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11 Different Types of Yoga Pants for Women

Yoga pants come in a variety of styles, cuts, lengths, and materials, and the right yoga pant for your need can be a challenge. Consider your yoga application, comfort level, and feature needs to lead you to the optimal pair of yoga pants that will keep you fit and healthy.

A close look at women wearing different yoga pants.

Whether you are going to organized yoga classes or practicing yoga in your own home, having flexible and breathable pants is a must. Or, if you are desperately trying to convince yourself that yoga pants do count as real pants, simply know you are not alone.

Yoga pants are great for several purposes and applications. Not only are they light and comfortable pants, but they are stretchy and forgiving. There are several different types of yoga pants for women, all with different cuts, styles, and features that can make choosing the right pair of yoga pants difficult. Below, we break it down for you and list the many types of yoga pants for women.

Before choosing the right yoga pant for you, be sure to browse through the number of options for yoga clothes. Think about your particular application and use; it might be a rigorous hot yoga class, or it may be an outdoor yoga class in the park. You may simply want a pair for a yoga practice at home. Think about your needs and how you want your pant to fit, as well as the material and style. There is no right or wrong answer for choosing a yoga pant. You simply want to find what works best for you.

Yoga Legging

Women wearing yoga leggings at a yoga studio.

Probably the most traditional yoga pant style is the yoga legging. These leggings are a staple when it comes to yoga clothing. These yoga pants are designed to fit close to the body, extending from the waist down to the ankles. A yoga legging can be made of any material, but typically it are made of soft and stretchy fabrics that will allow you to bend, move, and twist comfortably through many different yoga poses and stretches.

The yoga legging is a classic when it comes to workout leggings for good reason. Many of these pants are made with activewear materials that help to breathe as you sweat. This will help to wick the moisture away from your body, keeping you cool and comfortable.

There are many different manufacturers of yoga leggings ranging from high-end Lululemon yoga pant options to economical choices from Champion and Old Navy. There are even subscription type club companies, such as Fabletics, that will send you new leggings every month to keep your style up to date. Many yoga leggings come in several different patterns and colors to allow you to find a pair of yoga leggings that match your personality and style.

Maternity Yoga Pants

A pregnant woman wearing maternity yoga pants at home.

While pregnant it is not only important to eat right to stay healthy, you must stay active and fit too. Many pregnant women find that yoga is a wonderful chance to stay fit and active with a low impact activity. Just as your regular clothes are fitting tighter and tighter, enter maternity yoga pants to save the day.

Maternity yoga pants are designed especially for pregnant women. These workout leggings keep a pregnant woman’s body in mind, and custom fits the pant to a growing belly. Made of soft and stretchy fabric, maternity yoga pants will stay comfortable and cool through every yoga session. Similar to other yoga pants, maternity yoga pants come in several different colors and patterns.

These pants are made with a special front panel waistband that is designed to comfortably fit over a growing belly. The waistband panel is made of thick, yet flexible fabric that adds support and coverage. Many maternity yoga pants are designed to fit women who are pregnant from their first week, all the way up to week 41. Maternity yoga pants are also often made of durable and thick material that can offer full coverage. And, soon to be Mamas unite! Glampunch even makes a maternity yoga pant that has pockets.

Yoga Shorts

A woman wearing yoga shorts while doing a yoga position.

Popular for hot yoga sessions in the yoga studio or outdoor yoga in the park yoga shorts are perfect for warmer conditions. Yoga shorts are exactly like they sound. These are simply a shorter version of their yoga legging big sister. Yoga pants are practical, comfortable, and flexible.

When it comes to shorts there is a very wide variety. Some yoga shorts are cut longer, extending almost to the knee. These shorts are tight and stretchy, with the waistband coming fully up to the waist. These shorts offer women more coverage down the buttocks and leg, while still giving them a light and airy feel.

Comparatively, yoga shorts also come in a shorter style. These shorts still come up to the waist, but often only have a three to four-inch inseam. This style of yoga pant is still tight, made of stretchy fabric, but offers less coverage. Of course, both the longer short option and the shorter short option have a wide range of color and pattern choices for those who want to match their personality and style.

There is also the option for a looser cut yoga short. These are often made of a cotton mix fabric which makes these shorts light and comfortable. They do not fit close to the skin and offer a comfortable, more modest style. Many of the looser fitting yoga shorts have a drawstring waistband that secures the shorts at the waist.

Workout Pants

A woman wearing workout pants at the gym.

Although yoga is certainly a workout many women seek pants that can double as high-intensity workout pants also. These pants are intended to wear anywhere in the gym, so you can sweat until your heart is content.

In the yoga pant style, many workout pants are compression pants. These come in the same stretchy fabric as traditional leggings but have additional activewear features that are great for a high-intensity workout.

Compression pants are designed to help compress the muscles in the leg, fitting tightly against the skin. Not only can this help you with your form while you workout, but it can help keep muscles warm and safe. Plus, compression pants are made to allow the body to breathe as you sweat. Many workout pants have specially designed vents around the ankles or back of the knees to allow you to breathe.

Yoga Capris Pants

A woman wearing yoga capri pants while doing yoga positions.

Many women enjoy yoga capris pants. This cropped yoga pant combines the best of both worlds, meshing together shorts and pants. The cropped yoga pant comes in many lengths but typically hits just below the knee. These pants are made of flexible fabric that allows you to bend and move through all of your practiced yoga poses.

There are several variations to the yoga capris pants. Some pants are made in light cotton that is looser fitting. This is a perfect option for women who do not want to feel constricted in skin-tight fabric. Other options for the yoga capris include an attached skirt, which adds an element of modesty, made from Athleta.

As is true with the many available yoga pants, the yoga capris are offered in many different fabric options, styles, colors, and patterns. Mix up your yoga pant collection with a few pairs of yoga capris pants. This is the perfect pair of yoga pants that will give you an option for all weather conditions and types of yoga.

High Waist Yoga Pants

A woman wearing high waist yoga pants at a studio.

If you are stretching and moving through several different yoga poses it can be incredibly uncomfortable to have to continuously stop to adjust a waistband that has rolled down. Thin waistbands tend to move out of place, making them uncomfortable. That is why the high waist yoga pant is so popular.

Similar to a pair of high waisted leggings, high waist yoga pants typically come up a little higher on the waist. While a traditional pair of yoga pants may have a waist that sits close to the belly button, a pair of high waist yoga pants will sit significantly higher. The waist is intended to help give more coverage and more confidence to people practicing yoga. The high waist is also more comfortable, and often more flattering for many women.

Many high waist yoga pants are made of the same stretchy fabric that easily allows you to bend and move. These pants come in several different colors and patterns still making it possible to find just the right color to match your style. Plus, with the growing popularity of high waist yoga pants, this style is becoming more readily available.

Tight Yoga Pants

A close look at a woman wearing patterned tight yoga pants.

When it comes time to choose the type of yoga pants you want be sure to think about your yoga application. Will you be in a yoga studio practicing, or the comfort of your own home? What type of poses and stretches will you be performing? The answer to these questions often leads women to the tight yoga pant style.

Tight yoga pants are designed to fit close to the body, offering the right fabric to still allow you to bend and move. When selecting a pair of tight yoga pants it is important to take a close look at the type of fabric that is used for construction. This will often dictate the amount of stretch and comfort a pair of tight yoga pants will have.

You want to find pants that have a high amount of spandex. This is a synthetic fabric that includes polyurethane, making the fabric stretchy. Spandex allows the fabric to bend and move, while still staying tight to your body. Spandex, like other material blends, can be mixed with cotton or polyester to make the tight yoga pants soft and flexible.

Loose Fitting Yoga Pants

A woman with loose yoga pants doing yoga at the beach.

In a sea of spandex, it seems like everyone practicing yoga opts for the tight-fitting yoga pants. Happily, it is possible to practice yoga while wearing loose-fitting apparel. Loose-fitting yoga pants are increasing in popularity among women due to their flexibility, comfort, softness, and modesty. This the perfect way to hide your flaws, and feel comfortable as you work through yoga poses.

Loose-fitting yoga pants fit away from the body. The waistband can be elastic or drawstring. The pants will go down to the ankle and can have several different cuts. Some loose fitting yoga pants have a wide leg style, while others have a boot cut or a bell-bottom. Other loose fitting yoga pants are capris length hitting just below the knee.

These yoga pants typically have a minimal amount of spandex and a higher amount of cotton. This allows the fabric to still bend and move, without clinging closely to your body. Similar to other yoga pant styles, loose-fitting yoga pants come in many different colors, cuts, patterns, and fabric blends allowing you to choose the exact yoga pant for your needs.

Wide Waistband Yoga Pants

A woman wearing wide waist yoga pants at the pier.

For an added element of comfort, wide waistband yoga pants are ideal for people who struggle with thin waistbands. Often, thin waistbands roll down, become twisted, or start to make an indentation on the skin. Wide waistband yoga pants eliminate these problems offering a cute, comfortable, and practical option for an elastic waist.

Compared to traditional yoga pants the wide waistband yoga pant typically has a waistband that is about 2 inches or more. This increased thickness in the waistband gives the woman more comfort, without a thin elastic waist digging into the skin. Further, it helps the waist stay in place better, with fewer adjustments needed in between stretches and poses. The wide waistband can also help to provide more coverage, giving women more confidence as they attend their yoga class.

A wide waistband yoga pant is growing in popularity and is becoming commonplace. It is possible to find specific wide waistband yoga pant options at many of the large activewear retailers including Athleta, Fabletics, and Lululemon. Wide waistband yoga pants will be specifically denoted in the pant specifications.

Specialty Fabric Yoga Pant

A woman with specialty yoga pants at the studio.

It should be noted that when choosing your workout clothes you should put some thought into the type of fabric you are choosing. Many women prefer to have a specific type of specialty fabric used to make their yoga pants for many reasons. Whether you want optimum comfort, want a sustainable fabric option, or simply want a blend of materials you know you love, pay close attention to the materials tag on your yoga pants.

There are several fabric options to choose from including spandex and other synthetic fabric options. Some of the more sustainable options include recycled polyester, which is made from recycled clothing materials.

This option gives you the same look and feel that you love in your yoga pants, but offers a more eco-friendly approach. Further, many yoga pants are made from organic cotton. This helps to eliminate the number of pesticides and chemicals used to grow and produce cotton, giving you a cleaner and more sustainable product.

Yoga Tops

Top view of a woman doing a yoga position on the floor.

Just as there is a variety of different yoga pant options, there are also several yoga tops available. Many of the yoga pants available come with matching or coordinating yoga tops. These tops range from a simple sports bra to a crop top yoga top.

Many of the clothing options for yoga come in stretchy and soft materials. Between yoga tops and sports bras, it is possible to look great and feel confident walking into any yoga studio. Just as with pants, it is important to first research the type of yoga top that will work best with your activity before purchasing.


We understand that choosing the right yoga pant can be difficult with so many different options available for women. Plus, there is always the chance that you may want a few different pairs of pants for various applications.

We have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions related to the different types of yoga pants for women to help you identify questions you may have, and better narrow down your optimal yoga pant option.

Why Do Ladies Wear Yoga Pants?

Yoga is an intense exercise program that can help strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility, and calm the mind.  Part of yoga involves intense stretching and posing that requires a full range of motion.  Wearing clothing that is restrictive or difficult to move in can make it downright impossible to perform the correct poses and motions needed to execute a yoga session appropriately.

Many ladies choose to wear yoga pants for yoga activities because it helps with movement.  Many yoga pants are made of stretchy fabrics, like spandex, that help to bend and move with you.  This allows you to be fully covered and protected, without limiting your full range of motion.  Stay comfortable, and remain flexible while performing yoga.

What Are Yoga Pants Made Of?

Yoga pants are made from a number of different materials.  Many of the available yoga pants are blends of several materials valued for their independent properties. Common materials found in yoga pants include cotton, spandex, and polyester.  Cotton is used to add softness, spandex is used to add flexibility, and polyester is used to add durability and stretchiness.

There are also several specialty yoga pants that are made of certain materials.  It is not uncommon to find recycled polyester material in yoga pants.  This is a sustainable and eco-friendly option.  Further, organic cotton is common yoga pant material, especially for loose-fitting yoga pants.  If you are searching for a particular material blend, be sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing your new yoga pants.

What Are The Qualities You’re Looking For In Yoga Pants?

When it comes time to choose a pair of yoga pants it really depends on what type of yoga you are participating in.  Once you determine your own needs, you will be able to narrow down the particular qualities you are searching for.

First, think about the length of your yoga pant.  Do you want a traditional length down to your ankles?  Or do you want a short that will only be a few inches in length?  Do you need to have yoga pants that will keep you cool while performing outdoor or hot yoga? Are you comfortable with having more skin exposed?  While shorts are nice to keep you cool and breezy, they do lack the coverage traditional yoga pants can offer.

Next, think about how you want the yoga pants to fit.  This is really a preference compared to performance-based.  Yoga pants can be tight-fitting or can be loose-fitting.  Lastly, think about any special features you want.  If you have trouble with a folded waistband, it might make sense to shop for a high waisted pair of yoga pants or a pair of yoga pants with a thicker waistband.  Further, if you are pregnant, you may want to look for special maternity yoga pants to help accommodate a growing bump.

Lastly, consider the material the yoga pants are made of. Do you have a preference when it comes to the way the pants will feel? If you want softer pants you may want to lean more toward cotton blends. If you want pants that have more stretch, consider yoga pants with more spandex added to the fabric blend.

If you are concerned with environmental sustainability look for yoga pants that are made of recycled polyester or organic cotton. There are several yoga pant fabric materials and many are available in a number of different styles, patterns, and colors.

What’s The Difference Between Yoga Pants and Yoga Leggings?

First, both yoga pants and yoga leggings can be worn to practice yoga.  Both work equally well, and really it just comes down to preference.  A yoga legging is a specific type of yoga pant.  This is the slim leg, tight-fitting yoga pant style.  Typically, yoga leggings will cover the waist and extend down to the ankle.

Yoga leggings are usually made of a material blend that includes polyester, spandex, and cotton.  Comparatively, yoga pants embody all types of yoga apparel.  While every yoga legging is a type of yoga pant, not every yoga pant is a yoga legging.  Yoga pants can include yoga capris, yoga shorts, or loose-fitting yoga pants.

What Are The Best Yoga Pants for Women?

Again, finding the best yoga pants really comes down to preference.  There is no right or wrong answer to finding the best pair of yoga pants, and what works great for one woman may not work well for another.

If you are looking for pants that will bend, move, and twist with your every movement you may want to consider something that is tight-fitting and includes a fair amount of spandex in the material blend. If you are performing yoga in the comfort of your own home, you may want to consider a loose-fitting yoga pant.  These are often made of cotton blends and are perfect for practicing yoga poses in your basement.

Before choosing any yoga pants, it is important to fully read about the features each pair of pants has.  Does it have a thicker waistband? Do the pants come up higher on the waist? Do yoga pants have pockets?  For those going to a studio having a small pocket to place, a house key may be important.  To others working out at home, a pocket may be low on the list of necessities.