Do I need a yoga mat?
This is an important question to consider. On one hand, a yoga mat isn’t actually a requirement to practice yoga, in fact, some prefer to go matless for a variety of reasons. With the rise in popularity of outdoor yoga, some people find that they connect better with various surfaces without anything between them and the ground.
On the other hand, a yoga mat is a great reminder of your orientation within a room and can serve as a guideline to stay aligned during harder yoga flows. Other people find that their mat creates a boundary of personal space and that the mat indicates their specific area in the studio. And of course, some of us who sweat more find mats to be a more safe option to avoid slipping.
•Finding a mat that’s right for you
For the majority of us, using a mat is the way to go, but the search for a great one can be exhausting. So many yoga mats seem extremely similar, yet the options and features out there are endless. There is no singular perfect mat for everybody, but finding what’s best for your needs can help facilitate mental and physical advances in your practice.
The team at Reviews.com spent hours researching dozens of mats, focusing on the unique needs of different types of yogis and practices. After consulting professionals and looking at existing research, they determined a few important factors when looking for a great mat for your practice:
We’ve all seen the yoga mat section of a sporting goods store: bright colors, beautiful designs and all kinds of textures to choose from. Does any of that really matter? As it turns out, it might. While the design of the mat comes down to personal preference, some people find that a more detailed texture on their mat helps with grip quite a bit. If that’s something that is important to your practice, you’ll want to opt for a mat with more texture for a better grip.
Many of the most popular mats on the market are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This works great in normal classes for many yogis, but there are other options. For an eco-friendly material (or if you just like a different feel), you can check out mats made of natural recycled rubber, resin, bamboo, hemp, jute or cotton. These are also great options if you’re looking to branch out and try something new.
One of the most important parts of yoga is balance and strength.There is evidence that a regular yoga practice can improve balance. Of course, a super-thick mat can make it hard to hit harder poses, where a very thin mat may not provide enough cushion to keep you comfortable during class. Mats tend to range from 1/16 of an inch to ¼ of an inch (and even thicker), so there’s enough variety to suit many different yogis’ preferences.
One option you’ll have as you look at various materials is the cell structure. This refers to whether or not moisture is absorbed into the mat, and cells can be open or closed. Closed-cell mats don’t absorb moisture well, so anything that gets on the mat tends to stay on the surface. This tends to make them easy to wipe clean for those who don’t have lots of time for mat maintenance. Open-cell mats are more absorbent, which is great for classes where you’ll sweat more, as it will help the surface stay more dry.
When it comes down to it, the yoga mat that’s best for you depends on your unique needs. Keeping these factors in mind can help you navigate all of the options out there and find a great mat for your practice. To check out the mats that Reviews.com recommends and to see their findings, take a peek here: https://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/
This article was sourced by www.reviews.com.
Editted by Hali Tsotetsi