Your outfit has the potential to contribute extreme value to your yoga practice. Not only does it give you the confidence to sink deeper into poses or push yourself just little further, but it can also allow you to have significantly more movement. Modern-day yogis are often torn between whether they should opt for yoga pants or yoga leggings. In fact, many are even wondering what the difference is between these two items.
While some may use these two terms interchangeably, there is a difference between yoga pants and yoga leggings. Yoga pants are usually made with a jersey material to ensure a decent stretch. They are full-length pants with a wide, fold-over waistband. The most distinguishing feature found in yoga pants is the flared leg.
On the other hand, yoga leggings are typically made with spandex to allow a tighter fit. The waistbands do not usually fold over, and they do not have a flared leg. Instead, they tend to fit very snugly around the calves or ankles depending on the cut. Leggings are found in a wide array of styles ranging from high waist capris to ankle length leggings.
Now that you know the difference, which one is preferable for your yoga practice?
Many yogis and yoginis prefer the more form-fitting yoga leggings available from popular manufacturers like 90 Degree by Reflex. They feel that the leggings allow them to focus more on the quality of their practice. Because leggings fit tighter than yoga pants, they have a greater awareness of the alignment of their joints and limbs as they transition through poses. While they may not have any significant athletic benefit, yoga leggings can still assist in creating a safer practice.
Yoga pants have more fabric and may stretch out over the course of intense or lengthy practice. By the time you reach your finishing pose, you may find excess fabric bunching in key locations such as around your knees. Similarly, it may also loosen around the waist. These may seem like minor issues, but they can cause serious irritation over time. Yogis find themselves focused on the uncomfortable folds of fabric in poses instead of on their alignment or sinking deeper into a pose.
Another key benefit to yoga leggings is the ability to layer them with other items for both cooler and warmer situations. If you know that your practice is rigorous, yoga leggings tend to have more breathability due to the material. It’s easier for sweat to dissipate in a spandex material than with the jersey found in yoga pants. You can also comfortably layer items with leggings if your studio or practice area tends toward chilly.
Both options are comfortable for wearing off the mat and around town due to their similarly stretchy nature. The fabric will give and take with your continued movement, but you will find that yoga pants still have the tendency to stretch out over the course of an afternoon. Overall, many yogis find yoga leggings to be superior to yoga pants both on and off the mat.