Saturday, March 31, 2012

Yoga pants and that sort of thing

I picked up two of these yoga pants at Mesh, which is on 16th road, Bandra, near Mini Punjab,
I usually pick up a lot of loose pants at Mesh. The clothes are outre, boho-chic, ultracasual and  casual-chic... the sort of labels I like in  fashion magazines (yes, it is a childhood habit browsing fashion mags, my grand pop was a ladies' tailor and he had a lot of Anglo-Indian women who liked the gowns:)  but which are, unfortunately, bling-chic...

I like good clothes on the mat. My first `job' teaching yoga was at the Mahindra factory. I did do an executive special class for six weeks one time. But otherwise, of the 300 employees I trained there, it was mostly factory workers. I was requested to wear salwar kameez. So there I was wearing a dress I was most uncomfortable in and trying to teach headstand in it. Let me tell you the salwar for all that it is a very decent dress when u are standing upright, can become disastrously dangerous when you are trying to teach the headstand -- the  pant legs are so loose that they will slide down your legs completely exposing them, and then worse, hang down up to your thigh almost, if you went up without care. The top falls down to your head too! It is the most cumbersome dress I have ever worn while teaching. I used to knot the sides of the top, where the dress slits, and make it tight to avoid it from sliding down (when doing the headstand, of course). So that took care of the first problem. Then I would  wrap the loose hem of the pants legs into each other, with pins if need be, before showing the headstand. I tried the churidar tights -- but though they are loose at the thighs, they cram at the ankles, and can tear in sun salute awkwardky. And the thing is, they could tear anywhere. So I gave that noble dress up.  I have even taught one executive a scorpion wearing the awkward salwar.  I even now remember his first name -- Anant, it was. He picked up everything the first time I taught him. I realised the nerds are very smart when it comes to picking up yoga. They do not have the same co-ordination issue a gym-toned fellow has. That executive class taught me a lot about shedding mind-sets while teaching...But some mind-sets have only grown: one is that you must be absolutely genderless in a class if you really want to experience yoga... Whether as a teacher or a student.

So, yes, the salwar is the most awkward for a yoga class. If the pants are loose then you also have to worry if the sunlight is behind you, since your legs will be silhouetted. So, I had a keen interest in being genderless while teaching, no matter what I wore. That is something I learnt while teaching so many men in the beginning of my career switch.  It has been a powerful lesson for me, as a student as well as a teacher. I also prefer my students, however handsome or beautiful they are, to enter the yoga class or mat in a genderless way. To be awkward or too aware of yourself of a woman or man, I find, interferes with your performance. It really does. All the years I have taught that has been one of those beliefs which has only been reinforced.  I do not like the chemistry that some people bring to the class. And while I cannot entirely control the sad needs people have to hear/have it indicated to them by others how great they are, I myself find that even such a dependence as that, innocent as it may seem, highly ridiculous.. That is one thing I really dislike in a class  .. Which is why I like clean clothes, where women, however tight their dress, are not waving bosom or underpants into your face. And men wear clothes that does not embarrass women. I had to once tell a man who used to wear some sort of a shorts thingie that was tight like those swim wear stuff you know, that guys wear at the crotch... . that it was awkward for me as a woman, as well as for other women, if he came to class like that. I also do not like men in Bermuda shorts which slides down  to show their underwear when I am holding them in a headstand (Ok, none of my current students are doing it, but I am talking of my past experiences dearies...) . So I mean to say....Wear sexy clothes. But not obscene stuff. There is a difference here. It is called class.....Yoga class:)

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