When you decide to start the search for your yoga mat, it is essential that you know how to choose the one that best suits your needs. Among the aspects to consider are many important factors, one of them is the type of surface you want, or if you are going to use the mat mainly during hot yoga, if you are a person who tends to sweat too much, or on the contrary, you tend to stay dry throughout your yoga practice. To make the task more comfortable in this article, we will explain all the essential aspects that you must take into account to choose your best yoga mat and fully enjoy your entire yoga class.Within the aspects, you can also find non-toxic yoga mats, respectful of the environment and without strong odors. Other significant factors are easy portability, durability, color, design, and price. For now, let’s start with an overview and its referential price.
Characteristics of the best yoga mats
During a recent investigation, the different attributes that a yoga mat should gather to select the most appropriate were put to the test. Of course, although everything depends on personal tastes, it is true that there are basic standards that all mats must meet. The criteria for making this list were based on the number of positive comments, experiences, and recognition of what the professional yogis had to say about the carpets they were using.
The research was based mainly on testing these carpets in different conditions, such as studies with a lot of or little heating, on carpeted floors, on wooden floors, were also tested during a typical 60-minute yoga class. The attention was focused on the following characteristics, keys when choosing a yoga mat.
- The traction
- The density
- The comfort
- The weight
- The size
- The ecological footprint
- The color or design
Traction and Stability of a Mat
After many hours of testing, interviews with different practitioners, etc., the researchers determined that the balance between traction and stability is the most critical factor in choosing a yoga mat.Imagine trying to perform Sirasana, the inverted pose par excellence in which balance and body firmness are essential, both for a proper realization of the pose and for the care of our health. It would be impossible to reach Sirasana on a mat that does not give us enough stability, in addition to offering zero traction, meaning that no part of the body “slips” on the Mat, no matter how transpired we are.
Size and thickness of a Yoga Mat
Unless you are very tall, the size of the mat is usually not a problem. The standard yoga mats are 61 by 172 cm, which is the average size in yoga mats that suits most people.The thickness is critical since it is what will allow you to feel comfortable, but in turn, it should not be too thick to avoid interfering with your balance. Standard-thickness Yoga Mats have 31mm, cushioning mats can be a luxury with 63mm thickness, while thin laptops, ideal for travel, can be as small as 15mm.The preference for the thickness of a yoga mat will be as comprehensive as there are tastes in the world. Some people prefer a very thick yoga mat, which allows total isolation of the floor. Others prefer the comfort of a thin and lightweight yoga mat, ideal for transporting in your city or even on vacation. In most cases, a yoga mat of standard thickness will be ideal.
Comfort and stability
During general yoga practice, if you are not a person who tends to sweat a lot, a perfect yoga mat is the most appropriate. Both material and thickness will determine the levels of comfort and support that are optimal for your particular needs.The main objective of a yoga mat is to give support and adequate traction. The thickness and the material determine the amount of support; Traction is what allows you to maintain balance while you perform your postures.
The material, the viscosity and the texture of the yoga mat
The content of the mats determines the thickness, the surface, the sponginess, the respect for the environment and the durability. The adhesiveness is essential since it is what prevents the sliding in the practice of specific postures. The texture is defined either by the design, with protuberances, or it can be merely a characteristic of the material, such as those of jute. The composition determines how comfortable the mat feels to the touch, but also this feature involves the amount of traction a Mat provides.The PVC is the material most commonly available mat because of its affordability and durability. The rubber, jute, and cotton are materials that are not as sticky as PVC but may provide texture on the surface to help prevent slipping.
- PVC: regular yoga mats are made of PVC. They are the most economical and durable, they are firm and of pleasant texture, but they are the most harmful to the environment
- Rubber: being a highly recyclable material, rubber mats are friends of nature. Their cost is medium, although each time they are found more economical. Be careful with allergies to this material
- Cotton: cotton is ideal for cases of high sweating since it is an extremely absorbent material. Organic cotton stands out for taking care of the environment, although its cost is the highest.
Mats for the practice of hot yoga
If you find yourself practicing hot yoga, you will surely keep a very intense sweat throughout the class. Some people even suffer from high sweating in regular yoga classes. For these cases, there are specially designed Mats to provide grip and stability while the humidity is rising.The yoga mats of cotton is ideal because of its absorption capacity. In this way, the humidity will no longer be a problem during the yoga session. There are regular cotton mats and other organic cotton mats, more respectful of natural resources and more noble with the treatment of the skin.The costs of cotton mats are the highest among all yoga mats options.
A mat of yoga and the environment
The carpets that are made of “foam” or those that do not disclose the material that composes them are most likely made of PVC. Generally, those that are not made of PVC, clearly describe the material with which they are made. Not all PVC is the same; some parts are assembled without phthalates or other toxins. However, no PVC Yoga Mat is biodegradable.The most recent ecological options include recycled and natural rubber, organic or natural cotton and jute. Rubber or rubber rugs are the most popular option that respects the environment, but rubber should be avoided in case of being allergic to latex.Cotton is the most absorbent mat material, which is a significant factor in the case of presenting a lot of sweat or to practice hot yoga. The cotton ones tend to cost a bit more, but they are also available in various styles of affordable carpet. The jute ones have an organic surface texture that prevents sliding naturally.You must be especially careful with carpets of non-natural materials that make ecological claims. Many companies use environmental issues as a marketing strategy indicating that they are respectful of the environment, when in fact they are not.
Tips for acquiring your yoga mat online
If you decide to buy a cloth through an online store, the first thing you should do is be sure of the type of carpet, brand, and design you are going to buy to avoid disappointment. Additionally, you must consider the shipping costs; Many retailers offer low price or free shipping options on some of the best yoga mats. This method of online purchases often represents a saving of sales tax.
Cleaning and care of the Mat
When you finally find your yoga mat, we recommend you wash it before using it; this will eliminate any factory odor. Also, some new carpets tend to be slippery, and washing can help you reduce that effect.The cleaning after each use is essential to ensure durability. It is necessary to eliminate the sweat and oils that many practitioners use, as these contribute to the deterioration of the carpet. There are aerosols specially designed to clean yoga mats, although you can also use water with lemon or vinegar.
Cheap yoga mats
Last but not least, we tell you about the dirty rugs. These yoga mats are easy to find in the big stores, but with PVC yoga mats, which offer a result according to their cost. These mats are generally below 250INR and often have a very characteristic chemical odor. It is evident that the price is associated with the quality of materials, construction, and respect for the environment.
Six critical factors for choosing your yoga mat
Arriving at the end of this note, we summarize some points to keep in mind when choosing your mat
- Type of yoga you practice: It will not be the same as the mat you need for Ashtanga to stop Hot Yoga or Hatha.
- Length and width: It is essential that it fits your size
- Resistant, easy to clean: Maybe that means spending a little more money, but it’s worth it since we want our new yoga mat to stay healthy as much as possible.
- Attentive to toxins in materials: Many mats are made of PVC, non-biodegradable plastic and contain toxic substances
- That is light for its better portability
- Choose one that you like 😉
As you could see throughout this article, there are many factors to consider before choosing a yoga mat. This fact should be seen as an investment, so it is essential that you try several yoga mats before making a final decision. In summary, the choice of a yoga mat is similar to the selection of wine, some get better with time, and everything is reduced to a personal and personal taste.