Whether you’ve recently discovered a love for yoga or you are heading to your first class ever, deciding what to wear can be a challenge. While the act of yoga is meant to be meditative and relaxing, deciding on an appropriate outfit can be quite stressful. Like any sport, wearing the right clothes can make a significant difference. As such, it’s important to find the perfect pieces that will help you bend, stretch, and stay comfortable throughout the whole class. Luckily, there are plenty of great activewear brands waiting to provide you with all the gear required to be a top yogi. Now all you need to know is which pieces are worth investing in, and we can help with that.
Types of Yoga Classes
If you’re not familiar with yoga, you may want to do some research into the different class types before beginning. Far from just one thing, yoga can refer to many different classes. As such, it’s important to know the differences to find the right one for you. Knowing which yoga you’re attending will also help to manage your expectations and give you a guide on what to wear. For example, Bikram and hot yoga classes are taught in a heated room, meaning that you’ll sweat. As such, these detoxifying sessions demand clothes that are designed to wick away moisture.
If you are attending a beginner class, it may be a Hatha or Vinyasa type. These classes are focused on coordinating movement and breath with Vinyasa being slightly faster and involving more intense stretching, leg lifting, and inversions. Iyengar yoga, on the other hand, focuses on poses that you would hold for a longer period of time, allowing you to find your balance and deepen the stretch. This style of yoga will also often use props. There are also Power and Ashtanga yoga classes that involve constant movement between poses, making them more challenging than other types.
If you’ve never been to yoga before, it’s good to familiarise yourself with the basic etiquette before attending your first session. For starters, ensure that you get there early. At least 10 minutes is recommended to get a spot where you feel comfortable. Upon arrival, remove your shoes and socks before heading into the room. Most studios will have a place for you to store your shoes, but if you are unsure, try asking at the desk. Once in the room, unroll your mat and face toward the instructor. If it’s your first class, you should also introduce yourself to your instructor and communicate any injuries. Finally, try to stay to the end of the class and if you must leave early, ensure that you do so before the relaxation time at the end of the session.
Choosing what to wear to yoga is an important decision that can either enhance or hinder your time in the class. To ensure you get the most out of your session, choose pieces that are flexible and will move with you while keeping you covered. Avoid any restrictive or uncomfortable garments as they can be distracting and take you out of the moment. Instead, opt for fitted designs with plenty of stretch in fabrics that are soft and breathable, such cotton, bamboo or jersey. Of course, an outfit that is fashionable doesn’t hurt either so have fun with your yoga wardrobe.
Choosing a good sports bra is important to having a successful yoga session, particularly if you’re big busted. Whether you want to wear your sports bra underneath a top or on its own, picking one that supports and holds you is a must. After all, you don’t want your bra slipping out of place and revealing what’s beneath, so make sure that you choose a style that will stay neatly in place throughout every Downward Dog and Headstand pose. Likewise, bras that are lightweight, V-neck or light in colour may not be the best option for an intense yoga session.
Singlets and tanks can be great for yoga as they provide you with unrestricted arm movement. When it comes to choosing one, it’s best to avoid any that are too loose. As yoga often requires upside down or angled movement, any tops that are too loose will bunch up and move around. Along with revealing your stomach, this can also be distracting, annoying, and it may even block your vision. To avoid this issue, you should choose singlets and tank tops that fit snugly and stay in place throughout all your movements. A style that is form-fitting without feeling tight or binding will make an excellent choice.
Long Sleeve Tops
Just as with your singlets and tanks, it’s best to avoid loose long sleeve tops. Instead, opt for something fitted that will stay in place throughout every inversion. Likewise, avoid anything with a very low neckline to ensure proper coverage during the class. If you do wish to wear a looser long sleeve top, you should consider partnering it with a singlet underneath. Doing so will have many benefits, including keeping you covered should your top fall out of place. It will also allow you to keep warm or cool during different sections of the class by either wearing the long sleeve top or removing it to reveal the singlet beneath.
Tights are an essential investment for any yoga student. These comfortable and stretchable pants will provide you with a full range of movement and allow your instructor to check your alignment. The material of tights will also absorb any sweat, making it easier to maintain certain poses. Just be sure to choose a pair with quick-drying fabric to ensure a comfortable session. When it comes to length, you can select either cropped or full-length tights depending on your preference and the class type. In general, cropped styles are ideal for fast-paced and hot classes while full-length designs are perfect for slower sessions. Also, be aware that any thin or light coloured tights may become see-through during certain poses, so thick styles in dark hues tend to be best.
Good yoga shorts can be difficult to find, but once you have a pair, you will find them invaluable for hot and Bikram classes. When choosing a pair, avoid both short shorts and loose shorts. As you’ll be twisting your body into unique positions, it’s best to wear other styles that will keep you covered. Pick a pair that makes you feel confident enough to bend and contort with your legs up in the air without feeling exposed. Also, ensure that they don’t bunch up when you move otherwise you’ll constantly be pulling them down. A fitted pair that finishes around mid-thigh height will be perfect. You can even try bicycle shorts if you’re struggling to find the ideal style.
Unlike many other sports, yoga does not require footwear. This means that you will need to remove your shoes and socks before entering the class. While you may think that this excuses you from having to think about what to wear on your feet, it does not. You will still need to find a pair that matches your yoga outfit and can be worn both before and after the class. Of course, sneakers make an excellent choice and will complete your athletic look, but other shoe styles can also be great. In particular, slides and sandals will provide your outfit with a casual edge and have the benefit of being easy to put on and take off before and after each session.
Heading to yoga doesn’t just require clothes, it also calls for accessories. While it’s best to leave the jewellery at home, pieces such as a headband may be helpful. Of course, the most important yoga accessory is your mat. If you’re new to yoga and do not own a mat, call ahead before your session to ensure that the studio has one for you to use. After a few classes, consider investing in your own. Yoga mats are available in a wide range of colours, materials, and thicknesses, so choose the one that best suits you and your class type. You can also purchase a yoga bag or strap to make carting your mat around easier. A water bottle and towel to keep you hydrated and sweat-free are also essential yoga accessories.
What to Wear to Yoga Class
- Wear a sports bra that supports and holds you throughout all movements.
- Choose singlets and tank tops that are fitted.
- Try layering a long sleeve top over a singlet top and removing it during intense sections of the class.
- Quality, quick-drying tights in either a full or cropped length make an excellent option for pants.
- For heated classes like Bikram, wear fitted shorts that finish around mid-thigh height.
- When travelling to and from yoga, wear either sneakers, slides or sandals.