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If you’re attending a yoga class for the first time in your life or you’ve just decided to take your at-home pajama practice into an actual studio, you’re probably wondering what you should wear. There are so many options of yoga wear to choose from and with the growing global interest in yoga, it has become a thriving industry. It can get overwhelming to choose what to wear for yoga but this article covers everything you need to know. There are some basic points you should keep in mind while deciding what to wear to yoga:
Always be comfortable
The most important thing to ensure is that you are comfortable. Once you start your class, you want to be completely focussed on your practice and your breath, not on your clothes. Wear clothes that allow you to move and breathe freely. As you move, your clothes will move as well, so make sure you do not feel conscious in the clothes you pick.
Wear body-hugging clothes
Over time, most yogis settle in on well-fitting sports bras or tank tops and leggings or yoga pants. The primary reason for this is convenience. Loose fitting T-shirts can often get in your face while practicing forward folds and downward facing dog which can restrict your vision and get quite annoying. Moreover, while loose pants that don’t get in your way are perfectly all right, when you’re in a class, it’s better to wear leggings so the teacher can see and correct your lower body alignment.
Be barefoot on the mat
Yoga, being a very grounding practice has always been done barefoot. This helps the practitioner grip the mat properly and achieve better balance and alignment. You will also have a deeper awareness of your body’s weight distribution and mobility.
Good does not mean expensive
Just because yoga clothing has become a profitable industry with ever-growing designs and features, you don’t have to spend excessively on yoga clothes, especially if you’re just starting out. If you do any other kind of physical activity like running, dancing, or playing sports, it’s likely that whatever clothes you wear to those activities will work for yoga as well. If not, you can start out with a basic pair of leggings and a well-fitting top. Once you adjust into your style of yoga, you can slowly look for clothes that match your needs exactly.
Avoid unnecessary accessories
Avoid wearing any heavy jewelry or gear that will throw off your balance or alignment. Moreover, it is also advisable to take off rings, necklaces and anklets that can move around during the class or constrict your blood flow.
Commonly Worn Yoga Clothing
Ideal for sweaty practices like Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga and in warmer climates
For women practitioners, a sports bra is often the most comfortable choice for practice. Make sure the bra you choose is made of breathable, stretchy material that wicks the sweat away from your skin and expands as you move through different poses. It is preferable to choose a bra that doesn’t have any fastenings at the back so it doesn’t dig into your skin.
This Champion Women’s Freedom Seamless Racerback Sports Bra is an affordable option with moisture management technology and 4 way stretch available in lots of different colors.
Works for all yoga styles
A tank top is also a widely loved choice for Yoga. Make sure you choose a top that is flexible but doesn’t roll down when you invert or go into a forward fold. Moisture wicking is best to help you stay dry during sweatier practices.
This Gaiam women’s open back yoga tank top is a comfortable option.
Long sleeveed shirt
Ideal for slower practices like Yin Yoga, Hatha, Iyengar and in colder climates
If you’re practicing in a place that’s too cold for a tank top or sports bra, consider wearing a flexible, well-fitting, sweat-wicking long sleeved top or jacket. These are also useful in sweaty practices in cold climates where you feel cold at the beginning and end of the practice but heat up during the main portion of the class. In this case, you can wear a sports bra underneath and take off the jacket or long-sleeved top when your body gets warm. You can then re-wear the jacket during the cool down or in your final savasana.
This Amazon Essentials Women’s Studio Terry Long-Sleeve shirt is affordable, matching washable, with moisture wicking four-way stretch fabric..
Leggings (Yoga Pants)
Works for all styles
Leggings have become such a conspicuous part of the yoga practice that they are now popularly referred to as yoga pants. This is not without good reason. Yoga pants are stretchy, breathable, and work for every style of yoga. They can either be full length or just a few inches above the ankle. Make sure you choose pants that are supportive of your abdomen and do not fall down when you stand or engage the belly. You do not want to be pulling up your pants in the middle of class. Moreover, make sure they do not constrict your blood flow and you can take long deep abdominal breaths with ease. Another important aspect is to make sure your pants are not see-through as this can become uncomfortable when you stretch into forward bends. Darker materials are preferred since they hide the sweat and do not stain easily.
Gaiam is one of our favorite go to brands for affordable yet functional clothing. These Gaiam Women’s High Waisted Capri Yoga Pants are a go to for yoga pants.
Ideal for sweaty practices like Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga and in warmer climates.
Shorts are also useful to wear if you sweat a lot in your practice. However, if you wear shorts, it can become difficult to hold binds like Marichyasana since the arms often slip on the sweat of the bare skin. Make sure your shorts do not rise all the way up when you are raising your legs or going into inversions. And as with all your yoga clothes, wear your shorts in private and move around in them to ensure that you are not revealing more of your body than you would like to.
The Hanes Women’s Stretch Jersey Bike Short is made of a heavy fabric to avoid see through, high-waisted, and form-fitting.
Sweatpants or Joggers
Ideal for slower practices like Yin Yoga, Hatha, Iyengar and in colder climates.
Sweatpants or joggers can be useful in colder climates and in slower practices. However, most sweatpants come with a drawstring or elastic which can hamper your breath and blood flow. Supportive, flexible pants like leggings are preferable since they adapt to changes in your waist as you move through the different poses and engage your abdominal muscles in different ways. Moreover, your body will change as you practice and so it is good to wear clothes that adapt.
These Amazon Essentials Women’s Brushed Tech Stretch Jogger Pants are perfect for slower practices that don’t require quick movements.
We’ll leave you with this last tip. Clothes don’t really matter that much. Yes, you will want something you can move in, safe, and comfortable but don’t let clothes stop you from practicing. People were practicing yoga for thousands of years before athletic wear was invented and still received and shared all of the benefits of yoga.