Yoga: What to Wear

Ready-Set-GO! Let’s Do Some Yoga Shopping!

You’ve resolved to make positive changes to your health, body and mind and you’re set on your yoga course.  You’ve read up on all the benefits of yoga and you’re ready to go…well, sort of. At this point, you have to figure out what to wear. Yoga involves a lot of stretching and twisting and if the truth be told, the beauty of yoga is that it doesn’t require much from you in terms of clothing and accessories. If you’re not inclined towards fashion of any kind, then a good close-fitting t-shirt and a pair of leggings will do. Be aware, though, that you will sweat, and that ordinary fabrics hold water. Also, adapting your everyday stuff in your cupboards can have you running into problems when in a yoga class. Read more to avoid some embarrassing episodes (due to normal, ‘harmless’ clothing) and to find out why having carefully chosen yoga gear is very practical indeed.

For those of you who sense the importance of having the right yoga gear and you enjoy looking and feeling good in comfortable, yet great looking yoga clothes, let me share with you what’s hot out there! On this page, you will get your opportunity to do your yoga shopping. I’m going to tell you the do’s and don’ts of yoga-wear, and then suggest some clothing stores to visit online. So! Let’s go shopping!

First! Dress According to the Type of Yoga You Will Do

The type of yoga that you engage in ought to influence your clothing choices. If you participate in hot yoga, for example, then the clothing you choose will need to accommodate the heat; the last thing you need is for your yoga clothes to be drenched and heavy with smelly sweat. Neither you nor your class mates will enjoy the experience! In this class, you will wear the lightest, most absorbent clothing possible, with legs and arms exposed.

Whatever type of class you’re involved in, most teachers tend to vary their sequences, so it is a good idea to be prepared for any yoga scenario.  You might have gentler, more meditative sessions where not too much sweating occurs, or faster dynamic sequencing that gets your whole metabolism fired up. You might also end up doing poses that have your legs in all sorts of strange positions, so make sure you’re wearing the type of clothing that won’t show everyone what you’ve had for breakfast! Check before you go to class, or carry different clothing items in your holdall just in case. 

A General Rule

Wearing absorbant leggings (in case you do end up working up a sweat) and tank tops (anything with elastic waists and movable fabric) will prevent any distractions due to discomfort with your clothing. Watch out for tricky buttons and zippers that may restrict your range of movement and that could pinch your body parts as you bend and stretch. Just avoid them when it comes to yoga practice. 

Don’t wear old leggings that might have holes in them, or that have been rubbed thin between the legs. You’ll be surprised what some yoga poses will reveal! Similarly, you might want to avoid thin fabrics that show what you’re wearing (or NOT wearing!) underneath.

Here’s a few examples you should get started with:

Say No to Short Shorts!

Avoid shorts if you can, since they are likely to ride up as you bend and stretch, and yoga buddies (if you’re part of a group) will get a good view of your private world! As I said, your legs will be sporting all sorts of positions and all us men and women will have lots to show for ourselves if we’re wearing shorts! If you love shorts, wear the stretchy, breathable types shown below. They’re snazzy, and fit for purpose at the same time.

Avoid Embarrassing Fall-Outs!

Similarly, for the ladies with bigger bust sizes, low-cut tanks could be a fall-out disaster too! Make sure you get yourself some good support bras. In yoga, you may not be jumping around as you would in a Zumba class, but all the twists and downward poses can have things popping out at all angles. Make sure your support bra holds you firm and covers the whole breast area so nothing can escape. Have a look at these:

Buy Mosture-Wicking Underwear

Make sure you buy chafe-free, breathable underwear for your yoga practice that will wick the sweat and so keep you cool and infection-free (damp undies can be a breeding ground for bacteria). Don’t wear your regular cotton or lace variety of under-garments, as they are likely to get heavy with sweat and make you feel icky and uncomfortable. You want to avoid all these distractions, especially during meditative yoga. Underwear with sweat-wicking fabric prevents this discomfort by getting rid of moisture really quickly, keeping you dry and comfortable during your yoga workout. If you want to go all the way on high-tech performance gear, you can also buy odor-eliminating,  temperature-regulating, antibacterial undies. Try some of these for starters:

Don’t Wear Loose T-shirts!

Some yoga poses have you bending in positions that will have your loose t-shirt toppling down towards your head. Wear close-fitting tanks that will not ride up or fold over your boobies (the men are safe) when your legs are in the air! For both men and women, shirts or t-shirts that ride up and over can be irritating and get in the way of what we are trying to achieve through yoga. Constantly having to adjust clothing while trying to perform an asana simply doesn’t get the objectives of yoga met, so stick to the form-fitting clothes. Have a look at these:

Go Barefoot

Yoga is generally performed without shoes or socks, on a yoga mat which clings to the floor. Wearing socks will have you slipping everywhere, and sports shoes are just uncomfortable (not fit for purpose). In colder weather, however, or during the yoga warm-up phase, you might feel the cold in your legs, though your feet will be protected from the cool floor by the yoga mat. In this case, you might want to invest in some calf compression sleeves that will keep your legs warm, while keeping your feet free of any covering.  Alternatively, you could just cut away the feet of a tight-fitting pair of long socks. Here are some calf sleeves to consider:

Last! Protect Yourself (And Others) Against Body Odours!

As I’ve already pointed out, yoga can get you sweating, and rather sticky in various places around your body. The bacteria that gathers can cause some rather unpleasant odours to be emitted, and if you don’t wash your yoga clothes regularly, can be a real breeding sanctuary for them. Protect yourself with plenty of deodorant before you leave the house, and wear clothing that wicks the sweat while deodorising and eliminating the germs. And clean your yoga equipment and clothes often. 

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