New York Times Dress Code — What’s a Guy to Wear for Yoga?: I used to fall for this question when I started out in yoga.
While the market in yoga-centric clothing for women is bursting at its fashionable seams, the choices for men are laughably sparse. They range from absurdly large, overly modest basketball shorts that bag downward in inversion poses to alarmingly tiny shorts that provide freedom of movement but give your classmates a far-too-clear view of your, uh, chakras.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why yoga-specific men’s clothing is so scarce is because the demand is adequately met by the existing market, despite what the article says. The abundance of sweat-dispersing, quick drying athletic wear, from Under Armour to Prana, means that there’s no problem to put find something to wear on the upper half of the torso. The issue of shorts requires a fabric with lots of give, but even swim suites will do. Besides, trying to find bargains at Lululemon is a lot harder than at Sports Authority or TJ Maxx.
Exceptions: where I will concede the point, is when a yogi has gone well beyond the intermediate phase, and gets into balances that require legs to get placed on arms. Sweat is a superb lubricant on skins so it requires inordinate amounts of strength to hold something like One-Legged Arm Balance (Eka Pada Koundinyasana), and having long pant’s leg to provide some friction is a welcome aid. But this is a small percentage of the men who do yoga. Of course, if you want to require environmentally correct fabric choices (hemp, for instance), then all bets are off.
The real issue for men is that going to a yoga studio is intimidating because of all the women, usually much better at the discipline, in attendance. So the “what-to-wear” question is really an excuse for not going. I think women have a much tougher challenge for appropriate yoga clothing, which is why there’s an abundance of options.