Yoga Shorts: The Ultimate Comfort for Your Practice

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Yoga Shorts: The Ultimate Comfort for Your Practice

With the popularity of yoga surging, finding the perfect pair of yoga shorts optimized for comfort, coverage, and unrestricted movement has become a key quest for many practitioners. However, the myriad of styles, lengths, fabrics and features now available can confuse the search for that ideal pair. This comprehensive guide explores how to select shorts tailored specifically for yoga including ideal fabrics that flex and wick, lengths that flatter and stay in place, rises and waistbands that comfortably fit, and special features worth considering.

Factors that Make for Great Yoga Shorts

  • Fabric with four-way stretch that retains shape and allows easy movement
  • Enough spandex/elastane to provide full mobility without restrictive compression
  • Shorts that stay securely in place even in the deepest or most daring poses
  • Inseam lengths offering adequate coverage based on modesty preferences
  • A comfortable, gap-proof waistband that does not dig in or cause irritation
  • Flattering fit through hips and thighs that moves naturally with the body

Choosing Fabrics for Yoga Shorts

For the ideal balance of softness, performance and breathability, look for:

  • Lightweight stretch jersey knit – Typically a cotton/spandex blend offering soft four-way stretch.
  • Polyester microfiber – Very smooth with moisture management properties to stay dry.
  • Interlock knit – Provides structured shape retention combined with stretch.
  • Compression – Snug fit aids circulation but can impede mobility if overly tight.

The ideal percentage of spandex/elastane is 10-15% for adequate stretch and recovery. Avoid 100% cotton which lacks performance.

Popular Yoga Shorts Lengths – The Pros and Cons

2” inseam: Pro: Allows full range of leg motion. Con: Very revealing through poses.

4” inseam:
Pro: Offers a modest compromise on length. Con: Can still expose at times.

6-7” inseam: Pro: Provides excellent coverage for most practitioners.
Con: Extra fabric can bunch if too long.

For maximum comfort, freedom and confidence during yoga, a 4-5 inch inseam tends to suit most women best. Men can size up for equivalent coverage.

Comparing Waistband Styles and Rise Heights

Waistband types:

  • Wide waistband – Smoother and minimizes rolling/digging
  • Foldover waistband – Comfortable if enough stretch
  • Drawstring – Allows cinching for personalized fit

Rise heights:

  • Low rise – Sits below hip bones
  • Mid rise – Aligns with hip bone point
  • High rise – Rises above hip bones for more coverage

Look for a wide waistband and high rise (but below the navel) for the most secure hold during yoga.

Special Features that Enhance Yoga Shorts

  • Built-in brief liner – Provides extra coverage underneath
  • Pockets – Convenient but can bulge awkwardly
  • Gusseted crotch – Allows greater range of motion
  • Coordinating tops – Creates a polished head-to-toe look
  • Matching patterns or colors – Fun for the fashion-forward

Simple shorts focused on fit, fabric, length and rise tend to outperform gimmicky styles.


Finding shorts specifically made for the folds, stretches and inversions of yoga allows for comfort and confidence during practice. Test out fabrics for the ideal feel, dial-in your perfect rise, length and fit, and experiment with special features to find your staple yoga shorts that checking every box.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do yoga shorts require specific care instructions compared to regular shorts?

A: No special care is needed. Machine wash cold and tumble dry low. Avoid excessive heat to prevent damaging stretch fabric.

Q: Can yoga shorts work OK for running or HIIT training?

A: Yes, their stretchy athletic material works great for any vigorous sweaty activity, not just yoga.

Q: Should men and women look for different features in yoga shorts?

A: Unisex styles mean men and women can choose from the same yoga shorts. Men may prefer longer 5-7” inseams.

Q: Is it OK to wear yoga shorts over leggings in cold temperatures?

A: Absolutely, layering shorts over leggings adapts them for winter temperature yoga sessions.

Q: Can you safely practice yoga in denim cutoffs?

A: Not recommended – denim limits range of motion. Stick to purpose-made performance fabrics.


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