You might be mistaken in thinking any old mat will do. Sure, you could go down to your local shopping centre and pick up a no frills mat for a tenner, but if you’re serious about yoga, you’re going to want to invest in something decent.
Buying a high quality yoga mat comes with a number of benefits – it’s going to cushion you, reduce the risk of injury from slippage, last longer and be more pleasing to the eye.
But choosing the best yoga mat for you can be a daunting task, so here are a few things you should consider.
Yoga mats have a thickness that varies from anywhere between 1/16 inch and 1/4 inch. A thin mat is perfect for some, but it simply won’t do for those getting their knees getting knocked about during poses.
A reason that some people opt for a thinner mat is because it doesn’t take up much room when it’s rolled up, which is beneficial to people carrying their mat to a workout. This is particularly useful to people who are going to yoga straight from the office.
And while a thicker mat is more comfortable, the downside is that it may stop you from connecting with the floor, which makes it difficult to do poses that require balance.
If you’re unsure what thickness you need, start with the standard 1/8 inch. For most people, it will do the trick. If it doesn’t, it will give you a good indication whether you need more or less padding.
The majority of mats are made out of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). It’s an excellent material for yoga as it yields better to pressure, helps you stick more and wears better over time. The same cannot be said for its impact on the environment. PVC is nasty stuff. It’s made from oil and chloride and isn’t biodegradable – that means it stays in the environment for a very, very long time, ending up in our water systems and the digestive tracts of native species. It is also reported that is has a negative impact on human health.
In a world where we are increasing conscious of our carbon footprint, buying eco-friendly products is becoming more essential. Fortunately, there are a lot of mats on the market that are made out natural materials such as rubber, cotton and jute. Our mats all have a natural biodegradable tree rubber base, making them eco-friendly.
Admittedly less important than the physical attributes of a mat, a design will nonetheless play a deciding factor in your purchase. If you are planning on having your mat for quite a while, you’re going to want to like the way it looks (especially since you will be spending copious amounts of time in poses that give you a direct eye-line to it).
If you’re after something a bit different, we have unique, hand-painted printed yoga mats on offer.We hope these tips will help you with your yoga mat purchase. If you have any further questions, please let us know in the comment section below.