Fitness Magazine

Dear Chip

By Anytimeyoga @anytimeyoga

Do you even yoga?

No, really. You recently rationalized the sheerness of some of your recent yoga pants by saying, “It’s really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time and how they much they use it.”

Can I maybe show you a few things?

Let’s start with siddhasana, a fairly common seated pose:


Witold Fitz-Simon [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (, via Wikimedia Commons

You will perhaps notice that the top foot is tucked in against the opposite inner thigh. That is, there is some pressure on the thigh because it is in the nature of the pose.

But perhaps that isn’t fair. Maybe it’s just an isolated incident, after all. Gomukhasana should fare better:


By Trev M (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, wait. No. The thighs are still up against one another because that is the desired alignment for the pose.

Maybe if all us thick-thighed yogis got up off our arses?

Let’s look at chair:

Unknown asana 5

By lululemon athletica (Flickr: Cindy on the Roof) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Huh. With or without the twist, it looks like another thigh-pressure pose.

In fact, I’ll see your chair variations and raise you a couple of standing balances:

Garuḍāsana - Eagle Pose 2 in side view

By lululemon athletica (Flickr: Yoga Journal Conference) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


By Judith from london, UK (Yoga Reflections) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Not only is this thigh-on-thigh and foot-on-thigh, but the pressure of those body parts moving toward one another — drawing in to the center line — is an inherent part of finding and sustaining the balance of each posture. That is, if there is not thigh pressure in either of these poses, you not be finding all of your alignment cues.

Speaking of pressure:


By Jemasty (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Again, squeezing both thighs against the appropriate upper arm is integral to entering and maintaining the pose. There is supposed to be thigh pressure here. It’s in the directions and everything.

Now, I realize I might be cheating a bit for this last one since it doesn’t exactly involve thighs pressing against one another:

Yoga Split 3

By lululemon athletica (Flickr: Yoga Journal Conference) [CC-BY-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

But, um. There’s always way more friction between my thighs and my sticky mat — because, you know, it is a sticky mat — during hanumanasana than is present between my two thighs in any other given pose. If your pants cannot handle all the other poses that involve the meeting of the thighs, I do not know how they can be suitable for anyone who practices splits even semi-regularly.

Chip, please. I need you to understand this. I do not expect Lululemon to start manufacturing yoga pants in my size, nor do I particularly care. My Walmart-purchased athletic wear has endured for years — all without announcing my underpants to the person down-dogging behind me — so I figure I’m doing pretty well on that front.

But to suggest that your pants cannot handle pressure through the thighs is to suggest that your pants cannot handle a number of reasonably common asanas. Instead of blaming bodies for being wrong, wouldn’t it make more sense to manufacture yoga pants that could, you know, do yoga?

PS — Extra special thanks to Lululemon for their photo contributions via Wikimedia Commons!


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