The right yoga mat can make all the difference in your practice
To practice yoga, you need a yoga mat. With the rise in poularity of yoga, new mats of all different types, colors, shapes and sizes are cropping up all the time. Some mats are best suited for Bikram or hot yoga, while others may be what you need while traveling or for a gentle restorative yoga class.
As a yoga instructor, have sampled hundreds of different types of yoga mats and accessories and have created this page to help you find the perfect mat for your style and level of yoga practice. Many more mats exist than those listed on this page, but the ones listed I believe are the best of their kind.
1/4" Extra Thick Deluxe
At 1/4" inches thick, this yoga mat is thicker than the standard 1/8 -1/16" inch thick traditional yoga mat and therefore provides more density and more padding which is certainly nice for those poses that have you putting weight on the knees and wrists. In addition, it is 72 inches long which is longer than the regular 68 inch traditional mat. This accomodates taller people. One other benefit to this mat is that it is textured on both sides so both sides can be used face up and therefore the mat will not wear as fast on one side as is common in more traditional yoga mats. Finally, many color options are available.
This mat is great for a vigorous vinyasa practice, Ashtanga yoga or a more traditional hatha yoga class. Also works well with a towel or yogi toes (see other accessories below) for a Bikram hot yoga class.
This is one of the most durable yoga mats available. It has a specific top and bottom side, the top side Is a fabric-like surface finish that is not sticky, yet is slip-resistant, even when wet from perspiration,this helps keep hands and feet firmly rooted during practice. The firm material this mat is made from resists bunching and remains flat even when practicing on carpet or with sticky feet. The mat is 71 inches long and 26 inches wide providing more length and width than a standard yoga mat. It is 1/4" thick making it one of the thickest mats available and weighs 6-1/2-pounds. This is heavier than most yoga mats but it is noticeably more comfortable.
This mat is an excellent choice for those serious yogi's practicing yoga on a regular basis, multiple times a week, where durability and longevity of a mat is needed. Not the best option for travel due to its heavy weight and large size.
Manduka 71-Inch PROlite
This mat made by Manduka is a mat suitable for travel. Like its thicker counterpart discussed above, its surface resists slipping when wet from perspiration, its firmness resists bunching and remains flat even when practicing on carpet or with sticky feet. It is 71-inch Prolite Travel Mat is 24-inches wide by 71-inches long by 3/16-inch thick and weighs approximately 4.5 pounds.
Valeo Yoga and Pilates Mat
Another mat ideal for travel that can be used for all styles of yoga- the Valeo Yoga and Pilates Mat. It is lightweight, durable and sticky with a cushioned, non-slip surface. This mat is traditional in size and thickness Measuring 24 inches wide and 48 inches long. Mats such as these are easy to travel with but do wear out quicker than the thicker mats discussed above, especially at the sections where hands and feet are traditionally placed on the mat. This mat is also one of the best values cost wise.
Stott Pilates/Yoga Eco-Friendly Mat
This mat has a different feel and texture to it than other mats which some people prefer. It is 6mm thick and made of 100% recyclable and biodegradable TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer) foam, making it an eco friendly choice. At 2.5 lbs with rounded corners,it is fashionable and light enough to travel with.
Cotton Yoga Diamond Pattern Rug
Cotton yoga rugs have been used for centuries for Hatha Yoga and are considered to be the first mats ever used for Yoga practice in Mysore, India. Being 100% cotton, these mats are the most eco friendly mats available and fully biodegradable. In addition, these mats absorb your perspiration and help you maintain your poses without slipping. These mats can also be placed on top of one of the other mats for added cushioning and this is actually a more popular use for them than just as a solo mat. When used in this manner, they are perfect for Ashtanga, Hatha Flow, Power Yoga, and Bikram hot yoga as the tightly-woven thick weave cotton fibers readily absorb perspiration.
Other Great Yoga Mat Accessories
Yogitoes is an innovative company that designs yoga and fitness products for the modern yogi. Yogitoes towel created specifically to prevent slipping on your yoga mat. This is ideal for yoga classes in a heated room or vigorous vinyasa classes where you may sweat more.
This great Canvas Deluxe Yoga Bag has an adjustable shoulder strap so it can be worn on your back or as a shoulder bag, and is large enough to fit a Yoga Mat, 2 Yoga Blocks, and more. It is made of durable, breathable canvas. The outside of the bag even has a convenient smaller zipper-enclosed pocket that is perfect for storing your cell phone, keys, or even a Yoga Strap.
Keep your yoga mat clean and fully hygienic with the Gaiam yoga mat wash. Made of tea-tree extract and natural essential oil blends, the USDA-certified organic mat cleaner is 100-percent all natural and nontoxic. More significantly, it lets you easily remove sweat, dirt, and other impurities after an energizing yoga routine, so you needn't practice
A safe, nontoxic, hypoallergenic and effective way to clean and restore your sticky mat. Yoga Mat Wash was designed by yogis and yoginis concerned about residues from the yoga mat manufacturing process, as well as the residues of their work out. Super mild and effective castile soap based formula.