I came across this video today of dance choreographed by a friend from high school. We were on the dance company together. And the things that struck me about it were 1) wow, she is a great choreographer and I want to see more and 2) THEIR CLOTHES!
See, I used to be a dancer (at heart I still think I am), and I remember attending classes like this and spending my hours and days and weekends in studios just like this dancing my heart out, just like this, and wearing clothes just like this. The uniform here is simple: anything that allows you to move and feel comfortable doing so. That's all.
There are dance classes where the dress code is more stringent. Ballet, for example. And this is obviously a class and not a performance, but nonetheless, I find myself yearning for the days of cut-off sweats, high socks and baggy shirts being my uniform.
I jumped right in with this yoga business, I was still dancing in my high school dance company when I did my first teacher training program, and I remember showing up to teacher training everyday in something like what you see in the video above. I particularly remember a pair of cut off fruit of the loom men's sweatpants being a favorite at that time. I have another memory from that time and that is that I was saving up for my first pair of expensive brand name yoga pants.
That yoga teacher training changed everything for me. The biggest and most important shift that took place during that training was the realization that in yoga, it doesn't matter how a pose looks, but it does matter how a pose feels. Coming from years of 40 hours a week in a full body mirror in dance classes, this was revolutionary to me. It still is. However,
Interesting how the two disciplines taught me not to care how I looked in two very different ways.
I will speak up to say I am a proponent of quality yoga clothes and as a teacher, I do want my students in form fitting clothes so that I can better see what's going on. And I should also say honestly I'm going to Chicago tomorrow for a yoga event and I'm planning out my most attractive yoga outfits, many of which cost more than my cell phone bill.
So I guess what I'll say is that I love the way I feel (and look) in my yoga clothes now, but I'm sitting here in cut-off sweats and a baggy shirt and I LOVE the way I feel in that also. And don't these guys look happy to be moving, outfit aside? I'm hoping that we yogis can learn a thing or two about exercise clothing from these dancers. That is: wear what suits you, wear what allows you to move comfortably and freely, wear what gives you permission to enjoy inhabiting your body and don't worry about the rest.