When it comes to your yoga practice, here is my foremost piece of advice:

  1. Listen to Your Body
  2. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it! 

So what is a yogi to do when they have knee pain during their practice? Essentially there are two options:

  1. Don’t kneel!
  2. Figure out how to make it feel good.

On the don’t kneel option, there are tons of yoga poses that don’t require putting your knees on the ground, so stick with those! I have a handful of classes in my OmDemand library where we don’t bear weight on the knees, and am always happy to accommodate special requests in my online classes. Additionally, outdoor classes offer a softer surface under the knees so that is a great option as well! BOOM, problem solved!

However, if the classes you like to attend have a decent amount time spent on the knees and you don’t want to figure out how to modify on your own, then let’s figure out how to make it more comfortable!

Start by kneeling on your bed or your couch. If kneeling on a super padded surface makes it work, then keep reading to pick the best padding option for your knees.

Pad Just the Knees

My #1 favorite way to keep my knees feeling nice is to wear pants with built in knee pads. With padded pants you don’t have to move a pad around with you or think about where you put your knees down.

Ladies’ Knee Pad Leggings

    • Duluth used to make amazing padded knee yoga pants. They discontinued them, but I sincerely hope if enough people ask for them back they will bring them back. You could shoot them an email here at customerservice@duluthtrading.com and ask for them to bring back the NoGA Stretch Knee Pad Leggings.
    • MAAT makes padded knee yoga pants that have great reviews.
    • Just found a new pair of Knee Pad Pants sold by Barreletics! Check ’em out and let me know what you think!
    • Basketball pants for women. I trie them on at Dick’s and they don’t have the nice thick “yoga” waist style that I like, but if you are less fussy about that than me, the had good thick padding for the knees.

Men’s Knee Pad Leggings

Apparently, men’s knee pad pants are a commonplace thing in the basketball world! There are tons of options on amazon, but make sure you check the reviews. Under Armour is a reputable brand and they have this pair that you can find on their website.

Universal Knee Pad

  • Essentially the yoga version of a gardening knee pad, these are super thick and cozy so you get tons of padding without sacrificing grip or stability elsewhere on your mat. This is probably the most padding you’ll get, but then you have another thing to set up with your mat.

or for free

  • if you have an old gardening knee pad, use that.
  • If you have an old mat, cut it in quarters, stack ’em together and use that.
  • Always keep a thick blanket/towel on hand to pad the knees.

Get a Thicker Mat

6mm mat

Yoloha Yoga makes my favorite yoga mats! They are earth friendly and have great structure (don’t stretch in wide leg poses) and grip (hands and feet don’t slip). This is their thicket mat at 6mm thick.

8mm mat

About as thick as you can get for a yoga mat without sacrificing ability to balance and good structure and traction is 8mm. 8mm mats tend to be rather heavy and kind of a pain to lug around. Here is one from a reputable brand that I have tried and liked (Jade) and here is one that I found on amazon that is cheaper, but that I’ve never tried before (8mm).

Happy Kneeling!