Yoga mats are an essential item for everyone, whether they are hardcore fitness enthusiasts or regular people who like to stay healthy. They allow you to perform a variety of activities that include yoga, meditation, stretching, and body exercises like crunches. There are travel yoga mats also available that people can take along with them when on vacation or traveling for work.
What is a Yoga Mat?
A yoga mat is a mat that is specially designed for practicing yoga. It offers superior traction and grip to prevent the hands and feet from slipping when practicing different poses. Performing yoga on a slippery surface not only impacts your form but may also lead to injuries. Exercise yoga mats can also be used for meditation, stretching, and other physical activities.
Yoga mats come in different sizes and styles. Some of them are thick and comfortable, while others are thin and portable. Buyers will find a workout mat for yoga that meets their requirements. Eco-friendly yoga mats have also become popular in recent years. There are lightweight and portable travel yoga mats being sold for people who need to exercise on the go.
Factors To Consider When Buying a Yoga Mat
There is a wide range of yoga mats available on the market. They are made from different materials and come in various styles. Here are a few factors that you can consider when purchasing one.
Thickness – One of the essential factors to consider when buying a yoga mat is its thickness. It will determine the comfort level and amount of stress that your knees and joints face when exercising on the mat. If it is too thin, the knees may bang, and you may tire quickly. People who perform intensive exercises may benefit from some cushioning. However, an exceptionally thick exercise yoga mat will feel mushy, affect your footing, and make you wobbly.
The thickness may vary from 1/16″ to 1/2″ depending on the manufacturer and make. Get a thinner yoga mat for a firm footing and a thicker one for more comfort. For most people, a thickness between 1/8″ to 2/5″ is ideal. Older adults and people with knee injuries or joint issues may benefit from a 1/2″ thick workout mat for yoga. Frequent travelers who exercise on the go may want 1/16″ thin travel yoga mats.
Size – When buying a yoga mat, its size must be considered as well. Most of them are 68″ to 72″ long and about 24″ wide. A standard-sized exercise yoga mat will be adequate for most buyers. However, people who are taller than the average person may want eco-friendly yoga mats with a longer length. A regular-sized mat may not be adequate for their exercising needs. Some workout mats for yoga are as wide as 35″ and may be ideal for specific exercises. Therefore, consider if the size of the yoga mat suits your requirements.
Construction Material – Yoga mats are made from different types of materials. The most popular of these include rubber, PVC, cotton, and foam. Some of them are eco-friendly yoga mats, while others are not. Buyers should prefer recyclable and sustainable products whenever possible.
Beginners and first-time shoppers can consider exercise yoga mats made out of natural rubber. They are one of the most popular and affordable options. Their traction is excellent as well. New rubber mats may emit an odor when opened, and it is best to leave them in an airy place for a day or two. There are some eco-friendly yoga mats made from cotton. They are lightweight, recyclable, and excellent at retaining moisture and sweat. Cotton workout mats for yoga are soft and plushy while having decent traction. You will have to wash them frequently to keep them clean and hygienic.
A few exercise yoga mats may be made from many materials. They may have a foam interior covered by fabric, such as cotton, on the outside. These mats are soft and provide plenty of cushioning. However, they may have inferior traction and are harder to clean. Buyers should try to avoid PVC mats as they can’t be recycled and should instead opt for eco-friendly yoga mats. People also stay away from PVC yoga mats as they are considered carcinogenic.
Surface Finish and Texture – The surface finish and texture of a yoga mat are important factors to consider. They will determine how firm your footing is on the mat. A slippery mat not only hampers your balance but can lead to injuries. Therefore, buyers should consider a travel yoga mat that has a non-slippery surface along with texture for added traction.
People who engage in advanced yoga poses may want a mat whose surface finish and texture ensure excellent grip. They will require increased traction for holding these poses. Therefore a mat with a grip-enhancing finish is essential for them. It won’t matter as much to the buyers who need a mat for meditation or other sedentary activities. The workout mat for yoga should still offer a firm footing. A non-slippery exercise yoga mat will be ideal for people who work out in a hot environment or sweat a lot.
Price – The price of yoga mats should also be factored into the buying decision. People who are new to yoga or are experimenting with it should consider an affordable exercise yoga mat that costs around $10 to $20. It will also be suitable for buyers who require travel yoga mats. It will help you in determining the qualities you are looking for in a mat. You can try out a cheap workout mat for yoga first and then upgrade to one that fits your requirements later. Also, you may find that yoga is not your cup of tea in the long run. Buying an expensive yoga mat only to throw it away after a few weeks would be a waste of money.
Style – Yoga mats are available in different colors and styles. While buyers should primarily concentrate on the quality and utility of the workout mat for yoga, it does not hurt to buy one that is stylish and attractive. There is a wide range of eco-friendly yoga mats sold that have different design patterns in beautiful colors. You may purchase one according to your taste.
Ultimately, choosing the right exercise yoga mat comes down to individual requirements and preferences. Some people may find rubber mats to be suitable for them, while others may like cotton ones. The type of activity should also be factored in when choosing a workout mat for yoga. Cushioned mats are suitable for activities like meditation, while grippier mats are ideal for intensive exercises or poses. People who are always traveling for work or otherwise can consider lightweight and portable travel yoga mats. Buying eco-friendly yoga mats is a wiser option as it benefits the environment.