It doesn’t even matter if your outfit matches! What matters is that you are comfortable, and that you are able to move confidently in and out of the postures.
I scheduled my first class, now… what do I wear??
If you’re new to hot yoga, choosing what to wear can be tricky. You know it will be hot, so do you wear gym shorts and a tank top? It’s yoga, so do you wear leggings and a flowy open back top? Is it necessary to run to your local yoga boutique and stock up before you go take your first hot yoga class? The answer to all of those questions is NO! Do not wear gym shorts. Don’t wear a cute flowy top. And absolutely do not rush to the high-end yoga boutique. BTW, I totally did that! First of all, “Yoga Fashion” is a very new concept when you consider that yoga has been around since the dawn of time. It doesn’t matter if your outfit is embossed with an iconic little symbol. It doesn’t even matter if your outfit matches! What matters is that you are comfortable, and that you are able to move confidently in and out of the postures. Below are a few top hot tips when picking out an outfit for hot yoga and Inferno Hot Pilates.
Rule 1: Less is Best
For the Guys
While going topless is totally cool, showing up in your tighty whities is not.
Most men choose to forgo a shirt. Not only will you feel cooler, your movements will feel less restricted. It’s also helpful to see your stomach throughout class. While going topless is totally cool, showing up in your tighty whities is not, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing certain items, perhaps design your own tank tops or other activewear with sites similar to Imprint as an example. Don’t be that guy. While you can wear board shorts with a built-in liner, they tend to cling and sag as you sweat. Shorts specifically designed for hot yoga are your best bet. These shorts are tight, like biker shorts, and they are available in various lengths. Most good quality shorts will have a fitted pouch to hold all of you in so you won’t need to adjust, or worry about any wardrobe mishaps. Another idea would be to opt for a pair of men’s gym shorts. If they are comfortable enough for the gym, then I’m sure they will work just as well when you are in your yoga classes. Try them on before you get to your lesson, just to be on the safe side. There’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable during a workout session. They will also stick to your skin so they don’t slip while moving in and out of postures. Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to find hot yoga shorts at typical retail stores. See if your local yoga studio has a retail area. If you don’t have any luck there, online shopping will have you covered. Some tried and true companies are Indrawear, Onzie and Shakti.
For the Ladies
Now, you don’t have to go all out with the shortest of shorts like I did. Anything above mid thigh is perfect.
Most newcomers start out in capri-length leggings. I know I did. It took me 3 weeks of daily suffering in those leggings before I finally broke down and got my first pair of cheeky side tie shorts (like these from Onzie). The first time I saw my thighs contract and my knee caps lift up, I was hooked! I haven’t practiced in leggings since. Now, you don’t have to go all out with the shortest of shorts like I did. Anything above mid thigh is perfect. It’s extremely helpful to be able to see your muscles contract. Contracting your muscles will make your practice both safer and more effective. Test the opaqueness of the fabric to ensure it’s not too sheer while bending and stretching. Hold the garment up to the light and give it a little stretch.
As for tops, a comfortable sports bra is a girl’s best friend. Search for bras that don’t have any padding and remove any liner cups, some may even opt for a strapless bra to minimize the build-up of layers – making your clothing uncomfortable when trying to exercise. Make sure you can bend over and touch your toes without falling out of your bra. This may sound silly, but you want to be able to focus on your practice, and be confident. No one wants a “nip slip” in the middle of Standing Separate Leg Stretching posture.
Rule 2: Moisture-wicking fabric
Practicing hot yoga in a t-shirt is the equivalent to trying to swim in one.
Regardless of your gender, everyone sweats in the hot room — a lot. Moisture-wicking materials designed for hot yoga will be the most comfortable. Basketball shorts, jersey-knit leggings, and tank tops will grow and cling to you as they become saturated. Practicing hot yoga in a t-shirt is the equivalent to trying to swim in one. So, if you aren’t quite ready to bare your belly, choose a tight fitting, moisture-wicking top that will stay in place during forward bending postures.
Rule 3: No one is judging you
You’re no longer one person practicing yoga, you’re part of a community–something greater than yourself. Everyone is there working to become better versions of themselves.
When you practice yoga in a studio, you share energy. Everyone is breathing together and moving together. Everyone suffers together. You triumph together. You’re no longer one person practicing yoga, you’re part of a community–something greater than yourself. Everyone is there working to become better versions of themselves. No one is judging anyone else.
Regardless of what you choose to wear, you will never regret your choice to start your yoga practice. With a consistent yoga practice, you will quickly figure out what you feel most comfortable and confident in.