Bikram yoga, sometimes known as "hot yoga," is practiced in studios of a minimum of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and with at least 40 percent humidity. This means that your yoga wear will need to stand up to sweat and moisture while allowing you to stay comfortable as you practice. Men may have a harder time than women locating appropriate Bikram yoga clothing. Use lightweight fabrics that wick sweat away from the body.
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Because of the extreme heat and sweating involved in Bikram yoga, you'll find that going shirtless altogether is a common option. Practicing without a shirt allows unencumbered movement and a way to keep your body cool as you practice. If you're uncomfortable with the idea of going shirtless to a class of other yogis, start with performance-fabric shirts like Dri-Fit or Nike Sphere. They will help keep moisture away from the body and won't become heavy with sweat.
The creator of Bikram yoga, Bikram Choudhury, is often shown wearing brief-like shorts to practice and not much else. If you're worried about feeling exposed in class, start by wearing shorts that are made for water, like loose swimming trunks or board shorts. These will allow you the greatest range of motion while still offering coverage, and they will not become heavy with sweat in the heat and moisture. As you become more comfortable in class, you may opt for smaller, tighter shorts.
Bikram yoga is almost always practiced in bare feet. Because of the heat, socks are generally not recommended. If you feel more comfortable in socks, look specifically for yoga socks, which have stickier soles and a lighter weight construction than traditional cotton socks.
Besides the proper clothing, you'll need to bring a few extras to a Bikram yoga class. You'll need a good quality yoga mat, which has a sticky underside. This is especially important if you sweat a lot, since you could slip on a wet mat. Bring along a water bottle in order to replenish the fluid you lose via sweat and an absorbent towel. You'll also want a change of comfortable street clothes, otherwise you'll be forced to make your way home in sweaty workout clothes.