What Features To Look For When Buying A Yoga Mat

The yoga mat is far more essential than most think. It’s not only a mat, but it’s an aid for people who regularly practice yoga. It protects the hands and feet against slipping during yoga activities. Also known as sticky or non-slip mats, they’re specially designed to help avid yoga practitioners avoid slippages during yoga sessions.

The great thing about yoga, in the first place, is the fact that it costs very little to get into the practice. Besides comfortable yoga specific clothes, a good yoga mat should be the main thing you buy for your yoga sessions. Yes, some studios do provide yoga mats and other accessories for complete beginners, but there’s nothing like owning your own equipment for an activity like yoga.

What Features To Look For When Buying A Yoga Mat

What to Look For When Buying a Yoga Mat ~ The Traits of a Good Yoga Mat

Given the popularity of yoga today, there are far more yoga mat options on the market than there used to be. Even if you think you can’t find ‘the right yoga mat,’ you’re bound to find something on the market that will become your go-to mat.

Most yoga mats are suited to all styles of yoga, but there may be some mats better suited to some than others. For one, yoga mats come in a wide variety of thicknesses and weights, so no two yoga mats will suit one style of yoga. In most cases, you’re going to want to find a yoga mat that fits your needs.

Thickness and Weight

As mentioned, yoga mats come in a wide variety of thicknesses and weights. Both traits do indeed affect your stability and balance when practicing yoga. So, let’s take a look at both traits.

Thickness

Yoga mats range from the very thin to those as thick as a quarter inch. Thinner mats tend to provide more stability, while thicker mats tend to provide more protection for advanced yoga poses. Standard yoga mats tend to be about a 1/8 inch thick, while travel mats tend to go about 1/16 thick.

Eighth-inch thick yoga mats tend to be the best yoga mats for most people to use on a regular basis. They provide good contact with the floor, which gives users good stability when in action.

Thicker mats, on the other hand, work best for therapeutic or restorative yoga poses. Many use thicker mats for poses that utilize the forearm or knees.

Weight

The thickness of a yoga mat does influence its weight. Thinner yoga mats naturally weigh less than those with more thickness. So, if you were to want a yoga mat that’s easy to travel with, you’re better off getting a thinner yoga mat than a thicker one.

Materials and Durability

Yoga mats are made from various types of materials. Not only that, the type of material influences the mat’s durability.

PVC, a plastic material, is very durable and cleans well. It also grips the floor relatively well, making it a suitable ‘non-slip’ mat. Yoga mats made from PVC, however, don’t absorb moisture, so they can become slippery when you exert sweat.

TPE or thermoplastic elastomer made mats contain a blend of both plastic and rubber polymer. While they’re less durable than PVC, they are flexible, provide good traction and some kind can even be recycled.

All natural yoga mats are made from completely natural materials like jute, cotton and natural rubber. While they don’t provide as much grip as their synthetic counterparts, their texture provides traction for improving your stability.

Texture and Stickiness

Much like materials and durability, the texture of a yoga mat influences its traction and stickiness.

Texture

Texture helps prevent sliding and affects how the mat may feel. It also, as mentioned, influences both stickiness (suction) and traction.

Some mats have a ‘synthetic texture,’ meaning that they have raised bumps and/or ridges that help provide traction. Others rely on the natural texture of their materials. Natural mats typically have a rougher texture than PVC mats, to provide an example.

Stickiness

A yoga mat with good stickiness prevents you and the mat from sliding everywhere while in practice. It also helps improve your stability and balance.

PVC yoga mats tend to be stickier than natural yoga mats. In order to keep a PVC mat naturally sticky, it’s important to keep it clean to prevent its surface from being too slippery.

Why Buy Your Own Yoga Mat?

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to buy your own yoga mat. After all, you don’t want to use equipment that might not even work while you’re in the middle of a yoga session.

Rugs, towels and even a gym cushion aren’t suitable enough to use to separate yourself from the floor and prevent slippage during yoga. As mentioned, yoga mats are designed to specifically prevent slippage and avoid its associated problems during sessions.

Buying your own yoga mat starts with being aware of what you might want in a yoga mat. Given the options on the market today, it’s pretty simple to narrow down the choices into something you truly want.

 

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