A yoga mat should have a lot of characteristics to make it ideal. But it also depends upon the type of yoga asanas you perform. You need to take care of a few factors while buying a good mat. If you end up buying a wrong mat, you will not enjoy your experience. You also will have trouble performing your exercises if your mat does not have a good grip on the floor or does not feel comfortable to sit on. Apart from comfort and grip, there are also factors that decide a good mat.
Criteria To Choose The Best Yoga Mat
If you perform gentle yoga, you need a mat with a higher level of grip. These gentle yoga asanas include Hatha, prenatal, restorative or yin. For these slower postures, you need to buy a mat that is between 5 to 8 mm thickness. Such a mat will provide cushioning to your joints. If your mat is too thin, your joints will pain while performing asanas such as the Crescent Lunge. But if your mat is too thick like ¼ inch, you will feel a greater level of cushioning and will not be able to connect to the ground. Such thick mats are not ideal for tree poses as they will make you wobbly. A standard one is generally around 1/8 inch thick. If you practice yoga while traveling, you can go in for the very thin varieties measuring 1/16 inches, as they are very light-in-weight and practical to carry.
A good material ensures a good texture, feel and durability. Pick a yoga mat that has the right amount of stickiness to the ground, eco-friendliness and cushioning. Regular yoga mats are made from PVC. The eco-friendly one’s available today are made from recycled rubber, jute, and even organic cotton. But if you are allergic to latex material, it is better to avoid the natural rubber mats. In such cases, a PVC mat is best. These last the longest. Jute and cotton yoga mats are the least durable.
A yoga mat should also provide the right amount of traction. If your postures require a lot of sliding and slipping, you need to opt for a material that is not too sticky. Textures available in yoga mats can be raised bumps, roughness due to jute material or softness due to PVC fabrication. You can choose a yoga mat as per your preferences. If you find PVC mats to be very slippery, you can go in for rubber, cotton or jute ones. You can also select those with a slightly raised and tactile design. This design prevents slippage and helps you stay put even if you sweat a lot.
You obviously do not want a yoga mat that makes you slide everywhere. You need something that provides some grip and helps you maintain your alignment. PVC yoga mats are ideal for this. A PVC provides the right amount of stickiness only when it’s clean. So you need to wipe the sweat and dirt after every use.