Dress for Success
Merrigan extends ahimsa (nonharming) to her wardrobe by opting to shop from fair-trade clothing companies.
"I prefer to support smaller businesses that are more globally conscious of how their actions can positively affect peace," she asserts.
The Pitfall of Narcissism
For men and women alike, opt for simplicity. Remember, you want your students to focus on the teachings, not your outfit.
Also, when you put too much emphasis on your appearance, you risk getting swept up in narcissism and materialism. These are the very distractions that teachers try to lead students away from.
"Yoga is a science of self-realization, not ego aggrandizement," Cox says. "While saucha (cleanliness and purity) is important, society's emphasis on purchasing one's identity through fashion is a dark force that holds people's development down."
To stay grounded, Noah Maze, a Los Angeles-based, certified Anusara Yoga teacher, encourages fellow teachers to focus on letting the real power of their message be conveyed through what they say and do.
The Dress-for-Success Checklist
While scouring your wardrobe before your next class, consider the following advice:
Remember your divinity. As a teacher, ask yourself what helps you remember your highest spiritual nature, Khalsa advises. Dress to inspire that highest consciousness in yourself and in others.
Keep it real. "Be truthful," Merrigan says. Avoid putting on another layer or costume. Let your clothing liberate rather than bind you.
Consider comfort and practicality. "If you are comfortable, that will be what is conveyed, regardless of what you wear," Maze says. Remember that if you can't move and demonstrate easily, then what you are wearing is a hindrance rather than an enhancement.
Celebrate beauty. Enjoy, enhance, and adorn your beauty. Show up to each class fresh, clean, and polished like a beautiful piece of art.
Be creative and have fun! When we adorn ourselves to honor our own divinity and to uplift others, yoga and fashion become sacred allies. "We can inspire our students with our words and our presence," Rumbaugh says, "and our presence is certainly enhanced by how we dress."
Sara Avant Stover is an Anusara-inspired yoga teacher and a freelance writer who recently relocated to Boulder, Colorado. She leads workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings around the world and is currently deciding what to wear today. Visit her website at www.fourmermaids.com.