Ever wondered what you should wear when you’re practising yoga? It’s a question that sounds easy to answer, but there are a few things to consider before you hit the mat. Here are some suggestions on how to dress for a yoga class.
Layer it up
Some types of yoga are more energetic that others, and the temperature in yoga studios can be inconsistent. The easiest way to cover all eventualities is to wear thin, breathable layers that you can remove if you get warm and to bring a lightweight jumper or throw for the cool down or relaxation (Shavasana) at the end.
Support, not slippage
When you’re stretching, leaning and moving around, you need clothing that supports your muscles and keeps everything tucked in place. Trust me: a yoga class isn’t the time to wear short shorts or slinky low-cut tops – you’ll feel rather exposed and leave nothing to the imagination!
When you’re looking for new yoga wear, opt for items with supportive stretchiness in the material, yoga-friendly flexible seams and anti-rise panels. Not only will this preserve your modesty, it’ll make it easier for your instructor to check your form is right during asanas. Women, consider wearing a sports bra for extra support and comfort (you can get ones that are made for low-impact sports).
On another slippage-related note, most people don’t wear socks when doing yoga as they can affect your grip and the feeling of oneness with the mat. However, if you find you slip on your mat or if you know you’re someone who gets sweaty soles during activity, you can buy special yoga socks that are thin and grippy.
Whether you choose a t-shirt or vest as your base layer, make sure it is form-fitting and comfortable. You want to be able to forget about what you’re wearing and move easily, so check your stomach doesn’t peek out when you stretch your arms, check the neckline doesn’t reveal all when you bend over and check your sleeves don’t irritate you. If you’re only comfortable in a baggy top, you could wear a camisole underneath or tuck it in when doing inversions.
Finding your ideal leggings
When it comes to legwear, it’s largely a matter of preference. Yoga leggings are more expensive than a standard pair of leggings, but the value is in the added support and flexibility. If you wear leggings that aren’t designed for yoga, they may split at the crotch or show your pants when you stretch.
There are loads of style options, from colours and patterns to high waisted and mesh panelled, so have fun choosing. And yes, guys can wear leggings too (they’re often called ‘meggings’).
What to wear if you hate leggings
If leggings are a no-no in your book, fear not: there are many other options. Anything very light and loose has a tendency to bunch up, so choose something stretchy and snug. You also want to avoid trousers that are too long (pairs that are tapered around the ankles work well) or trousers with bulky fastenings or drawstrings. Popular choices that work well include tapered harem pants and jersey tracksuit bottoms.
The golden rule
So, to wrap everything up into one simple sentence you can keep in mind when dressing for a yoga class, it’s this: wear clothes that are comfortable, supportive, non-restrictive and lightweight.