How to Choose a Great Yoga Mat

by Jessica B. | February 26th, 2015 | Accessories, Exercise Equipment

green yoga mat (400x400)Last week I wrote about the arrival of smart yoga mats to the market. These mats use sensors to communicate with your electronic device so you can get feedback on your poses even without an instructor watching. But if you don’t have the desire or the budget to invest in a $100 yoga mat, you have other smart options. Here are a few tips when you set out to buy a new yoga mat.

Choose a material – You have a wide variety of materials to choose from when shopping for a yoga mat. Many yoga mats are made with PVC and other plastics that help make it easier for your feet to grip. If you want to avoid this, choose a mat that is made from an all-natural material like hemp or bamboo. Remember, however, that these mats come with a bigger price tag and may not last as long as a yoga mat does take a bit of a beating over time.  Remember that if you do buy a PVC mat, you will hopefully be able to use it for many years, making it more sustainable than if you only used it for a year or so.

Thickness – I hate the feeling of my knees pushing too hard through my yoga mat, so I have learned that I prefer a slightly thicker mat. You might want to give this a try as well. If you find your mat is too thin, look into how to use a towel or yoga block to support your knees before you run out and buy another yoga mat.

Don’t slip – You want a soft surface, and a natural one, but you also need to have some grip to keep from falling. Some mats have built in texture that helps keep your feet from dragging about. These mats may not be quite as picturesque as some of the flat and smooth mats, but they can be much easier to grip to, especially for yoga beginners.

Price tag – If you are new to yoga, you don’t need to shell out a huge amount to get your own yoga mat. But if you are serious about taking up the practice, a new mat is a sound investment. If you cannot find a natural mat within your price range, get a PVC one and consider using a towel when you are lying on it.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.