No one yoga practice is the same. From the asanas you prefer to the classes you indulge into the cute yoga clothes you show off—everything in your surrounding when you enter your yoga mindset should be tailored expressly for you. The same individuality should be seen in one of the most important tools for your yoga practice—your yoga mat.
Nowadays, there are yoga mats that fit every last inclination. Not all mats are created equal, so it’s important that you take a few things into consideration before choosing a quality yoga mat.
Here are a few things to think about that’ll help you pick the best possible yoga mat:
How thick your yoga mat depends on how much support you need. Some prefer their mat to simply be an intermediary between them and the floor, in which case a thin, 1/16-inch thick mat may be preferable. But if you’d rather have a cushy, supportive foundation that you can sink into for Shavasana or that gives you an extra cushion for demanding postures, consider a ¼-inch thin mat.
The material in your yoga mat is one of the more important factors in your selection as it determines the sponginess, texture, cohesion, and eco-friendliness.
An overwhelming number of yoga mats are made of vinyl or rubber. A PVC or vinyl mat isn’t the most earth-friendly option, but the material is sturdy and will likely last a long time. Moreover, vinyl mats are quite grippy and spongy, but they’re not biodegradable and tend to turn into a slip-and-slide if you get sweaty.
Rubber mats (or TPE) are a plastic and rubber blend that are easier on the earth—in some cases, they’re even recyclable. These mats won’t be quite as durable as a sturdy vinyl mat, but they hold up nicely and have an impressive ability to stay in place.
If sustainability is a prime factor for you, you’ll be happy to know that eco mats are an option. Earth-friendly yoga mats are sourced from organic cotton, jute, and natural rubbers, and even though they don’t hold up to the durability and grip of vinyl, the texture is highly praised and provides substantial adhesion for your limbs.
A good yoga mat can set you back a bit of a hole in your wallet but is often worth the price of admission. Some yoga mats from Manduka are over $100, while you can find a cheap alternative on amazon for around $10.
The rule in finding your perfect price is to ask yourself to evaluate the quality you’re expecting. If you buy a cheap mat, are you ready for a disappointment should it degrade quickly?
Our advice is to buy the best you can afford at the outset. It’s less of a risk, and you’ll likely be happy with the outcome.
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