I remember doing my first downward dog when I was 16, and since then, I have made a point to practice yoga as often as my schedule allows. Since I grew up with a yoga teacher mom, the practice has been in my life for a long time and I fully intend on keeping it that way. Whether I'm heading to a slow flow class to unwind and relax or doing hot power yoga, I'll always find a way of incorporating it into my fitness routine alongside my other favorites like Pilates and HIIT. And after nearly a decade of keeping consistent with a yoga practice, I've become somewhat of a snob when it comes to the best yoga leggings. I won't lie—I'm downright picky, but for good reason.
Since a yoga class could involve any number of twists, inversions, and balancing poses, I need a pair of leggings that stretches and moves with me but also one that doesn't stretch out over time. I've had a lot of trial and error over the years, and I've come to the conclusion that a solid pair of yoga leggings all comes down to three major details. You don't necessarily have to have all three, but if you do, all the better. So below, I'm highlighting which details to look out for and shopping all my favorite leggings that check at least one (if not more) of these boxes.
The higher the waist, the better, if you ask me. I've tried one too many times to do yoga in leggings with a mid or low-rise waist only to find myself fidgeting with the waistband throughout the class. I also find that high-waisted leggings are the most comfortable and flattering on me, and really, the best for all activities.
This detail is important because it's what differentiates the leggings I wear for running and more high-impact workouts versus what I wear for yoga. I always look for leggings with a solid amount of stretch in them and ones that feel soft (almost cotton-like to the touch). My go-to brands for this are Alo Yoga and Zella, whose fabrics strike the ideal balance.
Nothing against cropped leggings, but I've always preferred full-length pairs for yoga. In a balancing pose like tree, you need as much coverage as possible to help you grip and hold the pose. It might just be a personal preference, but I also find full-length leggings easier to style for post-workout and loungewear outfits, too.
Next up, how to pull off wearing leggings as pants like a fashion girl (because they're happening again).