Yoga – What Should I Look For in a Yoga Mat?

At my first yoga apply, I borrowed a mat that my studio had available. I shortly realized I wanted a mat of my very own. The borrowed mat was too skinny, not lengthy sufficient for my peak, and coated in anyone else’s sweat! Being a complete novice, I headed to the native low cost retailer and purchased the primary mat that caught my eye. Having, on the time, extra money than widespread sense, I ended up shopping for a number of extra mats within the seek for the one which was actually proper for me. From expertise, I do know that once you search for the right yoga mat, you must contemplate 5 elements: measurement/form, thickness and weight, composition, aesthetics, and worth. In case you take the time to rigorously assume via these elements, you’ll be happier together with your selection, take pleasure in your yoga practices extra, and perhaps even get monetary savings.

Measurement/form: As your teacher will in all probability inform you, your mat is your universe. Too small, chances are you’ll be uncomfortable; too massive, you might crowd different college students. “Normal” yoga mats are rectangular in form, roughly 24″ by 68″. For individuals of common weight and peak, this measurement and form will probably serve properly. It provides you with simply sufficient horizontal area to do seated poses and twists and sufficient size in order that vinyasas and supine poses do not have you ever hanging off the again. If, nevertheless, you’re carrying slightly additional weight or you’re tall (say 5’10 or over) chances are you’ll need to think about getting an additional lengthy mat to offer you additional area to maneuver ahead and again and to stretch out. Or, chances are you’ll need to take the leap of getting a spherical mat, just like the Mandala 6′ Spherical, which provides you extra room to stretch out in your whole poses. I take an extended mat to class however use a spherical mat at house. Lengthy, rectangular mats can simply be accommodated on the studio, however the spherical mat (until everybody within the class makes use of one) simply disrupts the association of the opposite mats within the class. So for those who take one to the studio and also you’re the one one utilizing a spherical mat, be ready for some disgruntled stares from classmates and perhaps your teacher.

Thickness: A yoga mat’s objective is to give you a non-slip floor and to cushion your knees, hips, and different elements that come into contact with the ground. Mats on the yoga studio and cheaper mats are more likely to be 1/eight” thick, maybe barely extra. This minimal thickness is ok when you have no sensitivity in your knees throughout camel pose, in your hips throughout supine twists, in your elbows throughout sphinx, or in your wrists in down canine pose. However in case you do have that sensitivity, a thicker mat could also be greatest for you. Many mats marketed as “thick” are just one/four” thick. Actually, Manduka’s Black Mat, thought-about the Cadillac in thick mats, is 1/four” thick. Nevertheless, different mats, like premium mats made by Jade, are as much as 5mm thick or extra and simply that little additional padding could make a distinction in how you are feeling. Another factor to consider with thick mats, the thicker the mat, the heavier it’s more likely to be, which is usually a disadvantage in case you are toting it round from class to residence and again.

Composition: Yoga mats are made of varied totally different supplies. Older mats and cheaper mats could also be product of latex, PVC, or a plastic mix. You could be allergic or delicate to a few of these supplies, and they’re hazardous to the setting. Newer mats are product of a composite, microfiber, or hydrogen based mostly foam that doesn’t include latex and are extra “eco-friendly.” Mats additionally could also be made from pure, extra environmentally acutely aware supplies like cotton, bamboo, jute, hemp, or pure rubber. Regardless that yoga mats are referred to as “sticky mats” and are meant to maintain you from slipping round because you follow in your naked ft, when you begin to perspire the mat can get slippery. With most mats, you will want a yoga towel to soak up sweat and hold you from sliding round in an influence, Bikram, or ashtanga class. Cotton sort mats will certainly take in sweat however they supply much less cushion when damp and need to be laundered to maintain them from smelling dangerous. Pure rubber mats are much less slippery even when moist and simply cleaned; I attempted the Concord mat by Jade and regardless that I sweat fairly a bit, I acquired by with only a hand towel and stayed put even within the final down canine of my follow.

Aesthetics: One of many teachings of yoga is to surrender worldly, sensory pursuits that distract from follow. However most of us nonetheless need to look good and be in nice environment when doing our poses. If that is you, cease and take into consideration whether or not a plain black mat (even when it is lengthy and thick and product of pure supplies) will fulfill your sensual aspect. Even a lavender or teal coloured mat can grow to be boring to take a look at after some time. By far, Gaiam makes probably the most adorned yoga mats with names like Damask, Tie Dye, Flower Energy, and Dragon Fly Hydrangea. Solely you’ll know if the patterned decor is value any sacrifice you may need to make with respect to the opposite options you want or need.

Worth: Costs for yoga mats differ extensively. You will get an affordable, “plain Jane” yoga mat on the web for about eight bucks. In case you are simply making an attempt yoga and do not need to make a dedication, this may do. However in case you are critical about training, anticipate to pay just a little extra. Usually, thicker pure materials mats can be costlier. Gaiam’s mats run from about $20 to about $40. Manduka’s black mat professional will set you again near $100 and the Eko pure rubber mat is about $80. YogaAccessories makes a pure rubber mat in 5/16″ thickness for about $45 whereas the identical thickness pure rubber mat from Jade is about $80. Madala’s 6ft Spherical Mat will value you roughly $65. Costs change and gross sales do occur, so verify round and examine costs. Verify together with your yoga studio too; they could have the mat you’re in search of and may have the ability to meet a worth you’ve got discovered elsewhere.

Which mat is best for you depends upon the dimensions/form of the mat, how thick and heavy it’s, what it’s made from, what it seems like, and the way a lot it prices. You additionally might determine that you simply want multiple mat, particularly when you follow at house in addition to on the studio. In any occasion, for those who take the time to rigorously think about these elements, you’ll be happier together with your decisions, take pleasure in your yoga practices extra, and perhaps even get monetary savings.


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