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Yoga Mats: How To Pick The Best One For You

Updated on December 26, 2015

Yoga Poses & Equipment : Buying Yoga Mats

Importance of Buying Your Own Mat

In order to start your yoga routine, there are only minimal requirements to comply with. Aside from wearing appropriate yoga clothing for convenience and comfort, yoga mats are among the most basic materials you need. This is very important in yoga wherein participants are often required to perform exercises while laying on your back. Therefore, a yoga mat is convenient for hygienic purposes and for your own safety or stability.

Some yoga studios allow their students, especially for newbies, to rent yoga mats that are readily available. While this might be financially practical, it is not exactly the wisest choice. First off, when something is communal, then you do not have the ability to track down which persons were able to use it prior to yourself. The question of hygiene is pressing here and you need not neglect it. And just as you specifically choose your own yoga style to practice, you also need to allot the same amount of consideration when deciding on a mat to use for your yoga sessions.

Yoga Poses & Equipment : Yoga Mat Types

Yoga Poses & Equipment : Jute Yoga Mats

The Types of Yoga Mat

The type of yoga mat to use is one of the most basic consideration you have to make when choosing the best yoga mat there is. You should not only think of comfort when choosing but also its ability to help you execute your yoga poses with precision and safety.

*Thin mats – As the name implies, this one comes with a light material that permits one to carry this mat with convenience before or after their yoga class.

*Thick mats – Some yoga practitioners opt for this kind of mat due to its cushioning effect, which prevents one from suffering pain while executing awkward yoga poses. Plus, the cushion also helps provide added stability as your mat is less likely to move around with you on top of it.

*Travel mats - This type of mat is specifically created to provide convenience for those who travel often as it would fit into your luggage quite easily.

*Cotton mats – This is an ideal type of mat for people practicing Bikam or Ashtanga Yoga. The cotton material helps absorb the sweat that a person produces, which avoids slipping.

*Sticky mats – This type of mat serve to cover the area where you are supposed to execute your poses. Since they stick to the floor, you do not have to worry about slipping or sliding and provides you with a steady balance.

Avoid Sticky Mats

There is a common myth in yoga practice regarding the choice of yoga mat to use. Some people falsely believe that the best type of mat are the sticky ones that are equipped with super grip ability. However, yoga experts would not recommend them.

Yoga is all about using your mind and body to attain balance, physical or mental. Therefore, using mats that have intense gripping ability is a form of cheating. You need to understand that every single yoga position has a dual aspect, one for the mind and the other for the body. Any use of external help, such as extra sticky mats, would deplete that balance.

Also, sufficient slip is vital in your progression in yoga practice. Therefore, when you use mats that tightly grip onto the floor, it obstructs the smooth transition of your yoga movements. This can even be dangerous, possibly resulting to sprain or twisting of neck or back.

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Size of Mat

Picking the most appropriate size of yoga mat to use should be quite easy. However, some people still cannot figure what the best size of mat to is for them. Compare the size of the mat against your own body size. Make sure it has enough space for you to cover and execute your poses freely. You want to eliminate all restrictions on your movement, if possible. Think of your yoga mat as your own yoga space.

Quality of Mat

This tip is obvious but it has to be stated. Opt for durable yoga mats that can withstand the heat, sweat, and friction that it is bound to get during yoga practice. Some yoga mats come at an expensive price but their durability make a quality trade-off given that some standard cheap yoga mats have almost disposable quality. Therefore, spending a huge amount on a yoga mat that you can use over a long period of time makes better sense than having to keep buying cheap ones.


This factor is made for practicality's sake. You cannot simply assume that a yoga mat that is tagged with an expensive price can really deliver the quality you need. Take time to examine the mat itself to see what materials were used and if it is durable enough for regular use. Then, compare it next to the price of the mat to see if the item is appropriately priced.

Personal Preference or Comfort Level

Experts believe that this is the most important consideration you have to make when choosing a yoga mat to use. Yoga is not a competition. You need to workout at your own pace and an efficient yoga mat will provide you the support you need to naturally allow your body to adapt. Whether you prefer the feel of cotton or feel more secure with thicker mats, go for whatever you are more confident in using.

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