Steadiness and ease?
You won’t need socks or trainers for yoga as it’s done in bare feet and the main consideration is whether you feel comfortable so you can focus on your yoga class and mastering the poses. But if you’re new to yoga this may not be as easy as it seems. The worst feeling of all is when your yoga pants start to slip down in your downward dog or you start to sweat too much and can’t take off a layer. See-through tops or leggings are plain embarrassing and you won’t want to wear too many accessories like necklaces which might get in the way when you’re upside down. Trust me- I have been there. The worst time was when I was wearing a chain, my pants kept sliding down and I had a short sleeve top with a hood that kept falling over my face! You’ll also need a good sports bra or it will be difficult to find ease in the yoga studio! Avoid feeling decided uncomfortable on your mats and read this guide to help you get kitted up in no time.
Think about cost per wear
You might be tempted to buy cheap leggings but if you plan to do yoga for any time at all don’t even go there! Chances are you’ll be flashing more than you thought in your deep squats and the leggings may even rip or tear. It’s worth investing in good quality clothing and it should last you for years. In my job as a yoga teacher I have loads of yoga gear but some of it is years old and still going strong.
What about the Planet?
You may also want to give consideration to the origin of your gym wear. It’s hard to feel serene if the product you’re wearing has been made in a sweatshop and as a budding yogi you may also want to keep an eye on its eco-credentials. Ahimsa means non-harming and is the first of the yamas in the 8 limbs of yoga. Gandhi lived by the teaching ahimsa parama dharma: “Non-violence is our greatest walk of life.” But with our modern-day responsibilities and jobs, it may feel impossible to live in this way all the time. By looking at where we buy our clothes, we can start to take steps in this direction. You may want to question if a product is sustainable, whether it is fair trade and whether any animals were harmed in its production. This something that I have become more and more aware of- cheap products usually cost the earth. Literally.
What to look for in yoga pants or leggings?
Follow my 8 point guide and you shouldn't go far wrong. It's about getting what's right for you and your body.
1. Are they squat- proof- thick enough to know you're not unknowingly showing your underwear?
2. Will the fabric move with you so that you can flow through the poses with ease?
3. Consider seamless leggings for a sleeker finish.
4. Do you want a high-waisted pair to hold you in? These are also less likely to fall down. Read reviews carefully on this too! Maybe you have flat abs and want a lower rise- but I have found when moving around in yoga, that the higher the waist the better!
5. Level of compression- do you feel you need more support or do you want to feel these are very soft and comfortable?
6. What length do you need- cropped, 7/8 or full length? If you're under 5ft 4, 7/8 are a great option and you won't end up rolling up the bottom of your leggings.
7. Do you want organic cotton next to your skin? Do you want a fibre that wicks away sweat, if doing more active types of yoga like vinyasa. You might create a yoga wardrobe that is seasonal- with different thicknesses and materials ti suit the weather conditions and how warm it is in your studio.
8. It just remains to choose the design- classic black, plain colours, floral designs, other patterns such a animal prints or maybe even a metallic finish?
Not all yoga pants are created the same...