Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is This a Question for Emily Post?

Dear Emily Post (or whoever knows the answer to this question),

I know there has been a sizable debate taking place over the past few months regarding the appropriateness of yoga pants and leggings--where they can and can't be worn, or if they should be worn at all. I am leaving that decision to you and your expertise in all things etiquette.

I know what people say about assuming things, but I hope I'm safe in this assumption. For the sake of our discussion today, let's assume that it is appropriate to wear yoga pants and leggings in a . . . wait for it . . . yoga class.

Let me set the stage before I ask my question.

Yoga, by definition, is union--union between the breath and the movements of the body. Many different postures are assumed (there's that word again) to help increase body awareness, flexibility, and connection with the breath.

Picture, if you will, one of the most common poses associated with the ancient practice of yoga--downward facing dog, adho mukha svanasana.
image from here

It looks easy, but in practice, this is a very difficult pose to master. That is not the reason for my question.

Getting into down dog (or other poses during a yoga practice) places strain on the fabric of your pants/shorts/leggings. Without going into too much detail, I can tell you that I have seen lacy thongs, striped briefs, and on occasion, I've seen too much altogether.

Here is the question:

Whether in an exercise class, at the gym, or squatting to help a child pick up a dropped sucker at Target, is it appropriate to tell someone that their pants/leggings/shorts are transparent when pulled too tight? Or that their shorts gape open too widely as you sit across from them in class?

I wouldn't want to offend, but I'm positive that I would like to know if my clothes were doing an indecent job of covering my self.

Surely I'm not the only one who has experienced this uncomfortable situation.

Your timely response would be greatly appreciated, since I plan to attend yoga again tomorrow night.

Thank you for your time.


A slightly uncomfortable yogi (in hopefully opaque yoga pants)


  1. No. Avert your eyes if it bothers you. They will figure it next time they put them on or when they take them off, or they are covering fine in the first place. Focus on your own practice/cart at target. It's just the body. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

  2. I would want to be told, therefore, I would tell others. Not saying that it is right, just what I would do. How would they know otherwise?

  3. Hi Jen - I commented, but it disappeared. Let's see if I can remember what I said............
    I see them all the time - young women on the street, usually in twos and wearing leggings or Lulu Lemons. Sometimes the lycra is stretched so thin that it is possible to see buttocks. Not a good thing, ever, downtown. Since the young women have friends, I assume that they look at one another and know what they each look like. I'd believe the same to be true about your yoga class. I think I'd have a word with the instructor. If yoga is meant to promote serenity, and you find this distracting, it's the instructor's job to come up with a little 'by the way, before we meet next time..........'