As I travel around doing workshops, seminar and talks I find the subject of fashion comes up periodically. Since my workshops often consists of yoga people, dancers, actors and martial arts people they each are used to their own clothing and costumes. So I think -especially after doing our floor movement-they realise that what we wear very much influences how we move.
We can feel the binding effect of clothes that are too tight. With modern materials like spandex we can have very tight clothes that still allow us to move. So how did people devise flexible clothes before spandex?
One way was the placement of the seams of the clothes. For instance most of the popular off-the-rack shirts for men have straight seams for the sleeves. So the sleeves are simply vertical attachment point for the tubes of cloth which form the arms. Basically this is the simplest way and the cheapest way to make a shirt. So here economics, not comfort have made the decision for you! in actuality the human shoulder and chest meeting point is anything but straight! and since the shoulder can move in almost any direction it is a challenge to make a seam which allows it to do so. A “ragland” seam which which makes a 45 degree line from the mid collar bone to the armpit actually gives the shoulder more forward and backward mobility. But you will not see this design very often though it actually allows more natural movement. Of course most people are not sensitive enough or have not thought enough about this-or simply think it is irrelevant. Since a light shirt can virtually have seams anywhere and be fairly comfortable as long as it has some vague shape similar to the human body.
Most clothes do not allow a person to separate their legs apart very far. And if you are doing yoga or karate then it is helpful to have a diamond shape piece of cloth sewn into the crotch called a “gusset”. Another way around this is to simply have very baggy, genie type, pants.
Again the clothes which we buy are designed based on production (usually in China), not comfort or the shape of the human body. With insertions of additional seams and pieces of fabric they can be made much more humane in their design. But due to cost we do not see this. When a man squats down he has to lift his pants from the knees so the crotch does not split. This is because the pants bind at the knee when he squats. Pants that have pleats or vertical seams along the thigh do not do this as easily but they are either 1. not in fashion 2. difficult or more expensive to produce.
With Spandex of course you can squeeze your body into a tube like a sausage in skin. But if you are not particularly thin you will indeed look like a sausage in skin. Or a “sack tied around the middle”. So you will look better if you put something loose over your spandex so you look more graceful or a little less like a fat panther! tight clothes simply do not make everyone look good because body shape as well as fat makes a huge difference in how clothes make you look.
Older cultures (Greece, Egypt) used robes or drapery of cloth around the body in many different ways and we still see this today with the traditional clothing of India. This type of drape has both function and beauty. If you are asking if I think people should dress this way I would say it would be better than jeans. Blue Jeans after all were invented by Levi as the cheapest throw away pants for coal miners back in the day. So they would simply wear them in the mines til they were sodden with coal and then throw them away…and that was how the blue jean was started. It was really slave-worker-miner pants. Of course we have come a long way since then (or have we?) and now bluejeans are the typical every day wear. And dark blue is a reasonably neutral colour which you can top-off with anything else. After all it is important for the slaves not to be controversial or too striking in their appearance.
So it might be interesting to you if you are a student of Wisdom of the Body to actually take some time and think; “What clothes are most comfortable for me?” and think in terms of cut, style, color, comfort–for YOU rather than what other people think you should wear. I realise fashion is a powerful force in the world and we all feel the pressure to conform to our time but it is nice also to buck the trend and do some things you want to do…though there is less money in it for someone else…
Jewellery is another issue. The Wisdom of the Body students at the workshops have heard me speak about the effects of wearing metal on the body. Firstly, the body is composed of a highly sensitive nervous system which is millions of antennas. So metal on the body effects reception of electromagnetic data coming into the body. And there is a lot of data. Especially now with our super charged electrical atmosphere of technology.
Ancient peoples around the world found copper to be a body friendly metal and in fact it warm quickly, can be shaped to match the body and some people find it lessens the effects of arthritis. Remote Viewer Ingo Swann was originally trained in a copper lined room and found copper amplified psychic ability. Doubtless the same thing was found out by many “Primitive Cultures”.
Iron is sympathetic to the iron in your red blood cells and like that iron it can be magnetised. A simple piece of iron aligned with the north and south pole of the earth, over time will become magnetised. But it will not keep the charge, eventually the charge will run out and you have to place it again in line with the magnetic forces of the earth. There are “permanent” magnets which have been made to hold a charge and these are used in machines of various types. They hold their charge for years though the charge will run out eventually due to a kind of structural fatigue. These magnets can also be used to make motors which will turn a long time without additional power but again these magnets will eventually run out of their charge though it may take a hundred years or more! So our technology of magnets is quite good in modern times. And so if you wear iron or magnets on your body it will make the red blood cells “want” to be where the magnets are placed on your body and sometimes you can get relief from muscle pain and bruising and this sort of thing.
In the old Egyptian Tradition you hold a copper rod in your right hand and a piece of magnetised iron in your left hand when you meditate and this will keep your blood pressure regular and your mood steady and you can charge your body like a battery by facing the sun and doing a few minutes of breathing. The better breathing and visualisation sequence is in Chiron Chapter 1. This will let you optimise the holding of copper and iron.
Later in history the copper and iron because elaborate and the king or queen would hold a copper staff, with silver and gold and other electro-conductive metals and precious stones in their right hand and a piece of meteor or magnetised iron in their left hand -often shaped like the world or a sphere. And with their body “charged” it was easier to concentrate and also to solve some of the problems of their kingdom. Concentration is a good thing and mental clarity is an asset when you deal with the complexities of life and so they found this kind of “jewellery” or “Jewellery-Technology” was helpful.
Some of you know about acupuncture and the theory there are electrical or magnetic lines of force along the body and along the planet earth. There is some justification for this theory and much proof but it is kept out of the public eye because “the powers that be” want you to buy technology and machines that continue to interfere with the body and the planets natural currents. The ancients believed it was best to co-operate WITH the earth rather than try to DOMINATE the earth and so they were aware of these currents and would try to cooperate with them. Jewellery of the “Primitive People” was to do this. As technology evolves and we make “better robots” it will likely be found that a machine that uses these forces more like nature uses them will be more like a human or animal and less dominating, and invasive and also less likely to interfere with the eco-system.
Gemstones enter the fashion equation because they have wonderful colors (the British write “colour” so I am divided on which way to spell it!) which cause the viewers eye to move around the body of the wearer. The human being is very color sensitive and color triggers emotion and therefore-thoughts. So Jewellery was the first attempt at “Advertising your Virtue”! When gemstones touch the skin of the body the body has a small sensitive reaction. Because the minerals found in gemstones are also found in the human body in particular places and also in the blood stream the body reacts to them. For example a beautiful Fire Opal is actually made of aged, compressed Salt! so it has -in tradition- an affinity with the salt in your blood stream. So when you wear it it makes you sensitive about ancient salt and new salt and puts you in touch with your ancestors! Of course we do not say that these days. We say “Oh! that is SOOO Beautiful!!” but WHY it is beautiful, And HOW it effects us is not discussed. We-in modern times -tend to think “Better not THINK too much about it or we can get into trouble!!” But the ancient sense of life perceives the relation between gemstone and the body. And when we use the ancient sense of whole-ness, we are not afraid to mix objective scientific fact with subjective personal sensation. Some people like Raspberry and some people like Chocolate!
So how you dress and what you wear effect how you feel. And the body has it’s Likes and Dislikes. Explore these things for yourself. Try to find ways to feel good in your body and remember part of feeling good is looking good – but this good feeling can go much deeper than that inside you!