A step toward relaxation and awareness or why comfortable clothes matter

 

We wear clothes and footwear almost always. We could say that they are literally our “second skin”. Do we ever ask ourselves, how do we feel in this “skin”?

When we feel comfortable, we feel ease

A lot of people at least occasionally dream about the comfort that they would like to have, if they had more money. Comfortable apartment, comfortable bad, comfortable car… But at the same time they do not enjoy the comfort that they could, as for example, to wear comfortable clothes. The adjective “comfortable” describes something that makes you feel relaxed.

When we are in comfortable clothes, our body is satisfied and our brains receive messages about contentedness. In short, we could say that when we wear comfortable clothes our body feel more relaxed and we feel ease. So why don’t we wear comfortable clothes all the time?

Everybody do this

A great number of people stay every day for long hours in clothes which bother them, cause them a number of troubles or they even hurt a part of their body. Sometimes this is the time spent at work, or doing some hobbies or sports, sometimes this is requirement of the society, sometimes they would like to please someone or they just want to be accepted… If we make the sum – it is very often almost all the day. For majority of people this uncomfortableness is “normal”. Everybody do this! Also the elegant beauty in the movie, who is taking shoes off under the table, very discreetly, to relax her legs from tight shoes. Where did this start?

Get used to feel uncomfortable

Let’s try to imagine the infant. Parents took off his diapers and he is immediately happily kicking with his legs. And very often, when they want to put a new tight or plastic diaper, he begins to protest and cry. It seems that from our young age they are trying to get us used to uncomfortable clothes. Being uncomfortable in different clothes is so “normal” that on the conscious level people don’t recognize this uncomfortableness at all. It is normal for them to have feet all the day in shoes, that their belt is tight, neck laced with tie, that they wear high heels, tight underwear, that their jacket doesn’t allow them to lift up the arms, that tight skirt limits their walk…

Unnatural materials

It becomes normal also the fact that the clothes don’t “breathe”, that they are made from synthetic materials and recycled plastic… Often people by their own choice follow the craziest fashion inventions or they simply buy stuff which is offered in the stores, without listening to their senses. They ask themselves (or others) how they look and not how they feel.

Goodbye uncomfortableness

I remember the period of my youth when I was wearing very tight jeans (non-elastic!). In spite of my abdominal pains it was more important to look cool for the school. After coming home the very first thing was to take off my jeans and slip into comfortable clothes “for home”. This crazy period of my life fortunately didn’t last long. After that I’ve started search a harmony and paying attention to how I feel. I’ve decided that in my clothes I want to feel all the time “as at home”.

I happily wore my comfortable trousers, without regards to fashion. I have to say that this was not always simple. Fashion guidelines were the most of the time (and are still now) favorable to tight trousers. You couldn’t buy comfortable trousers anywhere. Once I decided to try tight elastic jeans. Maybe they are comfortable anyway?! I dragged jeans up feeling like boa constrictor in a too small skin. 🙂 The textile was coiling my legs and pelvis and I had a feeling that the lower part of my body would stop breathing. The message of my body, for years used to freedom, was clear. No go! I took them off and said goodbye for ever to tight jeans.

When you are connected with your body the communication is clear and there is no space for any kind of compromises. You simply know what is right for you.

 

“Where is blood, there is Qi and where is Qi, there will be also blood.”

The point is not only that comfortable clothes make possible free movement of our limbs and the whole body. The most important thing is that they allow the blood and qi (energy) to circulate smoothly throughout all the body. This is for the body natural state. Qigong and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) say: “Where is blood, there is qi and where is qi, there will be also blood.” If this natural state is obstructed, for example due to tight cloth, our brain starts receiving messages about emergency. So, physical tension causes also tension in our mind (and vice versa).

Try to imagine that you have a musical performance, where you are playing a composition that you have practiced for months, hours and hours. You are at the stage, in your new high heel shoes. You begin to feel pains in your feet. It is possible for your mind to be still clear, are you completely focused on performing? Or are your thoughts more and more concerned with painful feet? The uncomfortableness that we experience on physical level, affect also the state of our mind and spirit.

Reconnect with your body

I think that the main reason why people stoically tolerate uncomfortableness is that they are not really connected with their bodies. A lot of people don’t know what is going on in different areas of the body. They live their lives mainly in the head.

The first step to become aware of our body is that we start to consciously follow the feelings, which are the consequence of outside stimuli. What do you feel when you are dressed in comfortable clothes and what do you feel when you are squeezed in clothes and shoes “to go out”.

Let’s explore this a little bit more. Outside stimuli, in our case connected with clothes that you wear, influence also your emotions. When you feel more tense, aggravated, angry or helpless? And in what clothes you feel relaxed, you breathe better, you feel free? How all these emotions reflect on the state of your mind?

Observing the feeling in relation to the clothes that you wear it could be the first step to the awareness of tensions on a physical level. Only when we are aware of tensions you can release them.

 

Qigong is marvellous tool for all who wish to improve their body awareness. Through the practice Qigong you gradually learn to feel and relax your body on different levels. These are foundation for later work with energy and consciousness.

 

The Conscious Choice

When you are connected with your body, you can instantly feel when and where a tension appears. You consciously choose clothes which assist you and in which you feel relaxed.

I love clothes in which I can move in unrestricted way, because my body wants to move in countless ways. These kinds of clothes give me a sense of freedom. I don’t wear them only when I practice Qigong but all the time. I love comfortable trousers, soft T-shirts, light flat sandals, comfortable shoes. I’m barefoot as much as I can. I like natural materials, which let my body breath. I direct my life consciously in the way that I can follow my own fashion guidelines of comfort.

Let’s say you have started with conscious choices of clothes which give you the feeling of comfort. Why wouldn’t you proceed with other conscious choices: posture, food, things that you do, company, news that you listen, information you are looking for…? We begin to choose in harmony with feelings that all these choices bring.

 

It is important to know what do you want

The only purpose of this blog is to encourage you to feel yourself. It is not my desire that all the people change their habits of clothing or anything else. Each one knows, what he wants. And after all, each one knows if his choices make him happy.

For those who are looking for harmony…  I wish you to discover movement which is soft and natural… to enjoy in walk that is sure and light… to feel stability and connection with Earth. Let your inner feeling lead you.

May the Qi be with you!

Smiljana

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Photo: PetarSmiljana Qigong


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2 comments

  1. Interesting article Smiljana, thank you.
    I have had visceral/abdominal hypersensitivity for many decades and so I am unable to wear “fashionable” clothes. I am unable to wear anything with a waist band, everything has to be loose, unclingy and comfortable otherwise I experience pain and discomfort and IBS. Fortunately I am quite handy with a sewing machine and enjoy being somewhat inventive.
    Why anyone would wish to cycle in tight Lycra is quite beyond me. Particularly in the UK there seems to be a fashion for everyone wearing ‘cycling clothes’. We have cycled in Bavaria and Austria and I notice that most people just cycle in their normal dress – just like it was when I was at school.
    I agree with you about shoes as well.

    1. Thanks Jane, I appreciate your comment. 🙂 I think it is important that we share our experiences and remind people about the wisdom of our body which is always telling us how it feels… But I also know that you need a lot of courage to be different from the people around you.
      For Qigong practitioners it should be easy to be out of fashion… 😀 because we are not interested to be the main stream…

      I’ve ceased to criticize the textile industry and fashion designers… As you, I’ve started to make clothes myself. Recently I don’t have a lot of time, so I have found individuals who are eager to use natural materials and make simple, comfortable cloths. There are more and more. I believe that many creative people could start to create their jobs by sewing clothes from natural materials and have a lot of fun and success.

      Sincerely, Smiljana

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