SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For some, practicing yoga is a way to relieve stress while getting some exercise.
But if you’re suffering from joint pain, relaxing during yoga can be tough.
Shelly Brandenburger has been practicing yoga for about 25 years. But due to arthritis she says she has pain in her knees and hips, making yoga a challenge.
“Knees mostly, so knees and hips. So thin mats are very hard on that if there’s a hard floor underneath that,” Brandenburger said.
Karen Eidem has been teaching yoga for about five years, and says issues like Brandenburger’s aren’t out of the ordinary.
“I always heard people complaining about their knees, their tailbones their joints. I had quite a few students who were coming with arthritis, or were coming with recovering from knee surgeries,” Karen Eidem said.
Eidem wanted to solve the problem, so she created a new yoga mat called My Comfort Mat. The mat is only a little thicker than a traditional yoga mat, with an added thickness in one area of the mat, typically where a person’s knees would go.
“It’s different in a sense that when people suffer from pain they go to a thick mat. Which, on a thick surface you cannot balance, so your feet starts to stress out, you’re clenching harder, you’re putting all the stress on your legs, so then it defeats the purpose,” Eidem said.
Which is why Eidem’s mat only provides thickness in one area of the mat, allowing people to remain stable on their feet, while still offering relief.
“I can hold positions longer, like when we’re in tabletop position and down on the knees I can hold that longer without even thinking about my knees, I don’t even think about them anymore actually,” Brandenburger said.
Since discovering My Comfort Mat last fall, she says the challenges that use to accompany a yoga class don’t exist.
Experts say by utilizing a mat like this you may also find it easier to relax thanks to the relief it can provide.
“The ability of having something helps you feel more supported, and that’s why yoga uses props, uses bricks to support you, because then your body can feel loved and can relax more,” Eidem said.
To find out how you can get the My Comfort Mat, click here.