfect. And you deserve to look and feel good. It’s not shallow. It’s healthy. Because when you feel good, you are better able to be good to others. To let the real you shine out with love and compassion. And pass that love on to others, yeah?
P.S. If you try Manifesta out, please be sure to let me know! (And don’t forget to save 20% with “PASSLOVE” at checkout!!)