When You’re a Yoga Teacher, Stretchy Pants Are Business Casual

Confession: I don’t remember the last time I wore jeans.

Most of my days are spent in the studio from morning until well into the afternoon, either teaching, assisting, taking, or working the front desk. Days spent out of the studio are my days off, and those usually consist of hikes or other outdoor activities. Because of my lifestyle, I have the ultimate luxury- I never have to wear real pants.

11016814_808465289260848_1717495610298050592_n

Here’s what I love about this: my clothing budget is completely directed towards the clothes that I feel the most comfortable in. Whenever I have a formal occasion to attend  (read: prom or ball), I have to step outside my comfort zone, and often end up feeling like someone other than myself. And clearly, I don’t know how to conduct myself in formal apparel.

Most of the time, however, I feel the most me in my leggings and muscle tees with yogi sayings on them. I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

Pants

If I’m wearing yoga pants, they’re probably lululemon, because I’ve found their quality to be unparalleled, and their twos fit me really well. I’ve had the same pair of black wunder unders for years, and they haven’t lost their shape or faded at all.

I love that they offer a variety of colors and styles, so you can swing toward more fun prints, or keep things practical with a neutral tone.

LW6F47S_018702_2
lululemon.com

My favorite pants made by them right now, however,  are ones I found on the sale rack. The inner essence crops are super soft and comfy, and fit perfectly. I love the thick waistband at the top, and the pocket is great for holding your wallet or phone while you’re out and about.

I love them so much, in fact, that I am wearing them as I type this and shamelessly own two pairs in different colors. I’m notoriously difficult to shop with, and am very judicious with my spending on clothes, but these have become everyday staples that I have no regrets about.

11041828_10205489636178661_892710155977495141_nI also own a few pairs from my friends down at ivivva, which offer a wide selection of bright, fun colors for younger girls. Ivivva has some great choices if you sometimes fin
d lululemon’s sizes a bit too big, or are looking for louder prints. I also own a pair of Teeki pants that I got at YROBA this past year, which feature my favorite animal, and are made of recycled plastic water bottles!

I clearly own quite a few pairs of yoga pants, but that’s because they’re what I live in! A good pair of jeans can run you upwards of 60-100 dollars depending on the brand, which can be on pair with quality yoga pants. However, stores like TJ Maxx or Ross carry very affordable options for those not lucky enough to be able to direct their funds towards active ware.

Tops

I practice almost exclusively at a heated studio, or outside in the sunshine, so I usually wear tanks or muscle tees to keep cool. For specifically sweat-proof and scent-resistant material, I look to lululemon again, from whom I own a handful of tops.

I have two 105 F Singlet tanks, one in blue from YROBA 2014, and one in grey from YROBA 2015. These are great for sweaty practices, and are my go-to options. I also have a Power Y Tank and a Wild Tank, both of which I love, and are easy to just throw on and go as they have built in support.

yoginiAt Just Be, we also carry Spiritual Gangster apparel, and I absolutely LOVE the way their muscle tees fit. I have two muscle tees and a racerback from them, and wish I could wear them every day. While they aren’t designed to be sweat resistant, they’ll definitely take you through your practice if you don’t get too heated.

My two muscle tees are white and black. One says “YOGINI”, and the other says “Believe in Miracles”. My racerback is green and has the Spiritual Gangster logo on it.

Bras

IMG_1988My favorite sports bras, hands down, are from lululemon. I have two Free to Be bras (one solid black, the other black and white stripes with pink straps), and one Free to Be * Wild bra in solid white. They fit very well and are extremely versatile, carrying me from practice, to work, and beyond.

I also have two bras I got for twelve dollars each at TJ Maxx by New Balance that are solid grey and very good. The lululemon bras can run you around forty dollars or more (which I can justify because I don’t even own any real bras anymore), so finding more affordable options is definitely possible. I also have a bralette from American Eagle that isn’t very supportive, but very cute.

Outerwear

I’m always cold, so having warm outwear is a necessity. I have three Scuba Hoodies that I’m constantly wearing during the fall/winter, because they’re soft, comfortable, and have a large hood that actually offers protection against the rain and wind. I also have a sweatshirt by Spiritual Gangster that’s light enough for spring and summer mornings without being too much. I also got an army green military jacket from Athleta that was a great deal and is a bit less outwardly “sporty”, making it more appropriate for some situations. It also has a retractable hood and tons of pockets, making it great for travel and hiking.

Swimwear

1235882_631234300317282_8062998701662317775_nConfession: I only own one swim suit. It’s a two piece from Athleta, and it fits extremely well. Their suits are designed for water sports, so I don’t have to worry about anything slipping or sliding at the beach or pool. They also have a no-questions-asked return policy- you can wear the suit in the water and still return it!

Shoes

I’m barefoot most of the time, but if I happen to be in a place that frowns on this, I’ll probably be in Toms (my sunglasses are also made by them: with every purchase, they donate either prescription glasses or eyesight surgery to someone in need!), because they’re comfy and easy to throw on. I also have a pair of children’s ballet flats I bought the day of prom, because they’re cheaper than real shoes, and if my feet are small enough, why not? For other activities, I like Nike Frees, which seem to be the basic active shoe of choice right now. I’ve worn my black ones so much they’ve gotten a hole in the side!

Accessories

As a general rule, I think accessorizing is a lot of work for something I’ll probably end up taking off because it’s getting in my way. However, there are a few things I wear regularly that are worth mentioning. I have a pair of sapphire earrings that were my grandmothers, which I wear every day. Interestingly enough, most metals irritate my ears to the point of bleeding, yet these never have. I had my nose pierced for awhile, but ended up taking it out. It was an opal stud, which may be the reason it didn’t want to stay (you’re not supposed to wear opals if they’re not your birthstone, according to popular legend).

I wore a Fitbit Charge for about a year because I liked the watch/timer function, and it pushed me to prioritize sleep, something I have difficulty with. Recently it broke, though, and I don’t feel the need to replace it. It was nice to help build habits, but not a necessity. Before I had that, I had a twelve dollar watch from Target, which works just as well for what it’s made for.

My favorite accessory is a gift from my Just Be family- a necklace with the JBY logo on it.

A Closing Note on Yoga Clothes

I wrote this post because I literally live my life in “yoga clothes”. It’s just my lifestyle at this point- to be honest, I don’t remember the last time I bought “normal” apparel (my prom dress?). Because of this, and the fact that I have a job of my own that offers me some amount of spending money, I’m able to buy clothing from stores like lululemon or Athleta. I work a fair amount, and prioritize my money on buying necessities such as food, books, and school/art supplies, but will allot some of my funds to more “fun” purchases like a pair of yoga pants with a fun print or a colorful sports bra. I’ve also received many of the pieces mentioned as gifts or in exchange for teaching.

I just want to take a moment to emphasize that you don’t need a certain brand, pair of pants, or personal style to practice or enjoy yoga. I’ve never had a student walk into my class and thought, “They shouldn’t be wearing that.” or “They clearly aren’t a real yogi.”  because they’re not dressed in head-to-toe lululemon. Yoga transcends any concept of materialism or fashion, and you can be a yogi if you practice alone in your room in an old T-shirt and some middle school PE shorts if that’s what you feel comfortable in.

Here’s what men’s traditional yoga attire looks like:

guruji-250x301

You’re probably not going to walk into a yoga studio and see anyone wearing a loin cloth, but you get the point. Yoga is open to interpretation and personal expression. If you want to have some fun and buy some “cute” yoga clothes, go ahead. You’re a real yogi. If you don’t have the funds to do so, or simply don’t want to, go ahead. You’re a real yogi. If you didn’t even read this post because nothing about clothing appeals to you, you do you. You’re a real yogi.

Being a yogi doesn’t come with a uniform. It boils down to dressing in a way that makes you able to not only practice comfortably, but feel comfortable in expressing yourself for who you are.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s