Nowadays, people speak a lot about yoga, the ancient art of mind, and body rejuvenation. Indeed, its miraculous benefits healed millions from around the world.
However, one needs to learn this art and then start practicing it daily. To do that, you can book an online session or visit any yoga studio. Whatever learning method you choose, your yoga instructor will ask you to buy one basic, yet mandatory accessory, and that is a Yoga Mat.
The very first question that would pop in your head is, how do I pick my perfect yoga mat!
If you search for yoga mats, you will find tons of companies selling it online. Of course, you can find it in any local store as well. But question is, how can you identify and pick a mat that is ideal for your yoga sessions, as all look similar!
Don’t worry, in this yoga mat buying guide, we will share the pro tips to help you find best mat for your need.
Continue digging in the given mat specifications below and help yourself choose the best mat that will blissfully make you happy after every yoga session.
The first thing you have to consider while shortlisting the ideal yoga mat is its material quality. The reason is simple. You are attending a yoga session to gain ultimate relaxation; it aims to connect your mind, body, and soul.
It means you have to practice the yogic poses, asanas, and pranayamas by keeping yourself in the most comfortable posture. Indeed, it is the yoga mat on which you have to stand, sit, stretch yourself in various yoga positions, or sometimes just for sitting straight for long hours such as meditation for fulfilling your spiritual needs.
But wait, when we talk about good yoga mat material, what it actually means? We will discuss it in a while. Before that, let us discuss about the materials used to make yoga mat earlier and how the modern day mats are different.
Earlier, PVC used as the primary yoga mat material; there were limited variety and options. That time people used to buy yoga PVC mates having enormous stickiness, knowing neither it is comfortable, not safe. There were really limited options in material, color, textures or even size.
However, today you will find endless possibilities in variety, material, texture, color, shape and size before selecting your perfect yoga mat.
As far as material is concern, you will find yoga mats made of multiple material types other than just PVC, such as rubber, jute, or even organic cotton.
Good that there are so many options now to fit your yoga style and place, but at the same time it is equally confusing when you have got so many options, no?
Thus, the points that you have to consider are its sponginess, fabric, and eco friendliness to sort list from wide range of mat options.
It is one of the important features that you have to look into in a yoga mat, and it is directly attached to the quality of the material. The reason is, while you practice any yoga asanas, poses, or practice meditation, it is the yoga mat that yields to your body pressure.
Indeed, you have to press your foot or hands, sometimes even hear hard in a downward direction while performing various yoga asanas like the warrior pose, the dog pose, or others.
Therefore, if the yoga mat that you have purchased is not soft and does not offer this sponginess, you will not feel comfortable, it is going to hurt you. Also, there are high chances that you develop chronic body pain if you practice on a mat made of hard material for long.
Gone are those days you have to rely on and buy only PVC type yoga mats. You will find yoga mats made of recycled rubber, jute, organic cotton, or even some other natural materials. It is always better to buy a yoga mat made of natural fabrics.
However, you will also find a yoga mat made with synthetic type fabric, way cheaper than other variants. Avoid buying it if you have got an allergy problem as it contains latex, which is allergy prone.
Another critical point to consider before buying a yoga mat is to check whether it has got eco-friendly material or not. You will find it labeled accordingly.
Generally, yoga mats those made of natural materials are eco friendly, and not known for causing skin irritations or allergies.
The second most crucial point that you have to consider before buying a yoga mat is its texture. You must be thinking about why it is essential, correct?
Well, it dictates the yoga mat’s traction that you are planning to buy. It means the yoga mat that you are buying should not be too much slippery, or heavily sticky either.
When you are performing various types of stretch yoga poses, you must get a good grip on the mat. If the yoga mat does not give excellent traction, it will not just defeat the purpose, you might hurt yourself!
Various researches shown that the jute yoga mats come with a natural organic roughness; hence it is beneficial in giving you good grip.
Even though nylon, an pvc mats do come with deep cut textures, try to avoid those pvc or nylon made yoga mats, as those tend to be more slippery than the other variants.
Of course, the thickness of a yoga mat is another deciding factor that you have to consider before buying it. Indeed, it is one of the major deciding factors for multiple reasons. The foremost one has to do a lot with your comfortability while you are taking a yoga session.
It can not be too thin or tick; finding out the ideal trade off is real challenge. In general, you can look for a yoga mat with a thickness ranging between 1/4 inch to 1/16 inch thick. The average diameter of a standard size yoga mat is about 1/8 inches.
However, you should choose one absolutely based on your need, for example if you are keen to buy a wafer-thin travel yoga mat, you can select a mat with an average thickness of around 1/16th inches.
Weight or Ease of carrying
The weight of a yoga mat is an essential deciding factor that can influence your buying decision. You will find multiple varieties of yoga mats in the market, weighing between 2 pounds to 7 pounds.
However, if you buy a yoga mat with a thickness of around 3.175 mm, you can consider it a standard. Thus, weight and thickness are two inter-dependent factors that you have to find before buying an ideal mat.
If you like traveling or want to carry the yoga mat along with you, you have to make sure that you get a yoga mat that weighs less than 10 pounds. Even better, if you can put some more effort for finding light-weight and portable yoga mats specially designed for traveling purposes, or for your soulful meditation session in lonely outskirt.
We will keep the price as the last deciding factor in this yoga mat buying guide. You have to find a mat that offers you an ultimate comfort while you practice the yoga asanas, or indulge in meditation.
So, quality, texture, and material should really be the most significant deciding factors for picking up your perfect piece, rather than the price tag for the yoga mat.
Generally, if the yoga mat is made of PVC material or nylon with single solid color, these belong to the lesser priced category mattresses. While, mats having vibrant colors, cool textures, modern designs, logos, or eco-friendly yoga mattresses fall under the premium category.
This is how the price depends on various factors, and you have to pick a yoga mat that fits your exact need and budget, while you also find the balance between trade offs within quality and price.
According to market study, you can expect best balance of quality v/s price for your next yoga mat is between $50 to $100, while there are options as low as $7, and beyond $100 as extreme either way.