Yoga is one of the most relaxing systematic practices of physical exercise. It is an activity that involves breath control, relaxation, positive thinking, and meditation. Therefore, if you are looking into developing harmony in your body, mind, and environment, it is one of the best exercises you can try.
If you’ve decided to join a yoga session, one of the most important yoga equipment you need to have is a yoga mat. There are many varieties of yoga mats you can find in the market. They come in different lengths and textures, as well. When choosing yoga mats, you need to consider several things like your personal needs, and as well as the type of yoga you aim to perform.
Having the best yoga mat is essential if you want to perform your yoga routines effectively. Aside from that, it is also great to have your own for personal use and hygienic purposes. When you own one, you can simply roll it out at home or wherever you want to practice yoga. If you are new to yoga, we are here to help you better understand the different kinds and as well as give you tips on how to find the best one that will fit your needs.
Different Types of Yoga Mats
As mentioned earlier, yoga mats come in different varieties. They have different materials, colors, sizes, and more. To give you some idea, here are the different types of yoga mats and what each of them can offer.
Basic Sticky Yoga Mats
The most common type is the basic sticky yoga mats. These mats have a slightly sticky texture that will help you in holding your yoga poses for a longer period without slipping. This is the usual type of mat used at home and in yoga studios. For its thickness, you can choose from a 1/8” and a ¼” thick. It is better to choose the latter because it can provide you with more comfortable cushioning, especially if you will be performing challenging routines. Basic sticky yoga mats are also very affordable, and they are best for beginners.
Natural Rubber Yoga Mats
Natural rubber yoga mats are tried and tested choices, and they are one of the first types of yoga mats introduced in the market. This type of yoga mat is perfect for nature-oriented people. It is made from natural rubber materials that have non-toxic and eco-friendly qualities. Most of them are also made from biodegradable and recyclable materials. They are slip-resistant and perfect for vigorousyoga sessions. They can also provide excellent cushioning and durability. It is the perfect yoga mat for eco-friendly yoga enthusiasts.
Cotton and Hemp Yoga Mats
Cotton and hemp yoga mats are also great choices because they can serve good cushioning due to their soft texture. Cotton yoga mats can absorb sweat easily. After using them, you can also wash them, making them very easy to clean. However, cotton fibers can break easily due to wear and tear, and they are not as long-lasting as yoga mats that are made of plastic materials.
Compared to cotton yoga mats, hemp yoga mats can last longer, as they are made of weaved hemp yarns that are tight and dense. This type of yoga mat is also better than its cotton counterpart in terms of warmth and water-absorbency qualities.
Plastic Elastomer Yoga Mats
Plastic elastomer yoga mats are known to be environmentally friendly and healthy to use. It’s because they do not contain any PVC, latex, or other toxic materials. Compared to plastic versions, they are considered cheap yoga mats. When it comes to usage, this type of yoga mat can provide excellent traction, and it is also slip-resistant. It also barely absorbs water and moisture, making it fairly easy to clean.
You just need to keep in mind that plastic elastomer yoga mats are made from natural materials. Therefore, sun exposure should be minimal, or it will not last long. This type of yoga mat is perfect for yoga practitioners who have sensitive health.
Jute Yoga Mats
Jute yoga mats are considered to be the eco-friendliest type of mats because it is made from a natural material which is Jute fiber. This fiber is commonly found in South East Asia, and it is biodegradable, as well. A Jute yoga mat is perfect for all kinds of yoga routines and exercises because it has natural breathing quality. When it comes to durability and stickiness, it parallels other yoga mats with synthetic materials.
Travel Yoga Mat
If you are the kind of yoga enthusiast who loves to travel, then a travel yoga mat is what you need. Travel yoga mats are usually thinner compared to their conventional counterparts. They are also non-slip, which is convenient when doing challenging yoga poses. You can also fold and roll them up easily and store them in your luggage when you travel. Most of them also come with their own bags, so you can bring them anywhere in style. You just need to remember that travel yoga mats are meant for traveling only and not for daily use because they are not that thick.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Yoga Mat
After knowing the different types of yoga mats, we are also giving you some of the things you need to consider before buying one. This way, you’ll be able to know what kind of yoga mat will surely cater to your needs.
- Go for grip: Nothing is worse than sliding around on your yoga mat while doing different poses. Therefore, when selecting a mat, you need to test out grip. See if your palms are sliding around and if you are clinging on to it hard. If yes, you need to look for another one that has a stronger grip.
- Make sure it is padded enough:If you are new to yoga, it takes some time to build up your strength. That’s why you need to choose a mat that can help you out along the way. A well-padded yoga mat will help you slowly build joint and muscle strength while preventing injury.
- Choose a lighter mat:Yes, padding is important, but you also need to choose a lighter mat. This will make it easy for you to bring it anywhere you want to do yoga exercises.
- Choose the best material: Choosing the best material of a yoga mat is also essential because this includes its texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and sponginess or how much it yields to pressure. You also need to consider how it wears over time. If you have latex allergies, avoid choosing yoga mats that are made of natural rubber. If you are looking for a very sticky mat, go for one that is made of PVC. All of these will depend on your personal preferences.
- Choose a fun mat: After narrowing down your choices on the thickness, material, stickiness, and texture, another thing you need to consider is the style of your yoga mat. You can choose a fun one like those with prints and patterns. Or, if you want a plain one, you can simply choose your favorite color.
- Price range: When buying a yoga mat, don’t be afraid to spend a few extra dollars for a high-quality yoga mat. Cheap mats are also great, but if you are doing yoga a lot, you will just wear them out quickly because most of them are too thin and flimsy.
It is indeed important to choose a high-quality yoga mat because your comfortability will depend on it while performing different poses and routines. We hope the information we shared will help you find the best yoga mat for your needs.