Saturday, 8 June 2013

Lululemon...not afraid to scold
 When a new student contacts me regarding classes, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “What do I wear to a yoga class?”  Generally, I’ve always just told prospective students to wear something comfortable and bring along something warm so they don’t get cold during Savasana or after class.  In retrospect, I think I could probably have been more helpful. 

Western yogis now operate in an industry in which yoga clothing is a multi-million dollar business.  Whether you prefer Lululemon, Alo, Lorna Jane, Adidas, Rebok, etc, etc, there is an abundance of clothing now specially designed for yoga available.  However, I’ve said it before – expensive yoga clothing is not essential.  I wear a lot of Lulu because it’s the uniform for teachers at one of the studios I work at, but I also own a couple of great stretchy tanks I got from Target and a pair of old loose-fitting Nike pants I adopted second-hand from my sister about five years ago. 

There is also a growing concern about the level of sexy in yoga clothing for women.  This is absolutely nothing new when it comes to the world of sporting and exercise apparel, but there seems to be a certain expectation amongst members of the community that yoga should be free of any sexual innuendo or blatant attempts to ramp up self-esteem with low-cut clothing. 

Forget all that.  I say wear what works for you, but I would put forward this advice…

1     Try to avoid sheer
Hard Tail - all about the action
Remember that recent Lululemon debacle with the recalled yoga pants?  Yeah, translucent pants when you’re bending over a lot is not a good look, let’s face it.  When I was simply practicing yoga, I didn’t notice it so often, but now that I’m a teacher, I admit that I see a lot more women’s underwear than I would like.  There are a number of reasons we see so much of this; poor manufacture, clothing wearing with age, or simply choosing the wrong item of clothing for a yoga class – sorry ladies, but those cheap leggings your bought at Top Shop or H&M are unlikely to withstand the stretch and strain of frequent exercise. 

2        Think carefully about how low you go
When I say low, I mean both pants and tops.  I’m not just asking you to consider the comfort of your teacher or other students when it comes to low pants and high-riding underwear, it can’t be comfortable for you either.  The last thing you want when you’re bending yourself into yoga asana is to be worrying about constantly hiking up your pants to avoid flashing your g-string at the people behind you. 
The same goes for tops, ladies.  I know, that tank with the inbuilt shelf bra looks truly awesome, but again, remember that you’ll be doing lots of bending over and hanging upside down.  Once more, this is not just about exposing flesh to the rest of the class – it’s pretty annoying to be pulling on the straps of your yoga top to ensure nothing’s going to tumble out in an arm balance. 

3       Think carefully about high you go
Gents, if you thought I was only going to pick on women, here’s one for you too.  Shorts are obviously a comfortable clothing choice for both men and women, but bear in mind you will often be in positions where your legs are wide, wide, wide open.  That is all. 

4        Avoid shiny
Yep, those tight, shiny leggings designed for running and pilates are great at holding everything in and preventing rubbing in all the wrong places, but they are a bitch when it comes to balances and inversions.  Even a simple pose like Tree is impossible when your foot keeps sliding down your shiny, shiny pants. 

Tara Stiles' Reebok line 
5       Too tight vs. too loose
There’s a fine line between too tight and too loose.  If your apparel is too tight, not only will it leave nothing to the imagination, it will also no doubt be extremely uncomfortable during a practice where you’re trying to focus purely on your breath and the postures.  Having said this, wearing clothing that is too loose can also be distracting.  Tops that constantly ride up over your waist or completely cover your face when you’re in a forward fold or inversion are just as distracting. 

6       Layer up and stay warm

Finally, whether you are practicing Bikram or Yin, always ensure that you can take layers off when you get hot, and put them back on again when you’re done.  

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  1. Yoga is intended to be a meditative and relaxing form of exercise. It is important to wear apparel that is both comfortable and made from breathable fabric in order to determine the best outfit.

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  2. From next month I am starting my yoga training and looking for discounted Lululemon clothing . I am very fatty, so wants to know is there any website where I can find out my XXL sized Lululemon clothing?

  3. This is such a great post sharing information on what to wear during Yoga class. I am also thinking to buy alo yoga pants for my yoga class which I am going to buy from online at some discount.

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