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I can usually spot someone who’s new to Bikram before the first posture: they’re the ones wearing tee-shirts and tracksuit bottoms. Once they get hooked on Bikram the Lycra comes out! In fact, I’d say Bikram yogis are more devoted to their skin-tight, streamlined outfits than just about any other athlete.

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Why is Lycra so perfect for this practice?

You might think it’s because Bikram buffs are all super-toned or maybe just vain. While those are possibilities, the truth is simpler: Lycra is practical. I see new students of all shapes and sizes in over-sized exercise gear that quickly gets soggy, floppy and makes getting in and out of poses more difficult. Regular practitioners of all shapes and sizes choose minimal, stretchy yoga gear that hugs the body and allows them to focus on the asanas.

Doing Bikram will help you trim down and build strength, so experienced students are often more comfortable in less clothing. But more important, it promotes a mindset that goes beyond weight. It teaches us to be present in our bodies and to appreciate all they can do, regardless of size, age or shape. Bikram yogis are less hung up on social pressures about appearance because they have a deep appreciation for the integrity and function of their physical body. They are comfortable wearing Lycra because they are more interested in the mind-body experience of yoga than how they look in the mirror.

Don’t feel at ease in teeny-tiny shorts quite yet? Ask yourself, why not? Your body takes you into the hot yoga studio and through 26 postures in 90 minutes. That’s amazing! Appreciate yourself and embrace the flex šŸ™‚

What do you wear to yoga? Share in the comments!