Yoga is a wonderful way to stay mentally and physically healthy. The best way to feel the benefits of yoga is to perform it daily. If you are new to yoga I can tell you that your comfort level will dramatically affect whether or not you stick with doing it daily. So, to give yourself the best chance of transforming your mind and body I have created a checklist for you to find the best yoga mat for your personal needs. This article will help you find the perfect yoga mat so that you can enjoy yoga for many years to come.
- The thickness of the mat- Mats usually come in two standard thicknesses 1/8″ inch and 1/4″ inch. The 1/4″ inch being the thicker of the two.
Do you have bad knees, back problems, or wrist problems?
Then you will be more comfortable on a thicker mat with more cushion. I use a 1/4 inch mat because I don’t like to feel my spine grinding into my hardwood floor through my mat when I’m laying on it. But there is a trade-off when using a thicker mat, stability becomes an issue. The plusher the mat the harder it becomes to keep your balance. Try performing standing movements without a mat, then you can decide if mat thickness will be an issue for you.
- Length- People come in all different lengths and so do mats. I would find a mat that is just an inch or two longer than your height, that way when you are doing movements laying in the mat your entire body rests on the mat. If you are traveling or taking a mat with you to the gym or studio then a shorter mat will be less bulky and easier to pack around.
- Easy to clean- when you’re using your mat daily and also taking it with you to a gym or your favorite park, it gets quite filthy. I would suggest a less porous yoga mat for travels outside of the home because grass and gym floors have all kinds of surprises on them that are easily cleaned on less porous mats. Now if you’re in your home, you control the environment and comfort becomes your main concern.
- Stickiness and resistance to sliding. When you’re in the middle of your yoga routine you want to be as centered and focused a possible on you and your routine, not on the notion that if you do a movement slightly of center the mat will slide out from under you. That is quite embarrassing and unsafe. The mat should be just sticky enough to stay in place but not make you uncomfortable.
- The curl factor- Now this one is a pet peeve of mine. I had a mat that I kept in my closet next to my bed curled up and every time I went to use it, it would never uncurl, ever. It was so frustrating. I would suggest a mat that lays flat quickly and easily maintains its shape.
Now use these tips to find the most useful and comfortable mat. I know when you are focused on yoga your health will improve both mentally and physically. The issue of finding the perfect yoga mat will disappear.