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Tips On Buying The Perfect Yoga Mat

Updated on December 27, 2015

Yoga Mat

Yoga is a practice currently observed by many who want to achieve better posture and improved physical and mental health. Indeed, getting started on this practice is pretty simple as you won't be requiring any equipment except for a yoga mat. However, is getting yourself a yoga mat really as simple as it appears?

Importance of Yoga Mat

Yoga is aptly called as such for its unification of the physical and spiritual body in attaining a deeper level of concentration and self-fulfillment. In order to achieve that, yoga participants are often required to execute yoga poses and movements that can be quite demanding for those who are not used to doing it. In order to make performing those complicated yoga movements more convenient, a yoga mat is of utmost importance during your sessions.

Since yoga practice does not require any other equipments but a mat, you need to invest on it. A yoga mat is important during yoga practice for the following reasons:

  • It serves as protection and cushion since yoga is often performed on the floor. The benefits of using it can be felt when you are required to perform extreme poses.
  • One can easily sweat while performing yoga movements. Hence, using mat helps one prevent the possibility of slipping in the process.
  • The mat will serve as your sense of space such that you can freely execute whatever movements is required during each session.

Rent or Buy Your Own?

Most people, especially newcomers to yoga, often choose what they believe is the more practical choice – to rent a yoga studio or gym's mats. But if you are going to spend anything at all, then might as well invest on buying a new mat that you can use for yourself. It is imporant for your own hygienic sake given the intensity of yoga practices, since sharing it with somebody else poses several health risks.

It is definitely a must for you to buy your own yoga mat if you intend to partake in yoga sessions for a given stretch of time. After all, your main intention for participating in yoga is for health's sake. Therefore, it is your first step towards making a healthy lifestyle choice.

Yoga Poses & Equipment : Yoga Mat Types

Yoga Poses & Equipment : Manduka Yoga Mats

Yoga Poses & Equipment : Jute Yoga Mats

Types of Yoga Mat

Your choice of yoga mat to use mostly depends on the intensity of your yoga activities. Consequently, you also have to assess your ability level when choosing a yoga mat. That way, you can gain a lot of support through your yoga mat to ensure your safety. Any other personal criteria will vary but it is important to choose a mat based on purpose and its ability to perform up to your desired purpose. Since several circumstances could arise during your yoga sessions, it is best to choose one that is able to adapt and hold its own against a variety of factors.

Below are just some of the varieties of yoga mats available in the market. Learn about each one of them and what type of yoga activities suit them.

*Dearer Mats: These types of mats are suitable for those who wish to have specially designed mats or just want to attain maximum support for their yoga practice. If you are aptly skilled with yoga, then an average mat will do.

*Thicker Mats: This type of mat is best suited for individuals who participate in highly active and challenging types of yoga techniques. That way, the mat will serve as cushion against any form of impact that can be attained as you perform challenging poses, which is inevitable with the level of difficulty of the practice.

*Thinner Mats: This type of yoga mat is most convenient to use for individuals who constantly travel. Thus, it would be easy to carry around and put inside your luggage. Thinner mats are also best for relaxing poses.

*Sticky Mats: For yoga practitioners who want to attain full support for their poses, the sticky mat is the best choice. They are also thinly made and small enough to conveniently carry around.

*Cotton Mats: If you're practicing Bikram Yoga, cotton mats are your best option to use. Since Bikram or Hot Yoga can induce tremendous amount of sweating, the cotton material's ability to absorb sweat makes it very convenient. Plus, it effectively stays in place and avoid slipping off.

*Textured Mats: This type of mat is ideal for those who want some help in maintaining their yoga poses.

Yoga Poses & Equipment : Buying Yoga Mats

Considerations When Buying A Yoga Mat

Now that you have decided to purchase your own yoga mat, the next dilemma would be how to find the best in the market. Indeed, not all mats are created equal and the same goes with your needs. Hence, it is best to put those two factors next to each other before making your final decision.

Among the basic considerations you need to make when picking out a yoga mat to use concerns the safety and hygienic requirements:

  • Make sure it is able to grip the floor to prevent sliding.
  • It must be able to stay in place even when you start to sweat.
  • It must not curl and remain flat against the floor.
  • It has to endure its constant usage.
  • It must be washable so it is safe to use.

Size Of Yoga Mat

When buying a yoga mat to use, size is one of the most important factors to consider. In fact, it is one of the areas your first look at. Your mat size needs vary according to your own size and what type of poses you are going to perform. An average yoga mat would be 24-inches wide, with length ranging from 68 to 27 inches. For smaller individuals and kids, you might need a shorter mat though. You will also need smaller mats when you intend to carry your mat around or when you need to bring them inside your luggage.

But, larger mats have their own set of benefits too since you can perform more varied poses with ease given the space that is available to you.


Materials Used

The type of material used on your yoga mat is essential in terms of your convenience while using it, its safety features, and durability. Also, look into the materials to ensure that they are environmental safe since you are going to be exposed to them for a long period of time. The most recommended yoga mats are those that are made of organic natural latex since they are safe for both environment and the yoga practitioner.

Cost of Yoga Mat

Most individuals would readily opt for the inexpensive mats but you must not be deceived by the cost as you could also be sacrificing its quality in the process. You can definitely go a long way with high-quality mats as compared to cheap but low-quality ones. Plus, cheap and low-quality mats easily degrade in performance so you have to regularly replace them. In the end, it could cost you more as compared to opting for reasonably priced but high quality yoga mat.


Submit a Comment

  • visionandfocus profile image

    visionandfocus 6 years ago from North York, Canada

    Didn't realise there were so many different types. The cotton one sounds lovely. Thanks for sharing all this great info!

  • HC0303 profile image

    HC0303 7 years ago

    Taking care of your yoga mat is very important for yoga enthusiasts. Learning to clean them not only helps you save costs in replacing them too early, it 's good to know you are always doing your exercises on a clean mat.