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Should you be wearing a t-shirt or tank top? Gym shorts or leggings?

Yoga Clothing

What clothing should you wear to a yoga class?

Yoga classes are generally classed as safe spaces for exercise that are welcoming and non-judgemental. This means that you can wear whatever makes you feel comfortable while practicing yoga. However, like many newbies, yoga clothing can be something that you may be apprehensive about deciding on, that’s why we have brought together a short guide to help you feel less self-conscious whether you’re attending your first or 50th class.

Should you be wearing a t-shirt or tank top? Gym shorts or leggings? The simple answer is whatever makes you feel the most comfortable, both physically and emotionally. We have listed some recommendations to help you decide what to wear to your yoga class:

Remember you are exercising

Keep in mind that yoga is still a physical activity. During the class you will be stretching, balancing and twisting. Therefore while a baggy t-shirt may make you feel more comfortable emotionally, it will make you feel less comfortable when it is dangling in your face during a downwards dog pose. Tighter fitting clothes are more often recommended for yoga as it is less likely to get in your way. 

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Exercise – Sports – Yoga – Clothing

         Yoga Clothing

Yoga Clothing FAQs

What is yoga?

Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on strength, flexibility and breathing to boost physical and mental wellbeing.

Why is yoga beneficial?

Making yoga part of your gym routine gets you moving and burns calories. Not to mention, the holistic and spiritual aspects of practice may encourage you to review your lifestyle and eating habits more holistically.

Why is yoga beneficial from a mental perspective?

Unlike traditional exercises that may form part of your usual gym routine, it is characterised by its spiritual connotations which can be particularly beneficial for those with anxiety as it teaches you breathing exercises and helps you enter a calmer and more relaxed state.

Why choose yoga over other classes or meditation?

Meditation is a typically holistic measure which helps with managing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. It is often compared to the practice of yoga due to their spiritual nature and benefits to both the mind, body and soul.

What are other popular forms of alternative exercise?

Pole Fitness

Consider the heat of the room 

Typically yoga studios are hot to say the least! And with the additional sweating of a higher intensity class, breathable clothes that fit well and are more likely to wick the sweat will likely be more comfortable.  Sportswear such as this can be bought through most major online retailers and some specific stores also. Anything from tank tops to specialist yoga pants to tights are all good options for practising yoga. 

In terms of material, while cotton is a good choice to absorb moisture, this type of material can weigh you down. Headbands are a popular choice of accessory when attending yoga classes to ensure your brow sweat due to the heat is kept at bay.

Will others be judging your outfit?

The only person you should be trying to impress is yourself. With this non-judgmental activity, there will be individuals of all sizes and shapes meaning everything from sports bras to sweatshirts could be observed. While it’s tempting to fall into the trap of thinking everyone’s looking at you at your first class, remember that they’re almost certainly not.

What do most yogi’s actually wear?

If you are looking into your very first yoga class you may have some preconceptions about what people tend to wear at these sessions. In reality, attendees are likely to be wearing the following:

  • Women: mostly, women tend to wear tank tops or tight cotton t-shirts with yoga pants or capris. Shorts are also common. 
  • Men: men will also wear similar tank tops that are slightly less loose, paired with gym shorts normally with compression shorts underneath. It wouldn’t be uncommon for gents to wear yoga pants also.

Buying new yoga clothes

It may be worth attending your first class before diving into building out your new yoga wardrobe. Once you have completed your first session you will be able to get a feel for what you will be most comfortable in going forward.

Essential Clothing 

So, it’s obvious that when you attend a yoga class or when practicing yoga at home you will at least be wearing something, but that does not have to be the most expensive popular yoga clothes. Just breathable and comfortable clothing will do just fine, the basics are all you need to get going. 

 Shorts or leggings

You can’t beat a few pairs of leggings in any colour or pattern. There are so many different styles on the market that you will be sure to find a pair that you love. These can then be styled with different tops. High quality options are also bound to last you for a long period of time. 

If you don’t like wearing leggings then you could even wear fitted joggers or flexible trousers with elasticated ankles, these can be easy to move around in but will not ride up during different movements. 

Both men and women can even wear shorts to practice in, they are especially beneficial throughout hot yoga. Bear in mind that fitted or loose fitted shorts are probably the best option as you will perform a range of movements that may require you to bend into different positions. Loose running shorts may not be the best option for this. 


At times in yoga you will be in an upside position so a more fitted top will ensure your top doesn’t keep falling down or come over your head. Lightweight and sweat proof material can be helpful, particularly in hot yoga. However, keep in mind that some yoga rooms can be quite cool so you may want to bring along a light jacket or jumper. You can then wear this until you have warmed up or during the end cool down.

 Sports bra

You may want to put on a sports bra if you are a woman. This tends to be a low intensity sport however, you will be transitioning into many different positions and wearing a sports bra may make you feel more comfortable. 

 Hair bobble/ headband

If you have long hair whether you are a woman or man, you may want to tie your hair up before starting a class so that your hair doesn’t annoy you or get in your face and eyes. 

Yoga socks

You have the option to practice yoga in socks or bare feet. If you do not want to take your socks off in a class, which many people don’t. Then you may want to invest in some yoga socks that have a slight grip at the bottom, to maintain traction and avoid slipping. 

The more you practice yoga, the more you may want to invest in new clothing. Although, to begin with you will probably only need a couple of pairs of each. When you are committed you may choose to add more styles and clothing prints to your collection. 

What are the rules on watches, fitness trackers and jewellery?

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to accessories. Many individuals who practice yoga will leave their smartwatch or fitness tracker on to monitor their exercise. The only thing to consider is switching it to silent mode so as to not disturb the rest of the class mid practice. You may wear jewellery at your own risk, the only danger here is necklaces or rings getting caught in your hair or clothes as you move…

Does everyone practice yoga barefoot?

Practicing yoga barefoot is very common amongst yogis. Having no shoes or socks on helps individuals further develop their sense of balance in addition to feeling more in touch with your body and it’s movements. You will be able to leave your shoes near the door or on a shelf at the back of the room. If practicing yoga barefoot makes you uncomfortable then you are welcome to keep your socks on in most classes. This simply means that ‘yoga shoes’ are not something you would have to think about.

Yoga activewear brands and products

There are several brands of exercise clothing that are dedicated to yoga clothes specifically, meaning they’re tailor made to suit your yoga needs. The leading brands of yoga activewear include:

  • Nimble – an Australian based company that specialises in luxury activewear. Priced between £45-£75. 
  • Beyond Yoga – squat proof clothing that is dedicated to yoga only. Priced between £60-£90.
  • Lululemon – a mainly yoga based activewear company that offers sports bras in cup sizes! Priced between  £50-£100.
  • Sweaty Betty – a woman’s activewear brand at the more luxurious end of the scale. Priced between £80-£110.
  • Alala – a luxury activewear brand that caters from a wide variety of sizes and has a dedicated range of yoga clothes. Priced between £50-£80.


Science of Yoga

Did you know that yoga practice helps with memory loss, or that the correct way to breathe throughout a sun salutation is influenced by what happens to your organs as you move?


Yoga for Everyone

Yoga is for every body, including yours! This book offers yoga for all types of body: from plus size yoga and pregnancy yoga, to yoga for the elderly or disabled, there’s something for all.


Yoga for Beginners

Yoga Can Transform Your Life In Just 10 Minutes A Day! In ‘Yoga For Beginners’ you’ll learn the 30 essential yoga poses that will take you from yoga newbie to yoga enthusiast in just one month.

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