World Yoga Day: What To Wear
World Yoga Day this year falls on Sunday 26th February 2017.
Distinct from International Yoga Day (created by the UN General Council), World Yoga Day was started ten years ago by Berlin-based yoga teacher Samira Radsi.
She and her friends contacted yoga schools around the world to form a “24-hour yoga marathon” with teachers, schools and yogis globally donating their time, space and money to human rights causes. They achieve the marathon by ensuring everyone does their two hour yoga session between 11am and 1pm, whatever their time zones!
Yoga as an exercise regime is over 5,000 years old!
It is considered so effective because it uses stretching movements to burn calories, tone muscles and promote flexibility physically, while also focusing on the act of breathing to bring benefits to our mental and emotional wellbeing. There are over 100 different types of yoga you can practice from Vinyasa and Ashtanga to Bikram, and more.
With an exercise that involves so much movement and relaxation, it’s important to choose the right clothing to stay comfortable…
What To Wear To Yoga
Choose specific sport underwear with special moisture-wicking fabric.
This will not only keep you dry and comfortable while you work out, it is also much more hygienic for the most sensitive of body parts when sweat particles are removed from the skin. They will also help to avoid unsightly sweat patches in the wrong places. And definitely avoid anything too frilly that will move around.
Sweating is also important to consider when it comes to the colour choice of your yoga gear.
Light colours will show moisture much more easily and this might make you feel self-conscious – an emotion that doesn’t sit well in the free-flowing, relaxed spirit of yoga. Choosing darker colours such as black, navy or brown will ensure your modesty is protected.
For similar reasons, women will want to invest in a supportive, comfortable sports bra to wear underneath your yoga top. Moisture leads to lighter colours in particular becoming see-through, so a protective layer closer to the skin will make you feel more at ease.
When it comes to style you will want to wear close-fitting garments where possible.
Items like elasticated leggings or skimming capri pants are not only comfortable and supportive, they help the yoga instructor to check your alignment during poses, ensuring you get the most out of your sessions and continue to exercise safely.
If you prefer baggy clothes, harlem pants are a great alternative because of the elasticated waistbands and ankle cuffs.
For men, if you prefer shorts for the breathability during a hot class, a good tip is to wear a pair of sport cycling shorts underneath the looser layer. This helps with moisture wicking while also avoiding any accidental exposure.
Just check that the shorts or trousers you choose allow for a really good range of movement, as some won’t stretch during lunging for example, which is a basic movement in most yoga sessions.
You might also like to bring a warmer layer with you to yoga, which you can take off during the class.
Often early morning yoga is cold to begin with. Perhaps the room has been empty during the night. Alternatively evening yoga can take place in gyms and studios that are shared spaces and use air conditioning at other times of the day.
If you bring a thin enough zip-top or shawl you can continue to wear it during the class for comfort if you need to. You’ll definitely enjoy using it as a blanket during the nidra – lying down relaxation!
What Not To Wear To Yoga
You will want to avoid tight-fitting materials such as spandex which can ride up and cause discomfort as you move between poses. This will interfere with your concentration and ultimately mean you don’t get the best from your time working out.
Similarly, if you go too far the other direction and wear clothes which are very loose, you may find them falling up/down with all the bending over involved. You don’t want to be worrying about being over-exposed with every Downward Dog!
Try to avoid cotton in the underwear department.
Cotton is light-weight and comfortable, however it holds moisture and can become heavy and sticky when wet, which isn’t so great when you’re going to be sweating (particularly during hot yoga like Bikram).
Yoga is traditionally practiced with bare hands and feet so you should avoid socks and gloves, but if you feel like you need more grip on the mat due to sweating, then invest in some quality accessories made for the purpose of sport, so that you don’t end up warmer and more uncomfortable.
Just remember that comfort is of the utmost importance when choosing yoga clothes.
The aim is to wear something that you can forget you are wearing altogether as you relax and concentrate on the task at hand!
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