Twenty years ago when yoga wasn’t quite yet so mainstream, there was only one kind of yoga mat. They were made out of PVC and you had a choice of maybe two colours. Fast forward to our modern reality and you’ll find a completely different story. There are a rainbow of colors, prints, shapes, and thicknesses, not to mention the different materials yoga mats are now made with.
Before you begin, you may want to know that the major differences between mats is really all about stickiness (meaning how you stick to the mat during different poses), the level of absorbency, and how friendly the material is to the environment.
Yoga is everywhere and the demand for different types and styles of yoga mats is ever increasing. Read on to find the right yoga mat that fits your own personal style and you’ll be hitting the mat on something that is perfect for you, your practice, and your beliefs on environmental sustainability.
This classic, original mat provides the most stick for your practice. This reduces the danger of slips and will keep you firmly planted as you flow through each sequence. The drawback for some on a PVC mat is that this material is not eco-friendly or absorbable.
Rubber mats also provide a good amount of stick, although a bit less than those made of PVC. They offer good give when changing positions. If you are allergic to latex, a rubber mat may cause a reaction, and you may want to keep this in mind. Like PVC mats, rubber yoga mats are neither eco-friendly nor absorbent.
For the environmentally conscious yogi, a jute mat is one that they will be proud to use. Both eco-friendly and absorbent, a jute mat has an organic texture that can be somewhat uncomfortable during practice. There is a bit of resistance when doing pivoting asanas, but if stick isn’t what you’re going for you should be just fine.
A cotton mat is also great for the yogi who wants to do no harm to our environment. Cotton is completely eco-friendly and totally absorbent. Asanas that are done while lying down feel amazing on a cotton mat. If stickiness is what you’re looking for, you won’t find it in a cotton mat. You may find some pivoting poses to be harder with the fabric of the cotton lending a little resistance.
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