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Though the benefits of yoga are for everyone, the majority of yoga practitioners in the United States are women. It isn’t surprising then, the enormous variety of options in yoga clothing designed for the female audience. The vast amount of choice in yoga pants for women, in particular, can be overwhelming.
Especially for women new to the practice of yoga, the abundance of options may actually be more of a burden than a blessing. It’s easy to get lost in figuring out what looks best on you or what will help you blend in or simply express your individuality. It’s also easy to get lost in the plethora of styles and kinds of yoga pants as it can be difficult to know what will be most amenable to your practice before you’ve actually done it for a while.
The truth is, yoga can be practiced in any comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing. That is not to say that indulging in a pair of yoga pants that you just love and feel good in because they are just so darn cute and comfy is a bad thing. On the contrary! Feeling good in what you wear is good in yoga, too.
As yoga is intended to bring us back into the present moment and help us let go of our attachments to how things should be or how we’d like them to be, here is some guidance on what to look for when trying to decide which duds to don on the mat.
What to Look For
Women’s yoga pants can be expensive. Finding a pair under $80.00 is considered a good deal in some circles. In others, spending even half of that amount is completely out of the question. So, the first step in finding the best pair of yoga pants for you is to identify the amount you are willing and able to spend. Read reviews of products that fall in your price range to be sure they have the desired quality (material that holds its shape, stitching that stretches) and durability (fabric that lasts through multiple wearings and washings).
An additional, “hidden” cost to consider is that the synthetic materials some women’s yoga pants are made of can be harmful to the environment, and thus, harmful to us. If that is important to you, take note of the material of the pants you are considering and whether or not an environmental cost may be included with your purchase. You can’t go wrong with organic cotton products or pants made from other plant-based fibers such as linen and hemp.
The best fitting yoga pants are comfortable to the wearer. Whether doing yoga asana (physical postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) or meditation, the quality of your practice will be affected by the degree of comfort, or discomfort, your garments provide.
Consider the season and what types of yoga pants correspond to the time of year you are practicing. Breathable, natural fibers are best for the skin at any time but especially during the warmer months or in hot yoga classes.
Consider your body type, too. For some women “curvy” yoga pants honor their figures best and many female yogis of all body types like high-waisted yoga pants with a wide band at the top. Others, however, especially yogis with diabetes or other health considerations, may prefer low-waisted yoga pants to accommodate medical devices, treatment sites and personal preference.
All too often, the blissful serenity of the yoga classroom is disrupted by a clothing malfunction. Don’t let this happen to you! Clothing can be loose or form fitting, but for maximum benefit, it should allow for the free flowing movement of the body and its limbs. Soft, stretchy material is optimal.
The best yoga clothes, in general, should also cover and stabilize those parts of the body that you (and everyone else) would like to remain concealed. That way, when asked to look between their hands in Downward Dog, the people behind you won’t be disturbed when faced with the sight of whatever is revealed when your yoga pants don’t “stick the pose” as well as you do.
The fun part! What colors appeal to you in yoga pant wear? Are you most drawn to patterns or solids? What types of yoga pants correspond to your personal style: leggings, capris, bootcut/flared, skirted, gypsy, harem? Compression pants, anyone? Keep in mind that comfort and style go hand in hand and that above all, functionality is your goal.
If you are a devoted student of yoga or a yoga educator, you may like the versatility of an “athleisure” style pant that can be easily dressed up for wear outside of the studio.
7 Best Yoga Pants for Women
So, what are the best yoga pants out there, you ask? Here are some of the best yoga pants – from brands that address the cost, comfort, function and style considerations identified above.
As its name implies, these yoga pants are special. Made from organic cotton (with a smidge of lycra) and eco-friendly dyes, Soul Flower yoga pants come in an array of beautiful colors and styles. Products are available in solids or decorated with simple, “heartfelt” artwork and designs. Manufactured ethically in the U.S. and Nepal, yogis can feel good in these clothes.
Some styles require hand washing, however, these pants are worth it. Pricing is reasonable, ranging from $28 for leggings to $38 for skirted pants to $54 for their organic “flow” pants. Soul Flower is the quintessential athleisure yoga wear – functional and fashionable – on and off the mat.
For the eco-conscious yogi, Teeki yoga pants are homegrown in the USA and made from 71% PET recycled plastic, 21% Spandex. Known for their breathability and elasticity, women enjoy a cooling effect while practicing Hot Yoga (or any style of yoga in the summer months) as well as a large range of motion in these pants.
The low waistband of the “Clouds Hot Pant” may work well for women looking for this feature and the cost ($70s range) for these pants is much more palatable when you take into consideration that you are recycling 18-30 water bottles with each purchase. Not for those who prefer a thicker pant material, as Teekis are also known for their lightness on the skin, so much so, that some users report feeling as if they are wearing nothing at all. Beware of the see-thru factor in some styles.
Om Girl’s organic cotton/lycra blend offers movement and mobility in a machine-washable pant that keeps its shape over time. Offered in colorful patterns and solids with spirited designs, these pants are on the higher end of the price range at $79-$82 for Leggings, however, their durability and 2-week return policy may make for a worthwhile investment.
Often beyond the means of many a yoga practitioner, Prana’s Women’s Juniper Yoga Pants may be within reach for those looking for a low-rise pant with a wide waist-band and flared bottoms. This is a versatile product made of sustainable plant-based fibers: Hemp (53%), Organic Cotton (42%) and Spandex (5%). These soft, jersey knit pants come in prints or solid colors and range in price from $39-$90. Made for comfort and movements that leave a lighter footprint on the earth.
There is an Onzie Women’s Capri Pant for everyone. The colors are bright and beautiful and the patterns run the gamut – from wild to whimsical to weird! High-waisted with a pull-on closure and thick waistband, these pants range from $22 – $66. Though they require hand washing, these women’s yoga pants are made of quick-drying fabric (82% Polyester, 18% Spandex) that is comfortable and light.
Got curves? Balance has a high-waisted legging (90% Polyester) for just $20.00 and a “Barely Flare” women’s yoga pant with dry wick for $30. Balance appeals to many women for its affordability, comfortable fit and free return policy. The thickness of the fabric is also a draw, as there is no need to worry about a clothing faux pas in these pants.
Looking for the best yoga shorts? Try Shakti. These adorable, breathable, super comfy shorts are made for the heat, complete with 50+ UV protection. Their soft “coolform light” material is made from a polyamide and elastane yarn that is free from harmful chemicals. The Side String model can be purchase for under $45.
What is the best brand of yoga pants for women?
That’s for you to decide. Namaste yogis!
Cevia Yellin is a writer and teacher. She enjoys exploring both the inner and outer worlds and appreciates the written word in all of its forms.