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Photograph by Luigi CiuffetelliIf you’re a yoga enthusiast in the greater Wilmington area, chances are you’ve perfected your downward-facing dog with a little help from Sarah Gillespie.

Gillespie bounces around town for in-home personal training sessions or puts in time at area fitness centers teaching yoga, body sculpting, aqua fitness—“really, anything anyone needs,” Gillespie says. “Fitness has always been fun and enjoyable to me.”

Her yoga HQ is Empowered Yoga, the studio founded by her husband, Johnny Gillespie. She credits him with crafting a unique brand of yoga practiced at the studio. “He’s done a really great job of blending traditional yoga with Western exercise yoga,” she says. “It has all the emotional, spiritual types of benefits while also working on really healing your body.”

That tradition versus Western influence is, appropriately—as we’re talkin’ yoga—well-balanced in Sarah’s closet. “My personal style is very ethnic,” she says. “I tend to go after Indian patterns, anything influenced by Morocco … the warmth from that color and style. And I just love saris. I find them so interesting.”

Of course, the reality of Gillespie’s life is she spends a lot of time in yoga pants. And she sees no issue with wanting to look your best while working out.

“It just really makes you go harder,” she says. “If you’re working out, and you know you look good, it’s that extra incentive.”

From an instructor’s point of view, Gillespie gives even further reason to streamline your look at the gym. “If you come in for a lesson in a baggy T-shirt or pants, it’s hard for me to really see your body,” she says. “Yoga teachers need to see where your knee is in relation to the ankle, the hip, see that your scapula is lifting.”

Those looking to spiff up their workout clothes could take a hint from Gillespie, who loves the Lucy and lululemon yoga-wear lines. “I live in my black lululemon yoga pants,” she says. “They don’t have any symbols, they hug in nicely and hide any imperfections, and the length is perfect—that’s important.” She shops for her gear at places like Trail Creek Outfitters, the Delaware Running Company and Empowered Yoga.

It’s also important to go glam from time to time, which Gillespie does with a little help from stores like Ellie, Peter Kate and Flirt Boutique. “I do love to get dressed up when I go out,” she says, “throw on some heels and show off your legs. I really love the dresses at Flirt, and the girls there are so sweet, too.”

To Gillespie, the empowerment that comes from a solid sense of personal style has its roots in yoga practice. “Yoga is so powerful,” she says. “It’s really about slowing down, becoming aware of your body and its movements, being connected.

These things really transfer into your everyday life. The colors I wear, the colors in my home, even the colors of the foods I eat, everything is just connected.”
 

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