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What to wear: yoga

What to wear: yoga

Okay, I’ll admit, when asked to write about what to wear for yoga practice, I faced a bit of a dilemma.  If you practice yoga frequently, get into the philosophy and try to live by it, you should not be getting attached to a pair of cool yoga tights and certainly not be judging others by what they are wearing…. or coveting their cool yoga tights. 

When at home, I am known to practice yoga in my pyjamas.  But, on a practical level (how embarrassing would it be to turn up to a yoga studio in PJs?!) there are some things you need to know about what (or what not!) to wear in class.


The practice of yoga takes the body through its full range of movement, from flexion to extension to rotation to side bending to inversion.  You need to be comfortable and able to move freely in your clothes.  Full length, stretchy leggings or capris with a mid-rise or high waist are good.  Zips, often found on work out wear, can become painful on the mat so are best avoided. 


For your top half, go for something that will not end up over your face when you take down dog.  A fitted yoga or work out vest is better than a loose t-shirt, unless you have abs of steel and fancy showing them off in a cropped yoga top in that heated yoga studio!  A supportive sports bra is a must, you may think your top fits just fine while walking around but once you are bending, twisting and going upside down, things happen!


If you have a dynamic practice such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Bikram, you will need to wear sweat wicking fabrics, and that goes for underwear too!  It is better to wear no pants at all than to wear a cotton pair that will stay wet for the whole 90 minute practice (but do note my next bullet!!).  You can buy breathable sports pants if you are horrified at the thought of going commando.


Believe me, you may think your comfy old leggings are opaque but I have seen enough while adjusting students in downwards facing dog to know that many fabrics become see through when stretched….. It is well worth investing in a good pair of opaque yoga leggings from one of the more expensive yoga brands.  The price tag may sting but they will save your dignity in many an asana!

Some ideas:

Small Budget:

H&M yoga tights

H&M yoga top with bra

H&M bra

Florence and Fred leggings

Florence and Fred crop top


Performance brands:

Sweaty Betty

Lulu Lemon Athletica


Earth friendly:




Bright tights:


Dharma Bums

Om Shanti


the author

Jo Walder

I am a Yoga Alliance 200 hour trained yoga teacher, practising and teaching in SW14.
My Personal Philosophy
I practise Vinyasa flow style yoga which so appeals for its creativity and expression through movement. As my practice deepens, I am learning more about the importance of mindful movement, having an alignment focused practice and connecting body with mind and spirit through movement and breath. From that initial physical feel good factor, my practice has developed to produce an overall sense of wellness which I aim to facilitate in my students. I have learnt, through training and experience, of the recurring postural issues and injuries which can be addressed by a mindful yoga practice and my teaching is informed by that, encouraging positive habitual movement patterns, building strength and flexibility and providing my students with a quiet place in which to explore and find space for themselves. Little by little our bodies and minds become more open. This, I believe, is the transformative power of yoga..