The very first thing that you should add to your shopping cart when you are planning to do yoga in your home is the mat. You can’t really pose and move your body without a proper yoga mat.
You might think, well, it’s just a mat, just go ahead buying the one which looks stylish when actually it’s way more than that. The main purpose of a yoga mat is to provide you with a nice spot so you can pose and move your body comfortably. It includes stickiness, smoothness, firmness, and stability.
So, choosing a yoga mat can be quite a challenging job to do since you may end up wasting your money on the one which is only about the look, not the function. Your yoga mat is not merely part of your decor but it should support your healthy lifestyle.
To help you out, we share with you a complete guide on How to Choose a Yoga Mat that you can use as an ultimate reference below.
How to Choose a Yoga Mat
Choose the right thickness
Yes, the thickness should be the first consideration when you are planning to buy a yoga mat. Why? Well, because you will do all those stretches and poses of your daily yoga on that mat. You can’t expect to do the movements on a mat without proper thickness.
A good yoga mat should be at least 1/8 inch thick which can provide a nice comfort while still maintaining your connection with the flooring. If you are planning to bring your yoga mat here and there, you might want to consider choosing a yoga mat around 1/6 inch thick which can be folded easily. You can also find a yoga mat with 1/4 inch thick but it can be quite wobbly.
Choose the right material
The materials that build up your yoga mat determine a lot of things like the texture that you will feel to the eco-friendliness. PVC is the most popular material when it comes to the yoga mat and if you care more about the earth, you can go with natural rubber, organic cotton, and jute.
The popularity of PVC as the material of yoga mats is due to some reasons. It provides nice stickiness and sponginess so you can feel endured when you’re killing those moves. Moreover, PVC is also considered a very durable material so you can use them for years.
One thing about natural materials is that some of you may get allergic to them, especially with natural rubber. You need to consider this or you can’t use the mats at all.
Choose the texture
Just like thickness, texture on a yoga mat also determines how comfortable you will feel. A yoga mat with a good texture should provide nice traction so you can do various moves and poses without hassles. You really need to learn the texture that a yoga mat has.
The texture of yoga mats is mainly created by the materials that build them, for instance, PVC has slight textures yet feels so soft while jute comes with a bit of natural roughness. You can easily choose a yoga mat that comes with textures that suit your needs and taste.
Yoga mats which are made of natural materials like jute, rubber, or cotton come with nice textures that can hold you firmly and prevents slipping very well. Even if you are sweaty during your yoga session, you won’t have to worry since their raised textures provide great comfort.
PCV yoga mats don’t really help you to stay put due to their smoothness. As alternatives, you can consider choosing more eco-friendly yoga mats which can provide better traction.
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Choose the right stickiness
Without good stickiness, you cannot really kill those moves and poses since you’re worried about getting slipped. A good yoga mat should provide nice stickiness that keeps you from sliding all over the place even when you are doing difficult poses.
In general, PVC mat is considered to have the highest sticky factor which will surely hold things together. However, you need to make sure that your PVC yoga mat is always clean so it can keep its stickiness. You might want to wash a PVC yoga mat with a handy yoga mat cleaner before you use it.
What is it about the eco-friendliness of a yoga mat? Well, as yogis that focus on kindness, you may also want to share it with mother earth. As you may have known, though PVC provides a lot of benefits, it’s still considered to harm the earth even for years to come. It’s because PVC won’t break down by itself in landfills and it’s quite an expensive project to recycle the material.
Therefore, yoga mats that are made of natural materials are definitely a wiser choise. They are typically made from natural rubber, jute, and organic cotton. The main downside of natural yoga mats is that they can feel quite slippery though the thickness is so comforting. You might need to choose the ones which come with a particular pattern that can hold you firmly.
Determine your budget
For you who have a limited budget, a PVC yoga mat with 1/8 inch can be a suitable option. You will find tons of products within the low to medium price range which come in various designs. The factors that may affect the pricing are designs, patterns, thickness, texture, and antimicrobial treatments.
In general, eco-friendly yoga mats are offered at quite expensive price tags since they are also designed to save the earth.
Pick the style
Now you have learned some important points that you need to keep in mind in choosing the right yoga mats and what’s left now is the fun part! For sure, you will find tons of products which look so attractive. They come with catchy vibrant colors and stunning patterns that may overwhelm you.
Always choose the one that fashionably suits your taste and personality. It always depends on your personal style to pick a design of a yoga mat.
(Image source: depositphotos.com)