I was getting ready to walk into a vinyasa class, wearing short shorts, as I am wont to do occasionally. A fellow yogi and friend (non-Ashtanga) complimented me on the tattoo on my leg, and then said, “A lot of Ashtangis have leg tattoos. Or maybe I just notice it more because you guys wear the short shorts all the time.”
I hadn’t ever associated booty shorts with Ashtanga, unless of course we’re talking about Kino. But her comment made me think. Do different yoga lineages have characteristic styles? Then I started to watch practitioners, and sure enough, I saw some patterns. I can pick out a Yin Yogi from a mile away. Same for a Hot Vinyasa practitioner, or an Iyengar yogi, or a Slow Flow-er, or yes, even an Ashtangi.
To follow up this unscientific research with even more unscientific research, I did some basic Google searches and saved the first three or four photos of human beings that showed up, ignoring duplicates or very similar outfits to really get an idea of the variety. Scroll to see what I found!
Google search keywords: Ashtanga yoga
Looks like bare (or minimally covered) torsos are the norm for ashtangis according to Google. I know I practiced in a sports bra this morning, so guilty as charged.
Google search keywords: Vinyasa yoga
So the vinyasa crowd seems to like looser pants and longer tops. I do see a lot of tights in the vinyasa classes I teach, but I rarely see a belly button, so again, we might have a pattern here!
Google Search Keywords: Iyengar Yoga
Disclaimer: I purposefully avoided using any photos of the man himself, B.K.S. Iyengar. Obviously, one trend here would be props as “accessories.” The practitioners all do seem to be a big more covered, opting for tees and pants instead of racerback tanks and LuLus.
Google Search Keywords: Bikram Yoga
Well, no surprise here. The Bikram yogis wear the least amount of clothes and show the most amount of skin. Can you blame them? It’s 105 degrees in there!
That concludes my informal, unscientific, and uneducated study about yoga fashion related to the practitioners’ preferred style of yoga. What do you wear when you practice? Send me photos, IG accounts, anything! And whatever you wear to the mat, may your practice be safe and healthy.