Are you looking to buy a yoga mat but feeling confused by all the different options out there?
“Which yoga mat should I buy?” I get asked this question very often.
So, I’ve narrowed it down to the five most important factors you have to consider before clicking the ‘Pay’ button and making your purchase!
Yoga requires minimal gear to get started. One essential is a yoga mat.
Yes, you can do yoga anywhere, on any surface. But the quality of your mat can influence your practice significantly.
Investing in your own mat can enhance your experience and make your practice more effective and enjoyable.
So let’s dive straight in! Here are my five top tips on how to choose your yoga mat.
Firstly, let’s look at the purpose of your yoga mat. List down three reasons why you need a mat.
These are questions you can ask yourself:
- What activities will I be using the mat or?
- Will I use this mat only at home, or would I travel to studios with it?
- What features am I looking for in a yoga mat?
How will purchasing a new yoga mat help with my yoga & wellness practices?
When it comes to choosing the material of your mat, let’s consider the style and frequency of your yoga practice.
Will you be using your mat every single day?
In this case, you don’t want quick wear and tear. You want to choose a mat that is long-lasting even with daily use.
You would have noticed that some mats have a rough surface while some are very smooth? Both can be very good for your grip.
Now, let’s talk about the style of your practice.
If you are someone who likes rolling over your toes in your transitions from upward dog to downward dog, go for the smooth surface!
If you like placing a yoga towel over the mat, go for the slighter rougher surface. This way, your towel wouldn’t move!
And if you tend to focus on alignment, there are mats out there that come with lines to guide you.
3. Thickness & Weight
Yoga mats usually come as travel mats, 3mm or 5mm mats.
A travel mat is most effective when placed over a thicker mat. It is perfect for you if you’re heading to a yoga class where they provide yoga mats.
The yoga mats used in Music Love Yoga and most studios are 3mm. They are very suitable for most practitioners and provide sufficient support.
However, if you tend to experience discomfort in the knees whenever you have them down on the mat, consider getting the 5mm mat for a bit more cushioning. Thicker mats are best for more therapeutic practices.
If you enjoy restorative classes, yin yoga where you hold poses longer, you may prefer a softer, more cushioned mat.
But you have to keep in mind that thicker mats can be more challenging to balance on during standing poses.
What about the weight of the mat? If you’re going to bring your mat to and fro home and studio, choose a mat within 2 kg!
There are advantages and disadvantages to every feature, so personalise the mat according to your needs!
Want to leave your mat at Music Love Yoga studio in between practices? Just drop us a message!
What’s the budget that you’re willing to set aside for a new yoga mat?
Yoga mats come in a wide range of prices! They start from just $20 and can also cost up to $250.
If you have a regular yoga practice and know that it’s always a part of your lifestyle, I advise you to consider making a good investment.
Good quality yoga mats can last you over a decade!
Consider a cheaper mat if you’re starting off your practice. Give yourself time to build on your practice and figure out your style. And decide on upgrading your mat over time!
5. New or Second-Hand?
Lastly, should you buy a brand new or second-hand mat?
“Do you think I should get a second-hand mat?” This is a question that comes up very often.
It is your call! If the mat has been used only once or twice, it should be ok!
Enquire about the hygiene and cleaning practices that were used on the mat and its condition.
There are pros and cons to both options! So meditate on it and make the best decision!
PS: Don’t throw away your old mats! Cut them up into smaller pieces and use them as padding for your knees. Or as grip for your hands when doing other workouts.