|Think clean thoughts, dude.|
A friend who is taking her first yoga class tonight asked me what she should wear. “You are going to move around a lot,” I told her, “so I’d suggest either something very loose or something very tight, depending on what makes you comfortable.” What I did not tell her is that she should come in her underwear.
I imagine that most people who would read this blog have seen Briohny Smith's "Yoga By Equinox" video, which features a woman in her underwear doing yoga. If you haven’t seen it, take a look below.
When this first made its rounds on the internet I got involved in a long discussion on Facebook about the sexualizing of yoga. Many female friends were thrilled to see this video of a strong woman with a strong practice finding such popularity. Then I asked the question “why is she in her underwear?” There was a lot of booing and hissing from the masses at this comment, and some suggestions that I was being a reactionary jerkface. Well, maybe, but I think I was expressing the paradox that a lot of yoga dudes have. We are awfully fond of strong women who have amazing practices. We are often fond women in their underwear. We also exert a lot of effort keeping those two notions separate in our heads.
I sometimes wonder if this is the reason that so many yoga classes have so few men. I’ve talked to many guys who have said they tried out a couple of yoga classes but spent all their time with an eyeful of spandex instead of listening to directions on postures. They don’t come back to yoga, and stick to golf and beer instead. We hate being that creepy guy that you talk about after class.
Having said all that, women should dress however they want in class in whatever makes them comfortable. Guys deal with their inner dorkiness all day long; yoga is just a different spin on a perpetual problem. Eventually we deal with our crap and stick to what’s on our mat, instead of checking out who’s around us. At least that’s the rumor.