Best Yoga Mat for the Hot Yoga Practitioner in 2017
Because of hot yoga’s predilection for hotter and more humid environments than regular yoga, there is an added propensity toward more sweating. This means that in order to properly handle the additional strain found in slippery mats, that can often lead to injuries, a mat specializing in hot yoga is better used than a regular one.
Hot yoga is usually practiced under hot and humid conditions. Because of this, it typically leads to very profuse sweating, which is beneficial in some ways to yogi practitioners.
The additional sweat can occasionally lead to losing one’s grip while doing more complex poses, and that is one of the main reasons why the mat has to be substantially better at absorbing, wicking and distributing sweat in order to maintain slip resistance.
In most hot yoga mats, they’re made with different materials that vary from brand to brand, and model to model. The results also vary for a lot of practitioners, so it is usually good to find one that ultimately fulfills all your needs in a hot yoga mat.
For choosing the best hot yoga mat, this is the criteria that need to be fulfilled:
- Sensitivity/materials used
Different materials have different results when it comes to overall grip and stability, but the one you should be most concerned about is your perceived sensitivity to the various materials. For example, there are people who have a strong sensitivity to latex found in rubber, so choosing a rubber-free mat is the best course of action for them.
Some hot yoga mats can also be made with hypoallergenic materials which are great for people suffering from different allergies, while some are made with non-permeable microfiber to provide extra comfort for problematic joints.
- Dry technology
One of the more important things to look for is how well the mat keeps itself relatively dry in order to lessen instances of slipping. These differ from mat to mat, with some wicking away moisture in a non-permeable manner, absorbing moisture and distributing it evenly throughout the mat or even using the moisture to increase your grip the longer you sweat.
A perfectly well-balanced weight will result in a mat that is not too heavy to carry around, yet heavy enough to keep it from rolling unto itself once laid on the ground.
A good hot yoga mat is sticky enough to help you nail your poses, yet loose enough so that you shouldn’t feel uncomfortable.
Some people will prefer textured mats, which offer better grip in most cases, although their tendency to leave marks and general discomfort can lead to people choosing smoother surfaces at the cost of less grip.
A good hot yoga mat should last you several years, regardless of its construction. Most brands will advertise the optimal timeline for their mats, so it’s well worth it to look into those matters.
A thicker mat is great for kneeling on, or for people with bad joints in general; a thinner one is better for stability during standing positions, so choose the best one that suits the yoga you’ll be doing.
- Other aspects
Some of the other aspects include the eco-friendliness of the mat, its size and overall aesthetic.
Choosing the Best Hot Yoga Mat for You in 2017
If you take all of the points the criteria provided, one of the prime examples of the best hot yoga mats would be the Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip Yoga Mat. It fulfills most of the criteria above and you’ll be able to enjoy its cost efficiency for a long time, provided you care for it properly.
It’s made with PVC backing and is completely rubber-free, so it’s safe to use for people with latex sensitivities. The material is completely moisture repellent, so it stays dry while allowing for better grip as the temperature rises, making it perfect for hot yoga.
It’s light enough to be carried around with you to and from your sessions, and due to the PVC backing, it is basically slip-free while being sufficiently sticky enough to land your poses. The cushioning is also at a perfect balance of thick, yet not too thick, at a mere 5mm, which suits almost all purposes.
The retail price can be a little high for some, but overall you’re getting a durable and fully functional hot yoga mat that will suit your hot yoga needs.