Chances are, if you practice yoga in modern times, you have yourself a trusty yoga mat. If you’re new to this ancient system, the yoga mat is probably the first and only purchase you need to make as a beginner.
The necessity of a yoga mat is often a hotly contested topic, but you’d be hard pressed to find people practicing yoga today without at least some form of barrier underneath them. Finding the best yoga mat can be challenging, with so many different features available, so it’s essential to know the difference.
Having a yoga mat can help to provide stability and comfort to your poses, and give you a defined space which becomes your world as you practice. So, what is the best yoga mat? Depending on your skill level and how you prefer to perform the moves, there are a few features to consider.
While it’s true you don’t need a yoga mat to practice, it makes a lot more sense to have one in tow. There is a range of benefits to having a yoga mat, and in particular for beginners, these are the handiest tool you can use.
Although traditional Yogis in India never used a PVC mat, they generally performed yoga on hard earth, grass, or a rug of animal skin. As the practice became more prevalent in the West, cotton mats were used to prevent slippage, alongside a spray of water on the hands and feet to promote stability.
The introduction of the rubber mat came as a solution to the safety issue and prolonged process of this water used with cotton rugs. A yoga teacher from Germany, Angela Farmer, first used carpet underlay in her classes to help stability and after finding such success with the material she commissioned to have the sticky mats made in bulk.
Rubber yoga mats are extremely common nowadays, as they offer safety from slipping, a way to absorb sweat and other fluids, and a designated area for someone to practice in. The basic design of these mats hasn’t changed much in 20 plus years, but there are now some other options available to cater to the earth-friendly or allergy prone.
In addition to the numerous benefits of practicing yoga, there are added advantages to incorporating this tool into your routine. A yoga mat is the easiest way to add simplicity and safety to your yoga routine, and they’re extremely cost-effective and durable.
With so many yoga accessories on the market and mats being the most common, finding one that is going to suit your style and needs can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Before selecting a yoga mat, there are a few things to consider first. Your skill level may have some impact on the type of mat you want, as beginners should opt for something basic but comfortable at first.
For those seasoned yogis, you likely know exactly where, when, and in which conditions you practice your poses and will have more defined expectations of what it should offer. Finally, the best yoga mat for traveling, as many people both professional and amateur like to take their mat with them so they can perform yoga as they wish.
For absolute beginners, the purpose of a yoga mat should be to provide stability and comfort. For this reason, opt for a product considered one of the best non slip yoga mat styles such as RatMat Printed Yoga Mat.
These colorful designs are a great first purchase for beginners as they’re both durable and springy, so they can aid in keeping your balance as you’re starting out. At a ¼ inch thick, they’re the perfect size for comfort without compromising your balance, and they’re great for added confidence as you begin to master the moves.
The mats are non-toxic and environmentally friendly made with PVC, so they’re easy to keep clean. The colorful designs can add a bit of fun to your workout and help to define your personal space with style.
For a more custom designed yoga mat that suits everyday use and harder positions, you’ll need a product a little pricier. The Aurora Classic Thick Yoga Mat provides comfort, durability, and elegance so you can practice the art as it was intended. Made with PER and not PVC, it’s non-toxic and free from latex, rubber, and silicone.
Measuring at a ¼ inch thick, this mat is the perfect size for those who do a lot of yoga. It’s not so thick that you won’t be able to achieve balance, but just enough to shield you from harsh surfaces.
This mat comes with a non-slip rosin bag so that you can absorb extra perspiration as you go, making it even more stable. As experienced yogis are more likely to break a sweat, this is a valuable tool to have.
If you like the flexibility to perform yoga on the move, you’ll need a mat that’s lightweight, easily transportable, and big enough to give you a defined space. The Prosource Premium Yoga Mat can provide all of that with absolute comfort and stability too.
This mat is extra wide at 71” x 24” so it’s big enough to cover any type of space and allow you to perform any type of yoga. It’s water resistant to suit all kinds of weather, and extra thick making it ideal for particularly hard surfaces.
For travel convenience, this mat has a handy strap which allows you to roll it up and pack it away tightly so you can carry it anywhere. Whether you’re traveling long distances or want to take a lunch break to perform yoga in the park, this mat is ideal for mobile use.
Choosing the right yoga mat is important, particularly for beginners, as you need to find something to provide comfort and stability. With so many options now available, it’s best to first consider where and when you might perform yoga and then work on the best style to suit your needs.
With the right yoga mat, you’re not only able to partake in this ancient system with comfort and safety, but it can become your personally defined area for which you shut off the rest of the world and become focused.
Other products popular in the art of yoga including yoga blocks and the best yoga mat towel, designed to absorb further levels of perspiration and reduce bacteria. However, for beginners and those who like to keep it simple the mat is all that’s needed.
There’s no denying the numerous benefits of yoga, and especially when performed correctly with the best yoga mat available. A good yoga mat will last for years, and will become more than just a tool to you as it helps you to connect body, breath, and mind.
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