If you are new to yoga or you are going to try a yoga class for the first time, you might be wondering what to wear. Do you need to wear a sports bra or not? And what else should you wear? Keep reading to have all of your questions answered.
What Type Of Exercise Is Yoga?
You need to understand what to expect from a yoga class to understand what to wear and whether you need to wear a sports bra.
Yoga is a sequence of postures and stretches accompanied by breathing exercises and sometimes meditation. There are different types of yoga that you can practice. Here are some of the most popular:
Ashtanga is a traditional form of yoga which involves a series of poses that are performed in a specific order. The movement is continuous as you flow between the different positions, synchronizing your breathing with the stretches.
There are various branches of Ashtanga yoga, and many yoga classes fall into this category. They vary in terms of difficulty – beginners, intermediate and more advanced yogis can take part in ashtanga – but each session will be quite dynamic.
Yin yoga involves various poses and stretches. Instead of flowing between them in a continuous movement, each position is held for an extended period of time.
The longer you spend in a position the deeper the stretch becomes as your muscles become warm and more accustomed to where they have been placed. This is great for increased flexibility and is quite an intense workout.
Restorative yoga is all about healing the body and the mind. The poses tend to be less challenging and the focus of the class is comfort and relaxation.
The goal is to slow down your heart rate rather than speed it up. You will likely use yoga aids like bolsters and blocks to provide additional support so that the poses are more comfortable.
Heated yoga, also known as sweat yoga, modo yoga, moksha yoga and bikram yoga, is quite intense. It is performed in a heated studio which raises your body temperature and keeps your muscles warm.
This means that you can achieve a deeper stretch, and also increases your heart rate. Many people use heated yoga as a form of weight loss exercise.
Yoga meditation classes, such as yoga nidra, involve little movement. The focus is on your mental state.
You will be in a comfortable position, most likely a restorative yoga pose, and you will complete various breathing exercises to reach a state of relaxation.
Do You Need To Wear A Sports Bra For Yoga?
Whether or not you wear a sports bra to a yoga class is a personal choice. It can depend on the size of your breasts and the type of yoga that you are practicing.
Some people prefer not to wear a sports bra as they want their clothes to be loose fitting and have a more natural feel.
If you have larger, heavier breasts then you may need a sports bra to offer support. This is especially important if you are in an inverted position.
However, there are different types of sports bras that you can choose from.
Low Impact Sports Bra
Low impact sports bras are ideal for yoga, especially if you have smaller breasts or you are practicing a slower flow. It provides some support, but is not too tight or restricting.
There is little compression, and the straps tend to be very comfortable.
Medium Impact Sports Bra
Medium impact sports bras provide more support than a low impact sports bra. They are suitable for more dynamic types of yoga and often have moisture wicking technology to draw your sweat away from your body.
They have more compression than low impact sports bras, which makes them a little less comfortable.
High Impact Sports Bras
High impact sports bras are designed for exercises like running which require a lot of movement. They have a lot of compression, which can be a little restrictive.
However, they provide more support than any other type of sports bra.
This is a good option for people with larger, heavier breasts who want to take part in more dynamic yoga classes which involve a lot of movement or inverted poses.
These bras also tend to have moisture wicking and quick drying technology.
What Other Types Of Bras Can You Wear To Yoga?
What if you don’t have a sports bra or you don’t enjoy wearing them? What other types of bras can you wear?
Underwired bras are not recommended for yoga. They are restrictive and can be uncomfortable and will not give you a full range of movement.
Balconette and push up bras tend to fall into this category and are also not ideal for yoga.
T shirt bras can be suitable for yoga as long as they are comfortable enough and do not restrict your movement.
Bralettes are quite similar to low impact sports bras but are available in a lot of different styles and designs. They tend to be very comfortable and not restrictive so they are suitable for yoga, but they don’t offer a lot of support.
Bandeau bras are strapless and stretchy, using the elastic to stay in place. They are comfortable and flexible so they make a good option for yoga practice. They don’t offer much support for women with larger breasts.
What Else Should You Wear To Practice Yoga?
Once you have chosen which type of bra you are going to wear to practice yoga, you need to select the rest of your yoga outfit. Here are some of the items you might want to consider.
Yoga pants need to be comfortable and allow you to move freely. You can wear tight fitting yoga pants that are stretchy, or loose fitting yoga pants like harem pants. Some people prefer to wear leggings instead.
Some people choose to wear a bra or a crop top to practice yoga. If you want to wear something over the top, you should consider a yoga vest. They are loose fitting and lightweight which keeps you cool and comfortable.
They don’t have too much excess material so the top won’t droop and get in your way when you bend forward.
Many people practice yoga with bare feet, but if you prefer to cover your feet then you can wear yoga socks. They are thin and cool, made out of stretchy material so you can have full range of movement to flex your feet.
They have elastic bands to keep the socks on your feet and stop them rolling off. They also have grips on the bottom which stops you from slipping.
Yoga headbands are very helpful as they keep your hair out of your face as you stretch and move through your yoga flow.
They also absorb the sweat to stop it from dripping into your face, so they are a must if you are practicing hot yoga or an intense yoga session.
Sports bras can be helpful to wear when practicing yoga, but there are other types of bras that you can wear instead.