Are Yoga Pants Bad For Your Health?

by Susan

I’m addicted to yoga pants and it’s hurting my health and my bank account.

You see, I work at home. And so everyday I wear… yoga pants.

weight-scaleI sit on my butt, type at my keyboard and never feel the edge of denim — or even stiff cotton — dig into my waist. I go weeks without pulling on my favorite designer jeans. And as I work late and replace sleep with flavored coffee and distract myself with chocolate treats, my midsection slowly grows without me even noticing.

And then, a few weeks later, I pull on those designer jeans only to find they no longer fit.

What happened?

My deceitful yoga pants had let me sit comfortably, all the while my waist growing without me even knowing.

So now… since I refuse to give up the comfort of my yoga pants, I must face the only alternative… I must commit to using my yoga pants as they were intended. I must DO yoga more than once every couple of weeks!

I am making a pact with myself… On any given day, if I am wearing yoga pants, I must at least do 5 minutes of yoga.


(No… that’s NOT me! LOL)

“Only 5 minutes?”, you ask.

Well, what I’m hoping will happen is that after I start and do 5 minutes of yoga, I’ll end up doing much more… because really it’s getting started that’s the tough part. So I’m telling myself I only HAVE to do 5 minutes, but I know that once I’ve done 5 minutes, I’ll likely keep on going.

And maybe, I’ll get these yoga pants working for me and not against me.

So what about you? Do you wear yoga pants regularly? Do your yoga pants deceive you too? Or are you using them as intended… for YOGA?

Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

View all articles by

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deana Birks April 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Hey, I had the exact same problem. After all winter in comfy yoga pants, my “real clothes” are too tight in the waist. I think I’m going to file a frivolous lawsuit against those things for deceptively making me think I look great.


2 Susan April 20, 2010 at 7:12 pm

LOL… yes, I think a lawsuit is in order. So funny.


3 Londia April 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I wear yoga pants alot. They are so comfortable anytime.
Dress them up with a nice shirt or dress them down.
Or yes workout in them.
I have to say i don’t wear them for doing yoga i just like wearing them.
Also no laughing but my Husband likes looking at my behind in them. :)
Yes i need to do some yoga in them because i need to lose the weight not gain the weight :(


4 Susan April 20, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I know what you mean… yoga pants are so versatile! I often wonder what women wore before yoga pants were invented? Sweat pants are not a substitute.


5 Liz April 20, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Wait. You mean to tell me my elastic ankled sweats aren’t classy? I can’t pair my ‘Bill Cosby’ sweater with yoga pants…the flow is all wrong! ;) lol


6 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Liz, you actually made me laugh out loud. Too funny.


7 That Danielle April 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

I don’t do yoga but own many pairs of yoga pants. They are my pajamas that are acceptable to wear for preschool dropoff. But I try not to put them on in the morning when getting dressed. That’s what jeans are for!


8 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Yes, mine often double as pajamas that I wear outside too.


9 Jen April 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm

So true.

I own 3 pairs of yoga pants and haven’t done “yoga” in a few years. Still love em’ though!


10 Tarasview April 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm

yep, I’m a work at home yoga pants girl too! I love them. I think I would wear them everywhere if I could get away with it :)


11 Angela Collins April 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm

The 15 minute rule must apply! I love your 5-minute rule, but if you really want to see those pounds waste away, 15 minutes a day will do the trick! I too love Yoga pants, and yes, they are very deceiving…you really don’t feel yourself piling on the pounds! So, if you’re going to wear them, try the 15 minute per day rule. I hope you try it, because I’m looking forward to your results! ~Angela~


12 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Yes Angela, to actually see results I’d have to do at least 15 minutes! My 5 minute idea is based on the assumption that I’ll keep going after getting started with 5 minutes. I find getting started the toughest part of exercising.


13 Jeannette April 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I just went out and bought some skirts and sundresses yesterday to get me out of yoga pants. Guess what I am wearing right now? But to be fair… I do need to wash those clothes before I wear them… so they are in the hamper. The yoga pants got washed yesterday so… lol Plus, it’s hard to lift heavy boxes and unpack in a skirt.


14 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Yes, skirts are not good for heavy lifting… but the great part of that is you’ll be getting exercise which means your yoga pants are actually an appropriate wardrobe.


15 Jamie April 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I have the same problem, I am a stay at home mom so my thought was I am not going out into the world so why waste money putting on make up and wearing uncomfortable jeans anyways. So I have lived in yogs pants for the last 20 months. That and it has taken me a little bit of time to get back to my pre-baby weight and even then my stomach is not what it used to be. So yoga pants it is for me.

But I have recently made myself get dressed in jeans and put on make up at least twice a week so that I feel human again and not lazy. Now my hubby notices when I am dressed “just because” and I feel better about myself. I am wearing the yogs pants less and less now!


16 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm

That’s great Jamie.

Yes, I’m terrible about going days and days and days without putting on any makeup or wearing anything besides yoga pants. It can be very depressing. I need to make more effort to get dressed up.


17 Allison April 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

I’m a jeans girl, but I love yoga pants. I usually just wear them when I do yoga (which is rarely since I had a kiddo, 2 years ago). Sometimes I’ll wear them at night. A special treat for hubby. He likes my yoga pants. ;-)


18 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Good for you! Yes, jeans are my second choice and before I started wearing yoga pants I was all about a pair of old, comfy jeans.


19 Cherees April 20, 2010 at 9:21 pm

As I was getting ready for bed last night I just said to my self that I need a couple new pairs of yoga pants. I have never done yoga but I like the way they fit and are great for running to the store or to take my kiddo to school and stuff. I rather be comfy cleaning and running around than wearing jeans all day.


20 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Yes, you never can own too many pairs of yoga pants. I buy mine at Winners which is the Canadian version of TJ Maxx. That way I can choose from several different brands and styles and still not pay too much.


21 Leighann April 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Yup…me too. I am a stay at home mom to a 3 year old. Need I say more?? HAHA! That extra weight I put on from having a child, wanting to be comfy, they match with everything. They are the perfect pants!!


22 Susan April 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Yes, they are perfect, aren’t they?

My excuse of baby weight is long gone as I actually lost my baby weight while nursing, but since going on the pill and no longer nursing, I have gained weight. Not good. Again, I blame the yoga pants. LOL.


23 Naomi April 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I took up yoga to justify the pants… but, no, I don’t practice nearly as much as I should. Sigh.


24 S Club Mama April 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm

I did wear yoga pants consistently; what’s better after you had a baby. Around Christmas I started to wear them for their purpose and a few weeks ago started actually wearing real-people clothing (haha) daily instead of sweats/yoga pants (I’m a SAHM). I feel much better about myself.

If you’re looking for a good workout and have 30-60 minutes to spare (worth it minutes), check out Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga. No joke; it’s a great workout. It’ll be so hard at first but then gets easier (not easy by any means but you’ll be able to do more).


25 alexandra April 20, 2010 at 10:30 pm

funny! I love my yoga pants, but actually hate yoga. I started doing p90x two weeks ago, and it’s seriously kicking my butt, but at least I’m earning the right to keep wearing my yoga pants, right?


26 onemotherslove April 20, 2010 at 10:35 pm

I love Denise Austin’s Power Yoga!


27 TheAngelForever April 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm

No yoga pants here, never have owned a pair. I think my jeans are my comfy pants for most of the day. When I can not wear them I feel lost.


28 Debbie April 20, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I find the same problem with sweat pants.


29 Posh Expressions April 21, 2010 at 12:59 am

I wear yoga pants all the time, I think they are the most comfortable pants. I love them and if they take weight off, then I love them even more!


30 Irene April 21, 2010 at 4:04 am

Oh how you spoke for me! You are so right:getting started is the hardest part. Only a couple of years ago I used to do a 5 min video routine that made me feel like I was doing something for myself. Then I added a 10 min cardio twice per week. Then I made it to 45 min of cardio in the morning and 45 min of yoga in the evening. And then I slowly stopped, and my waistline expands, and it is so hard to get statrted, although I say so to myself every single week…starting Monday!
(Perhaps you could come up with a challenge for us, on that getting started- 5 minute base, to keep us motivated?)


31 Jennifer Miller April 21, 2010 at 7:24 am

I work from home, too, and wear yoga/sweat-type pants just about all the time… and they totally have let me get too comfortable :-p This is a great idea, though! Every day that I wear some sort of exercise pants, I should at least do some kind of exercise in them! :-D


32 Buffie April 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

I am absolutely loving my yoga pants right now. Of course I am 32 weeks pregnant and they are the most comfortable pants I own (even better then maternity pants).


33 Mel Fraase April 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

Reading through the comments is making me laugh! I, too, own several pairs of yoga pants and have yet to strike a single yoga pose. I find them acceptable show-up-at-the-kid’s-school pants that often double as pajamas. And yes, my jeans have gotten tighter without me being any the wiser!! I may have to actually do some yoga very very soon!!


34 Michelle April 21, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Well then, I suppose the only solution to the problem is to return to corsets. Not only is it impossible to ever get comfortable in them, but they actually make our waistlines smaller! Of course, breathing may not be an option but I do think you can still find yoga pants to wear over them!


35 Sarah April 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Oh wow that is a GREAT idea actually, just start with five minutes of yoga (or any other physical activity) and go from there. I notice when I wear jeans or “real” pants I don’t tend to eat as much either lol.


36 Rachel April 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I love the idea of setting a goal to exercise for only 5 minutes. If I get overwhelmed by an exercise goal, I just don’t do it at all.


37 Susan May 2, 2010 at 10:28 am

Yes, when I set a big goal to go to the gym 3 times a week or something, I end up not reaching my goal and get discouraged.


38 Erica April 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm

I became a stay-at-home mom about 1 year ago. I totally understand this post. I have gained about 60 lbs since staying at home and blogging. I totally need to incorporate at least 15 mins a day doing some type of exercise. I also know the feeling on not puting on make-up and just basically running myself in the ground.

Great post! Made me realize that I am not alone in the un-wanted weight gain. But now I must also join you and take back my life!


39 Susan May 2, 2010 at 10:31 am

Yes, staying at home to look after kids and blogging as much as we do can make it very easy to gain weight.

I’m glad to hear you’re joining me.


40 Lisa April 22, 2010 at 4:11 am

Yep, guess what I’m wearing right now? I’ve never done yoga before and I really should try though…maybe it’ll help me lose those stubborn last few baby weight pounds. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only comfy yet sorta lazy mom out there!


41 Susan May 2, 2010 at 10:26 am

You’re definitely not the only one!


42 Kristie April 22, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I love to wear them at home, but unfortunately I can’t wear them to work. I LOVE yoga pants, especially my Babystyle pants (it’s maternity wear, I know, but still super comfy!) I stopped doing yoga last fall, but need to get back into it. There is a yoga show on FITTV that I used to record.


43 Susan May 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

That’s a smart idea to record a yoga show. I should do to!


44 Bailey's Leaf April 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

I’m a jeans girl. I own one pair of “sweat pants” and wear those rarely.

I did just realize something. I weeded outside last night, quickly threw on jeans this AM to walk my daughter to school and never paid attention that from the knees down, they are FILTHY! And I ended up getting suckered into volunteering a bit this AM. ARGH!

Now, if I wore yoga pants, I would have realized it sooner!


45 Susan May 2, 2010 at 10:24 am

That is funny. Yes, jeans can kind of hide dirt. I’ve also gone out and then realized the jeans I’m wearing are rather dirty.


46 Janice April 24, 2010 at 9:40 am

Yoga pants are the devil.
The end.


47 Stephanie April 26, 2010 at 12:33 am

I wear jeans almost every day. They’re comfortable, flattering, stylish, and…I’m not embarrassed if the UPS guy or a neighbor drops by unexpectedly. ;)

That said, I do have a pair of yoga/running pants from Brooks that I absolutely love. And – I must admit – I’ve never done yoga in them…


48 Susan May 2, 2010 at 10:21 am

Yes, I should wear jeans more.


49 Sara April 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I remember when I went off to college one HUGE piece of advice I received was to resist temptation and not wear sweat pants every day… I was told to wear my favorite jeans at least once a week! seems like the tip should be shared for post-college life as well!


50 Susan May 2, 2010 at 10:22 am

Great advice!


51 Tired Mom Tésa April 27, 2010 at 8:37 am

I love yoga pants too! I find though that when I wear them I’m more apt to stop and do 20 push-ups or a couple of lunges rather than when I’m wearing jeans. I read that if you can start with just 5 minutes of exercise every day it just might be enough to keep you motivated. It said that most people will stop and think about their food choices more often than not even with just 5 minutes of exercise. So go for it and good luck!


52 Susan May 2, 2010 at 2:04 am

It’s true that I’m more likely to do some stretches etc if I’m already wearing yoga pants instead of jeans. I just have to make sure I do that plus a lot more.


53 Lori McCluskey April 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I totally think yoga pants are bad for you, that is unless you’re doing yoga!! Lol!! Although, if you’re able to pull them off in public, you must not be in that bad of shape to begin with. (No pun intended!) I think I have a better day when I skip the yoga pants and head for a more presentable outfit. (Not to say I don’t wear my yoga pants often.) As a matter of fact I am sitting in them now, it’s 5 p.m. and I haven’t showered… The life of a SAHM, it’s tough but someone’s got to do it!! Check out my blog we’re all Mamas all of the time! We would love to hear from you!!

Thanks ladies,
Lori McCluskey
Mama Blogger


54 Susan May 2, 2010 at 2:01 am

Good for you for skipping the yoga pants at least some days. You’re way ahead of me.
I’ll go check out your blog right now.


55 Katie April 27, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Ironically, the wide waist band of yoga pants holds my stretched-out-after-carrying-three-almost-ten-babies-stomach-fat in place very nicely!! I love them!


56 Susan May 2, 2010 at 2:03 am

Yes I know what you mean! I feel great in my yoga pants, it’s when I try on my jeans that the trouble begins.


57 Larry April 28, 2010 at 10:10 am

If you’re looking for a good, funny parenting blog, I hope you’ll try mine. Thanks.


58 Robin April 28, 2010 at 11:59 pm

You are a genius. That is what my problem is! But horror – what else can I wear when running the kids to school, going to the store, doing 1,000 other things? Are you suggesting I shower and put on real clothes? Hmmmm…

Not sure how I would feel being the only mom at my kids school without what my husband calls the “mom uniform” – in winter black yoga pants, black North Face Jacket – in summer, black yoga pants and some sort of t-shirt and flip flops. My mother who never has walked to her mailbox without full makeup would flip if she ever saw me drop my kids off at school!


59 Susan May 2, 2010 at 1:59 am

At least it’s a pretty cool looking “mom uniform” with a North Face jacket. Mine’s also a North Face jacket, but sadly it’s about 10 years old. I need a new one!


60 Heather Valliere April 29, 2010 at 9:42 pm

OMGosh… LOL! I think you were in my brain when you wrote this! I had all online classes last fall semester.. and yes, my yoga pants decieved me too! Then for winter semester I had half online/half on campus classes! Oh no,… I had to wear REAL pants! YIKES! I was absolutely in shock! I am doing yoga 2-3 times a week now. Still haven’t tamed that bootie size down enough, but it’s getting there. Now that weather is nicer, I am trying to find time to walk. But LOL… even the flavored coffee drinks replacing sleep, and chocolates! That is same as me!


61 Susan May 2, 2010 at 1:57 am

Way to go with the 2-3 times a week yoga classes! Now that is what I need to do to get my bootie down to size. LOL

(And yesterday it took everything in me to resist stopping for a French Vanilla coffee.)


62 Lori McCluskey May 3, 2010 at 7:02 am

Good Morning Susan!! Thanks so much for checking out my site! I LOVE 5 Minutes for Mom and truly appreciate your Mission Statement! I will definitely be checking back with you guys! Thanks again!

Lori McCluskey
Mama Blogger


63 Chuck Bluestein May 5, 2010 at 12:42 pm

A bad diet can cause someone to be overweight. But that does not work on me or my mother. So she could eat tons of fattening food and never be overweight, so she did. She died at 46 years old from a stroke. The doctor said that she had the arteries of an 80 year old woman. So for her 40 was the new 80.

So diet can affect how long you live, whether you are depressed or not and whether you get breast cancer or not and many other things. But you need a great title for someone to even want to read the article and your title is great– Are Yoga Pants Bad for Your Health.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: