Enjoy our latest community blog from Leora of Lotus Kitty.

 

Almost two decades ago, there were limited options for yoga mats on the market.  Materials were made of PVC and the colour choices were limited to purple and blue.  The evolution of Yoga mats has taken leaps and bounds.  Now, you can have a yoga mat that suits your preference and needs.  Beyond colours and patterns, your Yoga mat should let you have a smooth practice and keep you stable in your poses.  From thick yoga mats to environmentally-friendly mats, there are tons of options.  Checking customer reviews before the purchase is as is our essential this guide below:

What to Consider in Choosing Yoga Mats

If you’re considering getting a new Yoga mat for your home or studio class, investing in good, quality, thick yoga mats can go a long way. Consider the following:

  • Thickness

The thickness of the Yoga mat has actually a lot to do with how comfy it is. If it is too thin, your knees might get banged up or bruised during lunges. It might be hard for you to feel a strong connection to the floor if it is too thick, making you wobbly and unstable.

A standard yoga mat is around 1/8-inch thick, while the thickest ones are about 1/4 inch thick. There are also super thin mats, often labelled as “travel yoga mats” that are about 1/16 inch thick. They’re so lightweight and fold so easily that they can fit in travel bags.

Take into account storage space and portability and whether your preference is comfort versus direct connection to the floor. If you don’t have enough space and have difficulty in bringing your mats, go for a standard-depth mat, around the 1/8 inch range. But if you don’t mind carrying a little more for the sake of extra cushioning, consider thick yoga mats that are about 1/4 inch thick. And if you need to travel and pack your yoga mat with you, get the foldable mat that’s around 1/16 inch range.

  • Material

The material of your yoga mat will affect stickiness, texture, sponginess, eco-friendliness and durability.

Most standard mats are made of PVC or vinyl. The newer and earth-friendly ones are made with natural or recycled rubber and organic or natural cotton (untreated fabric with synthetic finish). If you’re allergic to latex, avoid natural rubber. But, if you want a tried and tested sticky mat, get the PVC one that usually lasts for a decade.   

Beyond these basics, read on and let these other factors — texture, stickiness, and eco-friendliness — be your guide.  

  • Texture

The texture of your mat dictates the amount of traction provided. It affects how much slipping and sliding you do. And because texture influences the way a mat feels, it’s also a factor for overall comfort.

If you are sensitive, any bumpy texture may aggravate you. Texture can be either human-made or emitted by the materials — jute yoga mats, however, have an organic coarseness to them, while PVC mats, though somewhat textured, have a much softer feel.

There’s a yoga mat texture to satisfy every whim, ranging from entirely smooth to downright rough.

If smoothness is a concern, a PVC yoga mat is a good option. And if you fancy stickiness but are interested in the newer, more environment-friendly options, test out a few before buying. Some eco-friendly yoga mats may actually surprise you with the traction they can provide even though they usually don’t have that traditional “sticky” feel.

  • Stickiness

Sticky thick yoga mats keep you from sliding all over the place and will help you maintain your alignment from one pose to another, PVC yoga mats offer the highest level of stickiness.

  • Eco-friendliness

As yogis, we uphold the tenet of ahimsa or non-violence. Earth-friendly mats are usually made with natural or recycled rubber. And may also include natural materials like jute and organic cotton. If this factor is important to you, avoid PVC, as they don’t easily break down in landfills and are difficult to recycle. Opt for eco-friendly thick yoga mats that meet your needs for comfort and texture.

  •   Price Range

A basic 1/8 thick, solid-coloured PVC yoga mat usually has a low-end price range. You can pay more for colours, patterns, designs, thickness, and other cool features like anti-microbial or raised tactile patterns. On the other hand, eco-friendly mats tend to go toward a higher price range.

  • Style

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices by thickness, material, texture, stickiness, eco-friendliness, and price, there’s only one thing left to consider: style! So go and pick your preferred colour, patterns, or favourite print. After all, you’ll be seeing all of it in your downward dog.

Before Making a Decision 

Before making the final decision on what to get, exhaust all your resources first. Browse online, and make sure to read reviews and get more info about your next purchase. Talk to your fellow yogis, about their yoga mat, the cost and the purchase outlet. Yoga teachers have their favourites, so make sure to ask them too!

Conclusion

Not all mats are created equal so you have to make sure that you know what you want and what’s right for you.  We hope that this article helped you narrow down your choices from thick yoga mats to PVC mats or eco-friendly yoga mats.  The choice is all yours. 

Namaste!