woman on how to pick the right yoga mat

Considerations for Picking the Right Yoga Mat

When it comes to picking the right yoga mat, we all want to make sure that we chose one that is the best fit. Not all yoga mats are created equal. Each one will have different design features depending on what you want to use it for and how you use it. Yoga requires next to no gear to get started. All you need is yourself and a good mat. But with so many options on the market, how do you know which one to go for? Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Thickness

If you are first starting out on your yoga journey, you’ll come to quickly realize that there are many different types. Whether you are into hatha or yin, there is a mat to suit your style. If you enjoy slower-paced yoga that focuses on long stretches and holding positions, than a thicker mat can help you remain comfortable throughout the practice. If you enjoy a more dynamic yoga practice, then a thinner mat will move with you throughout the practice and will help you hold those positions.

Material

You can buy yoga mats in a variety of material, from PVC to cotton. One of the latest developments in yoga mat technology is a cork yoga mat. Not only are these good for the environment, they are excellent for yin practices as they comfortable and have a good amount of give in them, making sure you don’t hurt yourself from sitting in one position for too long.

Weight

Some yoga mats can be very heavy and difficult to roll up, whereas others are so light that the corners can curl up during practice. You want to make sure that you strike a happy medium with this. You don’t want a mat that is so light that it will roll up during your practice, or won’t lay flat. And you also don’t want a mat that is almost impossible to roll up once you are finished.

Features

As yoga has become increasingly popular, companies have come up with inventive ways of differentiating their products. One method is by adding features to their yoga mats. One of the best features we have seen is the addition of foot markings on the mat. These will tell you if you are holding the right position to maximize the stretch you feel. This is ideal if you practice at home and don’t have anyone there to correct you.

Cleaning

Cheaper yoga mats are made from porous material. Not only will this yoga mat not last as long as a sturdier one, it also makes them more difficult to clean. You want to make sure that you can clean your yoga mat. The more porous it is, the harder it will be to clean and rid it of sweat.

Length

Most yoga mats are around 5ft8 in length which is more than enough to accommodate most people. However, if you are on the taller side, you will want to look for a mat that will be comfortable for you to use throughout the practice. You don’t want to be holding a plank on a mat that is too short for you. Not only will this hurt your elbows, it may even put you off practicing yoga entirely. Make sure you check the size of the yoga mat before you purchase it!

Grip

One of the most important factors of any yoga mat is how well it grips. Whether you are practicing at home in your living room or at a studio, you need to make sure that both the top and the bottom of your yoga mat have good grip. You don’t want to be sliding around everywhere on the mat and you don’t want it not to stick to the floor while practicing. Look for a medium to heavy thickness mat that is constructed of anti-slip and extra stick material.

Final Thoughts

Thankfully, you don’t need a lot of equipment to start yoga. But a good mat will help you settle into the practice and make it far easier to hold the pose. Before you rush out and buy one, make sure you have thought about where you are going to be practicing, how you are going to be practicing and if there are any features that could help. Yoga can be as relaxing or as hard work as you want to make it. Having the right yoga mat for you will help you enjoy your practice.