I’m a bit reluctant to admit this, but lately I’ve had insecurity about what I wear to yoga class.
Since the birth of my beautiful daughter a little more than two years ago, my penchant for style has translated into building my little girl’s wardrobe through 40% off sales at Old Navy or scooping up low-priced basics from Joe Fresh.
Fact is, if there’s no coupon to hand over or no grocery cart to toss it in, chances are I haven’t bought it for her or myself. This means my yoga clothes are now pretty well…worn out.
While many of my yoga contemporaries are showing up to class in the latest looks from brands such as Tonic and Karma, I now sport the same old black tank top and capris each and every time. Of course, the enlightened part of me is fully aware that what I have on for yoga is largely irrelevant to the quality of my practice, but I seem to have fleeting moments of doubt when I find myself surrounded by such fashionable yoginis.
I’m often amazed at how incredibly beautiful (and functional) today’s yoga clothes are: There’s patterned yoga wear for new-age hippy types (think Prana), there’s sleek gear for the athletically inclined (hello Manduka and Lululemon) and there’s even threads for serious sartorialists:(Toyoga comes to mind).
Things have come a long way from when I started practicing yoga in the late 90s. Back then, folks would show up to class in a pair of gym shorts or a basic tank top. It was simple, pared down and definitely not pretentious.
Not so anymore, it seems. The catwalk has engulfed the mat walk. This may not be a bad thing, but is all of this yoga lifestyle clothing really necessary? Are we potentially trivializing the inner beauty of yoga with a new emphasis on outer beauty? Simply put, my answers to both questions are no.
Because judging the appearance of others (or ourselves) for any reason is not just very yogic.
I need to stop feeling envious that I’m not as stylish as some of my peers. I must resist the urge to judge others and make hasty assumptions about their values. It’s like a mirror that gets turned right back on me. That’s the difference between being Self-conscious or self Consciousness.
Those who can afford the stylish duds should not be viewed as anything greater or less than anyone else. Further, if the ultimate goal of yoga is union of body, mind and soul, I say wear whatever helps you feel inspired along the way. Get dressed in Spring 2013 or Fall 2003. It doesn’t really matter. Just show up on the mat and keep breathing.
So I’m stopping the comparison game right now.
What you wear will never be as significant as who you are. That’s the best yoga style there is.
Lorena Dexter Chaichian is a freelance writer in Vancouver. Follow her on Twitter
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