Yoga is gaining popularity as a means of physical fitness and stress relief; yoga clothing and the yoga equipment required to practice the routines of this discipline are simple in nature. The yoga outfit, while basic and comfortable for a workout, can certainly have a style that wears well outside the realm of exercise and meditation realm and yoga accessories assist those just beginning and the advanced student as well.
The clothing used during workouts should have certain qualities. Clothes need to be comfortable and a bit loose fitting although pants can be somewhat snug. The various poses assumed require and enhance body flexibility so the outer wear must not inhibit leg or arm movement, or irritate the skin. Natural fibers that are soft and have the capacity to wick away moisture are best. Cotton is a good choice and, surprisingly to many, so is bamboo. Bamboo leaves can be processed into a pulp that yields thread like fibers that can be woven into cloth; while it can be bleached to white, the natural color may actually be preferable.
As is the case with most cotton garments, yoga clothing is durable and will last a long time with proper care. However, some synthetic fabrics also work well. There are some blends that not only offer smoothness and flexibility but also do not absorb much moisture and dry quickly. At the outset, sweat pants and a Tee shirt will suffice but before long a true aficionado will gravitate to specific clothing; when that happens, function should trump style.
Launder yoga clothing according to manufacturer’s instructions, although adding lavender oil, tree tea oil or vinegar to the wash water helps eliminate odors. Clothing can be found that is specifically made for Bikram Yoga, which is particularly intense and generally causes a lot of perspiration; that line may well contain Supplex, a nylon with good breathability and wicking qualities. Rinsing clothing of this nature after a workout, then letting it drip dry, will inhibit odor formation.
Yoga accessories are simple in nature, if a little unusual for physical exercise. A bolster is a pillow like creation stuffed with cotton batting and covered with cotton cloth; it can be used to provide extra support at the small of the back for different poses. More familiar is the exercise, or balance, ball; its inclusion in this type of exercise seems very natural as it enhances the flexibility of the body in general and the spine in particular. For the more advanced students, there is an apparatus that allows body inversion; it would be a good idea to approach this device with a good understanding of both the benefits and perils of its use. A mat bag is nearly essential; a good one will have easy access, an adjustable strap and room for other items.
Yoga helps achieve a certain balance in life. Unlike other types of physical workouts, equipment cost is quite nominal. However, the choice of yoga clothing and accessories does require some discretion. After a few sessions of training efforts, it will become apparent just what qualities these various items should possess.