Yoga Mat Comparison
Professional Yoga Mat by Kurma
Jade Harmony Professional
RatMat Pro Eco
Ashram Premium Yoga
|79 x 23||71 x 26||24 x 74||72 x 24||72 x 24||72 x 24||71 x 26||68 x 24||73 x 25||72 x 24|
Yoga Mat Buying Guide
What is a Yoga Mat?
Yoga has been around for centuries. It was developed over 5000 years ago in India. The word yoga means to join together; its purpose being to join the mind and body together for the ultimate harmony. There are three main parts that make up the practice of yoga: exercise, meditation, and breathing. All three are equally important to the culmination of mind and body.
The very first yoga mats were made of tiger skin, deer skin or grass and later on they were made of cotton or towels. The mats were used as a base that the exercises could be performed on more comfortably.
Rubber mats were discovered and used in the 20th century but the traditional floor mat that is used today wasn’t discovered until the early 80s. Even though exercise mats were used up until; the 90s, they tended to be too thick and would slip on the floor which can be very dangerous with many of the positions that yoga calls for.
Yoga mats are made with some cushioning that will protect the joints, but not too much and they are designed to not slip on the floors which will protect you from a fall in a not so easy to fall in position. These two features are two of the most important ones since they affect the success of the workout.
Materials Used for Yoga Mats
Yoga mats can be made from many different types of materials. Learn about those different materials below and see which one will fit your needs and preferences the best. What you will find in the differences between different yoga mats mostly will be in the level of absorption they have, their eco-friendly properties, and the stickiness of the mats to prevent slipping. Eco friendly is a very important factor among yoga enthusiasts because the majorities are more health conscious and concerned about the environment so it stands to reason they would prefer yoga mats that have this same consideration.
PVC – Even though PVC isn’t eco friendly and it’s not absorbent either, it provides the most “stickiness” of all the materials. This stickiness prevents the mat from slipping which can cause injury.
Rubber – Rubber yoga mats can be made to be eco friendly and provide a lot of give when you are changing positions. It has enough stick to prevent the mat from slipping but if you have an allergy to latex, you may find that using rubber yoga mats can cause an allergic reaction. Another drawback is that they are not absorbent.
Jute – This is an eco-friendly material that has a good amount of absorbency and is used by some manufacturers to create yoga mats. There are a couple of drawbacks to mats made of Jute. They can cause resistance when you change from one position to another and they can have an uncomfortable texture as well.
Cotton – Cotton is another eco-friendly material that is very absorbent. Users may find that pivoting is difficult on a cotton yoga mat, so take that into consideration. It can be cleaned easily but since it does not prevent slipping you may want to choose another material such as rubber if you do not have a latex allergy.
Different Yoga Mat Textures
The texture of your yoga mat is an important consideration. You want a texture that will provide traction for standing poses but that won’t be uncomfortable for sitting and lying down poses.
Jute will feel rough to the touch due to its organic origin and how it is woven as well.
PVC and Rubber will vary in different textures and that will depend largely on the manufacturer. If you like completely smooth textures, you will probably want to get a PVC mat that has a smooth texture.
Since there are all kinds of textures yoga mats can have, when shopping around, be sure to pay attention to the texture description so you can get what you want.
How Thick do You Want Your Yoga Mat?
The thickness of your yoga mat will determine how comfortable the sitting and lying down poses will be. You don’t want it so thin that those poses are uncomfortable or even painful; on the other hand, you don’t want it so thick that performing the standing poses becomes difficult and unsteady.
Standard yoga mats are about 1/8” thick. They are typically comfortable and stable enough to be great for standing exercises and floor exercises. The thickest yoga mats will be around ¼” thick. You will love how the lying and sitting poses feel but you may notice that having a strong connection to the floor will not be present with a mat this thick.
There are very thin yoga mats that are only 1/16” thick. They roll easy, carry easy, and are great for the standing poses but you may find that using them on hard floors can be very painful when doing the sitting and lying poses.
The Stickiness of Yoga Mats
If you are new to yoga, you may not realize that a yoga mat will have a stickiness to it that is functional to the practice of yoga. It needs to be sticky on both sides and for good reason. The stickiness on the side that is face down on the floor will prevent it from sliding, giving the user a stable and safe foundation from which to do some intricate and sometimes difficult poses.
It needs to be sticky on the top side so sweaty hands and feet do not slip out from under you. So make sure that the yoga mats you look at have a good level of stickiness on both sides so you can perform your yoga poses safely and sturdily.
Reasons why You Should Try Yoga
In the event that you are brand new to yoga or that you are considering it, there are several reasons why you should try it. We’ll outline the top reasons below why you should give it a try and see what you think. Most people, who try it, end up loving it, wishing they had started sooner and make it a part of their day to day lives.
Reason #1 – You will feel fantastic. Not only will you find that you are more aware, awake and connected mind and body, you will find that your focus is very deep and increased as well. Practice yoga at your own pace and you will find that you want to do it again and again.
Reason #2 – Yoga will help you slow down a bit and find peace with your life and yourself. Breathing; calm, even breathing is one of the foundations of yoga. This even breathing facilitates healing on many levels. Another thing to think about is that when you are doing a controlled exercise, with calm, steady breathing, it is very difficult to end up injured. Yoga is not an activity that is meant to be rushed.
Reason #3 – There are many physical benefits for your body when it comes to yoga. Alignment in the joints, strengthening the body, helping relieve the stresses your day to day life can place on your physical body and stretching your muscles.
If you are new to yoga class, be sure to let the teacher/instructor know. Also tell them about any physical problems you have such as back problems, etc. They will be able to help you with poses that can actually help and improve your condition. If something you are doing doesn’t feel good or starts to cause pain, back off and try again another time. Some poses will have to be worked into.
When it comes to finding an activity that is inexpensive, easy to get started with and that has massive physical benefits, yoga is at the top of the list. Equipment is basically a good quality mat, which is why we have brought you the top rated choices here.
With it being your only real purchase when it comes to equipment, you want to spend the money to get the right kind and one of good quality that will last. With proper care, a good quality yoga mat will last decades.
With the information in this review and buyer’s guide you will be able to choose the perfect yoga mat for you. And if you’re brand new to yoga or are considering it, you still want to get a great quality mat since that can make a difference in your first impression.
- Kurma Professional Quality Extra Long Yoga Mat – Kurma Professional Quality Extra Long Yoga Mat
- Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat – Jade Harmony Professional 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat
- Manduka PRO Yoga Mat – Manduka PRO Yoga Mat