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Can I Leave My Socks On In Yoga Class?

Yoga | Yoga for Beginners

This might sound stupid, but my feet get super cold during yoga class. Can't I just leave my socks on? Renate R.

The Answer

Every so often, I see a student or two wearing socks in my classes. I’ve always wondered why: perhaps they get cold, or are grossed out by the idea of walking around barefoot, or are embarrassed by their feet, or just don’t know if they should leave them on or not.

Perhaps it’s different for each person, but in the end, the decision to wear socks is totally up to you. My opinion? Keep them off. Wearing socks can make the poses unstable and slippery, and in turn, a lot harder than they need to be (after all, yoga is about finding comfort in the distress, right?). Especially in standing poses, the barrier of a sock between your foot and the floor may inhibit your practice by making it more difficult to stabilize your body.

There are specific “yoga socks” that I see people use every now and then. While I’ve never used them myself, the grippy aspect helps prevent the slip and slide action, while keeping your feet warm and protected, for lack of a better word. These socks are often known to be useful to those who get very sweaty in class. Toe-socks in particular keep your toes exposed, allowing you to be able to activate your feet (super important in our practice!) while covering the rest of your feet.

Additional Tips

If the class is so cold that you feel the need to wear socks, consider talking to your teacher about using heat in the studio space. Now, it doesn’t have to be a million degrees in there, but it is important to practice in a room that is (at least) warm and comfortable. Who wants to be worrying about wearing layers to class, when attention should be on the body and the breath? Also, practicing in a heated room helps to get deeper into the muscles, and therefore can help prevent injury. Namaste!

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