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As aerobics have more options for accessories, yoga also has some options. A mat is essential for doing yoga. Experts have developed fantastic materials and manufactured inspiring mats for different people and different goals. Picking a wrong yoga mat may cause some problem and does not provide a good result.
Yoga is known to provide positive effects on body and mind. It helps to increase flexibility and strength. Yoga is a great exercise for relieving stress and improving physical and mental wellness.
In a comparison of other fitness exercises, yoga needs minimum gear to begin. Investing in yoga accessories like yoga clothes and personal mat helps to provide more effects and gain flexibility.
However, here is a complete guide for choosing the right yoga mat. Learn more about how to choose your yoga mat.
Tips to choose the Right Yoga Mat
1.Your Body Type
Everyone indeed has a different body type, which can help to determine the yoga mat. If your body is petite and slim, then you can choose a padded yoga mat. A yoga mat having a thickness of 1/4 inch should be fine. People with sore joints must pick a thicker yoga mat to provide comfort to joints.
Naturally, the human body has less cushioning ability. A yoga mat with 1/4-inch thickness provides comfort. People with a well-cushioned and healthy body can choose a mat of 1/8 thickness.
Choose a yoga mat that is around 68 inches long. If you are taller than normal height, then go for more length mat. Choosing a yoga mat is best for the people who have a height of 5’6”. You can choose super stretched mat for matching your height.
You must pick a type of yoga exercise that is obtained when you spend on a yoga mat. If you are new in yoga, then buy an affordable mat. Initially go for basic mats.
After some weeks of practice, you may realize, that you are not getting results or yoga is not for you but have patience yoga is a slow process, and it may not show quick results. Keep a regular practice of yoga, and over time, change your yoga mat.
There are complex movements in Vinyasa yoga, try to choose a mat with extra friction to avoid legs and arms slipping.
Vinyasa Yoga classes involve complex movements, so you will need a mat with more friction so that your arms and legs don’t slip.
The Yin yoga helps for restoration, where your movement is ought to be intense and slower. Therefore, a cushioned and soft yoga mat is more helpful. If you do Bikram yoga or Hot yoga, where you have to perform in a heated room, then choose a mat designed for hot yoga sessions. These mats will not absorb the sweat, and your mat will remain clean for a long time. Avoid using the basic mat in this type of yoga because hot sessions will damage it.
3.Place of Practice
While choosing a yoga mat, keep in mind the place of yoga. If you choose to perform yoga at home, then a basic mat can be fine. People performing yoga in a busy schedule can use the lightweight mat. It can be more portable for you while traveling and trips.
Yoga material is another essential thing to choose a mat. You can get a variety of yoga mats with different materials and your fitness goal.
It is the most basic material used for yoga mats. The PVC mats are affordable and useful for basic purpose. However, only beginners can use these mats, and these are not recommended by yogis. They believe, the PVC mats are not good for the person and the environment because it is difficult to recycle. Avoid this type of mats for your better health and surroundings benefits.
Rubber mats are better than PVC mats. It is made of natural rubber and endorsed by yoga enthusiasts. It is a simple mat that is also affordable and used for basic yoga movements. You will find these mats very easily in the market.
The padded mats contain comfortable and soft. Generally, these mats contain foam and covered by a cloth. These mats provide more support than normal mat but with minor grip. You can wash it partially. You can only wash the outside cloth cover.
The cotton mats are natural material and easily available in the market. They soak up your sweat while doing yoga, and you can also wash it. They are soft and provide good grip than padded mats.
5.The surface of Mat
Choose a non-slipping mat while purchasing a mat. Especially if vigorous exercise is a part of your exercise. These mats will provide the best grip while moving freely.
You can also choose non-stick mats. But these mats have a rough texture and may irritate sensitive people. Still, it can be a good advantage while doing intense yoga practice.
6.The thickness of The Mat
Check for the thickness of the yoga mat. You can find standard yoga at a thickness of 1/8 inches. Beginners should choose a mat with a thickness of 1/6. You can roll these mats easily to make portable. If you are finding any issue with joints, then practice Yin Yoga, you must pick a mat has a thickness of 1/4 inches.
Yoga mats can range from travel styles to super-thin that weight 2-lbs. If you don’t know how to choose, pick a mat with 1/8 inches thickness that is 0.125 inches with more standard thickness.
These mats are best for people with flowing and strong practice. They provide solid contact with the ground, which assists with stability while different poses.
If your yoga plans also include air travel, then choose a travel mat that is particularly designed to be portable. You will get thin, lightweight, and packable mats. You can easily take them with your luggage. When it comes to travel plans, you have to sacrifice a cushioning mat for some time.
In normal days of practice, you can go for thicker mats to get better cushioning for therapeutic practices. It can also be suitable for difficult balancing on a standing pose.
Choose the mats which are easy to store. There are some mats, which are unable to roll and those get dirty soon. Choose a mat that is portable and easy to store. It is good ideas to spent on lightweight mats because you can roll it easily and carry around. While buying your mat, try rolling the mat a few times to ensure it is easy.
Accessorizing the Mat
If you have a plan to perform yoga regularly, then consider purchasing yoga accessories also.
Cover your mat using a full-length towel that adds longevity to your mat while promoting hygiene. Different materials of mats absorb sweat at different rates. Using yoga towels helps to remove the sweat more easily and effectively. Having a personal towel also helps to maintain your hygienic layer between a yoga studio mat and you.
How does it work?
Yoga towel has grippy nubs on the underside that helps to keep your towel in a place on the mat. Yoga towels are different from bath towels as they quickly get dry and absorb the moisture without leaving stability and grip while practicing. Most yoga practitioners use a hand towel for wiping sweat during the session. Use a fast-drying towel for good use.
Yoga Blocks and Straps
Learning a proper alignment is crucial to get the benefit of yoga practice. Yoga blocks and straps help newcomers to limit the flexibility to achieve good alignment. Most of the yoga centers test them under expert’s guide and helps to assess your needs.
Using a yoga bag is quite helpful to carry your yoga mat, towel, and other accessories while going to yoga class. It will keep your hands-free, and you can carry your things easily. Having a yoga bag also helpful for protecting your yoga mat from rain, dust while going out and increase its longevity. Some bags provide additional space for accessories, towel, and clothes and make it more convenient to carry to yoga class.
Yoga Mat Wash
Mat wash is specifically designed for yoga mats. These washes help to remove bacteria without damaging the outer layer of the mat. Spend some bucks to keep your yoga mat smelling fresh. It helps to improve your hygiene and increase longevity.
Mat price also an essential thing to consider while buying a yoga mat. You can get a mat (without frill) with a size of 1/8-inches at a low price. Check for the price and good comfort. Cheap price mat may not last for longer and wear out soon. If you are serious about your fitness plans, then buy the best quality yoga mat at a reasonable price. You can also follow some popular brands to get quality products. Choosing padded mats, and non-stick mats cost more.
Choose a yoga mat that is eco-friendly and made from recycled rubber or natural rubber. These yoga mats comprised of natural materials such as organic cotton or jute.
If you are looking for eco-friendliness, then avoid PVC yoga mats because that is made from plastic which does not crash in landfills and it is costly and difficult to recycle.
The eco-friendly mats are thick and completely meet your requirements for portability and comfort. It has lifted geometric pattern, which supports movement and prevents slippage.
Look for style
You can also have the option to choose a yoga mat with different styles and colors with various prints.
You may wonder why yoga mat style is important, but it can inspire you and increase your fitness interest. Whenever you look at your mat, you will remember your fitness commitment. You will be able to focus more on your yoga exercise and keep a mindset of regular practice.
Weight is another thing to consider while choosing a yoga mat. Having a heavyweight mat may cause difficulty to carry out.
While buying an online yoga mat, make sure to know the weight and have a clear idea about weight.
When you carry the mat out of your home, you may feel the heaviness of the mat. Try to choose a lightweight yoga mat, which is easy to carry and portable while traveling.
Stickiness is another thing to check while buying a yoga mat. There are some yoga mats that cause feet to slide away. People who are looking to buy a yoga mat online, carefully read the reviews.
Check for gripping surface and non-skid mats. The yoga mat surface is more important while doing hot yoga or fast-paced yoga.
Yoga Mat Material
- PVC, Foam – High
- Rubber – Moderate
- Cotton, Jute – Low
Why should you not use PVC mats?
Most of the yoga mats contain PVC-Polyvinyl Chloride. It is also named as vinyl, which is a harmful and toxic plastic.
PVC is a toxic plastic all the time of manufacturing and while using. It can also cause skin problems and an inhalation problem.
Why are PVC mats harmful?
The PVC mats are comprised of vinyl chloride, which is more toxic for the carcinogen. While using PVC mats, the human will get exposed to toxic gas.
Also, it contains dioxins that are used while manufacturing and disposal of PVC mats. Dioxins are a type of toxic chemicals that is similar to harmful chemicals triggered by the mechanism.
These harmful toxins are listed as a human carcinogen. These are a popular pollutant of U.S. E-Environmental-Protection-Agency. They do not tear down easily and may not accumulate in the human body. But an extended exposure slowly effects on human health.
Is yoga mat free of PVC?
Due to consumer concern of toxic chemical exposure, the manufacturer gives its product description in a tricky way. You may read the description of the product that it is toxic, which does not mean it does not have PVC. Make sure to ask the manufacturer if the yoga mat is free from PVC.
Benefits Of Using A Yoga Mat
The yoga mat choice depends on your personal need for fitness. It is important to choose a suitable mat to meet your specific fitness needs. Using the right yoga mat helps to balance and improve coordination.
Here are some benefits of using a yoga mat:
Retain your body warm
Yoga mat keeps your energy level balance in the body while performing different yoga poses. It helps to keep your body warm and doesn’t transfer it to the floor.
For beginner yogis, it can be uncomfortable to perform stretching exercises. Beginners also find difficulty to hold breath and certain yoga poses. Using a yoga mat helps pad your body and feet and prevent injury of falling or coming direct contact with the floor.
Guards you against injury
Perform yoga poses on a stable surface. Uneven surfaces may not help to perform yoga poses effectively. Still, you have such surfaces, then use thick yoga mats to prevent your body against injury.
Using yoga mat helps improve your balance. The stable and firm surface helps to promote physical and mental effects. Choose yoga with the right stickiness that helps to balance good alignment while moving to another pose.
Yoga mats also provide stability benefits. Choose a mat that provides good stability. The mat surface should be elastic and firm. A spike mat absorbs the influence of the movement from small air bubbles inside the cork cell.
The use of a yoga mat makes space sacred and allows you to do yoga anywhere you like. It is essential to have a mat when you are practicing in a yoga group. Using a yoga mat will help to prevent germ and bacteria exposure from the floor.
Gives better grip
Choose a yoga mat that provides a better grip to skip re-adjusting your position. Using a cork mat does not allow to lose the grip even in a wet condition by releasing waxy substances.
Best-rated yoga mat to buy
It is the best yoga mat recommended by athletes to perform the effective move. Its features make it different from others. Many people review it as a thick and nice mat with extra padding.
This yoga mat has a double-sided non-slip surface. It helps to create balance while doing movements with slip-resistant benefits and prevent injuries.
1/2″ Extra Thick
It contains foam material of 1/2″ thickness and provides comfort to cushion your spine, knees, hips, and elbows on the hard surface.
Easy to clean
You can clean this mat easily as it is moisture-resistant and contain high-quality material. You can wash it with water and soap.
2.BalanceFrom GoYoga All-Purpose
The BalanceFrom yoga mat is a best-rated choice. It is standard and provides quarter-inch thickness against to 1/2 inch.
According to reviews, it is durable and comfortable with the best price. It is highly recommended for dipping toes movement performer and looking for a solid yoga mat.
This yoga mat also has double-sided and non-slipping surfaces. It prevents injuries and provides resistance. You can have best-balancing while movements and wash it easily.
1/4″ Extra Thick
The BalanceFrom mat contains foam with high density and 1/4” thickness. Also, it provides comfort to knees, hips, spine, and elbows against a hard surface.
An Anti-Tear Mat
This yoga mat contains anti-tearing net and best quality material to balance poses and activities.
Best mat for hot yoga
Jade Harmony-Yoga Mat
The manufacturer of Jade Harmony -yoga mat rage about its eco-friendly and durability. It has a natural rubber construction and best grip option. According to reviews, it is best suitable for hot yoga.
Jade yoga mats are made of high-quality materials to get excellent performance. This product can be long-lasting as you use.
Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
According to reviews, this mat is durable and sticky. It provides good grip benefit while doing movements. Many reviewers like its thickness and firm quality. It is the most suitable mat for carpet surfaces.
The people who perform yoga over the carpet at home or bedroom can use Manduka Pro mat. It provides good balancing ability while yoga poses.
Best yoga mat for travel
Manduka eKO Superlite Travel Yoga Mat
The Manduka eKO mat is light and thin, and it is suitable for travel. You carry this yoga mat for quick trips. You can fold it easily and pack to go out. Travel anywhere you want but still don’t sacrifice your workout with this yoga mat.
Best yoga mat for beginners
Gaiam Yoga Mat
The Gaiam yoga mat is an amazing choice for beginners as it provides extra cushioning for support and comfort. If you are newly started yoga plan and don’t what to do, then the Gaiam yoga mat helps to provide the best support. It helps to hold the poses for longer and make you stronger.
Best yoga mat with alignment lines
Liforme Yoga Mat
The Liforme yoga mat comes with alignment lines. It is thick and provides the best grip with correct alignment for proper poses. It also prevents sliding due to sweat.
Best yoga mat for people with bad knees
REEHUT Yoga Mat
The people with sensitive knees can use REEHUT yoga mat as it is a thick mat and provide comfort. After having knee surgeries, it can be hard to perform the exercise. Yoga can help to keep your knees active and relieve pain. It is more helpful for people with arthritis and unable to kneel.
Best yoga mat for people with height
Deluxe Yoga Mat-Extra Wide and Extra Long
This yoga mat comes with 7-feet long and 3-feet wide. It is best suitable for taller people.
According to reviews, many taller people were happy to find Deluxe mat for yoga.
I hope you got the idea of choosing a perfect yoga mat for you. Follow all the ways and check every option and pick a suitable yoga mat. You can also check out the links that I have shared here about the yoga mat according to the need.
Do write in a comment on how was your yoga journey and experiences of using a yoga mat.