Gender-neutral yoga clothes are out there, and they’re waiting for you to put them on! That’s the short answer — but you’re not here for the short answer, are you? That’s ok; we’re happy to oblige.
To get a deeper understanding of gender-neutral activewear, let’s take a look at why yoga clothes are thought of as gendered in the first place.
Gender and Yoga: What You Need To Know
Before we explore your options for gender-neutral yoga clothes, here’s a quick explainer of gender and yoga clothes in a nutshell.
Yoga: A Brief History
Yoga began in the year 2,700 BCE in Northern India. In the thousands of years since then, yoga has adapted and transformed.
This practice went from the pre-classical Vedic period to the classical period to the post-classical period (around 800 to 1700 CE) to the Modern period, which is where we are today. The original focus of yoga was on breathwork and balanced energies, while the post-classical period and modern period shifted to a focus on exercise (along with inner peace).
The Gender Disparity in Yoga
Today, over 300 million people worldwide work on their poses, but the statistics on yoga get a little more complex at a second glance. While 300 million people is a very impressive figure, yoga tends to be a very gendered practice: 72% of yoga practitioners are women, with men accounting for only 28% of yoga fans.
However, times are changing! Recently, the number of men who practice yoga has increased by 150%.
There is an association between yoga and liberation. At its best, doing yoga is a freeing experience. As such, yoga clothes are made to allow for a full range of movement and not put the pressure of shapewear on your body.
The very notion that yoga itself is a gendered sport does a disservice to yoga clothing and what it could be.
Here’s how the stereotypes about yoga clothes impact folks across the gender spectrum:
The Struggle of Women’s Yoga Clothing
Certain yoga clothes can be challenging for feminine-presenting individuals with plus-size body types. Some yoga clothes can make a woman uncomfortable, either physically or emotionally.
Why is this? The main reason is an emphasis on XXS-wearing bodies in the yoga wear industry. Yoga clothes have traditionally been made for people with a certain body shape, which can cause feelings of shame and inadequacy for those who don’t “fit in.”
People of all shapes and sizes can feel the pressure when shopping at non-inclusive retailers.
The Struggle of Men’s Yoga Clothing
The problem extends when we look at where masculine-presenting people sit on this issue.
First off, there’s the lack of yoga clothes like t-shirts and yoga shorts actually marketed to men — which, of course, isn’t fair at all. Plus, men are charged six dollars more for their yoga leggings than women are. But “women’s leggings” account for 99% of the leggings sold. Men don’t have many options, especially for trends like high-rise leggings or capri styles.
Overall, there’s a lack of representation of masculine folks in the yoga community — and that should change.
The Struggle of Yoga Clothes for Non-Binary Folks
So, where does that leave everyone else? What about gender-nonconforming individuals?
People outside of society’s perceived gender norms often express frustration with finding pilates or yoga clothes that fit them. Maybe the yoga clothes designed for women are too tight and revealing, while the yoga clothes in the men’s athleisure section are tight and loose in all the wrong places.
So, how do we find what works for non-binary folks?
What’s on the Current Yoga Clothes Market?
Well, it looks like all those complaints paid off because change is happening. Gender-neutral yoga clothes are taking the world by storm, and brands like TomboyX are at the forefront, with new arrivals arriving on the regular.
So, let’s look at what makes an excellent piece of gender-neutral yoga wear.
Function and Fit
A garment proper for your next hot yoga class is, at the very least, required to do two things: it needs to function and fit.
What does it mean for a garment to function? Well, it has to serve its intended purpose well.
What does this look like for yoga clothes?
- First off, the garment must allow for a full range of movement.
- Second, the garment should incorporate moisture-wicking fabrics.
- Third, the material should feel buttery-soft and comfortable on the wearer’s skin.
Yoga is a sport that engages your entire body. This is the reason that so many health-conscious people have become drawn to the practice of yoga.
Through stretches and exercises, you effectively engage as many muscles as possible in as many ways as possible. Thus, the clothes you wear while doing yoga should boost your range of motion rather than impeding it.
In addition, your gender-neutral yoga clothes should be high-accessibility, neither restrictive nor overly tight. Yoga helps to engage the senses, slow down and even out breathing, and calm the mind. Many practitioners of yoga aim to improve their breathing and circulation by participating.
Therefore, it may be helpful to have garments with Spandex or polyester for additional flexibility. At the very least, your yoga clothes should be snug without being overly tight. You don’t want to feel constricted by a pair of high-waisted leggings that hugs you wrong or a crop tank that makes you feel like you can’t breathe.
Moisture-wicking clothes are a big deal for athletes of all kinds — including practitioners of yoga.
Don’t you just hate it when you’re up and about, feeling good, but your sweat sticks to your skin (and your yoga mat)? Yeah, it doesn’t feel good.
Moisture-wicking fabrics pull the sweat away from your skin, which helps you to stay cool — even while working out.
For someone who does intense yoga on a regular basis, yoga tank tops, pants, and other staples made from moisture-wicking material can make a big difference in terms of comfort and confidence.
Above all, the best yoga leggings and athletic apparel should be comfy. You want your yoga clothes to be soft, breathable, and light. Everything from the fabric used to the design of the clothes should feel just right on your skin.
How Should Gender-Neutral Yoga Clothes Fit?
Fit describes how a piece of clothing sits on your body and how it makes you feel. If you can check those boxes on a garment for yoga, you have a piece of clothing that fits just right.
For yoga clothes, you should have a full range of movement, your sweat should not stick to your skin, and the fabric should be comfortable. If no tight spots or points of pressure bother you during extended wear, you’re in the clear.
The next factor to explore is the issue of form-fitting clothing. Contrary to popular belief, you can wear loose-fitting yoga clothes!
The reason behind wearing tight clothing during yoga is so your instructor can make sure your posture and form are correct. The use of tight yoga pants and tank tops by yogis is similar to the use of skin-tight outfits for dancers and gymnasts.
Form-fitting workout clothes aren’t a requirement at all. Your sweatpants or leggings shouldn’t be so loose that your form starts suffering. As with any sport, yoga can cause injury if not practiced correctly. However, that doesn't mean you need to have skin-tight garments.
Ideally, gender-neutral yoga clothes should be the right mix of form-fitting and comfortable. While the norm might be to wear extra-tight clothes while doing yoga, it’s time to break the norm.
In fact, there are plenty of hoodies, joggers, and other types of clothes that rarely conform to a body — and these clothes are made specifically for yoga.
You want to feel good in the clothes you wear.
There’s nothing worse than going to work out and not feeling powerful in your own body. It defeats the entire purpose of working out.
Therefore, it’s important to own your look when wearing your yoga clothes. Go for the skin-tight, modern dancer-style yoga outfit if you enjoy it. If you feel good, you feel good! If you’re into sports bras and bike shorts, that’s you, and that’s awesome. If you want to wear a light workout hoodie and some basketball shorts, you’ll look fantastic.
If you don’t feel good in your athletic wear, all the other points are moot. It’s about what makes you feel the most joy and the most power.
Practice With Purpose: Feel Good
Yoga is fun, empowering, and beneficial for your body and mind. There are multiple forms to try, from gentle workouts to more intense movements.
However, your gender-neutral yoga clothes are for more than yoga. Yoga clothes can also double as stylish loungewear for running your errands, walking your dog, hanging out in the park, going for a jog or light nature walk, cleaning your house, or watching TV.
There are so many options out there for you to explore. Yoga clothes aren’t only one style — they’re whatever you can move in that makes you feel empowered and confident.
With TomboyX, you can find yoga clothes that fit your unique body and help you feel comfortable while working out.
Whether you want them for comfort while you do your shopping or to practice yoga — incense and all — there are non-gendered and gender-neutral styles that will make you feel like a million bucks.
You deserve it, so go get yourself a look that feels amazing, both inside and out! You can start by exploring the best-sellers in our gender-neutral activewear collection.