Yoga is an ancient form of exercise that focuses on flexibility, strength and breathing to boost both mental and physical wellbeing for the individual. The main components of yoga are postures (a series of movements designed to increase flexibility and strength) and breathing. Yoga originates from India, dating back to around 5,000 years ago, and has been adapted in many countries across the globe in a variety of ways. The practise is now commonplace in many leisure centres, health clubs, schools, hospitals as well as surgeries.
Most studies done on this ancient exercise method have confirmed that regular yoga practise is beneficial for those with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains (including lower back pains), depression and stress. Although most forms of yoga are not strenuous enough to count for your 150 minutes of moderate activity per day, two sessions per week can help to strengthen your muscles and perform better within moderate to high level activities. Yoga can also help older individuals improve their sense of co-ordination, balance and improve lower body strength thus combating their likelihood of falls.
Another ailment that yoga can improve is arthritis. By gently promoting flexibility, strength and mobility. Some positions may not be suitable for those suffering from limited mobility / arthritis so finding a suitable instructor who understands the illness is key.
Yoga related injuries are also uncommon, though can be caused by repetitive strain and / or over-stretching. However, if taught properly by experienced individuals and practised well. Learning from a qualified yoga teacher and choosing a class appropriate for your level is important to ensure you remain injury free.
Although better to start with a class to learn poses and the correct breathing techniques you can purchase yoga DVDs to practise in the comfort of your own home, whenever you feel like it. Although, with a DVD there will be no one to correct your mistakes (which could lead to injury over time), offer advice or alternative poses and encourage you when you do well. With some experience of classes, DVDs may then be suitable for you.
You’ve decided you want to take part, or perhaps you’ve been practising for a while now and find yourself uncomfortable throughout each and every one of your sessions. One of the toughest questions we find, is which yoga clothing is best suited? There are hundreds of stores and online providers that sell yoga clothing at great and reasonable prices. Ideally, purchasing yoga clothing that is tight enough to stay on while you workout, yet loose enough to allow for free movement. Adding your personal fashion and style to your yoga wardrobe is great, feeling good about how you look during your workouts is an important part of finding happiness during the sessions and afterwards -as long as you do not forfeit your comfortability for style. My personal favourite brand for stylish ‘active wear’ is Iron Fist, however as this company is not a sports or yoga based one I have neglected to include within the list below.
So, here is a list of our 7 favourite yoga clothing brands that you definitely need to check out!
Mika Yoga Wear
Mika’s entire clothing line, especially their leggings, has been carefully designed and suited to fit a woman’s body perfectly from top to bottom. With the perfect fabric (90% polyester and 10% Lycra) for the perfect stretch and fit. Thus no more uncomfortable wedgies or need to make readjustments whilst in the downward dog position!
- The leggings and capris are high waisted, so if you’re self conscious of your abdomen area there’s no need to worry. The company also has actual high waisted leggings that sit above the navel, without sacrificing that sort after style.
- There are many fun patterns and vibrant colours. The leggings also have extra elastic on the bottom to fit over your heels for a cute and trendy fit.
- If you’re crazy about yoga, you’ll love their drawstring shorts that fit without riding up (or down) with every single move you make.
This brand has a massive instagram presence through their company page, and their fair share of various instagram-famous yoga fanatics.
Known for their stylish patterns and contemporary cuts that are designed to flatter and move with every inch of your body. There are a huge variety of clothing pieces sold by them including leggings, shorts, sports bras, tank tops, pulloverṣ / hoodies and male ‘performance’ t-shirts.
- If you love bold, energetic prints you’ll love Alo’s Airbrush leggings. While the Floral Runway leggings are a more relaxed and toned down style, including a daring mesh section around the calves to keep things interesting.
- Alo’s sports bras are ones that you’ll love to wear every day -let alone during workouts. Stylish, comfortable and practical sum these bras up perfectly.
- Flowy open backed shirts to aid in keeping the individual cool and free when exercising or holding positions.
Flexi Lexi Fitness
If making a statement with your clothing is something you love to do then Flexi Lexi Fitness is for you. This relatively small company is one of my favourites to shop in as I just love their beautiful bralettes and crazy coloured yoga pants. They also have a great ‘Mini Flexi Lexi’ line for children, so if you want to get the kids involved here’s the place to shop!
- Feeling sassy? Their Peek-a-Boo leggings have sexy mesh panels and a high waist to cover and hide any love handles you may have.
- The Mini Flexi Lexi apparel matches some of the adult sized designs, meaning your and your mini yogi can match each other during workouts. How adorable!
- Bra addicts will adore this company’s signature, and reasonably priced, bralettes. In a variety of patterns and designs these bralettes are super cute to wear during workouts or just simply for casual use. (They also sell pants to match!)
Onzie is a store which prides themselves on being inclusive, offering a large range of sizes, at a good price. From big to small anyone can partake in the weekly yoga classes with products from Onzie.
- Show off your booty in their super popular side string shorts. It doesn’t matter how much junk in the trunk you have, these shorts magically flatter ALL body types. Although they may not be entirely suitable for mixed ability or high ability yoga sessions outside of your own home, (read the ‘what not to wear’ section below) they’re perfect for chair based yoga classes, home DVD sessions and for other active wear -running is recommended for this particular pair.
- If you love capris but constantly wish you could find a more stylish pair, look no further! Onzie’s variety of styles are complete with chic cut-outs or mesh panels to make them fashionable enough for any casual occasion.
Their clothing is simple, but beautiful at the same time. The fabric used is thin enough for hot yoga sessions but also withstands stretching and pressure from various positions and running.
- The fits are flattering for most body types and the tops are supportive, allowing you to perform in the way you want to without being restricted. The support these tops provide is great when running and performing downward facing poses.
- High quality sports / yoga wear and the prices are reasonable with this in mind.
- These outfits are not just great for your yoga sessions but awesome for comfy everyday wear too. You certainly won’t mind grabbing a quick coffee after yoga is done while wearing anything from Kira Grace!
YogaSmoga are a brilliant up and coming brand with innovative designs. This brand is great for smart and simple clothing styles with modern twists such as mesh cutouts.
- The tanks from YogaSmoga are brilliant as they are designed almost entirely for yoga. The tight bottoms stay put when you invert and the loose middles that feel flowing and cool. The open backs of these tanks are also perfect for showing off pretty sports bras (like the ones from Flexi Lexi!).
- While many other brands focus almost entirely on women, around 40% of YogaSmoga’s customers are male, a number the brand is very proud of.
- Many items such as the Vail Pullover or the Tippy Toe Vigor Leggings have allowed for a “wear it anywhere” versatility.
Leggings from Vimmia are versatile and high quality, allowing you to put almost any amount of strain on the material and lasting for a long period of time with little wear and tear. A luxury brand with reasonable luxury prices, Vimmia is great for the yoga fanatics out there.
- Although this may be irrelevant to the clothing itself, Vimmia has committed to pledge $1 of every purchase to the nonprofit charity Maria Shriver’s The Woman’s Alzheimer’s Challenge. So if you’re looking to feel even better about buying your yoga wear, Vimmia may be the place to shop for you. Find information for this on the website’s ‘The Pledge’ option.
- Celebrities such as Khloe Kardashian are fans. This speaks for the luxury, high quality products that the brand outputs.
- The Curve Pant by Vimmia compresses your legs perfectly. The thick material is great in the winter and prevents your pants from being see through but never suffocating.
What is probably best not to wear during class!
Cotton underwear: Although this fabric does breathe well, it also becomes heavy when wet or damp and doesn’t dry quickly. To avoid staying wet down below for an entire class and journey home, splurge on moisture-wicking briefs. Or, alternatively, go commando!
Old, thin, holey or light-coloured leggings: You may love your old pair of leggings that you throw on to run to the shops quickly, or when walking the dog but chances are these leggings have seen better days by now. Check your leggings for holes or thinning in the crotch area. Also, avoid light coloured leggings as these bottoms are usually see-through no matter how thick they are. Instead of wearing your old leggings, wear either black, navy, chocolate or another dark-coloured pair of capris or leggings made from durable materials like those that can be bought from the brands listed above.
Shirts that do not fight tight to the body: T-shirts are definitely a no-no as they will just end up falling over your head rendering you blind every time you perform downwards facing positions. Go for long fitted tanks as they stay put and keep you covered no matter the position. Test your shirt in the dressing room before buying if you have visited a store, or read reviews on the item in advance to buying online. On the other hand, you can perform yoga in just a sports bra that covers you well and holds you in place adequately enough.
Low-cut, revealing, light-coloured and unsupporting tops and bras: Some tops may seem like they fit and support you well whilst just simply walking around, however these same tops may be completely useless once your breasts start moving. White or light-coloured tops can also be risky as the more you sweat the more the shirt can become see-through, after all you signed up for a yoga class not a wet tshirt contest! To avoid a nip slip, sport a top that suits your body type. For big breasted girls a v-neck or lightweight sports bra may not be your best option. Bright and dark colours also get a thumbs up, so long as they’re not see-through.
Short shorts or loose shorts: Shorts are perfect for long sweaty runs, getting a tan or just simply for comfort -just not for yoga class. Feeling confident that you’re completely covered during class is important, the last thing you should be thinking about is whether or not someone can see everything you’ve got! Short shorts and loose fitting shorts also tend to bunch up when you move, ending up looking more like a thong than a pair of bottoms, and you can do without the distraction of pulling them around and rearranging yourself every 5 minutes. Go for fitted cropped or full-length leggings so not only is your booty fully covered, but the material hugging your legs will absorb your sweat resulting in a more comfortable session for you.
Looking and feeling great while practising yoga, be it at home on your own or in a class without 10 other people watching, is paramount to enjoying yourself and benefitting your body as much as possible.
Yoga is great for all ages, with individuals often starting when in their 70s with many of them stating they wish that they had found a class or decided to start sooner. Yoga is a form of exercise that can be enjoyed by all ages, from childhood to old age. Flexi Lexi provides a brilliant range of children’s yoga clothing as mentioned previously in the article (with my favourite item being the watermelon leggings -so cute!). As well as not being a gender specific exercise as YogaSmoga proves with their fantastic male clothing line brilliantly suited for yoga.
With classes for all abilities, people of all fitness levels can participate. Mixed ability classes call for individuals to be able to get up and down from the floor with little difficulty. If this is a struggle for you, some classes are chair based. Allowing everyone to show off their beautiful yoga gear whether they be old, young or suffer from limited mobility.
I love all of these brands on the list for a variety of different reasons. Each brand has it’s own unique selling points and strengths with some costing more than others but a general theme of good high quality products throughout. It is definitely worthwhile checking out all of these brands and seeing which one is best suited for you in terms of style, comfort and sizes. If you’re struggling to choose between them simply look at the item you’re considering to buy and check the reviews -this should give you the extra push on whether or not to buy. However, we here at Balance Me Beautiful believe that any item of clothing bought from these sites should be of great quality and have perfect durability. Always keep in mind, you pay for what you get -therefore spending extra on these brands should ensure your yoga wear is long lasting and has optimum comfort levels.
We’d love to hear what your favourite yoga clothing brand is, whether it be one from our list or another, feel free to let us know below in the comments which has worked best for you and why. If you have any suggestions for further articles please do contact us with suggestions, we always look forward to hearing from our readers.
Thanks for reading!