We hope you have found the previous posts about what to wear for yoga helpful. Missed them? Click here: bottoms, tops, accessories, fabrics. Today we are talking about what to wear based on the type of yoga you are doing, specifically Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini Yoga.
What we wear for yoga depends a bit on what type of yoga we are going to do. While the basic requirements of maximum comfort, complete freedom of movement, not too loose, and wearing layers hold for all types of yoga, a few special considerations need to be taken into account depending on the style of yoga you are practicing.
Determine the type of yoga you are doing
Check the schedule to find out what type of yoga class you're attending. While there are many different styles of yoga, we will talk about the most common.
Hatha Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga: Many beginner-level classes will either be Hatha or Vinyasa. Both are focused on coordinating movement with breath. Vinyasa, the most common type in America, is a little faster-paced and will involve more intense stretching, leg lifting and inversions.
Iyengar Yoga: focuses on holding poses for longer periods of time giving you a chance to find your balance and appreciate the benefit of the stretch.
What to wear: In the previous three types of yoga, the level of workout depends on how much effort you put into it. You may or may not sweat a lot. If you do not, then I would recommend wearing natural fibers like cotton or rayon from bamboo. They are supremely soft and enable maximum breathability of the skin. Having a bit of lycra or spandex in the fabric will enable the fabric to retain its shape and increase freedom of movement, while maintaining the unique benefits of the natural fiber.
Ashtanga or Power Yoga: These classes focus more on power and strength and involve constant movement between poses. Practitioners get a good cardio workout performing these poses.
Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga class: The rooms are heated to approximately 105 degrees (40.6ºC) in order to induce detoxifying sweating. The heat encourages relaxing of muscles, which leads to deeper stretches.
What to wear: For these high intensity forms of yoga, look for sweat-wicking fabrics to aid moisture management and keep the body dry. Most athletic clothing these days are made from nylon or polyester that has moisture management functionality. When you purchase these items, check the hangtag for details. With these types of yoga, less is more. Sports bras, crop tops or supportive bikinis along with small shorts are ideal for hot yoga. It is just too hot to wear long pants made of cotton.
Kundalini yoga is one of the more spiritual types of yoga. It goes beyond the physical performance of poses by emphasizing breathing, meditation, and chanting. The Kundalini sequences can be very physically intense.
What to wear: Tradition dictates that students practicing Kundalini yoga wear white, like the Wisdom yoga Pants and top to the right, representing light and divine energy. According to Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini Yoga, "A teacher wears white cotton clothing while teaching. White clothing makes you as a teacher look divine and represent light. The colour white represents the seven colours. Cotton is the flower of the Earth. It is good for your psyche, for your energy, and for your nervous system. Your way of dressing should be saintly and make you glow with grace."
In summary, what to wear for yoga depends somewhat on what type of yoga you are doing. At Beckons, we believe it is important to wear organic cotton clothing for yoga because it allows for maximum breathability and comfort. If you are doing hot yoga choose our skimpier pieces. No matter what you wear to hot yoga you are going to remove it immediately and wash it. Remember, organic cotton is good for our planet and our bodies!