Your first yoga class is coming up, which is very exciting, but at the same time, intimating.
The best way to keep anxiety at bay is to know what to expect. So, let’s talk about your first yoga class. One common question troubling the mind of first-timers is what to wear to yoga.
Scrolling through social media can send you into a frenzy, as the “yoga” keyword is overtaken by influencers marketing expensive yoga-wear brands.
Fortunately, Instagram does not accurately reflect what a typical yoga class looks like. People of all shapes, sizes, and styles like to practice yoga, and anyone who wants to join, regardless of clothing, is welcome.
Spending a fortune on yoga outfits is neither necessary nor characteristic of authentic yoga practice.
Comfort and freedom of movement are the pillars of true yoga practitioners’ outfits. So, let’s see what that means exactly and what you should take with you.
What to Wear to Yoga Class?
When choosing your yoga outfit, you should remember three words: comfort, flexibility, and breathability. Here’s why.
- Comfort: the outfit should not feel itchy or tight and should hold everything “in place.” You should feel comfortable and secure in all the different poses you’ll attempt to do. Don’t let restricting clothes distract or hold you back by making you self-conscious. In that sense, loose sweatpants are much better than tight, low-waisted leggings.
- Flexibility: your yoga outfit should allow freedom of movement. You won’t be able to fully stretch, bend, twist, and turn if your clothes cut your circulation or you fear they may rip. So wear something loose or stretchy. Usually, materials with spandex (at least 15%) are a good choice.
- Breathability & Sweat-Wicking: yoga can get sweaty and hot, so you’ll want your yoga clothes to be breathable and sweat-wicking. Avoid cotton, which, while breathable, will soak up and hold your sweat. Dry-fit and treated polyester blends are best.
If you’re already involved in any sport or fitness activities, chances are you already have a suitable yoga outfit that requires no or very few changes.
But if that’s not the case, you may need to go shopping. Although, keep in mind that scraping together an outfit with old sweatpants or shorts and a breathable t-shirt is perfectly acceptable.
Tip: Try doing a few yoga poses when picking and trying on clothes. Try a crescent lounge or forward fold in the dressing room to check whether the outfit is flexible and comfortable.
Yoga Bottom Wear: Leggings, Sweatpants, Shorts
The bottom wear for yoga class should be fit, lightweight, and stretchy. Standard options are yoga pants, leggings, bicycle shorts, regular shorts, and even loose and comfortable sweatpants.
Yoga pants come in various lengths, colors, and cuts (high vs. low waist, bell vs. straight vs. pencil legs).
Full-length yoga pants are okay for a light yoga class with no intense and dynamic movements. However, in more active classes, such as Power Yoga, the excess fabric from these pants could trip you or make the movement uncomfortable. In that case, you should consider ¾ yoga pants or ones with a bad around the ankles.
When it comes to leggings, besides picking suitable material (dry-fit polyester preferred), you also need to decide whether you want:
- High waist;
- Low waist;
- Full length;
- Three-quarters length.
We recommend high-waist leggings with a waistband for rather intense yoga sessions with lots of bending, as these tend to slide off the body less than low-waist models.
If you booked a dynamic session where sweating is expected, think Bikram Yoga, ¾ is a better option as they leave more room for your skin to breathe. Although, shorts maybe even better.
If it’s summer and you want to let your skin breathe, plain loose shorts are a fantastic option for milder yoga sessions e.g., Hatha Yoga.
However, if your session involves a lot of bending and upside-down poses, such as with Ashtanga Yoga, you will probably enjoy bicycle pants made of stretchy polyester.
Yoga Upper Wear: Bras, Tops, T-Shirts
The ideal yoga upper wear fits your form and holds everything in place but doesn’t feel tight nor limit your movement.
Yoga requires a lot of arm and shoulder movement, and sleeves can be quite limiting. A tank top without a plunging neckline that fits your bodyline is a good choice because a low or loose neckline will be uncomfortable and distracting during bends, twists, or upside-down poses.
Crop Top or Sports Bra
If you plan to sweat a lot in your yoga session, a sports bra or a sleeveless crop top will leave large parts of your body uncovered and breathing.
The type of sports bra you need for this occasion is low-impact. For the crop top, the same rule applies as for the tank top. Pick the one without a plunging neckline and sleeves.
If you go to yoga in a t-shirt, ensure it fits you well, doesn’t roll up during bends, and doesn’t limit your arm and shoulder movement. You can use a cotton t-shirt for low-impact sessions, but a dry-fit polyester model is preferred if you expect sweating and intense movements.
You can also experiment with layers for those mellow sessions, especially if it’s cold outside. A thin sweatshirt or long-sleeved t-shirt over a tank top might be a good combination, as you can always take something off.
If you feel comfortable wearing it, a stretchy polyester leotard or a one-piece swimsuit with leg coverage (assuming that this would make you feel more comfortable than the one with no coverage) is an excellent option for summer yoga classes.
What Shoes to Wear to Yoga?
Most people prefer doing yoga barefoot. But if you tend to be cold on your feet, you can also wear socks. Although, keep in mind that wearing socks could make you more unstable.
Socks are the only part of yoga wear that should be cotton because this absorbent material is the least slippery, even if you’re sweating a lot.
You can purchase socks with rubber studs on the soles for added support.
There are also professional yoga socks with finger separators. The finger area can be opened or closed. Plus, these socks usually have good-quality rubber studs on their soles. However, they do cost more money than regular socks with rubber studs.
What to Take to Yoga Class?
Yoga is a sport that doesn’t require much of you. Besides an open mind, you should bring the following:
- Yoga mat. A good mat is essential as you try to establish balance. Go for rubber with a good grip. Although, you don’t need to buy one before your first class. Most yoga studios have mats for students. Call to make sure.
- Water. You need to stay hydrated.
- Sweatshirt. You may need it after the class if it’s cold outside.
The studio will likely provide other props, like yoga wheels, blocks, or strips.
What Shirt to Wear With Yoga Pants to School?
You can wear any type of shirt, but for added comfort, consider adding a cardigan if the weather allows. A thin but long blouse should be adequate for school if it’s warm outside.
Picking your yoga outfit is easier if you’re already into sports and possess certain sports outfit pieces. Something in your wardrobe will undoubtedly fit your yoga practice too.
If buying new clothes, always go for something comfortable, breathable, and flexible. Yoga requires maximum freedom in both physical movement and mind.