Are you excited for your first yoga class? Believe it or not, it is the first step to a physically fit and mentally sound body and mind. Now that you have signed up for a healthier life, it’s time to buy a yoga mat. Before deciding on one, it’s important to do a good research on the signs of a good mat - material, durability, traction, thickness, eco-friendliness and stickiness. The choice of a proper mat not only helps you in your workout but also creates a positive atmosphere for your workout. Some of the significant elements include -
- Material and durability
A good grip is the most important function of a mat, so test it before buying. There are many mats in the market which are designed for physical therapy or Pilates, so buy one specified for yoga practice. Most of them are made of PVC which is full of carcinogens, so an eco-friendly option would be one made of rubber, cotton, bamboo or jute. Though PVC mats offer a stronger grip, biodegradable mats are comfortable for seated positions and less vigorous practice.
- Thickness and padding
It’s better to buy a thick mat with proper padding to protect your hands and feet from chafing as thinner mats would wear out after a few sessions. Though Table and Downward Dog positions don’t require much cushioning, other forms of yoga need some lining to maintain a proper balance. However, your mat should not be too foamy and yet be light as a heavy mat can automatically put you off for your yoga session. It is also important to check the length of your mat so that it is large for you to stand and practice.
A sticky mat helps you to retain your position for several seconds and keeps you from slipping down. For this, a PVC mat comes with a patterned bottom to help the mat stay put. However, biodegradable mats often made with naturally slip-resistant rubber but they tend to have a rougher texture. The important thing to remember is that these mats are sticky as long as they are clean. You need to wash them after every use so that you don’t find yourself sliding downwards.
- Price range and style
If you can, it is better to spend a reasonable amount on your yoga mat so it is fit for use for a lifetime - Manduka, Prana, Gaiam, JadeYoga, and Hugger Mugger, to name a few. Less expensive mats may become with less sturdy material or even PVC, which may disintegrate after a few sessions. Prices vary for different patterns, textures, thickness, antimicrobial treatments and eco-friendliness. You can choose yoga mats in your favourite colors or designs as well to add a fun element to your workout and make a statement in your yoga class.
Apart from all these precautions, it is a good idea to try and test your mat before you actually buy it. Gym and yoga instructors may also suggest some options which might help in your search. So now that you have chosen a proper yoga mat for yourself, you are all set for your first yoga session. Choose the perfect accessories for yourself and exercise your way to a fit and healthy body, mind and soul.