Hot Yoga Clothing – What to Wear to Hot Yoga So You Don’t Overheat

Hot yoga clothing

What hot yoga clothing should you buy and do you really need it?

Well, let’s say you decided to give hot yoga a try, thinking you knew what you were getting yourself into. Hot yoga is really only regular yoga with the temperature turned up a few degrees, right?


Wrong! If that’s how you felt, you probably left your first session completely baffled not only about the intensity but also the sheer heat of it all. Did you know that the temperature of hot yoga is meant to mimic the temperature and humidity of India itself?

The main issue that some people new to hot yoga have is that they’re not prepared clothing-wise. If you went into your first session in cotton leggings and a long-sleeved tee, it probably didn’t take you long to regret that decision.

So, what are you supposed to wear to your next hot yoga session to make sure you can breathe?

We’re going to take you through the best choices for hot yoga clothing so you don’t overheat – and leave you ready and able to do yoga in the middle of a hot day in India.

1. Shorts

Hot yoga clothing
Clothing suitable for hot yoga

Okay, let’s make this clear – shorts are your best option. Yes, even over your favorite pair of cotton high-waisted leggings. We’ll get to the best types of leggings to wear to hot yoga in a minute but it cannot be stressed enough– the less clothing you wear, the better. The main issue with shorts is that the sweat will still be dripping off of your body. Making sure you have a yoga mat that provides exceptional grip and towels on hand is essential if you plan to wear shorts to hot yoga. You need plenty of grip and something to mop up the sweat that is still to come, regardless of how little clothing you’re wearing.

You are also going to want to make sure that your hot yoga shorts are fitted. You do not want to deal with a loose-fitting pair of shorts as you’re bending over into, well, any pose. Longline, moisture-wicking shorts are ideal as they provide some coverage so your thighs aren’t slipping off of each other as you move into your next asana. Splits59 offers both a short short option and the perfect pair of long-line, moisture-wicking, quick-drying shorts you’ve ever seen. 

2. Leggings

What leggings work best for hot yoga?

While most of us would feel more comfortable wearing shorts in temperatures up to 105°F, we admit that there’s still something to be said for moisture-wicking leggings – especially if you don’t want to constantly be mopping up your own sweat. Your leggings absolutely need to be moisture-wicking. This means absolutely no cotton! Cotton absorbs your sweat and weighs you down which is the last thing you need when practicing hot yoga. Traditional yoga pants are a definite no-no.

So, what should you be looking for if you can’t wear your go-to pair of yoga pants? Not unlike our hot yoga shorts option, you need moisture-wicking, quick-drying material. While there are many moisture-wicking yoga leggings out there, it’s helpful if you choose ones that are antimicrobial. If not, your yoga pants could accumulate stains and odor over time that are just not coming out. EVERBRAND specifically has SweatFlow Leggings that are not only lightweight and moisture-wicking but also kill 99.9% of smelly bacteria and fungus. Sounds good to us!

3. Sports Bra

Sports bra
Sports bras are a great choice for hot yoga

A sports bra is a great choice to wear with either shorts or leggings for your hot yoga workout. A sports bra still allows some coverage while keeping your top half as cool as possible. And what’s the most important thing to remember when choosing a sports bra? In addition to comfort, stretchability, and the like, it’s essential to choose one with moisture-wicking material! There will truly be no time that we won’t recommend moisture-wicking material in this article, so just assume that’s a given at this point.

Choosing a sports bra that’s lightweight and wire-free is incredibly important for hot yoga as well. Outdoor Voice’s Doing Things Bra is great for providing a good amount of support while being incredibly comfortable and, you guessed it, moisture-wicking.

4. Tops

Fitted moisture-wicking tops are best

Don’t feel comfortable in only a sports bra? Not a problem! While it can be tempting to wear a loose-fitting, flowy tank or crop top over a sports bra, this really won’t fly with hot yoga. Not only will a loose-fitting tank top get in the way, but it’s also most likely going to made of cotton and in turn, soak up sweat and weigh you down. It will also hide your body so it’ll be hard for your instructor to tell if you need to make any adjustments to your form.

A fitted, moisture-wicking top is your best bet, whether it’s a full-length t-shirt, a crop top, or a tank. Sweaty Betty has some great options for moisture-wicking tops, including their Power Crop Workout Vests. These vests also include lightweight support bras with removable cups which are absolutely perfect for not having to layer on any type of clothing, moisture-wicking or not.

Not So Optional Extras

Not so optional extras
An appropriate yoga mat is an absolute must

Beyond making sure that you’re dressed properly for your hot yoga session, having the right accessories to go along with it is absolutely crucial – otherwise, you’ll be nearly as uncomfortable as if you didn’t prepare for this yoga session at all.

Making sure you have a yoga mat that is made for sweating is essential. This comes by way of a mat that absorbs sweat and provides an exceptional amount of grip. If you do not look for a yoga mat with these qualities, you’ll be slipping, sliding, and landing in a puddle of your own sweat and really, do you want that?

An example of a great mat is the Aurorae Synergy Hot Yoga Mat. What’s interesting about it is that it combines both a non-slip yoga mat with a moisture-wicking towel to provide an exceptional level of protection against accumulating sweat and slips. 

Other essential hot yoga accessories include:

  • Hot yoga specific towels (any will do if you don’t want to buy one)
  • A water bottle with a straw lid
  • Extra hair elastics
  • A change of clothes for after your session

Final Thoughts on Hot Yoga Clothing

The takeaway from this article? Hot yoga clothing = Moisture-wicking clothing! Regardless of what you decide to wear, make sure that it’s quick-drying, moisture-wicking and hugs close to the body. Also, make absolutely sure that it’s comfortable!

If you’re uncomfortable, you’ve got a problem, whether your outfit is moisture-wicking or not. That’s all there is to say about hot yoga clothing, make sure it’s moisture-wicking, you have been warned!