Yoga is a famous practice among women but open to all genders. It is done mainly by people who want great posture, a lean physique and improved mental health.
Some even see yoga as a practice for the unification of the physical body and mind to achieve a high level of self-realization.
Why do we use a yoga mat?
The practice of yoga doesn’t require far-fetched equipment. A yoga mat is the only necessary equipment needed to start your practice sessions.
Below are the reasons why you need to use a yoga mat and no other equipment.
- Yoga mats serve as protection and a cushion, since most extreme poses are carried out on the ground.
- Sweating is an uncontrollable result of performing some tricky poses. Yoga mats prevent any possibility of slipping in the process.
- The need to use a yoga mat in yoga sessions is equal to the need for using a football pitch for a football match.
What size yoga mat do you need?
The perfect size of a yoga mat to use varies. It depends on many features such as length, thickness, texture and possibly the material.
Length: When selecting an appropriate yoga mat for your body, length is an important feature that must not be under emphasized.
A longer mat is always better for you. For instance, if you are close to 6ft tall or taller, the standard yoga mat length for you is 68, 72 or 74 inches long.
- Thickness: Choosing the thickness of your yoga mat ultimately depends on your personal comfort. Do you want a thick or thin mat? The thickness of a yoga mat bridges your connection to the floor.
- Material: The material your yoga mat is made of indicates its durability. How long do you want your yoga mat to last?
- Texture: This dictates how slippery your yoga mat will be after a yoga session. It provides a physical barrier to sliding. It is also important to know its level of absorbency.
Where to buy a yoga mat?
A yoga mat doesn’t need to be purchased specially. It can be purchased anywhere and at any time. It often comes with free delivery if you buy from an online store.
You can also visit malls or ask a friend who is into yoga.
How to clean a yoga mat?
Cleaning your yoga mat should be one of the necessary things you do as yogi. It is a task that keeps it hygienic and odor-free for use.
There are vast methods you can apply to clean your mat.
Soap & Water
This is the easiest way to clean your mat. Create a solution made with two cups of water to every four drops of dish soap.
Use a damp sponge or rag to scrub the dirty areas. Don’t use a rough textured sponge on your mat to avoid damage.
If your mat is too dirty, submerge it in a solution of warm water and dish soap or mild detergent. Be careful not to use too much soap.
Doing that can leave a slippery residue on your mat, making future yoga practices dangerous.
Purchase a pre-made or mat-sanitizing spray. You can even produce the spray yourself at home. The important thing is to note the water and essential oil ratio.
Tea tree, lemon and lavender essential oils are excellent oils for making sanitizing sprays. They are good antibacterial and antifungal agents.
Spray a fine mist of the solution over your mat. Wipe clean with a hot, damp cloth.
Some yoga mats are machine washable. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s website before tossing your mat in the machine.
Many eco-friendly mats are meant to only be hand-washed, and can get damaged or destroyed by the spin cycle.
If you’re using a washing machine, use a very small amount of gentle detergent. Choose the gentle cycle with cool water.
Wash your mat separately from clothing and do not use the spin cycle.
Drying your yoga mat
To dry your mat, roll it up and squeeze out any excess water. Wipe it gently with a dry fabric and hang it outside to air dry.
If your mat is highly absorbent all you need do is spread it open on a dry fabric, rolling the mat and the fabric together.
Step on the mat to squeeze out more moisture and unroll the mat and hang it up to dry. Usually, it will air dry overnight, although it tends to take more time in humid weather.
Keep it clean
Depending on your practice session time table, your yoga mat is meant to be cleaned once a week.
Hang your mat between practice schedules rather than keeping it rolled up. You can also apply spray each time after use.
Below is our list of 5 best yoga mats for beginners:
1. Yoga Accessories 1/4″ Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat
Apart from been sold at a ridiculously cheap price, this is the best yoga mat for beginners for many reasons.
It is made of durable materials and it comes in numerous colors. Yogis who practice seldom might prefer to try this out.
- It is made from a PVC foam with an extra ¼-inch thick cushion
- It has a standard length of 74 inches
- It comes in various colors
- It is very affordable
- Users often complain about the sensitivity of their knees to the hard floor beneath the mat
- The mat has a factory chemical smell which is dangerous for asthmatic patients
- It can be a bit slippery during the first few uses
2. Manduka PRO Yoga Mat
The famous Manduka Pro yoga mat is not just famous because of the name. It is known for its durability, always promising users a lifetime guarantee..
The Manduka Pro yoga mat is made with an eco-certified safe PVC, which usually comes in two sizes; 71 inches long and 85 inches long.
It is undoubtedly the best yoga mat for bad knees due to the cushioning it offers.
- It provides extra support for your joints
- It is highly recommended for yogis with latex allergies
- It is easy to clean
- It comes in different colors
- Yogis often complain about the heavy size
- Even though it is worth the money, it isn’t as cheap as other mats
- It is slippery for some yogis even after several uses
- It is quite expensive
3. Jade Harmony Professional Mat
The mat with a high level of absorbency and commonly referred to as the moisture absorber is the Jade Harmony Professional Mat.
The Jade Harmony Professional yoga mat has an open-cell construction which is also similar to the Maduka Eko yoga mat.
This serves as great support with extra cushioning.
It is highly durable and it prevents you from slipping. Even after sweating, you still have a firm grip which allows you to focus on your pose instead of worrying about falling.
It is a big name when considering mats which yogis prefer.
- It has a low slip-resistant surface, a feature comparable to none
- It provides good support for your knees
- It is made from a high quality natural rubber
- It is affordable
- It needs to be cleaned immediately after use since it absorbs your sweat easily
- Yogis complain about the heaviness often
- The factory made smell of rubber can affect asthmatic patients or yogis with breathing problems
4. Manduka Eko Yoga Mat
Manduka is renowned for producing durable yoga mats.
They are extremely popular and considered to be a major producer of yoga mats made from biodegradable, non-Amazon harvested tree rubber and non-toxic foaming agents.
The mat has two important features that make it well-cushioned with great traction.
The top surface has a closed-cell structure and a sea grass texture, providing users with a firm grip without absorbing sweat.
The bottom layer is open-cell in construction and thicker to provide that extra cushioning.
- It is affordable and eco-friendly
- It is highly durable
- It provides an excellent support for knees
- It comes in various colors and sizes
- It produces a strong factory made rubber smell which is dangerous for yogis with breathing difficulties
- Yogis often complain about its heaviness
- It doesn’t have a lifetime guarantee like the Manduka PRO mat
5. Aurorae Premium Classic
The Aurorae Premium Classic yoga mat is produced from a special polymer environmental resin.
Its uniqueness comes from it lacking some common features such as phthalates, latex, silicone, or rubber.
It does not give off a strong odor. It is 72 inches long so it can fit most yogis.
It also comes with a rosin bag that yogis can apply to minimize slippage.
It is undoubtedly the type of mat you will want to try out in one of your yoga sessions.
- It is biodegradable, with no phthalates, latex, silicone, or rubber
- It comes in various types and in a longer size
- It provides excellent support cushioning for the joints
- It is affordable, and comes in numerous colors
- Yogis are faced with cleaning difficulty – it is not easy to clean
- It is thinner than the Jade Harmony mat
- It is quite expensive and it might not come with free shipping
Getting a good yoga mat is a great first step towards your enjoyment of yoga. From the information provided in this article, you should be able to select the best mat that suits your needs.
Diana is a certified nutritionist who writes for leading health blogs. She is focused on helping people transform life blocks to opportunities. Based in NYC, she often holds health seminars and lectures.