We all love feeling good in the clothes we wear, and what you wear to hot yoga is key for getting into the flow (pun intended!) of the class. Hot yoga makes you sweat—oftentimes a lot. And of course, there are so many benefits that come with sweating it out, but with perspiration comes the need for more specifically-designed yogawear.
At Ignite Yoga Dayton, the temperature of our hot yoga room is around 95°F, utilizing a state-of-the-art HVAC system for heating and ventilation. As a beginner yogi, you may be wondering where to start, but fret not—we have you covered with our New Student FAQs. And whether you’re shopping as an experienced yogi or as someone who’s just starting out, read on for useful hot yoga attire tips.
What to wear to hot yoga
Generally speaking, and according to our instructors, because most yoga poses require you to twist, bend, or invert your body, the overriding advice is to wear the most form-fitting apparel that you feel comfortable in.
Although wearing baggy clothing is often super comfy, wearing a loose top during any of the many yoga poses that require your head to go below your hips, like Downdog or Uttanasana, may cause your shirt to fall over your head. This can restrict your vision, break your concentration, and ultimately shift your focus away from the pose.
Similarly, the same can be said for very loose pant legs that can drop down from your ankles when your legs are above your hips. Also for low-cut or hip hugging bottoms that sag or slide down when you bend at the hips, causing you to constantly adjust and tug at your clothes so as not to moon the world.
You want your clothing to stay in place so that it doesn’t become a distraction from your practice. Simple as that!
Choose fabrics suited for hot yoga
In addition to wearing form-fitting clothing, there are some fabrics that are better than others for overall quality, performance, and comfortability. For hot yoga, synthetic fibers that are stretchy, soft, moisture-wicking, light-weight, and durable are preferable, like polyester or nylon blends with lycra (AKA spandex)—bonus if they’re anti-microbial and odor-resistant.
Both polyester and nylon have low moisture-absorbency and quick-dry properties, meaning sweat is left on the exterior of the material, which allows for better temperature regulation, keeping you cooler. They are also more lightweight and durable, due to their polymer-based construction. Natural fibers like 100% cotton are great because they’re breathable, but they tend to absorb and retain sweat, which will very quickly get heavy and weigh you down during class.
As previously stated, you want to wear clothing as close-fitting as you’re comfortable with, but of course, you don’t want it to be TOO tight, otherwise it may restrict movement, breathing, and range of motion. That’s where the lycra blend comes in; it allows for a 4-way stretch, so your clothing has give. It will move with you, and not against you.
Yogawear—our personal favorites
Luckily for us all, there are virtually innumerable yogawear options out there, so you’ll definitely be able to find cute and comfy outfits in your favorite colors, unique prints, and fun patterns to express your own personal yogi style.
Our favorite tops for hot yoga
Crop tops & tanks:
Some come with a built-in bra, or grips along the bottom hem to keep from riding up during all the moving, twisting, and inverting. We are especially big fans of:
- Criss-cross racerback detailing
- Spaghetti straps
- Scoop neckline
Beyond Yoga’s Studio Cropped Tank:
- Keyhole back detailing
- Thick straps
- High neckline
Both have built-in shelf bras and are made of their best-selling signature “buttery soft” Spacedye fabric that is moisture-wicking, stretchy, and easy-care machine-washable. They’re also easy to buy at Ignite Yoga’s retail store!
Bras & bralettes:
Look for ones that are supportive, yet allow non-restrictive movement. In order to avoid heat retention, some yogis may be more comfortable not wearing a top over their sports bra during hot yoga class. It tracks that less clothing = less heat retention, so feel absolutely free!
Our favorite bottoms for hot yoga
Choose ones that are fitted and have a high waist that doesn’t roll down. Some of them can smooth, sculpt, and lift. Ones that have a reinforced front panel for comfort and discretion are often favorites of seasoned yogis. And beyond practicality, many of us are suckers for a pocket—in dresses, skirts, and yes, even in yoga leggings. It’s sometimes nice to have a little spot to stash a key, a card, or a little cash. We are especially big fans of:
- Extremely soft 4-way stretch
- Flatlock seams for absolute comfort
- 5” waistband
- 25″ inseam extends to between calf and ankle
- Flatters every shape
As previously stated, in order to stay cool, it’s understandable that less clothing would equal less heat retention. But in the case of wearing shorts during hot yoga, there’s another factor to keep in mind: sweaty and slippery legs. This can add more difficulty to certain poses, like crow, where you support your legs on the back of your arms. So if you do opt for shorts, be sure to have a yoga towel handy for all those arm balances!
When shopping for bottoms, be sure to move around in them to affirm that you can bend comfortably and freely, and that they’re not too tight or see-through.
PRO TIP: drop into a wide-legged forward fold in front of the dressing room mirror to check for translucence before purchasing!
Hot yoga from the street to the studio and back out again
Recent world events and cultural evolution have made athleisure and activewear much more acceptable attire for every day living. And as a side benefit, if like most of us, you’d like to have a more regular daily practice, donning your yogawear before leaving the house for the day means you’re always dressed and ready to pop into a class when the urge arises.
And even though you’ll likely wear less layers during class, post-class it’s nice to be able to put on some layers after your body temperature returns to normal. You’ll feel comfy and cute walking back out into the world sporting the cropped silhouette of Alo’s Muse Hoodie or their relaxed-fit mockneck Refresh Pullover—we absolutely adore both of them!
Other key accessories for your Dayton hot yoga practice
After you’ve found your ideal hot yoga attire, be sure to have the following handy, as well, for your hot yoga class:
√ yoga mat – check out our blog for tips on picking the perfect one for your practice. Then stop buy Ignite Yoga to snag it!
√ hot yoga hand towel to place under your hands if you begin to slide and/or to wipe away sweat from yourself and/or your mat. You can snag this one at Ignite Yoga!
√ water bottle to stay hydrated, of course!
We’ve got you covered at Ignite Yoga Dayton’s in-studio boutique, where you can find all the above necessary accessories and gear, as well as all of our favorite clothing named above. We also carry other items from your favorite yogawear brands, like Alo, Beyond Yoga, lululemon, Manduka, and of course, our always-in-demand Ignite Yoga branded apparel.
Overall, we trust these brands because they are:
Sustainable: in materials, manufacturing process, and disposal
Ethical: sweatshop-free and responsibly-sourced materials
Eco-aware: utilizing renewable energy and recyclable materials
Comfortable, practical, and ethical—they were designed and created with the practicing yogi in mind. You can shop before and after any class, or feel free to drop in during our retail hours. And if you’re new to our studio, be sure to take advantage of our New Student Special.