So you've finally decided to sign up for that yoga for beginners class, and you've done your research on just about everything you think you would need to know about practicing yoga. But before you jump the gun and head to your first yoga for beginners class, let us remind you of one of the very basic requirements for doing yoga - the perfect workout clothes. If you're in doubt about what you should wear for your next class, we suggest you ditch your trusty Juicy Couture sweats and read on to find out what would be the perfect yoga clothes for women.
Types of Yoga Clothes for Women
There are a lot of options available when it comes to yoga clothes for women. From colors and styles, to brands and cuts of yoga clothes for women, there are a ton of choices available that you can mix and match and change it up so you will feel comfortable AND look good in your workout clothes. But before we go into the quality and make of yoga clothes for women, let's first go through these options. What are the types of workout clothing that are suitable for yoga classes?
Leggings, Capris, and Harlem Pants
Some yoginis and more advanced yoga students wear loose fitting harlem pants to classes. But if you're just going on your first yoga for beginners class, we suggest you take the leggings or capri pants route. This is because you will need to first get used to doing the poses and learn to do them properly. Wearing long stretchy pants (like jazz pants) is not recommended among beginners because you might step on the hem while switching between poses, although this isn’t too much of an issue and can be easily worked out. Wearing snug-fitting bottoms will make it easier for you to check the alignment of your hips, legs, and knees with the different yoga positions you'll be doing.
Shirts, Tanks, Tops, and Bras
Most women prefer to wear tank tops made of a cotton and lycra (spandex) blend when they do yoga. For one, it's easier to cool off because of the cut. Two, tank tops like these have a snug fit and thus absorb sweat more quickly and effectively. Loose tee shirts are usually a no-no when doing yoga because they have a tendency to get in the way of movement, especially if they are not made of stretchable material. Especially in back bends and inversions, they can hang over your face and add to your difficulty. Some yogis wear midriff tops when doing yoga because they make it easier for students to see how the back and arms are angled when doing poses. It is not encouraged to wear underwire bras during yoga sessions because these also inhibit movement, also a regular bra with hooks on the back can dig into your spine when you do floor exercises. Instead, go for tops that have built-in pads and use sweat-absorbent material. Otherwise, a sports bra and tank top that you can take off if you feel too warm works just fine as well.
Gloves and Socks
Yoga is commonly practiced with bare hands and feet. However, there are some who prefer to wear socks (or feet gloves) and gloves when doing yoga usually to get better traction on the surface of the mat they use. Feet gloves used for yoga are usually cut out at the toes. Wearing hand gloves may also be useful for those who have sweaty palms to prevent from slipping. If you are considering wearing gloves or socks, choose those that are lightweight and made of stretchable material. Ideally, these socks and gloves come with grips, or little rubberized dots that prevent you from slipping on the mat.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for Yoga Clothes for Women
Even though the many different types of yoga share a lot of common elements, it is still recommended to keep in mind the style of yoga you'll be doing when you shop for yoga clothes for women. For Bikram of Hot Yoga, you may want to go for shorter bottoms and sleeveless tops. For yoga styles that are slower-paced and less vigorous (like Vinyasa), you may be able to pull off wearing long skirts and stretchable harlem pants. Aside from yoga style, here are other factors you should look into when you go shopping for yoga clothes.
Material, Comfort, and Fit
Comfort is the top priority when picking out yoga clothes for women, or any kind of clothes for that matter. However, this doesn't mean that you could just go for ANYTHING that would feel like comfortable workout clothes. You also have to consider the material used and how it fits you. For yoga, you should go for clothes that have significant stretch ability and fits a bit snugly so you and your instructor can monitor your movements better. As mentioned, one of the best combinations of materials for yoga clothes may be cotton and Lycra because cotton absorbs sweat really well and Lycra is highly stretchable. One thing that yoga blogs don’t really tell you is to look out for the thickness of the material in relation to your underwear. Even black leggings, if stretched too thin and aren’t made out of good material, will become practically see-through. So you might want to consider getting underwear that isn’t too flashy and printed and are well-fitted enough to avoid discomfort and VPL (aka visible panty lines).
Durability and Price
There are tons of retailers that offer stylish and durable yoga clothes for a good price. You don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money on yoga clothing, although we do recommend allowing yourself to spend more if you want something that will last you a hundred yoga sessions. Fortunately, yoga has become so popular that now you can find a wide range of styles at different prices, so with a little research and shopping around, you’re bound to find your perfect yoga gear. Bonus points if you are able to find ethically upstanding, ecologically conscious brands in line with yogic principles, as yoga is a lifestyle that permeates practically every aspect of your practice both on and off the mat.
Shopping for yoga clothes for women shouldn't be that hard as long as you keep in mind the kind of yoga you'll be doing, and put comfort before fashion. We can't stress enough how important it is that you get the right kind of clothes not just for safety, but also to make the most out of your session by being able to do the poses without being hampered by clothing issues.