SUZANNE HARRINGTON: Too sexy for my yoga pants

Have you ever done Malasana — squat pose, like you are peeing in the woods — while wearing track pants, asks Suzanne Harrington

Not to be provocative, but I’m writing this while wearing yoga pants.

Sexy talk, I know, but as a woman, it’s my duty to be sexy all the time. So I wear yoga pants.

No idea what I’m talking about? Me neither, until I read an opinion piece in the New York Times which says that yoga pants are bad for women, because they are too sexy, and that women should wear track pants instead.

And there was I thinking it was the patriarchy and pay inequality and core misogyny that was the problem. Nope. It’s yoga pants.

“We aren’t wearing these work out clothes because they’re cooler or more comfortable,” writes the (female) journalist.

“We’re wearing them because they’re sexy.”

Really? Let me ask my friend Google.

‘Yoga pants sexy’ throws up lots of adverts for yoga pants, then mostly reposts of the New York Times article saying that yoga pants are too sexy, followed by lots of outraged response to that article, and a few links to sites like FHM featuring models who happen to be wearing yoga pants, but would look equally sexy wearing shopping carrier bags.

Anyway, I’m writing this while wearing yoga pants because I have just come from my daily yoga practice — I am also wearing a yoga top, of which the New York Times would probably also disapprove, but have you ever tried doing yoga in a t-shirt? Downward Facing Dog becomes Send Assistance Dog, as the t-shirt falls forward over your head and blinds you.

Have you ever done Malasana — squat pose, like you are peeing in the woods — while wearing track pants? The posture quickly becomes Builder’s Bum Pose.

There’s a reason the most expensive items in my wardrobe are not the frocks or shoes, but the Sweaty Betty yoga gear. It’s not sexy — skin tight weapons grade Lycra on a size 16-18 body is more your upside down aubergines topped by a generous black pudding — but I’m not thinking about sexy when I do yoga. I’m thinking about yoga.

My yoga pants cost more than my house because when I’m practicing yoga I don’t want to be thinking about the possibility of them splitting, like a sausage bursting its skin; that would defeat the purpose of yoga, which is to empty my mind by thinking about nothing except moving my body into weird positions.

What next on the banned list — jodhpurs? Cycling shorts?

Obviously, yoga — like avocados and unicorns — has been overkilled on Instagram, which means endlessly lissome goddesses in yoga pants doing Three Legged Dog on sunset beaches, all golden skin and perfect curves.

Nobody is going to post images of the double aubergine / black pudding look, sweat coursing into one’s eyes, uujayi breathing sounding like an impending heart attack.

Yet both images — the golden goddesses and the sweaty aubergines — are of the same thing: yoga. Wear what you like, go naked if you prefer. But please — STFU about sexy. Om shanti.


From Turkey to Vietnam, here’s where the chef and food writer has fallen in love with on her travellers.Sabrina Ghayour’s top 5 cities for foodies to visit

Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health (University College Cork graduate)Working Life: Dr Dympna Kavanagh, chief dental officer, Department of Health

Like most Irish kids of our generation, chillies, spicy food, heat were never really big aspects of our formative eating experiences.Currabinny Cooks: Getting spicy in the kitchen

New Yorker Jessica Bonenfant Coogan has noticed a curious discrepancy between east and west when it comes to Cork county; arts infrastructure has tended to be better resourced in the west of Ireland’s largest county.Making an artistic mark in East Cork

More From The Irish Examiner