How to choose a yoga mat?
A quite intriguing question not only for yoga beginners but also for the regular practitioners too.
And quite rightly so.
Because knowing more about yoga mats do worth time to spend.
Because after your commitment to yoga, it is the second most important thing that will decide your yoga fate.
For yogis, it is their only gym, their yoga sanctuary. And if they can’t marry with it, it will definitely affect their consistency and their progress.
Fortunately and unfortunately now there are a lot of choices available when you are looking to buy a yoga mat.
Fortunately, because now you can get the perfect yoga mat as per your frequency, lifestyle, and intensity.
And unfortunately for those who didn’t research properly what they are looking for. Who are always dissatisfied with their yoga mat and always liked the mat of a person next to them.
To ease of this confusion we did a bit of effort, and develop a ‘COMPLETE YOGA MAT BIBLE’ to let you know each and everything about yoga mats.
We will start with different materials of yoga mats.
The overall qualities one should look for,
And most importantly which one is best for them in terms of their frequency, lifestyle, and Intensity.
And in last, our recommendations; what we look for in a yoga mat and best option available as per our liking.
To start with:
Now yoga mats come in different types of material. Each one has some pros and cons.
These mats are most common and popular among beginners. And do provide a good level, comfort durability, and grip. And to be honest a choice to make as your first mat, when you are not sure about yoga and you are giving it a try in your living room. If you are spending some money………my apologies……investing some money on yoga classes then you should spend some on your mat too. In that case, PVC mats are not for you.
Which makes my case as PVC mats are recommended for buying as you first mat but not recommended to use in long run.
And here are some reasons for it.
- As they are cheap in bucks, they are considered cheap (simple).
- PVC is not an environmentally friendly material. Therefore it gets its share of criticism among yoga communities.
Very much likely to PVC you may also get a yoga mat on in foam as well. With an equal match in comfort and grip. On top of it, they are extra light so easy to carry. Plus they are also eco-friendly. But for some reason, it is not recommended to stick to your foam mat once you develop the habit of yoga an do it frequently.
- First, because foam contains latex, which may trigger some skin allergies.
- Second, yes they are light and provide good grip but because of the material and its stickiness to the floor is questionable as it has a tendency to slip on smooth floors. And while practicing yoga that’s the last thing you should be conscious about.
- Lastly, they are extremely smell resistant. Either it will smell like a day old sweat or a day old detergent.
3, Rubber Yoga Mats:
Rubber mats are a good choice overall. I like their spread, grip, stickiness, durability, and comfort. On top of the design and print options, it has. Somehow you may always get the design and color you love. Rubber is biodegradable so eco-friendliness is not an issue either.
Only two concerns with rubber mats are:
- Like foam it also contains latex.
- And it smells like rubber.
Cotton and jute mats are for the serious yoga practitioners. And to be honest they are more of a statement the utility. They are durable provide good grip, lightweight foldable so very easy to carry. Vast options of personalization and customization. But lack thickness and therefore comfort. And that is the reason that many people lay their cotton and jute mate over their old yoga mats. So they may get a good grip and sweat absorbent of cotton and jute and thickness /comfort from their old mats. Based on this idea many manufacturers have also developed dual-layered yoga mats.
Cork mats are serious stuff. They are way too good in all aspects. No wonder they are more expensive than any other type. Honestly other than their price there nothing to criticize about them.
Natural material, cool designs, durability, comfort organic feel, and smell. Something you can easily fall in love with. The only issue is handling especially while you are traveling.
But, information about the materials of Yoga mats is not enough to make a buying decision.
To make a better decision one also need to know how they going to use it and based on the utility of the mats.
To get the clear picture we divided the utility into 3 categories, and then further in 3 levels.
Frequency is how many times you do or want to do yoga per week.
- Level-1: once or twice per week
- Level-2: 3 to four time a week
- And level-3: 5 to6 or more times per week.
For this matrix, we used the term ‘lifestyle’ as how much enthusiastic you are about yoga.
- Level-1: the person who does it at home and occasionally outdoor.
- Level-2: the person who takes regular yoga classes, do it at home in case they skip one. Try to do yoga at different places like out-door, in front/backyard, beach etc…
- Level-3: the ones who are truly yoga ambassadors. And literally live yoga, never miss their work-out, talk/discuss yoga, try different variation travel with their yoga mat participate in international yoga retreats.
Intensity is all about how long your sessions are, and how challenging your sessions are.
- Level-1: 20 to 30-mins basic yoga for weight loss or basic yoga just to incorporate yoga into their lifestyle.
- Level-2: 40 to 60-mins session of power yoga or yoga training for athletes.
- Level-3: 60 to 90-mins of hot yoga and stuff.
Based on these categories, here are some suggestions as per your usage.
However, one more thing that is extremely important in buying a yoga mat is overall quality and Brand. Just based on this factor one can buy really cool PVC mats and a really crappy Cork mat.
Based on my experience and trials I simply love these two mats.
what we love about it.
- natural rubber
- extra grip
- very durable
- a reliable travel companion.
What we love about it.
- literally everything.
hope you find this information sufficient in taking relatively wise decision while buying your first or next yoga mat. please do let us know if you need anything further about yoga mats. we sleep with them 😉
Thanks for staying till here.
and click here to know more about yoga-mats
Take good care of yourself and