For my birthday a few months ago, I got a gorgeous pair of leggings artfully embellished with hand made designs. It was a friend who did this for me. I cut those up today and I told her first. In brief, I could not put Om together with A-Bun-Dance (not that I’m known for doing that particular dance). The Om’s were across the butt on these leggings. I just couldn’t wear that. It just didn’t sit well with me, maybe just too cheeky (I’m done, sorry 🙂 What is more likely to occur than me breaking out into dance wearing these pants, is finding myself in downward dog pose a row in front of my friend and Sanskrit teacher, Swati. I asked Swati one day whether she would be offended by Om on clothing. She said no, it would be fine. When I asked what about if it was across the butt, she agreed with me that that would not be good. I know the artist meant no disrespect, and probably just the opposite.
Is there a touch of cultural appropriation in the mix, or simply cross-pollination of cultures? Both abound in Canada and worse, our home on native land. Many see Miley Cyrus twerking as cultural appropriation. Some point out that how we practice yoga in North America is cultural appropriation. Just the tip of the iceberg and something to consider as I am part of this thing we call yoga in the west. There is a lot written on the topic. It has clearly happened. There is pain and hope around the issue. But what do I do about it? I do something we all call yoga that bears little resemblance to yoga before it came to North America. Yoga has changed and continues to change. I appreciate Judith Lasater’s observations over her 40 + years practicing yoga including studying with Iyengar and the changes that have occurred to yoga in the formation of an American yoga. I will be the first to admit I am no expert in yoga, but I keep learning. Mostly what I do is physical practice, so is the way I do and share the practice a kinesthetic expression of my limited understanding of yoga? I needed to connect to my body before I could connect with my own inner life and release my groovy inner joy and purge a lot of stuff along the way and I’m just at the beginning of this journey. I have always appreciated the many angles you could take the made-up word re-groovenate including of the self, but didn’t think it would necessarily turn up in posts but strangely it may occasionally appear. My experience with yoga is that it has been shared with me by excellent teachers. What I try to do is to stay true to their teachings while creating my own style of teaching. If I felt I would be offending my teachers, it would make me pause and consider why and I would talk to them. This is my fledgling, re-groovenating, evolving, mutant Canadian yoga. A work in progress.
Back to this simple item of clothing….
Why cover up the best part of the leggings with a long shirt of skirt? I instead moved the best part of the leggings closer to my heart. Thanks Lori first for the gift and for supporting my wishes to cut it up and making it no big deal. I believe she used bleach in a spray bottle and cardboard stencils to block out the black parts. I credit her with the idea to wear it as a hood.
If you have leggings in need of transformation for any reason, try this….
First cut the leggings apart at the centre seam so you have 2 separate legs. Just follow the sewing line.
Cut off the waistband. Trim the legs a bit shorter and open them up at the side seams a few inches to make the sewing easier.
(A) Sew tops of each leg together and (B) sew the bottoms of each leg together to make a big loop.
If you get a few twists in there it’s totally fine. I used a sewing machine, but you could sew this by hand.
Notice the cool slits cut into the leggings.
Now the wide part can be a hood over the head or just wrap the whole thing 2 or 3 times around your neck. Done.