A mat is, of course, the basis of everything when it comes to practicing yoga. It depends on how comfortable your classes will be, and how quickly you will progress from its characteristics and quality.
Do I Need a Yoga Mat:
It would seem, why buy a yoga mat if there is a covering on the floor, a towel or tourist foam. For starters, it is alright. However, this is a delusion. Yoga exercises require the surface on which you exercise certain properties and characteristics – strength, elasticity, and lack of sliding.
Today, the variety of yoga mats is amazing. They are made of different materials, have different sizes, thickness, weight, colors. How to choose a yoga mat that will meet your requirements? And do you need your rug if many studios offer mats in the classroom?
It is better to have your yoga mat. It is necessary for doing yoga at home. With it, you can go to classes on the street, take with you to nature, to the studio. The mat can be attributed to the subject of personal hygiene, as from intense activities you can sweat and the mat will absorb moisture. Believe it or not, but the mat takes over the energy of those who practice it since the practice of yoga involves working with the energy of a person.
Length, Width and Thickness:
To calculate the length of the mat you need, add 5-10 cm to your height. The most popular length of yoga mats is 173 and 183-185 cm. There are longer mats for tall yogis or those who practice special exercises. Such enlarged mats reach a length of 200-220 cm.
The standard width of the yoga mat is 60 cm. This is enough for a comfortable performance of asanas. But there are no restrictions. There are wider mats 66-80 cm wide.
As for the thickness, this characteristic affects the stability, thermal conductivity, softness and comfort of classes. Mats are from 3 to 6 mm thick. Universal thickness is 4-5 mm. This is the optimal value for various types of yoga. Mats with a thickness of 3 mm are more suitable for field practice, for classes on soft surfaces. Thick carpets choose yogis with high sensitivity of knees and elbows. There are also super-thin carpets – 0.5-1.5 mm. These are hiking options. Lightweight and compact.
What Mats Are Made Of:
#1 – EVA (Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate):
Short for ethylene-vinyl acetate. It is an environmentally friendly high-performance modern polymer, foamed rubber. The material is resistant to bacteria and fungi, does not cause allergies. Mats made of such material are unusually light and compact, they are 4 times lighter than PVC. The porous structure of the material gives the mat cushioning properties, softness, and abrasion resistance. EVA mats are more suitable for medium-intensity practices. A completely new mat may have a specific odor that disappears very quickly. Mats made of this material are the most budget.
#2 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride):
The most popular material for yoga mats is PVC or polyvinyl chloride. This is the earliest man-made material invented back in the 19th century. 90% of all existing mats are made of PVC, while both budget and high-cost mats. More expensive models use high-strength PVC, the so-called HD PVC. Mats made of this material have better anti-slip properties and wear resistance. Some manufacturers give such a mat a lifetime warranty.
#3 – TPE (Thermal Plastic Elastomer):
short for Thermal Plastic Elastomer. This is a relatively new synthetic hypoallergenic material; chlorine is not used in its production. TPE is much lighter than rubber, and at the same time, it is not inferior to it in anti-slip properties. This material is softer, which means a little less durable. There are not very many mats made of TPE on the market, but the popularity of the material is gaining momentum.
#4 – Natural Rubber:
These are environmental mats. They have high sticky properties. The material does not contain PVC, toxins, heavy metals and dyes. Natural rubber is a non-polluting natural material. The mat has a neat little touch and does not cause allergies. Rubber mats are sticky and environmentally friendly. These are expensive yoga mats, but very high quality. The weight of such rugs exceeds 2 kg, they are considered heavy mats and are not very suitable as a traveling option when active movements are required. Such mats can be thin, thick, long and even colored. They are classified as professional and they are already chosen by those who practice yoga and here to stay.
#5 – Latex:
It is an ecological and most expensive material. It is made without the use of hazardous phthalates, plasticizers, heavy metals or PVC, without allergic substances or polluting chemicals. Undoubtedly, latex mats are the best in the market for their characteristics. Mats provide excellent grip, do not smell, are very durable and can last almost forever. They are superior to rubber mats in their sticky properties. These are relatively heavy yoga mats. Latex mats typically weigh more than 2 kg.
#6 – Cotton Mats:
These are handmade pure cotton natural yoga mats. This mat has been used in India for yoga since ancient times. Cotton is hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly material that absorbs moisture perfectly. As a rule, a mat pattern is an ethnic ornament that will decorate any occupation and will ideally fit into any interior. You need to get used to the cotton mat; its property is such that the wetter it becomes, the more grip it provides. A cotton mat is used as a lining on a regular mat. Thus, the surface of the mat will become softer, and thermal insulation will protect the body. We have a variety of cotton mats, choose to your taste.
#7 – Combo Mats:
These are combined natural mats with a microfiber surface and a rubber base. Such mats appeared in the USA and are now actively gaining popularity around the world. The main advantage is the variety of designs. Using this technology, you can even create your mat. As for the characteristics, such mats do not slip when wet, perfect for Bikram Yoga, hot, power and for those who actively get wet in the classroom. And they are not the easiest, although there are subtle hiking options for such mats.
#8 – Cork Yoga Mats:
This is a natural mat. Its top cover is the cork tree bark, and the base is a natural rubber. Despite the smooth surface, this mat does not slip and absorbs moisture well. Cork carpets have excellent antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Even if your carpet is constantly wet from practice, microbes will not be afraid of it. Such a yoga mat is suitable for people with high sensitivity to various materials.
Melisa Marzett practices yoga since recently and enjoys it very much. She is an active person by nature and taking into consideration the fact that she works as a writer and sits for hours writing articles for Smart Essay Re-writer, she desperately needs physical activity of any kind. She likes to try different things. This relates to every aspect of life and sport is not an exception. She is not afraid of anything, of making mistakes or looking funny but always ready for any challenge and takes any opportunity that life gives.