Yoga is a way of life. That seems to be the general verdict from anyone who has taken to it; from experts who have spent years studying it to people just like you and me. Everyone from spiritual leaders to film stars seems to be extolling the benefits of doing yoga regularly. Jumping on the bandwagon too? You've signed up for those early morning yoga classes, or maybe you’ve bought that CD and are planning on taking the do-it-yourself route. Either way, the next question (even before you warm up) is-- what should you wear?
The importance of wearing the correct workout gear for any form of exercise cannot be emphasised enough, and yoga is no exception. For your safety, comfort, and to make sure you get the most out of your workout, it is imperative that you choose the right apparel.
While choosing exercise gear of any kind, you must keep in mind the sort of movement that will be required, the muscles or body parts that might need support, the fabric, fit, and even the workout environment.
Unlike running outdoors, or lifting weights in a gym, yoga is low-impact and does not require shoes or socks. Yoga is usually practiced barefoot.
Clothing for yoga ought to be comfortable and hug your form snugly; that doesn’t mean you should wear skin-tight clothes that you can’t breathe in. Remember that pranayama and deep breathing are important parts of yoga.
However, wearing excessively loose and baggy clothing will prove to be an impediment. You don’t want to be worrying about whether your t-shirt is riding up or slipping off your shoulder while bending over or twisting your body into different asanas.
Your yoga apparel should also allow room for easy movement and stretching. Therefore doing yoga in your jeans or in any similarly heavy and restrictive clothing is an absolute no-no.
The material of your yoga apparel should be light and allow your skin to breathe. Cotton blends work best. It is best to avoid spandex and other synthetic fibres no matter how trendy they look.
Yoga pants are not only comfortable; they are also multi-purpose; you can even wear them to work with long tunics and kurtas. On top try comfortable racer back tops, as well as long, well-fitted tank tops.
Layering is also a good idea, depending on where and at what time of the day you practice. Heavily air-conditioned gyms and the early morning outdoor chill can be overcome by wearing light sweatshirts and jackets that you can easily slip off as the body gets warmer.
Yoga doesn’t really require too many props but an important piece of equipment is the yoga mat. The yoga mat protects you from injuries, stabilises and supports you. Yoga mats are designed to absorb impact and cushion, without being squishy or causing instability. If your class does not provide one, investing in a good yoga mat is a smart move.
With the right kind of clothing and equipment, you can start your daily yoga routine with ease and comfort. As an added bonus, your body will thank you later.
Want to try out Yoga? Check out Yoga classes near you.