If this is your first time buying a yoga mat, know that there is much more to consider than just a colour and pattern that matches your yoga clothes. As a yoga beginner, you probably aren’t aware of the importance of buying a quality yoga mat. However, once your hands and feet begin to stick to the grimy mat and start to make a sound worse than the one you do when pranayama breathing, then you will realize you should put more effort into finding the right yoga mat. Here’s what to consider when shopping.
Mats made of PVC or rubber offer the best grip for most poses. Furthermore, the sticky nature of these materials makes them ideal for yogis who are prone to sweating or take up hot yoga. Mats coated with polyurethane offer the best grip during the sweatiest of vinyasas but are not ideal for those who want to avoid chemicals or a smelly mat. If you are looking for a more natural option, buy yoga mat made from jute or recycled materials. These models are often comfier and great for seated positions and less vigorous forms of practice.
One perfect way to test your mat’s thickness is by making a headstand. Downward dog and table poses don’t require much cushioning, but for putting all your weight on the crown of your head you will need some great padding. For inversions, a mat that’s 6mm thick is probably the best choice. If you are planning to practice yoga on the beach or outdoors, you will be fine with a mat that’s only 1.60mm thick. Remember that a decent amount of cushion will help you maintain better balance, so you can really sink into flows comfortably.
Some people like mats with raised patterns or bumps, while others prefer ones that are smooth and easy-gliding. Mats made of PVC, polyurethane, and rubber usually don’t have added texture. Jute and cotton mats naturally have a little more texture to them that provides extra traction. Know that mats with tactile patterns may need to be cleaned more often since dirt, grime and sweat can get stuck in their crevices.
Wearing clothes in which you feel comfortable is important and so is having fun while practicing yoga. So, if you want to stand out, buy yoga mat in some cool colour and unique design.