Yoga is all about calm, meditative exercise, not fashion faux pas. But all the same, being properly outfitted for class means you'll be comfortable and be able to center your thoughts on balance instead of saggy pants, loose shirts or constricting undergarments. Load your gym bag up with the right gear and you'll find that your practice benefits from clothes that are comfortable and flexible.
Undergarments are the best foundation for any workout routine and that holds true with yoga. Since you're often in inverted positions, women should look for sports bras that offer plenty of support. You'll also need to wear comfortable, breathable underwear that works well with your yoga pants or shorts. Cotton works well for regular yoga, while performance fabrics wick sweat away better for hot yoga. Just remember to change out of your undergarments directly after class to limit bacterial growth due to sweat.
Tops should always fit comfortably, not loosely. That's because a good instructor will need to check your form frequently, and that's difficult if you're covered in loose fabric. A performance tank or T-shirt works well. When choosing tops, consider the modesty factor. While a low-cut top might look great on the way to the gym, you don't want your practice being constantly interrupted by needing to yank up your top. What's more, different poses like full bridge can tug your shirt down, so look for a top with good coverage.
The type of bottoms you wear depends on the type of yoga you practice. Hot yoga enthusiasts often show up to class in short-shorts, but remember that sweaty legs can make it difficult for your feet to grip in tree and other foot-to-leg poses. Leggings work extremely well for this purpose, since they're light, flexible and when purchased in performance fabrics, help wick sweat away from your body. As with shirts, you'll need pants that fit snug to the body. Not only will they show off your form better, but loose pants and shirts can slide around, making it difficult to grip and showing off your well-chosen undergarments.
Hairstyles and Accessories
Think about how you wear your hair to yoga class. In most cases, cloth headbands are the accessory of choice, since they get your strands out of your face and are soft enough to not impede your movements in inverted or headstand positions. Skip hard barrettes or claw clips, since they'll dig into your head. Cloth scrunchies, however outdated they might be, are usually the most comfortable hair tie choice for yoga.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.