Tight fitting Yoga tops seem to be all the rage.
Tight, bright and unfortunately quite restrictive Yoga clothing is everywhere. People are practicing Yoga in it, running, riding and taking the dog for a walk in it.
They look great!
And there is a down side, one that has showed up in more than one private Yoga Therapy session and often in group Yoga classes. That down side is the restrictive component.
When we restrict the ribcage, the lungs are also restricted in their ability to expand out and bring in a full and easy breath.
To inhibit the ability of the lungs to freely expand directly impacts the all important Diaphragm’s ability to billow down and expand as we breath in. When we disable this primary muscle of respiration we also disable the ability of the pelvic floor diaphragm and vocal diaphragm.
Each time you breath in (without a tight Yoga top on :)) the vocal diaphragm/membrane relaxes, broadens slightly and descends. At the same time as this happens at the throat the Diaphragm situated at the low ribs does the same thing and so does the Pelvic Floor diaphragm.
Now close your eyes for a minute; breath easy and feel for this rhythm. Feels great doesn’t it. That’s called free and easy breathing.
Now; spread your hands around the circumference of your ribcage or as far as they will reach and continue. Notice anything? Consider that where your hands are is very close to where the bra support strap in sports/Yoga tops sits.
Yoga is not about restriction.. it is the exact opposite. It is about feeling, softening and letting go of holding patterns. Funnily enough the holding pattern of your Yoga top may be of significance.
The ribcage can certainly feel like a suit of armour as a result of emotional blows throughout our lives. It doesn’t feel great! Exaggerating this pattern of restriction with clothing is like taking one step forward and 2 steps back on your journey to a more wholesome life.
There is so much more significance to; like how our connection to core stability is compromised with the above scenarios. We loose connection to our feet, earth and get lost in our heads. Oh I could go on and I think I have said enough.
Just rethink next time you go to walk out the door in your Yoga wear. Do you feel light and relaxed or do you feel restricted and heavy?
Smiling bodies have more fun!