The type of clothing your wear during your yoga session is vital to the overall experience. Although you may think that any type of workout clothing is acceptable, the truth is that yoga is an entirely different kind of practice and your clothing should reflect that. In this case sweatpants just won’t do and are completely impractical for yogis. When selecting clothing for yoga it is important to consider your intentions and to realize that what you wear is a reflection of the lifestyle you have chosen. Just like when the yoga teacher sets an intention at the beginning of the class, your yoga wear reflects what you are hoping to get out of the experience and who you are.
When people talk about yoga wear the general idea is of yoga pants which are specifically designed for the wide variety of movement that takes place during a yoga class. The design is well suited to the physical activity that involves a lot of bending and stretching. There are a number of different options for yoga wear starting with yoga leggings, yoga capris or even Harlem pants for more experienced yogis. In terms of shirts, tank tops or sports bras are the most functional when practicing yoga. Besides the practical aspects, yoga wear tends to reflect the yogic ideologies and the way of life that is synonymous with this ancient practice.
General sports attire would be categorized as active wear or sportswear. Active wear refers to any clothing worn while engaging in a sporting activity that is aimed towards end goals. Active wear is different to yoga wear because it not sport-specific whereas yoga wear is activity-specific. Active wear consists of any clothing that helps you attain your performance goals such as compression leggings. Active wear is a portrayal of most types of sport that are orientated towards winning, reaching goals and pushing you as far as you can go. Active wear is also usually designed to accommodate peak performance and high levels of activity.
The intention of yoga is to use movements and breathing to improve your flexibility and range of motion. This means that your clothing needs to be so comfortable that you barely notice it is there. However, it goes deeper than that because yoga is completely different to any other kinds of exercises. Yoga is a movement based exercise that is focused on the exploration of who you are as a multi-faceted being. This process of self-discovery is a journey that does not revolve around competition, winning or reaching a specific end goal. Yoga has different intentions to other sports and yoga wear is a direct reflection of this. Whereas other activities encourage change or transformation, the practice of yoga inspires acceptance of your current state.
The Yoga Lifestyle
Whether you are just beginning or have been doing yoga for years, you quickly come to realize that there is so much more to yoga than you first expect. Not only is it a wonderful way to exercise your mind and body but it is a way of life. Yoga encourages self-care which allows you to accept and love yourself. Through these gentle reminders to take care of yourself, the practice becomes your lifestyle. As you learn to love yourself more your values also begin to change. When your values align with your practice, you become more emphatic towards yourself, others and the world as a whole. This authenticity and empathy is beneficial to all and there are many yoga wear brands that truly embody this lifestyle by creating environmentally friendly and sustainable yoga wear or products.