Breathe in, breathe out. If you’re among the twenty million people in America alone who practice yoga, you’ve definitely experienced the innumerable benefits to the mind and body health. A comfort in practicing yoga is that it can be done by almost any person – of any age and physical status – anywhere, even in your own house. Some learn by taking group classes and some by watching classes. You don’t need much to start your exercise. Watch any instructional video – the basic equipment used to begin conventional yoga is the mat. Let us help you find the best yoga mats using yoga mat reviews.
Best Yoga Mats
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Yoga Mat Reviews
Whether you’re a beginner who became curious after watching a couple of videos, or a practitioner who wants to replace your old equipment, you need to get yourself a yoga mat. They help provide support to your routine, making movement and holding poses a bit easier. It’s not uncommon to find different categories available in the market. You have to be mindful in choosing which best gives you the necessary support for the right price. We’ve compiled a list of the five best pads that’ll be worth your money.
Oh, and did we tell you they’re all available online?
If You Want To Give Back To Mother Nature
Jade Yoga provides environmentally friendly yoga products that guarantee optimal grip and better cushion. The company boasts of the fusion of Eastern resources and Western technology for yoga perfection. Like all their mats, the most popular Jade Harmony Professional is also made from sustainable natural rubber. Jade Yoga complies with all the US environmental and labor laws in manufacturing natural rubber, a renewable resource that does not contain ozone-depleting substances.
Pros: The 3/16 inch premium yoga mat offers great slip-resistance even as you sweat all your toxins out. This is helpful for the support needed to keep your hands and knees in place. The great texture provides a comfortable experience you’ll love. Aside from saving the environment, you can take your pick in about a dozen different colors. Who says eco-friendly has to be green?
Cons: A bit heavier than other mats, this one is a bit inconvenient to carry around in different classes. Most users also note the hint of rubber smell at first (which some actually liked). Since it’s made from biodegradable materials, it doesn’t last longer than the common wear time, and it cannot be exposed to the sun for too long because rubber may dry out. Remember to keep it clean – like all surfaces, once get too sweaty, it will be slippery.
If You Believe That We Are All Interconnected
Gaiam, a lifestyle company that practices Conscious Commerce, believes that purchasing decisions stem from a person’s values. The Gaiam lifestyle promotes both individual health and sustainability of Earth’s resources. They understand that meeting the customer’s needs can also mean providing alternative quality products to the traditional ones. With its promise of being phthalate- free (the 6P), Gaiam is also a healthier choice for both you and the planet.
Pros: With calming colors and prints that will definitely help you relax, Gaiam mats start at an affordable price . This 5 mm thick had added cushioning but is still lightweight and durable. It is thick enough to enjoy different poses for a longer time. Because it is 6P-free, it doesn’t put off a pungent chemical smell.
Cons: This could be too slippery for hot yoga classes, especially to yogis who easily get sweaty palms. Some buyers also had to purchase yoga towels to use over the mat. It is recommended to roll this out a few hours before using for the first time to let the air out. Taller users may find the length a bit lacking.
If You Want the Comfortable Experience
ProSource has been known for their body-building supplements. Since 1996, they have researched and developed high-quality products that they make available to the everyday man. ProSource believes in the power of the individual to make healthy life choices to eventually motivate more people to care about their health as well. The company developed this extra-thick ½ inch exercise mat, a big difference to the average 1/8 inch standard depth.
Pros: Made using ProSource Comfort Technology, the additional thickness provides greater comfort and lasts longer than most standard foam. It’s pretty lengthy (71”x24”), which makes sure that you’ll fit whatever your physical size and shape is. This is also for people who like using double pads. The carrying case is also a plus since it slides on/off, so you can set the straps aside while using it and just put it back on afterwards when you keep it.
Cons: Since it is pretty thick, even if bundled up it may not fit within most carrying bags. Some users may find it more difficult to balance postures because of this. The softness may also bother people who are used to less cushioned material, and there have been complaints about the mat tearing easily.
If You Have A Bright Personality
Yoga Accessories believe in spiritual wellness and holistic living. They are dedicated to provide customers the best experience, with a knowledgeable customer service team assigned to help those who look for products to help them seek peace in the world of yoga. They offer high quality products which suit all yoga practitioners – from starters to experts.
Pros: This 6.2 mm mat is 74 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. The cushion gives great stability during the exercise, and enough padding to be comfortable. The range of color palette is also very attractive to buyers. As an additional feature, you can have your logo, artwork, or any design printed customized on the vibrant bright colored mat.
Cons: There have been complaints of chemical smell in the first few days after having it delivered, but you can just as easily air it out. A bit bulky because of its size, this one is more for home use and not to carry around.
If You’re a Hot Yoga Enthusiast (Or Maybe You Sweat Easily)
Shandali focuses on raising the vibration. Based from the world’s premier yoga destination in Bali, they are committed to improving the community’s health through relationship, food, and yoga.
Pros: This one’s not really a yoga mat but a towel you put on top of it. Designed to absorb more sweat and moisture, the towel makes your mat last longer. GOSWEAT boasts extremely absorbent, lightweight and durable towels that will help you focus better on your practice. Easily portable so it can be used anywhere you do your exercise. It also has a money-back guarantee for 30 days.
Cons: As a towel on top of the mat, there are some cases where it may also move while you move to change your pose. Also a bit thin for people who sweat excessively, since they may find moisture going through the bottom after a while.
WHY DO I NEED ONE
Shocker – You can practice yoga without it. It can be done, sure, but a mat is commonly used to perform it better. Yoga mats, which used to be deer or tiger skin, are used to add comfort to the routine and prevent you from slipping during the routine. These are also advantageous because of the following factors:
Hygiene: You practice yoga to exercise, so you know you’ll sweat buckets doing this, especially if you’re into hot yoga. Gyms and studios normally offer free mats for their classes, but why would you want to put your hands on an object with some other person’s perspiration?
Balance: The soft surface gives your limbs a bit more support so you won’t slip on the floor while stretching.
Support: If the mat is of the right thickness, it helps give you a little more cushion and a lot more comfort.
Warmth: Cold floors don’t exactly give you the bliss and relaxation you’re supposed to feel while practicing.
In the Zone: Trainer Claudia Altucher says that for people who don’t feel like doing yoga on certain days, you can just put on your workout clothes and stand on your mat. It transforms any space into a sacred personal ground, and just stepping on it can help start your mood for yoga.
Which Type Should I Choose
With the rising popularity of yoga, different kinds have become available in the market. Each type is distinctly used for the varied practices.
The Sticky: This can be found most common among yoga practitioners. With the standard inch size, the sticky texture prevents slipping but offers little padding.
For Travel: Usually 1/16 inch thick and are convenient to carry around, and best used by people who travel a lot or attend different classes.
Double Thick: The opposite of the type used for travel, this one is ¼ inch thick. Suitable for yogis who need the mat’s resilience to quickly spring back from any impression while doing challenging poses.
For Meditation: Mainly used for people who practice meditative forms of yoga. This one comes with the proper support of extra cushion to prevent discomfort during meditation.
Eco-friendly: What makes this different is the material it’s made from. Especially made for environmental enthusiasts, these products are free from planet-harming chemicals and are biodegradable.
What Should I Look For
It is important to choose the right type that suits your needs. Personal preferences such as the convenience in carrying it around, comfort in doing workouts in the rectangular space, and friction between the person’s feet and surface of the pad come into play. A few decades ago, commercial yoga mats were only made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and just came in two colors. Nowadays you have tons of selections in style and color, and you may even opt to have your personalized design printed on it. To choose what’s going to be your yoga buddy, you should consider the following factors:
Size: Obviously you do not want one that’s too short for you. Consider the length of your limbs to save you from putting your sweaty palm on the cold floor.
Material: Most are still made from PVC, since it’s the best material to reduce slipping. However it is neither particularly absorbent nor eco-friendly.
Thickness: If it’s too thin, it’s not going to be comfortable. Too thick, and it makes your poses wobbly. The standard-depth is in the 1/8 inch range.
Stickiness: To prevent you from sliding down when you make your poses, the surface has to be sticky enough. Those made from PVC are usually the best choice to help hold your pose longer.
Texture: Texture affects both traction and comfort. For those who don’t want the PVC, there are also other options such as rubber, jute, and cotton.
Price: The cheap mats aren’t usually worth it because they wear down easily, and you end up replacing them immediately. That doesn’t mean you should splurge hundreds of dollars unnecessarily, because there’s a right mat for you at the right price.
It is important to know what your priority is in choosing what you buy. Just because it falls under a particular category doesn’t mean that all mats are made exactly the same. For example, eco-friendly pads may make pivoting difficult or some poses uncomfortable. More sturdy ones may not be easily portable as well. Aside from the above factors, some people also consider buying environment-friendly made products, which some trainers recommend as well.
It’s About Having your Inner Peace
Now that you have devoted enough time to do the research, it’s okay to spend a little on yourself. You can start by checking out options online. With images and detailed descriptions on the different products sold provided, you have a wider range of purchases to choose from.Invest in yoga mats out there that last for years with the proper care. Just remember, don’t worry about the gear too much. Yoga, after all, is not about the equipment. Online purchasing saves you from the hassle of going through the sports equipment aisle and picking up each mat without knowing what the difference is. Now, you have more time to start on your exercises. So again, breathe in, breathe out.