Any interest in yoga? There are many companies manufacturing yoga-related products. One of the hottest commodities on this market is a mat. A rectangular piece of non-slip rubber yoga mat or rubber could cost you up to $30. Are you ready to spend that much on a mat? Below, we outline the key factors you need to consider before making a decision on whether to invest into something durable, replace your mat every few months, or use one provided by your studio. We also consider the factors that are important in choosing the right mat.
If you are a beginner, and simply want to get a feel for yoga, we suggest using a non-toxic yoga mat provided by your studio. Most establishments supply their students with decent thick mats, which they care for and replace on a regular basis. Majority of studio mats are much cleaner than your personal mat would be, simply because a public mat gets a lot more cleaning between classes. If you suspect hygienic issues with studio mats, you should look for another yoga school. If you begin to practice regularly, even a few times a week, you may be more comfortable with a personal mat.
There are many reasons to have one. A mat will accumulate your energy, as you go all out, it will keep you calm and will eventually become your perfect meditation spot. Getting used to the same color, size, thickness, even smell would make your practice a lot more comfortable. A sticky, durable mat would also significantly improve your progress. High quality rubber mats often provide (too) much support and help in holding poses. Advanced practitioners usually choose a mat based on personal preferences for durability and appearance.
Having enough experience, they will pick a mat based on their professional judgment. Size: Most yoga mats are about 24″ wide. The lengths vary. Most mats are between 60″ and 75″ in length. Choosing a shorter mat is appropriate for kids and smaller people. A longer mat, however, may be easier to use, as some poses require moving around. An average length is between 70″ and 72″. If you are getting started, a longer, wider mat would make your practice more comfortable.
It is very important to make sure you are comfortable with what your mat is made of. The key factors to consider are:
Pilates mats must be thicker, about 1/4″ as you will be spending most of your time on the floor. yoga mats are thinner (about 1/8″), but not too thin. Many people prefer thicker yoga mats to provide better support for weaker or injured parts. It feels easier to practice on a thicker mat.
Traction – A good mat will provide enough traction to support your poses, but it will not be so sticky you can’t peel it off the floor. Extremely sticky mats are usually cheap, and they provide too much grip when it is not needed. As with everything in yoga, there must be a balance between grip and slip. Another important factor to consider is how well the mat holds when wet. Some cheaper mats completely loose traction when a little sweat is applied. This may not be apparent when you purchase the mat, but becomes a significant problem during class. Natural rubber is usually the best material, though it is costly.
Cheaper mats are usually made of plastic and PVC. Some of these materials are toxic, smelly and may become skating rings when wet. However, many studios use classic edge-covered PVC yoga mat, as they are relatively cheap and provide enough support and traction for most people. Better options are plastic elastomer mats, which are made from more environmentally friendly recyclable materials. The best mats are made from natural and organic latex (rubber). These mats usually provide ultimate support and durability, they don’t bunch up or curl, but may be quite heavy. Organic cotton and jute mats are good options, but they tend to shed quickly, and may feel very hard for some people.
How long will you mat last? Some cheaper, lightweight mats will not last a few months of extensive practice. Surprisingly, some very expensive jute and cotton mats will also break down and deteriorate, as their natural fibers wear off very fast.
A high quality latex mat will last longer and will prove to be a good investment over time. However, if you are just getting started – a regular PVC or TPE mat is often good enough. Some people prefer to throw away their mats after a while, as mats tend to accumulate moisture, dust and bacteria if not cared for on a regular basis.
I hope this helps in your journey as yoga practitioner. Stay receptive and remember that everything is already perfect.
Fuqing Shengde Plastic & Rubber Products Co., Ltd specializes in manufacturing yoga props. Our website: buy-yoga.