Yoga mat is an important part of Yoga practice. But the question is born, How to choose your first Yoga Mat? If you are a new face to Yoga, it’s mandated to choose the right Yoga mat according to your needs. After some time you gain the experienced in the Yogic activities and also got some knowledge about How to choose your first Yoga Mat? Once you’re experienced enough in Asana or breathing technique. You can choose Your Yoga mat according to your choice or as per your requirements. A yoga mat is an important part of Yoga kit for a practitioner.
Asana (where you can sit) is referring to as Mat and the main meaning of Asana is a seat.
But for beginner’s, it’s tough to choose right Yoga mat for practice. Choosing the right Yoga mat doesn’t mean that, you spend a huge amount on a Yoga mat. Thus, in this section, we describe the types of mats and give some light on how to choose your first Yoga mat. So, be with us till the end.
First time purchasing experience of first Yoga Mat
Selecting or shopping for your first ever Asana (Yoga mat) gives you the awesome experience. There are lots of varieties of Yoga Mat, choosing among them is a tough decision to take. This article helps you and guides you and covers all the aspects of the Yoga mat. Generally, basic entry level mats are good for new faces to Yoga.
Before we uncover the topic, have a look at its (Yoga mat) journey from ancient times to current time.
If we look back to history, the Yoga was attempted on grass, bare floor or Rishi’s used natural material for example kusha grass, palm leaves for Asana (Yoga Mats). But the skin of the tiger was very famous among practitioners. They used this type of Asana (Mats), especially for meditation. But today, the skin of an animal is not allowed because of animal protection. As time passed, cotton mats, towel or folded blankets were used as Yoga mats.
What type of materials used in your Yoga Mat?
It is an important point which you should know, that what are the materials used in the Yoga Mat? Is your mat is eco-friendly or not. You got all the answers given below.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) –
PVC is the third most broadly produced synthetic plastic polymer in the world. So, most of the basic Yoga mat or you can say entry-level mats are made up of PVC. Polyvinyl chloride gives awesome durability, comfort, and stickiness. In spite of its durability, it got much criticism (not environment-friendly).
Rubber is another popular option among eco- friendly mats. It is also a good option in comparison to Polyvinyl chloride. Rubber mats contain latex, which is good. But people who are allergic look other option.
It is an essential eco – friendly version of PVC mats. It offers the same performance but without any side effects. But somewhere down the line it also contains latex which is bad for allergic practitioners.
Cotton yoga mats also named as Traditional Yoga mats. These are thin as well as eco-friendly. Absorbing the sweat is one of the most important specialties of cotton Yoga mats. Cotton yoga mats increase the grip when it wet. Cotton Yoga mats offer the resiliency and sustainability.
Jute yoga mat is used over another yoga mat for great support and resistance. It is the same as the cotton Yoga mats, also eco –friendly with no allergic reactions. But in comparison to cotton Jute is rougher by which it absorbs less amount of moisture.
How to select right Yoga Mat
The grip is a key factor
A good grip is an important part, many yoga mats or most of the Yoga mats are in the form of Polyvinyl chloride. PVC mats are also famous as sticky mats. During the practice of Yoga Asana a good grip in mandatory. So, the texture of Yoga mats plays an important role. Rough or raised bumps texture of mats gives you great grip for feet and hands. Remember that, not to slip during the performance of Yoga Poses, for this, you need a good mat. That strongly holds the floor and not slip from the floor.
Means if you perform Asana like Downward facing dog pose, Kandharasana your feet & palms should not lose the grip during backward as well as forward movement on the mat. For this Polyvinyl & Rubber based Yoga mats are best, coz it prevents the slipping of a mat and firmly sticks with a floor. Apart from that cotton mats are slippery.
Yoga mat thickness –
Yoga mats come in only three main thickness levels. If you choose a very thin mat, then some of the Asana may be hard to attempt. If Yoga mat is very thick, then you may face some problem regarding balance. Along with holding the pose is also difficult for you.
Three categories of yoga mat thickness
1/8” thickness –
Yoga mat with 1/8” thickness is very common as well as an ideal combo of portability & performance. People who practice Yoga regularly go with 1/8” thickness mat. The reason is, it gives you ample cushioning to your knees. A second reason is they are thin along with light enough to carry every day.
Having a thickness of 1/16” makes yoga mat very- portable. When it comes to on the go situation it is the best option. A thickness of 1/16 of yoga mat fits in any type of yoga mat bag. If you want a natural feeling of touching the ground then go for this type of mats. Because these types of mats are thin and give you the better feeling of the floor/ground.
Yoga mat with a thickness of 1/4″ is known for its high –end premium quality and also for comfort & support. This type of thickness gives you a high level of cushioning. But the fact is, it is less portable and hard to fit in the standard or general yoga bags.
Length and Width
24” x 68” is the length & width of a standard mat. Sometimes length can vary but the width of the mat always remains 24”. In term of length, you can find the typical alternate like 74” or 72” and 84” in length. But most of the yogis will fit or comfortable with a standard sized mat. Taller yogi needs little experiment by trying to perform Adho Mukha Svanasana on a standard mat. If your hands & feet are comfortably placed on the mat, then the length is sufficient.
In term of ease of carrying, most yoga mats come with handling (carrying) case of plastic or fabric. Generally thinner mats are easy to carry while you’re traveling. You can easily roll it and tucked into your Yoga mat bag/cover.
Eco- Friendly factor
If you’re a nature lover or care about the environment, then definitely choose nature-friendly mat for Yoga Practice. Along with they don’t show any allergic reactions to the body in comparison with Polyvinyl Chloride mat (PVC). If you don’t want to slip during your practice then choose jute, rubber or cotton mats for better grip.
Keep in Mind
Bugs are your harden money, so it’s important to tackle the topic of money very wisely. Try to get good buy your yoga mat in good price. It’s not compulsory to choose an expensive one or an attractive one. Choose the Yoga mat as per your requirements. Polyvinyl chloride mat costs you a little bit extra. Double check the thickness as well as the material of Yoga mat. Try immediately after your satisfaction purchase one. Antimicrobial treatment spray, designs or interesting patterns is up to your choice.
Important Notes –
- An allergic person chooses the right Yoga mat, which does not, triggers your allergy.
- Always prefer eco-friendly mats.
- Before the purchasing perform the Asana like Adho Mukha Svanasana for testing the grip and comfort.
- Don’t go for a cool yoga mat; choose the mat according to your need.
- Always use a mat during the Yoga regime. Mat provides your better cushioning along with good grip.
- Put off your shoes and shocks before using Yoga mats. It’s good if you perform Yogic activities barefoot.
- Once – or twice in the month clean your mat properly in the antibacterial solution. Or you can also use Antimicrobial spray.
- If you don’t want to own Yoga mat, then it’s ok. But use the folded blanket during the practice. But the floor is not too much slippery; otherwise, your blanket is not gain the proper friction with the floor.
- If possible always go with the standard size of the mat during the selection.
(You can create the magic with daily practice)