Four tips on sports gear form and function
We can all appreciate the range of workout wear that is suddenly available. Gone are the days of the 90s where we moved away from blinding spandex of the 80s to throwing on whatever was lying around and hoping for the best. No, today we can choose from sets – clothes that match!
Whether you prefer neutral hues, bold patterns or vibrant colors, you’re guaranteed to find something you like. However, what you wear at the squat rack may not necessarily work for the yoga studio, so there are few things you need to keep in mind before grabbing your mat and heading out the door.
Find the perfect fit
The last thing you want do during downward dog is fiddle with too loose or too tight clothing. You want to be comfortable while moving through the poses, not distracted by a too-tight waistband, itchy seams or a pesky care label. While it needs to be fitted, it still has to let you move. Make sure your poses aren’t restricted by binding fabric. Your best bet is to check the label and find something partially made of spandex.
You need to breathe
The importance of breathing during yoga doesn’t begin and end with correctly inhaling/exhaling – your clothes need to be able to breathe as well. Just because you’re not pounding out the miles on the treadmill doesn’t mean you’re not getting a full workout and, in some cases, you will still manage to sweat – a lot! Make sure the clothes you wear are breathable and moisture wicking, which means it moves the sweat to the out layer of the fabric while drying quickly. Avoid cotton, it will hold moisture and can lead to chafing.
Fashion vs. function
Thankfully yoga clothes have moved into the category of “athleisure” wear – mean people wear it regardless of whether they’ve ever seen the inside of a gym or yoga studio. While choosing leggings is fairly straightforward, the top bit is a bit more tricky. Most yoga practitioners opt for shirts that are more fitted around the waist and hips, so they don’t go over their heads during different bending postures. The same requirements apply when choosing the fabric. Do a few bands in the changing room before buying it to make sure you won’t need to keep tugging at it during class.
The other reason for selecting form fitting clothing is so that your teacher can actually see what you’re doing with your body and help you make any necessary corrections to avoid injury.
Don’t forget the layers
An early morning class might take place when the temperatures are quite low, but during the lesson you’re bound to raise your core temperature while you work up a sweat, only to lower it again during the cool down. Keep in mind that leaving the ambient temperature of the studio into colder morning air can be a shock to the body, so make sure you have a light jacket to cover up afterwards to keep your temperature stable and avoid getting sick.
Yoga doesn’t ask a lot in terms of workout wear and with the boom in online shopping and stores offering worldwide shipping, there is no reason why you cannot find the perfect clothes to ensure you have a great yoga workout!