A Yoga Mat is probably one of the most useful and cost effective fitness items that you can get for your home. Not only can it be used for Yoga but it can also be used for any other exercise form like Pilates, Calisthenics, Aerobics and many more.
Considering these factors before you purchase a yoga mat will ensure that you get a mat that is best suited for your needs. Lets take a look at what you need to know before buying a yoga mat.
The most important thing when it comes to yoga mats is the material that they are made out of. If you are going to do yoga on them, then you will be spending a lot of time on the mat and your body will be in contact with the mat with a lot. With this in mind, you should look for a material that is comfortable. Another thing to consider is that different materials have different levels of cushioning. For beginners, it is best to choose a mat which has enough cushion to ensure your joints are not stressed.
The three main options for yoga mat materials are rubber, PVC and Cotton/Jute. Of these rubber is the most common and also in our opinion, the best choice that you can make. Rubber provides plenty of cushion and is safe for most skin types. If you do have an allergy to rubber however, you might want to choose a either PVC or natural fibers.
PVC is a type of plastic and yoga mats made with PVC are the most durable among all kinds. Finally, cotton and jute yoga mats are the latest materials being used to make yoga mats. These are very eco friendly materials. However, they do not have too much cushioning and might not be the best choice for starting out with exercise.
In general, the thicker the yoga mat, the more cushion it can provide. You should be looking for a minimum mat thickness of 0.125 inches. Mats can go up to 0.4 inches in thickness which is probably the upper limit based on the mats that we have seen. A thicker mat will make exercising easier on your knees and lower back.
Storage and Portability- Strap or Bag?
If you plan to take your yoga mat for outdoor sessions or while you are traveling, it is a good idea to get a mat that can be packed and transported easily. Most yoga mats come with either an elastic strap or a bag that they can be stored in. Both options are pretty good. The advantage of a bag is that it also protects your yoga mat from the elements. Do check that your yoga mat is supplied with either 1 of these 2 options.
While doing Yoga, you want to ensure that you have a safe and firm grip on the ground. Thats why its best to check that your yoga mat will provide a good grip on the floor. All rubber and PVC yoga mats will provide a firm and stable surface on most flooring.
You will find yoga mats across a range of budgets available today. Right from INR 500 to INR 5000, the range available is vast. I would say that a good mat is somewhere in the middle. You should expect to spend between 1000 and 2000 Rupees for a good yoga mat.
Easy to Clean
The last thing to look for in your yoga mat is the ease with which it can be cleaned. Most mats get dirty from sweat, grime and floor dust. While you dont have to clean the mat regularly, wiping it down once in a while will ensure that the mat is hygenic. Rubber and PVC mats can be easily cleaned with a wet cloth.
Yoga Mat Buying Guide – Conclusion
So that was our quick buying guide for the factors that you should be aware of before buying a yoga mat. Do let us know of your thoughts in the comments section.