I know – I’ve been here before. What to wear for yoga classes? Leggings? Tank top? Should it be loose or bodyhugging? What about a good ol’ sports tee? Maybe I could wear a pair of sports shorts… or like short tights. Do I bring my mat? What if the studio mats are gross? How about a towel?
101 questions later, I found myself picking an oversized Men’s M shirt that I had cut into a tank top, along with short tights. And no, I did not bring a towel or a mat. Let’s just say I’ve never done that again. Ever.
Okay, maybe just a few more times. After many yoga classes and of course, countless trials and errors, I’ve come up with a few tips and factors you might want to consider as you prepare for your yoga class! So let’s start from (literally) the top!
Wanderlust Active Tank, $56. Available in Brink Pink, Davy’s Grey & Oxford Blue
A sports top will allow you full range of mobility, catch your perspiration (or most of it), help you stay as cool as possible and dries off fast! A great top will do all that, and make you look good and feel great (;
Jokes aside, the above are some factors you should consider when picking a top for your yoga class, whether it’s a shirt or a tank top. In addition, take a moment to understand what material is your top made of. Polyester, spandex and nylon are great choices for absorbing moisture and bringing it to the surface to allow for evaporation (aka moisture-wicking). Avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture and retains it instead of evaporating quickly!
Another important factor to consider is the fit of your top. If it’s too loose, an instructor may not be able to observe how your body moves or stays in a static pose. Imagine trying to look at someone’s hips when they are wearing a loose, oversized top that drapes all the way to their knees. Unless you have X-ray vision, it’s pretty much impossible!
Let your instructor give you better guidance and cues in a pose!
I remember attempting a headstand while I was wearing a pretty loose tank top. It did not go well. I was so distracted by my top shifting all over the place and eventually flopping over my face! I ended up having to tie a knot to prevent it from moving – that didn’t help either; I felt restricted in my movements.
No one wants a floppy shirt during a Downward Dog, much less in inversions!
As much as your yoga outfit should be fitted, it should also allow for full mobility, especially when you are in a stretched position. The last thing you’d want to experience is your outfit limiting your movements and diverting your attention.
Ladies, remember the first bra you ever got from the departmental store with your mom? Yup. Think about that, and then have a look the bras in your cupboard. I’m pretty sure that these days, it’s all about support, support, support! Make sure you pick a sports bra that gives you the support necessary, and especially so if you’re well endowed! The last thing you’d want is to struggle with an ill-fitting sports bra while you’re in a downward dog.
At the same time, refrain from choosing a bra that has a hard item built into it! Imagine lying back down in corpse pose only to find zero comfort in lying on a hard metal ring on the back of your bra. Uh-uh.
Detached Double Layer Tank, $58, Available in Army Green, Classic Black & Wine Red
Your best bet is getting a versatile 2-in-1 top like Vivre’s Detached Double Layer Tank! Remove the detachable tank top and wear it as a sports bra, or keep it together for a relaxed yet supported cute top!
Your choice of bottoms could make or break your yoga class. The first time I attempted a Crow pose, I have to admit, there was ZERO core activation, or as instructors will say, “Cat spine”, where the back is rounded and the core is squeezed in. The fact that I was wearing short tights and a loose tank top did nothing to help the situation – my arms were so slippery from all the perspiration I could barely even prop my knees on top them!
Movement Active Tights in Fairy-tale, $58. Also available in Black Marble, Blue Henna & Milky Way
Understanding what the class entails definitely helps you pick the appropriate bottom. If you are going for an Arm Balance class, choose full leggings to give you a bit of traction in your poses.
Fitted shorts or short tights on the other hand are great for staying cool! Again, do keep in mind the material of your shorts. More importantly, they should be fitted or of a stretchy material that doesn’t compromise your modesty!
I know I know, we were talking about outfits. But hey, accessories are essential as well!
There is absolutely no shame in getting some external help as you cultivate your practice. It’s about understanding your body’s needs and limits and working with them, not against them! For example, I have sweaty palms that hit me pretty much 90% of the time. Even as I write this, my palms are sweating! If you’re like me, get yourself some yoga paws/ gloves to give you a better grip.
Yoga Paws, $42 – $62
One thing I find really great is yoga blocks especially if you’re just beginning your yoga journey!
Apart from providing support as you find your way into poses, yoga blocks can be used to provide a great stretch too! And of course, who can forget the most important accessory of them all – your yoga mat!
Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat in Mystic Purple, $45. Also available in Blue, Lavender Purple, Dark Green, Pink & Red
There are indeed many factors to consider before purchasing a yoga mat. Check out what are the important factors to consider before deciding on a mat! Ask the shop if you may feel the mat or even try it out before making a purchase. The truth is, mats are an investment and you should be completely satisfied with your purchase!
One great accompaniment to add to your yoga mat is the oh-so popular yoga towel!
(L) Vaporizer Yoga Towel with Pocket in Midnight Blue, also available in Aquamarine Blue, Cerulean, Coral Pink, Davy’s Grey & Lavender Purple
(R) Grip-It Yoga Towel in Hemlock Green, also available in Coral Pink, Cornflower Blue, Davy’s Grey & Pineapple Yellow
What’s so great about them you ask? To start off, they’re extremely convenient to bring around – fold it up just like a towel! Not to mention the brownie point scored for hygiene if you are headed to practice at a studio that provides in-house mats.
It’s all about that grip!
Last but definitely not the least, all the tiny little silicone beads underneath will give you additional traction on the mats!
Bonus: Vivre’s Microfiber Travel Yoga Mat
Microfiber Travel Yoga Mat in Coral Pink, $49. Also available in Mystic Purple & Seabreeze Green
Incorporating properties of both the yoga towel and yoga mat, Vivre’s Travel Yoga Mat gives you the convenience of folding your mat up just like a towel, but not compromising on anti-slip properties! Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?
Designed with a rubber base as well as a textured microfiber top surface that generates more traction as you sweat, this mat definitely gives you the most bang for your buck!
And there we have it – a few tips and tricks to ensure a more fulfilling experience in class! Of course, the list is non-exhaustive. As you grow your practice, there will be more chances along the way to discover what works best for you.
Keep practicing, and till the next time, Namaste!
Sherilyn, Yogi and guest writer at Vivre Active