What Should Men Wear for Yoga?

Buying Guide

Use this guidance on men’s yoga apparel to stand tall (and comfortably) when you’re striking a tree pose.

Last updated: April 4, 2024
5 min read
What Should Men Wear for Yoga?

Historically, women have far outnumbered men among the ranks of yoga practitioners. A 2012 Yoga Journal survey reported that about 82 percent of yogis were women and nearly 18 percent were men. But over the years, more men have been lugging their yoga mats to the yoga studio. From 2012 to 2016 alone, the number of male yoga practitioners in the United States jumped by 150 percent, according to 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance.

So, why are the ranks of male yoga practitioners swelling? Perhaps guys are wising up to the many benefits supplied by yoga, among them increased balance, flexibility and strength; relief from back pain and arthritis; improved heart health; better sleep; and boosted energy and mood.

Whether you’re a guy who’s a yoga newbie or a longtime yoga devotee, it’s vital to choose men’s yoga apparel that will maximize the benefits of a yoga practice. Clothes that work as workout gear for circuit training at the gym may not be ideal for the yoga studio. For peak performance on the yoga mat, you might be better off exchanging your favorite football team T-shirt and well-worn cargo shorts for breathable, stretchy yoga wear.

When you’re shifting from downward-facing dog to the cobra pose to the child’s pose on the yoga mat, you want to move as freely as possible. In addition, you want to stay as cool as you can, especially if you’re practicing hot yoga.

Here is some guidance on yoga clothes that will help you stand tall (and comfortably) when you’re striking a tree pose.

Lean Toward Moisture-Wicking Material

Even if you aren’t sweltering in a hot yoga class, you’d still like to feel as cool and confident as possible when you’re practicing yoga, right? Steer clear of 100 percent cotton fabric — which will soak up sweat like a sponge — and, instead, opt for yoga pants, shorts and shirts that draw moisture away from your body and cut back on odor and sweat stains. Some men prefer workout leggings or tights with shorts layered on top, while others prefer loose-fitting joggers.

Nike Dri-FIT shorts and pants get the job done in this regard. They’re made with at least 75 percent recycled polyester fibers, and they offer sweat-wicking power that helps you stay dry from your first stretch to your last pose. The soft fabric feels light, while the Dri-FIT technology helps keep you dry and comfortable.

Another type of yoga-ready Nike shorts are made with Infinalon fabric. These shorts feel soft and smooth while providing gentle compression as you breathe, stretch and move.

Whatever workout clothes you choose, look for shorts with helpful features such as an elastic waistband with a drawcord. Another feature to look for is mesh for improved breathability and a secure pocket for stashing your cellphone or other important things.

Prepare for Your Environment

Keep the climate in mind when you’re deciding whether to go with yoga shorts or pants. If you live in a warmer climate, you might settle on shorts. But if you live in a more frigid climate, you may be better off sticking with pants.

You can pair Nike Dri-FIT shorts or pants with a cooling workout top. In this case, climate may help point you toward a short-sleeve or long-sleeve top.

Look for a top that features such pluses as split seams at the sides for extra flexibility. Or, a slightly longer back hem to help keep you covered while you bend and stretch. And, of course, the top should be made from a sweat-wicking fabric, such as Nike Dri-Fit for quicker evaporation.

Other potential features in a yoga top, short or long-sleeved, are a hidden zippered pocket, a seam down the middle that helps you keep an eye on alignment, and grip tape inside that hem that holds the top in place.

If you’ll be sweating heavily, particularly during a hot yoga class, take special care in choosing your workout gear. A tank that comes with moisture-wicking capabilities and hem vents could be helpful when the room heats up.

Consider Your Time Off the Mat

Let’s say you plan to meet a friend for a cup of tea at a local shop after yoga class. In this setting, you might feel more comfortable if you’re a bit more covered up. An appropriate jacket might do the trick.

A zippered and hooded Nike jacket — even better if it has hand pockets — offers a soft, light layer that keeps you comfortably covered before, during and after your practice. Again, look for a jacket or sweatshirt made with polyester or other sweat-wicking fibers and to help you stay dry.

Focus on Fit

As you’re trying to stay fit, you should look for yoga apparel that delivers a great fit. Yoga shorts, pants and tops should be loose enough to let you move without feeling restricted, yet they shouldn’t be so loose that you’re exposing too much of your skin while you’re stretching and posing.

Also, it can be pretty distracting if you’re constantly adjusting your ill-fitting gear during a yoga session. After all, you’re there to concentrate on your posing, not your clothing.

Originally published: April 4, 2024

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