Nowadays you can get a mat that is an exact match for your particular taste and likes. Unlike more than a decade and a half ago, yoga mats are now available in varying sizes, styles and designs. Those many years ago, the only yoga mats available were made of vinyl, and were either blue or purple. You had almost no options when buying when a yoga mat.
In the recent years, however, you can be very specific about the details of your yoga mat. You can decide on thickness, storability, stickiness, texture, material, eco-friendliness, and just about every feature of your mat.
Here below is an outline of different features of a modern yoga mat to help you in your choice of one.Price Range
We’ve started with addressing the cost of a mat because it is a critical factor in determining what kind of mat you purchase. It would waste your time to shop in places way out of your budget. A simple PVC yoga mat of standard thickness and a dull color is the lowest costing in the market. Eco-friendly mats are high-end, on the other hand. The more you add features such as natural materials, texture, treatment, thickness among others, the more you pay for the mat.
The material that a yoga mat is made of is crucial because it determines its features. Most yoga mats are made of vinyl, which is not very earth-friendly. Newer mats available in the market are biodegradable. There are mats made of natural cotton, natural and recycled rubber, and jute.
A PVC mat, however, is still the tried and tested one that will endure years of use.
Standard yoga mat’s thickness is 1/8 of an inch. Others are much thicker at ¼ inch thickness and still others, wafer- thin at 1/16 inch thickness. The very narrow ones are easily foldable, and you can carry them in a suitcase. They are ideal for travel.
If storage space is an issue, but you do not require portability, chose the standard thickness mat. If comfort is your priority, and you have space and do not travel much, select the thickest mat.
Available textures for yoga mats range from very smooth to downright rough. Jute, cotton and rubber yoga mat with a physical pattern that’s raised has stick-ability if that’s your goal especially if you don’t prefer PVC. For a very smooth mat, you can go with PVC.
For a yogi who upholds values of non-violence, getting an earth-friendly mat can be a priority. These are now available in natural materials such as jute, rubber or cotton. You can get a mat that just meets your requirements in all other ways and made of natural materials.
A sticky mat will keep you from sliding all over and helps you maintain your alignment as you practice.
If a rough texture does not appeal to you, your only option of getting a sticky mat is to go for a vinyl one. The natural materials get their stickiness from lack of smoothness. Note, though that a PVC mat will only be sticky if clean.
Style may be the least important consideration when buying a mat. Check out all the above factors and then pick a mat with your desired pattern, print, and color.