shop 'til you drop


Yoga Yenta

Life has gotten oh-so complicated for the yogini who likes to shop. My favorite tank with the built-in bra has seen better days, so I’m on a mission to find an equally comfy replacement that appropriately accentuates my open heart (a.k.a. killer rack) while guarding against nippleasana. But my new garment must be organic and post-consumer recycled, made with non-synthetic, non-bleached and allergen-free fabric, grown without pesticides by a socially responsible company that promotes sustainable eco-development, doesn’t utilize child slave labor and harmoniously integrates renewable energy and efficient technologies. And, by the way, it can’t look like a potato sack or smell like B.O.

Ack. It seems there’s an overwhelming list of requirements for conscious consumers to give our credit cards the exercise they require. Visa needs its yoga too! Luckily, guilt-free purchasing opportunities for compulsive shoppers has grown exponentially, so I’m feeling optimistic about my prospects of finding the item of my desire.

My excursion begins after a restful night’s sleep under high-thread-count designer organic linens. I throw on my sweatshop-free American Apparel sustainable edition t-shirt, pesticide-free Armani jeans made from Italian-grown organic hemp fiber, limited edition Chopard diamond OM pendant (diamonds are from the earth, you know), and head off to the mall in my hybrid Lexus RX400h to check out the options. On the way, I stop at Starbucks for a Guatemalan iced decaf soy white chocolate mocha with sugar-free whipped cream. But instead of worrying about how these 80 grams of sugar and 620 calories will affect my newfound ability to hold Scorpion Pose without falling and breaking a tooth, I decline the now-optional coffee cozy and read with satisfaction the brochure about how my daily treat (okay, addiction) supports “the use of ecologically sound growing practices that help protect biodiversity and provide economic opportunities for coffee farmers.” I’m also pretty sure that barista-babe who helped me is a vegetarian.

As I search the shops, I consider the yogic lessons of non-attachment, and wonder if I even really need all of this stuff I feel so compelled to buy. I think about whether my desire for designer labels is just feeding the ego I’m otherwise working to diminish through my yoga practice. Maybe I shouldn’t care about the labels, or feel mortified if my boyfriend wears high-waisted jeans with clogs in public (well, ex boyfriend, but come on”¦clogs!).

But before I get too depressed about my future as a non-consumer, I realize that it’s not necessarily about the name on the labels, but the small print behind them that counts. Finding products that that meet our desires for the planet may require extra effort, cost a little more, or be outside of the social norm, but every small shopping decision makes an impact. It’s worthwhile to use our purchasing power for good – better for the earth, better for our closets. I finally find a super hot new eco-friendly tank, and guess what? It’s on sale. Score!

Om Shanti & Infinite gratitude,

Yoga Yenta

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