Yoga pants are much more than a comfortable variation on typical workout leggings. These garments are rooted in the Om experience, the foundation of the yoga practice. Yoga pants help channel energy during yoga, begging the question of whether or not wearing yoga pants as everyday wear is disrespectful or somehow diminishing to the sacred aspect of Om. But doesn’t true empowerment come from within, instead of what we choose to wear on the outside?
Yoga in Sacred Practice
Om is the foundational mantra of the entire yoga philosophy. This ancient Sanskrit symbol has roots in Vedic Sanskrit hymns, sung as praise to the divine. In yoga, speech is the conduit for prana, or the power of the breath. Speech animates prana and sends it out into the world. During yoga, everyone practicing typically forms a mantra or simple phrase to stay balanced, focused, and in tune with one’s prana during different stretches and poses. Om is, according to the yogic philosophy, the most sacred syllable one can use for a mantra. It echoes the vibrational sound frequencies that circulate through all life.
Yoga Pants: Pure Function or Something More?
Yoga pants are ideal for practicing yoga because they conform to the body comfortably without causing unnecessary and disruptive discomfort. They generally do not bunch up or cause irritation around the crotch, allowing one to perform yoga with minimal distraction. Touch sensations on the body can interrupt or enhance the flow of energy during yoga. Many people in the yoga community believe that yoga pants deserve a greater degree of respect than they receive.
It may seem like a far-fetched claim to suggest that wearing yoga pants as everyday attire is somehow disrespectful to the sacredness of Om, but what about those who desire the tactile comfort and spiritual reminder of the power of prana in everyday life?
Then again, it’s hard to keep anything “special” if we treat it like an ordinary practice.
The Case for Wearing the Same Outfit Every Day
Women face tremendous societal pressure, realized or not, to wear a different outfit each day. For some reason, there is a stigma against wearing the same clothing day in and day out, compelling many people to purchase unnecessary amounts of clothing. Whether fashion sense or faux pas, there is value in wearing the same or similar clothing day to day.
Yoga pants are very comfortable, and can easily confirm to our daily routine regardless of whether yoga is part of the equation. Wearing the same thing every day means no more stress fussing over what to wear, finding the best clothing sales, or even worrying about laundry as much. Wearing yoga pants everyday could be a reminder of the power of prana in everyday life outside of the yoga studio.
Then again, it might just advocate laziness. No need to throw the yoga pants in the washing machine: just go from wear to fluff and fold from the dryer thanks to your favorite scented fabric sheet. “Eeewww” you say? Come on. We’ve all done it.
Yoga Pants and Perceptions of Professionalism
Many of the complaints about yoga pants as everyday attire come from those who believe this is casualwear gone too far. There’s a reason they’re called yoga pants, right?
While we, as empowered women, may want to change the world (or at least the way others perceive strong females), how we dress affects public perception. And in the workplace, wearing yoga pants every day may not put you in a favorable place from the eyes of your boss, coworkers, or the people in awe of you.
Despite the societal misgivings of yoga pants at the office and in other professional settings, many people choose to wear yoga pants as regular attire due to the sheer comfort factor. In terms of the sacredness of Om, yoga pants can be a centering reminder of the power of prana in everyday life. Of course, discretion is important in many situations, and it may not always be feasible or socially acceptable to wear yoga pants on a regular basis. However, some people are very in tune with tactile sensations, and yoga pants can be incredibly valuable when it comes to psychological and emotional balance. In fact, if we gage the general public’s mental health by the daily newsfeed – maybe we all need to wear yoga pants.
Does cashmere cause the giggles, silk sheets make you swoon in sensuality, or that one wool sweater induce the dry heaves? Seem crazy? The struggle is real. Known as tactile-emotional synesthesia, this phenomenon happens when touch influences sensory and emotional perception. Fabric matters more than most people realize, whether they practice yoga or not.
If you happen to be someone with any level of tactile-emotional synesthesia, yoga pants could be very beneficial to everyday health and attitude. Being comfortable in your clothes helps encourage overall copasetic in other aspects of everyday life. Uninhibited movement through comfortable clothing naturally supports better breath, and the power of breath is the foundation of yoga.
Synesthesia and yoga apparel is a complex topic, deeply personal and often spurs an emotional connection. Think about it. We all perform better when we’re comfortable in our own skin. Yoga pants, in effect, are a second skin.
If yoga pants help you feel more secure and more in tune with your deepest thoughts and emotions, this is a valuable connection that may prove beneficial. That’s intense. And worrying about how others’ perceive you in that space, thanks to donning yoga wear, is simply a waste of your valuable time.
Of course, if your workplace follows a dress code, you may not have the option to wear your yoga pants without getting the evil eye from the human resources director. We do advocate slaying your day by pushing boundaries when the golden opportunity arises.
Find Your Own Balance of Comfort and Function
Those who practice yoga undoubtedly know that yoga pants are ideal for the practice and offer comfort and function. While others may decry wearing yoga pants and tell you to “put on real clothes,” the reality is that your connection to the sacred Om and the power of your own prana are parts of your personal journey. Regardless of what others might say or think about what you wear, yoga pants may not be ideal for every situation, but they can certainly offer a feeling of comfort and balance. So go ahead. Get your Om on whenever the urge moves you.