These yoga leggings will protect your knees throughout your practice

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As relaxing and low-impact as yoga can be, it is they can be hard on certain parts of the body. Some positions, such as downward facing dog and cobra, can strain sensitive wrists, while arching from cat to cow can trigger or irritate back pain. Then, of course, there are the knees, which can get tired and sore from all the bending, kneeling, bending, twisting, and flexing. Sure, you can stop to grab a towel or cushion, but what’s the fun of having reflux once you’re in the zone?

This is exactly what the new Maät 1.0 Tights ($148) set out to prevent. On the surface, they look like ultra-chic biker leggings you could wear to boozy brunch or karaoke with friends. But look closely and you’ll realize that the ribbed “moto” pattern is actually a comfortable built-in knee brace, strategically placed to protect your delicate kneecaps from unforgiving surfaces. That way, you don’t have to interrupt your flow to find a towel or pillow—you and your knees are ready to go.

After years of research and development and a successful Kickstarter campaign, Maät leggings are our new must-have yoga accessory that we won’t go to the studio without. We can confirm: The 1.0 Leggings are tight and flexible, elegant in every way so that you can move comfortably during your yoga practice. The pants themselves are made from a sculpted supplex/spandex blend that provides support without hindering flexibility (thanks, 4-way stretch). The high waistband ensures they stay in place, even in edgier asanas such as Child’s Pose and Happy Baby, while sleek flatlock seams add flair to a minimalist look.

But it’s those nifty knee pads that have us swooning, designed to protect your knees without taking up too much space or feeling bulky. They are flexible and soft against the skin, yet soft enough to prevent pain from kneeling or sinking. And the pads function as a visual cue that users can also rely on to adjust their shape during practice. Well + Good lifestyle editor Erica Sloan found the ribbed moto pattern helpful in letting her know when she needed to change her stance or realign a pose.

“I’ve found the padding to be a welcome cushion, even in positions where you wouldn’t really expect to need it, like Child’s Pose,” he says. “But what was most interesting to me is how the design of the pad itself could tell me that my knee is out of alignment. For example, while standing on Warrior II in a recent class, I looked down and found the pad on my forehead .knee pointing diagonally in front of that foot, which made me realize that I needed to engage the outer muscles of that thigh to align my knee over the center of my foot.”

At $148 each, they’re on par with performance tights from brands like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty, only the pads add more bang for your buck. And considering that joint-protecting accessories like blankets and cushions often cost between $50 and $75, you’re actually saving money slipping into a pair of Maät. So do your wallet, your knees, and your precious yoga practice a favor and treat yourself to a pair of STAT Leggings 1.0.

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These products are independently selected by our editors. Making a purchase through our links may generate a commission for Well+Good.

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