Choosing the Right Outfit for Yoga
Inspired to try your first yoga class, but no idea what to wear? Fear not, you are not alone. With so any different styles available to try now, the whole concept can seem a little overwhelming and confusing. Here’s a breakdown of some of the different types out there, and what you should wear for each, as regardless of the style, comfort and fit are key. So you can stay focused on perfecting that bridge or crow, rather than an avoidable wardrobe mishap!
Prepare to sweat, like you have never sweated before. Bikram yoga is yoga style that was developed by Bikram Choudhury in the early 70’s. The class incorporates 26 poses, and you will make your way through these whilst immersed in an artificially heated room, usually to around 40 degrees. Bikram yoga has gained a great following, and has proved increasingly popular within recent years for its high fat burning and increased flexibility qualities as opposed to room temperature styles. Bikram yoga makes the heart work harder, and faster, leading to a better cardiovascular workout whilst the heat also helps to loosen muscles and allows the body to stretch further, and for longer than other methods of exercise, or yoga.
Better flexibility contains many benefits, including, lower risk of injury, lower back pain, improved posture, improved circulation, increased strength, better endurance and focus, and even can help in healing symptoms or conditions of illnesses such as reducing pain caused from asthma or arthritis. Due to the high temperatures, you want clothing that can wick away sweat and dries quickly, because trust me you will sweat, and alot. Running style leggings, and tops are good places to start as these are tight, whilst also stretchy, so allow greater range of movement, which is definitely required for all those 26 yoga poses!
Avoid cotton material articles of clothing as these actually trap sweat, and become heavy, meaning you will only feel more uncomfortable than you already will; sweating it out, in a room full of strangers doing some weird new poses. (Trust me, it’s worth it.) Ensuring you are as comfortable as you can be is key, tight fitting, sweat proof clothes are the best as anything baggy will quickly become a nuisance and fall down when doing positions such as the downward facing dog.
Go Easy Pants from Yoga Matters
Largely a generic term referring to any style of yoga that includes the teaching of a set of physical movements and positions. Most classes that are taught across the western world incorporate hatha yoga. Classes that are described as hatha usually mean you will get an introduction into the core, basic yoga poses and will learn about not only using your body, but also incorporating your mind to allow yourself to be removed from the world for the duration of the class. Here you will begin your spiritual development into training your body and brain to become aware of one’s self and improve your inner self.
Unlike Bikram yoga you are unlikely to work up a great sweat, but you are guaranteed to leave feeling, lighter, stretched, and looser. It will also definitely help serve as a relaxation and escape method from the daily grind. For this style of yoga, no super short shorts or as before loose clothing is advised.
Whereas shorts are perfect for cycling, not so much for yoga, as some of the positions involve legs and arms in some unusual positions, which can be quite revealing, and exposing. You want to ensure everything is covered, if you know what I mean. Shorts can also bunch up when you move which is best avoided, as you want to be fully immersed in the lesson, not focusing on when you’re going to next have to pull them down. Do go for a cropped jumper, paired with fitted high-waisted, full-length leggings. Ensuring your booty is fully covered as well as your stomach. The leggings in correct materials will not only help to absorb sweat, and keep you cool, but will give you better grip to pull off some of those more challenging moves.
Focusing much more on the relaxation side of yoga, than the physical, relaxation yoga offers a great way for some much needed ‘me’ time, and soothe any nerves or stresses. Usually consisting of only around 5 or 6 poses held for around 5 minutes, this style heavily involves the use of props, bolsters and blankets to help support you whilst carrying out the poses.
It allows the body to feel the benefits from doing that pose, taking away the stress, and effort on the body, meaning maximum relaxation, and minimum effort. You can expect to find seated positions, milder bodily twists, and gentle backbends taking the focus of the movements. A decent restorative class can prove more beneficial than a nap. Most gyms or studios will run classes on a Friday night, where a much needed relaxation period is needed after a stressful working week, this allows for a proper wind down, before the weekend activities begin.
Bethany Pembrook is a freelance writer for a number of online publications. She works chiefly within the health and fitness sectors as both a researcher and content producer, but also writes about business, fashion and lifestyle. In her free time, she is an avid runner and cyclist, but she also loves settling down with a good book!