Diana Yu is a yoga instructor at Yoga Yard in Sanlitun. We spoke to her about which uniforms she suffered before settling for Lycra.

Which uniform was the most flattering?
I have to say my yoga teaching “uniform.” I have lots of Lycra pants and tops in colorful solids and prints that I like to mix and match. I like to pair them with accessories like scarves and jewelry before and after the studio. It is one of the few jobs you can get away with wearing a tighter fit. Some teachers prefer looser clothes, but personally I like wearing clothes that feel like a second skin to demonstrate proper alignment and body mechanics like breathing. I try to keep things tasteful though. The last thing you want is to be distracting while teaching a yoga class.

Which uniform was the worst fit?
Definitely my elementary and middle school uniform. An oversized white shirt with checkered tie. Matching long checkered skirt. Knee-high socks. And to top things off: black and white leather shoes! We were the only school in Hong Kong with these dual-colored shoes and were made fun of incessantly. When the nuns weren’t looking we would roll up our skirts, otherwise, they reached our knees where our socks started! 

Did you ever feel transformed by wearing any uniform?
I wouldn’t call this a uniform, but one year for Halloween, I dressed up as a Wondergirl (a Korean girl band that sang the hit song “Nobody, Nobody But You”). The music video showcases the girls singing and dancing in a Motown-style concert, and so I wore a short satin dress with long satin gloves, had big, side-swept hair, cat eyes, and of course, sky-high heels. I felt like a glamorous star! 

Did you ruin any uniforms?
Even though I went to an all-girl Catholic school, I hung out with some pretty rough and tumble girls, so when the 
teachers and nuns weren’t around, we would wrestle and rip some clothes here and there. One time a teacher caught us and thankfully they had eliminated ruler slapping by then, but we had to stand shamefully in front of our entire school. 

Which uniform would be considered the least fashionable?
My costume for Beijing Playhouse’s rendition of Oklahoma. A flowery prairie dress, down to our ankles with poufy sleeves. Complete with a straw hat!

Put your Lycra pants on and join Diana for one of her classes at Yoga Yard.

Image: James Lindesay

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