Yoga clothes should be comfortable and functional. They should allow you to move freely and not distract you from your practice. They should feel good against your skin so they don't cause any irritation.
Ideally, the clothing should be absorbent so that it wicks sweat away from your body. There are few things that feel as uncomfortable as a sticky, clammy body that is moist from perspiration.
I also think they should be attractive and fun to wear. When I do yoga alone in my home, I am willing to wear an old tee shirt and sweats or baggy shorts. When I practice in a class, I am more discriminating in what I choose to wear.
I admit it. I work very hard to keep my body in shape, and when I am with others, I want to show off the efforts of my hard work. I usually choose form fitting pants and a fitted tee shirt. This allows me to see the outline of my body in the mirror so I can maintain good form, and it lets me move without having to fuss with my clothes. They are also flattering to my body, so when I wear them I feel good.
Here are some of the things that you should look for in yoga clothing so that they work well for you and make you feel good about yourself and your practice.
There are many types of yoga pants. Some are long and go down to your ankles; others stop just below your knees. Often they are relatively form fitting. These types of pants have the benefit of allowing your instructor to see your alignment so she can make any necessary adjustments to your form.
If you aren't comfortable in pants that are so revealing, you might enjoy wearing loose, cotton trousers. They offer freedom of movement without being too tight.
Whatever pants you choose, make sure that you can bend and move freely in them. Also be sure that there are no bulky ties at the waist that might be uncomfortable when you are lying in a prone position.
Yoga shorts are a very good choice if you practice Bikram or hot yoga, because the room is heated to such a high temperature. They are a good bet in the warm summer months when long pants might be too warm. They also help you more easily check the proper alignment of your lower body because you can see your knees and ankles.
The yoga shorts should be long enough to cover your derriere and they should not ride up. Form fitting shorts usually don't move too much, so they may be just right for you.
Yoga tops should allow you to move freely without having them fall in your face. Tee shirts should be short enough so that your lower body is not hidden, so you can more easily check your alignment. Some women like to wear sports bras (especially those who practice Bikram yoga). If you choose to wear one, make sure that it holds you securely and that nothing falls out when you are bending or stretching. You don't want to wear something that is going to cause you to worry about what you might be showing to the rest of the class.
Yoga tops come in many bright and attractive colors. You might also have fun wearing shirts with characters such as Yoga girl on them.
Most people do not wear shoes during their practice. However, they might be useful if you practice outside in a park, on a beach, or some place where you would not want to take off your shoes and socks. Yoga shoes look very similar to other athletic footwear, except that the soles allow for considerable flexibility in your foot and the tops of the shoes are very lightweight. Some popular brands include Puma yoga shoes and Adidas shoes for yoga.
Many people might not think that a jacket is an important part of yoga clothing, but I beg to disagree. I think it is absolutely critical to take a jacket with you to your yoga class. I have been in many classes where the temperature has been quite cool (some are downright freezing). While the temperature often doesn't matter too much while I am moving during the poses, it becomes quite a different story when the time comes to meditate.
I don't know about you, but I find it difficult if not impossible, to relax when I am cold. Bringing a jacket with you gives you an option of covering up during the relaxation period if you are feeling chilly. Feeling warm and comfortable allows you the pleasure of letting your body relax fully.
So yoga clothes should be functional, comfortable, and give you the freedom to totally enjoy your practice. Have fun with them and enjoy wearing the ones that make you feel good!
Della Menechella is a yoga and fitness enthusiast who has been involved in fitness for over thirty years. Her website http://www.beauty-fitness-yoga-source.com/ is filled with practical information about how you can make yoga and fitness a positive part of your life. Visit the site and get your free meditation e-book.