Yoga is an intense physical activity that keeps the body and the mind healthy. You need a Good Yoga Mat to perform various asanas without injuring yourself. A lot depends on the yoga mat, as it can enhance your performance significantly. There are all sorts of mats available in the market today but, not all of them will suit your needs.
If a mat is too thick, too sloppy, or too small for your size, it's good for nothing. So, what makes a Yoga Mat the best Yoga Mat? Well, the best Yoga Mat will provide you a firm grip, good texture, and enough space to stretch your body. Moreover, its material should be durable and eco-friendly for a better experience.
Besides better performance in yoga, you should buy your yoga mat to ensure better hygiene. Yoga mats are readily available in most yoga studios, but it's never good to use a public mat. Mats in studios are not always clean, and they might have the sweat of others who used them earlier.
Moreover, if practicing Yoga in a public space or a group, yoga mats help you define your space. There are six features you need to consider before buying a yoga mat for yourself. The features include Thickness, Length, Material, Texture, Your Needs, and Portability. If a yoga mat doesn't meet your standards across any of these six features, it's not right for you.
The thickness of a Yoga Mat is crucial because it makes a significant difference to the grip it provides. A standard yoga mat is about 3mm in thickness, and you may also find yoga mats that are about 6mm in thickness. So, which one should you get? You need to decide your yoga mat's thickness on various parameters like your body structure and your joints' health.
If you have weak joints, you should get yourself a thicker mat because it'll minimize pressure on your joints. We recommend you buy a yoga mat with approximately 6mm thickness. Similarly, if your body is thin, you should not go for any mat that is less than 6mm in thickness. If your body is healthy and your joints are strong, you should buy a mat that's 3mm or 1/8inch thick.
To experiment with the yoga mat's thickness and try thinner mats, you can buy a 1/16inch thick yoga mat. These ultrathin mats provide a better grip and make you feel the ground. On the other hand, a thicker mat might feel good but, it'll be heavier and hard to carry. Moreover, a yoga mat thicker than 6mm isn't good for complex asanas.
Imagine doing yoga on a yoga mat that's shorter than your height. Most probably, you wouldn't like it. A good Yoga Mat should be as tall as your height so that your body doesn't touch the floor. A short yoga mat makes it uncomfortable to do yoga asanas and hampers your performance. The average length of most yoga mats is 68 inches.
A short yoga mat means less area for the body to relax and stretch. You might come with direct contact with the ground while doing yoga on such a mat. And, when the body falls beyond the area of the mat, the experience is quite frustrating. You should never compromise with the length of your yoga mat because it's difficult to do yoga on an uneven surface.
Tall people can get themselves yoga mats that are 73 or 74 inches in length. Some manufacturers make yoga mats for tall people, and these mats measure about 84 inches in length. Not just taller mats, some manufacturers also make wider yoga mats. In all and all, there's a yoga mat for everyone, irrespective of their height.
The life, durability, and texture of a good yoga mat depend on its material. You may find yoga mats made up of various materials, and each has a different lifecycle and impact on the environment. Yoga mats made up of PVC aren't eco-friendly, but they tend to have a long life.
Cotton Yoga Mats are eco-friendly, and they provide a firm grip even when the body is sweaty. You may also use a cotton yoga mat with mats of other material for additional support. Though a cotton yoga mat might be thin, it will not slip on the ground.
Natural Rubber Yoga Mats are also eco-friendly and can be pretty good in the long run. The rubber mats are thick and will prevent extra pressure on the joints. However, if you're allergic to latex, you may go for foam or cotton yoga mats.
The texture and the material impact the grip and the feel you may get from the yoga mat. A high-quality, smooth yoga mat is good for firm traction and grip while doing complex asanas. A low-quality PVC yoga mat with a smooth texture is not good as it might slip when the body gets sweaty.
A rubber or a cotton mat will be a better choice as these mats hold the ground firmly. A cotton mat provides excellent traction and doesn't skid away due to sweat. Even the natural rubber yoga mat will not slip away and prevent injuries.
You may also get a foam mat if the other two don't fit in your budget. A foam mat is also eco-friendly and doesn't slip because of sweat on the body.
A good yoga mat should satisfy all your needs. You need to see if the mat meets all your expectations regarding thickness, length, and traction. Since everyone prefers different styles of yoga, one mat will never satisfy everybody's needs.
A beginner might need a basic yoga mat, whereas an advanced level practitioner might need a high-quality, durable mat. A person with joint problems might need a thicker mat to protect themselves from injuries. Moreover, one needs to consider the size of their yoga mat as well.
Moreover, when choosing a good yoga mat, you should also consider where you generally perform yoga. If you need to carry your yoga mat to a studio or a park, you might want a lighter yoga mat.
A thick mat will weigh more than a thinner yoga mat, and it'll be difficult to carry around. If you do yoga outdoors and travel with a yoga mat, it should be lightweight. You may consider a thick yoga mat if you plan to do yoga in your home.
Some yoga mats also come with a carry bag that makes it easier to travel with the mat. Cotton or Jute mats are always better to carry around because these mats aren't too heavy.
If carrying the mat around isn't a problem for you, you may also get a natural rubber mat. PVC or Foam yoga mats are light, but they don't provide as much traction as cotton, jute, or Rubber yoga mats.
Choosing a good yoga mat could be a tricky and time-consuming process. Knowing what to look for in a yoga mat makes the entire process easier and less time-consuming. The right mat will keep your body from slipping, and its material won't harm the environment as well.