yoga pants: the gateway drug to mom jeans

I love my yoga pants, though I have to admit I don’t do much downward facing dog in them. For yoga, I prefer tight crops especially when practicing in rooms with temperatures 95 degree plus.┬áBut for almost every other activity, yoga pants are fair play. Now that I work from home, there are days I never get out of them. Yoga pants are a critical component of this aspiring novelist’s wardrobe.

If I do have to dress up for a meeting, the first thing I do when I get home is change back into my yoga pants. When a friend invites me over, I ask myself: are yoga pants appropriate for this social interaction? More and more, I want to wear them outside the confines of my home office. I try to dress them up, of course, with a sweater and maybe a cute pair of flats or a t-shirt and jean jacket in warmer temps. I had a version of this outfit on over the weekend visiting my college roommate.

Chris: “I wouldn’t have thought to wear my yoga pants with tiger print flats.”

Yep, that’s me. I’ll do anything to justify wearing these most comfortable and flattering of pants.

Because let’s be honest about jeans. They aren’t comfortable. I recently had dinner with a friend (who shall remain nameless) who after our meal, pushed back her chair, unbuttoned the jeans that were digging into her waist, and let me feel the lump of scar tissue in her belly where the button of her jeans typically hit. I mean, ouch.

Nameless friend: “Wouldn’t it be nice if they made jeans with the same stretch as yoga pants?”

Me: “They do. They’re called mom jeans.”

Yes, our love for the comfort of yoga pants makes us yearn for elastic waistbands. I don’t even like my formerly beloved Minnie pants anymore. It’s yoga pants or bust. So please, someone, make yoga pants in workplace appropriate fabrics. Or make denim more comfortable without the stigma of a stretchy waistband. In the meantime, I’m going to go debate with myself whether I can get away with yoga pants for my meeting this afternoon.

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mirror, mirror on the yogic wall

Since having a life-balance-happiness epiphany in a yoga class in New York my friend Margaret brought me to in August, I’ve been trying to incorporate more of the practice into my life.

My first thought was to test a few different studios, taking advantage of the “one month unlimited” deals that many offer for new students. While studio hopping made me feel a bit of a yoga slut, it did expose me to some different places for relatively cheap. (They suck you in, make you like them, then triple the price, but it’s all in the name of inner harmony, right?)

My first stop was a small studio-not-to-be-named in Columbia Heights. The commute was awful. Parking was worse. And many who practice there eschew leg shaving. And some, deodorant. I know it sounds shallow, but I like my yoga pretty.

Next I tried Flow in Logan Circle. I like it there. A lot. Except its fiscally challenging location: next to Whole Foods and across the street from Lululemon. Though in a private deal I made with myself when I splurged on a regularly priced full month of unlimited classes, I can only go into Whole Foods if feeding my children is dependent upon it. And no more Lulu visits unless I forget to pack yoga pants. Unintentionally forget, that is.

Capitol Hill Yoga offers a pleasant setting and challenging classes that aren’t over-crowded, but the schedule rarely seems to work with mine. (Though for those who have workplace flexibility, I highly recommend the 4:00 class on Mondays taught by Joan.)

Last week, Nancy and her neighbor Riikka invited me to join them for hot yoga at Mind the Mat. And when I say invited, I mean I crashed on their plans to do yoga and then cook a fabulous holiday dinner. (But I made up for inserting myself by contributing my new favorite dish, Leek, Shiitake and Truffle Risotto.)

And this is where the mirror comes in.

I’d never done yoga in front of a mirror. After four relatively short months of yoga practice, I was feeling pretty good. In my heart, my “Warrior Two” is solid. I gracefully move from “Reverse the Warrior” to “Triangle Pose” with ease. I look strong and determined and lean. But the mirror told a different story… I was like who is this clumsy, uneven person trying to do yoga in front of me? Yeah. Right. That’s me.

But it’s not how you look, it’s how you feel. And I felt great after class. The ultimate and universal beauty advice applies across the board. Did you put on a few extra pounds over the holidays? But enjoy yourself doing it? It’s all good. Maybe you aren’t any closer to becoming a yoga instructor than you are into fitting into the jeans formerly known as your favorite pair. But if you are living honestly and happily, you’ll glow on the outside.

Just remind me never to bring a love interest to yoga class.