Yoga Set: Preparing for Time on the Mat
Wellness is a growing focus in modern life. We’re no longer accepting the idea that life is a cycle between hard shifts at work and lazy evenings on the couch. Active lifestyles are more than just a trend — they are part of a revolution in how we all live.
One aspect at the forefront of this revolution is yoga. Modern life requires more balance than ever before in order to thrive. This is where yoga excels: balancing the wholeness of body and mind.
Another reason for yoga’s popularity is the ease of entry into the yoga practice. You don’t need to have special skills, natural athleticism, or hundreds of dollars to invest in expensive equipment. You don’t need to travel to India and be mentored by a yogi, either (although learning about yoga’s origins could be an enlightening experience).
Anyone can try yoga, and it's easy to get started! Today, our Tasc Performance guide is all about helping you find your yoga foundation.
Read on to learn what gear you’ll need for your yoga-filled future. If you’re looking to get started on the right foot with gear that will help you thrive for a long time to come, this is the guide for you.
Let’s get started.
What Basics Do I Need To Practice Yoga?
Thankfully, yoga, like its cousin pilates, is quite friendly to beginners in terms of entry barriers. Some sports and exercises may seem like you need to be in top shape with naturally gifted athleticism to even try them, but yoga makes no judgment of your body (or mind).
Yoga also makes no judgment of your budget. Getting started in yoga can be very affordable, but you won’t want to go with the cheapest option that first catches your eye.
There are many options out there significantly below par that will leave you more miserable than mellow. We’re talking about what separates high-quality yoga gear from the stuff you should skip a little bit later — for now, let’s lay down your shopping list.
We can break this into two categories: Must-have and optional extras.
Yoga Starter Kit Must-haves
There are really only two things you absolutely have to have to get started in yoga, and one can even be optional in some cases, depending on where you wish to practice.
The first is clothing. Unless you’re practicing in your home and wish to let it all go free, you’re likely going to need to wear some clothes to whatever studio or park hosts your next session.
Clothing has practical benefits as well when you choose the right designs and materials. The right yoga clothes can keep you dry and cool, which is ideal even during the lowest intensity yoga exercise in a well-air-conditioned studio.
Yoga Clothing Essentials
- Yoga pants. The most typical legwear in yoga for women, a proper yoga pant always uses high-quality athletic apparel material (such as bamboo). Sometimes called yoga leggings, cuts can vary, but the most common look is fitted from hip to ankle. Loose, flared ankles are also common.
- Other pants. While yoga pants are usually fitted and made from elastic materials, looser sweatpants, joggers, or harem-style pants (with loose legs but elastic ankle bands) are also popular options. Men often wear looser pants as well.
- Shorts. Bike shorts are standard for women, whereas men typically wear looser athletic shorts.
- Tops.Yoga tops can vary widely. Sleeveless tops are very much on-trend, but short and long sleeve shirts also make a fantastic choice.
- Crop tops and sports bras are widespread styles for women. Whichever style you choose, look for a balance between loose and fitted. You don’t want extra fabric hanging everywhere, tying you up. You also shouldn’t have a restricted range of movement.
Top Layers. Layering with a sweatshirt, hoodie, or throw-over helps you stay comfortable while doing yoga in a chilly environment. Maybe you just want to feel cozy too. With a touch as soft as our bamboo-cotton fabric, we don’t blame you.
Choosing a Yoga Mat
Once you’ve got your yoga outfit ready, the only essential remaining is a yoga mat. Again, this could be optional depending on your personal preferences, but most experts recommend using a mat, especially when you are new to yoga.
Most studios and gyms rent mats, but owning your own has the benefit of knowing it’s clean. Plus, you can take it anywhere. Yoga at the park, anyone?
You can find yoga mats for a wide variety of budgets. Some run for $20 or less (such as Gaiam yoga mats) or well over $100 for brands like Manduka. It’s recommended to invest in a well-reviewed mat that will last you a long time.
Eva foam is the most common mat material, but cork mats can also be found.
Yoga Kit Optional Extras
Once you’ve got your essentials, you are ready to start practicing yoga. However, you might consider adding some of these to your loadout.
Bags and slings are one of the first add-ons most folks consider for the sake of quality of life. Getting to and fro with your equipment can be a challenge without these yoga accessories, especially if you need to bring a change of clothes or bring your own mat. You’ll often find mats that come with mat bags or slings in a two or three-piece yoga set.
Many practitioners use yoga towels or blankets as well. A towel can be used to dry off after a hot yoga session or can double as a blanket to support certain poses and help you stay comfortable. For comfort, you can also try knee pads.
Other equipment to support different poses includes a strap set, yoga blocks, yoga bricks, and yoga wheels, but these might be less handy for beginners.
Some routines use a foam block, yoga strap, or yoga ball, but some others wouldn’t have use for this equipment. Consider upgrading to include these extras once you’ve got some experience in your yoga flow.
What Should I Look for in Yoga Clothes?
Now that you know what to buy, let’s distinguish high-quality options from the not-so-great.
It’s essential to understand that not all yoga clothes are equal. Aesthetics aside, there are certain practical qualities that only the right material and construction can achieve. Such qualities can spell the difference between a great session and a terrible one.
The first essential quality is a breathable material. Without proper airflow through the fabric of your clothing, you can’t expect to get into the right yoga flow.
Breathability is key for thermoregulation, your body’s process of keeping itself cool. With a breathable fabric, the heat from your body can escape while cooler air blows through. Without breathability, you are likely to overheat and feel uncomfortable at best… or be unsafe at worst.
If you’re doing yoga to improve flexibility, restrictive clothes that limit your range of movement work directly against you.
Stretch capabilities (ideally 4-way stretch) are a must-have for any piece of fitted attire and should be included in looser fits too. You never know when you’ll need to push your pose a little farther.
Lightweight and Comfortable
Finding clothes that are lightweight and comfortable is a core part of the yoga process. The last thing you need when searching for some inner peace is a horribly uncomfortable outfit you can’t wait to get out of.
High density, cheap cotton, and rough synthetic fabrics are all too common but none too comfortable.
A lightweight or soft fabric is pointless without the other qualities mentioned in this section to keep you dry and flexible.
Last but arguably most important is moisture-wicking. With this quality, a fabric can draw moisture from your skin (sweat, for example) and release it into the air. This is the best way to stay dry if you start to sweat in any capacity.
Staying dry helps keep you comfortable, but it’s also a performance and wellbeing issue, as sweat build-up can inhibit your thermoregulation.
Choosing The Right Fabric
The best way to ensure you get all these vital qualities in your yoga clothes is to choose a high-quality material.
Cotton lacks moisture-wicking capability and is usually not lightweight or particularly stretchy. Synthetic fabrics like polyester are typically harsh to the touch, even if they have better breathability than cotton. In both cases, environmental concerns are high. These traditional fabrics are not sustainable.
Put all your worries to ease with bamboo and organic cotton. Bamboo is a natural powerhouse that brings all the fundamental qualities needed for activewear without added chemicals. Organic cotton is a more sustainable, practical alternative to traditional cotton.
It’s the ultimate power combo to boost your yoga performance.
The Best Bottoms for Yoga: Analysis and Review
With the foundation in place, we’re finally ready to start picking some clothes for your yoga wardrobe.
Let’s start from the bottom:
The ALLways Pocket Yoga Pant
The first choice for women’s yoga enthusiasts is usually what type of bottoms to wear. It’s hard to go wrong with a classic yoga pant style like our ALLways Pocket Yoga Pant, upgraded with modern enhancements.
With a high-rise band, fitted hip and thigh, and flared ankle, these pants are stylish yet practical, thanks to our trademark Tasc Performance bamboo-cotton fabric. 4-way stretch capability also ensures you’ll have a full range of movement.
The ALLways Pocket Legging
Looking for something fitted all the way down the leg? Our Allways Pocket Leggings are the perfect alternative to our yoga pants. You’ll find the same excellent qualities, including the all-important pocket (because all pants should have pockets in this day and age).
If you’re torn between shorts and long pants, consider the benefits of sun protection for your legs while you look at the various pros and cons.
The ALLways Pocket Bike Short
Ladies into hot yoga, outdoor yoga in the summer, or just shorts, in general, should check out our ALLways Pocket Bike Short. They’re everything great about our leggings, just in a shorter package.
The Recess Tech Short and Hybrid Pant
Men have a variety of options for yoga bottoms across both short and pant styles.
Our Recess 5” Tech Short is a best-selling piece of workout attire with a super lightweight, comfortable design and quality-of-life features such as a built-in liner phone pocket and bonus side zip pocket.
Looking for something a bit longer and warmer? Our Recess Hybrid Pant will shield you from the elements while helping your body keep a balanced temperature.
The Carrollton Fitness Shorts and Pants
Our Carrollton Fitness Shorts and Carrollton Fitness Pants offer slightly looser fit options for men. These are an incredible option for someone who isn’t fond of fitted clothes but wants a mindfully designed set of bottoms that won’t inhibit low-impact exercises like yoga or walking.
The Best Tops for Yoga: Analysis and Review
There are a lot of different styles to consider for your yoga tops. Try a few and build a diverse closet for yoga every day of the week!
The ALLways Sports Bra
Sports bras are among the most popular tops for women, thanks to the rise of athleisure and its super versatile features. Our ALLways Sports Bra is the ultimate example of quality fabric, construction, and aesthetic, ideal for layering or wearing on its own.
The ALLways Tank
Our ALLways Tank may be short on length thanks to the crop style, but there’s no shortage of cute or practical. For the softest activewear tank you’ve ever tried, look no further.
The Recess Fitness and Athletic T-Shirts
Our men’s Recess Athletic T-Shirt is the quintessential men’s activewear top. As a fundamental wardrobe piece, it's versatile enough to go with any outfit, during any season, for exercise of any impact level.
The Recess Racer Back and Running Tanks
Mix things up with our Recess Racer Back Tank for ladies and our Recess Running Tank for men. Lightweight design and quality material are at the core of these tops, while a summery aesthetic makes them versatile for yoga or after-session activities.
The NOLA Long Sleeve T-Shirt
So maybe sleeveless shirts aren’t your thing. We’ve got you covered too. Our NOLA Long Sleeve T-Shirt may look like a typical fashion piece, but it’s got all the power of top-quality activewear packed into every bamboo-organic cotton fiber.
The NOLA V-Neck T-Shirt
A little extra room to breathe and range of movement is one of the benefits of the V-neck style, along with a classic aesthetic. Try our NOLA V-Neck T-Shirt to add some variety and further quality to your closet.
The Best Outerwear for Yoga: Analysis and Review
Last but not least, let’s round off your wardrobe with some layers. Whether you’re bundling up for a cold commute or you just enjoy being cozy, bringing outerwear along to your yoga sessions is never a bad idea.
The All Day Jacket
Versatility isn’t always easy to come by with outerwear. For an all-season, all-weather, all-outfit style, our All Day Jacket is an excellent choice.
Bamboo-organic cotton blends together to set the foundation for essential performance qualities, while a semi-fitted construction and 4-way stretch enable any activity.
The Varsity Sweatshirt
Keep it classic and cozy with our Varsity Sweatshirt. Oversized sleeves give you room to breathe without inhibiting your next yoga pose.
The Carrollton Lightweight Quarter-Zip
Our Carrollton Lightweight Quarter-Zip offers superior versatility in the arena of men’s outerwear. Toss this on and zip it down for your next yoga session if the studio runs a bit too much AC or you just want some extra coverage.
The Perfect Clothes for Your Favorite Pose
With our guide concluded, you should be fully equipped to build your first yoga wardrobe and get started in the yoga practice with ease. At Tasc Performance, we’re always here to help with whatever your active lifestyle throws at you. For more helpful guides like this one, stay tuned to our tasc Life blog!
Explore The Ancient Roots of Yoga | Google Arts & Culture