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What Do You Wear to Hot Yoga Classes?

author image Pam Murphy
Pam Murphy is a writer specializing in fitness, childcare and business-related topics. She is a member of the National Association for Family Child Care and contributes to various websites. Murphy is a licensed childcare professional and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Georgia.
What Do You Wear to Hot Yoga Classes?
A man stretches in a breezeway before going to a yoga class. Photo Credit: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Practitioners of hot yoga, or Bikram yoga, use a room heated to 104 degrees F, so come to classes prepared to sweat. You need to bring along plenty of water for hydration and dress appropriately for the workout. Hot yoga classes typically last up to 90 minutes, so it's better to leave more skin exposed than to arrive overdressed. Hot yoga is based on the notion that warm muscles are more flexible. You should wear clothing that moves with you without interfering with or distracting from your yoga form and technique.

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Choose breathable fabric, but dress down so your skin can do its job by regulating your body temperature. Avoid clothing that restricts movement and cotton fabric that absorbs and holds moisture. Bikram Yoga Portsmouth recommends that women wear clothing designed specifically for hot yoga, or running clothes constructed of dri-weave fabric. Women practicing hot yoga often wear workout shorts and a tank top or sport top. Keep in mind that your clothing is likely to be soaked by the time the class is over, so avoid anything that becomes see-through when wet.


Swimming trunks or running shorts make good choices for men in hot yoga classes. If you choose to wear a top, stay away from cotton and choose T-shirts or tanks made of breathable fabric. Experiment with your options to see what clothing choices work best. The best options don't distract you or get in your way during class.

Trial Run

If you're new to hot yoga, consider attending your first class as an observer. This gives you an opportunity to see what other yoga students find most comfortable to wear, and you'll also get a feel for what to expect regarding intensity and temperature. If you choose to participate during your first visit, bring a yoga mat, a terrycloth towel, plenty of water and come dressed appropriately for the workout. Let the instructor know you're a novice, and ask for tips on modifying poses to your ability level, when to take breaks and how to make sure you stay well-hydrated.


Keep you hair pulled up and out of your face, as well as away from your neck, if possible. If you have long hair, wear a high ponytail so it won't be in the way during floor poses on your back. Rehydrate immediately if you experience symptoms of dehydration such as dry mouth and skin, headache, dizziness, thirst and fatigue. If your symptoms include extreme thirst and confusion, seek medical attention.

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