True Yogi Fashion: Just Be Yourself


My big sister wants to be my stylist. When I first started teaching yoga, she told me I had to buy yoga gear that would demonstrate that I was a certified yoga teacher.

My response: I’d rather not. I want to be myself. Besides, the teachers who I respected wore Thai-style fisherman pants or white muslin drawstring trousers. They weren’t trying to show off their six-packs, booty, or buying power.

I attended public school, and preferred painters' pants and overalls to blue jeans. I still go for comfort and practicality. While naked yoga may feel right for some, I’m a Vata chick who gets cold when the temp drops below 80. Give me sleeves and scarves—lots of layers.

Also, if I’m going to communicate to the world that I’m a yoga teacher through my attire, it has to be my style: eclectic, independent, and eco-friendly (aka recycle, reuse, resale). I love the white clothing worn in Kundalini classes, but mine would probably be forever stained by grass, dirt, or smoothies. Besides, I like to reflect the gypsy in me by incorporating colors, jewelry, flowing fabrics, and European, Middle Eastern, and Indian influences, along with a bit of yesteryear.

How does your spirit beam through your outer threads? Check out the gallery below to see the different ways I share my style and personality with the world.

Photos courtesy of Deborah Charnes


1 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Long, flowy skirts are fun to move in—choose one with tassels or a vibrant print and take pleasure in how it sways to and fro as you practice. (Or, better yet, repurpose something unexpected—the "skirt" to the left is actually a huge scarf I found for about a buck at a house sale.)

2 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

You can't deny the magic of tie-dye. Let the hues in your clothing ignite your spirit and inspire some room for whimsy in your practice. See if you can find a similarly colorful, special place and strike a pose.

3 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Sometimes it's all about the details. The bright blue flowers that remind us of spring, the fiery red that ignites our passion, and the intricate, unexpected elements that remind you to take delight in the little things.

4 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

There's something wonderful about incorporating elements of nature into your attire, and then taking your practice outdoors. Spring is here: Be flowy and free and allow both your clothing and your surroundings to inspire your practice. I love the vibrant colors here and the way the fabric of the sarong moves.

5 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Sometimes when we get dressed, we worry about balance—too much this, too little that. Personally I prefer to wear what speaks to me and focus my balancing energies toward my practice. The skirt here is a bit see-through, with sequins and stones alongside beautiful appliqués. I found it at vintage store in Austin. I feel like a fairy wearing this outfit: Those sleeves help me to fly.

6 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Who says sarongs are just for your waist? I like to experiment with them and wrap them around this way and that—it's always beautiful when you can transform the way you think about something, even if it's just an an article of clothing. Be creative and open your eyes to the possibilities.

7 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Long, flowy sleeves and pants with fun, unexpected combinations of patterns naturally add an element of play into your day. See if you can incorporate your spirit animal into your outfit to help channel its essence. These are elephant-leg pants—I'm a '60s girl.

8 of 8 | VIEW ALL SLIDES

Incorporate the elements into your outfit. Embrace the beauty of Earth, air, fire, and water, and draw upon their strengths as you practice and go about your day.

Meditation

A registered yoga teacher and yoga therapist, Charnes carries additional certificates in Reiki, Ayurveda and acupressure.

Working in the corporate world since 1981, she understands living and working in a stressful environment that can be remedied through yoga.  At an early age, she recognized the val...READ MORE