Not just the styles of yoga or the methodology of the teachers, but the clothes and accessories of the teachers and students as well.
I began practicing yoga before I knew it was yoga. Running for many years was my meditation as it was a way for me to break away from the chaos around me and focus on me, my breath, and my mind/body connection. As time evolved, so did my practice. I joined yoga classes at my local gym, tested out some yoga DVDs and eventually went to dedicated yoga studios.
Every form of life evolves, so maybe it’s only natural for yoga to evolve as well, but what about the materialistic side of yoga? What about spending hundreds of dollars to have the latest yoga clothes or the newest and hottest yoga mat? What about having to wear gloves, socks, special headbands, etc. just to be in alignment with your breath and to feel that mind/body connection? Is it all really necessary? Is it truly living yoga as well as practicing yoga?
In essence, could one argue the materialistic evolution of yoga is an oxymoron in and of itself. I’ll be honest, I was intimidated entering some yoga studios because everyone had the best and most expensive yoga clothes and mats that could do circles around my old standby of a mat. I know I’m not alone and in fact, it saddens me a bit to know there are others who will not try yoga for this very reason. Yet, as a community, we continue down this road without realizing we could be isolating so many.
Now, I’m not saying to fore go the latest and greatest, but make sure you are doing it for you. Ensure you are spending the money to please yourself and not other yogis. Hopefully you are getting the accessories not because you feel you need them to fit in, but because you truly feel they enhance your practice. Be positive that you are staying true to why you love yoga and what brought you to yoga in the first place. Make sure you are not only practicing yoga, but embracing its potential outside of the asana practice. Stay true to all aspects of yoga by staying true to your innate self.
No matter where you are, no matter where life takes you, yoga is there. That’s really the beauty of yoga as it can be practiced wherever you are; whether it’s biking up a hill and igniting your oceanic Ujjayi breath or stuck in your hotel room where you, without a mat, flow through a downward dog pose and a couple warriors.
Yoga should be built on a solid foundation with everything else just “extra.” Just as how my yoga evolution began with meditation evoked through running, your yoga also began somewhere. At the beginning, it was only you, your breath and the mind/body connection that made yoga so special. Always remember your foundation and stay true to the real reason that brought you to your mat in the first place.
About the Author:
Aimee Hoefler, MBA, RYT, continually strives to learn and push her own boundaries through writing books, traveling the world and helping others become empowered. Life is what you make of it, so we might as well live without regrets. Learn more at HYPERLINK aimeehoefler.com, connect on Facebook and interact on Twitter.