One of the most important parts of Yoga is the Yoga Mat. And this article would be giving you the best steps available on how to Choose the Right Yoga Mat. It does not matter if you have been practicing for a long time, or you just jump on YouTube to do a 20-minute vinyasa flow, like I stated, you would still require the Right Yoga Mat for you.
How to Choose the Right Yoga Mat
This article would be walking you through the best Yoga Mat guide. To get started, it is important that you pick up a cheap, off-brand yoga mat to slip and slide all over it when you begin sweating. Likewise, in the current cost of living crisis, you also would not want to pay hundreds and not feel supported just as you move through your flow.
So, what kind of Mat should you be looking for? The material of the mat is very important, while this would also contribute to the grip of the mat too. The thickness of the mat can also help when it comes to stability and comfort off different practices, while some styles and patterns can offer you guidance when it comes to positioning or grip.
Materials: Eco-friendly or PVC?
Yoga Mats come in different shapes and sizes, while when it comes to the material used, they are not all the same – so you would need to look at what matters to you. If the price is a big factor, you would no doubt be searching for a PVC-based mat – that comes at a much lower price and offers more grip but long term could be a less sustainable choice.
Eco Friendly or sustainable mats are created usually from materials such as natural rubber or eco-polyurethane as a top base, which would help with grip. Head over to the Yoga Trainer at BLOK Leo Oppenheim stated says he would always choose an eco-friendly yoga over a PVC one as they are “Made from sustainable and environmentally friendly materials. The durability and lifetime of a yoga mat are very much dependent on the company and the materials used but a quality eco-friendly yoga mat should last for at least a year of regular practice.”
PVC mats come at a much cheaper rate, as the material is more widely available, while they are also much lighter, so easier to move around. The materials also is easy to wipe down right after going through a very sweaty yoga session and can be less slippery. This is a great decision for a hot yoga session.
Yoga Mat Thickness
Before you find yourself constantly uncomfortable as you move through your practice, or your joints ache it is likely that you would need a much thicker mat. The Thickness of your Yoga Mat can range from 0.5mm to 5mm – depending on what Yoga you decide to practice. A much lighter mat can be great for traveling, but a thicker mat is the best for more restorative poses – such as a child’s pose or threading the needle.
“The thickness of a mat would contribute to the effect on your balance, comfort, and joint health. Thicker Mats are great when it comes to restorative classes as they provide a much deeper level of support and comfort as you remain in one pose for much longer than a normal yoga class,” as stated by Oppenheim.
So, when is the thinner mat a much better option? Oppenheim reveals: “A thinner mat is a great option for joint health and working into your balance, especially for Vinyasa poses. A thinner mat is also easier when it comes to transport and a number of Yoga mat companies making the mat that is specifically designed for travel (3mm thickness or below.)”
Yoga Mat Patterns
Some of the mats might look pretty, with swirls or dots, but some patterns have another function too – in other to aid you with grip or alignment when you are mid pose – especially a difficult one such as a handstand or a crow pose.
But why is the grip important in a Yoga class? “Grip is quite important as a practice becomes more dynamic. A lot of modern yoga practices have transitions that require dexterity,” explains Oppenheim. “If a surface is slippery this can lead to falling or slipping in the transitions between poses, leading to a potential injury. A grippy yoga mat, especially when it comes to a hot environment or when there is perspiration is a very useful tool.”
Some mats have dots placed right on them, to allow for correct form, while other mats such as liforme mates have pretty alignment systems printed on their mats – that also act as markers to aid you in moving through your yoga routines.