In Vancouver, we take our yoga seriously. The numerous yoga classes offered around the city are almost always filled to the brim, and the many fit people walking our streets, with yoga mats in tow, prove it. But if you’re like me, discovering my inner yogi didn’t come overnight, nor did it look like the gorgeous flexible yoga buffs we see in a Lululemon ad. It came with a few stumbles, wobbles and the occasional feelings of looking completely silly. That’s why it was so refreshing to come across Vancouver-based yoga apparel and lifestyle brand Inner Fire. With comfortable cotton shirts sporting playful sayings like “I’m Just Here for the Savasana” or “Be a Warrior Not a Worrier”, owner and designer Leah Emmott wanted to create a line that would make people smile, laugh and feel inspired. Now yoga students as far as in Florida have been seen sporting Inner Fire pieces, so I’d say her mandate is definitely catching on.
A yoga teacher herself, Leah began with making heart-shaped meditation pillows and yoga-mat bags for a small number of her family and friends. They became such a hit she began experimenting with screen-printing on shirts in her living room, all containing messages aimed at taking away the seriousness that often plagues yoga. Inspired by the growing attention to her pieces from yoga students and social media, she officially launched Inner Fire, and now her yoga wear can be purchased online, at various yoga studios, and through the retail co-op Giving Gifts and Company (4570 Main Street).
The shirts in Inner Fire’s “Laughing Yoga” collection have become real conversation starters, and are still Leah’s best sellers. But now Inner Fire has expanded to include leggings and infinity scarves that have vibrant West Coast-themed prints Leah designs herself before sending them to be manufactured in East Vancouver. Her screen-printed shirts however, are still done by her own hands, so no shirt is exactly the same. If supporting local design wasn’t already incentive enough to check out Inner Fire, then perhaps knowing that partial proceeds from every Inner Fire purchase goes towards The School Fund, helping give students in the developing world an education. Inner Fire’s name was derived from the idea of igniting the inner fire that Leah says exists in all of us. Sometimes we can do it on our own, other times we need that extra helping hand, which in this case, can simply start from what we wear.
You can view and purchase all of Inner Fire’s collection online at myinnerfire.com.