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What to Wear: Hot Yoga

Posted on Aug 19, 2013 by in STR | 0 comments

Hot Yoga

Welcome to a new feature on Sweat the Runway called “What to Wear”.  Big props go out to my friend Stacey in SF for suggesting this (and always hanging out with me when I visit SF!).  Stacey mentioned that as a newbie to yoga, she really didn’t have any idea on what to wear to class, and I feel that.  Even if you are an active gal and used to taking classes in studios or gyms, you can feel a bit lost when you head to a new workout.  Prepping a bit wardrobe-wise can help ease some of the nervousness and uncertainty about trying something new.

I’m kicking off this series with a primer on what to wear to a hot yoga class.  Years ago I dallied with Bikram classes in Michigan, and when I moved to Boston I was pumped to discover the Baptiste yoga studios.  I had no excuse not to go  - there was a Baptiste studio around the corner from my office and one down the street from my apartment.  I haven’t been to a Baptiste class in a couple of years, but hot yoga won’t loosen its hold on me.  A Core Power Yoga studio opened up minutes away from my home and I’m hooked on being all sweaty and stretchy again.  I’ve had to look at my workout wear anew and decide what’s best for a heated yoga class.  Below are my recommendations and some pieces I’m currently (and literally) sweatin’ on.



Sleeves are not your friend in a hot yoga class, so be sure to opt for a tank.  I prefer a flowing tank because there’s always a moment in class when I feel like everything is sticking to me and I can’t breathe and I hate everything.  Cotton is not your friend either in a hot yoga class because you will sweat more than you thought possible and that cute cotton tank will feel five pounds heavier about 30 minutes into the sequence.  Additionally, cotton isn’t afraid to embarrass you, by which I mean it will turn a brighter shade on the areas of your body where you sweat.  Finally, I don’t enjoy showing my tummy to everyone in class when I go upside town, so I look for tanks that cinch at the bottom.  Tall order, I know, but I found some good options for you.


Beyond Yoga Elastic Sweep Tank, $64,
Lorna Jane Demi Excel Tank, $70,


I really hate to admit this because I am not a fan of shorts, but they are your best option for a hot yoga class.  Don’t worry – you don’t have to wear them out of the studio (I’ve got you covered below), but it feels good to let the skin on your legs sweat and breathe during class.  I’ll wear capris, but I really prefer shorts.  The size of your hips, thighs, and booty will make every pair of shorts feel different.  My recommendation is to try them on and give them a test drive.  Head into Downward Dog or rock out a Standing Split and see how they feel and how much they reveal.  Look for shorts with a wide, flat waistband.   These will be the most comfortable and also stay up higher when needed.


Electric Yoga Seamless Hottie Shorts, $37,
Beyond Yoga Short & Sweet Shorts, $58, (can’t get enough of that atomic pink color!)

Pre & Post Class

Knowing that you’ll be wearing very little during your hot yoga class (and that’s ok!), I wanted to give you some cover up options for coming and going from class.  I like baggy sweats over my hot yoga shorts and a cropped sweatshirt over my tank.  And I like the feel of cotton after class – it’s like wearing a towel out of the studio.

SweatsSolow Slouchy Pants, $110,
Kings of Cole Cropped Sweatshirt, $138,


Lastly, I wanted to give recommendations on a couple key accessories that I consider must-haves for hot yoga classes.  I think I’ve made it clear that you will sweat gallons, so you’ll want to consider how to manage your hair, how to stay hydrated, and how to keep your yoga mat from turning into a Slip ‘n Slide.  My favorite headbands hands-down are from Sparkly Soul ($15).  Once they started selling them at Exhale everyone I know bought them and they have now become as ubiquitous as Alex & Ani bracelets in Boston.  Rightfully so, though, because they work.  The velvet stays in place without pulling, and there are two width options (I prefer the thin ones).  I have multiple water bottles, but for hot yoga I always grab my S’well ($35).  It keeps the water chilly despite the room being hot and disgustingly humid.  Finally, I highly recommend investing in a Skidless Yoga Towel by Yogitoes ($64).  I thought these were a bit over the top for a long time, and then I nearly took a dive on my yoga mat and felt like a fool.  I humbly purchased a yoga towel after class.

xxoo Sweat the Runway      smallSneaker

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