Your Mat Matters: Picking The Right Yoga Mat For Your Practice
If you’re new to yoga, then you may know that using a mat is essential to the practice. Many studios and gyms provide mats for you, but some of us practice yoga more regularly and would like to invest in our own.
But what’s the difference? A mat is a mat, right? Not quite.
There are many types of yoga mats on the market but it can be difficult to pick the right one. Let’s explore the makeup of the yoga mat to see which one is perfect for you.
Yoga mats come in a range of thickness, from super-thin travel yoga mats of 1/16 inch thick to super-comfy 1/4 inch thick. The standard thickness is 1/8 inch thick. If having your knee pressed against a hard surface is uncomfortable, then go for the thicker mat. Note, while using a thicker mat, you may lose that “groundedness to the floor” you get from using a thinner mat.
Manufacturers of yoga mats are moving away from the typical vinyl material to more eco-friendly materials like yute, plastic elastomer, natural and recycled rubber and natural, organic hemp or cotton. If you’re allergic to latex, then steer clear of rubber mats. Vinyl or PVC mats are the strongest and most durable for years of crescent and downward dog poses. They are spongier and more durable than more eco-friendly choices.
A sticky yoga mat helps you hold that Warrior I pose longer and keeps your hands and feet from sliding. But remember that a yoga mat is only sticky when it’s clean so be sure to wipe it down with a mat cleaner after each use.
Now that you know what makes up a yoga mat, it’s time to pick yours! Today, you can choose from a variety of styles to fit your personality. Shop our fitness page to find the perfect mat for you.