I came to Billie Whitehouse's sun-soaked lower Manhattan apartment for a brand new yoga experience. I was going to swap out my favorite pair of Outdoor Voices leggings for Billie's unique invention: A pair of "smart" leggings that were designed to communicate with me throughout my entire practice, sending me signals when my form needed a nudge and when I should focus on a specific body part.
Billie greeted me with a huge smile and a hug. She had rolled out two yoga mats—one for me, and one for her—and handed me a pair of the Nadi X pants, the latest invention to come out of her company, Wearable X.
"The goal with the pants is to connect you with your bod by drawing attention to the parts of the body with subtle pulses; the pants indicate the areas to focus on," she explained as I examine the pants. "As someone who doesn't consider myself 'very good' at yoga, the guidance of knowing where to focus was the reason for creating this new line. Ready?"
Intrigued, I slipped them on and started flowing.
How they work and what they feel like.
The Nadi X pants are supposed to "get to know you." They connect to an app that has three different levels—one for beginners, one for intermediate practitioners, and one for people who have a regular practice—and a clip-on pulse detector that listens to your body and uses pulsing vibrations around the ankles, hips, and knees to indicate which areas you should focus on while you're in specific poses.
One of my biggest hesitations surrounding these pants was comfort. I like to be able to move as freely as possible while doing yoga, so the idea of pulse detectors and any sort of wiring in my pants didn't exactly sound like something I'd love. While the smart technology added a little bit of extra bulk, I was surprised to find that they didn't interfere with my practice at all.
Even with the pulse detector clipped on, I was able to drift into one of the most restorative, comfortable savasanas of my life.
Connecting to my body through gentle vibrations.
When I set out to give these pants a try, I thought the entire point was that they would correct my form. So when they started vibrating, I would urgently ask, "Does that mean I'm doing something wrong?" (as a certified yoga teacher, I am very aware that my hips don't square off as well as they should, and I have a tendency to shoot my shoulders straight up to my ears).
Each time, Billie would assure me that no, it wasn't about "wrong" or "right"—it was about focusing and being more mindful of specific body parts. When I thought about it like that, I quickly fell in love with what these pants could do for my yoga practice. In warrior 1, for example, when my hip started vibrating, I would make sure my hips were as square and even as possible and that my leg was grounded firmly into the mat.
The gentle vibrations gave me a sense of strength and connection with my body that I don't usually have, even on my best yoga days. Typically, my attention goes toward which muscle is getting the deepest stretch, so I rarely remember to make the little tweaks. The pants changed that.
Also, those vibrations were ridiculously relaxing. It was like getting a mini-massage on my ankles, hips, and knees—the parts of my body that tend to get the creakiest!
I especially enjoyed those vibrations in savasana—so much so that I almost drifted off to sleep. Which, as a not-so-great sleeper, has absolutely never happened to me.
At $299 per pair, the Nadi X are not the most affordable leggings out there. And I had to wonder, are these pants doing the hard work of self-correcting for me? Still, if they're in your budget, these pants, and their gentle vibrations, will no doubt let you experience yoga in a whole new way.
The Nadi X pants are on sale now but won't ship until August. Snag a pair here.