Choosing what to wear to yoga class can feel daunting at first. If you’ve never been to a class before, entering a room full of people that look like experts can be scary. The added stress about how they’re all dressed and whether you bought the right clothes doesn’t help!
Just remember that yogis are a generally happy bunch. Sure, there might be people in the class who have been doing yoga for years and can do handstands all day long. But that doesn’t mean you have to worry about jumping in as a newbie.
In this post, we’ll look at the benefits of yoga for runners and how you can suit up for your first class. – here’s what to wear to yoga class.
Let’s jump in.
Why Runners Should Do Yoga
Yoga is an excellent complement to running.
Running can be tough on your joints and muscles, so you definitely need to stretch and relax your muscles on a regular basis. Yoga does all of that, while also helping you get ready for your next run.
Yoga focuses on breathing techniques and mindfulness while going through all the different postures.
This means that anyone can do yoga. There’s no need to be intimidated about going to a class. Everyone has different fitness and flexibility levels, and a good yoga teacher will help you adjust yourself to the positions. They want you to be able to stay within your ability and not get left behind.
Many yoga studios offer an intro class if you want to learn the basics of the poses before getting started. There are lots of great videos on YouTube where you can follow along from home.
The videos are great for learning, but once you’ve seen some examples, I highly recommend going to a live class. Getting tips from a trained teacher who can monitor your progress and lend advice where needed is a great asset.
Yoga Improves Flexibility
Us runners are known for having super tight hamstrings and hip flexors, especially when in intense training like marathon training plans. Yoga provides overall relief for those areas and the rest of your body.
Working on improving your flexibility will help you keep running and reaching your goals. It can also help you avoid injuries.
Yoga Strengthens Your Core
Keeping up with a core training routine can be hard when training for a marathon. We all know that your core muscles are so important to balancing out your stride. Doing a yoga class can give you a two for one! It will equip you a good core workout while also getting in a good stretch.
Overall strength training is a non-negotiable for runners. Yoga can help you build up overall body strength without the impact of heavy weight lifting. Bodyweight exercises for runners are very similar to many of the positions and movements that happen at a yoga class.
So now that we’ve seen the undeniable benefits runners can get from practicing yoga, you’re probably excited to sign up for your first class. Congratulations! But… what are you going to wear??
What to Wear to Yoga Class
For your first yoga class, you’ll probably be worrying about what to wear. It may feel overwhelming, considering all the options in front of you, both online and in stores.
There are so many different clothing brands out there that sell high-end yoga gear. The gigantic number of options, and the fact that so many people already seem to have it all figured out, can make that first step really stressful. You might be thinking that a lack of the right gear means you shouldn’t show up to class.
That’s not the case. There are no rules when it comes to attending a yoga class. The whole purpose of yoga wear is for your own comfort and mobility. That being said, be sure to wear clothes that you can move in.
That can mean shorts, sweatpants, t-shirts, tank tops, whatever you like. And yes, yoga pants are an option but not a requirement. Whatever the combination may be, just make sure you’re comfortable.
Yoga is always practiced barefoot. No need to think about socks! I recommend wearing slip-on shoes to the yoga studio so you can get in and out of them easily.
You should also make sure that your outfit will stay put. During the class, you will go from lying on your back to bending at the waist, and many other positions in between.
A famous yoga position is called Downward Facing Dog. Starting on all fours, you lift your hips up into the air and then straighten out your back. You’re aiming to make an upside-down V shape that sort of looks like a puppy stretching out in the morning.
Flattening your feet and hands on the ground means that your waist will be up in the air and your head will be down by the ground. You don’t want to wear a top that is so loose it will fall down over your head.
Hot Yoga Dress Code?
There are many different styles of yoga classes. Some of the most popular are Hath, Vinyasa, and Kundalini. The expert yogis over at the Himalayan Institute of Pittsburgh put together a great guide that explains them all. Your local yoga studio will also have descriptions of the style and intensity levels you can expect at their different classes.
One common type of yoga class is called ‘hot yoga’. Hot yoga just means that the yoga studio will be heated to a temperature of at least 80 degrees. Working up a sweat while running through the postures helps people relax more and bend deeper into the stretches. There is no difference in the positions or the sequencing of moves at a hot yoga class, just the temperature.
Here are some of the benefits your body will get from hot yoga:
- You’ll burn more calories
- You’ll detox stress better
- You’ll clear out the pores in your skin
What to wear to hot yoga class can be a little more complicated. Because it will be hot and sweaty, you will see people dressed expecting to sweat. Men will often be shirtless by the end of the class. Women will sometimes wear a loose t-shirt over a sports bra with the intention of removing the t-shirt after the first few minutes of class.
Wear what you feel comfortable in, but remember to factor in the sweat. All of your clothes should be fast-drying or wicking material. Don’t wear anything cotton unless you want to get and stay soaked! Also, don’t forget to bring a towel. You’ll want to have that handy as the class progresses.
Yoga Pants for Women Are Everywhere – What Do Men Wear to Yoga?
All of the popular yoga brands like Lululemon mostly cater to women. The yoga pants craze has caused a huge surge in the options that are out there. These spandex tights are thick enough to be comfortable and modest, yet tight enough to be supportive for exercise.
They’re extremely popular because of their high level of comfort and stretch. Women often use them as loungewear or pajamas since they’re great for all-around use, not just for practicing yoga.
The yoga pants surge is generally not as common in menswear. Here are some examples of clothing men wear to yoga:
- Running shorts
- Spandex or compression shorts
- Any moisture-wicking, fitted t-shirt or tank top
Well-known brands like Prana have developed shorts that are specifically made for yoga and they make these for men too.
Add Yoga to Your Training
What do you wear to yoga class? The right answer is whatever you want, as long as you can move comfortably, with a wide range of motion. The most comfortable, range-promoting clothing are the ones made of stretchy material.
Since you’re moving around in different flexible positions, you’ll want to wear things fit a bit tighter to keep them from getting tangled up as you move around. The important thing is to sign up! Getting involved in a regular yoga class will do wonders for your training.
If you’re training for a marathon, I recommend doing yoga at least once a week. With all the work you’re putting your body through, you need an activity that not only stretches your muscles but helps you relax.
Following a training plan already takes up a lot of time, so if you’re worried about adding yoga to an already busy workout schedule, take a look at this guide to finding more time for training.
So what are you waiting for?! You probably already have everything you need to go to a yoga class, so it’s time to get out there and give it a try!
Take Your Running Further With Our Resources...
Half Marathon Resources
Marathon Training Resources
Ultramarathon Training Resources