7 tips How to Choose the Right Yoga Mat
author: Tomáš Sokol
This guide will help you to choose the right yoga mat. Yoga mat will be your best partner during your practice. It pays to spend time and energy choosing the right yoga mat and in return you will have a mat that can last for quite a long time.
Yoga mats come in a number of lengths and are made from many different materials. Several factors need to be taken into account when choosing the right yoga mat. Here are the things that you should consider:
1. BODY TYPE
The choice of a yoga mat depends to some extent on your body type. The standard thickness of the yoga mat is 4mm. You will find mats from 1 mm to 1.5 cm. You should consider thicker mat if you need more cushioning.
For advanced yogis mats with 4 mm are adequate. Regardless of your body type, consider what your joints will endure. If you feel too uncomfortable during exercise, it is better to get a thicker mat and over time you can switch to thinner one.
Materials such as TPE or PVC are softer, but can be slippery. Natural rubber mats have grippy surface and firmness.
Also consider your height. Standard yoga mats are made to a height of about 180 cm, so if you are taller, look for the "long" versions in our section of the long mat.
2. TYPE OF YOGA - SLOW OR DYNAMIC
If you have the opportunity try different types of yoga so that you know how your body behaves on the mat.
For more dynamic yoga (Ashtanga, Flow yoga, etc.), you will need anti-slip yoga mat that stabilizes your movement. PU surfaces and natural rubber is the best choice. Traditionally, however, Ashtanga yoga is practiced on yoga rug.
For more static exercises, on the other hand, the surface is not so important, you will rather appreciate its softness and warmth. With hot types of yoga, the mat is exposed to much more humidity than usual, so we recommend choosing a mat suitable for exactly these types of exercises, which you will find in the hot and bikram yoga mat section. It is recommended to get your own towel on a mat , which absorbs most of the sweat and can be easily washed after exercise.
3. AT HOME, IN STUDION OR OUTSIDE
When choosing a mat, you should also consider where you will practice most often. You do not have to deal with weight of yoga mat, when practicing yoga at home. The weight of yoga mats range from 1 to 3,5 kg. Personally, we recommend focusing on quality rather than the weight of the mat, unless you are traveling and need to fold yoga mat in your luggage.
If you plan to exercise outside, it is better to have an easy-to-clean mat, or to put a cheaper one under your quality mat. Jute, PVC or Pure rubber mats are ok for exercising outdoors in the summer. Also note that natural rubber mats are harder to clean from grass.
4. SELECTION OF YOGA MAT MATERIAL
Do you love your health and our mother Earth? Avoid mats made of cheap PVC (Polyvinylchloride), which is still used especially in cheaper variants of yoga mats. These mats also have a bad reputation in yoga studios. They are difficult to recycle and the only option is to throw them away = increasing unnecessary waste.
At Flexity we offer a wide range of materials
- Natural rubber
- PU (surface only)
- NBR foam
Each material has its own specific properties, and today the most popular is natural rubber in combination with a PU surface. It provides the best grip. PVC, NBR, TPE and other synthetic materials have the advantage of less weight and easier maintenance. They provide good comfort and grip.
The market leaders in ecological philosophy are companies such as Manduka, Yoga Design Lab, Jade, Liforme or Bodhi. For example, Yoga Design Lab reuses plastic material and combines them with beautiful design to create a product with the lowest possible environmental footprint.
5. NATURAL RUBBER MATS AND PVC MATS
Recently, many yogis prefer mats made of natural rubber or PU. The main difference is natural rubber mats don't absorb moisture. They are siutable for dynamic types of yoga such as Ashtanga or Power Yoga.
In this case, you will often have a mat under your face, so it doesn't hurt to have something harmless under you :). Most companies protect natural heritage, and none of the mats are made of rubber from the Amazon rainforest. The slight rubbery odor is natural, but if you don't like it look around for a jute or cotton mat.
6. YOGA MAT SURFACE
It may also depend on the type of surface of yoga mat. There are 2 types of yoga mat surface rougher or smoother. You will appreciate the rougher structure of yoga mat during demanding positions, while during slower sequences and movements you will appreciate a smooth structure.
Smoother yoga mats are usually made of PVC, but you can also find eco series, such as harmless PU (polyurethane) , which is a smooth non-slip layer.
7. YOGA MAT ACCESSORIES
If you often carry your yoga mat with you, it pays to invest in carry strap or bags, which not only serve for easier carrying, but also protect the yoga mat from damage. We will be happy to help you choose the right bag and, of course, a yoga mat :)