Style Ideas: What to wear for hot yoga, and the items you'll need to bring with you to class, including yoga sports bras, yoga pants, yoga shorts, yoga towels, yoga mats, water bottles, and more.

When it comes to New Year Resolutions, more exercise and less stress are on everyone’s list. As a yogini in my third year of practice, I know there’s nothing better for the body and the mind than hot yoga. Whether you’re wondering what to wear for hot yoga, or could use a few new fitness pieces (to keep up momentum or get inspired!), keep reading because I’ve got you covered.



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The best advice I can give for what to wear for hot yoga is “dress for the pool.” During class your body will detoxify and keep you cool by sweating. The combination of heat, moderate humidity, and sweat means you’ll be completely wet and will want to wear the hot yoga equivalent to a bathing suit: for women, a sports bra and yoga shorts, and for men, shorts. Just like at the pool, no shirt, no socks, and no shoes. Practicing hot yoga without a shirt is important, because being able to view your torso helps you to see that you’re doing the postures in proper alignment and to the best of your ability. Wearing shorts also makes it easier to see if your leg muscles are contracted, which is an optimal element of many postures.


From Left to Right:
Tops: pink SPORTS BRA* \ plunge SPORTS BRA* \ mesh SPORTS BRA* \ strappy back SPORTS BRA*
Bottoms: navy capri YOGA PANTS* \ blue YOGA SHORTS* (also available here*) \ white INSULATED WATER BOTTLES* \ black YOGA SHORTS* (less expensive version here*) \ pink YOGA LEGGINGS*
Third Row: pink YOGA TOWEL* \ lavender YOGA TOWEL* \ blue YOGA MAT* \ black YOGA MAT*
Fourth Row: blue YOGA MAT* \ leafy YOGA MAT* \ tree YOGA TOWEL* \ geometric YOGA TOWEL*


TOPS: As a yogini with a diligent hot (Bikram) yoga practice, let me share what I wear for hot yoga and the items that are my hot yoga daily essentials. I like to take classes in the late afternoon or evening after working from home for most of the day. When I discovered hot yoga, my fitness routine was marathoning, and I’ve stuck with the SPORTS BRAS* that I trained for and completed races with. Between the compression element, medium support, classic design, and flat seams, these SPORTS BRAS* are perfect for me, and I have two pairs of them in white, purple, pink, red, and black).

BOTTOMS: My body temperature runs cold, so I’m always dressed more warmly than most folks. In fact, I’m dressed more warmly than most even at the Bikram Yoga Studio standard of 105 degrees and 40% humidity. I like to wear ankle-length leggings, not because I don’t think I’d be more physically comfortable in shorts, but because I’m more psychologically comfortable in leggings. I wear a high-waisted inspired-by variation of these LEGGINGS* (I have 4 pairs) and they just feel right, physically and psychologically.

MATS + TOWELS: Aside from my sports bra and leggings-attired self, the 4 other items I bring into the hot room of the yoga studio with me are my mat, towel, and (2) 40 oz bottles of water. I use a very basic 1/4″ thick forest green YOGA MAT* (which is heavier than most, but not an issue for, because I only carry it to and from the trunk of my car), with this YOGA TOWEL,* fully spread out on top of the mat (I have 2 of these towels: one with blue stitching and one with pink). Unlike other types of yoga, you will need to place a yoga or beach towel on top of your mat for hot yoga. During class I drink both of my white INSULATED WATER BOTTLES* (also available here*) filled with tap water and 10 ice cubes each. If I use less than 10 ice cubes, they melt and I’m left with very cold water instead of icy cold water.  To make drinking easier, I added these purple FLIP LIDS* to both water bottles so that I can chug from them without unscrewing the original lid every time.

IN THE LOCKER ROOM: After class, I put my wet clothes in a plastic bag inside my navy seersucker YOGA BAG* (a slightly bigger, more structured option, but without inside pockets here*). Before I head to the shower I take a few sips of an 8oz. double rich chocolate PROTEIN SHAKE* with unsweetened original ALMOND MILK*, that I make in this BOTTLE.* While training for marathons I learned that it’s ideal to have chocolate milk or some form of protein within 30 minutes of completing a workout, and at 150 calories, this shake tastes exactly like a Wendy’s Frosty (do they still make those?) and is excellent. Then, wrapped in my quick-dry blue stripe BATH TOWEL*, I head to the shower with this shower CADDY*, take out my  all-in-one-BODY WASH + SHAMPOO* (less expensive option here*) and leave the shower caddy on the sink, my towel on a hook, and take only the all-in-one body wash + shampoo into the shower.

::BECAUSE SWEAT::, I have to fully rinse or wash my hair every time I go to yoga. Once or twice a week I’ve started combing this HAIR MASK* through my hair with this BRUSH* before class for deep conditioning, and I also use a leave-in CONDITIONER* on my wet hair after showering. I wrap my hair in a HAIR TOWEL* while I apply MOISTURIZER* and FACE OIL*, and of course DEODORANT*. Then I go back to my bag and get dressed, and, depending on how cold it is outside, apply THERMAL PROTECTANT* to my hair and get my hair dry “enough” with my trusty  mini travel HAIR DRYER*, or I go home and blow-dry my hair. Either way, I blow-dry my hair every day that I do yoga, so using a hair mask, leave-in conditioner, and the thermal protectant especially, is a necessity.

SO, there you have my hot yoga daily essentials. Now, take a look at the yoga gear I’ve put together.


Note: the sweatshirts are what you would change into after class, post-shower at your studio. Alternatively, after class some folks change right into sweats, and then drive home to shower.


Whether you’re a shorts person, yoga pants, or capris persons, there are many options for all.


Every studio has mat and towel rentals in case you don’t have your own, so don’t worry too much about a mat and towel for your first class. The mats and towels I’ve put together here are for your second class and beyond.  Lastly, I highly, highly recommend getting one of these INSULATED WATER BOTTLES.* Speaking as someone who used to use her regular water bottle* for hot yoga, the insulation is a game changer.

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Author: Sarah Sarna

Interior Designer and Author at, empowering women to decorate and dress with confidence.