Top Photo Group a woman doing Yoga

Bandeau It Up

“And we care about this why?” is the question of some random woman on the New York Times Facebook page alongside a photo of Angelina Jolie wearing Atelier Versace on the Oscars red carpet Sunday evening.

I like to think I have the answer: the reason we care is because fashion is art. Design is art. What does this have to do with yoga, you ask? Not much, technically, though there is some connection, and I am going to draw it. Quite possibly, the tie is loose, but nonetheless, the relationship does exist in my yogic world.

When you think yoga, you rarely think fashion. Honestly, the complete opposite of fashion pops up in my brain. Seeing women walking around in yoga pants at the grocery store, or wherever, when it seems mostly obvious that they haven’t come right from the studio, that they’ve just been kickin’ it in their Lululemons all day long, it evokes a reaction in me. We’re all guilty of it, it’s fine, but you know you have a choice in the morning, and, sometimes, you just choose those pants when you shouldn’t. We all know the woman who wears her yoga pants so much that when she puts on a pair of jeans instead, her young children are so elated that they continuously comment how much they like her “new” clothes. But back to my original point, typically, two thoughts go through my mind when I see this woman in stretchy pants. First, I bet we’d get along well—you must appreciate what I appreciate about life. Second, I feel a little turned off. Not in a big way, but all the same. Of course it doesn’t matter. Yoga clothes are not important in the grand scheme of the practice, mentioning it now is not about judgment, it’s something else altogether, but the moral of the story is: take off the yoga pants, woman.

Months after I declared myself a Core Power Yoga Grant Street studio loyalist (there are about eight Core Power studios in Denver, so there is plenty of choice—I have five within ten minutes of my house and could take class at a different Core Power at any time), someone had written on the web site that they felt like all anyone cared about there was their clothes, that the studio was a giant fashion show with little heart or spirituality. I, personally, don’t agree, obviously. Simply put, who cares what you’re wearing in yoga? As long as it wicks the sweat away that’s all that matters. The people I take yoga with on a daily basis are quite serious about it, which means they need to be comfortable and have moveable clothes, which, in turn, also means they’re probably spending some money on the good stuff. And the good stuff is bound to look somewhat trendy, isn’t it? Again, who cares? Was it really worth a public forum post? Egh, sure, fine. The woman probably never returned. It’s not the place for her. No harm, no foul.

What I found tonight in class, with it being the Academy Awards (a major fashion evening) and Denver Fashion Weekend and New York Fashion Week and spring runway season, clothes were on the forefront of my mind. Much because one of the reasons that I have a six-day a week yoga habit is because I want to look hot when I put clothing on, when I wear a glamorous dress to some event, when I slip into my favorite jeans and a rock and roll t-shirt, or when I bare my shoulders in a bustier mini jumpsuit. Yep, you heard me right: I do yoga so that my garments fit well. And, even though I next to never think about fashion in the sixty-minutes that I spend on the mat, I did tonight. The woman to my immediate right was wearing the most stunning yoga outfit. When I say outfit, I don’t mean matchy matchy. She was wearing an ensemble of two pieces that fit eloquently together. She wore a dark green and brown, striped bandeau and flare-legged pants. Her short, wild, curly dark hair was swept back into a loose braid with wisps falling out everywhere. So, clearly, the whole picture was pretty. More importantly, her practice was quite lovely (I felt a particular kinship in that she and I moved together to similar long inhales and exhales). The point is, her fashion sense in the yoga studio tonight…yeah, she brought it. And she brought it just right. GiGi would be proud.

My assessment: girl, I like yo’ style. Who said yoga and fashion don’t go together? Oh, yes, I remember now, that was me. I may have to drop that particular judgment and show my practicing wardrobe the same respect that I give my civvies.

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