There are two types of yogis: those who succumb to the stereotypical gotta-have-the-perfect-yoga-gear-wear-and-rear and those who don’t. I fall into the latter category. It’s not that I have anything against the mostly white, female, upper-middle class, lululemon-wearing folks who make up the majority of yoga classes I’ve been to, it’s just that I refuse to be one of them.
Let me explain. Yoga to me is like any other workout I do (yes, I know it opens your mind and your soul like nothing else, but for now, let’s stick to the physical aspect). It offers a host of bodily benefits, just like running, cycling or swimming. And in any one of those activities, I am there to work. Not to look good. For that reason, I don’t wear running skirts (even though girlfriends have told me how delightful the breeze can be on our lady parts). I don’t have matchy biking gear — my bike, helmet, jersey, shorts and socks are all different colors (I’m doing well if they’re clean). And I don’t ever show up to a race with makeup on. Doing any — or all — of those things would, in my mind, catapult me from the category of athlete to poser.
Which brings me to yoga pants. Even though yoga pants can be extremely flattering (I do own a pair that were given to me as a gift) and Tim Gunn instructs us to “subscribe to silhouette, proportion and fit” when choosing our workout apparel, I have boycotted them.
For starters, they’re too expensive. If I’m going to dish out $98 for something, it’s going to be that super-cute little sundress I’ve been eying, not a pair of pants for hot yoga that will wind up stuck to my dripping legs after 10 minutes and become a huge stink-bomb in my laundry room for the next 24 hours. I always opt for shorts (yes, I know that makes tree pose and crow pose especially challenging, but such is the life of a sweaty, laundry-challenged yogi).
Secondly, if I were to wear yoga pants, I would feel ridiculous — like I’ve somehow succumbed to the yoga cult of having to dress or look a certain way in order to practice. I try to avoid that stereotype as much as possible because it’s just not true. As a matter of fact, I’m working with my yoga studio right now to expand classes outside the studio walls and bring them to local schools, shelters and public venues. I’m a huge fan of Yoga to the People (“There will be no correct clothes“), and if I lived in New York City, that would be my studio of choice.
I know some people who are obsessed with their chic yoga attire and swear by the comfort and shape that these $100 pants bring to their booty, but I will never be the one toting around a logo-embossed yoga bag, wearing fancy gear and designer clothes. Instead, you can find me on my $20 Target mat with black Champion shorts and a pink boot camp tank top.
Photo: Creative Commons