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 – like a grippy yoga mat – 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, of course, 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.
- Comfortable no-pinch, no-bunch waistband
- Shallow pockets might not be great for secure storage
Ten Thousand emphasizes versatility above all else in the Interval Short, and these bottoms can do pretty much anything. The Interval Short is ideal for infrequent yogis who might also want to wear them for running or working out, but more than capable of warrior pose and other flows, too. Choose between lined or linerless options in 5-, 7- or 9-inch inseams for a great addition to your training wardrobe.
- Four-way stretch provides ample range of motion
- Price is steep for a linerless short
Tend to heat up quickly during practice? You'll love the breathable, quick-drying profile of this 6-inch short from Lululemon. Made of a nylon/Lycra elastane blend, Everlux is Lululemon's fastest-drying fabric. It's also super soft, stretchy and breathable, providing a cool, sleek feel on the inside while retaining a soft, brushed feel on the outside.
- Wholester internal pouch provides the perfect amount of support
- Need to be paired with shorts
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 Pure Boxer Briefs are soft, stretchy and have a comfy lay-flat waistband. Its Feel360 technology provides complete climate control for a fit that's moisture-wicking, anti-odor and all about comfort. 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.
- All-over perforated detailing for serious breathability
- Waist can be a little loose on some
The Traction Short's interlocking waffle construction helps it win both style and feel points, but it also provides a high degree of breathability. The relaxed fit adds to the build for free-flowing comfort, too.
- Fabric is bluesign approved for a nice, sustainable touch
- Pockets lack a zipper, limiting secure storage
Outdoor Voices makes its linerless Sunday Short with a plush blend of polyester and Spandex that provide just the right amount of comfort and stretch. But don't feel like these shorts are only wearable during your morning flows. Occasional yogis will still get plenty of use out of them as a go-to for chilling at home.
- Stretchy, sweat-wicking fabric gives plenty of free-flowing movement
- Does not include and integrated liner
These Yoga Shorts from Nike 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 hand pockets, a hidden zippered pocket and a sweat-wicking, Dri-Fit design composed of 75 percent recycled polyester fibers. Add the swoosh to your get-up and find a light, breathable fit for every pose.
- Convenient mesh media pocket securely holds your smartphone
- DWR finish limits breathability
You can order the Mako unlined or lined, with a 7- or 9-inch inseam, 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 round out these do-it-all bottoms.
- UPF 50+ sun protection for outdoor yoga sessions
- 10-inch inseam might be too long
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. Want to take your practice outside? The Super Mojo II features UPF 50+ sun protection to keep you safe – and not reaching for the aloe.
- BallPark Pouch comfortably supports the boys
- Second-skin feel can be uncomfortable for some
Looking for just a liner to add to your yoga routine? Saxx's Hyperdrive Long Boxer Brief features a semi-compression fit for a second-skin feel. The four-way stretch and non-chafing Flat Out Seams help ensure comfort and range of motion. Sitting just above the knee, these briefs are ideal for wearing while working out and running, too.