Bikram yoga is done in rooms that can be heated to as high as 105 degrees F and 40 percent humidity, to create detoxifying sweat and to heat the body to enable you to get into the yoga postures. Bikram yoga is a set of 26 postures that are done in the same exact order each time. The heat makes it necessary to wear clothes that will give you maximum freedom of movement and the ability to wick away your perspiration. Women have been known to show up in running shorts and jog bra tops or even actual bikinis and men in board or running shorts or swimsuit briefs. Wear what will stay on your body: as you move through the poses, you do not want to expose your progress to everyone in the room.
Wear Breathable Cotton, Spandex Tops and Bottoms
Wear breathable cotton tops and shorts with some Spandex so that your tops and bottoms stay on your body. For women, this can be a close-fitting tank top with a shelf bra for modesty and support. Or it can be a jogging bra/top that will not slide down or inch up. Bikini tops do not work for this reason: they can shift and expose your chest. Men often go shirtless in the very hot rooms where Bikram is taught, or opt for a tank top or maybe a T-shirt.
Select Shorts for Hot Yoga
Select running shorts, biking shorts or yoga pants to stay covered. In the very hot Bikram studio, you will probably not be comfortable in leggings or in thick sweatpants. Opt for running shorts that have a secure waistband or tie, or biking or yoga shorts that cling and stay on your trunk. Women can consider Capri-style yoga pants that have a three-quarters length pant made from cotton, bamboo, Spandex or propylene or other fabrics that wick away sweat. Men normally wear running shorts, surfing board pants that have a tie waist that keep the pants on the waist, or for the daring, a Speedo-style brief.
Avoid Loose-Fitting Clothes
Avoid wearing wide pants or tops that will slide off the moment you move into eagle pose or rabbit pose. Very loose-fitting clothes are best saved for a restorative or yin yoga class that is not practiced in a heated room. Towels are de rigeur to mop up your own perspiration and to help prevent sliding off your yoga mat.