You’ve taken a few yoga classes and decided you’re ready to invest in your own mat, or maybe you’re a veteran yogi who is ready for an upgrade. No matter what the reason is for wanting a new yoga mat, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for and why. There are more than a few things to think about when buying a yoga mat, so before you rush out and buy the next one you see, think on these things and you’re bound to find the right mat that fits your own unique needs.
Your standard yoga mat is about 1/8” thick. While this is great and what most people are used to, there are mats that offer a little more padding. The thickest yoga mats can get up to 1/4” thick, but something like this also risks losing your connection with the floor underneath you. If you’re travelling you might want to consider an uber-thin travel mat that can be as small as 1/16” thick and roll up easy, taking very little room in a suitcase. If you need a little extra padding for pressure points like elbows, knees, and hips definitely opt for a thicker mat. The Kulaee 8mm is an awesome choice for those looking for something a little thicker that doesn’t compromise one bit on quality.
The material your yoga mat is made of will determine how sticky it is, the texture of your mat, and how environmentally friendly it is. Traditional mats are made out of PVC which will hold up for practically a decade but are petroleum based and on the very far end of the environmentally friendly choice. Other mats are made out of recycled rubber, jute, and even organic cotton. If you’re allergic to latex, avoid using rubber mats. If you’re looking for the most stick, continue on with the PVC. Cotton and rubber mats don’t have as much stick but are great for those who don’t mind this and want to do more for the environment.
Material being said, you will want to find a mat that has the right stick for your practice. If you are new to yoga, you may want to find a mat with a little more stick as you get more comfortable moving into different poses. Once you’ve got your poses down you may not feel you need the extra support a little stickiness offers. Cotton mats may slide a bit as you twist into different poses, and may be better suitable for yogis with a little more experience on the mat.
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