Yesterday I was lucky enough to join 10,000 yogis in Central Park for the Lole White Tour. Practicing with 10,000 yogis who were all wearing white as a symbol of peace reminded me of what feels lost in yoga lately . Don't get hysterical, let me explain....
I have been practicing yoga since I was 16, way before it was cool. I found refuge on my mat. My monkey mind learned to SHUT UP. Even if it was only for a few minutes within an entire one hour practice that was enough for me to be hooked. Coming to my mat at a young and impressionable age, I found the yoga community very welcoming. I didn't feel like I needed to already be "flexible" or "strong". I simply felt that I just needed to be me. Everything that happened on my mat whether it was mental, physical or emotional, made me a better version of myself one class at a time. Lately, when I tell people that I am a yoga teacher, I hear "I'd love to come to a class but I'm not good enough yet" or "I'm not flexible" or "I'll embarrass you". Can I tell you...that really pains me but on the flip side, I kind of understand where this is all coming from. Since we live in a world of social media overload, the saying "Comparison is the thief of joy" (thank you Teddy R.) could not be more true. We see tons of pictures of amazing and talented yogis doing the coolest things but that is not necessarily what yoga is about. What you see is a shape, achieving shapes is not the goal of yoga. The physical practice is actually used to help prepare for mediation, it is all about working on the "Self within" versus the image you see on the exterior. The concept of non-attachment is also a huge pillar in yoga. So, be a yogi starting today and don't attach yourself to the images that you see and be open to discovering that beyond the shapes there lies so much more in yoga. I am a teacher since 2008 and a student for over half my life now. I still can't do every pose and I have a fear of inversions. That doesn't make me a less qualified yogi, it makes me human. It also doesn't mean that I don't enjoy seeing the amazing physical capabilities of some yogis today or that I won't keep trying to nail a handstand. It simply means that I am going to accept the journey. Each one of us is made completely unique, anatomically there will be things I can never achieve and things that will cause me little or no effort. Regardless, I am not attached. The goal is not to focus on that but the person who lies deep within. So don't let what you see hold you back. There are so many beautiful rewards yielded from a yoga practice. Find a teacher and a community that is willing to welcome you exactly where you are in your practice.
It is Thursday and YES it is a fashion post but I really needed to share that with you. I am going to share some great pictures of a very "New York" yogi look: all black. I look very serious in some of these pictures because I am concentrating to share some pretty "shapes" but don't let my resting serious face deceive you. I really don't take it all that serious. Scroll all the way to the end and I'll prove just that.
About this look: In these pictures, I am rocking a version of the Koral Activewear Lustrous Legging which I had purchased a while ago at Saks. I paired it with a staple that I have had for a while now, the Michi Empress bra which I purchased at Bandier. The version I have is still available on Michi's site. Bandier has the Feline bra which is very similar. I added a black fish net muscle top from Blue Life Fit as my finishing touch.
I told you...every yogi has her day :) Thanks Nat for the action pics and Diane for not telling me dogs pee there. xoxo