Yoga doesn't call for much. It's one of the rare activities that tends to ask you to use less gear (you don't even have to wear socks). But the few basics you do equip yourself with are vital because of yoga's emphasis on form, breath and mindfulness. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable clothing can inhibit all three — especially when it comes to shorts.
Yoga shorts should exhibit a particular set of qualities. They should breathe and wick moisture, even if you never plan to enroll in a hot yoga class. They should also fit well. Yoga shorts tend to fit more closely than running or gym shorts, but a good pair shouldn't be so tight it constricts. Great yoga shorts walk such a Goldilocks-fine line that you can wear them without fear of them slipping down, even during inverted poses. Many yoga shorts, however, contain an integrated liner, just in case.
Most of all, yoga shorts should be comfy. A scratchy seam or misplaced zipper could become annoying enough to pull your mind away from your form and breath, disrupting what's supposed to be both relaxing and invigorating. You won't find such oversights in the buying guide that follows; instead, you'll encounter yoga shorts that can elevate your practice from obligation to Shangri-La.
Ten Thousand Interval Short
Best All-Around Yoga Shorts
Ten Thousand emphasizes versatility above all else in the Interval Short, which it made for doing pretty much anything. It's ideal for infrequent yogis who might also want to wear them for running or working out, but it has all the features you'd want in a pair of shorts for yoga too. You can order it with a five-, seven- or nine-inch inseam, and with or without a liner.
Lululemon In Sequence Short 6"
Best Upgrade Yoga Shorts
With a six-inch inseam, these are the shortest yoga shorts on this list, making them ideal for those who tend to heat up during yoga. They're lightweight and dry quickly too, but only include one small pocket and no liner.
Stance Pure ST
Best Money-Saving Move
If you want to save some cash, consider buying a pair of performance briefs to wear beneath whatever athletic shorts you already own. Stance's are soft, stretchy and have a comfy lay-flat waistband. And if you feel the need to upgrade later down the road, you can always buy a liner-free pair of yoga shorts to wear over them.
Alo 7" Traction Short
The Traction Short's interlocking waffle construction helps it win both style and feel points, but it also provides a high degree of breathability. These shorts include a liner.
Outdoor Voices Sunday 7" Short
Outdoor Voices makes its linerless Sunday Short with a plush blend of polyester and Spandex. Only-occasionally yogis will still get plenty of use out of it as a go-to for lounging at home.
Manduka Lunge Short
The Lunge is mid-length with its eight-inch inseam, and it includes pockets as well as an integrated liner. Its fabric blend is ultra-soft yet still wicks, making this a great all-round short.
Nike's Flex shorts don't include an integrated liner, but they do tend to hug the leg to remain in place, even as they stretch. These shorts also include a zippered pocket, a waistband that's both soft and wide, and mesh vents to keep cool.
Rhone 9" Lined Mako Short
You can order the Mako unlined or lined, and if you go for that extra layer it'll provide a hint of compression as well as an anti-odor treatment. Gusseted seams, four-way stretch fabric and a quick-drying DWR finish make these shorts versatile for other activities like CrossFit, too.
Prana Super Mojo Short II
Its 10-inch inseam makes the Super Mojo the longest short on this list. It doesn't include a liner, but it does have a wide, comfortable, drawcord-free waistband, and its fabric is soft enough you won't want to take it off.
Saxx Kinetic HD
Another great pair of liner briefs is Saxx's Kinetic HD, which features a semi-compression fit that provides tissue support but isn't too tight. These are ideal for wearing while working out and running too.