What is it that you wear to your practice?
I’ve never been one to think too much about what I wear whilst on the mat or working out (thank goodness for the simplicity and ease of Yoga Leggs!), but what I have learned is that the body needs the freedom to explore the movement of whatever asana you may be experiencing. And if the clothes you’re wearing don’t support that, then the only thing you’ll be experiencing is the constant annoyance of cloth on skin!
I remember my very first yoga class at the age of 17, not knowing what on earth to expect or what to wear so wearing my gym kit of 3/4 length leggings and t-shirt. My intro to downdog was marred by the constant pulling up of my leggings so the crack of my bum wasn’t showing (although I do remember the absolute agony of my calf muscles, so maybe it wasn’t a bad thing to start with)!
Joggers too loose that had to be pulled up constantly, wearing a sports bra that nearly broke a rib during a twist and headbands that tried to work they’re way off my head leaving my eyeballs touching my ears and alas headache galore, have taught me just how important the right clothing is to a fully focused practice. And none moreso than during meditation……
Meditation is giving the mind time to calm down, to learn to settle and become aware of the now. It’s also a time for the body to digest energy, especially if you’ve come into it straight after a yoga practice. The body is one big circuit that needs space to move and flow, create and heal. On one particular meditation, I sat down ready to let go (long day). But after 5 minutes, my mind started to get agitated and my body wanted to squirm and move. WHAT’S GOING ON?! This wasn’t a cultivated space of calmness… And then I realised, the leggings I was wearing were seriously digging into my lower abdomen and restricting my energy flow. My skin, body and chakras couldn’t breath, therefore creating restriction in my actual breathing and therefore my mind (yes those two legged energy killers were whipped off quicker than you could say chakra!). And this was how my body felt when I was wearing the more “fashionable” and less “supportive” attire during my practice. I was focusing so much on holding my belly in (talk about kill a practice with self judgement), nothing else saw a look in. What happened to the yoga man???
I’ve been around the yoga studio a few times in my life with regard to finding the right kind of yoga clothes (if we could do naked yoga everywhere, the world would be a better place?…… Right?) and I’ve learned, clothes maketh the yogi. If you feel restricted, you will become restricted and agitated and not in the right space to even contemplate a healthy yoga practice.
The next time you step on the mat, start your practice by feeling your skin and enquire as to whether the clothes you have on your back can complement a positive and present yoga practice.
If not, then the Goddess’s of Essex created Yoga Leggs…