While tossing on a regular sports bra and sweating it out in yoga or cycling is excellent for combatting stress short and long-term, it's often all too easy to fall back into stressed-out patterns once you're faced with the rest of the world again. But what if you could hang onto that some of that zen when you're faced with your to-do list, an overflowing email inbox, and daily dilemmas and annoyances? That's the idea behind the Vitali bra, which gives you gentle breathing reminders when it senses that you need to, well, chill the eff out.
Vancouver-based yoga instructor Cindy Gu came up with the idea to fend off her own stress, according to Mashable. The sports bra features a small removable device (called a "gem") that lays on the left side of your chest near your heart to measure something called heart rate variability (or HRV), which is an indicator of how stressed you are.
When the gem senses a change in pattern, it'll give you a vibrating nudge, and then you can follow along with vibrations to guide you back to a normal breathing pattern. According to Vitali's Kickstarter page, it's designed to help you breathe in sync with your heart's natural rhythm.
According to Mashable, you can also turn on the vibrations manually in the app to help guide your breath during meditation. So if the advice to "follow your breath" or "focus on your breathing" isn't all that helpful to you, this feature could help take your meditation skills to the next level.
The app also helps keep track of your stress levels and progress over time, and sets personalized goals for you. The idea is that the more you wear it and practice getting a handle on your stress, the better you'll be at responding to less-than-ideal situations on your own over time.
One of my personal favorite features, though? Vitali also helps improve your posture by giving you a buzz when you start slouching (which, for me, is a lot). After all, sitting up straight with your chest open is better for breathing, too.
Vitali's Kickstarter is up and running now, and it has a goal of reaching $50,000 by Tuesday, May 16 (it's at just over $18,000 as of April 12). If you want to be one of the first to try the bra (it comes in black and white), pledge $129 — estimated delivery isn't until February 2018, but it sounds like it's worth the wait. It's scheduled to hit the market officially in May 2018, and it'll retail for $249.
Suddenly, I'm a little disappointed that my sports bra doesn't do anything cool, so I just may need to back this stress-busting tech innovation (and remember to do regular old deep breathing until 2018).