Most athletes who use compression socks associate them with running and recovery. After all, if you’ve ever run a marathon, you probably remember seeing almost every other person wearing a pair of compression socks! Maybe you’re a nurse, used to wearing compression socks on your long shifts, or an office worker who stays sedentary most of the day. Compression socks have great benefits for you, too! But not enough people know about the great benefits of combining compression socks and yoga.
Yes, yoga! Read on to learn about those benefits for yourself and get some advice on the type of compression socks that are best for yoga.
The Benefits of Combining Yoga with Compression Socks
Before we dive into all the advantages yoga enthusiasts can enjoy while wearing compression socks, let’s quickly go over how compression socks work. Compression socks are designed to increase blood flow in your legs, squeezing most tightly around the foot and ankle and gradually becoming less tight higher up the leg. That increased blood flow reduces lactic acid build-up, which reduces soreness, speeds up recovery, and increases your levels of endurance; the pressure offers the wearer extra support, which also prevents injury. Compression socks increase overall athletic performance and stimulate better blood circulation than regular socks.
So, how can compression socks help you while you’re practicing yoga? Yoga requires focus, balance, strength, and a bit of endurance, especially if you’re taking more advanced classes. Compression socks (1) help you stay focused by keeping blood flowing freely, which will prevent that heavy, fatigued feeling in your legs, (2) assist your balance by supporting the most vulnerable parts of your leg, like your knees and ankles, (3) and keep your muscles sufficiently oxygenated, so you can endure your yoga session longer without growing weary. The more advanced and experienced you are in yoga, the more helpful compression socks will be. After all, when more is required of your body, your body needs all the help it can get! Beginners to yoga will also find compression socks helpful, though, especially if making it through one session feels particularly difficult. Don’t forget; compression socks are also helpful for recovery after your workout is done, so don’t feel like you have to take them off as soon as you’re done exercising.
A nonphysical benefit of wearing compression socks to yoga class is that you may make a new friend. After all, compression socks these days are available in all kinds of colors, patterns, and prints. Some companies, like ours, even let you design your very own custom pair! Whoever’s on the mat next to you in class is bound to notice how great your socks are and ask you where you got them. Before you know it, you’ve made a yoga buddy! Staying motivated to go to class will be easier than ever.
What Type of Compression Sock do you Need?
It might be tempting to buy the next pair of compression socks that you see, but slow down a little–you want to make sure you get as much out of your socks as possible! Let’s take a look at your options.
First, let’s talk about length. Compression socks can pretty much be as long or short as you want them to be! There are runner socks, which are about the same length as regular short socks that only come up to your ankle, but there are also socks that cover your calf, go over your knee, and cover the entire leg. Compression socks that are super long are usually recommended for those with certain medical conditions; for yoga practitioners, though, that length might seem a bit excessive. On the other hand, short socks might not seem like they’re nearly effective enough. That’s why we would recommend over-the-calf (OTC) socks, which cover the entirety of your foot and then stretch up over your calf. These socks will give you all the support you need in your knees and ankles without feeling like they’re suffocating you! Instead, it’ll feel like a warm, soothing hug.
You might be thinking about the people who practice yoga with bare feet. Don’t worry–there are compression socks for them too. Usually referred to as compression sleeves, these socks only cover the calf of your leg, leaving your feet free and exposed. If you think being barefoot would help you grip the mat better during your yoga session, we recommend compression sleeves for you!
There are a lot of benefits to wearing compression socks in general, and runners, nurses, and office workers already know about them. Now, it’s time for yoga enthusiasts to shine! Grab some compression sleeves or OTC compression socks for yourself and enjoy all the benefits that come with them, from improving your balance to strengthening your muscles, from reducing soreness to preventing injury.