Whether you are practicing yoga to increase your focus and reduce stress, or you are practicing for weight loss and increased strength and flexibility, you are going to want to have a mat to practice on. The art of yoga involves various stretching the body in various ways and holding different types of poses, which can be difficult to execute if you are working on non-stable, slipper surface. Slip while you are in a downward dog or a warrior pose and you will instantly ruin your goal of peace and tranquility (not to mention, you could potentially strain yourself.)
In order to avoid slipping and ensure that your yoga sessions provide you with the benefits that you are seeking, you are going to want to have a yoga mat. Finding the best yoga mat for your needs can be a bit challenging. There are so many different types of mats to choose from, which can make it difficult to choose the best one for your specific needs. To help you on your quest for achieving inner peace and tranquility through yoga, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. This guide highlights everything you need to know to find the best yoga mat for your specific needs, including the different types of yoga mats, the factors to consider when choosing a yoga mat, the features that they can offer and the best brands on the market.
Types of Yoga Mats
In order to find the best yoga mat for your specific needs, the first thing you are going to want to do is have a firm understanding of the different types that are available. Yoga mats can be differentiated based on the materials that they are made out of. There are four main types of yoga mats, which include:
- The rubber yoga mat
- The jute yoga mat
- The cotton yoga mat
- The PVC yoga mat
Each of these materials offers different benefits, which is why it is important that you understand the difference between each one so that you can make the best choice for your needs.
Here is a breakdown of each of these four types of yoga mats.
The Rubber Yoga Mat
If comfort is your top priority, a rubber yoga mat is an excellent option. Rubber offers a smooth, malleable surface. It is easy to glide across, making it easier to change yoga positions, yet it offers the support that you need to keep your feet in proper position so you can avoid slipping. However, it is important to note that the smooth surface that makes it easier to glide across, you do need to be sure of your footing, because if you aren’t, you may not be more prone to slipping. With that said, the rubber yoga mat is a good option for those who are more experienced with yoga.
Jute Yoga Mats
Jute yoga mats are a favorite among those who are looking for an eco-friendly option. Jute is a sustainable resource, which makes this type of yoga mat an excellent choice if being environmentally friendly is important to you. Jute is also highly absorbent, which makes this material great for pulling in any sweat that you may produce while you are practicing your yoga poses. Jute yoga mats are an environmentally friendly option that also offers the strength that is necessary for handling high impact yoga. If you practice bikram, Ashtanga or any other type of high impact yoga, a jute mat is a great choice for you.
The Cotton Yoga Mat
Cotton is also a very eco-friendly and absorbent material, which makes it a good choice for a yoga mat. Cotton yoga mats are often the preferred choice for those who practice high impact yoga disciplines because they offer stability, which is great for the standing poses that are often executed during high impact disciplines.
The PVA Yoga Mat
If you are looking for a budget friendly, slip resistant yoga mat, one that is constructed of PVC is an excellent option. PVC is an inexpensive material, which makes it a great choice if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. This material is also slip resistant, which means you won’t have to worry about losing your footing while you are holding positions. Offered in a wide range of thicknesses, colors and brands, PVC yoga mats are an excellent choice for those who are just getting started out practicing yoga, and for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Yoga Mat
In order to choose the best yoga mat for your specific needs, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration. By considering these factors, you will be able to choose the best yoga mat for your specific needs. Some of the most important factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for a yoga mat include the thickness of the mat, the traction that it provides and the durability it offers, among other things. To learn more about the factors that we think are the most important to consider when shopping for a yoga mat, please keep on reading.
The Thickness of the Yoga Mat
One of the most important factors that you should take into consideration is the thickness of the yoga mat. You want your yoga mat to be thick enough to offer you the comfort and support you need when you are executing kneeling poses, but that are thin enough for you to be able to hold stable balance while you are executing standing positions. Choosing the right thickness will allow you to get the most use possible out of your yoga mat, and will ensure that your mat will last you a long time. When determining the thickness of the yoga mat that will best suit your needs, you should also take into consideration where you will be practicing yoga. Thicker mats are more difficult to roll up and transport, which makes them a better option if you are going to be practicing yoga in the same location; however, if you are going to be practicing yoga in different locations, such as your home, a yoga studio or a park, you may want to opt for a thinner mat, as it will be easier to roll up and take with you.
The Traction of the Yoga Mat
Another important factor to consider is the traction that the yoga mat offers. Traction is an important factor to consider, especially for those who practice hot yoga. The more traction a yoga mat provides, they less you will slip, and the easier it will be to hold a position.
The Durability of the Yoga Mat
If you are going to be using your yoga mat often, or you plan on exercising yoga for a long period of time, the durability of the mat is definitely an important factor to consider. Yoga mats that offer minimal wear and tear with extended periods of use have received very high user ratings, and we have to agree with this. The less wear and tear your yoga mat is subjected to, the longer it will last you.
The Price of the Yoga Mat
You are also going to want to take the price of the yoga mat into consideration when choosing the one that will best meet your needs. Yoga mats can vary significantly in price. Generally, those that are made of natural materials are more expensive, but the increased cost is offset by the extended length of time that it will last.
The Texture of the Mat
Another important factor to consider is the texture of the yoga mat. Yoga mats that have a smooth surface may be more comfortable, but they can be slicker, which means you may have a difficult time holding your positions. Yoga mats that have a coarser texture are easier to keep your grip on, but they may not be as comfortable. When deciding what texture will best suit your needs, consider your level of experience in yoga; if you are a novice, a textured mat may be a better option, while a smooth texture may be a better choice if you are more advanced.
You are also going to want to take your height into consideration when choosing a yoga mat. These mats come in various lengths, so you want to choose one that will accommodate your height. If you are tall, a longer yoga mat is a better choice, as it will provide you with the room that you need to achieve your positions without having to worry about stepping off the mat.
Features Yoga Mats Can Offer
Believe it or not, yoga mats can offer some handy features, which can make your yoga practice a lot easier and more enjoyable. As mentioned above, the more features that a yoga mat offers, the more expensive it will be. In order to determine whether you want or need certain features, and if the added expense is worth your while, you are going to need to have a firm understanding of the different features that they can offer.
Here is a look at some of the top features that yoga mats can offer.
Moisture Resistant Skin
If you work up a sweat when you are practicing yoga, a yoga mat that features a moisture resistant skin is an excellent option. The moisture resistant covering will not only protect your yoga mat and extend its life, but it will also make it easier for you to practice your poses so that you don’t slip on any sweat or other moisture that they mat may be exposed to. Additionally, a moisture resistant skin will make it easier to clean and maintain the yoga mat, which will also extend its life span.
A Self Strapping System
If you plan on doing your yoga in different locations, a yoga mat that features a self strapping system is an excellent option to consider. These self strapping systems usually boast two elastic straps that are connected by a handle. With this system, you can roll up the mat and easily store it for easily transportation.
It may not be something that you would consider, but the design of your yoga mat can actually impact your practice. While you can choose a color or design that will inspire you, you may grow tired of practicing yoga on the same color or pattern all the time. A yoga mat that features a reversible design offers more versatility and will allow you to easily change the look of your mat with a simple flip to suit your needs.
The Best Yoga Mat Brands
There are so many manufacturers that produce yoga mats, which can make it difficult to determine who offers the best product. In order to help you find the best yoga mat for your specific needs, we have gone through countless user reviews and have tested out various brands of yoga mats ourselves. Our research has determined that the following brands of yoga mats are the best of the best.
This company produces various types of yoga mats that offer a range of features. From built in carrying systems to slip resistant surfaces, HemingWeigh yoga mats are durable, provide a comfortable and steady surface to work on, and will last a long time.
Sivan Health and Fitness
Another company that produces high quality yoga mats is Sivan Health and Fitness. Providing durable mats that are made of high quality materials that range in thickness and length, as well as a variety of designs, you will enjoy practicing yoga on Sivan Health and Fitness yoga mats.
I Am… Athletics
If you are on the market for yoga mats that are made of natural, eco-friendly materials, such as jute or cotton, I Am… Athletics is an excellent brand to consider. This company uses the highest quality natural and sustainable materials to create long lasting, beautiful, high quality and comfortable yoga mats.