What are the Different Types of Yoga Clothing?

B. Miller

There are many different types of yoga clothing available to make yoga workouts easier and more comfortable. Though it is not necessary to wear specially designed clothing for yoga workouts, many people choose to do so. There is yoga clothing available in men's, women's, and children's styles, and in many different colors and designs.

A woman wearing yoga pants and a bra.
A woman wearing yoga pants and a bra.

Yoga clothing is typically made of soft material, generally cotton. Because many practitioners of yoga also care about the environment and natural resources, the clothing is frequently made of organic materials. Clothing made from bamboo is popular as well. Any clothing made from organic cotton or other materials should be marked as such, so if this is a concern, be sure to check before making a purchase.

A fitted T-shirt can be a good choice of clothing to wear while practicing yoga.
A fitted T-shirt can be a good choice of clothing to wear while practicing yoga.

There are a few different styles of yoga shirts that are popular. Tank tops for yoga are a great choice; these are often designed to be very long, so one can stretch and move freely without the shirt coming up. Yoga tank tops designed for women often have a built-in shelf bra for extra support. T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts do not include built-in bras, but they are also designed to be fairly long and form-fitting.

Tank tops are popular for yoga.
Tank tops are popular for yoga.

Some people choose to dress in layers while doing yoga, so zip-up sweatshirts are a good choice. These can be easily removed once one gets warmer from doing the exercises. In addition to the tops worn while doing yoga, it is important to choose comfortable pants that allow free movement. Shorts are not very common in yoga clothing, because they are not always entirely practical when doing inversions or other deep stretches.

Yoga pants are generally long, soft pants that are fairly form-fitting. It is often recommended that one wear tighter rather than looser clothes when practicing yoga for two reasons. First, tighter clothing allows the yoga instructor to see the practitioner's body shapes more clearly, and determine if he or she is practicing the posture correctly and safely. Second, tighter clothing is less likely to ride up in different stretches and movements.

Of course, some people choose to wear looser, flowing pants to practice yoga because they feel more comfortable, which is fine as well. It is not necessary to wear socks or sneakers when practicing yoga. One other piece of yoga clothing is a type of socks known as yoga socks; these feature non-slip pads on the bottom of the socks, and may be worn in lieu of using a yoga mat, such as when one is traveling.

A sports bra can be worn during yoga exercises.
A sports bra can be worn during yoga exercises.

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Discussion Comments


@watson42- I am a C/D cup and I find that as well. One brand I have gotten a few good shelf bra tanks from, though is Athleta. They even have good organic cotton yoga clothing and other sort of unusual or more sustainable options.

I still only wear tops like that for yoga or other low-impact workouts, though, because for things like running I almost always feel I need more support.


If your chest size is on the higher side of average or bigger, say a C cup or more, yoga tops with built in bras probably won't cut it for you. I find I need to wear well-made sports bra under whatever other top I wear most of the time. Some brands make good shelf bra tops, but many are not quite enough material.

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