You’ll need to find clothes that work for you, as well as the type of yoga you’re planning on practicing. But typically you’ll want to wear:
- Breathable, comfortable bottoms
- A form-fitting top
- For women a sports bra that offers support
- A warm top for savasana (lying prone near the end of class) or after class when you’re cooling down.
You’ll want to look for polyester-nylon-spandex blends, like those you find in yoga-specific clothing. These types of fabric offer the right balance of flexibility, breathability and comfort, all necessary for class.
Flexibility is needed because you’ll be bending, flexing, reaching and lunging. You’ll need clothing that can do all of the above. That typically means 15 percent spandex.
Breathability is necessary because you’ll probably be sweating a lot. If you’re heading to a hot yoga or Bikram class, you’ll be sweating a ton. That’s why you want materials that are breathable and moisture wicking. Tank tops, cutout shirts and yoga pants with mesh pocket will all help improve venting. You’ll want to avoid cotton, which holds moisture in.
Finally you’ll want clothing that promotes comfort. You don’t want to be uncomfortable in class. That means paying attention to seams and tags, ill-fitting waistbands and fabric that chafes.
Many people now wear yoga clothings for fashion, not just class. You’ll often find yoga clothing with pockets, plenty of colors and patterns and mesh cutouts. Remember, when you’re wearing these types of clothes to a normal yoga class, you’ll want to make sure that they actually function. Try doing some Sun Salutations in the store before buying your clothes.
Yoga pants are offered in a wide variety of styles, lengths and fits. Try high-waisted leggings or pants because they’re less likely to ride down too far in inversions like Downward Dog. You can try loose fitting pants for slower classes, but tight fitting pants for high-velocity classes.
Yoga shorts are a good option for men, as they often have built-in liners for comfort. Women might like shorts for very hot classes, although they most likely don’t offer as much coverage in bends and inversions.
Yoga tops are another important piece for consideration. You’ll want a form-fitting T-shirt of tank top, one that fits snugly around the hips. This ensures the shirt won’t fall over your head during bending postures. You’ll want to choose a breathable, moisture-wicking material too. And why not bend forward to touch your toes in the fitting room. If the shirt gapes at the chest or falls over your head, it’s not the right shirt for you.
Yoga sweaters are another nice piece of clothing for consideration. If you are planning on doing errands after class, you’ll probably want something warm. Extra layers can prevent that chill that usually happens after leaving the warm room of the studio.