Meditation Clothing For Beginners: What "Comfortable" Really Means

Beginning a meditation practice is a very healthy step to take, and it's also an easy one; for most meditation types, all you need are comfortable clothes and a quiet place. Or so the instructions go; while it's true that these are the two key physical items you need to start your practice, the word "comfortable" doesn't really say much. That can lead to subtle issues that make it easier for you to drop your new meditation practice instead of sticking with it. Here's a little more detail about what "comfortable" really means for meditation.

Have Layers Ready

If you're going to be in a studio in a class or anywhere else where you can't control the climate, have layers of clothes at the ready. You could find yourself cooling off as you sit, for example; if you were feeling fine before, that could make you feel too cold after a certain amount of time, distracting you from your meditation. Or, if it's cold out and you're in a heated room, you could start to feel too warm. Having light layers of clothing available helps you regulate the effect of temperature on you.

Wear Flexible Knits

"Comfortable" varies for everyone, so you might find jeans comfortable while another person needs knit shorts. But that's in general. For meditation, you really want flexible, soft knits that don't pull on your skin (e.g., like the waistband on jeans might) and that don't create other physical sensations. When you're first starting out with meditation, even tiny sensations like that can distract you. As you become more experienced with meditation, these things won't bother you as much. But for now, go for the comfiest, least intrusive clothing that you can find.

Will You Be Outside? Remember Sun Protection

You've likely seen pictures of people meditating calmly in dappled sunlight under a tree, or out in a sunny field at the edge of a canyon (fill in your New-Age location here). Meditating outdoors can be great, but remember the practical side of being outdoors: protection from the elements. That means wearing a hat to protect your head from the sun, wearing sunscreen or sun-protective clothing, and possibly wearing insect repellent. Those don't sound so transcendent and calm, but they are necessary.

Meditation does not have to be hard. But taming that chattering mind of yours can be more difficult if you have a bunch of mini-distractions around you. From heat and cold to sunburn and those marks that tight clothes can leave on you, it doesn't take much to interrupt your thoughts when you start out. Pay attention to the details of the clothing you choose, and you'll find meditation may go more smoothly. For more information from a master of meditation, read Enlightened Courage by Khyentse.