Heading to your first yoga class and not quite sure what to wear? Here are a few tips on what’s appropriate (and what’s not)…
What to wear, what to wear? When you are deciding what you should wear while practicing yoga, sometimes it seems like there are entirely too many choices. Should you wear loose fitting clothes, or tight ones? Are flashy, bright colors acceptable at class? Or are you expected to be muted and conservative in your clothing color choices?
These are all great questions that deserve consideration when you decide what you should wear while performing your yoga asanas, poses and sequences, but there are a few simple rules you should definitely follow when heading to your first yoga class.
Remember, as with any physical exercise, your goal with yoga should be to dress for comfort and fit. You should be able to move easily from one pose to another without having to fuss with your outfit. If you are attending yoga class for the first time, you are probably already experiencing enough anxiety… No need to add to that by wearing ill-fitting clothing!
The focus of yoga is calmness and serenity, not individual notoriety. So leave the neon pink and purple colors at home, choosing instead colors which promote peace and tranquility in yourself and others.
Light and loose-fitting clothing made of cotton or linen is great for yoga. What may seem obvious to some may not be others, so just in case – leave the leather, synthetic rubber and denim for other activities. 🙂 And men, make sure that your clothing is loose – but not overly so. You’re not looking for an accidental exposure which embarrasses you as well as your fellow yoga classmates!
For women, you also should dress to ensure that there is not an accidental “wardrobe malfunction.” Test out potential yoga outfits at home in front of a mirror to see how much you’re showing off, or simply ask your instructor for some guidelines in this area.
On the other hand, don’t go too far in the other direction either. Remember, you are simply trying to cover your body, not hide it. You are aiming for function over fashion. If you are bathed in voluminous folds of fabric, your instructor may not be able to correctly see your alignment or body posture. To give you proper insight and guidance, your teacher needs to be able to see your body parts move.
When it comes to choosing one fabric over another, this generally comes down to personal preference. Don’t forget, however, that cotton absorbs sweat very efficiently – and retains it. If you know that you sweat heavily, you may want to choose quick-dry clothing materials that wick the sweat away from your skin. This lets your body breathe more easily and keeps you cool and comfortable.
Many established yoga clothing companies have developed a layering method which offers many benefits. For example, lightweight jackets with zippers, long-sleeved hoodies and other similar garments are excellent for colder weather. These are also great to bring to a yoga class that is being held in a cold or cool room. And by wearing layers you raise your core temperature, which loosens muscles and allows your body to cool down slowly after class. Wear these items over a tank top or fitted t-shirt and yoga pants, yoga shorts, or leggings. If you get too warm during the class, you can simply remove a layer.
Dressing properly for your first yoga class can ensure a positive experience, both physically and spiritually, while minimizing embarrassing or uncomfortable experiences.