When Yoga Trumps Fast Fashion


Act from a place of love,” the rosy-faced yogi tells our elbow to elbow room of inter-generational stretchers now in shavasana.

Instead of spreading negativity, see the love in everyone and connect with it,” she says softly, dragging out the t.

I have been practicing yoga now for over 12 weeks and what was supposed to be a very conscious effort to get my inside strength to match my outside is still an ongoing battle. I feel powerful inside but my exterior frame? Well at 44 it’s getting a little loose. But what these yogis are highlighting is something I hadn’t intended, I have a lot of anger inside of me when it comes to putting up with the crap of all the people who put profit before people and planet. 13 years of it and still a battle that has only made baby steps forward. In fact just writing that sentence speeds up my heart rate.

(“Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth like a wave crashing…”)

How have we as human beings evolved over the last 100 years, 200 years? I just hit the publish button yesterday on an article about the Free Produce Movement in the 1800s that addressed slavery and the brave souls that set up shops to highlight that people could still “consume” goods without supporting the blatant disregard of African American rights. This morning, sitting here with my fair trade morning coffee, I can link you to 10 stories on this site that deal with modern day challenges with the same damn thing except substitute the word African American with “women” or “garment workers.”

(“Feel the positive energy of eeeeeeveryone in this room…”)

So how am I supposed to feel better inside when the world is like a big bunch of bullies outside and I feel like one of many virtual playground monitors? How are we supposed to make change with fast fashion chains brainwashing people with “conscious” messaging and yet expanding so fast that in Manhattan real estate alone, H&M is competing with Starbucks for corners? How are we to connect with one another enough to see we are all just humans trying to survive and find some happiness? And what the hell with the amount of clothes we need? I mean come on. Maybe we need more therapy stations in cities and suburbs to combat some deeper need of why we consume, maybe we need to feel more loved and appreciated by others. My hands are out world, shoot me that positive energy please.

(“The entire world is based on your thoughts and your attitude. The entire world is your own projection…”)

I want to believe we are all inherently good not evil people, and my yogi, whose feet softly pad by me as I lay on my mat is generous with her optimism. I can learn a lot from her. But when she goes home, does she live a conscious life as a yogi who preaches all this love?

If we are universally aware and spiritually aligned, can that bleed over into how we eat and shop and maybe even how we love one another? Will being connected if even for an hour and 15 minutes in a yoga class make us more aware of one another to be a little more invested?

Sitting at the front of the room, her hands clasped in prayer position, I sit up slowly and then softly close my eyes again.

(“Shanti, shanti, shanti, may all beings be full of love, peace and light. Namaste.”)

For some reason I feel overwhelmed and have tears in my eyes. Maybe all this sustainable fashion writing for the past 13 years is energy that needs to be directed somewhere else to get people to make change. Maybe it’s time for yoga school so I can help trump fast fashion from a new platform- that’s right, “Yoga for Fast Fashion.” At the very least, all this spinal stretching is certainly making me walk taller.

I mean it’s food for thought…

Image: MihaiParaschiv