Monday, March 1, 2010

Fashion Forward, Yoga Backward?

OK. I admit it. I have a yoga fashion addiction.

It started out innocently enough. I had enrolled in a teacher training course and was required to practice at least six times a week. So my two pair of ratty sweat pants and old T-shirt collection weren't going to cut it. Although I hated to spend money on clothes to sweat in, I headed to Old Navy and picked up the cheapest pants and shirts I could find.

Now, nearly five years later, it's a different story. I spend more money on yoga pants than I do on jeans. I have so many yoga tops, I can wear a new one every day for two weeks without having to do a load of laundry. I get excited when Lululemon or Zobha announces a new collection, and even more excited when something I like goes on sale.

For years, I told myself it was a good thing—well worth the expense as long as these clothes inspired me to unroll my mat. But focusing on the external parts of the practice is really just a distraction from the internal awareness I should have been working to cultivate. Yoga fashion is kind of an oxymoron when it hinders inner peace. And sitting in Lotus Pose dreaming of your next big splurge isn't exactly the definition of aparigraha (non-grasping).

I love my yoga clothes because I drop into a yoga mindset as soon as I put them on, but is it really helping my practice? Probably not. And so, I must seek balance around my tendency to be a yoga fashionista . . . but I'm afraid I will never be able to pass up a great deal!

(BTW, the lovely shirt at the beginning of this post can be found at and it's my favorite shirt right now!)