How To Buy The Best Yoga Pants

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November 9, 2018

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When it comes to your fitness journey, recovery is just as important as training — and for many women, yoga is a great recovery workout option. Yoga is by no means just a gentle practice though! It can be a transformative and dynamic workout that has the potential to transform your health and fitness. Of course, with regular yoga comes the need to find the best yoga pants to practice in!Jump to:

Why good yoga pants are a must

If you are someone who exercises regularly, then one thing that you are probably aware of is just how important the right activewear can be — this is especially true when it comes to yoga. 

The clothes you wear can impact your performance from a functional standpoint during different kinds of yoga. For example, if you’re doing dynamic yoga then a pair of flexible yoga pants will help to best support you during your session. If you’re doing hot yoga, the best yoga pants will be those that can absorb any sweat to make it less slippery during balancing poses. 

Finding the best yoga pants that suit you, your lifestyle and your body shape can have a huge impact on how you feel during your session.

Tips for buying the best yoga pants

Every woman’s fitness journey is different. Every person will have a different reason for stepping onto the mat and because of this, their needs and preferences will vary when it comes to finding the best yoga pants. 

There are some things that you should keep in mind though, so we’ve put together some tips for you, no matter what type of yoga you do — even if you want yoga pants to NOT do yoga in!

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1. Choose your length

Finding the best yoga pants will depend on what type of yoga you are intending to practice, as well as your personal preference. 

Hot yoga

For hot yoga, it’s best to avoid yoga pants altogether and wear breathable yoga shorts instead. Leggings can get hot and irritating and may limit your performance during the yoga flow. This is the same if you are practicing yoga in warm climates. 

Our hot tip for buying hot yoga shorts? Before buying any, practise bending over in them when you try them on! This can save you any discomfort from exposing more skin than you’re comfortable with during class. 

If you don’t feel comfortable in shorts altogether, that’s okay — just make sure you follow our tips about finding the best yoga pants material to ensure you don’t get too hot and uncomfortable in longer pants.

Dynamic yoga

If you are practicing an intense style of yoga the best yoga pants for you will be something that is practical, that will allow you to perform yoga sequences with ease and without having to constantly adjust your clothing. Because of this, it’s likely that fitted cropped pants (capri), yoga shorts, or long fitted yoga pants are the best yoga pants for you. 

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2. Form-fitting or loose yoga pants

Ultimately, this is a question of what you feel most comfortable in and what you feel is best for your body shape. If they’re too tight, you are likely to be uncomfortable but if they are too loose, you will be constantly needing to re-adjust them throughout your practice! Try to keep some of these factors in mind:

If you don’t want super tight yoga pants If you’re someone who prefers yoga pants that don’t show off every curve, there are plenty of options for you such as straight-leg cut pants or bootleg pants. These tend to be more flattering on the hips and can balance out your shape more than fitted yoga pants.

If you’re doing restorative yoga If your yoga practice is about slowing down your body and your mind, the best yoga pants will be ones that are comfortable, loose fitting and will keep your body at the right temperature for the climate that you’re practicing in. 

If you’re about comfort, high-waisted pants are also the way to go because they hold in your mid-section well and are more flattering than low-waisted pants.

If you’re serious about your vinyasa Generally, form-fitting yoga pants will be the best yoga pants for you. The main reason for this is that fitted yoga pants allow you to move more freely through yoga sequences and make it easier to monitor your movements, posture and form. This might be of particular importance if you are doing a faster flow of yoga, like Vinyasa or Ashtanga, where form is important. 

While fitted yoga pants are the recommended style for more intense styles of yoga, just make sure the material is flexible! We go into a little more detail about this below.

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3. Material 

When finding the best yoga pants for your routine, you want to find a material that is comfortable for you and the activity that you want them for. If you want the yoga pants for any kind of exercise that involves working up a sweat, you should also look for moisture-wicking material that breathes easily — this kind of material absorbs the sweat away from your skin, which can help keep you dry and cooler. 

On the other hand, some materials tend to absorb sweat more easily, meaning that if you are wearing them for workouts, you might end up uncomfortable and sweaty. Consider these materials next time you’re trying to find yoga pants:

Synthetic blends Generally, synthetic is considered the best material when performing any exercise that works up a sweat because it tends to dry faster and breathes more freely than natural materials such as cotton. 

Some common synthetic materials for yoga pants are elastane (spandex) blends, which is popular as an activewear material because it stretches and allows your body to move with ease. 

One of the biggest downfalls of synthetic materials? They tend to retain odour more! That said, there are special detergents that you can buy to eliminate odour more easily. A number of activewear brands also produce blends that focus especially on odour-elimination.

Cotton blends Pure cotton is natural and comfortable so it can be a good material if you intend to use your yoga pants as leisure clothes rather than for yoga. However, as performance wear this has the potential to hold moisture so it may not be the greatest option if you do Bikram yoga or you tend to work up a sweat.

If you’re doing any gentle or calming yoga, like hatha or yin, cotton blends are a good option. They’re soft and won’t restrict you in poses that go for extended periods of time. As an alternative, opt for blends like cotton and elastane.

Bamboo Many brands now produce yoga pants that are a bamboo blend. This material is popular because it is soft, comfortable and breathes a lot easier than cotton blends. It is also believed to repel odour more easily than cotton or synthetic brands.

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4. Sourcing of materials

Depending on your lifestyle choices, you may prefer to shop for sustainable products so this is something to be mindful of when trying to find the best yoga pants for you. 

Luckily, there are a number of clothing companies that make yoga pants and active products from recycled materials, while also ensuring that they are well-suited for the practice of yoga. 

By completing a little research into sustainable and ethically produced yoga pants, you’ll quickly find that there is a lot of variety to choose from.

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5. Thickness

Another important factor to consider when choosing the best yoga pants for you is whether the leggings are too thick. If you’ve ever done a workout in leggings that have a little stretch and are really thick, then you probably know how uncomfortable and frustrating this can be! 

The best yoga pants for practicing should be lightweight and allow you to move with ease and comfort through the yoga poses. That said, you probably don’t want your yoga clothes to be too see-through! 

One way to ensure they are the best yoga pants for you is to do a little practise movement in the change rooms when you try the pants on. If you can bend your knees or bend over with ease — and without them showing through to your skin — then you should be okay! 

For those who tend to do their shopping online, check out the product reviews before purchasing.  

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6. Aesthetics

When it comes to finding the best yoga pants for you, the way they look comes down to your personal preference. Just remember lighter colours can look more worn (and potentially see-through!) the more you wear them and wash them.

Athleisure-wear has become a booming market, so more and more leggings are designed to suit the ‘off-duty’ activewear look. While this is great for hanging out on the weekend or at home, some of these extras might not provide any advantages to your performance when you’re actually doing yoga. 

You might want to avoid any pants that have straps, ties, bows or any other added ‘extras’ on them. While they can look amazing, they don’t tend to be very practical and may actually cause you discomfort during certain poses, or may make certain poses more difficult to perform. If you’ve ever tried to perform Savasana with a clip digging into your behind, then we’re sure you will agree! 

Sweat is about so much more than your workouts

Feel your best - inside AND out

Choose the best yoga pants for YOU

At the end of the day, it comes down to what you prefer. The best yoga pants will be ones that are comfortable, that breathe easily and that you don’t have to think about when moving through your poses.  

Whatever yoga pants you choose, there are so many potential health benefits of doing yoga.

If you’re ready to start a regular practice, let SWEAT trainer Sjana guide you through her BAM yoga program — the first 7 days are free!

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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