For classes that involve a lot of mat work, you’ll want a hairstyle that will allow you to comfortably lay down on the ground, face up, without feeling like you’re laying on a weirdly lumpy pillow. (There’s nothing more annoying than having to shimmy your pony off to the side while trying to settle into a final savasana, amiright?) You’ll also want to pick a style that’ll keep your hair in place so you won’t have to interrupt your workout to move errant wispies and flyaways.
So, sure, you could whip your hair up in a ponytail when you head to your yoga, pilates or other low-intensity class – or you could go old school and try a braid. Believe it or not, you don’t have to be super-skilled to master even the most complicated looking braids. Here are some great options (for every skill level!).
For beginners: The Regular Braid
This is another no-frills old standard, but make no mistake: there’s arguably no better braid to keep the back of your head flat so you can get comfy during those lying-down exercises.
How to do it: Divide your hair into three sections, braid on down, and tie off with an elastic. Because the braid begins at the base of the neck, this one can be tough to pull off if you’ve got short hair or short front pieces. A thin headband can do the trick to keep those bits s in line.
For the practiced: Two French Braids
While the single French braid can be great for higher-impact classes, it can feel almost like a ridge going right down the back of your head when you’re lying down in mat classes. The solution? Two french braids, each flanking your head so that you can lie flat in the center.
How to do it: Simply part your hair down the middle, tie all of the hair on one side off into a pigtail to keep it out of the way, and then French braid the other side. When finished, untie the pigtail and French braid that section. In some ways, two French braids is easier to master than one since you have less hair to deal with, so if you’re struggling to master the single French, try two!
For the advanced: The Fishtail Braid
Once you get bored of braiding, you can start to master the fishtail. A fishtail braid will hang from your head in much the same way as a regular bread does, and also won’t get in the way during your crunches!
How to do it: Gather your hair at the base of your neck, but divide into two sections rather than three. Grab a tiny piece of hair from the outer backside of one section, and cross it up and over to join the other section. Repeat on the other side and all the way down.
For the super-advanced: The French Fishtail
This braid combines the two great schools of braiding, the French and the fishtail, for one incredibly elegant style. If you’ve mastered the braids listed above, you can likely infer the proper method to get this look, though even the masters can have a tough time getting this one perfect!
How to do it: Here’s a great video tutorial that can help show you the right way to get this done.
Want to sign up for a yoga class and try one of these braids? Get ClassPass now – just fill out the info below: