Be true to yourself with yoga clothes (yes, really!)
What have leggings with flamingos printed on them, or indeed, any other kind of yoga clothes, got to do with yoga? After all, funky yoga leggings scream, ‘Look at ME!’ and yoga is about leaving the ego-self behind. It’s about getting over and beyond our selves (small ‘s’) in order to connect with something bigger (the Self – capital ‘S’), something which unites us all. So why get bogged down with asserting your individualism with the clothes you wear when you come to your mat?
It’s a topic we’ve discussed over many a chai latte here at Blossom Yoga Wear HQ and in the end, we believe it comes down to this: being true to yourself. Because when you are true to yourself, you are in flow - you’re not swimming upstream, you’re exactly where you’re meant to be – you are in harmony with the universe, playing your part in ‘something bigger’.
When we practice yoga, we practice being true to ourselves. Speaking purely in terms of asana, the physical aspect of yoga, we learn to honour the limitations of our bodies, whilst simultaneously reaching beyond the limitations of our minds. So no, we might not do the full headstand today, just a neat little tripod headstand with knees resting on elbows http://www.pocketyoga.com/pose/headstand_tripod_knees_on_elbows, because our shoulders still ache from the day before. But when we’re sitting in Dandasana https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/staff-pose, just kind of hanging out? Yeah, maybe we can put in a bit more effort – press the palms of the hands a little more firmly into the floor and lift a little higher through the crown of the head.
In short, yoga asanas teach us to listen to what our bodies need in order to find our fullest – most effective and most appropriate – expression of a posture.
Taking it off the mat…
How many times have you heard your yoga teacher say ‘Listen to your body – you know it better than I do”? Plenty of times, no doubt – and that’s because you do! We all do. We also know what we need to be able to achieve the fullest expression of ourselves off the mat – we all possess this internal wisdom.
That’s one of the central teachings of yoga; If we tune into what we truly need (an art we can master through our physical practice), and look beyond the judgements of others and ourselves - the mental patterns we’ve formed over the years - we can learn to live in accordance with our dharma, and when we do this, everything flows, everything feels right.
YOU and YOUR yoga clothes!
Yoga clothes are just one of many ways of being true to yourself – of shaking off both your own and other people’s judgements, of doing something because it feels right for YOU and no-one else, and of expressing yourself with confidence.
So wear the funky yoga leggings if they feel good, however bright or shiny or see-through! Flaunt your slogan top; wear your yogi status with pride. Don’t let others, or that internal critic, dictate how you present yourself! Celebrate your form – whatever it may be.
Do the right thing
BKS Iyengar http://bksiyengar.com/, considered to have been one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world, controversially swapped his dhoti (a piece of fabric wrapped around the legs and waist, which was traditionally worn for religious practices, by men in the Indian subcontinent) for shorts, much to the astonishment of his peers. Now, we see men and women wearing them in yoga classes across the world. He wasn’t saying look at me; he was saying, ‘This works for me’.
Who knows, if enough people honour their own truth, maybe one day, unicorn leggings will be standard yoga attire, too!