As low impact and relaxing as yoga can be, it can be tough on certain body parts. Some positions like Downward Dog and Cobra can strain tender wrists, while arching from Cat to Cow pose may trigger or irritate back pain. Then, of course, there are the knees, which can get tired and sore after all that crouching, kneeling, bending, twisting and flexing. Sure, you can stop to grab a towel or cushion, but what's the fun in having ebb your flow once you get in the zone?
This is exactly what the new Maät 1.0 Leggings ($148) set out to prevent. On the surface, they look like an ultra-chic moto legging you might wear to a boozy brunch or out to karaoke with friends. But look closely and you'll realize the ribbed "moto" pattern is actually a cushy, built-in knee pad, 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 good to go.
After years of R&D and a successful Kickstarter campaign, Maät's leggings are our new must-have yoga accessory we won't hit the studio without. We can confirm: The 1.0 Leggings are fitted and flexible, sleek in every way so that you can move comfortably during your yoga practice. The pants themselves are made from a sculpting supplex/spandex blend that provides support without hindering flexibility (thanks, 4-way stretch). The high waistband ensures they actually stay in place, even in riskier asanas, like Child's Pose and Happy Baby, while the elegant, flat-lock seams add an edge to an otherwise minimalist look.
But it's those nifty knee pads that have us swooning, designed to protect the knees without taking up too much space or feeling bulky. They're supple and soft against the skin, but plush enough to stop soreness from kneeling or digging in its tracks. And the pads double as a visual cue wearers can rely on to adjust their form during practice, too. Well+Good's lifestyle editor, Erica Sloan, found the ribbed moto pattern helpful in letting her know when she needed to shift her stance or realign a pose.
"I found the padding to be a welcome cushion, even in positions where I wouldn’t really expect to need it, like Child's Pose," she says. "But what was most interesting to me is how the design of the pad itself could clue me into my knee being out of alignment. For example, while standing in Warrior II in a recent class, I looked down and found the padding on my front knee pointing diagonally in front of that foot, which made me realize that I needed to activate the outer muscles of that thigh in order to align my knee over the center of my foot."
At $148 a pop, they're on par with performance leggings from brands like Lululemon or Sweaty Betty, only the pads add more bang for your buck. And, considering joint-protecting accessories, like blankets and bolsters, often cost upwards of $50-$75, you're actually saving money by slipping into a pair from Maät. So do your wallet, your knees, and your precious yoga practice a favor, and treat yourself to a pair of the 1.0 Leggings STAT.
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