As a yoga teacher, one of the things I often get asked by new students to my classes is “what should I wear?”
Now, everyone is different when it comes to what they like to exercise and relax in, but for me it’s about feeling comfortable.
In yoga there are many strong movements and deep stretches, so I find that leggings or trousers that allow you to move easily are best. I’m also a big fan of a stretchy waistband! If you don’t want something too clingy, don’t worry, there are lots of looser yoga trousers available.
When it comes to tops, I’m all about the layers! In yoga your body temperature can increase greatly through the main practice and cool down significantly during Shavasana (relaxation), so it is important to have a jumper or long-sleeve top on hand to keep warm (and even a blanket if you feel so inclined).
Again, I like to go for comfort, with a supportive sports bra and then a top that is not too restrictive (I tend to go for a strappy top or vest, not a t-shirt). The restriction factor is not only for ease of movement in yoga postures, but to allow you to breathe freely. Utilising your breath is very important in yoga, it allows you to be strong in a pose and deepen into a posture, so you won’t want to wear something too tight, which restricts your ability to breathe deeply.
I have to say that I never wear socks when practicing yoga. This is for two reasons. Firstly, safety – floors and sometimes even mats can be a bit slippy, so when you are in a standing balance, or anything wide-legged, you may well find that socks will not only hinder you movement, but also your stability. Secondly, in yoga it is important to ground yourself with your mat and the earth beneath you and being bare foot helps me with this. I can spread my toes to anchor myself into the ground and feel that connection. Of course, if you need to wear socks for any reason there are pairs available which have grips on the bottom. You also may well like to put socks on for your shavasana, to keep those toes warm!
Now let’s talk accessories! It’s best to remove any jewellery or accessories that may get in the way or get tangled. It’s also a good idea to take things off like a smart watch, mainly because it can be distracting if messages are coming through whilst you are trying to get into the yoga zone!
Likewise, if you have long hair like I do, it’s best to tie it back when practicing yoga, because quite frankly, it just gets in the way!
What I will also say is that you do not have to spend a fortune on new fancy yoga clothes or activewear to practice yoga. I often mix it up. I have some great pieces from the likes of Sweaty Betty, Gymshark and Lululemon, but I’m also a big fan of H&M’s activewear range and when it comes to layering up, you may well even find me in a supermarket-bought cardigan. There are lots of great options out there.
So, I guess the point of this post is – don’t let not knowing what to wear to a yoga class put you off going – as long as you feel comfy, that’s all that matters.
See you on the mat.
Kate is the Founder of All About the Om – Yoga with Kate. She is a yoga teacher based in Frome in Somerset, offering group classes, 121 sessions and yoga and brunch events, perfect for all levels and experiences of yoga.