Looking for a yoga mat for your practice? Here are a few tips for choosing the right yoga mat for you.
There was a time when a yoga mat was just a yoga mat. Ah, those were the days! Today a yoga mat is a sophisticated piece of equipment, an active partner that provides serenity and balance for your yoga experience. Choosing the best yoga mat for you will depend on your goals, practice style and skill level as well as personal taste.
Here is a basic yoga mat review to help you wade through the maze of choices.
Consider the material that will make you the most comfortable both physically and ecologically. Mats of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are popular for their durability and stability but are less than environmentally friendly. While both foam and rubber are eco-friendly choices, they contain latex which comes with its own set of problems for those who are allergic. Mats of cotton and jute are both sustainable and latex free but lack the cushioning of the other materials and are generally used as a top layer over another more supportive mat. The options for colors in all materials are endless. Pick your favorite!
A mat that is too thin may be hard on the joints. A thick yoga mat will make it tough to balance and hold poses. Generally, a thickness of 1/8” will be just right, the perfect combination of support and performance. At this thickness, a mat will provide comfort and still be light and thin enough to be easily portable.
Texture v. Stickiness
The texture and stickiness of your yoga mat are instrumental in providing traction to keep you securely balanced in your poses. A stickier mat provides suction to keep you grounded. Texture keeps your hands and feet anchored by providing physical barriers to sliding and provides extra comfort. Your choice will come down to a matter of personal preference.
When it comes to yoga mats, size matters. Most yogis will be able to practice comfortably on a standard 24” x 68” size but for those on the taller side, there are 24” x 72” and 24” x 74” options that might be a better fit. Try a downward dog pose on each size mat. If both hands and feet are securely on the mat, you’re barking up the right tree.
Once you have your mat, make sure to take the time to use it! Find your nearest Total Woman Gym + Spa here. Namaste.