Yoga mats are an excellent addition to your practices. It provides a wonderful space to work within and upon for comfort and a sense of ownership. Using a mat defines the area you work within while providing stability through various poses, and the best yoga mat size is one that works with your own body size.
Mats should accommodate the placement of your hands and feet during your practices. You don’t want to find that the dimensions are not big enough to provide support where needed after you have made the purchase. Rather, buy a mat that is of the proper length and width for you to practice upon easily.
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Defining Yoga Mat Lengths for Various Heights
If you have been questioning how long a yoga mat is in order to find your best match, you are spot on in your thinking. Although not largely varied, the length of a mat is closely related to your height in order to provide space for your poses. The standard length of a mat is 68 inches and easily accommodates people who stand 5’8” or less.
If you are taller, or simply feel more comfortable with a longer mat, you can look for one that is sold as an ‘extra long’ option. Extra long simply means it is longer than the standard measurement and is defined differently from one brand to the next. In general, you will find mats that measure 71, 72, or 74 inches in length. 84 inch mats exist, as well as even longer options – often sold as a customized choice.
Why Your Mat Width Matters
Although width is not as important as length, it does matter- especially to a person who has a broad build and/or stance. Mats are a standard 24 inches in width, but it is often easy to find 28 and 30 inch widths as well. This is especially true if you are shopping for an extra long option. Generally, if you are taller than you most likely have a wider reach in both your arms and legs. Accommodating your stretch during your practices is also polite when working in close quarters.
Wider mats are a nice addition for certain poses as well. Some poses require a purposely wide stance that may push the limits of your mat boundaries. It isn’t comfortable to have to place a hand or foot off the mat while you are balancing in a position, so a wider option can help with this issue.
Other Tips to Consider
When searching for your top mat option in reference to size consider also where you practice. If you regularly attend classes in a studio, especially one that is crowded, this may dictate your need for a larger mat to provide more space between you and another person.
A mat serves as your own oasis as well, and allow you to center yourself in a space you have personally claimed. This is important when you practice surrounded by distractions to help keep you focused and grounded.
Some other things to keep in mind:
- The size of the mat may also determine how easy it is to take it with you. Larger mats will weigh more, but convenient carrying solutions also exist.
- Be sure your mat is padded enough, but not overly padded that you find yourself struggling with balance.
- Choose a mat that is reflective of you! Many come in fun colors, patterns, and various materials that fit your own environmental awareness and comforts.
- Be sure your mat has a good grip to help keep you from slipping while you hold difficult poses.
- Look for value, not budget. Quality mats are available in a wide range of prices, but you still want to look for one that will last and not fall apart with regular use. They are meant to be used regularly and should hold up to being used and move from one place to the next.
If you have been asking what size yoga mat do I need, then this article should have helped steer you in the right direction. You want to purchase a size that works with your height, but comfort and stance as well. Although the majority of mats come in a standard size, you can most definitely find one that is more suited to your own needs quite easily if you know what to look for.
Start with your own height to help define the length you may be most comfortable with, and then determine width if you feel you need more than the 24 inch standard. Also, take into account your use of the mat and your own preferences! There are some poses that require a wide stance, and even if you are of a shorter stature, you may prefer the extra room. Plus, it gives a bit more room to stretch out in when you have to share floor space in a class.
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