Bikram ban of the bandeau…thoughts about appropriate yoga attire

Good Evening my lovelies!! I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch, but that’s just how it goes. It does not mean that I don’t think about you and think about all the things I am going to write about…I have a list of things but just need to wait til the moment is right…

So, today is the day I am going to write about yoga clothes, your costume, and your overall appearance in yoga class…

First off…I heard that Bikram actually BANNED the ladies from wearing bandeau tops at TT (a bandeau, for those who aren’t familiar, is a tube top, strapless tube like thing that goes around the body to cover the boobies). I heard this a while back, it happened at the end of the last training. Apparently (and, I am only relaying what I heard through the grapevine) he hates having to look at the majority of the room pulling and tugging and adjusting so he BANNED them altogether. HA! Too funny, if you ask me. And, at the same time, it seems that he might need to head in the direction of a uniform type situation for his trainings…perhaps he gets a couple girls (shorts and a couple style tops and a leotard) options and a couple boys (a Speedo and more modest shorts) options and gives everyone 2 costumes at the beginning of TT….hmmm, something to think about!!

I, myself, quite like the bandeau top. I never thought I would be able to wear one to practice in, but what I’ve learned is it’s all about the brand and style of the bandeau (which might seem weird to say, as a bandeau style is one style, but some companies make them veeeeeeery small for veeeeeery small boobies, and some are a little more generous for us, ahem, fuller busted girls). I have several brands and I oscillate between my favourites. I will admit that I do adjust it throughout the class…but this is what I know…I ADJUST EVERY COSTUME I WEAR IN YOGA CLASS BE IN TWO PIECE, ONE PIECE, PANTS, SHORTS, TOPS, TANKS…so, this leads me to the next part of the post…


Seriously, I cannot tell you how much nudity I’ve seen in the yoga room (I think I’ve mentioned this before but I was unable to find where…). I have seen everything you can imagine due to ill fitting shorts and tops, see-through-when-wet articles, loose or baggy shorts, too small or too big costumes and clothing that is NOT meant for exercising (ie, BIKINIS!!). Now, I’m sure in my many years and many classes I, too, have flashed a thing or two to the teacher and/or the students around me, sometimes I suspect it and sometimes I have no idea. So, that being said, I will be a little lenient with people in certain situations-first timers being at the top of that list, simply because you don’t really know what you’re getting into in your first class until the end of the class and by that time if you’ve decided to wear baggy sweat pant shorts and a white tank top, and you are looking at yourself in the mirror and faced with the reflection of your own nipples, or are in a compression posture and realise that your whole business is available to the world, it’s just too damned late to do anything about it…but you learn pdq and *hopefully* invest in something more appropriate…

Which leads me to my next thought…

When I first started doing this practice, I was down right NOT going to spend a gazillion dollars on YOGA clothes (at that time there was Lulu and Karma and that was kind of it) that I was just going to sweat in and get all stunk up…and then it happened…I got some yoga clothes for my birthday and realised that looking at myself in the mirror for 90 minutes, wearing nice, well fitting clothes that were designed for the activity I was doing was AH-MAZING! All of a sudden I LIKED going to class and looking at myself because I felt so goooood in my new clothes. I remember a student many many years ago telling me her very similar story and how she was actually excited to go to class because it meant she could wear her new Lululemon costume. (I don’t know if men feel the same way about this as women do…perhaps for men it’s just about fit..most men take quite some time in their practice before they start wearing yoga shorts…they hold onto the long board shorts or running shorts or what have you, constantly having to pull them up the leg in Triangle and pull them down the leg in Tree. I think for men it’s a comfort and fit thing…they finally get a pair of yoga shorts and their world changes…not because they like how they look-well, maybe for some 😉 – but because they feel more comfortable).

OK, so…let me list a few things that are not acceptable in the yoga room:

bikinis, loose running shorts, unlined white ANYTHING (one day perhaps I’ll regale you with the story of the man wearing a WHITE Speedo in a class in Hong Kong and me standing right behind him…), sheer leggings, panty hose (yup, I’ve seen it) or one piece leotards meant for sexy time or to be worn with something over top or STRICTLY at the beach (see, most bathing suits/bikinis are not meant for much activity…and if you DO do activity in them you’re at the beach and it’s ok for a little of your booty or whatever to be sticking out). I’m sure I am forgetting one or two things here, but you get the idea.

I know that yoga clothes are expensive, I get it. I will say that often there are sales on yoga clothes at studios because there are fashionistas out there who NEED to buy new yoga garb on a regular basis, so the studios need to put things on clearance to make room for the new stuff. And, that being said, you actually CAN find cute, well fitting, appropriate things at places other than yoga clothing stores (the GAP is doing a yoga line, as is Old Navy, Victoria Secret, Target, Zellers, etc etc). 

I will leave you with this…whatever style you prefer and whatever colours you like and make you feel happy, PLEASE try on the things you want to wear to class in your house, before you come to class, do a few yoga moves, a little bending forward and backwards, and see what happens…you’ll know what works and what doesn’t work…and that way you won’t be in class wishing you had a little more coverage in your derriere or a little thicker fabric in your tube top!

I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Love, Ida

3 responses to “Bikram ban of the bandeau…thoughts about appropriate yoga attire

  • Bodacious Bodies in Beautiful Bandeaus…a follow up « Ida Ripley

    […] the other day about bandeau tops….THEIR bandeau tops to be specific. She came across my post “Bikram ban of the bandeau…thoughts about appropriate yoga attire” and sent me a note. As it turns out I believe it was the very same day that I was actually wearing […]

  • krp5

    As a practicing male I like to wear a “speedo cut” brief because it support and lifts, does not get in the way, and does not hold sweat. I hope my attire is not offensive and I know it is not too common; I liken it to women’s bikram attire which is often form fitting; perhaps there is a double standard and/or aversion to the male form.

    • yogagyrl

      Well, you would never hear Bikram telling any man not to wear a Speedo-type cut of yoga “costume”!! I think the main problem Bikram has for the women’s bandeau top is the amount of pulling it up the women do during class…it annoys him they have to adjust so often.
      Thanks for reading…keep on rocking your Speedo, my friend, keep on rocking 😉

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