Yoga Workout: The 5 Essential Pieces You’ll Need‍

health, fitness, nutrition, wellness

When you first start practicing yoga, your biggest challenge might not be mastering the poses or finding a studio that feels like home. Rather, it’s figuring out what type of clothing to wear when practicing yoga so that you don’t freeze in a room with an indoor temperature of 50 degrees. As you grow more serious about practicing yoga and realize its benefits extend beyond just the physical, you’ll invest in some more flattering gear. Because while Lululemon leggings may be super comfy and cute, they’re not exactly what you’d call performance-oriented attire. Instead, your new go-to pieces should accommodate your body’s movements without constricting or feeling too tight so as not to hinder your range of motion. That said, there are five key pieces that are indispensable for anyone who practices yoga frequently:

A Sturdy, Well-Fitting Yoga Mat

Yoga mats are a crucial part of any yoga practice. They provide a soft, clean surface for you to rest on, and help absorb the sweat (gross!) that will inevitably pour from your body once you start working up a sweat. A solid yoga mat should be long enough to accommodate your body in all the poses, but not so long that it slides around. The thickness will depend on how much cushion you want — a standard thickness is 1/8 of an inch, while a thicker mat might be 1/4 of an inch. It’s all about personal preference, so try out a few to see what feels best. When choosing a mat, look for one made of natural rubber (latex) as opposed to synthetic rubber. Natural rubber mats are non-allergenic, anti-microbial, and contain no additives or fillers.

A Breathable Sweat-Wicking Top

Yoga is an active form of exercise, so you’ll likely break a sweat during your practice. In order to avoid the icky feeling of moisture building up against the skin, you’ll need to choose a breathable top that can wick away the sweat. With this top on, you’ll be able to focus on your poses rather than the gross sensation of being drenched in sweat. A loose-fitting top is best for yoga since it will allow for optimal range of movement. So, if you’re a bit self-conscious about your midsection, you might want to steer clear of anything too form-fitting. A loose-fitting tank top is a great choice since it can be easily paired with leggings, shorts, or even a loose pair of yoga pants.

Loose, comfy bottoms

You don’t want to wear anything too constricting when practicing yoga because it could distract you and inhibit your movements. Plus, it could potentially cause an injury instead of buying denim jeans online, go for comfortable bottoms. Therefore, it’s best to choose a pair of loose-fitting, comfy bottoms that are made of breathable materials. Yoga pants are a great option since they often have special fabric designed specifically for yoga. A few key things to look out for when choosing yoga pants: a wide, elastic band around the waist, a fabric that wicks away sweat, and a length that doesn’t bunch or ride up when you’re in certain positions.

Comfortable Yoga Shoes

Yoga is a form of exercise, so you’ll likely be standing, sitting, or balancing for extended periods of time. That makes it important to choose a pair of shoes that will provide ample support, especially in the feet and ankles. You want your shoes to be slip-resistant, but do not want to wear any kind of athletic shoe since those might be too structured and narrow for your feet, causing discomfort.

A Lightweight, Windproof Jacket

The temperature inside the yoga studio will likely be much lower than the outside temperature. That could be because it’s an indoor studio without proper ventilation or, more likely, because the room is kept at a temperature that’s optimal for your yoga practice. Stick to lightweight, breathable fabrics that you can easily fold and store in your bag. A windproof jacket is a great piece to have on hand since it will keep you warm without adding bulk.

Bottom line

Yoga is an exercise that requires very little equipment, but you’ll want to make sure whatever you wear is functional and comfortable. A yoga outfit should not be too loose or too tight, but instead allow for maximum movement and comfort. Yoga is a physical activity, so you want to wear clothing that will keep you warm when it’s cold outside and that will let your skin breathe when it’s hot and humid outside. Wear layers when you practice yoga so you can easily remove them when you get too warm. If you’re just getting started with yoga, keep in mind that it’s a lifelong journey. There will be days when you’re itching to skip class because it feels too overwhelming. And there will be days when you want to practice so badly that you have to drag yourself to the studio.

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