So you have researched all about yoga, you know what it is and all the wonderful health benefits that you can reap from it. You have happily signed up for a yoga class, but before you get started, one of the most obvious question that beginners face is what to wear for yoga class? Obviously wearing the right clothes can help you focus better on your practice, avoid any frustration from any parts of the clothes sticking out on your way and help your instructor easily notice and correct your moves without you being hidden in a loose fitted fabric.
1. Type of fabric and colours
Cotton fabrics are a big no-no when it comes to selecting your tops, bottoms or inner-wear for yoga because cotton absorb all the moisture which infact is good but they will soak you in sweat. If you do not like polyester, they are so many other fabrics available like rayon, spandex, siro modal, lycra. Breathability of the fabric is the first thing to take into account while picking your fabric. If the fabric is not breathable then there is no space for the moisture to escape to the surface, this moisture built causes our body to further heat up and you will feel hotter and irritated. Always opt for darker colours because lighter colours will always be transparent no matter how thick they are. Lighter colours may not seem transparent when you wear them daily for regular chores but while you are doing yoga, they is going to be lot of deep twisting, turning, back and forward bending which will likely expose your hidden treasures. If you are not sure about how thick or see through they are, try them out in the fitting room while performing some of your yoga poses.
Tank tops will allow for a good range of motion and prevent any discomfort that comes especially from sweaty armpits. Ideally I prefer shelf bra tank tops and they should be long. Shelf bra tank tops are very comfortable because they eliminate the need to wear a regular bra which is not as comfortable for a relaxed yoga session plus they provide a slim fit look to the body. Your best bet is find one that comes with removable bra, so that you can either use the tank top built in bra or wear your own bra. If the built in bra support is not enough for you then then you can always wear a bra underneath. If you are taking up slow yoga classes which involves a lot of sitting or never know the temperature of the studio may be chilled then you may opt for full sleeve shirts as well but always add a tank top layer underneath so that the top layer can be removed when it gets heated up.
Avoid too loose or tight fitted tops because you do not want your top to bunch up on your tummy (unless you are not as modest) while you do a headstand neither would you want it to cover your face or block your vision. On the other hand a tight fitted top may restrict air flow and movement. Ideally you would need a snug fitted top that is stretchable enough to move with the body so that it does not restrict your movement.
Avoid low cut or v neck as they may reveal too much, you may want to keep your breasts covered while you go for the inverted poses. One most important factor to consider while selecting your top is make sure the fabric is breathable and moisture wicking. Surprisingly cotton tops are a big no no, because if you sweat too much or if you are doing hot, Bikram or fast paced vinyasa yoga cotton will absorb all the moisture and will not dry as fast which will show sweat spots all over the top.
Wearing the right bottoms can save you from so much frustration as you do not want to be spending all that time on trying to adjust your waistband again and again. Yoga bottoms should not have any zippers, buttons or hooks as they will dig into your skin and cause chafing while you bend and twist. Leggings are the best option for yoga because they are elastic, snug fitted and lightweight. One factor to consider is the material of the fabric, does it stay in place or keep rolling off your hips? There is nothing worse than doing the downward dog with your bottoms rolling down.
Longer or three quarter tights work better than
short ones for a sweaty practice like bikram or hot yoga because your sweaty feet and palms will cause you to slide all over the place. If your knees are covered they will give you a better traction, additionally longer pants also provide you enough coverage while you bend, lift your legs in the air or do the cow pose. If you decide to wear shorts , make sure they are not too short or loose as they will ride up during the bending or inverted poses hence you would need to pull them back every couples of minutes. Additionally avoid any drawstrings to your bottoms to minimize your chances of stepping on them and flipping over.
4. Bra and underwear
Invest in a good quality sports bra that is not
v-neck especially if you are big busted. As I mentioned earlier avoid wearing light colours because no matter how thick they are, they will expose your private assets. The material of your bra should be moisture wicking and not absorb moisture like a cotton bra which will bathe you in sweat by the end of your class. The same logic applies for the underwear, avoid any light colours and stick with moisture wicking fabric. What could be worse than showing sweat spots in those areas, save yourself the embarrassment or just go without underwear whenever possible.
5. Jewellery and yoga accessories
It is best to remove all your jewellery and keep it aside in your bag or simply remove it prior to attending the class. If you wear expensive jewellery to class chances are you might misplace it; when I was new to yoga I wore my necklace to the class and luckily a fellow student pointed out that my necklace was clinging onto the end of my shirt. But not every one can be that lucky. Jewellery can also be a distraction and get into your way while going upside down, bending or lying down while resting your face on the mat.
You do not need any accessories except a good yoga mat that has a firm grip and a towel to wipe off your sweat. If you are a beginner, props will definitely help but there is no need to carry extra weight if your yoga studio offers props and most studios do so.
It is fine to not wear perfect yoga clothing as a beginner after all we all learn from our experiences and moreover yoga is about leaving your ego behind and embracing new changes. In this post I provided a detailed information about what to wear for yoga class, however everything comes to us from trial and error method so if you have different clothing preferences then with ongoing classes you will soon find out what clothing suits your needs and comfort level. But before you go for shopping, I would like to remind you of the main features that you would need in your yoga clothing, they are breathability, stretchability, snug fit, lightweight and moisture wicking.
I would love to hear from you, leave your comments below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.