The practice of yoga is a great way to destress after a long week. Going to your yoga practice without your own mat can be a bummer, right? Yoga classes are fun and a great way to breathe after a long, stressful week.
Yoga mats have been used for a long time now. They help prevent the hands and feet from slipping. Before they were referred to as rubber mats, rubber yoga mats were called sticky mats.
There are different things to consider when purchasing a new yoga mat. Without a yoga mat, you can always exercise on the hard floor. Exercising on a wooden floor helps develop flexibility.
What Size Yoga Mat Do I Need?
For a long time now, it has been found out that whatever suggestions people make, the best yoga mats for you is the mat that suits your personal preference.
There is the standard yoga mat, and there are other mats that come in different lengths. The following are some of the different sizes you can choose from.
A good yoga mat usually comes in the standard size. The standard yoga mat measures 24 inches wide and 68 inches long.
This could be a perfect option for someone shorter than 6ft.
As mentioned earlier, the best yoga mat size is the one that you prefer to use. You might have the right height for this mat, but you might need extra room that the average mat doesn’t provide.
Most yoga mat makers make regular yoga mats. Manduka mats are smooth mats with high quality that you will surely love.
It is a popular choice for most yoga practitioners.
Environmentalists love natural materials, and this is why most of them might enjoy this eco-friendly yoga mat from Jade Yoga. Jade Yoga mats are made from natural rubber.
Other Lengths of Yoga Mat
The ideal mat for tall people could be a mat with a larger size. A longer mat allows taller yogis to have extra space when performing the exercise.
Extra-long yoga mats are usually longer than 72 inches. An important thing to consider when choosing an extra-long mat is the available space you have in your room.
The yoga mat material has something to say about picking a mat, too. Yoga mats are made from different materials. It is a wise move to go through the various materials that make up your mat.
Some mats are made from eco-friendly materials. Most eco-friendly mats are made from organic cotton and natural rubber. The usual PVC mats are made of polyvinyl chloride which is the common material that makes up a mat.
Foam mats are more eco-friendly than PVC mats. These foam yoga mats do not pose harmful effects on nature as compared to the ingredients of PVC mats.
Another thing to consider is the thickness of your yoga mat. This helps you deal with balance when performing your yoga routine. Thick yoga mats are a great option since it provides more comfort and can last longer.
However, because the thick foam may be a problem when it goes against your balance, especially when performing the tree pose.
While thick mats offer comfort and durability, thin yoga mats on the other hand could cause joint strains due to their lack of cushioning abilities.
Yoga mat thickness varies from 1/16 of an inch to ¼ of an inch. A 1/16 inch mat is usually called a lightweight mat. Most travel yoga mats are lightweight.
Standard mats are usually 3mm thick, and the 6mm yoga mats are those used for high performance. Thick mats are usually used in hot yoga.
Lastly, the traction matters, too. A slippery mat is no good. The right yoga mat should have a good grip. If you have sweaty fingers, you can have some yoga towels by your side.
Choose a mat with great traction. You can see how stickiness works in yoga in so many ways. But, the most telling sign of how much traction you need is when you are performing the downward dog.
Types of Mats
The type of mat you need might depend on the type of yoga you will be performing and your body type, too. Every style of yoga might need a different kind of mat, especially in the thickness and certain styles might need wider mats or a thinner mat.
Jute yoga mats
These are thin travel mats that are a good choice when performing high-energy activities. It has much traction which gives it a good grip on the floor.
This could be the perfect mat for you especially with sweaty hands since the jute mat does a great job of wicking sweat away.
Cotton yoga mats
Cotton provides great cushioning. This could be the perfect yoga mat, especially with sensitive joints. Like cotton clothes, a cotton mat absorbs sweat easily.
They are easy to clean and maintain, too.
Natural rubber mats
These are your typical type of mat. They’re great for really sweaty sessions of yoga and can provide a fair amount of grip.
They’re also another easily cleaned and maintained mat.
Styles of Yoga
The world of yoga doesn’t only revolve around one style. There are different styles of yoga and each one is unique.
Restorative yoga is yoga that aims to restore balance. The goal of restorative yoga is for the yogi to relax into the pose. A thicker mat can be advised for this type of yoga for a person to fully relax and be comfortable with the position being held.
Hatha Yoga is a traditional category of yoga. This kind of yoga aims to promote mental and physical health. Every yoga studio can have a different approach to Hatha Yoga. It depends on the yoga instructors how they will perform and teach this.
Another one is Ashtanga Yoga. The word Ashtanga means 8-limbed union. The eight connected things here are concentration, posture, breath control, ecstasy, self-control, meditation, sensory inhibition, and moral discipline.
Unlike Hatha yoga where different studios can teach it differently, Ashtanga yoga is properly followed. You might want a thinner mat for this type of yoga so you get more stability when performing the exercises.
Related Post: 15 Awesome Yoga Poses For Beginners
To know if you picked the right size yoga mat, try doing a downward-facing dog position. If your hands and feet don’t hang off the edges, then it’s the perfect fit.
For your first yoga mat, you can expect it to last for 2 to 3 years.
Clean it off with antimicrobial treatments after using it for your next use to be clean and ready to go.
The best bets for a mat are always foam mats, but you can try the other types of mats, too. You might also want to get yourself a nice yoga mat bag to place your mat into.