A woman doing Lotus Pose with praying hands, wearing a pair of well-fitting yoga leggings.

Have you ever experienced stopping in the middle of a pranayama because your yoga pants kept falling out of place? If yes, you are not alone. No matter how expensive or high quality you think your yoga pants are, they are bound to stretch out and become loose.

In this article, you will learn how to make your yoga pants tighter and take care of them properly.

Why Do Yoga Pants Lose Their Elasticity?

Yoga pants are made of stretchable fabrics. However, over time, they lose their elasticity and stretch out. These are some reasons why this happens. 

Improper Washing

Improper washing will damage your yoga pants. Make sure to check the label as manufacturers know best how to handle their product.

The Material

Not all yoga pants are created equal. Some yoga pants are made of fabrics that don’t stretch out a lot compared to others. For example, workout leggings made of spandex are more likely to stretch out faster than Lululemon leggings and other brands that are non-spandex. 

Your Body Changed

If you practice yoga regularly, chances are, you will notice your body is changing. This change in your body will affect how your yoga pants fit you. For example, if you lose weight or fat and your muscle mass has grown, the leggings may feel loose on some parts of your body while tight on others.

How Tight Should Yoga Pants Be?

A woman practicing yoga while wearing a comfortable pair of black yoga leggings that fit her well.

Yoga pants make practicing asanas more comfortable. They can also help improve your physical performance. Here’s a rule of thumb in finding the yoga pants that fit you well.

No Marks

Yoga pants shouldn’t leave marks on your skin. If your leggings are not seamless and they leave marks on your skin, that means they are too tight for you.

No Muffin Top

You shouldn’t have a muffin top while wearing yoga pants, especially if it’s high-waisted compression leggings. If you do, they are too small for you, and you need to size up.

Squat-proofed Leggings

An effective way to know if your workout pants are the right fit is to do a squat-proof test. To do this, squat down as low as you can. If your underwear shows at the back, that means the pants are small for your size. You need to size up then.

No Skin

If your athletic leggings are thick and yet they become sheer when you wear them, that means it’s too small for you. Instead, opt for a bigger size. 

No Need to Pull Up

If you constantly need to pull up your leggings every once in a while, that means your yoga pants are too big for you, and you need to size down.

How to Make Yoga Pants Tighter

A woman showing her discomfort during a yoga session, while wearing loose-fitting yoga pants.

When you notice your yoga pants are becoming loose, it’s best to fix them than continue wearing them and lose comfort when practicing yoga. Here are practical ways on how to make yoga pants tighter.

Have Them Repaired

Check if your favorite black leggings or any workout leggings come with a free repair. For example, Lululemon offers free repair and hemming. If they do, chances are other workout brands also do, and we don’t know. 

Heat Your Yoga Pants

Ever had clothes come out of the washing machine smaller? We’re going to do that but intentionally shrink our yoga pants and make them tighter.

Here’s how to do this with a washing machine:

  1. Set your washing machine on hot water wash and hot water rinse. If your pants need some washing, add detergent. If not, you don’t have to. The idea behind this is that yoga pants are stretchy and tight. They are usually made of polymer and other stretchy fabrics, naturally short and stretched out when turning into clothing such as yoga pants. When you wash clothing items made of this fabric, the tension is released, and they go back to their natural smaller shape. 
  2. Set the timer on for 15 minutes of washing. Then, check if the yoga pants have become smaller and tighter. If not, continue washing and rinsing it with hot water. The longer you put the leggings in heat, the more the fibers will relax and return to their natural state.

Here’s how to do this by hand:

  1. Soak the yoga pants in hot water. 
  2. After 15 minutes, check if the yoga leggings have shrunk and become tighter. If not, change the water with a new hot water batch and soak for another 15 minutes.
  3. Repeat until desired tightness is achieved.

Sew Your Yoga Pants

A woman repairing her loose-fitting yoga pants using a sewing machine.

Sewing your loose yoga pants is the most effective way to tighten them.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Turn your yoga pants inside out, and then wear them.
  2. Pull the extra fabric in the seams out, beginning from the waist down to the ankles. You can secure the excess fabric with pins. Then, squat or sit down to check if it fits you well. Now, adjust as needed.
  3. Take off the yoga pants and prepare your working area.
  4. Following the line of pins, sew a new seam beginning at the waistline down to the ankle. If you are sewing by hand, do a straight stitch. If you are using a sewing machine, make a zigzag stitch. Once done, remove the pins.
  5. Turn the yoga pants inside out and try them on.

Sew a Drawstring

This method on how to tighten yoga pants only works if only the waistband is loose. 

Here’s what you need:

  • A drawstring that fits around your waist (you can also use a shoestring or elastic bands)
  • a pair of scissors
  • A safety pin


  1. Separate the front part of your yoga pants’ waistband. Then, using a pair of scissors, cut a little slit. 
  2. Now, use the safety pin on one end of your drawstring. Then, slid the safety pin inside the slit you made in front of the waistband. Hold the other end of your drawstring. Then, push the safety pin through the entire waistband until you reach the slit or hole you made. 
  3. Try the leggings on and tie the drawstring according to how tight you want them to be.

Here’s an excellent instructional video on how to do this:

Source: Meagan Hesham

How to Take Care of Your Yoga Pants

Yoga pants don’t come in cheap. So, taking care of them is a must. Here’s how you can take care of them to keep them in great shape.

Read the Washing Instruction

First things first, read the washing instructions from the manufacturer so you know how to properly wash each pair of yoga leggings and athletic wear you have. Lululemon and other yoga clothing brands suggest washing using cold water. But not all clothes are created equal, so you should read the instructions. Also, note that you only need to wash with hot water to shrink yoga pants that have stretched out. Once you achieve that, go back to washing according to the label.

Wash Inside Out

Yoga pants are prone to bacteria and germs because we use them when we sweat a lot in yoga and other physical exercises. The sweat and oils from our body usually accumulate in the nooks and crannies of our leggings.

To make sure you get to these parts of the clothes, wash them inside out. Doing this also helps in preserving the color of your yoga pants.

Use the Right Detergent

The regular detergents you find in stores are for regular clothes made of cotton and other fabrics. If you use this kind of detergent, you may notice your yoga pants still smell bad even after you washed them.

That’s because regular detergent doesn’t go into the closed-knit fibers of your impeccably stretchy yoga pants. Instead, use a detergent for athletic wear

Of course, because you’re using a special detergent, don’t wash your yoga leggings with other clothing items. 

A woman feeling comfortable in her newly washed yoga pants, washed with a special detergent for activewear.

Lay Them Out to Dry

You want to keep the yoga pants in their original shape. So, avoid hanging them to dry. Instead, lay them out to dry.

Skip the Fab Con

Fabric conditioners clog the fibers of your clothes to make them soft. You don’t want this to happen to your yoga pants, so they don’t lose elasticity. Also, clogging the fibers of your leggings means clogging the sweat, oil, and dirt. Yuck!

It’s not fun to lose your focus on your breath because your yoga pants keep falling. So, follow these tips on making your yoga pants tighter and how to take care of them.