Hot yoga can be a daunting activity to those who are new to yoga or have never tried yoga in a heated environment. With temperatures usually ranging from 90 to 105 degrees, the fear that the heat will be too much is understandable. However, with adequate preparation and an understanding of what to expect, hot yoga can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience with lasting benefits.
One of the most frequent questions hot yoga studios are asked is, “What do I wear to class?” Here are a few tips on choosing proper hot yoga attire to keep you as cool, comfortable, and stylish as possible. Read on for a complete guide on what to wear to hot yoga.
Form-Fitting and Moisture-Wicking
The most important thing to remember when choosing your hot yoga outfit is to stay away from baggy clothes and from cotton clothes. With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, you will be sweating a lot. Cotton fabrics will absorb sweat and become heavy, which will create more heat and will hinder some of your yoga postures. Likewise, baggy clothes will also interfere with some of your postures and become easily drenched in sweat.
Instead of wearing large T-shirts and sweatpants, wear more form-fitting clothing. Form-fitting clothes will prevent excess sweat sticking to you and will help avoid restrictions on postures. Also, if possible, wear moisture-wicking clothing. Moisture-wicking fabrics are designed for sweat to be forced through gaps in the weaving to the outer shell of the material. This keeps you cooler and drier in the hot studio climate.
Hot Yoga Bottoms
Some experienced hot yoga practitioners prefer to wear pants or capris while others prefer to wear shorts. Shorts are the cooler option as they retain less sweat and will make it easier to see if your body is in proper alignment. However, keep in mind that shorts that aren’t form-fitting can reveal more than you intend when doing some inversion poses. The most recommended types of shorts are light running shorts, spandex biking shorts, or yoga-specific shorts.
Other practitioners recommend skipping the shorts and wearing capris or even pants. Sweating in the hot environment will make your legs sweaty. If wearing shorts, sweaty legs will make certain balance poses difficult such as tree pose or crow pose. If you choose to wear capris or pants, make sure the quality is good so you don’t expose too much when doing forward bends.
Hot Yoga Tops
The best recommended tops for hot yoga is a fitted tank top or a sports bra that provides adequate support. Again, make sure to avoid loose T-shirts or 100% cotton fabrics. Cotton fabrics will absorb sweat and become heavy. Loose T-shirts will fall forward and hinder your ability to do certain poses such as, triangle pose or downward facing dog.
Hot Yoga Hair
Remember that you’ll be sweating a lot in a hot yoga class, so make sure you have a hairstyle that you don’t mind getting a bit messy. Some people choose to wear a headband or bandanna to keep hair in place and avoid sweat from dripping down. If you have long hair, a ponytail or braid is a good option to keep your hair away from your face when doing inverted or downward facing poses.
Hot Yoga Clothing for Men
Men also need to remember to avoid cotton and loose fitting clothing when attending a hot yoga class. For shorts, it is recommended that men find moisture-wicking shorts that fit close to the body. If wearing running shorts, it is important to have a compression garment underneath to ensure full coverage for all the poses. If you’re feeling brave, copy yoga guru Bikram Choudhury and wear a speedo.
For your upper body, many men choose to not wear a shirt at all. If you are more comfortable in a shirt, wear a tank top or fitted t-shirt.
Other Items to Bring to Hot Yoga
Because of the high temperatures, hot yoga requires practitioners to bring a few extra items that aren’t necessarily useful in non-heated classes. You will be sweating a lot in classes that can last up to 90 minutes. It is helpful to bring a water bottle to class to keep hydrated. It is also recommended to bring a face towel to help wipe away any excess sweat. Many people also prefer to use a slipless yoga towel or a non-slip yoga mat specifically designed for hot yoga. Non-slip yoga mats are made from a fabric-like surface to prevent slipping and sliding when in tricky poses. Yoga towels are placed on top of mats and provide a non-slip surface.
If you live far away from your hot yoga studio or have errands to do after class, remember to bring a change of clothes. Also, many hot yoga studios offer showers for their clients. If this is the case, bring your shower bag and a towel to take advantage of this amenity.
Hot yoga can be an adjustment from non-heated yoga, but regular practitioners say it improves your flexibility, energy, and focus. So dress comfortably and enjoy your class!0