It seems that many yoga apparel manufacturers are beginning to create deviations from the standard yoga leggings that have become extremely popular among yogis of all levels and practices. Joggers stand out among the new workout clothing trends because they are rising in popularity in the athleisure fashion world. They’re marketed both as great options for a steady work out, as well as a stylish choice for an afternoon on the town.
What makes joggers different from sweatpants? They are a little more form-fitting through the thigh and calf, allowing them to flatter the shape of the body more than baggy sweatpants. They also typically have a drawstring waistband with matching bands around the ankles to accentuate the bottom of the legs.
Yogis are beginning to wonder whether it’s possible that the newly popular joggers will replace their beloved yoga leggings in years to come. It seems unlikely that joggers will prove to be the best choice for workout clothing for yogis, but here’s why.
Joggers Don’t Allow Your Skin to Breathe
Yoga leggings are typically made of spandex material, which is why they are able to cling to the legs so tightly. Fortunately for yogis who favor a heat-building sequence or hot yoga practice, this fabric wicks away moisture that collects as a result of the workout. It is thinner in nature than some other materials, which allows your skin to breathe better as well.
Joggers are primarily made of a cotton material which doesn’t serve to wick away sweat or allow your skin to breathe. This can be very uncomfortable for yogis who prefer a hot practice.
If your yoga practice is typically on the gentler side, such as a yin yoga or yoga nidra class, a quality pair of joggers may still be a good choice for you. It may keep you a little warmer in a class like this as your core body temperature tends to drop when you relax into the gentle poses.
Joggers Don’t Allow You to Focus on Alignment
Alignment is the most important aspect of practicing yoga safely for years to come. An overextended knee or one pointing in the wrong direction can lead to joint damage and pain. Yogis try to actively avoid these situations that make them more prone to injury and force them to take time off the mat.
Yoga leggings allow yogis and their instructors to ensure that they maintain proper alignment in each asana. You can clearly see the direction of the knees and how far the knee extends over the ankle in some standing poses such as the Warrior II or the Side Angle pose.
Joggers are a little bit looser in the leg area, making it possible to mask the exact location of the knee. This can lead to dangerous overextension or misalignment, resulting in accidental injury. In conclusion, for a safer overall practice, yogis (particularly those who are just starting) are better off choosing yoga leggings to better manage their alignment.
There are a lot of places that you can take your yoga practice, the portability is one of the great positives of yoga. A studio is great to be around similarly minded people, at home for all the convenience of not having to go anywhere, and outside are all great possibilities. You need to make sure the weather is going to cooperate, but going outside to practice yoga is an awesome thing to experience.
Why Go Outside
It is no secret that fresh air is great for you. You can use yoga to center and ground yourself, and doing so outside magnifies that effect. The outdoors also is also a big open space, so if your apartment is a little cramped outside is an option for individual practice. Some yoga classes are also offered outdoors, so check your local studio if you like to have the group feeling. Getting outside can also help you increase your vitamin D intake, just make sure you follow basic sun safety to avoid uncomfortable burns.
Things to Consider
Your number one consideration with practicing yoga outside is going to be the weather. The cold can be uncomfortable and can cause your muscles to be tight. Warming up is going to help out a lot, so put some extra movement at the beginning to get the blood flowing if it is a little chilly. If you are in a group class outdoors, your instructor should be leading a more thorough warmup when the temperature has dipped a little low. Too hot, and too sunny can also pose a problem. Staying hydrated can help with the heat, as well as finding a shady spot. Trees are great for this, and also help ground you as you practice. Sticking to the shade is also important when it comes to the health of your skin. Extended exposure to the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer. You should make sure to take precautions such as staying in the shade, wearing long-sleeved shirts, and sunscreen to reduce your risk.
What You Need
There really isn’t much extra that you need to go practice outside. If you need it in a studio, take it with you. In addition, you may need more weather appropriate clothes. This could mean yoga socks if it is cold, or a hat if it is extra sunny out. Like any yoga, make sure you have clothing that keeps you comfortable. You may also want a blanket so that you have more room off the ground than just your mat.
In conclusion, taking a trip outdoors to enjoy nature during your practice is highly recommended. Whether you go by yourself, for some solo practice, or find a class that practices outside occasionally, you should try it out. You need to make sure that the weather is in your favor, and plan accordingly. Other than some simple outerwear to make you more comfortable, there isn’t much extra equipment to give it a shot. It may be something that you find very enjoyable and come back to regularly.