Qualities to Look For When Buying a Yoga Mat

Yoga is something that is becoming increasingly popular all over the planet. People do it for religious reasons, or to enhance their fitness and focus skills. They may perform physical exercises and postures or focus on their breathing and meditation. Its followers may choose to go to yoga classes or simply practice at home. 

One thing that everyone will need is a yoga mat. It can provide comfort, support, and connection to the ground below. Anyone who decides to buy one will need to consider a number of different options. This article has been created to help people know what to look for in a quality mat.

A Suitable Size

This will obviously vary from person to person. It’s important that someone is not bigger than their mat, however. It’s worth choosing one that is six inches longer than you are. Interestingly, standard mats are usually 68 inches in length. 

There are also websites that sell extra-long or extra-wide versions. If someone decided to click here they would see that people often look online for product reviews and buying guides as well. They are keen to discover the pros and cons of different mats before they buy. 

Adequate Thickness

First of all, it’s important to say that different people use their mats for different purposes. Some will be doing strenuous exercises whilst others may be seated in meditation for prolonged amounts of time. One person will require a yoga mat for home, whilst another will want portability. Peoples’ weight and body types also have a bearing on their needs. 

Standard mats are ⅛ of an inch thick. If someone is slim or bony they may find this uncomfortable. In these cases, a ¼ of an inch mat will provide greater support. The latter may also benefit people who sit for longer. The first mats to come on the mass market were made of PVC, and they can feel supportive to rest on. In contrast, jute or cotton mats may be less comfortable. 

If a mat is thin it will also be light, easy to fold, and more portable. Wafer-thin travel yoga mats are often 1/16 of an inch thick. If a mat is purely used at home, a thicker product will be heavier but more comfortable and enduring. Anyone who plans to do lots of standing postures will need to understand that thicker mats can be harder to balance on. 

Sufficient Grip

Some people put their bodies through their paces with high-intensity workouts. In these situations, a smooth PVC mat could fall prey to sweat. If it becomes slippery on the floor, this could be a health hazard. For this reason, there are a number of sticky mats available. Specially adapted PVC versions can provide the greatest level of suction. 

If a mat has a textured surface this can also help with traction. It could feature raised bumps or non-slip ridges. Cotton or jute mats often feature an organic roughness that helps provide grip. Textured rubber mats are also a viable option. These mats will be particularly suitable for people performing gentle exercises. 

Environmentally Friendly

PVC is otherwise known as vinyl. If a mat is made of this, it won’t be biodegradable in a landfill site. Fortunately, there are options for people with a social conscience. They can choose jute mats or those made from organic or natural cotton. There are also cork and natural rubber versions. As regards rubber mats, it’s important to point out that they are unsuitable for anyone who is allergic to latex.

Many mats are produced using non-toxic materials, but some use glue. It’s worth checking the packaging before you buy, as this should be disclosed. 

Value For Money

While people should only buy what they can afford, they will get what they pay for. If someone doesn’t want to have a sweaty mat while they do rigorous exercises, they may be wise in paying a little more for their mat. 

For a basic yoga mat, someone could buy a sticky solid PVC version. As people pay more, they have additional options, ranging from thicker mats to textured and patterned products. There are also antimicrobial versions. Some people will want to buy mats that feature alignment lines. They help people to position their hands or feet correctly during certain postures. 

Yoga is not going out of popularity any time soon. As a result, many people will be looking to get the best value for money for their mat. It will hopefully serve their purposes for many years to come.