Yoga mat; how to choose ideally? Every day more and more people start practicing yoga actively. For your exercises to be helpful and enjoyable, you must select the right yoga mat. Content of the article:
- Why do you need it?
- What are the types of rugs?
- How to choose?
Every girl probably has such popular sports equipment as a yoga mat at her disposal. You can use it not only for meditation and asanas but also for active physical activity.
It is essential to choose the right mat considering various factors – for example, training location, difficulty level and type of exercise, etc. You can select a type of mat that fully meets all the conditions and will be an additional motivation to exercise.
Why do you need a yoga mat?
Most beginners mistakenly believe they can use that simple travel mats, towels, or blankets for yoga practice. The fact is that only special sports equipment will make the classes safe and as comfortable as possible. It has a good grip on any surface, preventing it from slipping during training and performing challenging asanas.
The mat, made of foam polymer, reduces pressure on the knee joints while relaxing on the cold floor.
Which type of yoga mat is best?
Today, there is a relatively large selection of various sports products that belong to this group, which are usually divided into several categories – natural and synthetic. This division is precisely due to the materials used in production.
There are also differences in color, size, and texture. Through trial and error, you can find the perfect option, and using additional information, you can make the right choice the first time.
This group includes PVC, PES, TPE, and synthetic rubber products. The main characteristic of synthetic mats is the presence of a specific smell. However, over time, the unpleasant aroma becomes less noticeable, but at the same time, it never completely disappears.
Products made of PVC are not very durable and can tear right during training. Still, they are not recycled because they pollute the environment.
Synthetic rubber products are considered environmentally friendly and can also be recycled.
Natural yoga mats include jute, cotton, and rubber. Varieties made of jute and rubber fibers provide the most robust adhesion to the floor’s surface. Therefore safety is guaranteed when performing challenging asanas. At the same time, it is recommended to use cotton models for meditation and relaxation. Natural mats “breathe” well and do not absorb odors and moisture; however, they require special care.
How to choose a yoga mat?
Choosing the right mat will be an indispensable assistant during yoga.
It is necessary to take into account critical criteria such as:
- The quality of adhesion to the floor surface or how sticky it is;
- The size of the mat;
- How much moisture is absorbed;
- Strength of the product.
Only by considering all these criteria can you choose an ideal, high-quality yoga mat that will last a long time. It also allows for a safe, comfortable, and most effective workout.
Yoga mat size
Standard models are 60–61 cm wide. This size is usually sufficient for those who practice yoga regularly. There are also mat options, which are 80 cm wide. These models provide significantly more comfort during training and provide more space. However, when choosing sports equipment, it is necessary to consider the current storage difficulties if its dimensions exceed the usual.
The blanket length depends directly on the height of the person and the type of activity. During training, one should feel as good and comfortable as possible.
It is essential to consider that the more complex the classes, the more emphasis should be placed on this particular point. To avoid getting injured during exercise, you need to pay attention to the model of the mat with high stickiness. It is necessary to emphasize that this parameter is proportional to the product’s length of service since the soft layer tends to wear out quickly.
Moisture absorption rate
If your palms sweat a lot during exercise, choosing mats made of natural “breathable” materials is best. In this case, it is worth altogether abandoning models made of synthetic materials, as they can cause sweat production. If natural rugs are too expensive, you can buy semi-synthetic ones.
The advantages of these products include that they are pretty thin, dense, and light, but at the same time strong; therefore, they do not retain heat well. The optimal thickness of the mats is considered to be the parameter 4, 5-6 mm. It is enough to ensure a comfortable workout and protection from cold floors.
If desired, you can buy a thicker yoga mat. Still, it will be more unstable, which can significantly affect your balance performance. In cases where you constantly need to carry sports equipment, it is best to give models of mats with a thickness of 4 mm.
It is essential that sports equipment does not stretch, which is why almost all yoga mats have a unique mesh frame inside, which increases the product’s life and does not allow it to try too much.
You can choose lightweight models that do not have a frame. These products are not only lighter but also less stable, not as strong as a mesh frame. Light blankets are recommended for meditation and quiet practice.
Latex yoga mats
Models made of rubber or latex have the highest strength, are non-toxic, wear-resistant, recyclable, and do not pollute the environment. The mat holds its shape well, is sticky, “breathes,” perfectly repels water, and is ideal for fitness and yoga. For example, today, you can find models on sale for which manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty.
Cotton or linen mats are usually used as a base or second mat because they are pleasant to the touch, soft, and have poor adhesion. Cotton or linen is best used for meditation and not too much movement.
Jute yoga mats
Jute rugs are semi-synthetic products. This model is based on natural fibers combined with some synthetic compounds. As a rule, such mats have good properties – the surface is sticky, and the product is durable, but at the same time, it is not quite normal.
Thermoplastic elastic mat
Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a particular class of materials that are becoming a replacement for silicone, vulcanized plastics, and rubber. These mats are comfortable to the touch and relatively soft. Usually, they consist of two layers – the top layer is sticky, and the bottom layer consists of reinforced mesh. It is the mesh that extends the life of the product. Depending on the TPE yoga mat’s specific model, they have different stickiness levels. The main disadvantage of the product is that it does not have a delightful synthetic smell.
PVC yoga mats
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is transparent and colorless plastic. Carpets made of this material have a relatively low cost. The product is somewhat sticky, pleasant to the touch, and weighs between 1–1.5 kg (depending on thickness and size).
These models of mats can be used by beginner yoga practitioners who have not had time to decide whether they will continue to practice in the future or not. The disadvantage of such mats is a rather harsh and unpleasant artificial aroma. PVC mats do not degrade; they emit cancer-causing harmful substances when burned.
The quality of the lessons depends on the correct choice of yoga mat. If during the first exercise there is a lot of discomfort or discomfort, few people want to continue exercising. A sound blanket allows you to enjoy every activity and strive for a perfect body.