- What is Yoga
- Yoga Exercises & Poses
- Yoga Clothes
- Yoga Accessories
Choosing the best yoga mat can be tricky for those who are not sure what they want and need, and this is true especially for first-time yoga students. The tendency is to just go for the thickest mat, thinking this will be the most comfortable as well. Truth is though, it’s not just cushion or thickness that should determine your choice of a yoga mat, it’s comfort, lifestyle, and level of yoga practice.
Types of Yoga Mats
Yoga mats differ in colors, designs, thickness, portability (or travel-friendliness), surface texture, eco-friendliness, etc. You can also choose between yoga mats that fold or roll up for easy storage. However, the main categories that most people consider when buying a yoga mat is portability and thickness, because the latter determines the comfort and ease with which you can do your yoga exercises. Here are some of the different types of yoga mats to help you choose if you’re on the market for one.
Travel Yoga Mats
Yoga has countless holistic benefits that a lot of people take their yoga practice with them wherever they go. If you’re one of those people who can’t go without their daily yoga exercise even when travelling for work or leisure, a lightweight, slip-resistant yoga mat is the ideal type for you. Travel yoga mats tend to be quite thin to make them lightweight and portable, this is why a lot of yogis use a yoga towel with an absorbent surface (like microfiber) for extra cushion and grip. Just a word of caution: thin yoga mats are more prone to wear and tear, so make sure you get a thin travel yoga mat from a tried and tested brand.
Eco-Friendly Yoga Mats
A lot of yogis also put prime importance on the eco-friendliness of the material used in making their yoga mat. This is because one of the central teachings of yoga is respect for life. Most companies that sell yoga mats make use of PVC, natural rubber, hemp, or cotton in making their products, and these are the companies that remain popular and have a wide client base.
If you are particular about what your yoga mat is made of, don’t worry because there are a lot of brands out there that use high-quality, sustainable or biodegradable materials in making their yoga mats.
Textured Yoga Mats
The typical PVC-based sticky yoga mat that you see at department stores and sporting goods stores generally have enough grip in them to avoid the risk of slipping when doing various yoga poses. However, for those who do more fast-paced or rigorous types of yoga, you may need or want to have more traction in your mat. This is where textured yoga mats come in. There are several famous brands and retailers that make their yoga mats with patterns of raised bumps and other textures to provide more traction.
Reversible or 2-in-1 Yoga Mats
Another type of yoga mat that has become increasingly popular is the 2-in-1 yoga mat. A lot of manufacturers offer reversible yoga mats, but this feature mostly refers to dual colors and back-to-back stickiness and slip-resistance. The 2-in-1 yoga mats we’re talking about here, however, are those that combine two different textures in one mat.
For example, there are mats that have the usual stick and grip on one surface, and a slip-resistant microfiber texture on the other. This type of yoga mat is ideal for those who tend to sweat a lot (you can switch to the absorbent microfiber surface when you start to really sweat) and/or do Hot Yoga.
Given the wide variety of choices available for yoga mats today, you won’t have a hard time finding one that suits your needs, tastes, and whims. Make sure you get a mat with the right size and dimensions, has enough grip and stickiness, provides sufficient cushion, and fits your budget just right.
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