Yoga, the union of mind and body, is achieved in part through practicing physical postures, which cultivate mind-body awareness. If the clothes you are wearing are too loose fitting or tight, however, you may find that you spend more time worrying about discomfort than actually enjoying your practice. Selecting the right yoga attire can make a big difference for your practice, including enhanced mobility to move into different poses.
When selecting yoga attire, choose items that are comfortable but not too loose. For example, yoga pants with an elastic waist band that conform to the body’s shape will move with the body, allowing for a full range of natural movement. When selecting yoga pants, look for pants that are made with flatlock seams to minimize chafe when moving in and out of each pose.
Overly loose pants can slide down and make it more difficult to get into certain poses, including inversions like handstand. Drawstring pants can also feel uncomfortable in different posts, especially those practiced while lying on the stomach. Shorts can bunch up during inversions as well. In heated yoga classes, wearing shorts can make it more difficult to practice certain arm balancing poses, since sweaty arms and legs make for a slippery combination.
When selecting yoga tops, avoid baggy shirts with loose necks or collars; these tops can become irritating when moving in and out postures, like downward facing dog. Stretchable tanks tops or short-sleeved shirts are ideal because they make it easy to move the arms in each pose. Many women prefer yoga tops with built-in bra support.
Many yogis also enjoy wearing natural fibers like bamboo or organic cotton. However, if you practice a heated style of yoga, such as Bikram, you may prefer to wear a moisture-wicking fabric blend. Moisture-wicking fabrics will draw sweat off the skin, making practice more comfortable.
Finally, keep in mind that while you may work up a light sweat practicing yoga, coming to and from the studio can get chilly. Wearing a zip-up sweatshirt with lightweight scarf makes it easy to add an extra layer of warmth before and after class. As an added bonus, larger scarves or shawls can be used as a light blanket during savasana at the end of practice, should your body become chilled.
Source: "Fashion/Style Friday: Tips On Choosing Yoga Clothes." News 92 FM. News 92 FM Houston, 24 Aug. 2012.