A Guide to Buying the Perfect Yoga Mat
The practice of yoga these days has proven to be very popular. More and more people are concerned with their health and well-being in these times so for most of them, yoga has become an integral part of their life. And because yoga practitioners take their habits seriously, this means they must have gear that will last for a long time.
If you are a beginner in the practice, looking for the best non-slip yoga mats can be a chore. No worries though, because this article presents some important suggestions on how to find a yoga mat that will make your path to enlightenment a bit more comfortable and hassle free.
Know the Mats Material
Yoga mats are typically made with rubber or PVC material for better grip, regardless of what pose you are performing. A good mat is something that can withstand sweat. Plenty of mats are covered with a layer of polyurethane, but those with sensitive noses can forgo models with the polyurethane coating.
While polyurethane mats do emit an obvious smell, they are effective in providing grip throughout a string of sweat-inducing yoga poses. For the eco-conscious yogis, there are mats made from natural fiber like jute and recycled materials. These mats are more comfortable and are ideal for less challenging practices and seated positions.
Check the Thickness of the Mat
To test the thickness of a yoga mat, try doing a headstand on it. Poses like the Downward Dog do not require padding, but poses that involve your head need a mat that can make said poses more comfortable and tolerable.
A good yoga mat is at least 1/4” thick. Traveling enthusiasts may go for something with a mat that’s 1/16” thick. Yogis need a mat that presents a good quantity of padding so they can balance their poses and segue into the next pose without much hassles.
Pay Attention to the Texture
Texture is subjective; some people want a smooth surface, while others don’t mind bumps or raised outlines on their mats. Others will favor a mat that has greater grip. If you want smoother mats, you can go for a rubber, PVC or polyurethane model.
Mats made from jute and cotton are usually textured to provide extra traction. However, mats with raised patterns might require maintenance and cleaning much more than smooth ones because they can easily trap dirt, sweat, grime and dust in their nooks and crannies.
Get a Mat with your Favorite Colors or Design
While wearing comfortable clothing is a must for all yogis, creating a statement with your gear can also add more fun to the whole practice. A mat with a distinctive design, beautiful patterns or dynamic colors, will contribute immensely to the overall mood of the practice.
Yoga may be a serious habit, but it does not mean that you cannot have fun while doing it.
Always think of Quality
It can be tempting to just slap a few bucks on a mat that you can use during your yoga routines. It is true that you can find affordable mats anywhere from outlets like Walmart.
While a bargain buy is always nice, those cheaper mats are often produced with subpar quality. Some less expensive mats also have stronger smells due to the material thus if you cannot tolerate smells, it would be better if you invest in something that’s a bit pricier.
High-end yoga mats are built to last for a lifetime and you will eventually save money since you won’t have to buy replacements every now and then for those worn down, less expensive mats.
Research the Yoga Mat Before Buying
Before buying your own yoga mat, it would be good if you hear opinions from other folks and ask them for recommendations. You can ask friends or family who do yoga, fellow yogis in your class, or ask experts like your yoga teacher. You can also visit forums online and ask members for suggestions.
The Internet is a great way to know more about these things and while you’re doing the rounds, you can check out online reviews about mats too.
You can borrow a mat from a friend or fellow yogi and test the mats for several minutes. Try the mat while seated or doing balancing, inverted or standing poses.
You may discover that mats in regular sizes won’t suit your height, or you might not be into models with raised patterns. Testing a mat will prevent any regretful purchase in the end.