If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, you’ve probably discovered a few types of yoga that you really enjoy and a few that you’d rather not try again. And if you’re new to yoga, you may have no idea what distinguishes a Bikram yoga class from an Ashtanga class. In either case, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you find the type of yoga that best suits your needs. We’ve also included our recommendations for the best yoga pants to wear while practicing each style to ensure comfort, ease of movement, and an uninterrupted practice.
Hatha is the term for any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. Hatha classes tend to be focused on beginners. They’re all about balance, breath, and correct positioning. You may not work up a sweat in a Hatha class, but you’ll leave feeling more relaxed and with a grasp of the fundamentals that will help you in other yoga styles.
For a Hatha class, try simple black yoga pants that will stay in place and let you carry on with the rest of your day without a wardrobe change, like the Wren legging.
Iyengar yoga is all about precise positioning. If you’re someone who likes to focus on the details, this style is for you. Expect to hold each pose for a decent length of time and look forward to teachers who can share lots of information about how the pose is affecting your body.
For Iyengar classes, a short can be useful to let you see your muscles and alignment more clearly. We like the Jamie short for Iyengar classes.
Prenatal and Postnatal
These classes are reserved for women who are pregnant (prenatal) or who have recently given birth (postnatal). Pre- and postnatal yoga classes are specifically designed for the unique shape and physical needs of pregnant women and new moms. These classes focus a lot on breathing, stress release, and strengthening that pelvic floor.
For prenatal classes, pants with some wiggle room are best. We recommend the Chrystie drawstring.
If you love routine, Ashtanga yoga may be perfect for you. In an Ashtanga class, movements are linked to breath, and the movements follow an exact order. These classes tend to be rigorous – expect to get sweaty.
For Ashtanga classes, the Jojo short will help keep you cool.
Speaking of sweating, Bikram classes are held in rooms that are heated, and like Ashtanga classes, a series of poses are used in each class. You’re supposed to sweat a great deal in these classes, and the heat should help you stretch further than in other settings. Just be extra wary of over-doing it in Bikram classes, and bring a lot of water.
For a Bikram class, you’ll want to avoid wearing full-length pants or leggings because the room is so hot you will become drenched in sweat. Due to the fact it is so hot in Bikram classes, we recommend our Chelsey bra which is made from 87% organic cotton. While cotton doesn’t wick like technical fabrics, it does breathe, meaning that your skin will feel the air — and in a hot class, that’s quite refreshing.
If you’re looking for a yoga class with a spiritual aspect, you should definitely try Kundalini. This form of yoga includes intense movements and breath work, but it also includes chanting, singing, and meditation.
This style of yoga practice emphasizes white as a preferred color (in lieu of white, you can choose pale pastel tones). For this reason, we highly recommend our Taylor or Vira tank in white. Or, you may like our Taylor tank or Chrystie drawstring yoga pants in twilight.
Yin yoga is often simply referred to as restorative yoga. In a Yin class, you’ll hold each pose for minutes at a time, enjoying a meditative experience as your body lengthens, loosens, and finds its alignment.
For a Yin class, wear yoga pants that will help you feel confident and beautiful. We like the Paradise tight for Yin classes.