Although it’s an ancient practice, yoga has become the fashionable and dominant exercise in recent years. Everyone from A-list celebs to your coworkers are getting their yoga mats these days and for good reason. Practicing yoga has several health benefits beyond flexibility and balance.
Studies show yoga does everything from fighting anxiety, depression, and stress, to reducing inflammation in the body. Many Yoga Guru’s concur and say the same thing.
But, there is one part that people seem to forget: yoga is no easy task and entails a lot of body part movement. The better the control, the better the result. So, choosing the surface is very important. The best option for a surface is a Yoga Mat.
Now, there are a lot of types of yoga mats. So, to help yoga enthusiasts make an informed decision of buying the yoga mat, we are sharing a few details that you need to consider before buying or choosing a yoga mat. Post-that, we will discuss the types of material and advantages of different materials.
When choosing your yoga mat, there are several factors one has to take into consideration apart from the price. These include but are not limited to factors such as the type or form of yoga practice you will be performing; there are mats that are ideal for unheated yoga and those that are ideal for hot yoga.
The thickness and size of the mat is also an important factor when choosing a mat for practice. It is also important to assess the level of grippiness of the mat. Lastly, it is also imperative that one considers the weight of the mat, this is especially important if you intend to be doing some walking with the mat from one place to another.
These mats are ideal for both seasoned and new yoga practitioners who are keen on enhancing their yoga practice experience.
A good mat is a very important accessory for anyone who is keen on practicing yoga, this is because there is nothing more frustrating than using a mat that’s without grip, constantly moving from one spot to the other or one that’s too small for your use. A good mat keeps your knees, arms and spine healthy and makes your yoga practice interesting and enjoyable.
This mat is eco-safe and is free from phthalates, silicone and is also biodegradable. This has been confirmed that it is a new effective and efficient non toxic yoga mat. Further to the above, the mat has also been tested against harmful substances and approved as safe. This ensures that the mat is not only comfortable to use but safe as well.
The thickness of the mat does provide the perfect surface for protecting the joints and knees while still allowing the user to firmly grip the floor for the requisite balance poses. The mat does also have a focal point icon which helps the user focus on his poses.
The unit is durable, easy to maintain and care for and very long lasting
The mat is available in fun colors that help the user define his inner self
The mat is very durable, and tear proof, does not leave any residue on the user
The thickness is perfect, not too thin and not too thick
This is without doubt one of the thinnest mats, making this roughly twice as thin as the average mats, this helps the user cushion him/herself when practicing. The mat has a closed cell tpe construction on its surface; this surface does prevent microbes, moisture or bacteria from absorbing into the mat.
The roll ensures that even when you are stretched out on your stomach, your whole body remains on the mat. These genuine mats are eco-friendly and are made of only natural, recyclable organic jute TPE material. This makes them free of all toxins and poisonous elements.
Best suited for fitness-minded men and women, they are your ideal companion for doing Yoga, meditation, Zen exercises, and Pilates every day.
This allows you to start on different spots on the mat when doing various Asanas
The mat is very firm with enough tactile feeling as well
The mat has just enough padding for the knees and is easy to roll and unroll as well
The mat has a near perfect grip and can be packed to be taken from one place to another
Beyond a color and pattern that suits your style, your yoga mat needs to keep you stable in your poses; it needs to be storable and portable, yet comfy and cushy. You may also want your mat to be environmentally friendly. These aspects of your mat are all affected by how the mat is made: how thick it is, what it's made of, and its surface texture.
Use this guide to help you find a yoga mat you can be blissfully happy with — one that suits your practice, priorities, lifestyle, values, and budget. No matter what the stores tell you, that’s the best yoga mat for you!
Why it’s important: The thickness of your yoga mat has a lot to do with how comfortable it is — too thin, and your knee may get banged up during crescent lunge. The tradeoff is that thick yoga mats (some as thick as 1/4 inch) can make it harder for you to feel a strong connection to the floor, making you more wobbly in Tree Pose, for example.
Options: A standard yoga mat is about 1/8 inch thick, while the thickest are about 1/4 inch. There are also wafer-thin yoga mats, often billed as “travel yoga mats,” that are a mere 1/16 inch thick. They fold easily and don’t weigh much, making them a cinch to fit in a suitcase.
Why it’s important: The material your yoga mat is made of dictates its texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and sponginess (how much it yields to pressure), and how it wears over time.
Options: Most standard yoga mats are made of PVC, otherwise known as vinyl. Newer, more earth-friendly options include natural and recycled rubber, jute, and organic cotton or natural cotton (which means the fabric is not treated with synthetic finishes during manufacturing).
Why it’s important: The texture of your yoga mat dictates how much traction it provides. Like stickiness, texture affects how much slipping and sliding you do. It provides physical barriers to sliding (whereas stickiness relies on suction). And because texture affects the way a yoga mat feels, it’s also a component of overall comfort.
If you’re a Princess-and-the-Pea type, any bumpy texture will likely aggravate you in savasana. Texture can be either man-made (a pattern of raised bumps, for example) or dictated by the materials — jute yoga mats have an organic roughness to them, while PVC yoga mats, though slightly textured, have a softer feel.
Options: There’s a yoga mat texture to suit every whim — from completely smooth to downright rough.
Why it’s important: A sticky yoga mat keeps you from sliding all over the place and helps you maintain your alignment as you move from one pose to another, as well as when you hold poses for several seconds.
Options: PVC yoga mats have the highest sticky factor.
Why it’s important: As yogis, we hold dear the tenet of ahimsa, or non-violence. That makes practicing on a yoga mat that will ultimately end up clogging a landfill for decades to come troublesome.
Options: Earth-friendly yoga mats are typically made from natural or recycled rubber. These yoga mats may also include natural materials, such as jute or organic cotton.
Typically, a basic 1/8 inch thick, plain solid-color PVC sticky yoga mat will be toward the low end of the price range. From there you may pay more for patterns, designs or logos; premium thickness; antimicrobial treatments; and cool textures, especially raised tactile patterns. Eco-friendly yoga mats tend to be toward the high end of the price range.
Once you've narrowed your choices down by thickness, material, texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and price, there's only one factor left: style! So go ahead and pick your favorite color, pattern, or print. After all, you'll be seeing a lot of it in downward dog. Happy shopping!
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