You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and try hot yoga—but what to wear? Hot yoga is a little sweatier than regular yoga, so it’s important to wear clothing that is breathable, light, and can absorb moisture quickly.
In this article, we’ll get you ready for your first class by discussing what to wear to hot yoga.
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What Is Hot Yoga?
This sweat-filled yoga style is particularly appealing to those who enjoy high temperatures. Hot yoga is a form of yoga that is performed under excessively hot and humid conditions. There are various styles of hot yoga, but one of the most popular of the bunch is Bikram yoga. Bikram yoga consists of repeating the same 26 poses in cycles, holding each pose for 10 to 90 seconds. A typical Bikram class will last for about 90 minutes. That’s a lot of sweating!
Popularized in California in the 1970s, some hot yoga classes aim to replicate the hot and humid weather conditions in India. Now days, basically any yoga class can be performed as hot yoga as long as you have access to a yoga mat and a heated studio.
It might sound super uncomfortable if you’ve never experienced it before, but there is a reason why the practice is well-favored. The excessive heat in hot yoga warms up the muscles and allows them to stretch deeper, while all the extra sweating that goes on can feel detoxifying.
It’s an effective workout, but it’s important to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated and dress in the proper clothing while practicing. Keep reading to learn about what clothes to wear to hot yoga. You can read more about hot yoga here.
One of the most important things you can do while shopping for clothes to wear to hot yoga is to prioritize moisture-wicking clothing. If you feel up to splurging, going for something that is antimicrobial is even better. The goal is to wear something that is capable of absorbing the moisture to reduce the chance of sweat stains. This kind of fabric will dry quickly and minimize odor.
Another key pointer: Do not wear cotton leggings to hot yoga.
Keep in mind that you are going to get really, really sweaty. Cotton leggings will absorb sweat and get heavy, which will only make you feel hotter. You want to keep your legs dry and comfortable so you can get a good stretch. The best hot yoga pants will either be full length or 7/8 fitted leggings that are made from fabrics popular in sportswear. Stretchy, comfortable clothing like Nike Dri-FIT apparel that is specifically designed to pull away sweat and keep your body dry. Clothing that is specifically created for wearing to a yoga class or workout helps you maintain a full range of motion during your practice.
Lululemon also has a wide variety of high-waisted yoga leggings to choose from. These leggings are soft and made from high-quality fabric so they are lightweight without being see through.
While shorts can be a good option if your main goal is to keep from getting too hot, yoga can become a little slippery in shorts, especially when attempting arm balances. If you do decide that shorts are the way to go, consider bringing a sweat towel to wipe away excess sweat.
Another pro tip: stick to fitted shorts when getting dressed for hot yoga. Loose attire is not the best choice for yoga. Look for a fitted short that is also moisture-wicking and comfortable like a biker short that will help you avoid slipping during inversion postures.
Most people prefer to wear a sports bra and no top to hot yoga simply because it is just so hot and the less layers, the better. However, if you aren’t comfortable with only wearing a sports bra, opt for a light, fitted tank top designed for yoga.
You’ll be the most comfortable gal in class if you can find a tank top that is sheer or mesh in a fitted design. Just like with leggings, you are going to want to wear a top that is fitted, breathable and flexible enough to execute the poses comfortably.
Another thing to keep in mind is that wearing a loose top makes it difficult for your yoga instructor to see your form while you are practicing. If your teacher can’t see your movement, they won’t be able to assist you properly if you are doing a pose incorrectly. You also wouldn’t want it falling in your face while in a downward facing dog.
If you can find a workout top that has a built-in bra, this kills two birds with one stone. Less laundry to do and less clothes to buy!
4. Sports Bras
The best sports bras to wear to hot yoga are going to be made with fabric that is super stretchy and contours the body nicely. The bras from Niyama Sol are comfortable and made with fabric that dries quickly once class is over so you can run your post-hot yoga errands with a dry sports bra.
When it comes to sports bras, you’ll also want to wear one that has a good level of compression so that you can have all the support you need while just rocking a sports bra.
5. Other Hot Yoga Essentials
Due to the sweaty nature of hot yoga, you’ll need to consider the other hot yoga essentials to pack in your gym bag. Look into getting an extra thick yoga mat that absorbs moisture and has built-in grip to prevent you from slipping and sliding during your practice.
You should also take a towel to your hot yoga class to prevent you from slipping. Manduka makes a wide variety of yoga mat towels that are designed to absorb large amounts of sweat and can even grip to the mat so that it stays in place.
You should also be sure to bring a water bottle with you to every hot yoga session. Adding a water bottle to your gym bag will help to make sure that you are staying hydrated during your hot yoga class.