Practicing yoga is one of the best ways to ensure a healthy lifestyle and relief from everyday stress, anxiety and other physical ailments. Whether you work out at home, in a yoga studio or a garden, a yoga mat is an essential kit for a worthwhile practice session. Yoga mats are predominantly used to absorb sweat from intense practice and helps in preventing sweaty hands while holding up poses. Though there are numerous options in the market regarding material, thickness, durability, and eco-friendliness and so on, here are some of the prominent features which are needed in a comfortable yoga mat for a perfect workout.
- Non-skid material
Yoga mats should preferably be made of material that resists slippage, thus protecting you from injuries. A sticky mat stays put on the floor, though the amount of sweat depends on the kind of yoga you practice. For example, aerobic practices need fewer grips while more intense workouts and meditative practice require a mat that does not slip. Though PVC mats offer a sturdier, rubber mats made of naturally slip-resistant material are also available if you are looking for a natural option.
A good yoga mat should be durable and thick, for which it is necessary to choose mats made of sturdier material such as rubber. Less expensive and thinner mats tend to wear out after a few uses which might also affect its grip level. It is therefore advisable to buy a thick mat which will last you a lifetime.
- Easy Cleaning
Over time, yoga mats are prone to accumulating sweat, dust and moisture. A dirty mat not only affects grip level but can also harbor microbes and odor which needs to be cleaned. If possible, buy a mat that is washable or at least cleaned daily with mild soap, a sponge or even plain vinegar. Yoga mats should be cleaned properly after each use for which professional cleaning is not really required.
The philosophy of yoga strictly believes in natural rejuvenation and purity. However, modern mats are made of PVC, a toxic plastic which harms the environment as well. To go for an environmentally feasible option, rubber, cotton or TPE mats are considered excellent. These mats are made with safety and health considerations in mind, which serves the actual purpose of yogic spirituality.
- Comfort and price
Comfort is key, which is why it is suggested that one should try out various kinds of mats to see which suits you best. Do check if the amount of thickness and comfort matches your taste and expectations. A word of advice, you have to spend a decent amount so as to get a high-quality product which will serve you for a long time. Cheaper mats are generally not as comfortable and disintegrate quickly thus making you spend more on a second mat. They are also not as environmentally friendly which might defeat the whole purpose of yoga.
Hence, we see that choosing a good yoga mat goes beyond checking a mat out on the basis of colors or pretty designs. In the end, what will matter is whether it gives a good performance and helps you to enjoy your yoga practice or deters you from the same. Buying a good yoga mat is not simply a purchase; it is an investment for a healthy life.