I Refuse to Wear a Thong to YogaPosted by in Life as a Mama
Among other things. I have been practicing something lately that I call “lowering my own standards,” and having panty lines showing in my yoga pants is part of it. Before you call the fashion police, let me explain.
I have been going through a lot of personal growth lately and one of the things that has been of interest to me is how I judge myself, the kind of standards I set and for what reason I set these standards. I’ve come to realize that a few of these expectations I have set for myself come from wanting people to think that I am put together, organized, smart, stylish, insert any other positive trait here. I have always thought of myself as someone who does what they want, regardless of what other people think. And I am this person in many ways (attempting Warren G. and Nate Dogg’s “Regulators” at karaoke night sans alcohol, might be an example of this), but I could still use some fine tuning.
Cut to last week when I came face to face with making the choice to thong or not to thong for yoga. I knew my gut’s vote. Even my butt cheeks were chiming in – “don’t separate us!” they said. The only thing that was keeping me from my comfy cotton standbys was this voice in the back of my head saying, “You don’t want to be the woman with the panty lines, do you?” I could just see her glasses on the end of her pointy nose, a single eyebrow raised above that persecuting stare.
This voice – the one that judges and critiques everything we do – is a manipulative liar. Her only job is to keep us in check at all times and limit the risks we take and the love we give (and therefore receive). She is the one that holds us to standards that we can never meet and puts up walls so that no one can ever see our vulnerability or our true wisdom. And she is us – the part of us that is scared and insecure. She is subtle and we don’t even know she is standing in our way. It is my personal goal to stifle this annoying woman until she realizes the she is not the boss of me and quits her job. The boss of me is love, openness, strength, flexibility, trust, happiness and self-acceptance. And I am starting to only follow orders given by that me.
So, when this buzzkill asked me, “You don’t want to be the woman with the panty lines, do you?”, I told her that all I wanted to be was the woman who was comfortable and enjoying her yoga practice without going fishing for her thong every ten seconds. I wanted to be the woman who made it okay for other women to have their panty lines showing. I wanted to be the woman who did whatever I wanted without thinking for a second about what the other women (or men) might say about me.
And then I thought further, what does having panty lines at yoga (or anywhere else) mean about someone, if anything? Does it mean they’re not put together? No. Does it mean they’re disorganized? No. Does it mean they’re stupid? No and in fact, I would argue that they are ridiculously smarter. Does it mean they’re not stylish? Well, maybe a teensy bit, in that moment. But the most important question is, does it matter? Absolutely not! So what if we have a moment (or two or three or four…) of not being seam free? Having panty lines in a yoga class means nothing about who I am as a person just as having no panty lines equally means nothing about who I am.
It’s really such a silly issue and I’m slightly embarrassed that I’m even writing about it (although clearly not embarrassed enough to not post it). Trying to hide the fact that I might have underwear on underneath my pants is ridiculous, but it triggered some deep thought inside me and made me question, what other expectations am I holding myself up to just because the Voice is bullying me into doing it?
Over the next week, I started recognizing these moments when they would pop up – whenever I would tell myself, “You should do XYZ…” I knew that it was not coming from the super spectacular, love-filled me. That me would’ve said, “You could do XYZ…” and left it open rather than condemning me and making it a law.
Once I could tell the difference between these two ways of operating, I started only listening to super sparkly me and an interesting thing happened – I started lowering the bar for myself. You may be saying, “Ahhh, so you let yourself become a total slob.” Not really. I let myself be whatever I was at any given moment, without any judgement. I did anything that felt right to me. I stopped worrying about what kind of person other people might think I was because the truth is, I am everything. We all are. Some moments I am put together and organized and other moments I am a total spaz and surrounded by chaos (or so it seems). Some moments I am wearing sweat pants to pick up my son from school (and possibly no bra too) and other moments I am decked out and completely polished. Instead of striving to be the perfect, seam-free me, I am learning to enjoy being all of me and loving myself with or without panty lines.