This week has been unexpectedly crazy and when I met with my team for a work session yesterday my mind was all over the place.
I knew I’d be really scattered and unproductive unless I did something to settle myself down, so I sat down to meditate. (Admittedly, meditating would be weird in most any work environment, but it’s perfectly ok in my particular line of business.
When I meditate, my point of focus is my breathing, but yesterday I was having a real challenge focusing on my breathing. My mind just kept wandering. And wandering. And wandering.
After some time, maybe 10 minutes or so, I realized that I wasn’t breathing well. The depth of my breaths was poor.
And you’re either going to laugh out loud or nod your head in understanding when I tell you why. I wasn’t taking deep breaths because my body sensed that if I did, if I fully expanded my belly with my inhales, the waistband of my yoga pants was going to roll down a bit on the right side and it would feel weird.
Isn’t that crazy?
Isn’t it something how the clothes we wear affect our yoga practice?
Have you noticed if any particular articles of clothing inhibit your practice?
Do you abbreviate your movement when the neck of your shirt gapes open in Cat/Cow?
Do you come out of Down Dog early because your shirt slides up and shows your belly?
Do try to use your shirt to cover your bum because you’re worried your yoga pants might be a little transparent?
Do you, like I did, unconsciously constrain your breathing (or your movement) so that your waistband will stay put?
Don’t give your clothing the power to make decisions about your practice (thank you, Anne Lamott*). Figure out what’s working and what’s not so you can find some effective yoga clothes that support your practice, your awareness, and nurture your growth.
Maybe that means tucking in your shirt - who cares if it looks a little dorky?
Maybe that means wearing a fitted shirt - who cares if it shows the shape of your belly?
Or maybe it means deciding that it doesn’t matter if your belly shows in Down Dog. After all, everyone has a belly. What’s the big deal?
The point is, do what you need to do to get the most out of your practice. No one’s going to judge you. At least no one at The Yoga Room.
Everyone here is kind and accepting. And even if there was a person who’s not kind and accepting, I can pretty much guarantee you that they’ll be so focused on their own practice (and possibly their own clothes) that they’re probably not even going to notice what you’re doing. Love you so much! Zelinda
P.S. Do you know of Anne Lamott? I read this great thing she wrote on Facebook in 2013 and it stuck with me. “... The world is too hard as it is, without letting your pants have an opinion on how you are doing. I struggle with enough self-esteem issues without letting my jeans get in on the act.” Genius. Love it. You can read it in full here if you’d like.