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Yoga fashion for the flexible

Laura A. Ball
Preston Utley/Vail Daily Yoga helps maintain flexibility.
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At first thought, it would seem a contradiction that a devoted yogi would be concerned with fashion. After all, the mystic practice seeks to achieve liberation of the self. But is also seeks to achieve union between the mind, body and spirit. And anyone that knows disciplined pupils of this ancient Hindu practice knows that they don’t do anything half-heartedly. Yoga is about doing your best, and it doesn’t stop with the mind. It’s is about being mindful of everything, from how you breath to how you treat others to how you dress. It’s an approach to living, and you can’t obtain that balance if you don’t feel your best mentally and physically.Yoga has been practiced in the United States since the late 19th century. It gained momentum in the 1960s, around the time The Beatles visited India. Over the last several years, its popularity has been on the rise again. Today, more than 15 million Americans practice some form of yoga, and it has become a growing industry in and of itself, catering to the needs and changes of the art form.Yoga instructor Suzanne Nelson has been practicing yoga for 10 years. She’s witnessed the evolution in yoga wear firsthand.”It went from unitards to shorts and now cropped pants and the full gamut of flare, fun colors and fun prints that will accentuate fashion.”

Nelson confided that while she teaches in the flared hip hugger pants, it would drive her crazy to practice in them.”I enjoy having my legs free,” she said.I realized that I too make sacrifices for the flare.”We all do,” Nelson said.She suggests devotees wear tighter clothing so that the body’s alignment is visible, and also so the instructor can keep a watchful eye out to prevent injury.”I like anything that has a Lycra in it so it flexes with your moves.”

Not to mention, looser clothing may reveal more than you’d like as you move through the poses. Nelson also said that she would never tell anyone what to wear. Like the movements, your attire is a personal expression, based on your individual style and comfort.A major benefit of yoga is that you can do it anywhere, in a hotel room, on the beach, in a park, even in your living room. The latest yoga styles have been designed with the same flexibility, so you can wear it at home, in the studio, or around town. Yoga wear even transcends into other indoor activities from pilates to aerobics, even to the treadmill.Be Present, a Colorado-based grassroots clothing company specializing in yoga shirts, pants, camisoles and hot shorts, found inspiration in chakra, considered in yoga to be sources of energy in the body for psychic or spiritual power. The company claims the seven chakras, each associated with a specific color, can affect your mood. Red, the root chakra, they say, is associated with inner strength and stability. Orange, the sacral chakra, evokes sensuality. Yellow, the solar plexus chakra, boosts confidence. Green, the heart chakra, helps tap in to compassion and unconditional love. Blue, the throat chakra, helps to channel communication and creativity. Indigo, third eye chakra, connects you with your unconscious self. Purple, the crown chakra, correlates with wisdom and the spiritual world. Yoga instructor Holly Horvath of Vail runs a yoga clothing company out of her house called Sri. Horvath carries Be Present, as well as Inner Wave out of Maui and Michael Mercado, a couture yoga wear collection out of San Diego, where yogis can pick out the fabric and specify the inseam.



For Horvath, it’s more about the function.”All these clothes are so comfortable and so functional,” she said.Although most companies design active wear with fashion in mind.What color will you wear?For information about Sri, call 476-5058.

Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 619, or laball@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado


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