5 top tips for choosing the right yoga mat for you!
You wouldn't start training for a run event without a good pair of trainers first, so you should take shopping for a yoga mat just as seriously! Knowing what you need from a yoga mat to support your body and your practice, is key to finding the right mat for you. So use these top five tips as a guide to help you find your flow, and the perfect mat.
Opt for non slip material
This one is probably the most important. Especially if you enjoy those hot and sweaty vinyasa classes. There’s nothing worse than nailing the perfect Down Dog or Warrior 2, feeling strong and stable. Then your hands or feet slowly start to slide away from you making you feel wobbly and interrupting your meditative state. Your focus switches to trying to bring them back into alignment, only for it to happen again. Should have gone slip proof! These mats are often made of a rubbery material, giving them more grip for your hands and feet, preventing the slide.
Think about thickness
Thinking about your intention of how you will be using your mat will help you to find the right one for you. If you know you will be travelling a lot, or carrying your mat to work with you, choosing a lighter mat will make it easier to carry and pack up into your luggage. However, if you struggle with any joint pain or issues in knees or elbows, it might be more beneficial to choose a thicker mat. The thicker the mat the more support it offers your body, protecting you from the hardness of the floor beneath you.
Struggle with alignment?
If you struggle with your alignment in your Warrior postures, choosing a mat that has a design that helps guide you into correct alignment can help you to learn through self-adjustment. These mats often have lines running straight down the centre to help you know where to put your feet and help you to say central on your mat. It can also help to spread your hands in feet in equal distance from your centre making sure you are bearing weight equally and evenly in grounded postures.
Be good for the planet
So many mats these days are made from recycled or sustainable material such as cork or recycled tree rubber. These mats can often be a little bit more on the expensive side, but with good reason. You lose none of the quality or grip, and eventually when it's time to change up your mat, you know you won't be damaging the planet and creating more waste by getting rid of it. Avoid PVC mats, as these contain plastic. Look for natural, biodegradable, sustainable options for a greener practice.
Choose one that speaks to you!
Finally choose a mat that you like the look of! Your mat is the foundation for all of your practices. The energy you create throughout each of your sessions will be shared with your mat. So, think about things like the colour you choose. If you want to create a feeling of calm and you resonate and feel inspired by the ocean, then choose a mat that is blue. Or if you feel more inspired and at peace with trees and nature, why not go for a forest green. Pattern or no pattern, whatever speaks to your soul. Choose a mat that inspires and excites you to roll out your mat and get to practice every day.
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