The kind, svelte, gorgeous, lycra/cotton enveloped yoga instructor turned her gaze to me for just a moment as she spoke, benevolent and well-meaning auras emanating:
"...and you know, we are going to have a trunk show here this weekend..."
For all my years of fashion love and clothing courage, I have organically embraced a slouchy anti-yoganista look when it comes to my garb for yoga class attendance. And by organic I don't mean clover fed, happy sheep or wholesome cotton products; I use the word as in the cause n effected by and by...old duds I first donned for class back then became older and more faded over the years and washings, rendering my look ever more humble, ever more honest in its non-enhancement.
Dusky, toasty rooms in which I begrudgingly accept mirrors for posture checks only are for me the spaces in which for once I can exist for a sublime and peaceful hour 1) without dressing for the occasion 2) without caring the first miniscule iota as to what I am wearing or wondering: how do I look?
My faded, tissue-soft t-shirts are clingy enough only the extent that, when inverted, the fabric does not slide up - or down, as it were - to expose my rather ordinary, rather slender torso. The t-shirts have unfashionable images on them, sporting nothing Zennish or ohm-based or psychedelically tie-dyed. My yoga pants skim my hips and legs, but just barely so - for I know that otherwise I would be too easily caught up analyzing in those wicked mirrors which ounce I could stand to lose, which centimeter I could stand to tighten up, so as to better compare with the devout yoganistas around me, fashion conscious practioners whose lotus blossom tattoos, nose rings, strategically tweaked n pulled braids, headbands, water bottles, wet-soaked overmats, and jewelry exist as total looks, there to broadcast as loudly as any well-held pose, that they know their stuff and live it - in large part by looking it. And what's up with the jewelry women wear to class? I have to wonder, it must feel less than comfy when heat and sweat and blood flow kick into high (albeit soothing, universally connected) gear. Is the wedding bling worn to fend off potentially wayward, sweat-clad, shirtless wonders or to silently broadcast prosperity? What's the point when the absence of light and presence of persperation nix any positive aspect of being thusly accessorized?
Even my hair is relegated to non-issue status. Sometimes I brush it before I go, sometimes I don't. I simply wack it up and back with a thick, old stretch terry hairband, the kind you can't find anymore at the drug store. All I want is to keep the stuff out of my face and eyes. If my bobbed hair happens to be long enough (I am one of those who is always growing my hair out only to have it cut back off again) I add a ponytail so I don't feel any hair at the nape of my neck either - just keeping cool, as in bodily comfort, not looks. Life, imo, consists of "good hair days" and "bad hair days." It's the perfect nutshell phrase to indicate how things are going, how one feels, relative in its personal reality, powerful in its self-reflective truthiness. In yoga class, my slouch homage mandates a non-hair day - well, hour at least.
I love yoga - and I love being a yoga slouch. I seek only comfort as I try and let go of any given day, stress, obligation to others etc, and as I reach for something in me that connects with all that awesome, quiet, non-fashion-oriented energy out there. It is the only way I can imagine an honest shucking of ego as was no doubt intended. I don't care if in the dimly lit studio I inspire athleisure reliant pity. Everywhere else we go, everyone else we see, everything else we do in this material world of ours is colored, guided and affected by our attire, our presentation of self, our fabricated suits of armor. So for this one thing, this yoga class, I choose to turn my back on visual obligation to my self or the far more stylin' others and just go, and just try to be.