Yesterday, Sean posted the “lululemon not required” tagline on Milton Yoga’s Facebook page (and no, it wasn’t a coy reference to lulu’s sheer pant recall). As I write this, that status stands at 56 “likes.”
In a recent conversation with several members of the Milton Yoga community, our discussion turned to the unpretentiousness of the studio and its clientele. Unlike other yoga studios in the Boston suburbs, the Milton Yoga foyer isn’t a lululemon showroom. Sure, you’ll see the occasional Scuba hoodie, but most of us wear our cotton Milton Yoga sweatshirts with pride. Classes at MY are never competitive; I could care less what my neighbor’s Lord of the Dance Pose looks like, and when a fellow classmate gets into a difficult pose for the first time, there are often smiles of congratulations.
I’m aware that yoga has a reputation for being a pastime of the affluent. The studios look like spas (especially the new Milton Yoga space!), its practitioners often follow strict nutrition regimes (or coconut water liquid diets), and paying for one drop-in class is the equivalent of your weekly spendings at Starbucks. It’s a common myth that a yoga class entails young and beautiful instructors bending themselves into poses that only invertebrates should be able to manage, all the while smiling serenely and reminding you to breathe.
This is not the experience at Milton Yoga. The instructors are relatable and approachable, you aren’t ostracized if you don’t drink electrolyte and lemon-infused water, and the plain cotton towel you use to mop the sweat on your forehead works just as well as the overpriced “micofibre” towels that are rolled and displayed in tidy pyramids on the lulu shelves (and yes, lulu spells “micofibre” the British way; infer what you will about pretension).
Granted, I should confess that my own yoga wardrobe includes many lulu items, and my “weekend uniform,” as my dad calls it, consists of lulu’s Wunder Under bottoms and Devotion tees. It’s also possible that the “educators” at my local lulu store know me by name, and some of my friends have threatened a “lemon intervention.” But the wonderful thing about my Milton Yoga family is that I’m not judged for having the Power Y tank in almost every color. When I walk into the studio, I’m just someone who’s there to take a yoga class, as you will be when you join our down-to-earth, grounded (pun intended) community.