Thinking of taking up yoga as a way to destress and keep your body moving during the pandemic? I hear you. Even though you can’t get down to your local yoga studio, you can still practice yoga and reap its benefits without stepping outdoors. The only problem with doing yoga at home is that you don’t have the option to learn from other people around you.
Whenever I start something new, I always look around and observe what other people are doing – this helps me understand what I’m doing right and what’s I’m doing wrong. This is true for knowing what to wear, too. You can even ask people in the room what they find most comfortable to practice in. BUT because we can’t do this, here’s a round-up on what to wear to your first Zoom yoga session.
What You Should NOT Wear to Yoga
Perhaps this question is best answered by looking at what one should absolutely not wear for yoga first. Let us take a look at some no-noes and see why they do not work for yoga.
While this might seem ridiculous, there are people who do not think ahead and arrive at the gym wearing a suit with oxfords, or pencil skirt and heels. There are few activities that these garments are suited for, and yoga is no exception. Business shoes tend to have little in the way of grip as they are meant to be worn inside offices and trying to achieve yoga positions in slippery or high-heeled shoes just will not work!
Jeans and Cotton Shirts
While jeans are originally working men’s trousers, they are made from rigid denim which has little give to it. This means that while the fabric is sturdy and strong, it does not lend itself well to the extreme stretches and bends that yoga requires, and nor are the waistbands very comfortable if you are even slightly bloated. Cotton shirts are similar, comfortable, and hard-wearing but with no stretch to them that allow for deep breathing and intense stretches.
Trendy clothes, such as you might wear on a night out, can work as workout clothing, but generally, they tend to be lightly made and unable to stand up to the rigours of a yoga session. They are also designed to show off your best assets, be that your breasts, a nice set of pectorals or even a nice flat and toned belly. The problem with such clothing is that they tend to move when you are working out, leaving your ‘assets’ rather more on display than you might like!
So What Should I Wear?
Despite the above strictures, dressing for yoga is actually very easy – and so comfortable that many people buy and wear yoga clothes as leisurewear! So you might be ready for your first yoga class as you read this! As mentioned above, yoga involves a lot of stretching, and you will be adopting a lot of positions and poses, from lying flat on the ground to stretching high above your head.
Your clothing should be loose enough to allow for this, made from stretchy fabrics like Lycra, jersey, and elastane to allow for extremes of movement without tearing or sliding out of place, and comfortable enough that you can wear it for a whole hour-or-so-long session or longer (Bikram yoga, for example, is a fixed session that follows 26 poses and lasts for ninety minutes).
Yoga clothes are designed to whisk sweat away from your body, keeping you dry and comfortable, and often have high elasticity so you can bend and stretch as deeply as your body will allow without worrying that your trousers will split or that your shirt seams will dig into your shoulders.
When you are just starting out with yoga, you should wear clothes that are comfortable, able to handle sweat and that will stretch and move with your body. Once you decide that you love yoga and will be taking it up as a regular pastime, you can invest some time and money shopping for purpose-sewn yoga clothes to add another level of comfort to your workouts.