Friday, October 28, 2016

yoginis and punks

Two things happened the other day that made me think critically of my wardrobe and of yoga. The first, was hearing a man complain about woman wearing yoga pants. The second, was stumbling on the Hard Times article, Aging Punk Loses Battle With Comfortable Clothes. This piece of intense journalism, showcases what it is like to have a particular sense of style and be drawn in by the evils of practicality.

The truth is, I am a post punk girl who wears yoga pants.

There seems to be controversy around woman wearing yoga pants in public. Honestly, I think the controversy comes in when a woman's body is showcased in a way that "overly stimulates" others or "visually offends" the sensitive sensibilities of the masses. There are many of us that wear yoga pants that are ignored. Mainly, because it appears we are wearing "work pants" or "leggings". Of course, there are always going to be a group of nay-sayers. I don't really care, so this is sort of a non sequitur.

The comfort of yoga pants got me thinking about my relationship with yoga. I've been doing yoga for a long time. My grandmother practiced under a Guruji  I was thereby shown a very basic practice by my mother. By the age of eight, my movements and thought process had grown by watching Lilias, Yoga and You on Public Broadcasting.


Much later (in my early twenties) I was in Los Angeles and witnessed the rebirth of, "Pilates". Seeing this was surreal to me. During high school, people would look at me as if I had grown another head when I mentioned yoga. But, all over Los Angeles woman were buying these strange rubber mats and yes, yoga pants.

Today, yoga (and the pants) are everywhere. I find it strangely suffocating. There is an obsession tied with the practice and a limited knowledge of yogic history. I mean, what would Tirumalai Krishnamacharya say about the practices of today? 

Without Krishnamacharya, a large proportion of western yoga practice wouldn't exist. The yoga that we understand today, is usually a version (or offshoot) of Krishnamacharya's Hatha yoga -- which he managed to snatch from obscurity and popularize.

This doesn't devalue yoga. I think what it does is show the tenuous flight of our human whims. The Vedic traditions hold for thousands of years culminating in a man born in 1888 who would indirectly be responsible for my favorite form of leg covering.

The wrap up? I'll listen to post punk while doing sun salutations, for the same reason I go out in public in yoga pants...I'm fucking punk.

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