I took my first yoga class in 2007. It was Bryan Kest's Power Yoga located in Santa Monica, and when I showed up there was a line around the block. It was chock-full of energetic, driven-looking people much older and cooler than me, and as I stood there an old man with a long gray beard walked up to each of us asking whether or not we needed to rent a mat. Everyone was dressed in their best yoga gear, trendy leggings — along with sports bras, and band tees abound. Once inside, the studio filled up with bodies rapidly and by the time the class began, there was no more than a measly two inches of room on each side of my little island of a mat. There was flowing, there was breathing, there was sweat. There was a lot of people crammed together. I was, to put it lightly, out of my element. Fast forward twelve years and these feelings of not belonging and hesitance are long gone and have been replaced with a deep-seated appreciation for the practice of yoga. Though I'm not going to lie, I still despise a completely full yoga class #needmyspacethanks!
All that to say, while I'm still not an expert on the subject, I do speak from a lot of experience. Experience which entails making mistakes and learning from them. Mistakes like thinking I can forego a sports bra or like wearing leggings that don't breathe and getting a rash because of it. I'm not proud of them, but they also have helped me to cultivate an understanding of what type of athletic wear best supports my practice, which at this current point in time is around five times a week (oh the benefits of managing my own schedule!).
Because two heads are better than one and three heads are better than two, I tapped the ladies from one of my favorite studios, Sky Ting Yoga (Krissy and Chloe) to share some insights about what to look for when investing in yoga leggings. They broke it down into three categories: silhouette, details, and fabric.
" I personally love a higher rise yoga legging; something that hits at the navel," Co-founder Krissy Jones says. "There’s nothing worse than practicing with low waisted pants that you have to constantly pull up and adjust. A high rise is more conducive for yoga since you’re constantly moving into crazy shapes—the pants stay put better."
When it comes to bells and whistles, they ascribe to a mantra of less is more. "Avoid hardware on the pants, like zippers and buttons that can be annoying when you do floor work," Jones continues. "I don’t really like frills on my pants like loud prints, mesh, stitching, or pockets. I prefer to have a more clean, simple look when practicing."
And while you may be in disagreement about features like the rise of your leggings or details on them, everyone can agree on investing in quality fabric. "I love natural fibers; cotton, hemp, or even cashmere pants. But they’re more difficult to find! That’s why we made our own organic cotton leggings at Sky Ting that are high waisted and breathable. I end up wearing those most days."
Scroll down to see and shop my favorite leggings to wear to yoga and the brands you should know about if you like to get your flow on. Namaste!
The Brand: Sky Ting
Like Jones said, these leggings are stylish, subtle, and most importantly they stay put! I also love that they're constructed from organic cotton and recycled materials.
The Brand: Alo Yoga
Aside from the pretty green colorway, these are a favorite thanks to Alo Yoga's Alosoft fabrication, which is delectably breathable and comfortable.
The Brand: Athleta
These are the leggings I wear the most. They are thick enough to keep me warm on my walk to yoga during winter yet also incredibly breathable during the heat of class. The high rise is flattering and the shade of black has yet to fade even after several washes. My perfect match!
The Brand: Beyond Yoga
Beyond Yoga's collection of leggings (and beyond) is perhaps the softest activewear fabric I've ever touched — the best!
The Brand: Live the Process
The v-shape on these leggings is as one would expect: incredibly flattering.
The Brand: lululemon
If I had to appoint the title of "Feels Like Second Skin" to a pair of leggings, these would be the ones.
The Brand: Outdoor Voices
Aside from the fact that I'm in love with everything Outdoor Voices does marketing wise, the product totally holds up! I have a matching set and I wear it at least once a week.
The Brand: Splits59
This is the perfect pair of leggings for a no-frills, grab and go kind of yoga class. Always good to have on hand.
The Brand: Tory Sport
The retro color palettes and prints in Tory Sport's collection of studio separates is enough to motivate me to leave my home during the dead of winter and head straight for the yoga studio.
The Brand: Vuori
These leggings feel like they mold to your body the longer you wear them; super breathable and stretchy.
The Brand: We/Me
Aside from the fact that these leggings are delightfully breathable and stretchy, how amazing is that matching top that goes with them? Too good!