I had an interesting experience in a yoga class recently and I’m going to put it out there to see what you make of it…
A few years ago there was a bit of a scandal to do with a certain popular yoga clothing label selling see-through tights… I guess you could say they were found to be selling lemons… Initially the founder of the company suggested the women who bought the tights were to blame, before the company retracted and began picking up their game and utilising better quality materials.
In my own opinion, when one wears yoga tights it shouldn’t be obvious what coloured/patterned undies you’re wearing underneath them. Either way, what I have noticed is that with the rising popularity of Yoga, has been an associated rise in women wandering around and showing off a little more of their asana than they realise.
See through tights are on the rise. I’d also like to acknowledge that this dilemma is not necessarily yoga-specific. It can be equally prevalent in people who wear such clothing to the gym, to cycle, to lounge around the house… No tights-wearing person is exempt from the perils of transparency! For even though that lovely pair of tights had fantastic coverage and opacity when we first purchased them, we tend to forget about the inevitable ravages of time and activity on our beloved stretch pants. What I now refer to as the ‘Emperor’s new tights’ phenomenon.
I do recall my first (very personal) incident of recognising the phenomenon at work for myself almost a decade ago… In the middle of a “Pump” (weights) class at the gym. What better time to discover your tights have become see-through than mid-squat whilst wearing your favourite ‘boy-front’ undies with bright yellow taxi-cabs printed all over and red trim! My face flushed at the thought of the TWO full ROWS of people behind be viewing my New York Cab-covered undercarriage at every bend!
But – I digress. Recently I attended a class where a similar event occurred… with the teacher. She didn’t know (or realise?) her tights were see-through. As she walked around the room bending down to adjust the pose of one of my fellow yogis I was met with the confronting revelation that she also appeared to not be wearing any underwear! I believe “too much information” was the thought running through my mind as I took a deep breath and refocused on my restorative child’s pose.
As the class progressed I was distracted by a barrage of thoughts and questions. Should I say something? Does she know about this? Is she secretly an exhibitionist? There’s clearly nothing she can do about it at this point in time… will it be more embarrassing for her if I do say something? A human body is a natural and beautiful thing – should I really be so shocked about this? Would I want someone to tell me?
I dropped in to downward dog and kept my silence. Forward bends, wide-legged poses and the scariest moment of all – wide-legged navasana moving in to happy baby pose. Like a car-crash in slow motion – I couldn’t look away. Relieved as I dropped in to savasana at the end of the class, knowing that in just a few more minutes I would no longer need to wonder where to look…
This was my experience. I chose not to say anything… Mostly because I felt embarrassed to admit I had noticed. I know if I had been teaching I would have hoped for someone to have taken me aside after class and suggested I invest in a new pair of tights.
I’m keen to hear your thoughts on this. What would you have said/done?
And a helpful tip – when buying stretch pants, do a deep forward bend (try to touch your toes) in the change room and look at your bum. If you can see your undies then buy the next size up… or buy a different pair of tights.
Welcome to my crooked curve of the world.