Tips to choose the right yoga mat
Yoga is one of a number of fitness activities that don’t require much equipment. In fact, for most general yoga classes, all you really need is a towel to wipe your sweat and a mat to cushion parts of your body. A yoga mat is the core piece of equipment every yoga enthusiast needs so, if you plan on taking up yoga, why not invest in the best yoga mat for you? After all, it’s your choice of exercise equipment that can make the difference between a healthy result and injury.
Yoga can be performed barefoot on many different surfaces, including hardwood floors, carpet, tiles, or even grass. But for some people, pressing their knees, elbows and palms on hard ground to practise yoga moves can be painful. A good yoga mat provides a cushion to let you perform the poses more comfortably. Finding the right mat can be challenging because of the vast selection out there. So you should consider these tips before buying a yoga mat.
Selecting a yoga mat with suitable thickness can be quite tricky. You’ll want a mat thick enough to cushion your body, but at the same time not so foamy that you sink or feel unstable. A standard yoga mat is about an eighth of an inch thick, while the bulkier ones are up to a quarter inch. How do you know which is best for you? The things you need to consider are portability and the level of comfort you prefer while doing yoga. If you don’t mind carrying a little more weight for the sake of more cushioning, consider getting a yoga mat that’s about a quarter inch thick. But if you need to put the mat in a bag or suitcase, then go for a thinner foldable mat.
Most mats are made of PVC, which provides a smooth surface and has the highest sticky factor. So if you’re not very good at balancing or need extra help staying put in your poses, PVC mats might be your best bet. However, PVC is considered a toxic plastic that’s difficult to recycle. Environment-friendly textures like natural and recycled rubber, natural cotton or jute are more suitable if sustainability is important to you. Eco mats often have raised, tactile patterns to provide similar traction to that offered by PVC too.
The traction of yoga mats depends largely on the texture and material. You don’t want to slip off the mat when practising yoga, and that’s why stickiness matters. A ‘sticky’ mat keeps you from slipping, helps you maintain your balance and makes it easier for you to move from one pose to another. With a sticky mat, you can perform any style of yoga that requires holding a pose for longer periods of time.
You’ll find many yoga mats that are cheap, colorful and have a short life span. It pays to do some research and know your goals before making hasty decisions. You’ll want to determine your budget and purpose of practising yoga. As far as pricing goes, yoga mats start from about $10 and go up to $100 or more. If you want to make a commitment to yoga, and prioritize safety and comfort, then investing in a premium yoga mat can benefit you in the long run.
When it comes to buying a yoga mat, so much depends on personal preference and the style of yoga you’re practising. If you’re interested in taking up yoga classes, contact us to get started!