7 benefits of wearing merino wool during your next yoga practice
Every yoga beginner notices quickly the importance of wearing the right clothes during yoga practice. In order to fully concentrate on your body and mind, you need to ensure that your clothes make you feel comfortable. More so, your clothes should become one with your body and not distract you in any way. This means that your clothes need to help you maintain the right body temperature and lets you move freely. Last but not least, no seam should feel too tight, nothing should push up or down your leg or upper body, and no strap should fall off your shoulder.
Two things to consider: Style and material
To find the most suitable garments for your yoga practice, you need to consider two elements: style of the garment and material.
You will notice quickly certain commonalities in yoga wear which is a combination of loose fit while also staying put. A yoga top for example should be loose enough for movement and comfort but yet not fall over your head when you arrive into a downward dog pose.
The other element to consider is material, which means having a closer look at what the garment’s fabric is made of. You will find a large variety from natural fibres such as cotton or linen as well as synthetic fibres such as polyester or nylon. Each fibre has different benefits as well as disadvantages to consider for yourself. Cotton for example is cool and soft on your skin, however, when you do hot yoga, it will get too wet, heavy and eventually leave you cold at the end of your practice. Synthetic fibres might have better moisture-wicking properties but can start to smell and shed microplastics. However, there might be one fibre that has not yet been on your mind when it comes to yoga wear which may tick all the right boxes for you. You guessed it! Merino wool.
Merino Wool Yoga Wear Benefits
At Core Merino, we introduced our Yoga Collection two years ago and since then the collection has found more and more fans. The reason for the success is that merino wool has several benefits to offer for Yoga practice. Have a look:
Merino wool has a natural elasticity which ensures that yoga garments made out of merino wool stretch with you, yet return to their original shape afterward. This ensures free body movement without any limits due to your clothes. It also means your clothes still look great after your stretching.
The grip of a fabric is something we seldomly think about, however for some yoga poses such as the Crow and Tree pose, the grip is essential to the success of holding and completing the pose. If the fabric is too sleek and slippery, your feet or knees will slide off your clothes and make it harder to stay in a certain pose. Merino wool has a wonderful soft touch with the right amount of grip to ensure slip-free poses.
One important function of the clothes we wear during yoga is breathability. Wool has a natural ability to breathe by being able to absorb large quantities of moisture vapour and then move it away to evaporate into the air. This keeps your skin dry and ensures excess heat is released away from your body. Good breathability of your yoga wear contributes to you staying comfortable and able to focus only on your body and mind.
When you practice yoga, you also need to manage the temperature of your body well, meaning, you don’t want to get too hot and sweaty (with the exception of hot yoga) and also don’t want to get too cold, especially during your yoga meditation for example. Merino wool helps you regulate your body temperature without getting too hot or too cold. This property comes down to merino wool’s natural crimp. The crimp offers many tiny pockets of air within each wool fibre. These pockets of air make wool a great insulator for cold weather, keeping you comfortably warm.
The insulation and breathability properties of wool have an additional benefit. When you stop exercising chances are high that you soon will start to feel a post-exercise chill, especially when exercising in cold conditions during winter. Wool, however, releases the absorbed heat and moisture only slowly which ensures that we maintain higher skin temperature and less rapid cooling which avoids the post-exercise chill.
With a few exceptions, yoga practice is a low sweat form of exercise. However, over time, also yoga wear will start to smell. As you may know, it is not our sweat that stinks, it is the bacteria that begin to grow overtime on our skin and on the fabric. Wool garments, however, don’t start to smell, even if you wear your wool yoga gear for several sessions. Wool can absorb and lock away odours where the bacteria cannot build up while we are wearing our wool garment. These odours are then only released when we wash or freshen up our garment in fresh air.
Natural, regenerative and biodegradable
One important element of yoga are the Yamas, the right living or ethical rules within Yoga, such as Ahimsa – nonviolence and Astheya – not stealing. This also reflects on how we treat our planet by not doing any harm to it and not stealing from it. Merino wool is in harmony with not doing any harm to the planet. Grown year-round by merino sheep, wool is 100% natural. Sheep grow wool by consuming a simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass. In South Africa, for example, the sheep and wool industry have implemented a very high set of animal welfare standards, which ensure a happy life for the sheep and doing sheep no harm. Being a natural fibre, merino wool sheds no microplastic fibres but instead readily biodegrades once a yoga garment is no longer needed.
One more aspect that is important if you like to practice yoga outdoors is protection from the sun. Compared to other textile fibres, wool absorbs UV-A and UV-B radiation and therefore protects our skin from the sun. Research shows that wool fabrics have a UPF factor of over 40. We would still recommend protecting your skin with an additional sunscreen, but you can rest assured that your wool garments will protect your skin as well when you enjoy your piece of mind in the beautiful sunshine.
Try merino wool to help you find your inner calm
These are the seven of many more reasons why we recommend and love wearing merino wool for yoga practice. Yoga is all about practicing to focus on your body and mind. The fewer distractions the easier we find our inner calm. Merino wool yoga wear will definitely let you move freely and take care of your body, so you only need to focus on your practice. Best is to try it for yourself. We offer a special yoga wear bundle at a 20% discount, if you are curious.