Among all the other fitness practices, yoga requires minimal gear to get started. Apart from your workout clothes, shoes, and other accessories, you’ll primarily need a yoga mat to proceed with the activity.
While most yoga studios offer mats for their clients, you eventually need to purchase your own mat. Also, it’s quite unhygienic to share a yoga mat with another person. Hence, having your personal mat is crucial. This handy gear will make your entire practice enjoyable and bearable as you go along the journey.
Considerations When Shopping For The Right Yoga Mat
Today, there’s an array of yoga mats available within your reach. For instance, Pixels and other similar businesses have a wide range of artistic yoga mats and merchandise designed by independent artists. With new aesthetics, colors, and a set of perks, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
While it can be easy to select a mat based on a friend’s recommendation, keep in mind that this particular mat will serve as your companion as you progress toward this fitness activity. For this reason, make sure to select and invest in the right one for you.
If you’re currently looking for a new yoga mat, below are things to know and consider:
Certain styles of yoga will require you to have a smooth mat with great traction to support you as you strike powerful poses and movements. Smooth yoga mats can also boost your comfort, especially if you select and buy the right one. The sticky texture of the mat prevents you from sliding around as you master every pose. Otherwise, the mat can become slippery and not advisable to use. This can be a bummer, particularly if you’ve used up your savings for it.
As a general rule, refrain from smooth PVC mats as they’re non-absorbent to sweat and can become slippery as you do your practice. Instead, opt for mats made from natural fiber. You can choose among organic cotton, natural rubber, and other similar materials.
Textured rubber mats are recommended if you prefer mats that offer a better grip when poses get more difficult. Nonetheless, if you’re doing gentle types of yoga and you’re not comfortable with textured surfaces, look for rubber mats with a sleek feel.
Moreover, unlike PVC mats, the natural texture of these mats offers traction to your body. If you sweat a lot during your yoga practice, this can be the appropriate mat for you. However, take note that mats made out of organic fiber might not be durable in the long haul compared to PVC mats.
The mat’s color, pattern, print, or design can motivate you to stay consistent with your yoga practice. Colors can influence your thoughts, mood, and behavior. For instance, yellow is associated with positivity and enthusiasm while red is linked to fiery energy. These may affect your mindset and persuade you to start breaking a sweat.
The right color will encourage you to get up and move, especially during the winter months when you prefer to retreat into your room. Likewise, who doesn’t get inspired by cute and aesthetic yoga mats?
Yoga requires you to perform a range of poses and moves. Hence, you need sufficient cushion to keep you stable, support, and lessen the tension on your ankles, knees, and elbows. While you might resort to thick ones to protect your joints, keep in mind that extra thick yoga mats might make it challenging for you to maintain a pose and find balance. Extra thick mats can be quite heavy to carry around. This can be inconvenient, especially if you travel a lot and bring your yoga mat to stretch and keep up with your exercise routine.
On the other hand, if it’s too thin, you might feel uncomfortable and conscious if your knees get banged on the floor. If you aren’t careful enough, you might hurt your joints and get mild bruises. For most people, the standard 1/8-inch-thick yoga mat works best. If you already feel comfortable using this type, you don’t need to look for a thicker one. However, if you need more support and extra padding, you can opt for a 1/4-inch-thick mat that you don’t mind carrying around.
Looking for a yoga mat that suits your needs and preferences can be quite time-consuming. However, all these will be worth it once you’re able to score the right gear that’ll support you in your fitness practice. Moreover, by consulting the things above, you can narrow down your options and potentially eliminate the stress linked to mat shopping.