Choosing a Yoga Mat

There are many types and kinds of yoga mats available on the market.  This can often lead to confusion over which mat is the right mat.  Fortunately, learning about the types of products available can help narrow the choices and make the process of finding the perfect yoga mat a little easier.

Eco-Friendly Mats

Eco-friendly yoga mats are typically made with recycled materials or are made out of materials that are recyclable. Furthermore, they do not use harsh chemical dyes or other ingredients that are harmful to the environment or human health.

Environmentally responsible yoga mats are usually appropriate for most forms of yoga, but may be a little slippery for power yoga or similar variations. The thickness and comfort of the mat may vary between brands, so take time to look at several eco-friendly options before selecting a mat.

Cork Mats

According to Fitness Magazine, cork yoga mats are a great option for variations of yoga that raise the heart rate and result in sweating.  (1)  The cork mat allows for improved gripping once the mat becomes wet with sweat.  The grip on the mat makes it easier to avoid slipping or sliding, which is dangerous in a fast-paced power yoga class or similar fast-paced versions of yoga.  Likewise, this type of mat may prevent accidental injuries during a fast-paced yoga class.

Extra Large Mats

When the typical yoga mat size is too small for comfort, a super-sized option may help. A super-sized yoga mat is wider and slightly longer than the typical mat, which is ideal for taller individuals who may feel uncomfortable on a regular mat or when a single mat is used for more than one individual.

Traveling Mats

A traveling yoga mat is exactly how it sounds. The mat is thinner than most other versions of a yoga mat and it is lightweight and easy to transport. It is also flexible enough to roll up tighter than other mats and it is perfect for bringing on trips.

Since the mats are designed for traveling, the materials are made to work for most types of yoga. The mats may be slightly shorter or smaller than other mats that are available.

Beginner Mats

According to Fitness Magazine, beginner mats are ideal for new yoga practitioners because they have printed designs that make it a little easier to follow along during a class.  (1)  A beginner mat will usually have a basic thickness and is designed to prevent slipping. It is versatile enough for most forms of yoga.

Picking the Right Mat

Fit Sugar suggests that the key to finding the right yoga mat is actually focusing on how it will be used. (2)  A travel mat is ideal for individuals who travel often for work because it is designed to travel on a plane or in a car.  However, a travel mat might not be appropriate for use in a class setting.

The best way to select the right yoga mat is by considering the class and the possible problems that may arise. A class that causes the heart rate to increase and the body to sweat will need a different mat from a slow-moving style that focuses on breathing and meditation. By focusing on the style of yoga and personal needs, the process of finding the right mat is a little easier.

A wide variety of yoga mats are available on the market, but they are not all created equal. The best mat is the one that works for your needs and focuses on your specific goals.

Sources:

1) http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/gear/equipment/best-yoga-mats/

2) http://www.fitsugar.com/Tips-Buying-First-Yoga-Mat-20129474