Let’s first talk about the characteristics that a yoga mat must have to help practice, and then talk about how to pick a yoga mat.
A Good Yoga Mat Has Three Characteristics
We all know that the foundation of yoga asanas is very important. The foundation should be stable and solid and take root down wherever your hands and feet fall. If the mat is slippery, the foundation cannot be stabilized.
Asanas like the standing mountain pose may not be very obvious, but you feel more obvious when you do down-dog poses, war one, war two, and triangle pose.
You will pay more attention to prevent your feet from shifting or slipping; you may desperately grasp with your toes to prevent your feet from shifting; Compensation through muscles or joints. These are not what we want to see. Therefore, anti-slip yoga mats are the top priority.
2.The Material Is Environmentally Friendly And Has No Peculiar Smell
This is easy to understand. In yoga, many movements are performed by lying on the mat.
Some postures will make the tip of the nose, chin or forehead directly touch the mat. In addition, yoga postures pay attention to breathing. A yoga mat that has a peculiar smell and is not environmentally friendly is not good for our bodies.
3.Good Water Absorption
Although not every time I practice, we will sweat profusely, there are still sweating courses. If the yoga mat can’t absorb sweat quickly, it will affect our practice.
If you choose a yoga mat, you will find that the mat has different thicknesses.
Beginners can choose a slightly thicker cushion. The main reason is to consider that there are many knee-to-ground movements in the asana, and a thicker one can protect the knee.
Because the beginner’s muscle strength is insufficient, or he can’t activate the muscles, he may put his strength on the knee joint in the asana when he landed on the knee. A thicker cushion can play a good protective effect.
A qualified yoga mat must have the above 4 functions. Only with these three functions will it not affect our practice.
How To Pick a Yoga Mat?
Determine The Budget
Choose the yoga mat that suits you best within your budget.
Understand The Material
The advantages and disadvantages of different materials need to be understood, such as non-slip performance and service life.
Choose Thickness And Size
Choose according to your usual practice habits. Don’t dare to just look at the color and promotion. After all, the yoga mat that accompanies you every day should be the one that suits you.
The Material Of The Yoga Mat
The mainstream yoga mat materials currently on the market are generally divided into NBR, PVC, TPE, natural rubber, cork, and mixed-material yoga mats.
Advantages: cheap price, diverse colors, simple craftsmanship, thick, good softness, environmental protection
Disadvantages: poor stain resistance, not easy to clean, general resilience, abrasion resistance, weak slip resistance
Service life: 3 months to 1 year
Advantages: good durability, low raw material cost, so the price is relatively close to the people, and it is also a relatively common yoga mat currently used
Disadvantages: Because the material has poor absorption, it has good slip resistance in dry conditions, but for those who sweat a lot, it has poor slip resistance; plastic products cannot be degraded naturally and are not environmentally friendly. Cellular foam structure, poor dirt resistance, not being easy to clean, softness, resilience, and abrasion resistance are average
Service life: 3 months to 1 year
Advantages: high elasticity; environmental protection; anti-slip performance is better than PVC
Insufficiency: poor durability
Service life: generally can be used for about 1 year
Advantages: The natural texture and open-pore structure of the surface help absorb moisture, and the anti-slip effect is very good regardless of whether it is dry or wet. Natural rubber is very soft, has good resilience, and the experience is very good. The grip performance is also excellent. The source of raw materials is natural and environmentally friendly.
Insufficiency: Natural rubber will have a certain smell, if it is sensitive to the smell, it will take a day or two to disperse the smell after buying it.
Service life: more than 2 years
Advantages: environmentally friendly, non-toxic, good slip resistance
Insufficiency: need to be scrubbed in time, otherwise, it is easy to hide dirt
Service life: about 1 year
How To Pick The Size Of The Yoga Mat?
Different thicknesses should be selected for different training stages:
- Beginner-recommended a medium thickness of 5-8mm, which can make the process of learning yoga more enjoyable;
- Advanced-recommend 3-6mm (the most common thickness currently on the market), and gradually adapt;
- Senior-Use 1.5-3mm thin pads to fully sense the ground and maintain stable movements.