Any yoga blog will tell you that sometimes the perfect yoga clothes aren't necessarily the ones that are a pricey or are those designed specifically for practicing yoga. Yoga is not a sartorially demanding fitness routine; you don't really need anything other than a mat to practice it. BUT if you want to fully maximize the benefits when doing yoga poses, here are several characteristics you should look for when shopping for yoga clothes.
Fits Just Right: Not Too Loose or Too Tight
The reason you should avoid wearing too tight-fitting clothes when doing yoga is quite obvious: it can limit your movement and prevent you from doing and holding yoga poses properly. Too-tight clothing can also cut off blood circulation and can cause injury. But why is it not advisable to wear yoga clothes that are too loose? For one, a loose shirt will fall on your face when you do yoga poses where you have to bend down or do inversions. Two, if your top is too long, you would have to keep lifting it up when you do seated poses and twists. Lastly, loose shirts and pants will make it more difficult for you to check if your lower body is properly aligned when you execute a pose.
Appropriate for Your Type of Yoga
A general rule for yoga clothes is that they should be a bit on the form-fitting side, but also comfortable. Let's say you're into Bikram Yoga, a type of practice that involves doing yoga in a heated room. If the type of yoga you're doing is Bikram, then we suggest you go with short yoga shorts and a stretchable tee shirt or tank top, or even a midriff cut top designed for hot yoga to allow more heat to freely escape your body as you sweat profusely. Other types of yoga, such as Kundalini, don’t put a lot of emphasis on precise movements, so loose, flowing clothes are just fine.
Just the Right Length for Yoga Pants
Yoga pants come in different textures, stretches, and lengths. Most would agree that pants that reach below your ankles are a too long, and can get in the way when doing standing poses, especially if the pants' bottoms are a bit wide. Fitted legging-type pants can be any length, since they’re adjustable, and can even go over the heel. Again, take into consideration the type of yoga you’ll be practicing. For example, several sequences in the Ashtanga Primary Series can actually make use of the sweat as a sort of lubricant for poses wherein you insert your arms in between your crossed legs, so pants on the short side or those that can be rolled up can actually put you at an advantage.
Like we said, the perfect yoga clothes are those that are comfortable enough to move in freely, stretchable enough to allow you a proper range of motion, and fitted enough to allow your body to breathe just right. They don't have to be expensive or particularly body-hugging; what's important is they allow you to move openly and won't hinder you from checking your body alignment and doing yoga poses properly.
What do you wear to yoga class? Comment below!