How to Choose the Right Yoga Mat
Choosing a yoga mat goes beyond colour, pattern and overall aesthetic appeal – it needs to make your yoga sessions easier by providing your body with the right amount of support, it needs to be easy to transport, and it should have an eco-friendly element to it as well. So, how do you go about choosing one, we spoke to Managing Director of Terra Brands, Adam Closenberg, who distributes a range of yoga mats, to find out.
“When it comes to picking a yoga mat, there is a certain criteria you need to follow,” says Closenberg.
Here’s what he suggests you check before making a purchase:
We advocate using a 5mm thick yoga mat, which provides both stability and cushioning. By going too thin, you risk putting too much pressure on your joints in certain poses – and by going too thick, you risk not having a connection to the floor which could make you lose your balance. Just remember, the thicker the mat, the higher the density and weight – this is useful to consider this before schlepping around your very heavy yoga gear.
This is something you really need to pay attention to. The material of a yoga mat will tell you how spongy it is (in other words do you feel supported), how eco-friendly it is and if the texture is right (you really don’t want to be slipping half way through downward dog).
At Terra Yoga, we only offer eco-friendly PRO and PER rubber yoga mats rather than regular PVC mats, which are not biodegradable. Our mats are also free of latex and toxic heavy metals.
3. Feel and texture
Once you’ve chosen a quality rubber, jute or cotton mat, you need to focus on the texture. Yoga mats should be a little sticky to prevent slipping, and different types of yoga can require different types of mats. In fact, for hot yoga we recommend using a microfiber towel overlaid the mat (particularly if your mat is made from PVC). The rubber or silicone nubs underneath the towel ensure the towel doesn’t move and you have maximum stability for your poses. The towels help absorb the moisture and look great.
4. Colour and style
Once you’ve chosen a new yoga mat with the above mentioned points taken into consideration (most importantly thickness, eco-friendliness, material, feel and texture) – it’s time to have a little fun and pick the colour and style that suits you best as you’re going to be seeing that mat every time you look down in
child’s pose. We offer an exciting range of colours – blue, purple, pink, sky, burgundy, lilac, lime – and have an exciting new launch of “tie dye” colours coming up as well.
It’s likely that once you’ve taken everything into consideration in picking a high quality yoga mat, you may need to pay a little more than expected. However, if yoga is your go-to practice and something you love doing, just remember the importance of Ahimsa. It is just as important to look after yourself as it is to pose no violence or harm to anything around you. An eco-friendly mat is worth the investment.