Thank you, Lindsey.
Lindsey has classes in the Falkirk area. Find out more here

Does it matter what you wear to yoga practice?

Yog-ee guest article By Lindsey Porter of www.yoganuu.com

No and Yes. headstand layers

Wearing clothing that you can move in, feel comfortable and supported in is key. And then often comes in a number of other factors which you may or may not consciously have awareness of. In the following article I offer you some personal insights, experiences and suggestions into these ‘other considerations’. See which ones resonate with you…

Age. Where once I was quite happy to allow my nippy waistline to show in class, over a decade or so later with a variety of lumps and bumps, including my 2 x C-section souvenir tummy, my choice of clothing has unsurprisingly changed. But what I have found is that it’s easier than you think to feel and look ok for class. I go for layering, patterns and colour. Layers help smooth out and hide. Colour and patterns work well to cover any areas you’re not so keen on and can highlight areas you like better. They also help lift and change your mood! This same concept can apply to body scars, weight gain, weight loss and any others you can think of.

Budget to buy. Fashions come and go, our bodies change and our available money to spend may fluctuate. When you’re feeling flush or someone asks what you would like for your birthday – there are some incredible fabrics and groovy designs available in a range of sizes from some great yoga focussed brands (Lululemon, Asquith, Fabletics being some of my favourites). Also consider the quality factor, better items, often priced higher can last a lot longer. Some of my yoga items that fall into this category I still use for layering and even though some are a bit too small for me now they still work great under a top or t-shirt! When budgets are tighter consider waiting for the sales, the wonderful ethical active and yoga wear brand, Asquith for example often has items at 50-75% off during their sales. Consider hunting brands down in shops like TK Maxx which are heavily discounted. High street brands such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s have their own line of yoga/sports gear that can be very reasonable on price, quality and comfort.

– Acceptance of self. Sometimes you just have to ask yourself what needs to be true for you to get yourself to a yoga practice/class. If having the ‘right’ clothing or the ‘right’ type of body or whatever else needs to be ‘right’ is standing in your way, aim to reframe how you see yourself in a way that enables you take yourself into a space to practice. When I get those moments, I say to myself. ‘Lindsey, you know what, you’re just a real woman and mother doing and teaching yoga. If you show you can do it with your lumps and bumps then that will show others they too can do it.’

Confidence. Whether we are a new, returning or a regular yogi when it comes to our practice we all care to some degree how confident we feel practicing in a room with other people. If having a certain look, feeling supported in your body when practising helps you take that step in to class then I say do it! If you ever experience that wobbly moment of doubt if you can really walk into that yoga class remember this quote: “When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks about you, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks about you and when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.”

Variety. Being flexible with your clothing can help. Often we feel like wearing colours to reflect the season or our mood. Typically when it’s colder we revert to darker colours. Darker colours can also be more slimming. Brighter colours can make an impact on our mood/spirit. White is associated with purity and cleanliness which can be a useful trigger for practice. Sometimes I like to wear a top/t-shirt that has an inspirational message on to help me get into the zone. One of my favourite tops says “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us” Wear what helps inspire you to be your best and feel good about that. It’s also possible to get a top printed with your favourite quote. A company I’ve used to do this is Zazzle.com.

All these circumstances can affect and influence your choice of clothing for yoga, to help support your physical body as well as your mental approach. Avoid letting a clothing issue put you off from your practice. And if it does try asking yourself this: ‘What would need to be true for me to feel comfortable to start my yoga practice?’ and start taking the small steps necessary to get you there.

New(ish) to yoga and still wondering what you should wear?

Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started…

  • Avoid baggy tops – go for a good sports bra or built in bra sports top. You can then wear a top/t-shirt in light fabric over the top. I go for a sports bra, strappy sports top that is longer so comes below the bum and a top/t-shirt over the top to give a layered look.
  • Bottoms – tracksuit bottoms are ok but can become hot quickly, ones that grip in at the bottom are better to practice in as they stay put a bit better when raising legs/doing inversion postures. Ordinary leggings will do and as you progress try out some specific yoga pants for maximum comfort, sweat wicking fabric and to help in postures like Tree Pose where you want your foot to stay in place and not slide down your inside leg.
  • Remember to practice in bear feet or a specific yoga socks.

So does it matter what you wear to yoga practice? Yes and No.

Lindsey Porter is an accomplished Project Manager in Financial Services who is now running her own business providing Wellbeing Retreats, Yoga classes, Holistic therapies and writing articles on topics she’s passionate about. She is an experienced Akhanda Hatha Yoga teacher, NLP Practitioner, Reiki Master and Holistic Therapist. www.yoganuu.com

lindsey