Best Gear For Sweaty Yogis Because Sweaty Palms Shouldn't Stop Your Practice
I've never been the kind of person to go to hot yoga, but I think that's because I sweat a lot in yoga class without being in a sauna. Besides, in the summertime, all yoga basically becomes hot yoga, and believe me when I say that there are few things that'll throw you off your practice quicker than slipping on sweaty palms while holding a crow pose.
Whether you specifically like hot yoga, or just sweat a lot while working out, there's plenty of gear out there for the sweaty yogi. Most of these anti-slip yoga accessories are designed for those who do hot yoga, but if you're a sweaty human being, then you should feel free to use them in your regular practice. And if you're sweating all of the time while working out, whether it's while doing yoga or just running, there are other considerations you should make in terms of hygiene and comfort. Knowing which materials wick away moisture and which absorb every single bead of sweat can be the difference between making it through a class or feeling like you have to tap out.
Yoga is all about focusing your gaze inward, centering, and calming yourself — and that can be really hard to do if you're being distracted by your own sweat. Here are seven things every sweaty yogi needs to beat the heat in the studio:
You know you're a sweaty yogi when you regularly slip out of poses because your palms are too wet from your own sweat. Fortunately for you (and me), there have been mats specifically designed to deal with this issue. Both Jade Yoga and Gaiam make mats that are sticky, which means they don't slip around on the floor and grip your hands and feet as you go through poses. These are admittedly on the expensive side, but if your sweaty palms are regularly interfering with your practice, it's probably worth the investment.
2. Yoga Towel
You know those mats with suction cups that you can put on the inside of your shower to prevent yourself from slipping on the wet tiles and busting your head open? Yoga towels are the equivalent of that shower mat, except you put them on yoga mats instead of inside tubs. It's a great alternative to getting a newer, sticker mat if you don't want to spend a lot of money or just really like the one you already have. Plus, you can wash a yoga towel much more easily than you can a yoga mat, which makes the whole thing a bit more hygienic.
3. Hand Towel
There are few feelings more disgusting than holding downward facing dog only to see a bead of sweat drip off your nose and onto your yoga mat. You should also try avoiding wiping the sweat off of your face with your hands because it's a surefire way to spread bacteria. Instead, replace your hand with a hand towel. You can get a microfiber one, like this one from Lululemon, but really, any regular hand towel or washcloth will do. Make sure you wash it regularly so it doesn't accumulate bacteria.
4. Thick Headband
A good headband will keep both your hair and your sweat out of your eyes, and to maximize both of those effects, you should find a headband that's relatively thick, about two inches wide or so. The prAna reversible headband is polyester so it wicks away the moisture, but if you're just looking for something cheap and easy and available everywhere, these thicker cotton headbands from Goody will do the trick.
One phrase that's been burned into my memory after years of outdoor activities is, "Cotton kills." Why? Because cotton absorbs moisture and doesn't let it go, which means if you get cotton wet, it won't dry out and you'll feel wildly uncomfortable and moist for hours on end. To stay as cool and dry as possible, avoid cotton workout clothes, especially for your base layers like a sports bra.
6. Non-Cotton Leggings
Swamp ass is the worst, but it's avoidable if you're wearing leggings that aren't made of cotton. Nike's Dri-FIT fabric is specifically designed to wick away sweat and moisture from your skin, keeping you cooler and dryer than you would be otherwise.
7. Cleansing Wipes
After you're done with your final savasana and you've rolled up your yoga mat, you should go and wash your face. It'll prevent breakouts later, and if you've spent the prior hour feeling like you're melting, it'll feel incredibly refreshing. The easiest way to do that is with some cleansing wipes, which require no water and can be tossed into any gym bag. Then you'll be ready to head back into the summer heat, a little more relaxed and put together than you were before.
Images: Fotolia; Courtesy Brands