YogaAndBackCare - Support Bras

Support Bras

72% of women report breast discomfort while exercising according to an article in REPs Journal by Dr Joanna Scurr who heads the Research Group in Breast Health, which studies breast biomechanics.

Incredibly breasts can move as much as 14 cms while exercising, although the distance moved is related to the size of your breasts, so if you have small breasts they will move less.

The breasts are made up of Cooper's ligaments, these are like elastic bands and if over-stretched they can't recover.

So it really pays to give your breasts proper support.

If you are having upper back pain linked to working at computers, or bending over patients, or teaching small children, the weight of your breasts could be contributing to the pain. Wearing a compression sports bra may help as it brings the breasts closer to the chest, so the lever arm of the weight of the breast is reduced and therefore there is less load on the upper back Do try wearing a compression sports bra if you are blessed with generous breasts and you are constantly needing to lean forward in your work place. It may help.

It all depends on the type of yoga you are practising. If there is a lot of movement, as in Ashtanga yoga or if you jump into your posture ( which used to be normal practise in an Iyengar Hatha Yoga session) you will be placing significant strain on your breasts and it might be worth looking at an encapsulation bra.

Encapsulation bras support and shape each breast independently. You could also use these bras for running or an aerobic session.

If your yoga class is very gentle and you are allowed to move slowly into each posture, it might be worth looking at a compression bra. These simply press the breasts against the chest.

There are combination bras too, mixing compression with encapsulation. These are suitable for most types of exercise.

You do need to be measured regularly for your breast size because breast size and shape alters throughout a woman's life.

If you are going to mail order a sports bra, when you try it on you need to check that the underband feels firm and level. It shouldn't ride up your back. If you try and pull it away from your body there should only be an inch or two's give.

The cups need to contain the whole of your breast and there should be no creases or cleavage on show. If the fabric wrinkles then the cups are too big. if the breasts feel squashed the cups are too small.

The shoulder straps need to be adjustable and they need to fit securely. If they dig in, you need to be able to open them more and if they fall off, you need to be able to tighten them. Look for strap adjustments that are padded and non-slip.

If there is a hook and eye catch at the back it too should be padded so it does not rub on the spine when you are doing postures on the floor.

Look for a lining that is seam free so there should be no chaffing on the breast or nipples.

If you are doing Hot Yoga, look out for the bras made from breathable fabrics. If you can find one that will wick your sweat away from your body that will make you feel more comfortable.

Hope these pointers will help. Most women when questioned had simply never thought about buying a sports bra but if you are going to do a lot of yoga and I hope you are, it's worth spoiling yourself and your Cooper's ligaments!