People often hesitate taking that first yoga class because they do not know what to wear. Most importantly, yoga clothing must provide full freedom of motion and make you feel good about yourself while you are doing yoga. Here are some key things to consider when picking the perfect yoga pant.
A Note About Underwear
I am not a big fan of going commando, and I refuse to wear a thong. There must be some acupressure point that is ignited with a thong that makes me cranky and unreasonable. In my opinion, visible panty lines are acceptable. You just want to make sure that your underwear are comfortable and stay in place during your movement. So, move around beforehand to make sure they are appropriate.
In order to minimize the "see-through" effect, wear matching underwear. For example, black panties under black leggings; skin toned underwear for lighter colored pants.
Unrestricted movement is the most important factor when selecting bottoms. Make sure that they are form fitting, yet comfortable, and do not require adjustment while holding poses. Long pants are best suited for classes that do not involve a lot of vigorous motion or added heat. A capri or ¾-length pant might be a better choice for the more active classes. For Hot Yoga or Bikram, a small pair of shorts (Love Yoga Shorts, boy short, swim suit or bike short) works nicely.
A few other concerns about bottoms:
- Most instructors prefer leggings or fitted bottoms so they can check your leg positions, knee alignment, and muscle involvement.
- Avoid a drawstring waist because the strings will cause discomfort while lying facedown.
- Wear pants that are not too long to avoid tripping.
- Styles vary from tight leggings to flowy, palazzo pants. The more loose-fitting styles may restrict movement by getting in the way. When you are inverted, the pant legs will fall down your leg, which may be uncomfortable. Choose whichever style will make you feel most comfortable.
- Loose running shorts tend to reveal underpants when a person is in a spread leg posture. I would recommend staying away from the loose short.
- Running tights may work well for the yoga studio. You will want to make sure they are completely opaque, not sheer, when stretched.
- If you're going to be sweating a lot, consider black or navy blue pants that tend to show less sweat.
- Make sure the pants are not too tight or they will migrate down your body throughout your practice and you will have to constantly pull them up. Yoga pants seem to be designed to act like Spanx worn on the outside. My experience with super tight yoga pants, is that they constantly fall down and require frustrating adjustment.
Rule of thumb: If you are spending more time thinking about your clothes than your breath, you are not wearing the right yoga clothes.
Watch for the next installment: Accessorizing Your Outfit.