by Monique Nicole Besne and Sarah Elizabeth Colburn
When we flip through pages of a magazine fashion spread, why are we attracted to models walking through the woods in long, tattered dresses and crocheted capes? There is something mystical about a woman adorned with stones, mala beads, and crystals hanging from her neck; or a woman wearing a headdress made with flowers and feathers. We even see this trend emulated by young girls at music festivals wearing flower wreaths, crocheted tops, and tribal vests over bikinis.
As yogis become more conscious of the threads they clothe themselves in, they are choosing yoga pants and cotton tanks that resemble the same fashion trends we see in magazines and music festivals. What is the deeper meaning behind these trends? Why does it seem like every 16-year-old girl and 40-year-old mom is embracing her inner boho hippie?
Native American, ritualistic, and conscious eco-apparel has become a worldwide trend not only yoga among practitioners but also in pop culture and mass media. Maybe this trend to “go native” is a call to a deeper part of ourselves that yearns to celebrate nature, be celebrated as the magnificent creatures we are, and feel the alignment with ancient traditions and human culture.
The Native Americans are deeply spiritual humans and their influence is far reaching. Every aspect of their lives reflects their love, gratitude, and deep respect for the earth, and all she provides. Maybe the appropriation of Native American apparel is a manifestation of a deeper yearning to feel connected to each other; to go back home to that sacred space provided by Mother Nature. Maybe so many are drawn to these commercialized trends of headbands, feathers, bright woven colors, fringe, and crystals not just because they are fashionable, but because deep down we are searching for our roots in something larger than ourselves.
Everything – living and nonliving – carries a vibration. The Native Americans knew this and lived their lives in reverence for every single material object they came in contact with. An item’s vibration depends on many different factors: where it was made, who has touched it, the color, the fabric, the intention behind it, the company who manufactured it, and the way you feel when you wear it. It is important that we become aware not only of the vibration of our words and actions, but also the vibration of what we wear. The spirit and the physical are one. Conscious choices in the clothes we wear can be a seamless way to bring forth the spirit into this human plane of existence.
In a world that is saturated with people trying to find beauty on the outside, it is up to us to find that deeper meaning and express our souls in what we choose to cover our body and adorn ourselves with. When we consciously choose what we wear with purposeful intent, we empower ourselves. Whether it’s wearing a strand of mala beads as a reminder to stay present or donning an amethyst amulet to help us become less scattered and more focused, setting intentions with what we wear makes a difference in our personal energy field and in our relations with others.