Choosing The Best Yoga Mat For YOU!
Whether you’re an avid practitioner or new to yoga, choosing the best yoga mat for your needs may be easier than you think.
There are so many options and alternatives to choose from. To avoid confusion and become overwhelmed in your search, take into consideration these 5 basic purchasing factors and choose the top 3 most important to YOU.
5 Basic Purchasing Factors:
- Thickness and Length
- Design and Feel
Let’s start by honing in on what your priorities are:
There are several options to choose from depending on your budget and how often you use your mat. If you are new to yoga, it may be tempting to opt for an inexpensive mat.
Inexpensive mats are common but in my research, I found that Yoga Accessories has an inexpensive mat that is more durable than most of the cheaper mats on the market.
You can find detailed information (length, thickness, and colors) for this mat at Amazon
When I advise my students on what type of mat is best for them, the conversation starts with addressing mat durability. It’s definitely one of my top 3 factors when purchasing my own mats. If you plan on practicing regularly (3-5 times per week) or you are a yoga teacher, I suggest investing in a durable mat. Otherwise, you’ll begin to see wear and tear on your mat, especially if you purchased an inexpensive mat. I had holes wear into my first mat pretty quickly and soon after, I was wearing pieces of the mat on my clothes during my practice… YIKES!
When it comes to durability, I have two mats that I absolutely love. One mat is Manduka Mats. Their mats are amazing. I’ve had mine for 8 years now. The best part is that Manduka offers a LIFETIME Guarantee on their Manduka Pro or Manduka Pro Lite mats. You can purchase any of these mats on Amazon
Manduka PROLite Yoga Mat, 71-Inch ($68 – $141)
My second choice for durability is Pogamat. I was given this mat to use while teaching at a Yoga Festival and I have to say…. I love it! It’s incredibly durable, even for fitness workouts. This mat is thick and dense so it tends to be a bit heavier than other mats but well worth the added weight. Also, I like Pogamat because it’s a smaller company with great products and services. You can visit Pogamat.com to purchase this mat and learn about their XL and XXL options. They also offer my students a special discount.
Pogamat ($ 99 – $199). Click on this link and Save! (Sale $69-$129)
Being environmentally friendly now a days is very important. Thankfully more and more people are becoming aware of their environmental foot print. Do you know that many mats end up in landfills? Some environmentalists have determined that it takes an estimated 700 years for plastic and other similar ingredients to decompose.
Thankfully there are many options available for environmentally friendly mats. Companies like Jade and Manduka have eco-friendly mat options. Check out Manduka’s Eko Mat and Jade’s Harmony Mat . These mats decompose without harming the environment.
Jade Harmony Professional 68-Inch x 3/16-Inch Yoga Mat (Price $69.95-$105)
Note: Before you throw your old mat away… Think of different ways you can recycle your mat to keep it from the landfill.
Thickness and Length
Brands like Hugger Mugger, Manduka and Jade offer thick dense mats. Thick mats are great for people with sensitive knees, hip bones, and wrist. Please avoid buying ultra-thick mats meant for Pilates or fitness. Ultra-thick mats, even though they are thick, are not dense and will actually make it difficult to balance, aggravate your wrists and are super bulky.
The thick, yoga specific mats I recommend are not only thick but they are dense making it ideal for yoga.
Hugger Mugger Nature Collection Ultra Mat (Price Around $38)
Manduka PROlite Long Yoga Mat, 79″ (Prices will vary between Pro, Pro Lite and Eko Mats)
For the adventurous yogis on the road, Gaiam Jade and Manduka offer great travel mats. These mats are thin, foldable and portable. There are other travel mats out there as well.
Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat, Blue Sundial, 2mm (Price $24.98)
NOTE: If you are willing to pay a little bit more for an eco-friendly variation for your travel mat check out Manduka’s Eko Travel Mat ($35)
Design and Feel
If you like having pattern choices and a custom look to your mat,, check out Vagabond Goods Patterned Yoga Mats in Amazon. They are gorgeous!
What is my favorite yoga mat? Manduka Pro Lite all the way. I love the durability, thickness and it is lighter than the pro version. As I mentioned I have my Manduka mat for 8 years. I actually have two Manduka mats… one in my yoga studio and one in my car (that I travel with as well). I also have a Pogamat XXL at my home studio that’s very popular with my private clients. Also, my husband loves the Pogamat XL mat.
I would love to hear from you! What mat did you choose and why? Please share your comments with me so I can pass the information along to my students.
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