How Yoga Helped me Find my Personal Style

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I take a look around the room as I settle into my mat. I silently appraise the men and women surrounding me. Some sit at ease on the mat, eyes closed, mentally preparing for the class ahead. Some talk to their neighbors, and some stare uneasily at the ground, fidgeting in their uncomfortable state.

These observations gather in less than a second. It’s not as if I mean to do it— it’s an instinct. Before I settle into my practice, my first reaction is to compare my poses with the people around me. Do my heels reach as low to the ground during downward dog as the woman next to me? How did the women in the purple tank top get her back so straight? I look at my body and look at theirs, and I can’t help but compare.

But that’s not what yoga is about.

Yoga is about being in control of what happens on your mat, and being okay not having control outside of it. It’s about listening to your body, staying in tune with the way you feel, the way you move, and feeling comfortable enough to take poses that benefit your body, not hurt it.

In essence, yoga is about finding ways to honor yourself.

In yoga, it’s not enough to only focus on the poses. The lessons you learn on your mat can apply to every aspect of your life. It was these realizations that helped me shape my own understanding of my personal style and my own idea of what fashion truly is.

Style isn’t about following the trends of the season, it’s about being inspired by them. You can follow trends if you want. but at the end of the day, every item you wear and how you wear it is a personal choose. You have the power to make that choice free of outside pressures.

I feel confidence in my style knowing that it doesn’t matter what anyone else wears or what they think— all that matters is that I am happy and comfortable.

When I fight the innate desire to compare myself to others on the mat and off, I remember that in every moment of my life I am able to close my eyes and find my center, find the core of who I am purged of influence or expectation.

My yoga practice has affected my style in the sense that yoga teaches you to respect your body, learn to love it, and take care of it. I show that by wearing clothes that accentuate what makes me beautiful and unique instead of obsessing over hiding my flaws. I am able to love the way my body looks in this moment, and that confidence shows.

Fashion and style aren’t solely about what you put on your body, but about the way you carry your body in the clothes themselves. There is an inner spark, an inner understanding of yourself, that shines through every piece you choose to wear. My yoga practice helps me gain access to that place. It allows me to access a place of power and becomes a motivating source in my personal style.

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About The Author

Elyse is currently a senior at American University studying foreign language and communications with a focus in Spanish and print journalism. She is originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania and in her spare time she likes to do yoga, read, and binge-watch Netflix when she's supposed to be studying.

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