Choosing The Right Yoga Mat: Thickness, Texture, And Environmental Considerations
15 years ago, the only options for yoga mats were either purple or blue, and they were all composed of PVC and known for being extremely sticky. There is now a yoga mat to match every need and choice.
Your yoga mat should be comfortable and fluffy in addition to being a colour and pattern that complement your style. It should be storable and portable and keep you stable in your positions. Additionally, you might want your mat to be eco-friendly. These characteristics of your mat's personality are all influenced by the way it was produced, including its thickness, material composition, and surface roughness.
You can pick a yoga mat that fits your practise, priorities, lifestyle, values, and budget by using the information in this guide. That is the best yoga mat for you, despite what the shops may tell you!
Why it matters: The thickness of your yoga mat affects how comfortable it is; if it's too thin, a crescent lunge could cause damage to your knee. The trade-off is that thick yoga mats, some of which are as thick as 1/4 inch, may make it more difficult for you to feel firmly grounded to the floor, making poses like Tree Pose more unstable.
Options: The thickest yoga mats are roughly 1/4 inch thick; the average one is about 1/8 inch thick. There are also incredibly thin yoga mats that are only 1/16 inch thick and are frequently referred to as "travel yoga mats." They are simple to pack in a luggage because they are lightweight and fold quickly.
Basic shopping advice: Think about how much space you have to store your yoga mat, how crucial portability is, and where your comfort level is in relation to how closely you can feel the floor. Choose a standard-depth mat in the 1/8 inch range if you have limited storage space, a long commute to the studio, and prefer the feel of just a little padding.
A premium yoga mat that is about 1/4 inch thick would be something to think about if you don't mind carrying and storing a little bit extra weight for the benefit of more cushioning. Get yourself a foldable travel yoga mat in the 1/16 inch range if you absolutely must be able to pack your mat in a bag or carry-on.
Why it's significant Your yoga mat's texture, stickiness, environmental friendliness, sponginess (how much it bends to pressure), and wear over time all depend on the material it is composed of.
Options: Vinyl, sometimes known as PVC, is the material used in the majority of common yoga mats. Jute, organic cotton or natural cotton, natural and recycled rubber, and newer, more environmentally friendly alternatives (which means the fabric is not treated with synthetic finishes during manufacturing).
Basic shopping advice: Stay away from yoga mats made of natural rubber if you have a latex allergy. Choose a PVC yoga mat if you want to remain with the tried-and-true adhesive mat because it can withstand your use and abuse for more than ten years. PVC generally has the most "give" of any yoga mat material, while jute and cotton have the least. Sponginess can vary greatly with different combinations of materials, though.
After learning the basics, continue reading and use your other criteria, such as texture, stickiness, and environmental friendliness, as your guidelines.
Why it matters: Your yoga mat's texture determines how much traction it offers. Texture has an impact on how much you slide and slip, similar to stickiness. It provides actual barriers against slipping (whereas stickiness relies on suction). Additionally, texture contributes to overall comfort because it influences how a yoga mat feels.
Any lumpy texture will probably irritate you in savasana if you're the Princess-and-the-Pea kind. Jute yoga mats have an organic roughness to them, while PVC yoga mats, albeit slightly textured, have a gentler feel. Texture can be artificial (a pattern of raised bumps, for example), or it can be determined by the materials.
Options: There are various yoga mat textures available, ranging from absolutely smooth to extremely rough.
Basic purchasing advice: Look for a rubber, jute, or cotton yoga mat with a raised, tactile pattern if you want a mat that won't slip and you'd prefer to stay away from PVC mats (the conventional sticky yoga mats). No matter how hot or intense your practise becomes, you can stay placed thanks to the increased grip the raised texture offers.
A PVC yoga mat is the best option if smoothness is your top priority. Test drive a couple before you buy if you enjoy stickiness but are interested in the newer, more environmentally friendly ones. The price of certain eco-friendly yoga mats could astound you.
A PVC yoga mat is the best option if smoothness is important to you above everything else. Additionally, test drive a few before making a purchase if you enjoy stickiness but are curious about the newer, more environmentally friendly ones. Even though some eco-friendly yoga mats lack the conventional "sticky" feel, you might be surprised by how much traction they offer.