Are You Supposed to Wear Socks During Yoga?

Close-up of three young women meditating

Once you step inside a yoga studio, you're not only shedding your preconceptions and your inhibitions; but your socks as well. Except for Savasana, or Corpse pose, at the end of a yoga practice where it's encouraged to become comfortable and warm; there is no place in a yoga class for socks.

Back to Nature

Outside the yoga studio, you can wear what you like on your feet; from biker boots to flip flops. It's a personal choice. For yoga, however, shoes and socks can be restricting. Your feet do not have to adapt to uneven surfaces when you wear shoes, and this limits the pliability of your feet. When you practice yoga in bare feet, you allow them to make small adjustments, and your arches to begin supporting themselves instead of being supported by a shoe.

Slippery Ahead

Standing yoga postures are based on grounding your body to the earth. When you have a barrier such as a sock between you and your platform, the yoga mat, it may inhibit your practice. For standing balanced poses such as tree and eagle, when you stand on one foot, your toes spread to support and offer stability to your body. You are not able to spread your toes as well if you wear socks. During poses such as downward facing dog, when you support yourself on your hands and feet, socks may make your feet slippery and your focus may shift from relaxation to stability.

Five Toe Solution

If your feet are very sweaty during yoga practice and this causes stability issues, a toe sock may be your solution. Toe socks separate your toes and leave them exposed, so you can spread them and move them individually. The toe sock covers the ball of your foot, your arch, your heel and your ankle. The bottoms of the toe socks are sticky to help you stay on your mat.

No Germs Allowed

There may be germs on the floor or on the yoga mats at the yoga studio. Removing shoes before you enter the studio is one way to reduce the amount of germs on the floor. If you wear socks as a germ barrier, instead consider using antibacterial wipes on your mat before and after your practice, or washing your hands and feet with soapy water for 20 to 30 seconds before and after yoga practice.