Whether you are a beginner or already saluting the sun daily and planning your next big yoga retreat, the yoga mat you choose will play an important role in your life as a yogi.
One of the first questions people search is, “what yoga mat should I buy”, as well as searching for other opinions of yoga programs such as yoga burn reviews? Your yoga mat is like your personal instructor and always there to support your efforts and provide the soft sturdy foundation that allows you to keep your mind clear and your efforts focused.
You will find that many gyms and fitness centers provide their own yoga mats for those who need them, but there are some good reasons, beyond merely hygienic advantages, to owning your own. This will mean making a shopping run to the sports store or online outlet. Here are some things to keep in mind to be sure your yoga mat suits your purpose perfectly.
Choosing The Correct Thickness of Yoga Mat
The right thickness is very important. Generally, the 1/8 inch thick is too thin for anyone but a child and the slightly larger 1/6 or ¼ will provide better stability and flow during your practice. There are really thick and plush options as well, but you will probably want to try them out first, they can be kind of cumbersome to carry around and use. You want a mat that is comfortable, durable but also practical.
Mat Weight and Portability
If you are looking for something to use in the convenience of your home or the yoga studio you can reach by car, even one of the heavier 7 lb. options might be suitable. But, if you will be making a trip to yoga retreats and carrying this mat around on public transportation in parts unknown, you will need something built to be light and portable.
Yoga Mat Durability
Will you be practicing intense Ashtanga Yoga? You might need something thick and up to snuff to provide long lasting use. If you will be using your mat less often or practicing something less intense, like Vinyasa or Hatha Yoga, thinner mats will do just fine. The mat that is best for you is always going to be determined by your specific, personal needs.
The Materials the Yoga Mat is Made Of
PVC mats are the most common and for good reason, they are cheap and durable. PVC mats allow for good support even though they are not the most environmentally friendly options out there.
TPE yoga mats are slightly more environmentally friendly but are not quite as durable as the PVC option. Finally, there are the mats made of natural fibers. Even though these are the “greenest” option, they don’t always provide good grip on a smooth floor.
There are a few things to think about before rushing ahead and buying. Be sure to take your time to assess your needs so that your mat will serve your yoga purposes for a few years to come.