A guide to the best yoga mats for you was an idea that came to me after writing a series of posts on how yoga is a great alternative treatment to managing chronic back pain and helping in muscle recovery. You may want to check the following posts on this website concerning yoga poses and yoga exercises. When it comes to yoga, there’s no place like home for early morning stretching and meditation.
That said, the right yoga mat could be the difference between making you feel like you are going to slip and fall on your face in downward dog.
Lots of choices that will make a guide to the best yoga mats for you
Here’s the thing. Years ago there were very few choices for yoga mats. Your choices were limited and they either worked for you or they didn’t. That has changed in a big way. I soon found out that many people are overwhelmed with the online options of yoga mats, and are inexperienced with knowing what to choose.
A yoga mat for your personality
This is what you need to understand. A yoga mat needs to fit your personality and body type. You might want, for example, be looking for something with decent grip and thickness (for headstands and things, even when sweaty) but not so soft that it might be difficult to perform balances. On the other hand, some people don’t care about the weight of the mat. They just want something that will hold their grip in hot yoga and keep them soft on their knees. It doesn’t matter because there’s a mat designed to enhance your practice. A guide to the best yoga mats for you continues to be the focus of this guide.The purpose is to is to help you find the right yoga mat for you and your body type. Let’s get to it.
Which Yoga Mats Thickness is Good For Practice?
Let’s learn the best way to select the perfect size of yoga mat. Yoga mats come in different sizes of thickness. Some may be as thin as 1/16th of an inch, while others are ½ inch thick or more. You need to know which thickness is best for you.
How to select the thickness of yoga mat
First you want to take in to consideration what type of yoga moves and poses you are planning on doing, and where. It really helps if you have a particular reason for the thickness. Will you be practicing on a hard floor, in a gym or down on the beach? If all you are planning on doing is some lunges, then a thinner mat may be suitable. Also, thicker mats are generally more bouncy/squishy and you lose the feeling of direct contact with the ground.
On the other hand, if you plan on getting into yoga seriously then a thicker mat may be preferable. Especially if you want to do poses that require you balancing on your shoulders and doing inversions. A thicker mat gives you more balance and support as you can ‘sink’ into the mat. You may also prefer a thicker mat if you have a heavier body frame. You will appreciate the extra cushioning.
You can see an assortment of 1-inch-thick yoga mats here: 1 inch mats. This tends to be a very popular thickness.
PVC and mats made from rubber are more durable and will wear better. If you have a latex allergy, then do not purchase a mat made from natural rubber. Many manufacturers are now producing yoga mats that are made from rubber but are latex free. That said, you might not like the idea of our landfills being filled with rubber. Jute and cotton mats are natural components that are good options to rubber.
Another item to watch for is the addition of phthalates, these can be extremely harmful. Instead look for yoga mats that have the following labelling.
Free from Phthalates DEHP, DBP, BBP, DINP, DIDP, and DNOP. Here is a good selection of Non Toxic Mats.
The length of yoga mats
The majority of yoga mats are approximately 68 inches long in length. Extra long mats are normally around 71 inches. Those 3 inches can make a huge difference, so check the length if that is a concern of yours.
You can find plenty of longer mats here: Extra Long Yoga Mats
The texture of yoga mats
The texture of yoga mats is an important area you need to include in your evaluation of a yoga mat. consider the following from a yoga user who chose the wrong texture for his need. “The texture chafes my skin really badly and either the rubber or the texture causes my skin to be dry/flaky. I’ve noticed that after doing a bunch of sun salutations my toes are red on top from dragging/rolling over my toes on this rough texture.”
Thus, the texture of the mat should not be overlooked.
This is another term that you may not be familiar with. Stickiness refers to how well the yoga mat will stay in place when performing yoga. You don’t want to use a mat that slips and slides everywhere.
PVC mats normally have the highest rating for stickiness. Please remember that they only stay sticky when they are clean. So you want to get into the habit of cleaning your mat after each use.
A great combination is to have a mat that is sticky and also firm. Meaning you don’t sink into it like you would with a foam mat.
You can see some examples of yoga mats that fit into this category here: Sticky Yoga Mats
Eco Friendly Mats
Many yoga lovers also tend to really care about the environment and prefer to use yoga mats constructed from eco friendly materials if possible. The majority of eco friendly mats are made from recycled materials or rubber.
Eco friendly mats are becoming more popular and also come in more varieties. That said, eco friendly mats tend to be a little more expensive as well.
You can see a great selection of mats here: Eco Friendly Yoga Mats
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You should now have enough information to make a better choice when it comes to buying your yoga mat. Please note that the majority of mats do not come with a carrying bag, this may be something that you might want to add to your shopping list. A bag can be really useful if you decide to join a yoga class and need to travel each day. A yoga bag is also a great storage solution at home. Your bag can fit into any closet or you can pop it under your bag.
Some Tips About Cleaning Yoga mats
Your yoga mat is there for you when you balance, bend and sweat. You stand on it with bare feet as sweat drips off your brow. As you lie down in Savasana, the oils from your body and any lotion penetrate. It also accumulates dust and dirt during storage in your trunk, closet or shelves. You need a good shower after practice — your mat deserves one once in a while, too.
So here are great options to help keep your yoga mat clean. Also, take a look at some nice bags to carry those mats.
I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions
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