Best Yoga Pants
A successful yoga practice requires several things: balance, mindfulness, strength and comfortable yoga pants. Whether they're wide leg or something more form fitting, the best yoga pants will help you feel comfortable, supported and ready for the next pose.
What is the Difference Between Yoga Pants and Leggings?
Yoga pants and leggings are often referred to interchangeably, but there are a few key differences between the two.
- Yoga pants: Typically, yoga pants are made from a soft and stretchy material that moves easily with your body. Certain styles are also high-waisted to better accommodate inverted poses. While some yoga pants for women have light compressive features, they usually feel non-constrictive.
- Leggings: Workout leggings tend to be made from a thicker material that's more compressive. This feature helps you feel more contained during intense workouts that involve rigorous movement.
When it comes to the yoga pants vs leggings debate, the key is wearing whichever option is most comfortable to you. Many people prefer the soft fabrics and flexibility of yoga pants for all those downward dogs and warrior poses, while others prefer the added support of leggings.
Best Yoga Pant Materials and Benefits
Yoga pants come in a variety of styles and silhouettes. You'll find hot yoga pants that allow you to sweat without dripping everywhere, baggy yoga pants that are perfect for restorative yoga (or just lounging) and numerous options in between.
What are Yoga Pants Made Of?
Yoga pants are made from a variety of materials, but the majority are a blend of polyester or cotton along with a stretchy material such as spandex (Lycra). Other common fabrics include nylon, fleece and even recycled post-consumer plastics.
What to Look for in Yoga Pants
To determine the best yoga pants for you, you'll want to first consider the type of yoga or activity you're doing. Hot yoga pants, for example, should feature breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics. If you're heading to a more intense class—such as barre, Pilates or spin—then tight yoga pants (also called compression yoga pants) may be more comfortable.
Best Yoga Pant Styles
Let's explore some of the best yoga pants styles out there.
Flare Yoga Pants
A flare yoga pant is tight all the way through the hip and thigh and begins flaring at the knee. This creates a less constricted feel at your calf and ankle, which some people find more comfortable. More than anything, it's a design element that brings a little variety to your yoga pant lineup.
Bootcut Yoga Pants
While flare yoga pants start fanning out at the knee, a bootcut yoga pant flares only slightly right around the mid to lower calf. It's slightly less flowy than a flare yoga pant but still provides a looser feel around your ankle.
High Waisted Yoga Pants
A high waist comes in handy during yoga classes where you're doing a lot of inverted poses and don't want to expose your midriff. This style can also help you feel more contained and often features tummy control for a more flattering fit.
Yoga Pants with Pockets
Pockets in your yoga pants allow you to keep important items on your body, such as your phone, ID, keys or lip balm. This feature comes in handy when you're workout out and don't have anywhere convenient to store things. Yoga pants with pockets are a smart choice when you're participating in an outdoor class or going for a walk.
Compression Yoga Pants
This style of yoga pants is particularly ideal for more rigorous workouts where you want to feel more contained, such as strength training, jogging or biking. The compression effect is also said to increase blood flow, which can be important in fostering improved endurance and post-workout recovery.
Cotton Yoga Pants
Cotton yoga pants are perfect for slow and stretch-based yoga classes where you won't be sweating much and want to prioritize comfort. The fabric is breathable and soft but isn't as effective as some sweat-wicking materials.
Fold Over Yoga Pants
A fold-over feature is common in yoga pants and provides you with the option of wearing a high-waisted or low-waisted pant. Think of it as a two-for-one deal.
Plus Size Yoga Pants
Plus size yoga leggings come in all the above styles, as well. When shopping, always consider the type of workout you're doing and prioritize a comfortable, secure fit.
The Best Yoga Pants for You
The best yoga pants are the ones that make you feel most comfortable and support your practice. In addition to considering the different styles and fabrics, you can also opt for playful prints and colors. Even if you're into simple black yoga pants, you'll find different design elements that can elevate your look.
At the end of the day, fitness apparel that helps you feel and look great will boost your confidence and help motivate you to grab your yoga mat and head to class.