Yoga studios are popping up like pancakes these days. However, yoga is more than just another fitness or celebrity craze, as it embodies the human need for body, mind and spirit connection, rather that just being another gimmick to get great ABS and semi-restrict yourself from food… and life.
Yoga is a philosophy of life
How to move to nourish our soul and heal our physical and emotional body. With this in mind, it also becomes clear, that what to wear in yoga is not merely a fashion statement. When you truly embrace yoga body, mind and soul into your life – everything you do, every breath you take and every move you make; including what touches your skin becomes a reflection of who you are on a soul-level.
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Transformation through color therapy
Also considering the fact, that as a yogi we are (or aim to be) more concerned about our inner transformation than our outer. This boils down to which clothes we choose to wear. Different colors affect different “chakras” aka energy channels in our body; and thereby we can choose to wear colors that enhance certain properties, which we want to cultivate in ourselves:
Purple = Enlightenment
Indigo = Communication
Blue = Intuition
Green = Love/Compassion
Yellow = Power/Vitality
Orange = Sexuality
Red = Grounding
Yoga is not a fashion statement
So as a newbie to yoga, still wondering if this thing is right for you, not wanting to invest too much into this before you know, if it’s right for you, you’ve probably asked yourself “what should I wear” to support my yoga practice.
The answer is simple: whatever you feel comfortable in. Yes, really. Please do not turn yoga into a fashion statement, focusing on your material appearance. Doing yoga is not about looking amazing, wraithlike and moving like a ballerina. It is about adjusting to your current needs, and starting on the journey towards transformation step by step, rather than black-white thinking forced-upon overnight changes, that makes you want to scream. It is about developing compassion towards yourself, so that you can give back to others. It is about accepting who you are, rather than self-hatred.
This includes what makes you feel good in the skin you are in clothing wise. Through that, you can change with grace. And the change you longed for will happen as the by-product. The important thing to change successfully long-term is to understand the reasons why you want change and to separate the positives from the negatives – aka if your change is driven through a desire to fit in (lack of self-acceptance), look better than xyz (jealousy) your external change will not last, because your inner transformation has not occurred yet.
We will be stuck in the suffering, until we let go and understand the lessons life is trying to tell us.
This being said, what to wear to yoga?
– Choose pants that are fitted at the bottom, as you will be in positions where your legs are in the air.
– For females, a basic work-out bra will suffice as you are not engaging in jumping or running, so you need not same level of support as for regular cardio.
– Choose clothes that do not restrain your moves (no jeans or tucked in tops etc.); the aim in yoga is to open up blocked energy channels so you want to enable free blood flow.
– If you are choosing a hot yoga class, you want sweat absorbent clothing and preferably just a tank and some fitted shorts, or if a guy just a pair of swim trucks would work just fine.
– If you are choosing a yin yoga class (deep relaxation with little movement/heat built-up), you will want to bring layers – bring a loose pull-over to avoid getting cold during Shavasana.
For some fun takes on how to find your yoga style, you can get a good idea of what works for every type of yoga here – most choices as you can see center around fitted shorts and leggings; something you already have a version of in your wardrobe most likely, so start of with whatever you have and feel comfortable in. I usually choose leggings and a top which I can easily wear as part of my daily wear, dressed up with a blazer/silk-shirt for work and then simply take off the blazer and drop in for a yoga class on my way home from work. I like to keep things as simple as possible, making my clothes work for me, rather than feeling I’m spending my entire day in a dressing-room.
Grace comes from being comfortable in the skin you are in, so let your clothing be a reflection of your soul!