Table of Contents
Why Buying The Right Yoga Mat is Beneficial for You
Yoga is a simple practice with the only equipment you really need is a yoga mat. With that being said, there are a ton of options. Yoga mats come in a variety of sizes, colors, materials, and thickness. Picking the right mat is important to your yoga experience. A yoga mat that is too thin can make some poses feel uncomfortable and allow pressure points to form. Choosing the right mat can be difficult with all the options out there.Looking beyond the color and pattern, you will want to pick a mat that is conformable and provides enough padding. Price, material, thickness, etc. are all qualities that are important when deciding on the perfect yoga mat.
Yoga Mat Price
Yoga mats range between $5 and upwards of over $100 and the difference between the two is significant. Essentially, you will get what you pay for. If you buy a very inexpensive mat at Walmart or Target for less than $15 you are probably buying a mat that will wear down quickly and not last as long. These mats are usually also made of smelly chemicals like PVC, which are not good for your body. Rather than having to keep buying yoga mats because they wear out quickly, you are better off spending the money and buying quality. I normally don't name drop when it comes to brand names but these yoga brands are worth the extra money and provide quality mats. Trusted merchants includeI normally don't name drop when it comes to brand names but these yoga brands are worth the extra money and provide quality mats. Trusted merchants include BarefootYoga.com and BrigterYoga.com. Barefoot Yoga mats are quality products that typically fun between $25-70. They also have a selection of eco-friendly mats. Another great place to find deals on quality yoga mats is over at YogaOutlet.com. Yoga mats are one of the biggest things that fit with the saying "you get what you pay for". Spend the cash now and save in the long run.
Yoga Mat Thickness
The thickness of the yoga mat has a lot to do with how your overall yoga session will feel. If you go too thin you might get uncomfortable during poses like Pigeon. But too thick and you will feel like you are sinking in and have difficulty balancing. So, how to find a mat that's just right?The standard yoga mat is 1/8 inch (3mm) thick and they go up to 1/2 inch (13mm). There are also travel mats that are meant to be easy for storage, these can be as thin as 1/16 inch (1.5mm). Things to think about is how important portability is and comfort vs. being able to feel a direct contact with the floor.Here are a few examples: Standard Yoga Mat in Green, Thick Yoga Mat in Purple and Thin Travel Yoga Mat in Gray.[one_third_first]
[/one_third_last]My personal preference in the Green Standard Yoga Mat. I feel that it provides enough cushioning so all yoga poses are comfortable and it also let me get enough balance when doing poses like the Tree Pose. I also highly recommend getting a yoga mat strap like the ones shown above. It's a lifesaver when you are carrying it around and if you accidentally drop it, it won't unroll. If your mat doesn't come with a mat strap you can get them very cheaply on Amazon for under $7.
Yoga Mat Material
Yoga mat material is important because is will determine how your mat wears over time, the texture, and how it responds to your body weight. Most of the standard yoga mat are made of PVC, also known as vinyl. These are not eco-friendly but will last a long time. These days we have more options that are eco-friendly including recycled rubber, jute, and even cotton. If you have any allergies, pay attention to the material the mat is made of. For example, if you are allergic to latex, avoid getting a yoga mat that is made of natural rubber.
Grip and Texture
The material of the mat will also determine the texture and how much grip you'll have. You want to make sure your mat has enough grip, not just grip between you and the mat but also grip between the mat and the floor. You don't want to be sliding around. Depending on your preference, you can find mats that are completely smooth to super rough. PVC mats are great if you want to avoid slipping. If you want something more natural with the same effect look for rubber, jute, or cotton mats. If smoothness is important to you then PVC mats are your best option.
The mat that will have the most stickiness to hard surface flooring are PVC Mats followed by natural rubber mats. Cotton mats provide the least amount of grip between the mat and the floor. If eco-friendliness is important to you, stick with the mats that are made of natural rubber.In the end, don't be afraid to spend a few extra buck on a quality mat and go for something fun! A yoga mat can be a great expression of your personality. Once you have these deciding factors out of the way the only thing left to decide (and this is the funnest part) is the style! Choose the color or pattern that suits you best and have fun shopping!You might also like: What to Wear to Yoga Class