Gaiam Disguises Yoga Activewear as Street-Friendly Fashion

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings

Mmm, Gaiam. Just the name alone kind of brings you a little bit of peace, doesn’t it? Gaiam has a long history of involvement in sustainable lifestyles – in fact, they kinda-sorta literally created the idea of a Lifestyle of Health & Sustainability aka LOHAS. As far as ethical companies go — they’re in the top 10 in terms of philosophy, execution, and reach.

I mean, the word “Gaiam” is a combination of “gaia” and “I am.

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Oh, and their clothing is amazing. Gaiam activewear is wicked functional. Plus, it’s not just fashionable and stylish, but fashion forward, which is a risky endeavor when you’re talking about, um, workout clothes.

But, as you can see, Gaiam does it. They do it so well that — while I’d love to pretend I’m some kind of gym rat that hangs out in the studio room all day wearing kickass activewear, I’m not — my Gaiam clothes see the street far, far more often than they see any kind of gym.

But I’m not a complete slouch! A bonus of working from home is that you can incorporate 15 minute interval yoga sessions into your day (this is totally doable in an office, too, really) so the fact that my street clothes can instantly double as activewear is pretty rad.

PS – If you are looking at those Gaiam Mary Jane yoga socks on the left and are struggling to figure out of you don’t like them or if you hate them — just… give them a shot. Seriously! Doing yoga on a smooth, hard floor with or without a mat can be really, really irritating (and dangerous!). Those socks, with the little grippies on the bottom and the toe holes, are incredible.

Also, I’m pretty sure that these clothes, if not for working out, were designed specifically for weekends.

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings

Last week, I was able to escape my home office and get out into the open air at a beach near my neighborhood. All of that wide open space combined with the low traffic of the mid-morning dog-walking crowd was exactly what I needed for a recharge at the end of a really hefty week.

I have a pair of Gaiam ¾ Ruched Harem Yoga Leggings ($78, seen in grey at the top of this post) that Gaiam sent me to review, and I… developed a very intense relationship with them.

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings

You see, last year was my “Year of Fitness.” I was generously gifted six months of a fitness program from my boyfriend’s mom, and it really, really changed my views on my body and physical activity. After years of being a nerdy computer person, this was a really necessary change. I started and June and my six months was supposed to end right on New Year’s Eve.

Well, two days after Christmas, I was crippled with an extreme abdominal pain and after hours of waiting to see if it passed, I had to go to the ER. Turns out, I had an appendix that wanted to come out — badly. Real bad. Like, right the @%$# now bad. After three days in a hospital with the coolest group of chicks on Earth (shout out to the beautiful and fashionable Dr. Leah Oman, her daughters, & her amazing nurses at Whidbey General Hospital!! Thank you for fixing me!) — I was officially ordered not to move or lift anything over 10lbs. for a full month.

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So cut to me sitting on a couch. Fast forward to more of me sitting on a couch. Cut to a week later – I am walking around! Then more couch. Then some more walking, more couch, more walking, more couch… You see where this is going. But the only thing I wanted to wear in my time of extreme sedation and need for comfort: these freaking harem yoga leggings.

These days, I’m pleased to say I am fully recovered — and I felt I owed it to these trusty companions to take them out for an actual workout.

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings

Just getting out and stretching felt incredible, and there wasn’t anything that these seemingly-constricting leggings couldn’t do.

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings

They’re made of extremely soft jersey, and that’s just one of several features that I absolutely love:

  • First and foremost: the high drawstring waist. This prevents any type of b-crack mishaps that may happen in a prolonged downward-facing dog. These leggings are almost drop-waist, as they have a thick, thick waistband with a seam at both the waist and hip.

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings

  • I love the extremely deep pockets. It’s not like I’m stashing snacks in there — but I could! Just having my hands in my pockets feels extra luxurious when the pockets are halfway to your knees.
  • The ruching at the ¾ leg is extremely flattering, and helps the functionality of the leggings…
  • Because these leggings have adjustable length. They can be pulled comfortably up to your mid-calf, like in the photos above, or pulled all the way down to your ankles, turning them into basic jogger pants.

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings

  • For something called “harem yoga leggings,” the drop crotch is really comfortable and isn’t the least bit annoying or immobilizing, as I thought they might be before I got them. I can sit cross-legged, with one leg over the other, or do a sweet warrior pose with no repercussions!

As far as their capabilities go, it seems like the sky is the limit. I haven’t found many things to complain about (okay, any things to complain about) though I will say that these would probably not be a better choice them some of Gaiam’s activewear leggings when it comes to bootcamp classes, advanced yoga/pilates, or anything high-cardio. The range of motion is good, but it’s not as good as a pair of skin-mimicking leggings.

Pick up a pair of Gaiam ¾ Ruched Harem Yoga Leggings for $78, or check out their bevy of attractive activewear at Gaiam.com!

Gaiam Harem Yoga Leggings


The leggings were sent to me by Gaiam, and I’m never giving them back! All opinions are genuinely my own, if you have questions about our sponsorship policy, check our bitchin’ Disclosure.

All photos of me by Seattle photographer Cleary O’Farrell. All others c/o Gaiam.com.

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.