Whether you actually do yoga or you are just looking for some comfortable attire to lounge and relax in, yoga pants are an excellent option. As the name implies, yoga pants are designed for doing yoga. These fitted, stretchy pants feature an elastic waistline, making it easy to do all the stretches and poses that are involved with yoga; however, because they are so comfortable, many people are wearing them to the gym, to run errands and just to lounge around in.
No matter what you plan on wearing them for, there are so many types of yoga pants to choose from. To help you make your quest for finding the best and most comfortable pair, we’ve done extensive research and compiled this handy list to use as a shopping guide.
Types of Yoga Pants
There are six main types of yoga pants, including:
- Boot cut yoga pants
- Yoga leggings
- Capri yoga pants
- Fold Over yoga pants
- Compression yoga pants
- Kundalini Yoga pants
Boot Cut Yoga Pants
Boot cut yoga pants are fitted through the seat and the thighs and gradually flare from the knee to the hem. These pants are extremely popular because they can easily transition from the yoga studio to everyday attire. Because they flare out at the bottom, boot cut yoga pants counterbalance the hips and the thighs, creating a slimmer appearance.
Yoga leggings are fitted throughout, from the waist to the hemline. In the yoga studio, they allow the person wearing them to move fluidly from pose to pose without having to worry about getting caught up in extra material. Outside of the yoga studio, yoga leggings offer a streamlined look and look great when paired with an oversized sweater or a long tunic.
Capri Yoga Pants
When the temperature heats up, Capri yoga pants are a great style to wear. These pants are fitted through in the seat and the thighs, and can either remain fitted through the hemline or flare from the knee to the hemline. The hemline of Capri yoga pants stops at the mid-calf, which means there’s less fabric, so they’re cooler to wear. Capri yoga pants are also a great choice for yogis who want to concentrate on safely positioning their feet and ankles.
Fold Over Yoga Pants
The waistband of fold over yoga pants is wide and loose, which means that they can be folded down onto the hips. They are some of the most comfortable yoga pants, and because the wide waistband slims the hips, it helps to smooth the look of the stomach, flattering the body of the wearer.
Compression Yoga Pants
Compression yoga pants have a high waist that is made of elastic materials, such as Lycra, which compresses, and thus engages the torso. Compression yoga pants heighten the wearer’s awareness of the muscles in the core and the role that this part of the body plays in yoga poses, which leads to a tighter and toner midsection. Compression yoga pants can either be fitted throughout, from the waist to the hemline, or they can be fitted at the waist and thighs and flare out from the knee to the hemline.
Kundalini Yoga Pants
This is the most relaxed style of yoga pants. They have a fitted waist and are loose from the thighs to the hemline, which cinches back in around the ankles. Because they are so relaxed, Kandalini yoga pants offer plenty of room to move and breathe.
Considerations for Yoga Pants
With so many options, there are definitely certain factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when shopping for your yoga pants. By considering the following factors, you will be able to find the perfect pair of yoga pants for your specific needs.
Do you want full-length yoga pants or Capri’s? Generally speaking, length is a personal choice; however, the type of yoga you practice can influence the length. For instance, if you practice bikram yoga, which involves intense stretches and poses that are executed in a hot room, you may want to opt for a Capri style to keep you cooler. If you aren’t wearing your yoga pants to practice yoga, choose the length based on when you will be wearing them; for example, if you are going to be wearing them to run errands or for lounging in cooler weather, full-length yoga pants are a wise option.
Yoga pants can be constructed from many different materials, and each material has both pros and cons.
- Cotton: Cotton is the most breathable material, which makes them an excellent choice for keeping cool. They are also soft against the skin and they resist pilling. On the downside, cotton is prone to shrinkage and this material tends to retain moisture (sweat) and takes a while to dry out.
- Synthetic Fabrics: Lycra, polyester and nylon are all popular synthetic materials used to create yoga pants. These fabrics wick moisture away, so they can keep you cooler than other fabrics, like cotton, and they hold their shape well. They also resist shrinkage. However, synthetic fabrics are not as soft against the skin and can actually irritate the skin. Odor, pilling and chafing are among the issues associated with these fabrics.
The Reason for Wearing Them
What will you be doing when you are wearing your yoga pants? If you will be doing yoga, what type of practice will you be doing? Will your practice involve intense poses and will you be working up a sweat; or, will you be doing a gentle workout that is centered more on alignment, breathing and relaxation? If you will be wearing your yoga pants for fashion, consider the look you are trying to create when selecting the type of yoga pants.
The fit of the yoga pants is also an important consideration. If you are doing more involved poses and want to be able to move from pose to pose with fluidity, fitted yoga pants are a better choice; however, if the yoga you will be doing involves more relaxed poses, boot cut or Kandalini yoga pants may be more comfortable for you. If you are going to be wearing your yoga pants for fashion purposes only, consider the look you want to achieve. Pants that are fitted from the waist to the hemline will create a more streamlined look, while boot cut or Kandalini yoga pants will give you more casual, relaxed look.
The Color and Print
Yoga pants come in a wide variety of styles and colors. From black to neon orange, and from solid colors to bold patterns, the color and print are important factors to consider when purchasing your yoga pants.
Believe it or not, you may end up with sticker shock when shopping for yoga pants. Yoga pants can range in price from around $10 to upwards of $50. Decide how much you want to spend before you start shopping.
Features of Yoga Pants
While the fit and the fabric of the yoga pants are among the most important factors to take into consideration, different styles of yoga pants offer different features, which you may or may not enjoy.
Would you prefer a low, medium or high waistline? Just like jeans and slacks, yoga pants come in different waistlines. If you want to show off your core or you want to bend over with ease, a low waistline may be a good choice for you; however, you could end up showing off more than you would like to when you bend over in a low waistline. If you want extra support for your core, a higher waistline may be a better choice for you, as the extra material holds in the waist and allows you to feel the movement of your core when you are practicing your poses; however, you may find a high waist to be too restrictive. Mid-rise yoga pants offer the best of both worlds.
If you want to store things in your yoga pants, pockets make it easy to do so. Yoga pants that are fitted at the waist typically don’t feature outside pockets; however, they may have a hidden pocket sewn inside the seam. This hidden pocket isn’t large, but it will provide you with enough space to store a key, some cash, a credit card or a gym membership.
If you want larger exterior pockets, Kandalini yoga pants may better suit you. Because these pants are loose at the waist, they offer enough space for exterior pockets, and the pockets won’t look awkward when they are loaded with larger items.
All yoga pants have seams; however, most people agree that a diamond-shaped gusset in the inseam is ideal.
This type of inseam provides you with more freedom and movement than a standard seam. It also reduces friction, and thus reduces the chances of chaffing. Another added bonus: A gusseted inseam is less likely to tear or rip under the pressure they experience while exercising different yoga positions.
Best Brands of Yoga Pants
After reviewing all of the different brands of yoga pants out there (and there are a lot of them,) we found that the following brands are the best of the best. Offering a variety of styles and features, these brands have perfected the yoga pant.
One of the most popular brands of yoga pants, Luleumon creates some of the most stylish, comfortable and high quality yoga pants. They come in a range of colors, prints and lengths. They also wash very well and will last you a long time.
Made of thin, yet high quality materials, Kira Grace yoga pants will keep you cool when you’re doing hot yoga and will be able to withstand the extreme pounding of a serious run. The fits are flattering and the tops are super supportive.
Onzie’s yoga pants are stylish and comfortable, making them an excellent choice for wearing in the yoga studio, the gym, or while you are running errands. This manufacturer creates some truly interesting patterns, such as skulls, rainbows and color bursts.
Yoga Smoga is another manufacturer of high quality and cute yoga pants. Whether you are looking for Capri or boot cut yoga pants, you will be able to find them – and in a wide range of colors and patterns – at Yoga Smoga.