Guide to a Good Yoga Mat

Practicing with a good yoga mat can be vital to excel in your yoga training. We have gathered the information you need to know to make your decision in finding the right yoga mat.

Besides the awesome benefits that come from practicing yoga, another great thing about yoga is that the barrier to entry is incredibly low. Unlike many other sports yoga doesnt require a lot of equipment to get started. The only thing you really need is your a yoga mat. However, having the right yoga mat can be crucial for your training.

The history of the yoga mat

Yoga mat from ancient times

Throughout the years the materials of the yoga mat have changed a lot although the functionality have remained the same.

Way back in ancient times, thousands of years ago, when the first yogis began their practice, they didn’t need yoga mats as the practice mostly consisted of seated breathing exercises and meditation. The yogis that did have “mats” were using animal skins.

Later, the mats evolved into folded cloths which then transitioned into rugs that eventually became more rectangluar designed cotton rugs with a shape as we know from today.

In the 1960’s the first modern yoga mats were designed from a foam carpet underlay. The next 40 years the mats were made by either really sticky or slippery PVC with a weak durability.

However, around 2010 more yoga equipment companies decided to create yoga mats with the features yogis really needed; A good grip, cushioning, stability, and truly eco-friendly.

Learn more about the history of the yoga mat here.

Mat features to consider

When buying your yoga mat there are some different factors to have in mind like material, texture, durability, thickness, comfort, stickiness, and of course cost. The features of the mat you choose will impact your training.

Texture, thickness, and stickiness will primarily affect you balance and stability on the mat. Have in mind there is not a right answer to e.g. how thick your mat should be. Some people might like their mats thin for the optimal grip whereas other prefer a thicker mat.

The material, durability, and arguably also the cost will say a lot about the sustainability of the mat and how eco-friendly it is. Some suporier mat manufactorers claims that their mats have “lifetime durability” emissions-free manufacturing process. These are the ones you should look for if you want an eco-friendly mat.

Another aspect is the weight. Many people prefers a light mat to carry with them. In this case you might focus on the material and the thickness of the mats as this decides the weight.  A general guide for the weight if you want a light mat is aim for a product that weights around 1.5 kg.

Some mats even have a series of lines on them to help ensure you are placing your feet/hands right during certain poses or exercises which can be pretty helpful.

Why invest in a good yoga mat?

As mentioned in the beginning, a good yoga mat will make you excel in your training. Having e.g. the perfect grip on your gives you a better balance during practice, Thus, you will progress easier through your poses and exercises in your training.

Naturally, we can’t determine what your mat preferences are. You might have to test some different variations before making your choice. Here is a link to some of the best rated yoga mats of 2021.

Begin your practice today

If you already have the perfect yoga mat, you can begin your practice now. HelloYoga offers private online yoga sessions for all yogis at all levels. Try a yoga sessions with one of our world class teachers. 7-day free trial to our platform right now!