The Highland Fashionista is very excited to have conducted her first trans-Atlantic celebrity interview, with internet blogger-extrordanaire and lifestyle expert The Yoga Chicken. If you haven't checked-out the Yoga Chicken, you really should. It is a blog full of musings and spiritual incentives to help you achieve balance in your day-to-day routine. I caught up with the Yoga Chicken via the internet. Yoga Chicken was sitting in a sunny Minneapolis studio as we sat down for a cup of coffee over cyberspace.
I would like to thank you, Yoga Chicken, for taking the time to speak to me. As you may know, Highland Fashionista is mainly a beauty and style blog, although I do occasionally stray from that format. Although it may seem cliche, I simply must ask.... what are you wearing?
As it's morning over here in our time zone, I'm currently wearing my bathrobe. And as it's a Saturday as I write this, I may be wearing this all day.
Is Yoga Chicken your real name?
Yoga Chicken is my pen name.
But so many people know me as Yoga Chicken now, that I think I may have my name legally changed. And I think it suits me. And anyway it's hard to talk about spirituality and your personal journey and have people take you seriously when you sign off as "Brad". So it's Yoga Chicken. So I guess the real answer to your original question is, "yes." Or at least it will be on Friday, when I can get over to city hall.
You say on your blog that you are on a quest to find spirituality through yoga and yoga-related things. Can you explain to the readers at Highland Fashionista what is entailed in the Yoga Lifestyle?
That's a big question, and not one I'm sure I can answer in its entirety. But basically the yoga lifestyle, which doesn't need to be capitalized, is the practice of acting mindfully and staying in the moment in every moment. This, as you can imagine, is very difficult for someone with a brain the size of a walnut. I'm easily distracted.
As a chicken, sometimes I can get sidetracked with all the stories I tell myself about what is going on. So the challenge is to still those thoughts, or whatever. I'm told if you succeed, it's like being in a very peaceful, spacious, tidy white room. And I'd have to admit, the room I'm in right now is more like a small laundry room where you sort of forgot which was the clean pile and which was the dirty one. But it's all a process. You can pick up the clothes and paint the room white, if you know what I mean. You can also bring the washer-dryer to a bigger room upstairs. One with windows.
The other thing I'd say is that the yoga lifestyle requires clothing that allows you your full range of movement, which I like. There's a lot of stretch pants involved.
What part does personal style and fashion play in the yoga (uncapitalized) lifestyle?
Oh gosh. Well, I suppose the stretch thing is a big part of it. Like, you'll never find yourself doing yoga in skinny jeans. And if you did, you probably would not get very far. There's a movement I've noticed in yoga of late, to bring yoga clothes "off the mat", as it were. Sort of like what you women do when you have a work-to-cocktail dress that magically transforms by rearranging the way you wear the sweater on top. I hope that wasn't condescending. It wasn't meant to be. All I'm saying is that there is a future for yoga clothes, if a designer came along who really took cotton/spandex blends seriously. For example, I have a number of blazers these days that are made out of sweatshirt material. I could wear them to yoga, and then go to a halfway decent restaurant for brunch afterwards, and nobody would bat an eye.
We're in the early stages. But I think we're going to get there.
So, gosh, I don't know how to ask this, but based on your response to my last question....well....so...you're a guy? I mean a man...er...a male...male chicken? Oh God, is that offensive? I'm sorry. Its just so hard for me to tell by the photos and all...you have a comb....
If you're asking if I'm gay, the answer is no. And yes, I am a man. That is, a male chicken. And no I'm not dating anybody. That's usually the next question. Does that mean I'm bi? No. Does it mean I dislike men and women with equal measure? Yes. PS, please don't call me a rooster. I find that offensive.
Um....moving on...there is a kind of stereotype attached to what people see as a holistic, yoga lifestyle; The image of a dreadlocked, hemp-wearing, patchouli-scented person with hairy armpits comes to mind. Is it possible, in your mind, to straddle both the realm of the yoga lifestyle and the more mainstream (or commercial if you like) world of fashion?
Another big question. Let's tackle the stereotype first. Yes, there are those hippie types in yoga. No doubt about it. But yoga is not nearly as "fringe" and "counter-culture" as it was at one time. Now, the fringe might be, what, hipsters?
By far the more common yogi I see in class is the somewhat affluent, attractive woman in her 30s or 40s. She is most certainly showered, often has blonde highlights, and is sometimes even wearing makeup and a spiritual sort of necklace. Or one of those strings of beads that they sell at Tibetan stores for just under 100 bucks. It's a look.
As for fashion, There is some quite-fancy (or at least quite expensive) yoga clothing out there. And a yogi who tries to wear socks in class is quickly let know that this is not okay. Same with having gross feet. If you can, you should get a pedicure. At least this is true for women. For men, it's more lax, as you can tell if you take a look at my feet.
So yes, there is some fashion involved in yoga. Whether the residual hippie yoga types are down with that, I'm not sure.
Please share with us some of your favourite products and items of clothing that you rely on to maintain your lifestyle.
Well, candles for one. I used to have a bunch of real candles, but they started to scare me so I switched over to a big white battery-powered one that I can keep on all night. Oxo also makes some rechargable candle things that I'm fond of, although I don't have a set yet, myself. Like this:
See? Click on that and it says currently unavailable. They're hot items. But anyway, the point is, ambient lighting. No overheads. Overhead lights are like a shark attacking my soul. I can't have it.
Clothing-- well I have all my clothing tailor-made for my body, since it's sort of an odd shape. I have a woman in Eau Claire, WI do this. Did you know that's where Justin Vernon of Bon Iver is from? And he still lives there? True. Eau Claire is becoming the South of France of the Upper Midwest. Anyway my point is that I don't know if I could suggest stuff that would fit other people. I will say, however, that I have heard good things about "Hard Tail" yoga pants-- even though I hate to even say that because I hate their name:
|Hard Tail Yoga Clothes|
Agreed. That is an awful name. So bad it's practically
And I myself can't tolerate funny colors in yoga pants. Black, or dark gray or dark blue, and that's about it. Tight pants have a hard job as it is, without having to also fight a novelty color. And I am somewhat aware that printed pants are coming back in, but I just absolutely refuse. Did we learn nothing from Zubas?
The other thing I will say about yoga pants: please no drawstring and please no flared bellbottom-type pants. Both of these things will get in your way when you least expect it. The bells could make you fall down. And the drawstring, at times, can cut off your circulation. Especially in twist poses.
Hmm, what else? Well, I like cork yoga blocks. Hugger Mugger makes nice ones. All of their props are pretty good, actually-- mats, straps, the whole deal. Oh, and recently I bought this foam roller device thing that helps stretch out your hips. It's in the corner. But now that I mentioned it, I may get it out tonight. Mine's like this, except it's got ridges on it.
|Hugger Mugger Foam Roller|
I could go on and on. But I'll end by saying that I once saw one of my favorite yoga instructors head home wearing a full-bodied snow suit. This was in New York, and it was about 40 degrees outside. He couldn't tolerate that kind of cold. Then again, he had a perfect body and was a former dancer, so he probably knew a lot about keeping the body warm and flexible, and was willing to go to great lengths to do it.
He was also wearing huge snow boots
There's a lot more to say on this topic, most notably the difference between sweatpants and yoga pants. But I'm taking up too much space already.
Ah yes, the Highland Fashionista could go on all day
about sweatpants. Well, Yoga Chicken, I would like to
sincerely thank you for your time, as well as your
insight and tips on how to achieve a more balanced,
yogi-like existence. I would also like to leave you with
an open invitation to visit Scotland any time. We can
hit the mat together. Any last sentiments?
Just this. I love this photo.
|Tiny brain, big world|
You can visit The Yoga Chicken's Blog at www.theyogachicken.com
Want to try Hugger Mugger Yoga Products for yourself?