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The War On Yoga Pants: Never Surrender!

in Yogitorials

A war is being waged on our blessed yoga pants. Once again, our stretchy bottoms are being attacked, but we must never surrender!*

In case you missed it, an ill-fated op-ed was unleashed upon the yoga-practicing public Sunday daring to explain Why Yoga Pants Are Bad For Women. Excuse us? These yoga pants? *looks down at legs, raises fist to sky and shakes it in rage*

But, wait. Why? How can yoga pants be…bad? (Besides the bacteria buildup and threat to our marine life.)

“Now we’ve internalized the idea that we have to look hot at the gym? Give me a break,” wrote Honor Jones in the New York Times piece. “The gym is one of the few places where we’re supposed to be able to focus on how our bodies feel, not just on how they look. We need to remember that.”

OK, I can get into that. Some people just want to get their sweat on and, it’s true, some others want to look cute, too.

“It’s not good manners for women to tell other women how to dress…”

Of course!

“Seriously, you can’t go into a room of 15 fellow women contorting themselves into ridiculous positions at 7 in the morning without first donning skintight pants?”

Wait…are you mad at them?

“What is it about yoga in particular that seems to require this? Are practitioners really worried that a normal-width pant leg is going to throttle them mid-lotus pose?”

Well, yeah, kinda. Tighter pants can make it easier, and sometimes safer, to get into certain yoga poses and enable you (and your teacher) to see what your body is doing in them (the poses, that is).

“We aren’t wearing these workout clothes because they’re cooler or more comfortable…We’re wearing them because they’re sexy.”

OK, now just hold on there one second, sister. Are you suggesting women feel sexy and good about their bodies in yoga pants and therefore choose to wear them because it’s powerful to feel good and sexy in your body? The nerve. Seriously, where do they get off? And they may even wear them outside the gym and yoga studio, too!

Honestly, and this may be just my thing, but most of the time when I’m wearing yoga pants (outside of yoga) it’s for comfort and convenience (ok, and sometimes laziness) and not for a yoga fashion show—ask the messy pony tail bun nest situation on my head.

I’m on board that the cost of some yoga pants out there is ridiculous, and like Honor, I’m also totally feeling the sad sweatpants lament—I still love you, comfy sweats!—but it doesn’t make much sense to me to get angry over yoga pants because you’d rather not wear them or see others wear them.

Here’s what I know:

Yoga pants are helpful for yoga practice, but they’ve also outgrown the mat. If you hadn’t noticed, athleisure is taking. over. the. world. Clearly some people are mad about that, some school administrators, politicians and sexist citizens want to put a stop to that, but if there’s one thing I know about yoga pants and the people who wear them it’s that they’re resilient AF.

Ladies love their yoga pants (especially moms, like whoa) and some guys do, too. And teenagers, don’t even get them started. Don’t you see? Complaining about them will only make us love them more. It will fuel our breath of fire and make our yoga-pants-wearing army stronger! We will conquer the world one tightly wrapped bottom at a time!

Until then, my advice for Ms. Jones (as if it matters): wear those sweatpants. Wear those sweatpants with a vengeance and a reckless abandon. Don’t feel sexy, or feel sexy, at the gym or yoga studio or supermarket or on the living room couch. That’s all you, girl. I’ll be over here being a yoga pants adorned sexy BEAST contributing to the downfall of womankind! Obviously.

*There are way more important things to be worried about and debated these days, but attacking someone’s wardrobe choices (and overall — generally healthy? — lifestyle) seems like a really poorly chosen battle. Tell women what they can and can’t wear and you’re asking for a yoga pants-clad riot.

Smiley pants via Etsy

hollypenny is a writer, yoga practitioner and yoga pants wearing mom living in New York City. For the record, she has never rapped about her yoga pants, but appreciates the passion and creativity.


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12 comments… add one
  • himix

    It’s the bulge. For men it’s impossible to go out of the yoga studio in such garments. I hope the ladies in the class don’t mind. I would wear shorts but they do get in the way…

  • Seriously?

    People are upset because someone dissed yoga pants? That’s some serious #spiritualwhitewoman shit right there.

  • Watch Out for Butt Acne and Monster Yeast Infections

    God Bless Chip Wilson for marketing so effectively to female body insecurities to create a product that’s brought him billions while leaving yoga women trapped in an ugly, fashion-less all-day spandex burlesque show. There’s is nothing more unsightly — and perhaps un-Godly — than a woman clad in Ugg boots, leggings and a down jacket. I’ve been on public transportation and literally half the women on board are dressed in this drabbest of modern uniforms. Yoga pants may feel like “freedom” but they look like mass conformity and a failure of personal imagination.

    • Spread Your Wings -- Not Your Legs

      Ah, but the COST SAVINGS. Once you reduce urban fashion to the yoga pants look, women can dress for next to nothing? With $100 washable yoga pants — half that with Nordstrom and Nike knock-offs — a woman saves OODLES. Substitute simple leggings which cost practically nothing, and your butt and your wallet have never felt more secure. And how easy it is to robe and disrobe! Isn’t that what it all comes down to?

  • This serious topic made me laugh 😀

  • What is Yoga

    Actually, there is usually two sides to every story. Driving by a High School in the privileged suburb I once lived in and seeing the girls streaming onto the streets in skin tight yoga pants showing every bit of their body seems incredibly self absorbed into a world of overly sexualized teens and pre-teens. I’ve seen skirts so short they fall right under the bottom. Why do girls need to dress like this for school? In the age of Kim Kardashian, who got her fame starting with a sex tape it’s tragic to see how girls are in a trap of being as sexy as possible. There is something to be said for uniforms.

  • I don’t know about other people but I love Yoga pants! I think it makes me look great plus it helps me get into the right mood for Yoga. They are comfortable and smart!

  • Pros and Cons amanda. I fear they are too revealing.

  • Interesting perspectives! I personally prefer to wear slightly looser fitting pants, with an elasticised edging to them, because I feel more comfortable in those.

  • Goose Washington

    It is pretty hard to find good yoga pants!

  • This serious topic made me laugh

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