Whether you’re purchasing a yoga mat for the first time or replacing it for the twentieth, getting the perfect one is an absolute must.
Ten years ago, your only preference might have been whether to purchase green or blue, but with time you realize that the process is way bigger than just that. The portability, storage, thickness, comfort, and environmental friendliness are all factors that are imperative to consider.
Other than that, it has to perfectly align with your lifestyle, practice, priorities, and budget.
Many people believe that yoga mats are not essential to perform yoga exercises. That any regular mat can fulfill the purpose of a yoga mat; while it may be valid to some extent, it surely is not the best perception to live by.
Reasons Why a Yoga Mat is Vital for Your Workout Routine
Reduces Risk of Injury
Without a yoga mat at hand, you expose yourself to higher chances of injury. Your hands can get sweaty during yoga and can easily slip if you’re working out on the floor. If you are practising on a smooth and slippery floor, your feet can easily glide too. A yoga mat prevents that.
Another form of injury can result in a lack of comfort while stretching. It can lead to sore knees or back pain. This can get worse if you are an arthritis patient. You need a sufficient amount of padding that cushions your muscles and joints.
Improves Grip and Posture
Proper grip is substantial when practising yoga poses. Yoga mats come with that guarantee as it does not let you lose grip even if your hands are wet.
Someone who practices yoga tends to indulge in more intense and challenging asanas within a month. For that, you need a surface that allows you to hold an adequate grip to carry out your pose with the correct posture. Yoga mats support that transition smoothly.
A yoga mat acts as a measure of stability when it comes to meditating or practising yoga asanas. You need a stable surface in order to hold your balance for long. Performing asanas where you have to rely on your shoulders on a waxy wooden surface can be very frustrating, challenging, and risky. Yoga mats make sure you hold your balance and posture without sliding back and forth.
One of the most satisfactory things about owning a yoga mat is sanitation. Practicing on a hard, cold, and dirty floor is as unhealthy as using a used yoga mat. You never know how many people used it before you and how. Therefore, having your own keeps you in peace of mind.
Material Guide for Yoga Mat
Since you have moved from keeping colour as your only purchase criteria, you’re probably now aware that material has to be one of the first and foremost considerations when making a purchase. Since yoga mats are made of a plethora of materials, you need to be aware of the best yoga mat material.
Here is a list of all the materials that you’ll find with their benefits to shortlist the one that suits your preference.
You might have held a yoga mat that feels super soft and easy to roll, and you thought of purchasing it. Well, don’t. Turns out these mats are made up of PVCs, short for Polyvinyl Chloride. These are dangerous plastic softeners used in many products like children’s toys and most yoga mats.
The Department of Human Services has linked PVCs with obesity, cancer, fertility issues, nerve damage, neurological issues, and congenital damage. It has countless toxic chemicals, which is not the safest option for you or the environment. They might be cheap, but they are not healthy to use in the long term, to say the least.
It’s better to spend a slightly higher price and get a non-toxic mat.
Organic Cotton Mats
Every yogi wants to turn to as greener an option can get when it comes to meditation. Organic cotton mats are one of the best yoga mat materials that you can opt for. They are soft, natural, and eco-friendly.
These are ideal for yoga asanas that are seated poses and require less balance. These are known for offering less grip, but it increases as your hands get sweatier. They are also easily washable, so a complete win-win experience.
This material has recently emerged, presenting a healthier response to the toxic material. The major perks offered by jute are its excellent grip and transaction. It absorbs your sweat and is completely natural. The best part about it is that it is chemical-free.
Rubber Mats (Natural is Best)
Rubber mats are trendy for their high-cushioning feature and safety. In recent times, these have become a much greener option for yogis. Two drawbacks of this mat are that it is not machine washable and is slightly more expensive. However, considering the benefits, they pretty much overshadow them.
Foam yoga mats are budget-friendly and lightweight mats that should be among your top considerations. They are super comfortable, durable, and latex-free. Although it is a synthetic material, the list of benefits makes it a pretty sensible choice to make.
TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer)
TPE is a blend of plastic and rubber and is slightly better than PVCs. These are recyclable and are swiftly emerging to be safe. This material is not natural; it’s made up of human-made polymers. However, it comes with many recyclable alternatives. It’s comfortable, lightweight, absorbs sweat, and is very elastic.
Padded Yoga Mats
For people who endure joint pain and are in need of extra cushioning, padded yoga mats are a definitive solution. These mats have two layers of thickness; the interior layer of foam and the exterior layer of washable cloth.
This is the best yoga mat material for joint pains and has a lesser grip than standard yoga mats.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing Yoga Mat
Yoga mats are available in a variety of thicknesses. Before you invest in one, it’s better to experiment with some and gain a good yoga mat thickness guide. One of the pesky things about thickness is that some yoga poses feel better with a thicker mat, while the others are more comfortable with a thinner mat. The level of thickness goes from 6mm to 12mm.
In this selection, you can’t win 100% of the time since every pose targets a different section of the body, and different levels of thickness support them. You just need to find a neutral ground that renders harmony and synchronization for the body.
While standard PVC mats come with an anti-slip feature, many of these start to lose their grip as soon as your hands get sweaty. This makes it difficult for you to hold onto a certain pose.
It would be best to choose a mat that has better moisture control and increases the grip as you sweat. This will prevent injuries and enhance your performance.
Budget is always one of the top concerns whenever making a purchase. For a beginner, it is better to start with a relevantly cheaper mat to get your hands on to the asanas. Once you decide to continue pursuing a yoga mat workout, you can invest in a top-quality mat.
Make sure to get a durable one that lasts a long time to get the most value out of your money.
Alignment of the mat is another significant feature that you must consider before finalizing your purchase. It prevents you from injuries and corrects your posture. These mats have lines engraved on their surface to guide you through every posture.
Other than the alignment, choosing the pattern and colour of the mat can be entirely on your preference. Since it connects with you spiritually, it’s better to purchase a mat that draws to your interest.
If portability isn’t one of your primary concerns, then the weight wouldn’t be a problem. However, if you have to carry your yoga mat around often, consider the weight. A mat weighing 1kg is portable enough for you to carry it around anywhere.
If you are looking for a yoga mat portable, durable, and ideal for the gym or outdoor locations, this one by DMOOSE is a perfect choice. It’s lightweight, anti-tear, and non-slip to prevent any injury.
Yoga mats are one of the most vital accessories that you must own. They help correct your posture, support your joints, enhance balance, and improve grip. However, it’s important to analyze factors like thickness, grip, budget, and weight before making a purchase to ensure you’re investing in the ideal mat.