Lisa WehbÉ Holistic Yoga
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What Should I wear to Yoga?
August 22, 2023 The yoga industry is a multi billion dollar one which for the most part, presents a polished, slender, usually white woman, in an airy space, with perfectly groomed hair taking part in some kind of extreme stretch. It is this image which often sadly forms in the collective consciousness of your average people looking to join a Yoga class for whatever their reasons . This image is shaped in part by the media and that huge yoga industry I just mentioned, not to speak of our own continued interaction with it. Just one of the ways they sell is by showing us supposedly "aspirational" pictures, it hits us in our weakest spots (perfectionism anyone) and maybe we are just so conditioned by this model perfect image on almost everything we consume, we accept it without question? It's merged with our subconscious now perhaps? Maybe some of us even strive to recreate it ourselves in varying degrees over on Instagram. Like all things in this modern world, nuance is layered and the elephants in the room are the perpetuation of fat phobia, misogyny, agism, ableism and racial exclusion at play in the continuation of this ideation, if we want to really unpick the threads, that is.
It harms us because it hides the truth of Yoga. In Yoga, we are seeking to sever the ego and align with higher consciousness, yoga pants might look nice but they are not going to help us work on the practice of vijnana (higher self awareness). In fact our obsession with having more stuff and appearing a certain way might actively hinder us. It might all tie in with the ways in which we relate to our physical bodies, setting up negative spirals where we speak to ourselves in ways we wouldn't talk to anyone else and negatively impacts our mental health if we feel we don't live up to this arbitrary standard. It can make Yoga spaces feel inaccessible to people who cannot afford to buy these things. It is interesting to me how we can be both harmed by this and feed the beast ourselves at the same time. It's like the collision of capitalism, consumerism and white centric beauty standards and they shouldn't have anything to do with Yoga. I think it takes the ability to step outside our own realm of experience to be able to see the full scope of it. One of the reasons I wanted to write this particular blog post is because I know that what you wear to Yoga is something people worry about before they come to class with me. I teach Yoga classes which welcome beginners and I oftentimes receive emails asking what to wear.
Here's a helpful check list to help you decide what to wear to class...
Can you move easily in it?
Is it comfortable?
Is it free of things that might be uncomfortable if you were to lie down?
Is it safe to move in (ie-it wouldn't trip you up)?
Does it cover your private parts?
Are you going to be cool enough in it?
If you answered yes to those questions and you personally feel good in it, it most likely is suitable attire for Yoga class!
You can wear expensive lycra Yoga pants if you love them and they make you feel great but please know that they are not a necessity. Yoga is a very old practice, it pre dates the fitness fashion industry by a few thousand years at least! Traditionally, Yogis wore and still do wear to this day loose cotton clothing and they practiced on woven fabric mats.
We don't have to chuck our collections of high street yoga wear ( I own this stuff too) in the bin to decompose slowly releasing synthetic micro plastics into the environment so we can replace them with something else but we can just hold in our consciousness the possibility that anything appropriate can be yoga wear! Next time we're on the look out for something to wear to Yoga we might not be so confined. And I can promise you that I will never try to sign you up for a Yoga pants pyramid scheme because believe it or not that does exist and my Instagram inbox knows it too well!
What do you think about this blog post?
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