Yoga is a household word in societies all over the world. It doesn’t matter where you live, what you do for a living, or how much money you have. The benefits of yoga are universal and available to anyone who has the right mindset and the correct equipment.
In this article, we are going to discuss yoga mats. We’ll explain what yoga mats are for and go over the typical materials used to make them.
What Is a Yoga Mat?
In short, a yoga mat is a long, rectangular mat that is used when practicing yoga. They are all typically the same length although that measurement could vary slightly from mat to mat. Yoga mats also vary in thickness, color, style, texture, stickiness, and material.
The standard thickness of a yoga mat is one-eight of an inch but you can find them as thick as a quarter of an inch. Depending on the thickness you choose for your mat, issues can arise.
For example, the thicker your yoga mat is the more comfortable you might feel during your practice. Yet, the thicker mats are not as easy to store. The thinner ones are easier to carry around and don’t weigh as much. Of course, this is a personal preference and only you know what thickness will work for you.
When you start looking for yoga mats you’ll find that there are more colors to choose from than you probably know what to do with. Again, this is an area where the choice is personal. For me, I have a purple yoga mat with white flowers, but I truly enjoy light blue. It makes me feel at peace, so look for something that calls to you.
When I talk about the style I am referring to things like the white flowers I mentioned earlier that are on my purple mat. You’ll find, the more you search, the styles of mats available are endless. Some have drawings of Buddha, which could mean anything from protection and overcoming fear to meditation, serenity, and calm.
You can find anything from rock stars, pugs, and butterflies. If you want to do your sun salutations while staring at the face of Christopher Walken, you can do it on your yoga mat.
When it comes to how the mat feels when you touch it or stand on it with your bare feet, this is when texture becomes important. In general, you want a mat that will be pleasing to the touch.
Plus, the traction you receive from your mat is important. The smoother the mat the more likely you will slip around. A rough mat can make your experience unpleasant and make you dislike yoga, or worse, ruin it for you.
Being able to keep your poses while practicing is essential, and we all know how difficult that can be when we start to sweat. And anyone who has held a downward dog long enough knows how much sweat yoga can produce. The stickier the yoga mat, the less likely you will slide around.
Besides, it can be dangerous if you slip suddenly and fall in an awkward position. Safety is key when attempting poses especially crow. You can judge the stickiness by the texture and the material used. Hot yoga is a time when we particularly sweat so owning a non-slip yoga mat is crucial to your success.
When you are searching for a yoga mat, there are several things you will want to pay attention to. As we noted, the stickiness is important, and whether or not you slip around on your mat has a lot to do with the material. Of course, when it comes to materials, there are other things you want to pay attention to.
Are the materials polluting our environment? Does the mat yield to pressure and come back to its original shape quickly? And will this material last for years of your practice and development?
There are many mats made from PVC, which is believed to be the least slip-resistant material on the market. As it turns out, PVC can wreak havoc on our environment after disposal. There are debates and many mats are still made with PVC, but you can also choose one made from natural rubber.
Yoga can be a little overwhelming like choosing a class to attend, let alone make all these decisions about equipment. Yoga mats are no different. There are a few things you should ask yourself before you buy a mat. Am I going to dedicate some serious time to this venture, or is this a passing whim?
As a yoga enthusiast, I hope that you plan on practicing for the rest of your life. It’s not a sport that has winners or losers, and it is called a practice for a reason. Because you can only go up and get better, but there is no ceiling so there is always somewhere to climb.
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