Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Choosing a great yoga mat for your practice

Practicing yoga isn’t about simply achieving the flexibility and strength to master different poses, rather it’s a lifestyle that facilitates ongoing growth. We are always working to deepen our practice and make it richer for both our minds and bodies. The shift in energy that happens when one takes up yoga continues to build as our relationship with yoga also grows.

It’s important to have the right equipment for a few reasons. Yes, we want the right mat and blocks that will handle the ways we use them in class. More importantly, we want to ensure that what we use in class allows for a seamless connection between our bodies and minds. The spiritual component of yoga is absolutely essential, so ensuring that your equipment doesn’t interfere with that connection is key. Keep these factors in mind when searching for the best yoga mat for your practice:
  • Thickness

The depth of your mat determines how much cushion your body will have during practice. Not only does this support body weight, it also minimizes the impact on your joints and creates a buffer between hard surfaces that you may be set up on. Mats typically range from 1/16” to ¼”, with thinner mats more popular amongst those who like to connect with the ground and thicker for those who require more cushion.
  • Texture and Design

There are seemingly infinite design detail options when looking for a mat at any given retailer. While your choice is certainly up to personal preference, variations in texture can be very important to your experience in class. Imagine how the surface of each mat might feel at both the beginning and end of class — remember that people who slip because of sweat will want to look for a texture that helps address this.
  • Material

Lots of leading mats today are made of PVC, a vinyl material that tends to work well in your average class. There are many eco-friendly options out there if PVC isn’t the right fit for you, or if you prefer the feel of a more natural mat. If so, take a look at mats made of cotton, jute, recycled natural rubber, resin, or bamboo and hemp. These alternative materials usually perform just as well as others, but keep in mind that there may be unique care instructions.
  • Cell structure

A mat’s cell structure is a component of its absorbency. Closed cell mats don’t usually absorb moisture, which makes them easy to wipe clean. Open celled mats typically absorb moisture and are good for those who are taking hot yoga classes or who sweat a lot.
The team at Reviews.com recently released an article to help find a yoga mat, taking into account these factors. 

You can look at which yoga mats they recommended and reference their full article here: https://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/