It Absolutely Matters What You Wear to a Yoga Conference. ~ Michelle Marchildon

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Sep 9, 2013
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waylon lewis

It’s September, which means I’m thinking about “What to wear to a yoga conference”—and that happened to be the most hated blog I ever wrote for the elephant journal.

Last year, after receiving personal threats (sadly, I am not making this stuff up) I went to Yoga Journal’s Colorado Conference for a book signing and to assist several way-more-famous yogis. But, I was a little afraid of the non-violent, non-judgmental, peaceful yogis who said I was a bad person because I wanted to wear a pretty yoga outfit.

This year I am not taking chances, because there is nothing like a roiling discussion about Luon to upset the yoga crowd. So I’m bringing some muscle.

Have you seen Waylon Lewis?

He is my muscle—and frankly you can usually find Waylon sharing green drinks with Seane, Shiva, Alanna, Amy, Ana or Richard. Or, Waylon could be dancing wildly on a stage—he does that frequently at yoga conferences.

So, I’ll be on my own. But you know what I say; “Help is not on the way.” Maybe I could pray? My personal favorite is: “Hail Mary, full of grace, please don’t let me fall on my face.” That sometimes works for handstand.

If you don’t believe in this kind of religion, then you can hug a tree, or a Wiccan. (There’s nothing wrong with hugging a Wiccan, so please don’t write in to say you want me to die.)

Thank you.

So why is everyone mad at me? I think the ex-Miss America, Teresa Scanlan put it best:

“To have someone look at a picture of you and decide just based on that picture that they hate you… that takes some getting used to.”

Yes it does. Because get ready, this is the unyogic part: I am pretty cute.

I happen to be a descendent of my grandmother who always matched her shoes to her bag. At 97 years old, she drove a bright red car that complemented her lipstick, and wore the world’s largest sunglasses.

I inherited the fabulous gene—I wear bright colors and matchy outfits. I carry a way cute bag.

My husband has seen me with my guts spread out on an operating room table, but he has never seen me without a pedicure. If you compliment my pincha mayurasana, I’ll be grateful, but if you ask where I got my pants I’ll be over the moon.

Therefore, many people have decided that I am unyogic and not funny, which is ridiculous because I am very funny.

Now read this part: It does not matter what you wear to practice yoga.

This is more important: Do you speak the truth? Do you try not to cause harm? Do you make the world a better place? Do you help others to be their best selves? Do you grow from your mistakes?  Do you live a life of service? Do you write anonymous nasty notes to other yogis accusing them of ridonculous things? Because that last one might be a problem.

While these are the qualities of a yogi, there is nothing in the yoga sutras that says you can’t be cute.

Therefore, my reaction to the uber-yogic yogis is to be more fabulous.

This year, what I’m wearing to a yoga conference will include bright red pants by Kiragrace.—it’s going to be great.

Now where on earth is Waylon when you need him?

I better go check the juice bar.



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Ed: Bryonie Wise


About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at And you can take her classes on


11 Responses to “It Absolutely Matters What You Wear to a Yoga Conference. ~ Michelle Marchildon”

  1. gotbreath says:


  2. Helen says:

    I'm not that cute but I'd love to be able to rock a pair of red yoga pants! You go, girl. <3
    Wanted to add, I'm so sorry you received threats/bad comments. That's just not cool. I'm pretty sure it was a learning experience for them though as such things lead you (general you) to having no choice but to hold up the mirror on yourself (themselves) and I like to think you'll receive at least one apology from an enlightened yogi who has seen the error of his or her ways once they read this. Enjoy the conference!

  3. paul says:

    kiragrace's warrior ruched yoga legging or the warrior tough cut? two people legging it the same might get embarrassed feelings (the pants i mean, i know anyone yoga can't get embarrassed)

  4. Bonnie says:

    That's so sad! You go girl…rock those red pants and red lippy if that's your thing….xx

  5. Michelle Marchildon says:

    I am rocking the red yoga pants, and if they're not rocking on my 52 year old body, please lie and tell me they are rocking anyway. Life is short. Wear the red pants.

  6. Deanna says:

    I got my hair blown out before I hiked my first fourteener. I am firmly convinced it's what got me to the top in one pretty piece. (Though my regular yoga practice may have also played a part in my lungs not exploding!) I'm a firm believer that when you look good you feel good. Which is why I take no issue with you or anyone else wanting to look cute if it makes them happy. Perhaps your haters should send their fan mail to Lululemon and demand they carry luon for all sizes so that all may look and feel cute. Just offering options….I'm a big believer in those too!
    PS ~ I doubt you'll need any back up. Not because it's a yoga conference (those places are f*cking crazy!) but because I'm pretty sure that should you need to you could kick ass, red pants or no red pants. Rock on with your cute self.

  7. Gayle says:

    I came to realize that the yoga community is just like any other community–comprised of human beings–just being human beings–you'll find the same kind of people every where–my choice is how I participate within that community and what I can do to be the way I want to be in that community–one of the best benefits of being in a yoga community is that the clothes are way more comfortable than being in the corporate community–so that's on the plus side of why I love yoga so much!!

  8. Eileen says:

    You are so effin' cute, girl, I can't stand it!

  9. Jordana says:

    To be yourself, despite what people say; that takes strength. I honour you for speaking up, being vulnerable despite the fear of the past. Thank you for inspiring me!

  10. I just came across this via google & it seems ridiculous to me that someone would say you're un-yogic just because you want to dress cute. Number one, its none of their business. Number two, isn't yoga also a celebration & honouring of the body? Dressing the body in a beautiful way can only add to honouring your body. Number three, who ever said you have to dress bland or ugly to be yogic? It baffles me.