How To Choose The Right Yoga Mat

How To Choose The Right Yoga Mat

Pink-Yoga-MatSo you are excited to start Yoga at home? Assuming you have already found an excellent location to do your practice, the next thing to do is to get a good Yoga mat for you. I will be discussing the best things to consider when choosing one that is best for you. Things to consider are materials used, thickness, size, stickiness.

With the power of the internet and technology, you can pretty much find what you want with a click of a button. You can find Yoga products online on your computer or even on your phone. A lot of online shops have mobile responsive websites. But first, you have to know what you are looking for. Follow this guide and for sure you will find your perfect match.

What Material is Best

You are lucky to start Yoga now. Gone are the days when there was only one type of Yoga mat we could get. Now you have many options to choose from.

PVC  made of PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) or vinyl. It is known for its sticky texture which is very helpful in keeping you steady and balanced in some poses. Manufacturing of vinyl mats involves a lot of toxins which makes it not a candidate for recycling, that is why some Yoga lovers prefer not to use the product. But because of its sticky characteristics, PVC mats are one of the best props for beginners as it will help you to be stable and balanced in your practice.

On one note, there are a few companies now that produce ecologically friendly mats which yoga lovers will love.

PER (polymer environmental resin) is a PVC mat that does not have hazardous toxins so it is ecologically friendly and recyclable.
Rubber Yoga mat is probably the best substitute for PVC mats. It is also durable and slip-proof just like vinyl. The only downside of rubber mats is it is not a good fit for someone who is allergic to latex. But there are companies now that manufacture 100% latex free.

Cotton is your best choice if you are into biodegradable products. It is free of synthetic toxins and completely biodegradable. Unfortunately, cotton mats do not have the comfort and durability as the PVC mats.

TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) is a material that has both “plastic” and “elastic” attributes. It is entirely recyclable and can be made into slippers or even brand new mats.

Yoga Mat Rack

Thickness and Stability

Since you are doing your yoga at home, it is easier for you to choose which to get. Most common mat thickness ranges between 1/8 to 1/4 inches. Depending on how hard your floor is, you can choose in between this range.

Thick mats will give you will have more comfort especially if you have a hard floor and it is also more stable with movements. You do not want your mats moving with you every time you move. It is also advisable for people with sensitive joints.

When I started my practice, I used a thinner mat, to begin with. The issue was, every time I get on my knees doing my cat and cow or camel poses, I could feel my bones pressing onto the floor and my knees would start to hurt. So I bought another thin mat to put over the current one. It was good and comfortable. But the downside of it is it became too thick that it was hard for to balance doing “tree pose.” So I got smart, whenever I get to the standing poses, I just remove the other mat to make it thin and perfect for the standing poses. Eventually, I bought the right mat for myself.

Thinner mats are good for traveling. As a matter of fact, there are 1/16 inches mats that fold very easily. They are very light and are perfect if you are mobile most of the time.

Thick Yoga Mat

How Big Is A Good Size

Standard Yoga mats are 68 inches long. If you are 6 foot or over, pick the 72 or 74 inches one. Standard width is 24 inches wide, but wider mats are also available in the market that ranges from 30 to 36 inches. This choice is perfect to avoid landing on the floor outside of your mat in case you fall outbalanced in some the poses. Also, when you end your practice in Savasana laying on your mats with your arms legs and arms spread wide, it feels good to stay within the perimeter and comfort of your mat.

Sustainability

As a Yoga lover, we practice love and mindfulness for self, for others and for the environment. Thus, it is highly advisable that we use products that are pro-environment and ecologically friendly. Manufacturers of yoga products are now making an effort of creating products the is good for us and good for the earth.

Cleaning Yoga Mat

I usually have my water spray (filled with water and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar) and a clean cloth handy near my area so I can just wipe it right after my practice. Just a few sprays and wipe, let it dry for a few minutes and then it is ready to roll in. It is good to make it a habit of cleaning your mat every after use. Folding it right after practice without cleaning will encourage bacteria to develop and create an annoying smell on your mat.

If you practice outside and the mat gets heavily soiled, you may need to soak it in warm water and mild detergent plus a gentle scrubbing to remove the dirt. Hang it dry before folding ready for next use.

Preferably, clean your floor first before laying your mat and starting your practice. Dirt build-up make cause to make your mat slippery and unstable in your next practice.

Your Final Decision

At the end of the day, the decision is yours. Many yoga online stores are sellingHome Yoga Workout different kinds of mat to suit your preferences and budget. Go check them out and investigate thoroughly before purchase. Remember that thickness is for comfort, stickiness is for good traction, stability and steady base (your mat). Consider these factors and surely will help you enjoy and benefit from your home practice. Look after your mat and it will look after you and your health.

Thank you very much for reading my blog. If you have any comment, please leave a message below.

Namaste.

2 Replies to “How To Choose The Right Yoga Mat”

  1. This is so relevant to me right now, my partner is looking to purchase a mat and tossing up many options. Thank you for clearly explaining the sizings and thickness as this is one of the things he wasn’t sure about. Most appreciated.

    1. You are most welcome Heidi. Thank you for your feedback. I hope your partner finds the right one for him and enjoys his practice.

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