Do I Need A Thick Yoga Mat For Bad Knees?

One of your New Year’s resolutions might be to exercise more, and trying out yoga is a great way to get your body moving, without the dangers of contact sports. Since yoga has so many health benefits, including easing arthritis symptoms, managing stress, and improving your strength, balance, and flexibility, it’s easy to see why more people are drawn to practicing yoga.

However, injuries or other pain, such as bad knees, may keep one from their typical exercise routine. One of the reasons you may have knee pain is from a previous injury, stress on your knee, or just good old-fashioned aging. Continual wear on your joints as you get older causes osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which both impact your joints and cartilage. Other causes of pain in your knees can include sprained/ strained ligaments, tendonitis, or torn cartilage.

Best yoga mat for bad knees

One of the main factors to consider when buying a yoga mat for bad knees is the thickness of the mat. If you have knee pain, regardless of what the cause is, the best yoga mat for bad knees will be around ½-1 inch, depending on your level of discomfort.

You’ll want to make sure that the yoga mat you get will also have a non-slip grip. Non-slip mats are just that - they keep you from sliding around your mat during a yoga session. Having a non-slip mat when you’re practicing yoga with bad knees is essential. You don’t want to inadvertently injure yourself because your hands are traveling up the mat when you’re posing. 

Other things to consider

When a thick mat may not offer enough relief for your bad knees, there are other yoga accessories that you can consider adding to your yoga routine, such as knee pad cushions and yoga jellies. Each of these give your knees more support during posing and help protect your joints.

Knee Pad Cushions

Knee pad cushions are great if you find that a thick mat isn’t helpful to your overall yoga routine, but you still need the support for your knees. You can keep this cushion off to the side, like yoga blocks or other accessories, and slide it under your knees when you’re moving into a position that puts pressure on them. You can find knee pad cushions in different thicknesses and materials, including memory foam ones for those who have suffered a knee injury or are recovering from surgery.

Yoga Jellies

While yoga jellies were made for those who have weak wrists, they can come in handy for those that have bad knees. When using yoga jellies, the pressure and tension is alleviated with cushioned support. They are very compact and can fit right in your yoga bag.

If you want to practice yoga, but are concerned about certain health issues you already have, you should always consult with a doctor before you try any type of exercises to make sure it’s safe. You should also meet with a professional yoga instructor and let them know your limitations, so you can modify poses to reduce risk of injury. 

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