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Tested: YogaSmoga Nirvana Short (Finally Some Men’s Yoga Clothing!)

yogasmoga nirvana short

If you’re a man, you’re going to face two challenges when shopping for yoga apparel.

First, it’s all really expensive. With running and cycling, you can get basic options, fancy stuff, or anything in between, depending on your budget. With yoga, the choice is between the high-end and the top of the line stuff.

Second, it’s hard to find anything that’s even made for men! So I probably shouldn’t complain too much about the prices, and just be happy if there’s a company that makes men’s yoga clothes.

Fortunately, there is. It’s YogaSmoga.

This is a fairly new company, and they just launched their men’s line this past year, complete with shorts, pants, and shirts. Today I’ll be reviewing the YogaSmoga Nirvana Short.

This is a yoga-specific short, not to be confused with running shorts or basketball shorts (typical gym shorts). You might not know what a yoga short is, and that’s alright – I had no idea what yoga shorts were until I wore these!

Unlike baggy gym shorts, yoga shorts are a slim fit, since you don’t want a lot of extra material getting in the way. But they’re not tight like cycling shorts, since you don’t need any aerodynamic benefits. Unlike running shorts, yoga shorts extend down to your mid-thigh, since you want a little more coverage during certain poses.

For these features, you’ll pay $78. Is it worth it? Well, let’s take a closer look at the YogaSmoga shorts.

yogasmoga outfit model

Color

The shorts come in three shades of gray, and blue. (Essentially, it’s white, gray, black, and blue.)

Mine are the Spanish Gray color, which is a very light gray, almost silver. I think lighter colors are a good choice for yoga, though they tend to be more revealing than their darker counterparts.

Tamal Dodge is wearing light gray pants in this DVD, but they are a bit thicker and looser than these shorts.

Sizing

With these shorts, which don’t feature a drawstring waist, sizing is critical. You need to pick the size that is tight enough to stay on your waist, yet not so tight that it digs in.

The sizing chart I found is odd though. It says size Small is for waist sizes 29-31″, then Medium is for waist size 33″. What if your waist is in the 31-33″ range?

I’m not quite sure about the accuracy of that chart, but I got a size Medium, which ended up being a tad too big for my 32″ waist. (They were way too big on my 30″ waist over the summer, and I had to put on a layer of winter fat for them not to slide around!)

If you aren’t in the New York City area where they have stores, and you have to order online, put some thought into the size choice!

Material

The shorts are constructed of a very soft, very nice fabric called Aurum™ 24. It’s a lightweight, highly-breathable technical blend of Supplex and Lycra. It’s even supposed to resist pilling, which is a common problem with most soft, technical fabrics.

It is manufactured in the USA and exclusive to YogaSmoga!

The boxer brief lining is made from a moisture-wicking fabric dubbed Smoga Max.

Comfort and Fit

At first, the short feels rather loose, and since there’s no drawstring, there’s no way to adjust the fit.

I got worried that they were going to fall down! They’re just so loose on your waist. But that adds to the comfort! By ditching the drawstring and tight elastic waistband, this YogaSmoga Nirvana short gives you a feeling of nirvana.

It’s like you’re wearing nothing at all!! They are super light, and they rest against your body, rather than pressing into it. I’ve never felt anything like it. You can move however you want, twist around in any direction, and you don’t notice the shorts at all. It’s spectacular.

Yet despite the delicate feel, rest assured that the shorts stay in place and keep everything else in place. This is thanks to the fitted liner, which is tight and stretchy, so it provides support, while being so light that you forget it’s there.

Plus, my butt is big enough to hold them up if they were to start sliding down!

What other choice do you have?

Well, when it comes to men’s yoga shorts, you really don’t have many choices.

The prAna shorts are $60, which is nearly as expensive, and they don’t seem as nice as these. Lululemon, the yoga clothing powerhouse, is expanding into menswear, but it’s still known as a women’s brand.

At the other end of the spectrum, the big athletic companies are jumping into this market, and someday it will be flooded, but at the moment, men’s yoga clothing is rare. My $15 Puma pants are acceptable for doing yoga at home, but they’re not even worthy of comparison to the YogaSmoga shorts!

yogasmoga nirvana short model

Putting them to the test.

I used these shorts as most endurance athletes probably would – doing lots of yoga at home, with the occasional trip to the studio for some hot yoga.

I was excited to start using them, but I had two concerns:

  • The shorts would be too loose and slip down, showing too much skin.
  • The thin, light colored material would be too revealing.

Neither worried me aside from the fact that yoga studios have dress codes designed to prevent such wardrobe malfunctions!

Just to be safe, I wore underwear underneath them at first (for more coverage, and just in case the shorts slipped down to my ankles unexpectedly.)

And I learned two lessons:

  • Don’t wear underwear. It bunches up and takes away from the comfort. That’s the point of the inner liner.
  • The inner liner also keeps the shorts firmly in place.

So I was able to begin my testing…

Doing yoga in my living room.

During the easy poses, the shorts felt great and didn’t move. But that was with the easy stuff (no inversions, no bridge or wheel, etc..)

When doing Vinyasa flow yoga, things started to shift around. The leg sleeves (part of the inner liner) would ride up into my crotch, and it felt like the waist of the shorts was held up only because of my butt. During any inversions, especially shoulder stand, the shorts would slide a few inches so that the waistband was at my belly button.

When things got harder and faster (during downward dog crunches for example,) my junk was free to move back and forth with each leg movement.

So, the shorts didn’t “reveal” anything, but they did move around more than I would have liked.

Since I barely broke a sweat at home, the shorts weren’t visibly wet. The liner was rather wet, but it dried very quickly when I hung the shorts to dry.

Hitting the showers.

One day, instead of hanging the shorts to dry, I decided to wear them into the shower.

Why? To see how much more revealing they would be soaking wet!

I was assuming that during a hot yoga class, the shorts would get saturated with sweat and become see-through. Or, at least, very form-fitting! So I wanted to find out in advance.

As it turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth! When soaking wet, these shorts were no more revealing than they were dry. The inner liner indeed sticks to your skin, but the other material hangs loose and remains opaque. Nice!

Getting sweaty at the yoga studio.

What happened when I wore these in public?

Well, they moved around just as much. And they got wet. However, since I knew they wouldn’t slide off, I just focused on the yoga practice.

The shorts kept me cool, sort of dry, and definitely comfortable when sweating profusely, so that was nice.

If I had a smaller size, they’d be perfect!

Getting my workout on.

For simple bodyweight workouts on a mat, they’re great.

Just avoid barbells, kettlebells, dirt and mud, etc.

Strolling through town.

On a warm Sunday afternoon in September, I took a walk through Boston wearing these shorts. They’re so light and comfy that I’d gladly wear them all day long.

Not much can be carried in the pockets though, so I probably wouldn’t wear them all day long unless I was staying inside. You can put your credit card and ID in the zip pocket and that’s about it. An iPhone 4 with no case will fit, but then you have the issue of weighing down the pockets.

And, you know, that whole issue with them being revealing and almost sliding down off my waist when there’s nothing in the pockets…

There’s one problem with these shorts.

If I had a slightly smaller size, these would be absolutely perfect yoga shorts.

The one downside that remains is that these shorts is that these are not multi-purpose apparel. You wear them for yoga and that’s it.

Walking around town is great… if you only need to carry a credit card and ID.

Casual summer hiking would be excellent… but I wouldn’t want to get them dirty.

Running is probably fine… if you stay on dry roads.

Swimming in them… would probably ruin them because of the harsh chemicals in the pool.

Working out and weight lifting would be a bad idea too, because the rough iron bars and floors won’t be kind to the soft material.

That’s what happens when you get something so nice. It’s built specifically for the intended activity. What makes the shorts amazing for yoga also makes them a poor choice for other activities.

And the price tag means I won’t risk damaging them!

(Note: You can get $25 off your first order with their rewards program called Smogi Bucks.)

My final verdict is…

As far as men’s yoga clothes go, these shorts can’t be beat! They’re like the ultimate luxury yoga shorts, but priced only slightly higher than the average shorts.

Personally I prefer pants for yoga pratice, but if you’re looking for gear that’s actually made for yoga and actually made for men, YogaSmoga is the best I’ve found.

Official website: www.YogaSmoga.com

Product Review Details
Company: YogaSmoga
Product: YogaSmoga Nirvana Short
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2015-01-05
Obtained Product: Free sample from company.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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6 Comments
  1. I’ll stick with the black shorts, thank you very much.

  2. The prAna Mojo shorts aren’t bad. I really like them, but at $50, thought they were a bit overpriced for what they are. The range of motion is great but not as great as I would have hoped. Probably better for climbing than for yoga.

  3. @Steve

    What, you don’t want light gray yoga shorts? What about white bib shorts? You might not ride faster but you look faster!

    (I’m hoping that same logic applies to yoga!)

    @Rodger

    Yeah I thought those were overpriced too. And after wearing these YogaSmoga shorts, I’d probably be disappointed with anything else. I could use some more climbing shorts though.

  4. Did you try out these for rock climbing Levi?

    • @Jenny

      Not yet. I might use them for some indoor bouldering since their range of motion allowed is impeccable, and they shouldn’t get too roughed up inside. They will a little though which is what worries me. They’ll probably work great but I can’t suggest paying $78 for soft, luxurious climbing shorts!

  5. @Jenny

    I did it. I wore these for some easy rock climbing. And they were incredible!

    Now when I wear my climbing pants, I feel so restricted!

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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Coach Levi is my favorite child and favorite cycling coach. I'd choose him over Christoper McCarmikael even. Did I mention that Levi can coach you to a healthier lifestyle where you look and feel your best?
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