With a plethora of options available in yoga mats, it’s no wonder that yogis have a hard time finding the right mat for their practice. Even though it may sound appealing to borrow any old yoga mat (or yoga equipment) from a local fitness studio, investing in a high quality mat makes more sense. Of course, you need to get the mat according to your needs and other preferences.
If you’re not sure how to choose the best yoga mat, here are five things you need to take into consideration when choosing a yoga mat:
1.Stickiness - One of the most important things you should consider in a yoga mat is stickiness or group. Of course, you want to have a good grip so your hands do not slip while you’re doing your asana. If you’re into hot yoga or a powerful style of yoga that makes you sweat, look for a yoga mat which is designed to soak water and keep its stickiness while wet.
It’s important for you to know that the stickiness level depends on the material type and/or the mat texture. Try a different types of yoga mats so you know what kind of material and texture is good for you to practice.
2.Material - You can have yoga mats which are made out of several different types of materials. These materials affect the comfort, durability and one’s overall experienc when using a yoga mat.
Standard mats are the ones that are normally made of PVC offering great grip. But keep in mind that it consists of plenty of toxic substances.
Since you’ll be spending some time on your yoga equipment or mat, buying one that is not made with chemically-smelling plastics like PVC is a good idea. There are several eco-friendly mats that not only come equipped with the thickness, but texture and grip as well.
3.Density - Another crucial thing to look for when choosing a yoga mat is the density. Heavy mats for yoga will provide the support you need for your palms, wrists and ankles as well. They will help you to scatter pressure when you’re moving into poses which may seem challenging or uncomfortable. Additional padding can give you a hard time when holding yourself securely to the ground, which makes balancing a real challenge.
4.Durability - The yoga mat you’re likely to buy should be heat-resistant especially if you intend to practice yoga outdoors or in a sauna.
You ask yourself “How can I increase the life of my yoga mat?” Consider spraying it with cold water and use a non-abrasive soap. Then allow it to dry completely before it’s deemed fit to be used again. Don’t you forget to wipe your hands and feet before you step on your yoga mat? Doing so will reduce the spread of germs. Can it get any better than this?
5.Environmental Impact - Several yoga mats are made of with a compounds which is known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC. While PVC can make practical and lasting yoga mats not costing an arm and a leg, it cannot be recycled.
When burnt, products made of PVC emit harmful gases and other organic contaminants to the environment. Considering this, you’d want to look for the yoga equipment (mats) that are not made with latex, silicone or phthalates. Ecological yoga mats which are made with organic cotton cause almost no harm to the environment.
Taking all these crucial things into consideration, it’s good to try out a few yoga mats at different yoga studios and find the one you’re feel comfortable practicing on.