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Inclusivity matters

If every body is a yoga body where are the clothes to reflect this? By Paula Hines

Yes, it is true that every body is a yoga body. I am heartened by how the dialogue on inclusivity in yoga has expanded over the past few years and long may it continue.
That said, given that statistically the average British woman is a size 16 and that the average woman does practice and (ahem) teach yoga, where are the clothing choices
for them?
I get it – it seems frivolous to be bothered about yoga clothes, it’s not a fashion show, it should not matter what you are wearing blah, blah, blah. But I feel it comes back to inclusivity. Many of us do care about the clothes we wear, including what we wear to practice yoga or work out in. Rightly or wrongly what one wears can and does have an effect on how they feel and even be the difference between whether they feel confident enough to go to a yoga class or work out in public. If this was not true then we would all be wearing old baggy t-shirts and jogging bottoms and the yoga and active wear business would not be booming.
In the classes I teach see a wide range of women and men of different ages, sizes, abilities and shapes. (And I still feel like there are not enough clothing choices for men, by the way.) Speaking of my own experience, I currently fluctuate between a size 14 and 16. As I usually teach six days a week I am looking for good quality, durable, practical yoga clothes that I actually like. Finding clothes that tick all those boxes and fit well too can be easier said than done.
I have been disappointed too many times to count when seen I’ve something I’d like to buy only to find that the company’s size ‘XL’ is a (UK) size 12 or 14.
I’m writing this as a UK-based teacher. In the United States it seems they are a further ahead on this. I hope we catch-up in this country soon.
And to the yoga clothing companies who do make larger sizes, please show this by featuring models of different shapes, sizes and ages on your websites and in your campaigns if you aren’t already. We want to buy your clothes! But we can’t if we don’t know about you.
Inclusivity matters.

Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer 

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