Jun 20, 2019

by Team Snapbac

When it comes to compression gear and yoga, you may be thinking, ‘don’t all yogis wear compression gear?’ It may look like your Bikram class is filled with it, but most yoga clothing is simply stretchy and comfortable. Many brands have become more fashion than fitness and offer full-day wear in decorative spandex and poly blends. So what is the difference between your favorite Lululemon yoga tight and a pair of compression tights? Do you really need anything more than a good stretch pant? Find out why loose and flowy doesn’t work on the mat and what advantages skin tight clothes have for both you, your instructor and those around you!

For those new to yoga, it is often recommended to wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes that have a maximum range of motion. This is not wise advice. There are reasons for those hip hugging pants and rib squeezing shirts. Yoga puts your body in many different positions which can include being upside down partially or fully, downward facing dog and headstands for example. This means that roomy t-shirt is going to end up covering your face and displaying your stomach and chest to the class. There are also numerous hip and leg bending stretches that will be restricted by short shorts or worse be too revealing in baggy shorts. Yoga requires clothing that will stay in place regardless of what the body is doing.

The form-fitting gear flaunted by most yoga practitioners is not only about modesty and mobility. It’s also about observation and training. If you are wearing clothes that hide your shape, the instructor will not be able to accurately assess your form. As with any sport, posture and technique are key to getting the full benefits of the move and avoiding injury. When you wear properly fit workout gear, the trainer can tell you what minor adjustments are needed to take you to the next level.

These two benefits do not distinguish between standard workout clothing and compression clothing, but they do show you the need for tight, supportive gear.

There are a few benefits to compression tights over casual athletic pants that are worth noting. Beyond the medical needs of circulatory health and swelling, compression does benefit your blood flow by increasing circulation and therefore providing your muscles with more oxygen and nutrients. Performance gains have been difficult to track in studies, but the benefit of improved blood flow is well documented. It is thought that this also helps moderate lactic acid and muscle soreness during activity.

Compression gear is great in yoga because it holds your form tighter and makes you more keenly aware of minor adjustments and core support. The greater your proprioception is, the better your positioning and form will be. Another benefit of the increased support and attention to shape is a decrease in injury and corrections from your trainer! Lastly, it has been researched that compression clothing aids in lowering delayed onset muscle soreness. This can mean a great deal when you’ve pushed yourself on the mat and need a quick turnaround.