Well, twenty years ago, when I tried yoga for the first time, I hadn’t heard of the Sun Salutation. I hadn’t even heard of Downward Dog.
But I had heard of the G-string.
So I went to my first ever yoga class - an Astanga yoga class no less - wearing a G-string and a pair of sweat flame-red running pants.
I’d simply never heard of a fitness regime where you had to go upside down before!
So, after more Sun Salutations than it takes to travel between here and the closest star and back again, you could say my face was a little bit redder than even my red, red pants. I didn’t even know how long it had been since I’d shaved down there, and here I was, every twenty seconds, having to put my bottom end in the air, not knowing who was behind me or what they could see.
But I was too embarrassed (and too determined!) to walk out.
Since then, I’ve done a lot of yoga classes. And I’ve also developed a healthy obsession with what makes the perfect yoga pant. Read ahead, so you can skip out of making some of my embarrassing faux pas.
What makes a great yoga pant?
Length of my pants is what makes the difference for me between an average yoga experience and an experience of the sublime.
When we do yoga, we are going to channel our birthright of Kundalini energy, and that means we are going to get very, very hot. Forget Bikram - Kundalini is white hot.
This means that we are going to sweat. Maybe in the coldest months of the year where you live, it gets to sub zero. In this case, sure, I’d go a full pant too. Otherwise, always err on the side of
capri! Your ankles will thank you! If at all possible, it’s always better to wear a warm boot to yoga class that covers your ankles, that you can take off during practice.
If you have great thighs (and hey, who doesn’t) definitely go for a tight fitting legging. There’s only one drawback of a tight fitting legging, and that it - it fits tightly on your crotch, too.
I find that after an hour or so of yoga, and hot sweat, I can get a little whiffy down there. I find that a little embarrassing! I much prefer a loose fit over the crotch if at all possible.
That’s why, if I can have my dream, I always go for a loose fitting, baggy style capri. So it’s tight on the waist, and calves, where you need it, but you still get that air flow around your crotch area. Not feeling the sweat stick to you down there, and that squishy feeling you can get when you exercise, is far more preferable.
If you’re a leggings die hard, then a lace legging is a great option. This allows your skin (especially behind your knee) to sweat, and all those toxins and old emotions to flow uninhibited out of your body as you practice.
The most comfortable waist line is one that folds over. It’s also flattering over any rolls.
However, if you prefer an elastic waistline, and feel a little modest, you can always cover up with a loose singlet top that lets the sweat flow uninhibited down your spine.
Of course we live in the fortunate age of the yoga pant onesie - a yoga pant that’s a capri, baggy around the crotch and waist, and fitting over the shoulder. I think this is the ideal yoga outfit Shiva himself would wear.
And lastly, colour:
Do you go for natural, solid tones, or colours more wild than a tropical cosmic LSD trip? Really, it’s up to you. I feel that yoga class is all about being yourself and being comfortable with who you are with no feelings of limitation, guilt or shame.
A really colourful yoga pant, however you feel about your body, and however fit you are, is a really great way to practice self love - and a great way to inspire your fellow students with self love too. And they always, always, make a great conversation starter!
Whatever pants you wear, choose a pant that is right for you. It will change day to day, and how you’re feeling. What’s wonderful is that there is now simply so much choice, sustainability and style go hand in hand.
Akasha Rose is an internationally sought-after twin flame mentor and spiritual writer.
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