How To Choose Your First Yoga Mat – Sports Medicine Weekly | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Published on: 12-Oct-2021

Yoga is quite popular today for the several benefits it’s believed to offer. It’s thought to improve body strength, flexibility, and balance as well as grant relief for back pain. Besides that, it could help brighten one’s mood, reduce stress, and relax the body to promote better sleep quality.

Unlike other sports, yoga requires special gear. You’ll need flexible, breathable, and comfortable clothes and a mat. While choosing outfits suitable for this practice might be easy, you must be careful when getting a floor pad. This is because when doing yoga, you’ll be lying on the floor, doing sitting poses, bending backward, and performing various rigorous exercises. Therefore, your mat will help you prevent injuries and offer you a stable surface. This way, you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll be sure to enjoy all the benefits this physical activity offers.  

Beginners’ Tips For Choosing A Yoga Mat

If you’re about to go to your first yoga class, the studio might offer you a mat. However, it’s advisable to buy your own. It’s more sanitary, and you can travel anywhere with it without any restrictions.

Yoga mats are available in a variety of colors, styles, materials, lengths, and thicknesses. It might be easy to select a floor pad design and shade. However, choosing the best mat size, fabric, and density can be challenging, especially if you’re a beginner. If you’re looking to purchase your first yoga floor pad, this article could be helpful.

Before choosing a yoga floor pad, you first have to identify a good seller or manufacturer. This way, you’ll be sure that whichever product you pick is of high quality and will offer you great value for your money. To identify an excellent company or shop, consider their reputation and how long they’ve been in the industry. Dealers with a good name tend to be more trusted, and experienced ones might be known for superior grade products. Therefore, if you’re buying your mat from a brick-and-mortar shop, get one from those known within your area. If you’re purchasing online, consider stores like Pixels or others with excellent customer reviews.

As promised, here’s how to choose a yoga mat for your first class: 

  1. Consider The Mat’s Thickness 

How thick your mat should be will depend on the kind of yoga you’ll practice. A thinner floor pad is more recommendable for balancing postures because it offers more connection to the ground.

However, thicker mats are advisable for inversions or poses that make you press hard into the floor because they’ll ensure you don’t feel the ground. Also, if you have achy joints and tender knees, a more cushioned practicing pad will be good for you. If you experience back pain during exercises, denser yoga mats are also recommendable.

If you’re about to start your first yoga class, you might not know what poses or postures you’ll be performing. Therefore, consider asking your instructor about this so you can identify if you need a thicker or thinner floor pad.

  1. Pick A Good Size

The length of your yoga mat also matters. You must ensure that your practicing pad is long enough to accommodate you fully. It’s because if you’re doing stretches or poses like savasana and a part of your body is outside your mat, you’ll feel uncomfortable due to the temperature difference. You’ll be less relaxed, which can prevent you from sufficiently enjoying the potential benefits of yoga.

A standard yoga mat might be 68 inches in length. For taller yogis, this size isn’t sufficient. If a 68-inch practicing pad isn’t enough for you, consider looking for extra-long mats or constructing one yourself.

  1. Choose An Excellent Material 

When buying a yoga mat, it’s also vital to be careful about the material you pick. This is mainly because this factor will affect your floor pads’ durability, price, and grip. Usually, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) mats are longer-lasting, more affordable, and offer better traction. Besides that, they’re also easy to clean and less difficult to maintain. However, you must be careful when buying PVC floor pads as lower-quality products can cause skin rashes.

Yoga mats made of natural materials like jute, organic cotton, and rubber are also long-lasting and provide better grip. Besides that, they’re stickier, making them suitable even for smooth house surfaces for those who like practicing yoga at home. However, they’re expensive, and some may have an unpleasant smell when new.

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials, on the other hand, also offer a good grip and are cheaper. Even so, they can be slippery when you sweat, which could make you get hurt as you practice yoga. Also, they’re less durable, meaning you’ll not get sufficient value for your money.

Conclusion

If you’re about to start your first yoga class, it’s essential to have the right gear. The good thing about this practice is you’ll only require appropriate clothes and a mat. While it might be easy to find yoga garments, it can be challenging to identify the best floor pad, especially as a novice practitioner.

For this reason, this article offers some tips that could help you choose a perfect first yoga mat. As provided above, consider the floor pad’s thickness, pick a good size, and buy an excellent material.


Author Bio 

Andrew Lee is a professional lifestyle blogger. He’s been in the industry for 20 years. He shares his expertise and knowledge through writing guest blogs and conducting online discussion forums and webinars. During his free time, Andrew enjoys hiking, gardening, and bike riding.

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