Hatha Yoga is the branch of Yoga that concentrates on physical mastery and meditation through asanas, or postures, and pranayama, or breathing exercises. Often known only as yoga in many Western countries, this particular branch of ancient Indian spiritual practices has become a hugely popular wellness and exercise trend. It’s so popular nowadays in fact, that new yoga styles and techniques are cropping up everywhere, enough to suit the needs of any experienced or would-be yoga-enthusiast.
Whatever your yoga style may be though, it’s still generally accepted that you wear clothes while practicing yoga. There is such a thing as naked yoga, but it’s not for everyone, and as far as availability is concerned, naked yoga classes often require a fair bit of sniffing around. But, for the more common yoga session and classes where clothes are actually required, there are a few things to remember.
If truth be told, taking up yoga doesn’t automatically mean that you actually have to go out and buy special yoga clothes. In fact, in India, there is no particular set of yoga clothing or special yoga uniform designated as “Hatha Yoga clothes.” It’s actually likely that you have items in your closet that would suffice quite nicely.
Yoga is exercise, and it involves a lot of twisting and stretching, so make sure that your clothes are, at the very least, comfortable and easy to move in. Cotton or cotton blends are the best kinds of fabric for yoga, because they absorb perspiration, allow the body to breathe, and generally feel nice to the touch and comfortable to wear. Another thing to remember is that some asanas can have your bending over or upside down, so it might be a good thing to have clothes that are slightly form-fitting. Skintight clothes can constrict movement though, so for women sports bras, camis, tank tops, or close-fitting T-shirts would be the tops to go for. For men, sports bras wouldn’t really be that necessary and wearing close-fitting T-shirts or going topless altogether could do quite nicely. As far as pants are concerned, for both sexes, it’s best to go for a cotton lycra blend or similarly stretchy, breathable fabrics. There are pants made especially for yoga, available in full-length, knee-length, and shorts styles. For people who’d prefer to find these items in their own closets, any pair of comfortable pants would do, as long as they have enough give and are durable enough to allow you to perform all of your asanas without straining or causing you discomfort.
Whether you choose to rummage through your closet for old clothes that fit the bill, or troll the malls and websites for a spiffy set of yoga outfits, the most important thing to remember is that you’re comfortable wearing these clothes.
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