We’ve all seen celebrities walking around looking fabulous in their skin-tight yoga pants. They’re stylish for sure, but you have to wonder if clothing is actually suitable for working out in the gym or in the studio?
Some jeans and trousers are definitely too tight to function, so wouldn’t it be the same for yoga pants? Or do they get a free pass since they are made from different materials?
You may be brand new to the yoga studio, or maybe you’re just wondering what pants will help take your flow to the next level. How tight is too tight, and at what point is your mobility enhanced or restricted by your clothes?
If you’re interested in buying some yoga pants, then keep reading to find out if they are truly good for your workout – and some potential risks to consider.
Loose Fit vs. Skin-Tight
There’s no definitive answer to whether tight or loose pants are better for yoga. It all comes down to how you work out and what you want to achieve on the mat.
There are some yoga styles, such as vinyasa, where snug or tight form-fitting yoga pants actually benefit your workout! You will be doing movements that require your body to be flexible and seamlessly flow between poses.
The advantage of tight yoga pants is the minor compression effect you get from the form-fitting fabric. This helps keep the blood flowing and gives you a boost where you need it most.
Of course, some yoga pants are so tight that you overheat, but this often comes down to the blend of fabrics you choose. Ideally, you’ll find breathable material that allows you to sweat but also regulates your body temperature. You’ll need to keep cool during hot yoga!
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got baggy or loose pants that make you feel like a flower child from the 60s – are those good for yoga practice or no?
Some relaxed yoga classes allow for these loose garments, but in general, you’ll want to avoid them. Loose-fitting yoga pants are never a good match for high-intensity workouts, especially if there’s extra equipment involved.
For aerial yoga or pilates classes with reformers, it’s best to keep that fabric to a minimum. You definitely don’t want to get all caught up in the works and risk injury.
Ultimately, the most crucial factor for yoga pants is comfort and feeling good in what you wear. Body image isn’t everything, but your clothes should make you confident in how you look – it makes a difference.
If you’re on the fence about buying some super-tight yoga pants, we suggest valuing comfort over tightness and find a pair that fits you snugly without impacting your breathing or restricting your movements.
Sizing is Everything
If you’re like most of us, you always try the smaller size first before going to the next size.
Don’t feel bad - we’ve all been there! However, when it comes to wearing the correct size versus squeezing into the wrong (smaller) size, this can do more harm than good.
You might get away with wearing skin-tight jeans that are a size too small, but when it comes to yoga pants, it’s just not worth compromising your comfort to look a certain way.
Yoga is a practice for the mind, body, and soul. It’s a meditative form of movement that teaches you to align all these different elements of being! If you’re uncomfortable in any way – the waistline, thighs, or butt – you’ll miss out on yoga in the way it was intended.
Trust us; you do not want to go through an hour-long yoga session pulling your pants out of your crotch or constantly shifting your body trying to find a breathable position. This is the opposite of what yoga should be!
Take the time to find yoga pants that fit your body accordingly and allow yourself to enjoy your time on the mat. There are plenty of snug-fitting options that won’t have you gasping for air or readjusting every minute.
We know how tough it can be to find the perfect fit, but it’s well worth the wait when you discover a brand or style that works. Once you slip into those form-fitting pants for the first time, you’ll realize what you’ve been missing.
Don’t get discouraged! Keep trying different brands, styles, and sizes until you meet your match. Your rewards are comfort, performance, and peace of mind knowing you’ve got a quality pair of pants to support you throughout the toughest sessions.
The Safety Factor
Yoga pants are designed with comfort in mind, so even tight yoga pants can be super comfortable. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some potential health risks from wearing too-tight garments.
Just like everything else in life, balance is key. The same can be said for wearing tight yoga pants or any other type of tight clothing. If you push the boundaries and put your body under unnecessary stress, it could backfire.
It happens to everyone – those cute shoes that are a size too small, those jeans that require a team of technicians to put on and remove – we all make sacrifices for fashion, but you need to weigh the pros and cons in a realistic way.
It’s no joke that your clothing choices affect your mental and physical wellbeing, so these are important decisions that go beyond just how you appear to others. We’re talking about proper circulation, muscle contraction, and even the functioning of your vital organs in your abdomen.
Similarly, you don’t want to wear yoga pants that are so restrictive they limit your movements - that just defeats the whole purpose of wearing yoga pants.
Below are some health risks associated with wearing too-tight pants:
Yeast Infection – No, it’s not a fun topic, but it needs to be addressed. Yeast infections happen, and they’re more likely to occur if you constantly wear leggings that fit too tightly around the crotch. This is mainly due to the moisture wicked from synthetic fabric and sweat that forms in the area. Pants made from materials like poly, nylon, or spandex run a higher risk of producing yeast infections.
The answer? Hop in the shower immediately after a yoga session and give those pants a thorough wash! You can slip into a fresh pair when you’re nice and clean once again.
Intertrigo - If yoga pants are so tight that they provide poor ventilation, then you may be at risk of getting intertrigo. Along with friction, warmer temperatures, and excessive sweating, you’re creating the perfect storm.
Inflammation, itchiness, scratching, and potential infection – not fun for anyone. Make sure those fabrics can breathe and come equipped with moisture-wicking technology!
Tinea Cruris (Jock Itch) – It’s not just for the men’s locker room – jock itch is real, and it’s terrible. Wearing super-tight yoga pants could cause this condition, especially if you don’t hit the showers right after a session.
Once again, proper fitting pants made from optimal fabrics will help you dodge this pesky fungus. Stay free from jock itch and invest in yoga pants that fit right!
Musculoskeletal Disorders – Our bodies must always stay in balance. That’s what yoga is all about. Unfortunately, overly-tight pants can throw off our alignment by putting too much pressure on the spine.
In time, this leads to poor posture that follows us beyond the yoga studio. This condition tends to be more common with men than women, but the risk is there for both. The best pants should help your posture, not hurt it.
Don’t be worried about the dangers of tight yoga pants – simply pick ones that fit, and you have nothing to fear! Better yet, recognize discomfort and listen to your body if you aren’t in the right pair. It’s important to know if pants are too tight and cause unnecessary harm.
Too tight? Too loose? Just right? We’re starting to feel like the Goldilocks of yoga pants, but it’s all for a good reason! Fit and fabric are everything, and a little extra style never hurts, either.
If you’re someone who hasn’t yet come across the perfect pair of yoga pants, our hearts go out to you. In fact, we insist on helping you speed up the process.
At Yoga Club, we offer a monthly athletic wear subscription box that meets all of your unique specifications. Size, fit, workout style, fashion preferences – we learn it all in one quick quiz and send you hand-picked outfits that you’ll love.
That way, you won’t have to browse endlessly in search of pants that fit properly. We’ll make sure you get top-quality gear that fits to absolute perfection. So easy, so affordable – not to mention super fun!
Give us a try to see how yoga pants should really feel – you’ll never turn back.