Yoga provides one with various physical, mental health and well-being benefits and luckily it requires a tiny investment in equipment compared to other forms of exercise.
A yoga mat is one of the most versatile essentials you need to have, especially in these challenging times where the predictability of gyms opening or closing is incalculable.
Practicing on a yoga mat allows one to properly perform different poses while remaining safe and free from unnecessary stresses such as slipping or experiencing pain from uncomfortable body support.
Whether you are a hardcore yogic or someone about to embark on your fitness journey, a yoga mat will help you elevate your performance and keeps pains and aches at bay.
Pallav Bihani, Founder Of Boldfit, shares some tips on how to select the best mat for your home workouts:
There are several yoga mats in the market with varying thicknesses. You need to factor in comfort, portability, and safety before you narrow down on few products. If you love the extra cushioning or are purchasing for senior citizens, opt for mats with 10-12 mm thickness.
While if you are someone who loves to connect with the ground while you move from one asana to another, then a yoga mat with a standard thickness of 6mm is the ideal fit for you. Opting for anything below the 10-6 mm thickness range won’t provide you with the benefits of stability, comfort, and cushioning that you are factoring in.
Size is one of the most important factors when looking out for a yoga mat. 183cm by 61cm is the standard size in the market, which is more than enough to perform all the asanas and exercises. If you are tall or big stature-wise, you should opt for a larger mat.
Consider how much room and portability is also required before fixing the size of the yoga mat. Portability is a crucial aspect of purchasing a yoga mat; buying a large yoga mat that you can’t carry around easily defeats the purpose. On the flip side, purchasing a small one will have your limbs touching the ground.
The texture of the yoga mat is quite essential for proper movements. The yoga mat’s surface provides traction and prevents slipping; everyone has different preferences: some like their mats with manufactured texture, while some prefer a smooth cushioned mat.
This might be a surprising one, but people who perform yoga regularly know the importance of stickiness in a mat. A sticky yoga mat will keep you from sliding all over the place and help you maintain your alignment as you move from one pose to another, as well as when you hold asanas. Make sure you purchase a mat that provides just the right amount of stickiness for you.
Last but not least, factor in the material when planning to purchase a yoga mat for your home workouts. Most budget yoga mats are made of recycled plastic such as EVA or PVC, leaving a nasty odour and can cause skin allergies. Although these are yoga mats, they are not optimized for performance to perform an asana that may require your mat to hold your grip during the movement.
If performance is one of your concerning parameters, then TPE material is the perfect match for you. TPE yoga mats provide you the confidence and quality to perform your exercise while lasting for years without degrading in nature. This is the ideal investment you can make in your fitness.
This article first appeared in Sunday Insider, Jan 16, 2022