For a long time, yoga was seen as something ‘new age’ and out of reach for anyone who didn’t have a particular spiritual persuasion. Now, it’s revered as one of the best ways to not only exercise but to achieve inner peace in a world full of motion and chaos. It doesn’t mean you follow a particular religion or belief system, only that you care about your own health and wellbeing.
Of course, as with most exercises, there are supplies that you need, the most important one being a yoga mat. It might seem, on the surface, like all of them are the same, but when it really comes down to it, you’ll want to know what makes the biggest difference among the various offerings and where you should invest your money to get the most out of your investment.
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Quick Comparisons of 5 Best Gaiam Yoga Mats
|Gaiam Yoga Mat||Check The Price|
|Gaiam Fitness Mat||Check The Price|
|Gaiam Performance Yoga Mat||Check The Price|
|Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat||Check The Price|
|Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit||Check The Price|
How to Choose
- Consider what website has to say about yoga mats. This could help you narrow down what you’re searching for.
- Check user reviews. Knowing how others fared with any product and whether or not they would recommend it could be quite helpful in deciding if it will work for you.
- Know your skill level. As a beginner, you may not want to invest as much until you’ve decided to make yoga a regular practice. In addition, different types of yoga and different skill levels may require different specifications.
- Think about what you’re willing to spend. Yoga mats aren’t particularly expensive, but they still vary greatly in price and value. Features like being foldable, more thickness, quality materials, etc. all play a part in the price. Make sure you know your chosen investment level before you search to buy.
Why Use a Yoga Mat?
If you’re new to the idea of practicing yoga, you may wonder why you can’t just use a towel or take your positions on the bare floor. First of all, this could get very uncomfortable, especially if you have hard floors. But aside from that, other materials, such as towels, don’t provide you with the right type of surface for all the movements you’ll be doing. Yoga may be about stretching and balancing, and it may help you find equilibrium and peace, but it’s all about motion.
Protecting the Body
No matter what type of flooring you have, practicing yoga without a mat can cause injury. If you have hard floors, you could end up with multiple bruises over your body, especially on joints. That being said, kneeling or balancing on elbows on a hard floor is terrible for the joints, and you’ll need some kind of rubber cushion to help maintain the integrity of those joints. Of course, carpet can be just as dangerous. Some changes of position involves sliding a body part across the surface, and you could end up with injuries due to rug burn if you don’t have a yoga mat.
So, why couldn’t you just cover the floor with a sheet, blanket, or towel? Yoga involves motion, and smooth motion at that. With one of these materials, you’ll find that the sheet or towel moves with you, hampering your ability to transition from one position to the next smoothly. They can also bunch up, making it difficult to work the positions and to meditate or clear your mind because of the frustration of having to reposition your towel each time you move. With a yoga mat, you get the cushioned, stationary surface you need to practice your movements smoothly and without being hampered.
Another reason you’ll want a yoga mat is for a personal connection. Your yoga mat belongs to you, always, and you can associate that mat with your own, personal space, rather than having to share a public mat (if you’re attending classes) or make do with whatever surface you have that’s cold and impersonal. Having that space of your own gives you intimacy, with your mind and body, so that you can fully invest in your exercise and feel comfortable. It’s a sense of being ‘at home’ when you work out and in sync with who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish.
So Many Options
Of course, you’ll need to find a yoga mat that’s right for you, and there are so many options out there. Unlike some exercise equipment, such as weights, yoga mats are not interchangeable, and they are not all created equal. To find the right yoga mat for you and your personal use, you’ll want to consider many things, including more than just how often you use it. You’ll need to think about your personality, your favorite style of yoga, frequency and longevity of practicing, and so much more.
Top 5 Gaiam Yoga Mat Reviews
We’ve chosen Gaiam yoga mats because they are both high quality and widely varied in their styles. This means that you can learn about the different types of yoga mats as well as consider some of the best on the market. We’ve taken the liberty of breaking out some important details that could assist you in choosing your Gaiam yoga mat.
Gaiam Performance Dry Grip Yoga Mat
- Dimensions: 68 in (or 78 in) x 24 in (or 26 in) x 5 mm
- Weight: 4.1 pounds
- Colors: Black, Blue, Purple, Sangria
- Materials: PVC. Latex Free
Similar to their shakti model, the Gaiam Performance Sol Dry Grip mat is perhaps the most luxurious, premium yoga mat the company offers. While it is extra thick (5mm), it is still lightweight and easy to transport from one place to another, making sure you can carry it with ease. The added cushioning assures you the ultimate comfort while you stretch and exercise.
In addition, the mat is woven with a closed cell construction, which means that it’s sealed to assure that odors, bacteria, and other materials aren’t trapped inside to cause damage or odor. You’ll remain healthy, and the mat will last a very long time. The back is made of PVC to assure you get the best grip on the floor for non slip performance.
Aside from the typical use, this particular mat is also excellent for hot yoga, with a stickiness that develops for added grip when it gets wet. That means that, as you get hot and sweaty during hot yoga, the mat will not slip and slide, and you won’t find yourself having trouble holding positions on the mat. The mat comes in multiple sizes and colors to appeal to even taller individuals who need more space on the mat, as well as people of all tastes.
Who Should Purchase This?
The Gaiam Performance Dry Grip Yoga Mat is excellent for yoga practitioners of all levels and experience, especially those who like to practice hot yoga or who find themselves working up a sweat when they workout. It’s also great for those who need a little additional cushioning to protect their joints during their sessions. Those who don’t have a tight budget can enjoy the luxuries of this yoga mat.
- Thicker than average for added support
- Moisture wicking with added grip for anti-slip
- Sealed to avoid infiltration by bacteria, germs, and odor
- Lightweight and easy to transport
- Coating may wear away quickly with significant use
- Easily marked and hard to clean
Gaiam Fitness Mat
- Dimensions: 72 in x 24 in x 15 mm
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Colors: Gray, Teal, Blue
- Materials: NBR Foam and also 6P Free
The Gaiam Fitness mat is a great choice for anyone who is into yoga as well as other forms of exercise. Aside from being great for the purpose of practicing yoga, it’s also thick and cushioned – to the tune of 15mm – so that all exercise types can benefit from its use, including aerobics and pilates.
As with most of the Gaiam products, the mat is definitely lightweight and easy to handle, and the added strap makes it carefree to carry with you, whether you exercise at home, at a gym at work, or in a studio. It’s also quite durable, so you can expect it to stand up through the hardest workouts.
The Fitness mat is available in a variety of colors, which means you can cater to your personal tastes and truly feel that you are in your space when it’s time to complete your workout. The nonslip ridges create proper traction as well, so you can feel confident in your movements and secure in your safety.
Who Should Purchase This?
The Gaiam Fitness mat is excellent for anyone practicing yoga, from beginner to expert, with an added bonus for those who are into multiple types of exercise. If you have a need for additional cushioning, the fitness mat is an excellent choice. Because it is durable and lightweight with a carrying strap, it’s also best for those who travel to practice yoga and exercise at multiple locations. But, if that’s the case, then you might want to check out their tree of life travel bag that fits a mat plus other accessories like bands and blocks.
- Lightweight and easy to transport with strap
- Thick and sturdy for long lasting quality
- Versatile for use in more than just yoga
- Reasonably priced for ease of acquisition
- Not sealed against germs or moisture
- Doesn’t come in extended sizes
Gaiam Performance Breathable Yoga Mat
- Dimensions: 68 in x 24 in x 6 mm
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Colors: Lake, Lilac (patterned on the reverse side), Sangria/Lagoon
- Materials: Eco-friendly TPE
The Gaiam Performance Breathable yoga mat offers more than just a breathable, moisture wicking surface that makes practicing yoga safe and enjoyable. It also has a reversible design, which gives you as the user two unique textured surfaces that cater to any mood at any time. Both surfaces are non slip so you can focus on your workout rather than careful motion.
The closed cell design keeps out germs, bacteria, and odor, and the 6mm thickness gives added cushion that is excellent for anyone but definitely caters to those with joint problems or who are older or have arthritis in particular, allowing them to enjoy their workout like anyone else.
In addition, the materials used to make the affordable yoga mat are nontoxic, recyclable, and biodegradable, making sure that your use of it leaves little to no carbon footprint behind.
Who Should Purchase This?
The Gaiam Performance Breathable yoga mat is great for anyone looking for luxury without a high price. If you need extra cushion and some moisture wicking against heavy sweating, this is a great choice. It’s also ideal for those who are concerned about being environmentally friendly, made of recyclable and biodegradable materials.
- Multiple colors for personalized feeling
- Breathable but sealed against odor and germs
- Thicker for greater cushioning on joints during workout
- Lightweight and easy to handle
- May roll up instead of lying flat
- Could be slippery for those who sweat a lot
Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat
- Dimensions: 68 in x 24 in x 5 mm
- Weight: 451 pounds
- Colors: Cork/Black
- Materials: All-Natural Cork and Lightweight TPE
When it comes to using the most environmentally friendly materials while still catering to the needs of the user, the Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat is ideal. The mat is made of all-natural materials and is reversible, with sustainable cork on one side and a lightweight, nontoxic TPE material that is biodegradable on the other.
The mat is nonslip with plenty of traction and a superior thickness of 5mm. It’s thick enough to help cushion you as you work on any floor type, whether hard or soft, so that you protect your joints and all your parts from damage. However, it’s thin enough and lightweight enough to be easily transportable.
Because the material is so durable, the cork yoga mat from Gaiam actually comes with a lifetime guarantee, something you won’t find with a standard yoga mat anywhere. They do wear out with use, so having that backing speaks to the quality and durability of construction.
Best of all, the cork design means that, as you work and develop heat and moisture, the grip increases. That means you have superior performance during your workout, with even less chance of slipping as you go.
Who Should Purchase This?
Environmentalists love the Gaiam Cork Yoga Mat for its all natural, sustainable design and recyclable, biodegradable materials. It’s also great for all types of users, including those who enjoy hot yoga, since it actually performs better with heat and moisture.
- Above average thickness at 5mm
- Completely sustainable and biodegradable for environmentally friendly design
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Reversible for two different textures
- Doesn’t always lie flat
- May be too firm for some
Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit
- Dimensions: mat – 68 in x 24 in x 4 mm; block – 9 in x 6 in x 3 in; strap – 6 ft
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Colors: Blue, Lily Shadows, Purple
- Materials: PVC. Latex free
Whether you’re just getting started with yoga or want a bargain, the Gaiam Yoga for Beginners Kit is a great purchase, offering you more than just a mat so you can be prepared for every aspect of the exercise program. The kit comes complete with your yoga mat, a yoga block, and a yoga strap.
The mat is textured and comes in fashionable prints so you can feel stylish as well as prepared, and the 3mm thickness is excellent for the majority of those interested in yoga. The block helps to support during extended stretching so that you get the most out of your workout. The strap is six feet long, with a metal D-ring, which helps you with range of motion.
You also get two full length workouts that will help you learn more about positions and how to do them while working every muscle and tendon to the max. The set comes in multiple designs so that you can choose the one best suited for you and your tastes.
Best of all, the mat is designed with alignment marks to help guide your hands and feet as you learn your positions. This can even help experts who have grown lax in their discipline, allowing you to reconfigure your workout to regain confidence.
Who Should Purchase This?
The Gaiam Beginners Yoga Kit is all inclusive, so anyone looking for an incredible bargain can benefit from its purchase. Newcomers to the exercise discipline will find this a great introductory to yoga, with all the tools necessary to build stamina and understanding. Those who have practiced for a long time can also renew their energy and form with the guidance of this set.
- Extremely affordable for all yoga practitioners
- Guided marks to help beginners with positions and transitions
- Complete set with mat, block, and strap
- Durable and lightweight for easy transport and long-term use
- Thinner than preferable for many
- Quality may suffer over long term use
The Bottom Line
Regardless of your skill or interest level in yoga, a yoga mat is crucial to practicing the art and getting any kind of benefit and enjoyment from it. As you can see, there are tons of options available, depending on need and preference, so whether you’re just getting started or have been practicing yoga all your life, you can find a new yoga mat that’s right for you. Gaiam yoga mats provide enough variety, all of which are of the highest quality and present a great value, to please any user, so you can determine what mat works best for your purposes.