I've been doing yoga for a relatively modest amount of time; I took my very first class on May 1, 2011, and felt an instant and very powerful connection to the experience. As a former dancer and someone who has always been active, I loved the physicality of the practice. I enjoyed the non-physical aspects of it as well, but it was the movement that initially drew me in with such force.
However, when AG Jeans first asked me to try out their Farrah Skinny Contour jeans ($198)—which were constructed of an especially stretchy denim aimed to replicate the "comfort of a yoga pant"—in a real-life yoga class, I was more than a little hesitant.
But one of the main teachings and winnings of yoga is a sense of openness to life and new experiences, so I went to class in my jeans with what I deemed to be a hearty amount of openness, and with few expectations. I tried to erase from my mind the preconception that doing heavy stretching and strengthening in a warm yoga room would be difficult, uncomfortable, and (at worst) impossible. Maybe it would be easy, comfy, and barely different from doing the same postures in my stand-by Lululemons.
How It Went
The first thing I tried when I got to class was a central posture of nearly all basic vinyasa classes: downward-facing dog. I felt close to normal doing the posture, which I've done probably thousands of times, in skinny jeans—save for a bit of restriction at the waistband that you don't normally feel in your ultra-stretchy yoga pants.
I tried lifting one leg, and then the other, to see if the comfort remained. For the most part, it did, but my leg muscles did feel a bit more constricted than they normally do. Some of this is because the Farrah jeans are full-length, and I often practice yoga in cropped pants or shorts. But I did feel that the denim, as stretchy as it was, restricted my motion more than a classic pair of yoga pants.
The Most Difficult Postures
As I expected, the warrior postures—all of which involve wide opening at the hip joints as well as stretching in the legs—proved to be the most difficult in a pair of skinny jeans. The stretchy fabric had some give in the hips, but not enough to allow me to sit deeply into the pose, and I found the waistband disturbing again, restricting my deep belly inhalations more than is ideal.
Perhaps one of my favorite things about the experience of practicing yoga is that, in general, I don't feel restricted in my clothes like I might on a regular day-to-day basis. Even my most comfortable street clothes can't hold a candle to my yoga gear—and how could it be expected to when my yoga clothes are constructed of nothing but cotton, spandex, and Lycra?
So even having to think about my clothes at all swiftly became an annoyance to me, since it distracts from the point of the practice: movement, internal focus, and meditation. The AG Farrah Jeans were probably as close to appropriate for yoga as an article of clothing constructed of denim could possibly come—but they're still not ideal, and they can't beat a good ol' pair of stretch pants. As far as jeans go, the AG Farrahs are some of the most comfortable jeans I've worn for normal day-to-day purposes; while not necessarily as comfortable as Lululemons, they're more comfy than your average skinnies.
Overall, I didn't dislike my experience doing yoga in jeans, but it's not something I will probably do again. Call me old-fashioned—I like being able to move totally freely, breathe deeply, and not think about my clothing at all in a yoga class. As a fashion writer, it's a very important break for me—the only place where I purposefully don't think about what I'm wearing.
Would you try wearing your skinny jeans to yoga class? Tell us in the comments below!