Buying a yoga mat should not be done hastily. It is an investment. There are so many things to consider beyond its color and size. It will be a constant partner in all of your yoga routines. As such, it should be durable and comfortable. There are a lot of yoga mats in the market, some admittedly better than the others. Here is a coherent guide on how to choose the perfect yoga mat for you.
Thickness of Yoga Mat
The thickness is highly correlated to how comfortable it will be. But that doesn’t mean that thick mats are the way to go. A very thin yoga mat can hurt your knees as you do repetitive lunges. A very thick mat will lessen your contact to the floor. That will render you wobbly and you might perform some exercises incorrectly.
Select a thin mat if you need a more portable option. The standard size is about 1/8 inch thick. This is perfect if you need to travel frequently to and from your classes. There are mats about 1/16 inch thick, which you can easily fold up and pack into a suitcase.
Choose a mat that is about a quarter of an inch thick if you don’t mind the extra weight.
The most common yoga mats are made of PVC or vinyl. The benefit is that it sticks to the ground and will not move regardless of your yoga positions. They can also withstand the test of time. Some can last up to a decade before you need to change them. However, they are not the most environmentally-friendly option as they will not biodegrade. There are more eco-friendly options. These are made of recycled rubber, organic cotton, and jute.
Avoid mats made of latex if you are easily allergic to rubber.
A lot of yoga positions are only possible if you have sufficient friction against the mat. The friction arises from its texture. The presence of texture avoids sliding or slipping. It also affects your overall comfortability.
PVC yoga mats have a softer texture which is perfect for people who prefer smoother surfaces. Other mats have manmade bumps. Jute yoga mats have a natural roughness that comes from the material used.