I love to snowboard and it takes a lot of gear to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Construction and demolition require the right tools to be thorough and efficient. Buying a set of tire levers to fix a flat changed my bike commute completely. My husband Stephen always says, "work smarter not harder."
For Bikram yoga, the (physical!) tools you need are pretty simple: mat, towel, water, clothing. Our average class temperature is 105˚F, so it's important to dress appropriately for the hot room. Shorts are ideal, and a bra top for ladies is helpful so you can see how you're breathing in the mirror.
Oh, the mirror. Looking at yourself in the mirror is part of the Bikram class. Many students, myself included, wear leggings and a tank top when they first start practicing or T-shirts on the guys that quickly get torn off after half-moon pose. For me, the thought of wearing shorty shorts and a bra top wasn't even in the equation of my comfort level. I arrived to class one day mentally prepared to practice only to find that I forgot my leggings at home and reluctantly purchased a pair of shorts from the studio rack. I started class mortified and incredibly self conscious but once I started practicing in shorts I never went back to leggings, ever. I was shedding the layers, from the outside in. Looking at my own eyes in the mirror? Well...that's another blog post.
Being dressed appropriately for class not only gives you and the teacher the ability to see your anatomy, but also gives you one less thing to "worry" about. Having properly fitted yoga clothes allows you to focus more on your practice and less on tugging things into place or worrying about flashing some side boob. Try to go from leggings to shorts. You'll be able to see your knee locked and adding that visual component to your practice gives your nervous system the added visual to the physical feel of what it means to be locked.
Before leaving for the studio I'd go through my checklist: clothes, mat, water bottle. Keep it simple, and your practice will thank you.
We're still in the process of setting up our retail, but to help set you up we've collaborated with Portland based Evolve FiT Wear to get you 15% off your online order. Happy shopping, and see you soon in the hot room!