If you’re a yoga practitioner, you’d know that the downward facing dog posture or adho mukha svanasana is said to energise the body and strengthen the core. That’s perhaps why, it forms the logo of Bangalore-based startup, Proyog, which specialises in garments designed specifically for the practice. ‘‘What is currently available is sportswear doubling up as yoga wear. They’re made from synthetic fabrics that compress the body. Anything that is unnatural goes against the principles of yoga,” begins Malika Baruah, product head, who started the label along with her husband Dev Banerjee, and long-time friends Priyanktha Iyengar (design head) and Sanjay Nayak (CEO).
The garments are crafted from the two most breathable, natural fabrics — cotton and modal, which is made from the bark of beech trees. They also strictly use organic textiles sourced from organic mills in Maharashtra, which are certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).
While lycra forms part of their products, they are created in such a way that it doesn’t have any contact with the skin of the wearer. “We wrap the lycra with cotton and then knit it, ensuring it does not touch the skin. It’s a material we’ve developed, called Hyperbreath and we’re in the process of having it copyrighted,” explains Iyengar.
About two years of research, with inputs from practitioners from across the globe, has gone into coming up with the brand. They have also looked into ancient Indian history to see what our forefathers wore for the discipline. “We found that traditional Indian wear like the dhoti and katori blouse, are the best for the practice,” shares Baruah. “So we’ve incorporated the two styles but interpreted them in a contemporary way,” she adds. And not surprisingly, the dhoti pants and shorts and katori tank top are the three hottest selling products, since their launch on June 21, the International Day of Yoga. The colours used are subdued and calming, not meant to distract but enhance the experience, so expect shades like balsam green, sand and muted beetroot and dull mustard. With eight styles including pants, shorts, tops and headbands, currently available, they plan to introduce six more by the end of August.
At present, Proyog retails out of its own website, apart from Jabong.com. And with 80 per cent of their sales coming from outside India, they have also started selling out of the US Amazon Exclusives e-store. By the end of the year, they plan to set up their flagship store in Mysore, considered the yoga capital.
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