What Kind Of Clothing Should You Wear When You Do Hot Yoga?

So your bestie told you about their fave hot yoga class. They begs you to join them, promising you how much you'll love it. But there's a warning: Be prepared to sweat...a LOT. After all, some hot yoga classes jack the heat to 106 degrees. That means you'll need to remember your water bottle and stash an extra one in your car for after the class. You'll also need a towel — or two — to help wipe sweat from your face, arms, legs, and mat.

Although you might have the perfect bike shorts and top for a hot spin class, a hot yoga class could involve a few changes in your workout gear. Some hot yoga classes have you standing in postures for a full minute, so you'll need fabrics to sop up all the sweat that will be pouring down your body. You'll also need clothing that will allow you to flow from one pose to the next, so harem pants are probably out. Here are a few things to consider about your gear for hot yoga class.

Find the right fabric

Any workout apparel, particularly for hot yoga, will need to wick sweat away from your body and dry quickly. You'll also need something to keep out the stink and the stains over time. 

A hot yoga class will have you stretching and strengthening, so you'll want to wear something that will stretch with you. Many of the best hot yoga clothing will have a blend of many of these fabrics, but it's worth considering the features of each of these fabrics to see what's right for you.

Polyester is lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, and breathable. You should look for clothing that has a polyester blend, since synthetic fabrics don't absorb sweat. Polyester also has a high stink factor because bacteria thrive in it. It also doesn't dry as quickly as nylon. Nylon fabrics breathe, stretch, and dry quickly. Spandex (also known by its brand name Lycra) is great for yoga because it allows you to move, but it isn't as moisture-wicking or breathable as others.

Cotton is breathable, but it's not best for hot yoga. Cotton also does a great job of absorbing sweat, but it doesn't dry very well. If you wear cotton during a hot yoga class, it will feel like you're wearing a heavy wet rag on your body.

Choose form-fitting versus loose clothing

Hot yoga isn't the place to wear loose-fitting clothes. A forward fold can be quite uncomfortable if your top is flopping over your head. Your arms should be able to move without getting caught up with a wet piece of fabric or your clothes preventing your ability to twist. If you have sleeves (particularly baggy ones), they also might get in the way. So it's probably best to wear a snug tank top for hot yoga. It's a bonus if you can find a tank top with a built-in bra. Men can probably skip a shirt altogether, or maybe lose it once the class starts. 

Although it might seem reasonable to wear the shortest shorts possible in a hot yoga class, sweat running down both legs might make tree pose more difficult. Instead, leggings or capris are better choices for hot yoga. Avoid wearing anything baggy on the bottom because the excess fabric will just cling uncomfortably to your legs. 

For men, you have a little more leeway, but make sure your shorts aren't too baggy. The leg length should probably be a little longer so that you can still hold your foot against your leg in tree pose. Don't be afraid of spandex cycling shorts in a hot yoga class, as long as the padding isn't too thick.