With the coming of the new year, you may be tempted to have a new set a resolution for yourself. You may want to get in our dream shape or just be fit and healthy. There are not many but only a few activities you can do to make this dream of yours come true. Yoga has now for a long time been hailed for its positive effects on the mind and body. It helps build strength and flexibility. In comparison to other fitness activities, yoga requires minimal gear to get started. It can also help relieve stress and can improve overall mental and physical wellness. In this article, you are going to find about the basic yoga accessory that is Yoga Mat. You are going to find out the ways as to How to Choose the right Yoga Mat for all.
How To Choose The Right Yoga Mat
Choosing the right yoga mat mainly depends on the kind of yoga you intend to do. Yoga Mat is one of the basic types of equipment you will need to get started with this simple fitness regime. Yoga Mats are specially fabricated rubber sheets used as an aid during any kind of freehand or yoga asanas. These are rubber mats which are anti-skid or anti-slippery in nature. It protects you from any kind of injury during exercise because it can firmly stick to the ground or floor and will not get skipped under any pressure or circumstances. While most studios provide everything a beginner needs, investing in your own personal mat, yoga-specific clothes and a few other items can make your experience with yoga even more enjoyable.
There are a lot of things you need to consider before choosing the best yoga mat for yourself. Yoga Mats For Different Styles of Yoga, Yoga Mat Thickness, Yoga Mat Usability Purpose, Yoga Mat Size, Yoga Mat Toxicity, Yoga Mat Material, Yoga Mat Stickiness, Yoga Mat Storage, Yoga Mat Accessories, Yoga Mat Price. These are a few of the factors you need to consider while you choose the best yoga mat.
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1. Yoga Mats For Different Styles of Yoga
Meditation Yoga is a systematic practice of building concentration. It is a technique of mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally stable state of mind. Meditation requires sitting on the ground for quite a long period of time. It is always advisable to use a yoga mat while you meditate as sitting on the floor directly may affect your lower back and joints. To know which are the best yoga mats for Meditation Yoga click here.
Power Yoga is a fairly new form of yoga, exploding in the early 90s. It is a free-flowing and dynamic mix of postures from various traditions. Power Yoga tends to be more fitness-based and while it opens and closes with the usual warm-up and cool-down, it does not go so deep into the spiritual and meditative side of most yoga. You can definitely expect to sweat in a power yoga class so you should carry a towel and also sweat and heat absorbing yoga mat. To know which are the best yoga mats for Power Yoga click here.
Hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga, is a great exercise that offers a number of benefits to the yogi. This form of Yoga incorporates 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises along with a heated room, averaging at 40.6 degrees Celsius. Hot Yoga is practiced in a heated room and the possibility of you sweating a lot is a lot more than in other styles of Yoga. While practicing Hot Yoga you are going to release a lot of sweat so you need to pick your yoga mats for hot yoga accordingly. To know which are the best yoga mats for Hot Yoga click here.
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Ashtanga Yoga literally means “eight-limbed yoga,” as defined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. To perform asana correctly in Ashtanga Yoga, you must incorporate the use of Vinyasa and Tristhana. While practicing Ashtanga Yoga you need good body balance and that is not possible without good gripping. Look for the mat which offers better control to the grips of your palms and feet by absorbing all moisture. To know which are the best yoga mats for Ashtanga Yoga click here.
Pilates Yoga is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs. Pilates is based on putting yourself into unstable postures and challenging your body by moving your limbs. You need tight abdominal and buttock muscles to keep your hips square, and focused attention to stop yourself from tipping over. In Pilates, you’ll want a thicker mat that provides more cushioning and padding for rolling floor work and side-lying work. Thinner mats, such as those used in yoga, can still be used in Pilates, but they are not as comfortable. To know which are the best yoga mats for Pilates Yoga click here.
Kundalini Yoga is considered the most difficult yoga form as it involves all forms of subtle energies. You need a strong concentration, physical strength and good mental balance all at the same time. There are different ways of practicing Kundalini yoga but the common subject in yoga practice is using a yoga mat. The Yoga Mats you choose should be easily foldable and portable as it would be convenient for you to carry it outdoors. Kundalini Yoga is a type of yoga which functions when practiced in an open area where there is peace. To know which are the best yoga mats for Kundalini Yoga click here.
Viniyoga is an all-inclusive transmission of the teachings of yoga including asana, pranayama, bandha, sound, chanting, meditation, personal ritual and study of texts. It is an approach that adapts various means and methods of practice to cater to the unique condition, needs and interests of each individual – giving him or her right tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation. While performing this form of Yoga you will need a Yoga mat which will give you good gripping control without any harmful side effects. To know which are the best yoga mats for Viniyoga click here.
Vinyasa is a fantastic style of yoga where the idea is to synchronize your breath with your body movements, following one breath per movement. It is one of the most practiced yoga amongst its variants. In Vinyasa yoga classes, practitioners synchronize movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next. Vinyasa encompasses many different types of yoga, including Ashtanga, Baptiste Yoga, Jivamukti, Power Yoga, and Prana Flow. While practicing this kind of Yoga you are likely to exercise more and practice different types of hard working or power yoga poses. You are going to release a lot of sweat while and thus you will need a thick yoga mat which will be able to absorb the enormous amount of sweat. To know which are the best yoga mats for Vinyasa Yoga click here.
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Prenatal Yoga is a kind of Yoga practice uniquely designed for pregnancy. Prenatal Yoga helps moms and to be moms be fit both physically and mentally. Much like other types of childbirth-preparation classes, prenatal yoga is a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing. Prenatal Yoga is a Yoga type practiced by to be mothers. Therefore, you need the best yoga mats for pregnancy yoga or Prenatal Yoga. You must make sure that the Prenatal Yoga Mats you choose should be super comfortable and should have excellent absorbent quality. To know which are the best yoga mats for Prenatal Yoga click here.
Most forms of yoga can be classified as Hatha Yoga. Practicing hatha yoga regularly for 30 mins is pure bliss for your body. It is a common yoga among all and can gift you the all the essence of a good life. Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga postures, meaning your Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Power Yoga classes are all Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation. So you should choose the yoga mat which is right for you and not the one which is trendy. To know which are the best yoga mats for Hatha Yoga click here.
Anusara yoga means “flowing with Grace” so as to promote deep personal growth and transformative experiences on all levels. As a method, Anusara yoga is so powerful due to its inclusive and multi-disciplinary approach to the physical, mental, spiritual and mystical aspects of yoga. Anusara yoga inspires through positive vibrations. While practicing Anusara yoga you need to hold your breath and posture to the maximum amount of time you can. Holding your posture requires the need of a very good base and here comes the usefulness of yoga mat. It gives you the needed support to your joints especially to your knees, feet, and palms which bear the maximum pressure during practice. To know which are the best yoga mats for Meditation Yoga click here.
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Kripalu Yoga is a version of hatha yoga with a gentle approach. It puts emphasis on meditation, physical healing, and spiritual transformation that overflows from the yoga mat into daily life. It is meant for people who want to improve their health both physically and spiritually with a sense of well-being. The gentle and customized approach makes it a good choice for a person who can benefit from an adaptive practice. Kripalu Yoga can be practiced on almost any mats be it PVC, Cotton or Jute yoga mats. While looking for Kripalu Yoga Mats, make sure you choose the yoga mat which best suits your needs. To know which are the best yoga mats for Kripalu Yoga click here.
Restorative yoga is all about holding your breath which allows the muscle for deep relaxation. It’s a unique feeling rather than your muscles, props are used to support your body. Restorative classes are very soothing in nature which makes it an excellent antidote to stress. If you want to feel really refreshing then choose the mat which offers the extra cushioning for comfort. You should, therefore, go for organic and eco-friendly yoga mats. These mats are 100% safe and natural that will help you to fulfill the very essence of a healthy life. To know which are the best yoga mats for Restorative Yoga click here.
Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga and is one of the purest styles of yoga. It is yoga for everyone barring all ages and abilities. It is the world’s most practiced style of yoga. Iyengar yoga is specifically very effective for postural and structural problems because it focuses on postural alignment. Iyengar marks the difference with other yogas for the use of “props” such as cushions, benches, blocks, straps, and sandbags, which aids the beginners to practice asanas more easily. Apart from these props, the most important thing you need while practicing this style of Yoga is Iyengar Yoga Mats. You should choose sticky yoga mats for Iyengar Yoga. To know which are the best yoga mats for Iyengar Yoga click here.
The practice of holding yoga postures or asanas for extended periods of time has always been a significant part of traditional yoga practice, both in the hatha yoga tradition of India and in the Taoist yoga tradition of the greater China area. This traditional practice of doing Yoga is known as Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time. Yin Yoga is a type of yoga which mainly focuses on stretching various parts of the body for proper and better blood circulation. It stretches and exercises the bone and joint areas. It also helps one to regulate the body’s flow of energy. For this reason, it is necessary that we choose the best yoga mats for Yin Yoga. While choosing yoga mats for yin yoga, also make sure that the Yin Yoga Mats that you choose should be non-slippery and have a microfibre surface. To know which are the best yoga mats for Yin Yoga click here.
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2. Yoga Mat Thickness
The thickness of your yoga mat has a lot to do with how comfortable it is for you to do Yoga. If a yoga mat is too thin chances are high of you getting injured however if it is too thick you may have difficulties in finding the right balance for your posture. Yoga mats range from super thin and compact travel styles that weigh a mere 2 lbs. to cushy quarter-inch beasts that weigh up to 7 lbs. Basically, there are three types or rather ranges of yoga mat thickness. These are 1/4 inch yoga mat, 1/8 inch yoga mat, 1/16 inch yoga mat.
- The 1/4 inch mat is the thickest among all other variants. These are premium mats which offer the best comfort and support. On the other hand, the extra thick yoga mat can make the mat less portable and tough to fit in standard yoga bags.
- The 1/8 inch mat is the standard size for a yoga mat. These are excellent for those with a strong, flowing practice. They allow solid contact with the floor, which helps with stability during a variety of poses. This variant is the most commonly used yoga mat and is a perfect combination of usefulness and portability. If you are a frequent practitioner then you must consider this mat as it provides enough cushioning for your knees and joints. These are light and thin enough to carry anywhere. These are also the perfect yoga mats for beginners.
- The 1/16 inch mat is the third and probably the last variant of yoga mats. These are the thinnest among all the variants. These are often termed as the travel yoga mat or yoga mat for travel. Due to its ultra-portable solution, you can easily fold these mats and take it anywhere. Thus, these are
are the perfect yoga mats for travel. Besides portability, these ultra-thin yoga mat offers you a better feel of the floor with the natural feel of touching the ground.
If your yoga plans include air travel, look for a travel mat that’s specifically designed for portability. Travel mats are very thin and light and pack down smaller than traditional mats, so they’re easy to take along in your luggage. Thicker mats, on the other hand, provide extra cushioning and are best for more restorative or therapeutic practices. While more comfortable for forearm and kneeling poses, thicker mats can be more difficult to balance on during standing poses.
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3. Choose Right Yoga Mat Size
The standard yoga mat size is 24inches x 68inches. The length may sometimes vary (the width will almost always remain 24inches). 72inches and 74inches are typical alternative lengths. The largest yoga mat has a dimension of long as 84inches. While most people will fit on a standard-sized mat, taller people will need to do a little experiment. The best way is to start off by a downward-facing dog pose on a standard yoga mat. As you map out your hands and feet securely on the mat, then the length is sufficient.
4. Everything About Yoga Mat Material
The material your yoga mat is made of dictates its texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and sponginess (how much it yields to pressure), and how it wears over time. These are made up of varieties of materials and the differences in material compositions are quite impactful on the way of practicing yoga. You should get familiar with each of these material types thoroughly to know the best yoga mat for your fitness regimen. These are:
- PVC Yoga Mat: Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is the most basic level mat. It offers good durability, stickiness, and support. However, it has a bad reputation in the yoga community as some studies indicate it may be a carcinogen. It is also hard to recycle and you may have to throw it away if gets old and worn out. You may want to avoid a PVC mat if you are a health-conscious person. These are also not eco-friendly yoga mat.
- Foam Yoga Mat: Foam Yoga Mat is the perfect alternative for PVC Yoga Mat. These are an eco-friendly version of PVC mats. These offer the same performance characteristics as the PVC mats, the only minus being the harmful environmental side effects. The only problem with foam mats is that foam contains latex which can be problematic for some people with allergies.
- Rubber Yoga Mat: A Rubber Yoga Mat is another popular choice for an eco-friendly yoga mat, rather it is the most demanded in the market. A rubber yoga mat is a correct alternative to a PVC mat. A simple rubber mat is about as easy to find as PVC mat but has a better reputation among yoga enthusiasts. One drawback is that these mats contain latex and if you are prone to allergies, you have to find other alternatives. These aren’t much expensive either.
- TPE Yoga Mat: TPE or Thermoplastic Elastomer is a mixed blend of plastic and rubber polymers. TPE mats are more environment-friendly than ordinary PVC, and some are fully recyclable. However, these yoga mats have lesser durability than PVC mats of the same thickness but still deliver good traction.
- Padded Yoga Mat: Padded Mats are a lot softer and more comfortable than regular yoga mats. A padded yoga mat is made of two parts: an inside portion, made of foam, and an outer removable cloth covering. These mats can be great for yoga that involves a lot of sitting or lying down. They generally provide a lot more support than the average mat. However, they do not provide a lot of grips. You may slip and fall during certain poses when using a padded mat. One downside to padded mats is that they can only be partially washed. You can wash the outer cloth layer, but the internal foam is non-washable.
- Cotton Yoga Mat: Cotton mats are commonly known as traditional yoga mats. These are the oldest among all other variants. These are thin and eco-friendly. They are generally used on top of other yoga mats to provide the exact support. Many prefer cotton because it’s a more natural material. Cotton has the advantage of absorbing sweat well and it actually increases grip when wet. A cotton yoga mat may require frequent washing due to sweat absorption.
- Jute Yoga Mat: Jute yoga mats offer the same sustainability and resiliency similar to cotton yoga mats. They are also normally used over another yoga mat to get that needed support and traction. The only difference is, jute is a more fibrous material which is a bit rougher than cotton and absorbs less moisture. Jute yoga mats are considered to be the best yoga mat for hot yoga. As cotton and jute yoga mats have better gripping power you may use this yoga mat on the carpet while exercising.
- Eco Yoga Mat: Eco Yoga Mat or Natural Yoga Mat comes from a variety of sources such as natural rubber, organic cotton, and jute and are non-toxic yoga mats. Compared to other options, eco mats have slightly less gripping capability on the floor, but their natural texture provides better traction for your body. Unlike PVC, Eco mats lack the decade-long durability, yet they top the list for sustainable yoga mats. If you are indulged in high flow or high-intensity exercises then you need good traction support for that to place your hands and legs properly. Cotton and Jute mats serve the best purpose for that.
- Non-Slip Yoga Mat: Non-Slip Yoga Mat is also known as a sticky yoga mat. These mats are designed to allow you to move into many different positions. These mats provide added grip and stick. If you’re doing a particularly rigorous form of yoga then you should consider a non-slip mat.
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5. Define Your Yoga Mat Usability Purpose
Yoga Mat is primarily needed for practicing yoga. You may use it for various other purposes depending upon your need. You might need Yoga mats while you are on travel, the 1/16 inch yoga mat is the perfect equipment for you if you are looking for a yoga mat for travel. You might need a yoga mat for hot yoga, this means when you are practicing yoga you might generate a lot of sweat and it becomes extremely necessary for you to use a mat which can sustain or absorb sweat very easily. This makes your practice very efficient enabling you to have a proper balance on the mat and holding your body postures firm and intact. You might need a Yoga mat for carpet if you want to practice yoga daily in your home. There are also yoga mats available according to gender. There can be a little different in size and a few other things in between Yoga Mat for men and Yoga Mat for women.
6. Yoga Mat Price
The price range varies according to type, quality, texture, and sustainability. A basic 1/8 inch thick, plain solid-color PVC sticky yoga mat will be comparatively much lower in the price range. The better the quality, the higher the price. Eco-friendly yoga mats have a little bit higher price due to its sustainability. Buying a yoga mat is completely your personal preference but before that, you need to identify your needs and be knowledgeable about the type of yoga mat that best suits your needs.
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7. Choose Right Yoga Mat Style
Once you are done with narrowing down your choices of Yoga Mat by thickness, size, material, usability purpose, and price then you must decide what style of yoga mat you want to buy. You can choose from various colors, designs, patterns, etc.
8. Yoga Mat Brands
There are a number of both local and international yoga mats brands available in the market. Some most popular names are Yoga Mat from Jades, Yoga Mat from Maduka and Nike Yoga Mat. These are some of the best yoga mat brands and have successfully achieved the best yoga mat reviews worldwide.
9. Yoga Mat Accessories
You are going to need a number of accessories for a yoga mat. You might need a yoga mat cleaner to clean your yoga mats and remove all the dirt of the sweat from anybody’s body. You might need a yoga mat carrier as well for carrying your yoga mats. Likewise, for a well-equipped fitness regimen, you need to keep these accessories handy:
- Yoga Straps: Maintaining prior and proper alignment is critical for making the most out of your yoga
practice. Yoga mats carrying straps and blocks help beginners with limited flexibility achieve better alignment. Most gymnasiums keep them handy and for your initial days, it’s better to take the guidance of a knowledgeable instructor.
- Yoga Bags and Slings: A yoga mat storage bag can be a lightweight sling bag that helps you to carry the mat
easily from one place to another. A yoga mat with cover protects your mat from rain, snow, and dirt thereby enhancing its longevity.
- Yoga Mat Wash: Designed specifically for yoga mats, yoga mat spray washes remove bacteria without damaging the outer layer of your mat. These liquids improve hygiene and offer a long life to
Now that you know all about a yoga mat, it will be way easier for you to choose the right yoga mat for your regimen. You are all set to go now. Just choose the best yoga mat and all the best for your fitness dream.