Today I gave in and ventured forth, careful to avoid rush-hour traffic, to find my nearest Lululemon. The visit was longer than I expected because every rack seemed to offer some kind of yoga candy I wanted to try. Five pairs of pants, three different tops….oh, wait…a pair of crops on sale! and another on sale! wait, what about these tanks on sale? I probably resembled a bee, weaving in and out of the racks only to return to my dressing room with more goodies. Then comes decision. Which ones? A lovely apricot or a striped top? Impractically, the stripes won out because I loved them so much. Pants? Groove pants, which are ready for summer and easy to pedal a bike, or the irresistable elevate pants, which are insanely comfortable and a little eclectic? Elevate pants won out because…well, they’re groovy and I’m a sucker for a pair of comfy pants with pockets in which I can teach. Impracticality won 2 out of 3.
My pants are apparently so awesome that few pictures of them exist. But surfing the internet did reveal just how large a love-hate relationship folks develop with Lululemon. $100 for a pair of pants? Ouch. Even with my “research and development team” discount of 15% the prices are hard to swallow. I calculated my cost-per-wear and, suddenly, things don’t look bad. I more than make my money back if I wear my pants once a week every week for a year. Heck, I might even wear them around the house, increasing my CPW. Besides, these pants are just so dang awesome!
It seems funny, and even slightly wrong, to dedicate two posts to shopping sprees, shopping desires, and the articles of clothing that I don. Yoginis aren’t supposed to covet. Simplicity is good. Yielding to consumerism suggests that I am less able to uphold yoga’s practices and discipline. Perhaps. This tugging is something we all grapple with, thanks to marketing tactics based in psychological studies and the abundance of stuff out there. And I know that I can rationalize my splurge: CPW or the increased number of classes I’m teaching suggest that these actions are ok, maybe even necessary (We do need clothing, right?). But mostly I like the tension. I actually don’t want to resolve it just yet. To continually wrestle with the question of whether my purchases are necessary, good, helpful, or productive means that I’m actively questioning my relationship to stuff and to the world. I’m not letting that relationship stagnate by shifting into either extreme. Given that we are yogis active in the world, and not hermetics supported through others’ kindness and enclosed from the world, our struggles, judgment, and discernment are necessary navigating practices. Our cravings and cavings are indicators of where we are at in this world and in ourselves. I am honing certain yogic disciplinary practices so that I learn how to let go or hold on at the right moments. Now I get to do that while wearing a pair of kick-a** pants.