Tag Archives: flexibility

Are you wondering which designer clothes to wear for a yoga class?

Some people agonise every morning about which outfit to wear for work. They may have laid awake for part of the night juggling outfits, colours, shoes, fabrics and accessories into the best combination. Then during the day at work their concern switches to what to put on for the night out. A dilemma which might occupy their attention throughout an afternoon of meetings.

But surely these deliberations do not extend to what to wear in a yoga class? Well apparently so.

which designer clothes to wear for a yoga class?

I’ve never been that fashion conscious. I knock about in jeans and a T-Shirt. I’ll dress smart for nights out and reluctantly don “black tie” for a posh do (actually the tie is usually bright magenta – but that’s another story). But I never spend long wondering what to wear in class – whether as a participant or as the instructor. I’m comfy in shorts and a sleeveless T-Shirt. If it has a Nike “swoosh” on it, fine. If it doesn’t I don’t lose sleep over it. On the whole comfy is more important than whether it has a Puma or an Adidas logo on it.

Occasionally I’ve bought branded Body Combat or Body Balance gear. I’ve found it over-priced and in some cases poorly made and unable to stand up to repeat washing. It may make me look the part but it doesn’t improve my skills as an instructor.

which designer clothes to wear for a yoga class?

So when I get asked what you should wear in a yoga class I give a practical answer. Tops and pants or shorts should be comfortable and allow a fairly wide range of motion. So not too tight. Sports bras for women (or tops that incorporate equivalent support). And sensible thigh or knee length shorts for the men because we don’t want it to all hanging out do we?

which designer clothes to wear for a yoga class?

Then I hear people wondering which designer clothes to wear for a yoga class? And when the conversation strays into brands like Fit Couture, Rogiani, Lululemon and New Balance I get quickly out of my comfort zone. Having looked at some of these websites though, I do like the look of the clothes on display. Some of it is ethically produced which fits with the yoga ethos. And I would never discourage anyone from buying something they look and feel good in.

But here’s the thing.

Wear what you want in a yoga class as long as it ticks the practical boxes. But don’t make wondering what to wear in class a reason to not to practice.

Because a logo won’t make you more flexible than you are now. Expensive hallmarks will not increase your range of movement and improve your strength and posture. Designer labels might dress you up well but they won’t improve you physically.

Yoga can do all of these things.

If you work hard (especially if it’s Power yoga, or Ashtanga yoga, or Bikram yoga), you’ll sweat just as much in a £80 top as you would in a £10 top. Put the practice first and maybe make the designer gear your reward later.

Over to you: What do you wear to your yoga classes? There are some great clothes out there. Which are your favourite brands? Please share your thoughts and comments by leaving a reply.

You don’t need to be flexible to do yoga – but doing yoga will make you more flexible

One of the popular myths about yoga is that you have to be very flexible to do it. It’s one of the questions I get asked most. And I can see why. In popular media yoga practitioners are often photographed in very advanced poses that make them look like they are bent double with their limbs wrapped around their necks. I’ve seen videos of famous Ashtanga teachers who genuinely look like they can tie their legs in a knot behind their backs. These images scare people.

flexible to do yoga

The truth is that there are many levels for each yoga pose. The aim is not to dangerously contort the body, over stretch it or overload it, but to go as far as feels challenging. For many people, especially beginners, that might not be very far at all.

So no, you do not have to be very flexible to do yoga, but you will become more flexible by doing it.

I remember before I started going to yoga classes, long before I became a teacher, I couldn’t perform a forward fold and touch my toes. Nowhere near touching them actually. Within weeks of practising yoga I could get closer, and now I can get all the way down. As a result I am much more flexible now than I was when I was much younger.

Improved flexibility is just one of the physical benefits of yoga. Others include:

  • Better cardiovascular efficiency
  • Better respiratory efficiency
  • Better musculoskeletal flexibility and joint range of motion
  • Increase in breath-holding time
  • Better dexterity skills
  • Better posture
  • Better strength and resiliency
  • Higher energy levels

Very few of us will ever achieve the rubber elastic bodies of Ashtanga yoga video stars, but neither should that be a necessary goal. All of us can benefit from the physical improvements yoga can bring. And if that means getting just one inch closer to touching your toes then that is an achievement to be proud of.

Over to you: I would love to hear your stories about how yoga has improved you physically. How much difference have you noticed? Please post a comment let me know.

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