If you are ready to take your first big step on a path to better health and living with yoga, your first big decision will be the right yoga mat to support your training. The mat you choose will be your best friend and training buddy along your path and it is important that you pick the right option not make sure your journey of a thousand steps starts off on the right foot.
Before you set out into the market to select the yoga mat for you, here are a few things to consider:
Mat thickness – the right thickness is one of the most important choices. You will find plenty of 1/8-inch mats at a give-away price, but unless you are especially small and light, like a child, these will not be suitable for very long and will be thrown away categorically.
You will find that the 1/6 and ¼ inch mats provide far better support and allow for better flow. There are some very thick, luxuries and plush options as well, but as a beginner you may want to wait till you have gained some experience in yoga before you choose one of these.
Mat Weight and Portability – the biggest problem with the 7lb thick and luxurious mats, is that they can be heavy and cumbersome. If you will be taking your mat to studios across town and even on retreats in far off locations, you will need something a bit more portable – and, don’t underestimate the importance of a bag or sheath that slips over the mat to protect it from dust and impact in transit.
Materials – you will find mats made of all types of materials. PVC is the most durable and cost-effective, but is not a very environmentally friendly. TPE mats are more environmentally friendly, but will not last as long as a good PVC mat.
Finally, the mats made of natural fibers will be comfortable and bit more costly. Furthermore, they don’t always have the same versatile grip that allows for yoga practice on smooth slick floors. But, that’s a small price for keeping our planet clean and healthy.