Are Yoga Pants for You?

I’ve seen a lot of “fashion tips” warning against wearing yoga pants in public. Most say yoga pants are okay for yoga or even the gym, but should never be worn in other situations. Off-limits social situations include (but are not limited to) grocery stores, malls, parties, airplane flights, and other everyday or social events.

I’ve read that you can’t wear yoga pants if you have one of a variety of body types. Sometimes these include big hips, ample bottoms, cellulite, thighs that don’t have a “thigh gap,” and probably more physical traits that I can’t think of.

The reason for this fashion no-no is that there’s a “time and place” for wearing yoga pants.

I call bullshit.

If a woman wants to wear pants that stretch and move with her body, that keep her cool, that often even have a panel in front to control her waist, then why on earth would she not wear them? I wear mine everywhere. Every. Where.

We’re sending the wrong message when we tell women their bodies aren’t good enough for a certain type of clothing. This is especially true when that clothing is tied to a healthy lifestyle. It’s like saying obese people shouldn’t eat salads because they invite ridicule (“Like that’s going to help.” “She’s not fooling anyone. She’s probably going home to eat a large pizza and drink a milkshake.” Sound familiar?)

It’s like saying smokers shouldn’t use nicotine patches because they’re unflattering.

It’s like telling alcoholics they should go ahead and drink so they won’t seem boring at parties.

As a yoga teacher, I can tell you that I don’t care who you are or what your body type is. If you put on a pair of yoga pants and come to my yoga class, I’ll be super glad to see you. If I see you at Walmart and you’re wearing yoga pants and maybe you have no intention of ever practicing yoga, I’m cool with that too. Because guess what? It’s your body and your body deserves to be comfortable.

Wearing yoga gear is one small step toward actually practicing yoga. And practicing yoga is healthy. Ridiculing and shaming people for wearing exercise clothes is not healthy. It does more damage than people realize.

I’ve had people (more than one, yes!) tell me that they don’t want to try a yoga class with me because they don’t want people to see them in yoga pants. Let that sink in for a minute.

First, yoga pants aren’t necessary for yoga practice. Comfortable clothes help, but they don’t have to be yoga pants. Shorts, sweats, harem pants — wear whatever works for you. What’s really sad is when I see someone sweating it out in thick, long sweat pants because they’re ashamed of their body. Because they’re afraid of what people will think of them if they dare to wear yoga pants. They want to wear something more comfortable, more breathable, but they’re afraid of ridicule.

Don’t be one of those people, and don’t let those people influence you. Put on some yoga pants and take a class. And guess what? You’ll probably be surprised to find that you’re actually pretty cute in yoga pants.

What is a yoga booty?
What is a yoga booty?