How to Pick a Yoga Mat: Choose the Right Yoga Mat
Looking for how to pick a yoga mat for yourself or a loved one?. Maybe your current mat is pretty worn out and doesn’t support you well during your practice anymore or you simply want a change of brand.
A yoga mat is almost a gear you can’t do without in any yoga practice. It serves as the base of support and comfort for your body when you are in session. And with the over 21 million adults alone actively practicing yoga, there are also a lot of yoga mat brands in the market today with some not living up to expectation.
Therefore, choosing the right yoga mat can be challenging. You need to consider a couple of factors to ensure you don’t end up with the wrong yoga mat. To assist you in this process, we gathered the information the yoga experts use picking their mats.
How to Choose a Yoga Mat
These tips will help you narrow down the qualities you are looking for in a yoga mat before you make any purchasing decision.
Grip is a very important factor to consider when picking a yoga mat. The worse that can happen to you when using a mat with a poor grip is sliding around on your yoga mat and possibly injuring yourself in the process.
If you find yourself clinging to your mat for your dear life, then you know you have a grip issue. Such a mat is probably not for you. As a matter of fact, all yoga mats should be non-slip. If you are a beginner, you need a strong grip non-slip mat to keep your balance when changing or during poses.
Thickness and Density
The thickness of the yoga mat will determine the level of comfort you get when practicing on it. There are mats of varying thickness in the market.
The common thick yoga mats in the market are about 1/4 inches thick. This is considered thick enough to give you adequate cushioning during core work, inversions, and other postures that might cause you pain. This thickness of a mat is also good for people with sensitive knees, feet, and elbows.
However, there are also thin yoga mats about 1/16 thick and these are ideal for balancing postures as those give you strong connection with the floor. When it comes to how to select a yoga mat, thickness can’t be overlooked.
On the other hand, if you choose the thickest yoga mat which doesn’t have high density, it will easily impress anytime you are trying to change your poses. I guess that is not what you will want.
So the best tip is to find a good compromise between the thickness and density, especially when choosing a thick yoga mat.
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Free from Toxins
Different brands use different materials to manufacture their yoga mats. some mats are made from natural rubber, foam, TPE, and among others. Some mats are full of toxics and if you are sensitive to allergies, some can even cause an outbreak.
When choosing a yoga mat, make sure it is free of toxins and harmful chemicals. The more natural the mat is the better. If you are not going for the natural mat then cross-check to make sure it’s free of chemicals
The material used to make the mat usually determines the stickiness, texture, sponginess, and eco-friendliness. The most popular materials used to make most yoga mats are rubber and vinyl.
Rubber mats are usually made of jute and cotton which makes them more eco-friendly but less spongy. Vinyl mats on the other hand are long-lasting and can typically endure a lot of yoga classes.
The foam material is also good if its high-density foam mat. Because low-density foam mats will give you impressions when balancing on it.
Keep it Lightweight
If you are intending to use your mat only in the house, then this won’t be an issue for you. However, if you plan on using it in the house and in the yoga class, then you ought to choose something light. This will ensure that you don’t have to carry something heavy around the whole day.
The mat’s texture will control the amount of traction it has. The texture and grip will prevent you from slipping when you sweat during your class. If opt of a smooth mat instead of the bumpy texture, then make sure it has a moisture control mechanism.
Don’t Be afraid to Spend Some Extra Money
“You can trust Manduka in terms of price for longevity,” New York-based instructor Elena Brower adds. “Those mats last forever.”
Well, Manduka is not the only quality brand in the market. If you are planning on practicing yoga regularly, then spending some extra money to get a high-quality yoga mat is recommended.
Even though you might be tempted to save money by going for the cheap brands, they don’t usually last long and soon you will be back to purchase another one. So, it better to avoid cheap mats.
On Picking a Yoga Mat
When choosing a yoga mat, you ought to consider the above-mentioned tips to guide you in the selection process especially if you are a beginner. Your body type, the type of floor, and the form of yoga you are intending to do should guide you in picking your yoga mat.
If anything, you shouldn’t compromise on a strong grip and non-slip mats. This will save you from injuries and pains. There are yoga mats of different kinds and prices online. Investing in a high-quality yoga mat is important. As it will last you for a long time. If you are on a tight budget too, you can get a decent but affordable mat for yourself and probably upgrade later when you have the budget.