As a yoga teacher and student, I find Alan Nett’s work in San Francisco inspiring. He’s teaching yoga to construction workers and other “blue-collar” types. Known as Yoga With Your Boots On, Mr. Nett leads yoga classes allowing the participants to show up and stretch just as they are – with their boots, belts and whatever else they typically wear.
Many yogis might read this and say it’s not yoga with your shoes on. Where’s your lululemon gear? Where’s your yoga mat? I say let people do whatever it is that’s going to get them on the mat. The rest will follow. Remember yoga isn’t just about unrolling a yoga mat and doing postures. In fact asana (aka yoga postures) is a small fraction of yoga as we are reminded in Patanjali’s yoga sutras which only mentions asana only three times, roughly.
Most importantly, yoga is a journey. How one begins doesn’t matter. And if your boots help you find downward facing dog, by all means lace them up!